How to Create a Great Continuous Learning Culture


Organizations behave like organisms.

As organisms do, organizations learn and adapt to survive.

While survival refers to fighting to live another day in the ecological context, organizations do not want to just survive; they want to succeed.

For organizations to succeed, employees must develop new skills, tackle challenges, and adapt to changing conditions - continuously.

Organizations who make professional development an ongoing routine, where employees acquire knowledge and test themselves - create a continuous learning culture.

By the end of this article, you will understand:

  • What constitutes continuous learning.
  • Why your organization needs a continuous learning culture.
  • How to start and turn continuous learning into a culture.

What is continuous learning?

Continuous learning is a combination of:

  • Learning programs that are delivered periodically, with a well defined learning path, guiding your employees to learn, practice, and assess their knowledge.
  • a repository of learning modules made accessible to employees when they need to relearn concepts of their choice, independently.

Why you need a continuous learning culture

The most important objective in training employees is to ensure that they retain and apply what they learn continuously.

The trouble is that as human beings we tend to forget what we learn, and the knowledge we acquire slowly fades away over time.

German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus explained this phenomenon in his 'Forgetting Curve' theory in 1880.

To understand when people start forgetting what they learn, Ebbinghaus performed a series of experiments on himself.

He would first memorize a list of syllables and test himself periodically to see how many he remembered at various points in time.

He discovered that his memory of them quickly decayed.

Ebbinghaus concluded that the knowledge retained drops almost straight down, but it eventually levels off.


He made a second discovery: The downward slope of the forgetting curve can be softened by repeating training at intervals.


By considering the effect of Ebbinghaus's forgetting curve theory on organizational training, your employees must be put through repeated training intervals if they are to retain information effectively.

Doing so compels their brains to reconstruct memories, and strengthen them like a muscle.

Acknowledging the need for continuous learning is one thing, but how do you implement it and make it part of your culture?

How to start and turn continuous learning into a culture?

Since continuous learning demands your employees to learn and relearn regularly, they should not be overwhelmed doing so.

The first place to kick-start continuous learning is to create a guided path.

Not every course you create is meant to be independent. Some courses are built to be banded together, taken as a group - one after the other, to create a holistic learning experience.

A guided learning path is a selection of courses tied together for learners to progress through, mastering a particular program, and work towards an overall goal.

It keeps your employees on track and engaged with your course content without overwhelming them.

Once the learning program is laid out as learning paths, the training content must be accessible to employees who might need to revisit and relearn topics of their choice - anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Here is an example of a learning program delivered through a guided path.

continuous-learning-2-learning path-nittio Learn

You see, learning has developed a narrow reputation, wherein employees expect to be put through training at the beginning of their jobs and a few training sessions happen occasionally.

Learning is rarely seen as an ongoing process and part of everyday work.

When you want to make learning continuous, you need your employees to be motivated to pull the learning content. At the same time, your L&D team needs to push learning with the right incentives.

To encourage employees to pull content - your learning programs must be short, interactive, and engaging to make continuous learning enjoyable.

To push learning from your side, you must have business leaders onboard to push employees to learn regularly.

To make continuous learning a routine however, you must conduct training programs - guided or independent - regularly.

When learning becomes part of your employees' daily routine, continuous learning becomes habitual, and this habit becomes part of your work culture.

Summing it up

  • People forget what they learn very quickly. Unless learning becomes routine.
  • Transform your learning programs from islands of content to a connected, guided learning path.
  • Create refresher learning programs at relevant intervals to aid knowledge retention.
  • Create micro-courses that motivate your employees to learn regularly.
  • Give power to managers and regional leaders to influence employees to take part and complete learning programs regularly.
  • Repeat this over a period and it becomes routine, thereby creating a continuous learning culture.

An important aspect of implementing a continuous learning culture is the technology that enables it.

A perfect learning management system should let you create and deliver guided learning programs effortlessly.

Nittio Learn LMS is one such learning system that enables even the smallest of training teams to create and deliver learning programs in hours, without needing any technical know-how.

To see if Nittio Learn suits your training demands, visit

Further reading to aid continuous learning:

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