Sustainable careers through an embedded learning culture

21 March 2024
Jana Wittemans Expert Manager Connect on Linkedin

Nurturing sustainable careers should be an integral part of every HR strategy. The degree to which companies are committed to this is reflected in their learning culture.

Why sustainable careers matter

Companies prioritizing an integrated learning culture are making a wise business decision, being the most responsive to industry shifts and market dynamics. However, what’s more important is their proactive approach to equipping their workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in an ever-changing context. This is a crucial component of sustainable careers. “It’s about empowering employees, not only with the skills and knowledge necessary for long-term success in their roles, or at your company, but within the labor market as a whole.” 

Jana Wittemans, Expert Manager TriHD: “This is fully aligned with our own vision. Our own Human Development processes 100% revolve around increasing the current and future employability of our colleagues.”

Learnatic of the Year award

#ZigZagHR organizes the 2nd edition of the ZoHRo awards. TriHD is a proud ambassador of the new Learnatic of the Year award as it matches our identity. It honors those companies that are committed to prioritizing learning. Not just as a one-time event but as an integral part of their organizational DNA. Companies that are making proactive efforts in embedding learning into their culture and daily way of working.

Through this award, we want to identify other front-runners in this domain, and by sharing their best practices, inspire other companies to follow suit.

An award-winning learning culture: where to start?

There simply is no one size fits all. But the first step is always the same: start with mapping your AS-IS situation.

Organizational learning maturity is viewed as a continuum. In general, you can identify 4 maturity levels (source: AIHR). The following overview can help you get started with a self-assessment.

Identify your own place on this continuum and take it from there.  When starting this exercise, you may notice that not even the entire organization is on the same level either.

Level 1: reactive learning
  • Training focused on workplace processes, procedures, and products/services
  • Minimal training technology; basic or compliance-focused LMS
  • Majority of training in-house, lacking a dedicated L&D team
  • Limited integration with talent management tools like HRIS
Level 2: organized learning
  • Emphasis on mandatory, compliance, personal, and professional development training
  • Use of LMS for online training with interactive content
  • Efforts to deepen learning culture through L&D team development
  • Seeking integration between LMS and talent management ecosystem
Level 3: strategic learning
  • Commitment to performance management and talent development
  • Strong correlation between learning and business outcomes
  • Training goals include developing future leaders and empowering employees. Learning how to learn
  • Utilization of LMS and possibly LXP for personalized learning
Level 4: embedded learning
  • Mature learning culture encouraging self- and professional development
  • Implementation of an integrated talent development ecosystem, where employees take ownership
  • Early adoption of AI and immersive training technologies
  • Deeply ingrained digital learning culture, including pull learning

3 key elements in TriHD’s learning culture

Peer-to-peer learning is an established way of learning

Being a knowledge-sharing networking organization is one of the keys to our success. From book clubs & lunch and learns to committed communities of peers getting together regularly to help each other develop and a mentor for each employee at all times. Knowledge is actively shared among peers.

Employees are in the driver's seat

Our employees are given the space, tools and support to create their own career path. Our coaches, mentors and career advisors are there to help them put their ambitions into tangible actions plans.

Learning is embedded in all our processes

From onboard to exit, learning is an underlying value in all our processes. Personal development is also an integral part of our performance management. By linking personal development to business outcomes, we’ve created a win-win situation.

Our number one advice

Focus on the how, not just the what. Learning involves so much more than finding the right mix in your training offering; it's about nurturing the right mindset. If you stimulate a growth mindset - people not only want to learn and apply what they’ve learned to help their organization, they also feel compelled to share their knowledge with others. This is where the real lever to success lies. It's imperative to recognize that fostering this environment is a shared responsibility between employees, leadership, and not just HR. Each stakeholder plays a crucial role in promoting a culture of continuous learning and knowledge-sharing