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Continuous learning: The secret to both employees’ happiness and organizations’ health?

Posted by Hind Charpentier |

Finding purpose in your work; There is a concept we are all familiar with today, aren't we? We have all seen the quest for purpose at work renewing importance over the past decade, becoming critical not only to people but also to organizations. Of course, asking “why that is” would be a great essay question. Yet, today, we chose to focus on what could possibly foster such a sense of fulfillment at work. And, with that in mind, we thought about the culture of learning, about its true meaning and purpose. Could learning daily be the secret ingredient to both increase employees' happiness and organizations' capacity to retain their talents? We delved into this vast topic with our recently appointed Director of Talent & Learning, Hind Charpentier, who shared some interesting insights with us. 

What makes a culture of learning? 

To me, such a culture happens once an organization has started to grasp and value the need for continuous learning. Of course, it is about doing more than just seizing its importance. You need to understand what an opportunity it can be for everyone. If learning stands for one true strategic pillar, you'll propel your organization and make it a place where people can grow and thrive on many different levels. A company that has grasped that is easily identifiable; it will put some extra effort into providing learning opportunities and career development plans for all. Offering learning opportunities is a great way to increase employee engagement and happiness at work. Employees will feel more empowered if they can try new things and explore career opportunities internally. And it is a two-way street too! If employees are more fulfilled in their jobs, they are likely to stay longer at the company, increasing the retention rate at the same time.  

The challenges of fostering and sustaining a constant learning curve 

The trick is not only to foster a continuous learning approach but to sustain it through time. The involvement of senior leadership is crucial in that matter! As an employer, you must find your "own style" regarding your needs and the resources at your disposal. For instance, applying an active listening and open communication policy can be a good start. But whatever the trick, you must stay closely connected to the business, keeping track of the latest industry trends and challenges to ensure the opportunities you provide match reality. It is about living up to the employees' real needs and expectations. Spreading such a culture across your organization will require you to instill knowledge at every level. We all must be in the same boat, from the leadership team to the individual contributor. Starting to onboard the leadership crew on a continuous learning philosophy is the first step. It will later allow you to provide individual contributors with a diverse learning offer, leveraging their strengths and addressing potential gaps. Then, the magic can happen at a team level. By fostering and sustaining a culture where everyone can learn and share their knowledge or expertise, you'll build an effective and collaborative team spirit from the ground up.   

What about business? 

Encouraging a constant learning curve is necessary to sustain business success in a fast-paced industry like ours. To keep up with the world, you need to be in motion, and learning pushes you to take risks, challenge yourself, be more curious, and, therefore, bring innovation and new skills. It is one key to building healthier companies and healthier businesses. That is why it should be part of a more global people strategy. If we take the example of Criteo, we have not shifted to a culture of learning per se; it has always been there! Our founder wanted to find new ways to enhance growth, and he would seek and unite people with an unrivaled eagerness to learn to achieve that goal. The deep thirst for knowledge in our community is perhaps what has inspired me the most since I joined five years ago. From its origins, Criteo has invested in knowledge, spread strong company values, and nurtured curiosity within the community. That is how we built such a deep and sustainable learning culture mirrored today in our leadership behaviors. The key is ensuring your learning initiatives align with your company culture and values.  

Whether you want to increase employee well-being or business success, investing in continuous learning is a bet you cannot lose. Nurturing a craving for knowledge is a great way to increase employee engagement, bring in new ideas, develop new skill sets, upgrade existing skills, and foster innovation, helping organizations maintain and improve their competitiveness. Investing in learning is investing in the future.

Hind Charpentier

Director of Talent & Learning

The Future is Yours.

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