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How do you create a culture of learning at your company?

Posted by Brad Voeller on August 23, 2016

workplace-1245776_1920.jpgYou want to develop an organization that can grow, change, and learn over the years. In fact, it's a necessity. How can you bring people together to help your business succeed in the long term? Through developing a learning organization that's responsive to its surrounding environment. One of the best ways to do this is through apprenticeship and continuously developing your employee’s skills. Let’s explore what apprenticeship is and how it helps you create the learning organization that you need for your business to succeed.

Why Create a Learning Organization?

As an employer, you want an organization that can change with the times and develop a long-lasting business model. According to Early Investing, "Only 16% of companies started today will survive beyond a generation." An organization populated only with employees who seek to maintain the status quo is not an organization where people will learn and grow. While it takes all sorts to keep an organization running, it’s essential to have talent that embraces change: individuals who are committed to professional growth that benefits the growth of their company, also called passionate explorers.

What is Apprenticeship?

Historically, an apprenticeship was a way for an individual to learn a trade. Working under the tutelage of an experienced tradesperson or craftsperson, the apprentice would practice skills and bring new enthusiasm to the business. In turn, the business would train that person through hands-on mentorship. In the digital marketing world, apprenticeship works in a similar fashion. Digital marketing apprentices come to learn from your business and get one of their first hands-on experiences in the field, and they bring their energy, vision, and up-to-date skills to your business. Apprenticeship in the modern age is a combination of real hands-on work experience at a company and classroom instruction on projects with a group of apprentices. An apprentice will work full-time in a role then spend an additional 15 to 20 hours per week learning new skills that will then be applied at the company.

Benefits of Apprenticeship

  • Encourages new skills and practices
  • Builds relationships and fosters community
  • Increases retention of employees

Encourage New Skills and Practices

When you incorporate apprenticeships into the workplace, you add an opportunity for everyone to learn. Your apprentices require training opportunities that can benefit the entire organization. They bring their new training and skills to your workplace and can help spread new skills and practices. Particularly in the ever-changing field of digital marketing, you must have new, engaged individuals bringing in their own ideas to your business. When you value their ideas and allow your apprentices to truly contribute to your company, you open the door to new ways of thinking about digital marketing.

Build Relationships and Foster Community

startup-594090_1920.jpgOrganizational learning programs such as apprenticeship are the foundation of a successful learning culture. Bringing in apprentices to your organization inserts new employees who are excited about your ideas and have a desire to soak up and contribute as much as they possibly can. They see your organization as an opportunity to be challenged and grow. Apprentices want to make an impact at a company and better themselves at the same time. Non-apprentice employees can see how apprentices are learning and growing and this will inspire them to adopt a similar mindset of continuous development; they can also serve as mentors to the apprentices. Apprentices foster new relationships and a community of learning since they are constantly seeking to learn from others.

Increase Retention of Employees

According to the Aster Group, demographic shifts mean that employee turnover is "a challenge lots of businesses face - losing their most experienced members of staff and not having the expertise in-house to cover their departure." When you invest in your employees' learning, you improve their loyalty. Many employees will choose to stay or return to that business. If they don't, they may find a way to connect and collaborate with you in the future. At a time when your employee base may be dwindling due to retirements, you need a pool of people who can learn and grow with your company over time. Training can provide employees with the incentive that they need to develop a lasting commitment to your company's learning and growth.

Are you looking for individuals with digital marketing training that will help transform your business's approach to marketing? Consider bringing an apprentice into your company. An apprenticeship allows digital marketing employees to combine their skill development with workplace experience, and it’ll infuse your company with new ideas. Learn about DCI apprentices and the the apprenticeship model today.

DCI Apprenticeship Program

Topics: For Small or Medium Enterprises