What do some of the world’s top companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, and Adobe have in common? They all take great steps to foster a learning mindset throughout their organizations. This approach to company culture, also referred to as a growth mindset, is defined by psychologist Carol Dweck as the idea that individuals’ talents are not innate gifts, but skills that can be developed through good strategies, hard work, and input from others. When entire companies adopt this mindset, they put more energy into learning and take advantage of people’s natural instincts to learn throughout our lives – to great company-wide success.
The corporate learning industry is a $360 billion industry and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. With surveys from as far back as 2018 showing that opportunities for employee development is second to only the nature of the work itself in workplace happiness, LinkedIn’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report shows that companies are starting to make changes to reflect this. 59% of companies surveyed stated that employee upskilling and reskilling were a top priority for them over the last year, while 51% reported that creating opportunities for internal mobility was especially important.
From Project Lightbulb at Allstate, where team members are encouraged to spend a half day every week learning new things, to Adobe’s Learning Fund that provides $10,000 to employees for education and certifications, companies have committed to prioritizing learning. A growth mindset reaps far more benefits than just employees picking up new skills; it’s truly a rising tide that lifts all boats.
While it’s impossible to quantify all the ways a learning mindset can benefit your business, here are some of the top perks to adopting this approach:
#1 It helps employee retention rate.
By now, we’ve probably all heard of the Great Resignation, with 4.53 million Americans quitting their jobs in November 2021 alone. Employee retention has become more important than ever, with companies across all industries scrambling for ways to keep their workforce happy. Though there’s no magic formula for preventing employees from quitting, creating an environment where learning is encouraged has proven to improve employee satisfaction. LinkedIn reports that employees that spend time at work learning are 47% less likely to be stressed, 39% more likely to feel productive, and 21% more likely to feel confident – key factors in overall workplace happiness and retention. We’ve seen this firsthand here at FACTS, with an 94% employee retention rate for associates that have enrolled in a course through Nelnet University.
#2 It helps attract top talent.
LinkedIn’s research also shows that the inability to grow and learn is employees’ number one reason for leaving a position, ranking roughly twice as important as the inability to be promoted or get a raise. In other words, once people feel like they’re not growing, they’ll look for new employment. Creating a growth mindset in your organization with clearly defined paths to learning and upskilling makes your company attractive to not only new employees, but to top talent looking to grow long-term in their roles.
#3 It motivates employees to take on new challenges.
When companies create a culture that champions learning and development, employees feel more comfortable tackling new challenges. Employees that spent time learning at work reported feeling 23% more ready to take on additional responsibilities than those that don’t. This allows companies to promote from their own talent pool and expand into new business areas. As employees successfully master new skills – and maybe even share what they’ve learned with others – their confidence increases, further adding to workplace happiness.
#4 It “future proofs” your business.
We’ve seen over the last few years how important it is to be able to pivot your business plan quickly. The COVID-19 pandemic sped up digital adoption rates by several years, with companies embracing new technologies and interacting with customers digitally more than ever. This led to growing pains for many organizations as skill gaps emerged in their workforce. Companies with learning mindsets that were already continuously upskilling their employees, however, were much better equipped to adapt to these changes. In a digital transformation study from MIT and Deloitte, it was found that among high performing companies, 73% of employees updated their skills every 6 months and 44% updated them continuously. It’s clear that investing in learning is no longer optional to stay on top in 2022 and beyond.
Simple Ways to Build a Learning Mindset in Your Company
- Bring learning into channels your employees are already using. Most employees spend a lot of their day in Teams, Slack, and SharePoint. Create a learning channel within these tools where employees can share resources and things they’ve learned in casual, approachable ways.
- Dedicate time for learning. While employees are more than willing to learn, they often don’t have the time do so. Create a policy of dedicated learning time and encourage employees to take advantage of it. It doesn’t have to be long to make a big difference.
- Make it easy. Putting all of your company’s learning resources in one central hub makes it easy for employees to quickly access them. Instead of employees searching YouTube and Google for resources, direct them to trainings compiled internally. While there are advantages to encouraging employees to seek out learning opportunities that interest them, oftentimes it’s easier to learn something that’s readily available.
- Don’t overlook email. Emails still make up a huge part of the average workday, with many employees keeping their inboxes open in the background all day. Company-wide emails are a great way to introduce “microlearning” to your team, with tiny snippets of easily digestible information they can quickly read during the day.