4 Steps to Create a Learning Culture in the Workplace

October 20, 2017 | Thought Pieces

by Angeli Recella


For two years in a row, “learning and growth opportunities” has been in the top 3 factors that made job candidates apply to STORM. It was not much of a surprise when our CEO, Peter Cauton, announced just a week ago that Learning is now one of our core values especially when STORMers have enjoyed attending and speaking in learning sessions, participating in Tech UpGrades and Knowledge Transfers, Quiz Night, Product Champions, and core book clubs. We have always celebrated our nerdiness by exposing ourselves to learning opportunities and encouraging people to ask questions.

4 Steps to Create a Learning Culture in the Workplace

Career and learning development is the second most important priority in the global human capital trends report for a reason. The talent market is inclined to prioritize high impact learning organizations (HILO) that can support their professional growth. Making learning and development a part of any company’s employee value proposition will definitely put them in the radar of great talents. This is why businesses are struggling to close the huge gap between their current learning systems and the ideal learning organization.

See related: HR in the digital age: How to attract the best talent and help your employees grow

How STORM instilled Learning as part of the company culture was gradual. Like the rest of our core values, Learning is both descriptive and aspirational for STORMers. Starting the effort to become a high impact learning organization was felt both natural and effortful. This is how we did it:

Re-align, reengage.

We all have our own learning styles. It is best to get to know how your employees absorb new knowledge. Not everyone is into a lecture-type learning session. Some are more comfortable in listening to audiobooks on their own. Some prefer experiential learning. We started our road to becoming a HILO by testing out different methods of learning and measuring the attendees’ engagement for each. From this, we found that STORMers still join learning sessions more than any other program. However, STORMers are more engaged in small discussion groups which involves experiential learning (e.g. Design Sprint Workshop, Product Champions Pitch). This is a good starting point to rethink and recalibrate your training & development programs not only to match the learning style of your employees but also to achieve more impact for the business.

Be comfortable with the push and pull.

Managers and HR practitioners are used to laying out the training & development curriculum for employees. We set a calendar of training events and seminars that people need to attend so we can upskill them. This is the “push” method in implementing a learning program. To keep up with the upheaval in content consumption behavior, we had to learn how to get feedback from our employees before and while we design the learning program. Treating employers as consumers made us shift our learning program into a non-traditional format wherein source speakers are mostly fellow STORMers! This helps us ground the new knowledge that we would be discussing into something that we can readily understand and apply.

Embrace technology.

The social media revolution shaped a whole generation’s behavior– one that demands real time feedback, all the time. Encouraging employees to utilize learning services and tools such as Audible, Kindle, Coursera, and Kahoot is a great supplementary to offline learning programs. You can even start by making workshop materials and resources available on your company Google Drive so that employees can access them anytime, anywhere.

See related: How We Are Gamifying Learning

Hire curious people.

At the core of culture building is the people that make up the firm. If there was only one thing that you could take away from this article, I sincerely hope that it’s this- hire curious people. In STORM, it is not enough for a candidate to be qualified based on the job requirements. They also need to be naturally curious and hungry for answers. Curious people are more likely to be creative, thrive in unusual & complex situations, and embrace innovation. All of those qualities are necessary for an employee to impact the workplace in an exponential way.


Angeli Recella is the Head of People Operations at STORM Technologies, the largest flexible benefits and employee incentives firm in the Philippines. She is passionate about startups, travel, books, tech, TV, and psychology.


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