Promoting a learning based culture in the workplace

by | Sep 26, 2023 | Clinical Lead, Education & Training, Practice Manager, Training Manager

Promoting a learning based culture in healthcare settings is essential in order to meet standards of practice to be able to deliver high quality safe and effective patient care. In a field where evidence based practice is critical, promoting a positive learning based culture helps to develop continuous learning and enables individuals to stay up to date with changes and development. A positive learning culture can also help to empower staff in their roles, encourage critical thinking and promote growth and development. This enables individuals to take ownership over their learning needs which can in turn help to enhance job satisfaction. But what steps can you take to help foster a positive learning based culture in the workplace?

1. Make sure training is personalised to the learner

Training programmes shouldn’t be a one size fits all. They should be personalised to each staff member, based on their specific roles and skills. Individuals can also have differing learning needs, or have a preferred learning style which should be taken into account. A tailored approach can make training feel more relevant to the individual, which can boost participation.

2. Ensure regular reviews and appraisals

Having regular meetings, reviews and appraisals with your staff can help to track their progress and identify any learning needs. This can provide opportunities to set out objectives and identify areas for growth and improvement. It can also offer the opportunity for staff to ask questions and see how their learning aligns with their role and career development.

3. Encourage learning between peers and colleagues

Encourage employees to share their knowledge and experiences with one another. Peer-to-peer learning, whether in an informal or formal setting, can serve to foster open communication and provide a sense of support and community within the team. You can do this by holding regular team meetings where staff can discuss cases, share insights and best practice and learn from each other’s experiences and challenges. Sharing knowledge within the team is essential for learning and can help to promote critical thinking and reflection.

4. Provide mentor and buddy support systems to new staff

Having experienced team members who can act as mentors and buddies to new members of staff can be valuable. This practice can serve to not only transfer knowledge and skills to those who are new to the team, but it can also help to establish and strengthen connections within the team.

5. Offer blended learning approaches

Learning can come in a variety of forms, through workshops, seminars, conferences and online courses. It is important to recognise that everyone learns differently and that also some training may need to be more hands on and practical. Whilst other training may work well as independent self directed reading or through online courses. Offering your training as a blended approach in a variety of formats can be key to help to keep things engaging for staff. As an example – most of the Health Academy face-to-face and virtual courses include an e-learning element, either as compulsory part of the course or as an additional optional resource.

6. Encourage development

Encourage where possible and support staff in pursuing any additional qualifications, certifications and continuing education courses relevant to their role. Ensure your organisation has a training and education policy and staff are aware of what opportunities are available to them.

7. Try to set aside allocated training time

It can be hard at times amongst the pressures of a busy workload to find the time for training. However there is also no point in training if someone is just going to quickly scroll through it because they haven’t been given the adequate time to allow them to complete it. They may not take any of the information in and it can be seen more as a tick box exercise which can be counter productive.

Ideally time should be set aside for training, rather than asking staff to complete this in between their tasks. Whether this be allocated time during work hours or allowing flexibility to attend any relevant training. Consider reviewing your training management policy and look at whether you have sufficient training time in place for your staff.

7. Embrace E-learning

E-learning training courses can help to make training more accessible to staff. It also allows the learner to fit it around their busy lives, learn at their own pace and access it on demand. Having a learning platform that you use can also help staff to keep track of their progress and achievements. They also have access to certificates which can be used as evidence for their continuous professional development.

6. Encourage micro learning

Whilst time should be allocated for longer training courses, you can try to encourage micro-learning. This can be short 5 minute bursts of learning, whether this be through interactive learning, scenario based training, reading of shared articles or completing an online module. Many online courses can be broken down into shorter lessons to enable learners to dip in and out. These can sometimes be easier to digest and can be completed during short periods of down time or breaks. Make learning resources easy to access, share interesting resources and articles with the team which can be read through during quick 5 minute breaks. The easier it is to fit training into peoples lives, the more likely they are to try.

7. Offer lunch time learning sessions

Consider offering pop up workshops or lunch time learning sessions – whether this be internally or through external sources. These sessions can be more casual and interactive and can lead to useful discussions between the team. Utilise those in your practice, you may have someone who is an expert in a certain area or has a passion for a particular topic. Ask if they are happy to share this within the team. Consider inviting a rep or a guest speaker to come and share their knowledge.

8. Learn from mistakes, avoid a culture of blame and create a safe and inclusive learning environment

Discuss incidents, failures, setbacks or near misses and use these as learning opportunities to discuss what could have been done differently. Encourage staff to share their experiences and what they have learnt. Aim to prevent a culture of blame. Employees should be encouraged to express their thoughts and experiences without fear of being criticised or judged.

9. Encourage reflection

As healthcare professionals, we are used to reflecting on our practice on a daily basis. Use reflections to identify knowledge gaps and training needs. Consider what could have been improved or changed and what learning objectives have come from it.

10. Listen to feedback

Get feedback from staff members on your current training programme, this is a great way to ensure that the training programme is current, effective, and appropriate for their needs. Ask staff what areas of training they enjoy or whether they have any suggestions or improvement. Use this to help inform decisions on what should be prioritised. Increasing employee involvement and providing opportunities for them to choose what training they will receive can help to enhance motivation and ownership over their learning and development.

Promoting a positive learning based culture

Promoting a learning based culture in the workplace is a commitment and an ongoing process but is vital in order to provide high quality safe and effective care. When managers prioritise and advocate the importance of learning and development and show a commitment to training, it helps to ensure staff feel valued and contributes to promoting a positive learning based culture.

Promoting a learning based culture in the workplace, E-learning

At Health Academy we want to help make training as easy as possible for you and your staff. We offer a variety of interactive and engaging online, virtual and face-to-face courses to suit the needs of you and your team. You can find out more by visiting our courses page. You can also sign up to one of our free lunch time health news sessions for an overview of the recent changes in the world of primary health care.

Similar Posts

Get Posts Like These, Straight To Your Inbox!

Subscribe to the HealthEd Blog

* indicates required
Choose which role best describes you
Select all that apply