Originally published on Heather’s LinkedIn Blog
Organizations ask us all the time, how can we better invest in our staff and volunteers? Well, the first step is to understand staff and volunteers’ perceptions of the organizational learning culture by administering The Organizational Learning Assessment.
We developed the Organizational Learning Assessment, the first piece in the Talent Development Platform, to help organization understand how leadership, staff, and volunteers perceive their need for professional development and whether the organizational culture is conducive to learning. The Organizational Learning Assessment gives organizations a good idea if they are ready to put their people first and implement an organizational wide professional development strategy. It assesses organizational learning across six domains, which include:
- Motivation for Change: Do the staff, volunteers, and leadership of the organization want and perceive a need to change?
- Learning and Development Culture: Does the organization embrace learning and learn from failure?
- Resources for Learning: Are employees and volunteers provided time and monetary support for professional development?
- Staff Management and Values: Do staff, volunteers, and leadership value learning and professional growth?
- Organizational Culture: Are employees safe to fail and are they able to ask for help? Does leadership publically support individuals who have taken risks and failed, and do they actively learn themselves?
- Staff and Volunteer Satisfaction: Are staff and volunteers satisfied with the organization, and do they intend to stay with the organization?
Results from the assessment are reported anonymously on a scale between one and five. One means the organization is not ready to implement an organizational wide professional development initiative. Five means the organization is ready to implement professional development.
Organizational Learning Assessment Implementation Readiness Scoring Ranges
We’ve administered this assessment to hundreds of organizations and found there are often differences between employees and management and their perceptions of the learning culture. Management says, “yes we have a strong learning culture,” whereas staff perceive the opposite.
When scores are three or lower, organizational leaders should spend some time on improving the organizational learning culture in specific domain areas. For example, if scores are lower in the Resources for Learning domain, an organization may already provide money for staff to attend professional development workshops or conferences, but should take further to ensure that staff and volunteers feel they can adequately reflect on their learning experience and implement what was learned in the workshops. Or, if organizations scored lower in Organizational Culture, leadership can take steps to create a safer environment/culture for staff and volunteers to truly express their learning needs.
Ultimately, organizational leaders will need to decide if they are ready to proceed with the rest of the Talent Development Platform, but the Organizational Learning Assessment is a good first step for them to understand employees and volunteers perceptions of the organizational learning culture and environment.