Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

Collaborating With Universities to Create a Continuous Learning Culture

Ensuring the Success of a Workplace Learning Culture
As the list of exemplary practices suggests, partnerships with educational institutions are important, but they alone do not create a learning culture. There are many things that employers need to do independently to make sure that learning is embedded in an organization.

The list of nine practices can be daunting to tackle all at once. In our consulting practice, we often advise companies to start with some concrete steps that are manageable and that make excellent building blocks for developing a learning culture in an organization. Four of those initial steps are:

  • Commit to a progressive tuition-assistance policy.
  • Make supervisors' coaching and mentoring around learning and development a priority and part of the performance review process.
  • Develop and promote internal career paths for employees.
  • Support informal learning in the workplace.

A Progressive Tuition-Assistance Policy
Many organizations provide some sort of tuition assistance to their employees, but progressive companies will make sure that their tuition program is truly supportive of their employees' range of learning needs and enables all learners to be successful. Important components of a tuition policy are:

  • Paying tuition "up front" through a voucher or letter of credit that is given to the educational institution: Many employees do not have the resources to pay for courses and wait for the company's reimbursement check. With a prepaid tuition program, employers will ensure that even workers with great financial barriers can pursue educational opportunities.
  • Educational advising for employees: Employees often know that they want to pursue education but do not know what to study to best position themselves with their current employer or in the larger labor market. Advising is an important service that helps save you and your employees not only time and considerable money.
  • Coverage for a broad range of courses and programs, rather than job-specific learning: A greater range of choice about what to study, where and how will enhance employee involvement in learning. But fear not: CAEL's experience in administering tuition programs has shown that even when policies are broad and comprehensive, employees usually choose study related to advancing their job or career-related skills, especially when the company actively disseminates information about the skills, abilities, competencies and knowledge that are desired.


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