In an ideal workplace, employees are challenged and engaged at work, taking on new projects and learning alongside industry leaders. However, studies have shown that an astronomical 85% of employees worldwide are “not engaged or actively disengaged at work”.

No company wants a disengaged workforce. Disengagement leads to low performance and productivity across the team, which ultimately results in never-ending revolving doors.

As individuals, employees feel more satisfaction when they learn, improve, and grow. They’re less likely to leave an environment where they’re consistently exploring their interests and adding new skills to their arsenal. To foster a strong corporate culture, companies need to fully maximize their employees’ personal and professional development. Here are 5 ways companies can cultivate a culture of continuous learning throughout the year.

Create a learning fund

A learning fund is an investment by an employer, which supports the employee’s educational pursuits. This fund can vary from a $500 allowance per employee for courses of their choice to a full tuition reimbursement. A corporate learning fund sends a message that management values the well-being of the team.

Above all, companies are nurturing existing talent and minimizing time and money spent on recruitment of new hires. As employees learn and grow, they simultaneously prepare themselves for the next role up the ladder. In the long run, training and development programs will result in greater job satisfaction, improved retention, and promotion opportunities.

Host lunch and learns

Lunch and learns are an efficient and effective way to cultivate an environment of continuous learning. Host monthly sessions with your team and invite up-and-coming industry leaders to invigorate your workforce with fresh and foreign ideas. Topics can even alternate between job-related and random (but equally essential) subjects, like the public speaking and humour in the workplace.

Introduce social learning opportunities

Sometimes, the greatest teachers are the people that surround us everyday. Invite your staff to teach the team skills they have mastered over the years. You may uncover that an employee is a guru in yoga, coffee art, or video editing. Perhaps, they don’t get to optimize or explore their hidden talents in their current role. These informal learning opportunities allow individuals to showcase their capabilities in front of their peers and create a unique team bonding experience.

Leave the office

Take your staff out of the office and learn what it means to be a team beyond the cubicles and boardrooms. When you come together for experiential team building activities and outings, you’re encouraging your staff to think like a team as they perform tasks that are not only entertaining and exciting, but more impactful and memorable. Whether they’re canoeing across a great lake or building bikes for charity, these off-site experiences allows the team to push themselves to be a stronger and more unified Tribe.

Listen to your employees

Ultimately, the key to a strong company culture is listening to your employees. Schedule recurring one-on-one coaching sessions with your employees and listen to what they have to say about their personal and professional goals. When employer expresses a genuine interest in their employee’s development, they are actively strengthening loyalty and overall performance within the organization. Most importantly, your company will only become a cohesive Tribe when every member is heard.

At the end of the day, employees are an ongoing investment. Every company can provide a salary but what sets apart the best companies from the rest is a sincere interest in their employees’ well-being and satisfaction. A great employee should be able to grow with the company – all they need is a leader who empowers them to do so.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash