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Creating a Culture Obsessed With Learning

By Tracy Foltz

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Is employee development worth the cost?

Today’s job market is hotter than at any time in my professional career. Candidates have more options than ever before, and companies must continually evolve to meet the growing challenges and needs of a 21st-century workforce. Strong financial compensation isn’t enough to win the best candidates. In interviews, people are increasingly asking questions like these:

    • How will I grow and be challenged in this role?
    • What training opportunities are available?
    • Does this organization prioritize professional development?

A recent study found that more than one-third of employees have received no training from their employer in the previous 12 months.

A Bersin report examined the impact of a learning culture in the modern enterprise and found that companies that effectively nurture their workforce’s desire to learn are at least 30% more likely to be market leaders in their industry over an extended period of time.

The question becomes: Can any company afford to skip employee development?


What is Bridge Partners University?

At Bridge Partners, our customers don’t experience our brand through an app, a physical location, or a product. They experience us through our greatest asset – our people.

Our clients have come to expect a high level of service when engaging with us. That’s why we developed Bridge Partners University, a learning experience that gives our employees a competitive edge and our clients a high-value relationship.

The program is designed for every skill set or experience level. Whether our employees have been serving clients for five months or five years, they will find value in Bridge Partners University. Led by industry pros, our courses bring content to life through interactive workshops open to all employees. While our facilitators are talented, our richest content tends to come from consultants themselves, who so often have valuable learning and stories to share.  

Bridge Partners University

Here is a sampling of some of the courses:

    • Speed to Impact Through Project Management Mastery
    • Modern Collaboration and Communication Tools
    • Driving to Outcomes Through High-Value Meetings
    • Better Storytelling Through Data
    • Presentations With Power and Purpose
    • Thriving in Complex Stakeholder Scenarios


Creating a culture that prioritizes learning

As the Bersin report pointed out, “The single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organization’s learning culture.”

The reality is that we won’t be able to teach our employees everything they need to know in one training, or even in several. Learning doesn’t stop in the classroom, and it won’t end with Bridge Partners University courses. In fact, it’s just the beginning.

The 70-20-10 model for learning and development maintains that individuals obtain 70% of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and only 10% from formal training. That’s why Bridge Partners University courses are valuable but are just one part of our overall strategy.

A culture obsessed with learning requires that everyone take responsibility for their own development. It’s not always easy, and it requires vulnerability, but as long as the right attitude and grit are applied, invaluable learning opportunities are to be found everywhere. At Bridge Partners, we’ve spent more than a decade building an organizational culture that accepts “failing forward” in the spirit of momentum and growth.

In my 20+ years working on the people side of the business, I’ve learned that what you know is often less relevant than what you may learn. Knowing the answers is less crucial than having the ability to ask the right questions.

The world is changing, and our clients’ needs are evolving. In fact, LinkedIn’s talent research shows that half of today’s most in-demand skills weren’t even on the list three years ago. At Bridge Partners, our culture of learning isn’t about a checklist of skills, but rather about opening the floodgates of curiosity and letting our people discover new ways to solve problems. Training programs are helpful, but real growth comes from fostering a culture that prioritizes continuous learning, whether on the job, through interaction with others, or in formal classroom settings.

We continue to stay laser-focused on building a culture that is simply obsessed with learning.  

About the Author

Tracy Foltz

Tracy Foltz

Tracy is the director of talent management at Bridge Partners. She drives talent strategies that identify and fill key competency gaps to build an engaged, high-retention consultant workforce.


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