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Building a company culture is a way for a business to provide direction, reinforce company values, and offer benefits for both its employees and leaders. In fact, developing a modern and attractive company culture is one way businesses are trying to overcome hiring and retention challenges.

"In this new world of work, one of the best things a company can do is invest in creating a strong, authentic and sustainable culture, answering to the expectations of today's workforce." -

Generally, company culture is made up of the work environment, the company values, the employees, and how the company incorporates those values into its actions. There are a variety of culture styles that an organization may adopt, one of which is a Learning Style. Now more than ever, companies are embracing this Learning Style, and making knowledge development a key component of their overall company culture.

In an organizational culture, a Learning Style is when a company's culture is centered around learning and innovation. It can be defined as the following:

"Learning is characterized by exploration, expansiveness, and creativity. Work environments are inventive and open-minded places where people spark new ideas and explore alternatives. Employees are united by curiosity; leaders emphasize innovation, knowledge, and adventure." -

An organization can embrace different styles of culture. Regardless of the chosen style, it is important to remember how each element of a company's culture contributes to the company and integrates with the overall strategy, employee success, operations, and leadership. While the amount of emphasis on learning may vary, there's no denying the value that a learning culture can add to an organization.

Developing A Learning Culture

"Creating a culture of learning in the workplace has been shown to encourage employee engagement, promote a team-wide growth mindset, drive innovation, inspire continuous improvement, and attract and retain top talent - all significant benefits that can directly impact companies' bottom lines." -

There are many approaches to incorporating learning into a company's culture; mandatory vs. optional learning, learning opportunities delivered to employees vs. employees' discovering opportunities, etc. 

The Harvard Business Review outlines 4 Ways to Create a Learning Culture on Your Team:

  • Reward continuous learning - Try implementing a system that entices employees to learn and provides the space to do so.
    "...rewarding curiosity is not just about praising and promoting those who display an effort to learn and develop; it’s also about creating a climate that nurtures critical thinking, where challenging authority and speaking up are encouraged, even if it means creating discord. This is particularly important if you want your team to produce something innovative."
  • Give meaningful and constructive feedback - Remember that there is value in negative feedback when it's delivered effectively.
    "...managers often avoid difficult conversations, so they end up providing more positive than negative feedback. This is particularly problematic when it comes to curiosity and learning, since the best way to trigger curiosity is to highlight a knowledge gap — that is, making people aware of what they don’t know, especially if that makes them feel uncomfortable."
  • Lead by example - Exhibit the behaviour you're looking for.
    "As illustrated by the leadership value chain model, leaders’ behaviors — particularly what they routinely do — have a strong influence on the behavior and performance of their teams."
  • Hire curious people - Look for candidates whose interests and values are aligned with your company culture and the prospective position.
    "When selection works, there’s far less need for training and development, and good selection makes training and development much more effective because it is easier to augment potential than to go against someone’s nature."


What's interesting about this list is that it focuses on ways to nurture a learning environment within the organization beyond formal learning programs.

If you're looking to incorporate more learning in your company's culture, but aren't sure where to start, here are some suggestions for creating a strong corporate learning culture:

  • Get buy-in from leadership and middle managers
  • Tie corporate learning to tangible outcomes
  • Foster the right environment for knowledge sharing
  • Include employees in corporate learning planning
  • Bring up culture of learning during hiring
  • Embrace the iterative process


Two Ways to Approach Company Learning in 2023

There are lots of learning opportunities for professionals in the sustainability and energy sector. Individuals who want to drive their own learning journey can explore certification and capacity-building courses to expand their credentials and build their value within an organization. Companies that want to really deliver a custom learning experience to engage employees and drive positive change in the organization can discover private group training opportunities.

Determining which type of learning is best for your organization can be based on a number of variables. Learn more about each type of learning.

Public Learning

CIET's public courses are a great opportunity for an individual professional or an organization with a small group of employees interested in a specific topic. Our Learning Paths are a great way for energy efficiency and decarbonization professionals to discover programs (both certification and capacity-building learning opportunities).

How to leverage CIET's Public courses in your Learning Culture

1. Explore CIET's Learning Paths - View our 6 Programs, learn how our courses are connected to one another, as well as additional career resources (typical positions, job boards, relevant articles)
2. Choose a Learning Path and learn about each of the courses within it.
3. Once you select a course, find an upcoming session and register!
Visit our Training Calendar to see all upcoming public sessions.

Private Learning

Private group learning is a great way for an organization to offer training to a larger group of employees. Not only can the training dates and time be flexible to your schedule, but there is room for customization so the most in-demand skills, relevant to your organization, can be delivered to your employees. Private training is ideal if you have 8+ participants.

How to leverage CIET's Private courses in your Learning Culture

1. Book a call with one of our sales representatives
2. Connect with CIET to discuss your goals and customization needs
3. Set a date and identify the individuals to be trained
4. Let CIET take care of the rest

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