What is company culture without L&D?
Your company culture lives and breathes through everything you do—including how you learn. That’s why creating great learning experiences is so important to building and strengthening company culture.
Putting your learners at the center of your L&D strategy doesn’t just empower your company culture—it also makes your culture flexible, and more resilient to challenges. This adaptability is a core part of Collaborative Learning, and it’s one of my favorite topics to discuss with L&D experts as part of the CLO Connect interview series.
Today, we’re sharing snippets from our second volume of collected expert insights on how L&D can help build a strong company culture. We’ve got the best tips from leading companies like Harry's, Disneyland Paris, SmileDirectClub, and more.
Want all the expert insights? Download volume 2: How L&D Can Help You Build a Strong Company Culture
And don’t forget to check out Volume 1 of expert insights from Amazon, WhatsApp, Klaviyo, and more, on how L&D can help companies scale. Plus, we’ve got an extra bonus in store: an invitation to join the next exciting phase of the CLO Connect community.
Let’s get started!
Curating great learning content is a key step in creating dedicated communities of learners. That’s because it encourages employees to motivate each other, share expertise, and foster self-directed learning–all key steps in building a strong company culture.
Creating these communities of learners is all about encouraging employees to take ownership of their own growth and skills development. This democratized approach to learning empowers employees to have full control over their learning path and is a key contributor to strengthening company culture.
So, what does this look like in practice? As Rachel Peck, Director of L&D at Harry’s, explains: “We offer a bunch of courses taught by folks internally on a range of topics. We call this Harry’s Business School or HBS. These courses can be anything from how to build a great PowerPoint presentation, through to foundational courses on our brand and our company values.”
By leveraging internal knowledge, Harry’s has successfully enabled self-directed learning between teams. Another key aspect of building and strengthening company culture? Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals through L&D.
We don’t always talk enough about the key role we play in strengthening company culture through supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in learning. Fortunately, our experts have some great insights to share on building inclusivity into their learning strategies.
At SmileDirectClub, Regional Learning Specialist Jodi Leffingwell is addressing gender diversity obstacles head-on. “Imposter syndrome is a question of gender roles and inequities passed on through centuries of social conditioning. It’s up to us to decide how to recognize it, and what to do about it.”
“First of all, career mapping is essential. Another thing that really works is polling your team to find out what they need, what they’d like to learn about, and how you can help. We need to give our teams a forum for open discussion, and to carve out time for team development. With a little innovation, you can always bring something to the table.”
These DE&I insights are fundamental to strengthening company culture. But how can you ensure you deliver these initiatives in the new remote working environment? L&D teams need to adjust to this change, and our experts have the tips to make the transition seamless.
Imposter syndrome is a question of gender roles and inequities passed on through centuries of social conditioning. It’s up to us to decide how to recognize it, and what to do about it.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I interviewed many L&D leaders who shared how they not only adjusted to remote (or hybrid) working but thrived during this time.
Many companies placed an emphasis on recognizing new employee skills. Bruno Fournet, HR Director at Disneyland Paris’s Center of L&D Excellence explains, “A lot of our staff members have revealed themselves as having unexpected capabilities with certain activities. At the same time, some people aren’t quite so comfortable. We need to pay attention and give them the opportunity to speak up and ask for any help they need.”
Similarly, Joe Wilmoth, Executive Director of L&D at medical dermatology company Dermira describes how they’ve supported learning remotely. “We offered a weekly learning playbook to keep people focused and motivated, which is a weekly resource of curated learning materials.”
These initiatives have helped companies support their employees in adjusting to our new remote world. But how do we ensure managers and leaders have the right support they need to continuously develop themselves and their teams?
We need to pay attention and give them the opportunity to speak up and ask for any help they need.
In L&D, we’re helping teams everywhere develop the skills they need to excel–but we shouldn’t forget about managers and leaders. Helping your leaders to create long-lasting learning habits helps build and strengthen company culture.
For Lenn Moorhead-Rosenberg, Talent Development Director at WinCo Foods, they’ve recognized that they have asked a lot of their leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic with many managers playing additional roles, such as checking in on team members’ families and providing support for psychological safety.
“To help them do this, we’re giving them extra support, including hosting collective coaching calls and having ‘learning moments’: short topics of interest we’ve collected by curating best practices. A few times a week, we’re communicating with our managers and letting them know we’re thinking of them.”
I hope these expert tips have given you some much-needed inspiration to strengthen your distinctive company culture through building dedicated learning communities, supporting DE&I goals, helping managers and leaders to keep learning, and adjusting to our new remote world. For the full experience, be sure to download our collected volume of insights.
Stay tuned for Volume 3, where we’ll show what it takes to be the best L&D leader you can be. In the meantime, if you’re looking for more expert insights, you can join the waitlist for the CLO Connect community, a global network for L&D leaders and their teams to exchange ideas and build connections with others.