Workplace culture pillar:



What is a ‘Learning’ workplace culture and why is it important?


A learning culture is an organisational environment that prioritises continuous learning, experimentation, collaboration, and reflection. It goes beyond formal training programs and values curiosity, innovation, and improvement. Leaders play a crucial role in modelling and promoting learning behaviours. A learning culture enables organisations to adapt to changing environments and achieve long-term success.

“True ‘learning organisations’ are places where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together.”

Peter Senge,The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization

Genuine learning organisations reap the rewards of high performance. Their employees feel motivated and engaged, continually learn new skills that support business goals, commit to sharing knowledge with colleagues, and feel safe to experiment, fail and innovate. All of which helps to plug skills gaps, improve productivity and create competitive advantage.

Reflective questions

To help your organisation work towards a culture that values learning, consider some of the following questions: 


  • Why is prioritising a culture of learning important to your organisation?

  • How are you creating an environment where employees have the time, permission, energy and curiosity to learn and experiment?

  • Looking beyond a single department, how do different teams and functions work collaboratively to prioritise a culture of learning and growth?

  • How do senior leaders openly demonstrate their investment in a culture of curiosity and continual growth?

Resource list

BOOK: The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization: Second edition by Peter M Senge 

PODCAST: The McKinsey Podcast: Building a learning culture that drives business forward, with host Diane Brady and guests Chief Learning Officers Matthew Smith and Elizabeth Young McNally

BOOK: Workplace Learning: How to Build a Culture of Continuous Employee Development, (second edition) by Nigel Paine

ARTICLE: Isn’t it time we rethought ‘learning culture’?, by Robin Hoyle, Head of Innovation at Huthwaite International

REPORT: Learning at Work Report 2023, published by CIPD, author Laura Overton, Founder of Learning Changemakers

REPORT: L&D’s role in employee wellbeing: A 2023 survey, published by TrainingZone, author Blaire Palmer, CEO of That People Thing