Veronica Zaman, vice president of Human Resources and Learning at Scripps Health in San Diego, Calif., believes that learning culture and programs play an important role in the success of any large company. Here’s what she has to say:
Q: How important is it for other learning leaders within an organization to get upper management on board with learning strategies?
A: One of the most critical changes learning is facing today is preparing a new generation of leaders and front-line staff to meet the needs of an ever-changing and demanding environment. Leadership and learning play a crucial role in enabling organizational growth, transformation and — ultimately — achievement of strategic goals. The vitality of every industry depends upon its outcomes. Aligning learning as a strategic priority ensures excellent organizational results are achieved. The talents, knowledge and experience of our employees enable us to create an environment of innovation and collaboration to deliver on quality and business outcomes.
Q: What are the key components of a solid corporate learning culture?
A: Organizations must continually focus on the effective developmental activities that are needed to engage their employees in growing the skills and knowledge needed to maintain individual and organi¬zational capability. They must encourage flexibility, collaboration and a willingness of employees to continue to learn while they leverage subject-matter expertise to drive continuous positive outcomes. A focused introduction to the mission, vision, values and principles illustrates the key role that each person plays in supporting the strategic growth of an organization. A culture of learning at all levels is the organization’s leverage to engage staff and leaders across the continuum of their career span.
Q: How can e-learning tactics contribute to the total learning strategy?
A: Learning can be used as a powerful tool to create, translate and communicate strategy. By using e-learning tactics, carefully crafted leadership and learning strategies can support the continued gaining of knowledge and knowledge application to ensure sustainability of desired outcomes for success. Learning tactics support full understanding of the issues that are being faced, creating a meaningful message as to why it is crucial to leverage skills and knowledge, thus engaging employees from the front line up to the C-suite in an organization’s success. Through comprehensive opportunities for growth and learning, organizations encourage and invest in personal and professional development at every career stage, thus ensuring a culture of continuous improvement and quality.
Q: What challenges do you foresee in the future for learning professionals?
A: In today’s marketplace, maintaining a strategic advantage and a strong corporate culture requires the continued growth of top-notch talent, breakthrough ideas and exceptional services. Learning professionals must build on a vision of innovative, continuous learning in an environment that energizes, inspires and constantly challenges. Innovation in learning requires creativity, engagement and visionary thinking at a time when we are experiencing a variety of generations, each with unique learning needs. A robust, nimble educational presence is crucial in sustaining the return on the investment in learning! Never before have learning professionals been asked to move beyond the “way it was” into an innovative and out-of-the-box learning world!