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Setting Up Your Team for Sustainable Success With A Collaborative Learning Culture

Written by: Marguerite Thibodeaux, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

How to cultivate a collaborative learning culture in the workplace. Learning is now a required skill for work. The rate of change in today's world means that no job role or deliverable will stay the same for long. We all need to keep learning and getting better if we want to continue providing value and stay relevant. We do that most effectively together.

smiling office workers young and old employees group having fun.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. " African proverb

How do you set your team up for sustainable success by making collaborative learning a normal part of their day-to-day? It starts with each individual taking responsibility for their own learning and then sharing what they've learned with others. When everyone is focused on continuous improvement, it creates a powerful feedback loop that drives results. The benefits of collaborative learning are unmistakable.

  • Increased engagement

  • Increased creativity and innovation

  • Increased productivity

  • Decreased turnover

How can you cultivate a collaborative learning culture in your workplace? Here are the four key areas that you can use as a guide:

1. Lead by example

One of the best ways to cultivate a collaborative learning culture is to lead by example. By doing this, you are setting up habits, systems, and an environment that fosters collaborative learning. It makes it easier for your teammates to choose to do what they know is best for them and for the company.


If we want a collaborative environment where everyone is learning from each other, it's important to set that tone from the top down. Here are a few examples you can consider sharing with your team:

  • When you learn something new, share it with your teammates.

  • When you come across an interesting article or blog post, send it to them.

  • If you’ve been to a conference or seminar, tell your team about what you’ve learned.

When you share your expertise with others, it not only helps them improve their performance but also builds trust and credibility. This also shows your teammates that you value collaborative learning. It, in turn, can inspire them to do the same, creating a more collaborative and learning-focused culture.

2. Hold regular time

It's essential to set aside regular time for your teammates to learn new things, share their knowledge, and find solutions to work-related problems. Carving out time for learning shows that you are invested in your teammates’ development. You are also creating a space for innovation, problem-solving, and knowledge sharing. Just like Google's 20% rule, where employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their time working on side projects, you can encourage your team to spend a certain amount of time each week collaborating with others. This can be done in a number of ways, depending on what works best for your team:

  • Carve out time for teammates to work on whatever they want.

  • Host lunch-and-learns, brown bag sessions, or even informal conversations.

  • Schedule weekly or monthly"learning days" where everyone gets together to share what they've been working on.

  • Set aside a few minutes at each team meeting for people to share something new they've learned.

This not only helps to keep everyone up-to-date on the latest developments but also encourages your teammates to view themselves as part of a larger learning community. As a result, holding regular time for learning can be simple but powerful.


3. Accountability

Check on your teammate’s development roadmap monthly to highlight the importance of learning. When your teammate has learned something new, coach them on how they might share that new information or skill with others. When teamwork is a key performance consideration, a lack of collaborative learning becomes a performance coaching opportunity. Hoarding knowledge or skills runs counter to teamwork and holds the entire team back.

4. Celebrate

Celebrating wins and accomplishments—both big and small—is a big component of motivation, showing they are valued and re-energizing effort. Share your teammates’ achievements and wins with the senior leadership or give shoutouts in public spaces like team meetings. When people feel like their work is valued, they’re more likely to put in the extra effort for collaborative learning. How do you cultivate a collaborative learning culture in your workplace? If you need help applying these best practices to your team, click HERE to snag a FREE 30-minute complimentary session with me. About the Author: Marguerite Thibodeaux is an executive coach and talent management consultant dedicated to changing our relationship with work. Work should be a place where each of us gets to enjoy the challenge of contributing to something bigger than one self. She focuses on helping leaders at all levels create habits, skills, and environments that empower teams to thrive. Every leader deserves support.

  • Follow her on LinkedIn for leadership tips and discussions.

  • Check out her website for free leadership resources like a Professional Development Roadmapping Worksheet and Attrition Risk Matrix.

  • Want one-on-one adapting these strategies to your team? Book a complimentary call with Marguerite. Every leader deserves support.

Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Read more from Marguerite!

 

Marguerite Thibodeaux, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Marguerite Thibodeaux, an leadership coach and talent management consultant, helps leaders and organizations bring the best out of people with courage, compassion, and clarity. After building development programs and leading a talent transformation at a Fortune 100, she became increasingly aware that not all leaders had access to a Fortune 100 Learning & Development team. To do something about that, she started Magnanimous Leadership, a leadership coaching and consulting firm that's on a mission to make resources and support available to every leader.

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