Creating and Becoming a Learning Elite Company in 2023

Creating and Becoming a Learning Elite Company in 2023

Ask your employees, “In your opinion are you working for a creative learning culture company?” How do you think they would respond? A resounding, yes? Or not sure? The response may be based on the culture that you have created. Ask your employees what they have learned in the last 30 days that has moved your company forward in its competitive advantage. Have them share their activities with their co-workers on a weekly basis and see what happens. Culture happens when accountability is a part of your vision and goals. Employees have the capacity, given the opportunity to be contributors vs. consumers in the workplace.

The best way to awake a sleeping unengaged work force is to get them learning something new.

Without a doubt disengaged workers are impacting your productivity and morale. Chief Learning Officer Magazine regularly addresses what it means to be a world class learning elite company. Building a culture of coaching and learning is the key. Every year CEO’s are asked about what is their greatest concern about the future success of their business. For over a dozen years it has something to do with whether their employees are being properly developed.  Leadership is a conversation according to Harvard Business Review. Talking with employees rather than to them can promote employee engagement and stronger strategic alignment.

Highlights of learning elite cultures:

  1. Focus on leadership development
  2. Use of Technology
  3. Top Management support
  4. Having fun
  5. Engaging the workforce at every level

The companies that are engaged in workforce learning and development are moving their organizations into the future.

Inc. Magazine publishes a list of the Top 500 Fastest growing companies in America each year. In 2001 Personnel Consultants, the company my partners and I owned was recognized as the 135th fastest growing small privately owned company in America. As I look back over the list, year over year, it is rare to see companies that repeat as contenders. The book “Good to Great” refers to some of the biggest and best companies in the world. The book was written in 2001 and many of the companies listed in the book are no longer in business. Is it possible that they lost their way?

I had the opportunity to meet and hear Lee Cockrell speak about his experience as the VP of Operations till 2006 for Walt Disney World.  He said, “it is not magic that makes it work for Disney but the way the people work that make the magic.” Lee suggested “Your organization’s culture is the product of the people in it, and every addition and subtraction will alter the chemistry.

Leaders have the responsibility to create a culture where employees look forward to coming to work every day.

It begins by hiring the right people, making your expectations clear. In fact, it raises your expectations because you most often get what you expect. You must then enforce your expectations. Learning cultures happen where people know what matters most. It is easy, but it is also easy not to work on creating that kind of environment. It’s work. As a leader you will be watched and judged every second of your life. You own your reputation as the leader. The book I wrote in 2004 called “Don’t Look Now, Your Character is Showing”, highlights a very strong reminder that you cannot not communicate. You are constantly on display to the world. Yes, I said “world”.

People are watching what kind of legacy you are laying down and leaving for the next generation.

Start being more about doing and less about being.  As my friend Jeff Wilkie, at Hogan Taylor says, “You are the message”, and it is best to not forget it.

Dr. Mark Gilbert, my college professor, use to tell me when I visited him in his home after I finished college that I should remind people that what they are doing every day is important, because it will impact tomorrow. When your employees consider that what they do each day is extremely important, it will impact tomorrow, it will help you to become known as an elite learning company.

As an employee, no matter your role, develop a passion for learning.

If you do, you will never cease to grow.  The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choice we all make.  Choose to be a learner and a contributor.

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Travis Jones

Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a well-known community servant and is dedicated to providing world-class service for everyone we encounter at Career Development Partners.

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