Working somewhere with a positive, social and collaborative learning culture compared to somewhere without it is a bit like a barista prepared cappuccino, in your favourite reusable cup, with the chocolate sprinkles and biscuit on the side, versus powdery instant on a rainy Monday morning. Yes one costs quite a bit more than the other (both time and money) but also amazing learning cultures don’t magically create themselves.
MVF has always valued and encouraged development and growth. Over the years our learning culture has been nurtured, crafted and grown for the benefit of every MVFer, by every MVFer. A learning culture is a lot like the beans that go into making your favourite cup of coffee. They are the foundation of it and provide the flavour but are best enjoyed when combined with other ingredients. Think of development programmes and structured learning opportunities, like our Mate to Manager or Management Development Academy, as the milk in a cappuccino (learn more here).
The milk has two jobs, firstly it mixes with the coffee and secondly it sits on top and is more visible. Sometimes when you ask people about the learning culture where they work the most obvious response is listing the workshops or programmes on offer. It makes sense, these are more tangible things that people experience but you need an all-round, great learning culture for development solutions to have the maximum impact. You need to create inclusive opportunities for people to practice new things, make development an ongoing conversation, measure the impact, invest in the individual and introduce tools that spark creativity and help them grow.
These are the ‘coffee beans’ that provide the foundation and flavour. The chocolate sprinkles are the little things that sweeten the coffee and can be likened to making continuous learning a part of everyday life. It’s the encouragement people give each other to grow, to experiment, and to fail but also what they share about their own experiences and valuable lessons learnt. It’s the micro learning experiences from a brief conversation or a piece of feedback that gives someone a perspective they hadn’t considered previously. As part of the People Team’s work to continuously build and facilitate our MVF’s learning culture we recently launched our new brand – MVF University. MVF University allows us to structure and talk about MVF’s learning culture and all of the development opportunities available.
The new MVF University brand also allows us to have a consistent look and feel that closely aligns with our forthcoming employer brand. MVF University has two core elements, the first section covers all of our structured learning programmes where learning is mapped out for an MVFer. The second section covers all of the tools, services and on the job learning opportunities that MVFers can choose to take advantage of to support their continuous learning. A lot like the biscuit on the side – food for thought.
Here’s my top 10 questions to ask about your Company’s learning culture on a regular basis:
– Is shared learning aligned with your business goals?
– Does it promote continuous development, feedback and curiosity?
– How does it drive creativity and innovation?
– How do your teams all think and feel about development & its value?
– Do you provide the skills and knowledge needed – when they’re needed?
– Are conversations about growth continuous?
– What enables knowledge sharing and collaboration?
– Are people safe to experiment; Build, Measure, Learn & Iterate?
– How do you measure impact?
– What opportunities do you create?