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A culture of learning goes a long way

culture of learning

Investing in employees’ training does not necessarily benefit the next organisation; it just depends on how it is executed

Creating a culture of learning may seem daunting for many marine organisations. However, such culture will rejuvenate employer-employee relationship dynamics. From a macro perspective, better training outcomes translate to improved performance, safer operations and certainly a more engaged team. Professional development is intrinsic to what the company does and incorporated into each employee’s job description.

Relooking training as nurturing
Championing training as a policy is often jeered at. It is mostly stemmed from weak company values promoted throughout the organisation which influences every decision including hiring, operations, promotion, sales and more.

It is proven that strong learning cultures promote employee engagement and retention. Though skeptics remain adamant about training employees’ benefiting future companies, strong learning cultures are pertinent to employees who pride themselves on professionalism, safety and performance. It in fact contributes substantially to securing the right talent, who are professionally engaged and constantly looking to improve their performance. Mismatched values such as downplaying importance on training will only repel driven team members.

Steps to create learning culture
1) Demonstrate the commitment to learning, beginning from management down to the bottom line. Giving everyone a say in their professional development is an extension of autonomy, and highly valued.

2) Establish committees dedicated to professional development, with broad and inclusive engagement at every level across departments. Ensure committees are updated through periodic employee polls and other forms of input.

3) Allow employees to take on a mentor role, offering feedback to improve performance.

Communication and transparency are essential to corporate learning values, decisions, successes, failures, and changes should be ongoing and prominent. Lastly, always reflect and assess the efficacy of every approach, never be afraid to change as part of a continuous improvement process.

About the author
Murray Goldberg is CEO of Marine Learning Systems which provides software and services to optimise knowledge, skills and behavior in maritime operators.