Having a company that can succeed in an uncertain economic environment is inextricably linked to the development and adaptability of individuals and for that to be a reality, learning has to be at the core.

Building an organisation where people learn continuously is not just about courses and online access, but about building a culture that promotes learning as part of the day-today. Responsibility has to be shared by the learner and the organisation, and managers play a critical role as coaches in creating the environment where employees know continually adapting is core to success and feel empowered to try out new ideas.

Learning itself has not just gone through an evolution, but a revolution. This continual emphasis on learning is itself enabled by technology as we have moved from an era when the course was the default learning approach, to one where skills and capabilities are developed through accessible and agile methods. Learning can now be delivered in the flow of work, not just in a classroom environment.

Digital technologies facilitate learning anytime. The proliferation of online content has shifted learning design from sluggish creation to swift curation. This involves identifying and promoting suitable resources, whether it be Ted Talks or online modules, that match the learning needs identified.

Online communities enable like-minded people to freely share practice and solutions and expertise. And, there is growing interest by individuals in continuous professional development both at work and in their own time, with many sourcing self-directed learning solutions.

With an increasing pace of change and tightening labour market, learning is a key link to growth, innovation and motivation and embedding learning into ways of working can enable organisations to innovate and respond faster to change while facilitating talent strategies that develop and keep the best people.

The CIPD partnered with Towards Maturity to identify the activities that create a true learning organisation in today’s environment. Generating a learning organisation is about building a culture that promotes learning as part of the day today.

Through the analysis of top performing organisations, the mutual responsibilities of business leaders and people professionals underpinned success. The characteristics below reflect the opportunity to work collectively to deliver what is important to individuals and organisations. Use this checklist to identify where your organisation is at and what you need to do to provide direction and show real support for learning.

Checklist: Building a learning environment

  1. Clear purpose: a shared vision, how people are valued and need to adapt to deliver the organisation’s performance.
  2. People experience: organisation can be trusted to keep its promises and develops innovative and continuous learning opportunities.
  3. Thriving environment: a people-led culture that enables people, teams and the extended enterprise to thrive and learn, linked to common goals.
  4. Agile, digitally-enabled infrastructure: a virtual environment that enables a fluid exchange of knowledge, ideas in support of learning.
  5. Continual engagement: that continually builds on business relationships, resulting in energy, resilience and growth.
  6. Intelligent decision-making: a robust platform using insight and performance analytics to drive organisational performance and customised experience.

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About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.