Happiness & Learning Retention: 5 Ways to Create a Positive Working Environment

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Research shows that positivity can impact learning retention. Here's how this can benefit your organisation and how to create a positive working environment.

Employee happiness matters. Research conducted by Amanda Nimon-Peters looked into the correlation between learning retention and a positive outlook and found that those with a positive attitude retained more information.


Not only that, but it seems first impressions really do count. Would-be learners who had an initially poor experience of learning allowed that negative experience to colour their future endeavours. They also retained less information than those who had a happy experience from the off. 

This means that the key to improving your productivity and learning could lie in making sure your employees are happy. Creating a positive working and learning environment from the outset is key to both their success and yours.

Information retention isn’t the only benefit—there’s a wealth of information to suggest that increasing organisational happiness can make your employees 13% more productive, more creative and less likely to leave a company.


What is Learning Retention and Why is It Important?


Information retention stretches beyond just what’s taught in the classroom. It’s the ability to recall and utilise information previously learned. An increasingly knowledgeable talent pool who can call upon this prior knowledge means that tasks will be carried out more efficiently, more rapidly and perhaps even in more innovative ways. And that means improved KPIs. Put simply, this means that any information retained will be beneficial in helping your organisation’s larger strategy.

Learning retention isn’t just going to help your employees master their current challenges. It also gives a boost to the internal mobility of your business. A well-trained workforce gives you the flexibility to retask employees if necessary and the luxury of being able to promote from within.

Conversely, if learning isn’t retained, then employee performance will degrade over time and there will be additional costs in both time and money for further training down the line. So no matter how you look at it, boosting learning retention makes good business sense and that all starts with the environment that you create for your employees.


How to Create a Positive Working Environment


When it comes to employee happiness at work, managers play a crucial role. Research by McKinsey into the drivers of workplace satisfaction found that, for 86% of employees, their happiness hinges on relationships with management. 

Here are five ways to promote a positive working culture that inspires happiness:


How to Inspire a Culture of Growth and Performance


Here are five ideas to link growth and performance in your team’s strategy:


  1. Align Individual Goals With Organisational Goals: In addition to promoting individual goals, aligning your organisational goals with your employees’ own can help to foster a sense of purpose and will help illustrate the value that each role plays in achieving top-level goals. Regular performance conversations in which you review and benchmark these goals can help to show this value. Be sure to reward hard work regularly as part of this process.


  1. Open Channels of Communication: Make time for regular check-ins. Monthly team meetings, 1:1s and an open-door policy can create a positive working environment. Not only do weekly meetings improve employee engagement and motivation, but giving your team the space they need to discuss anything important can help to build trust and instill confidence.


  1. Find What Inspires Your Team: Find what motivates your employees and drives them forward with their careers, and tie this into any learning and development opportunities where possible. This will give them a sense of purpose beyond KPIs and make their development plans unique.


  1. Make Learning Part of Your Culture:

A culture that values learning will benefit your employees as this encourages them to actively participate in their career development. Encourage them to set their own learning and development goals and work on skills they feel would be most relevant to them. This will benefit your business in the long term as their new skills can close any gaps, address internal mobility and help to achieve performance targets. Your employees are likely to be happier for it, too. A survey of LinkedIn professionals found that those who commit time to learning are 47% less likely to be stressed, 39% more likely to feel productive and 21% more likely to feel confident and happy.


  1. Utilise Digital Channels: Whether your team is still working fully remote or favouring a hybrid solution, in a digital landscape, finding new ways to communicate is key to promoting a positive environment. Utilising digital channels to communicate and share information can help. Using a learning management system to deliver training and communicate with learners is another way to open communication channels, especially in remote working environments.



How Bridge Can Help


If you’re looking for a way to bring learning and development together, to improve learning retention and increase learner engagement, Bridge is here to help. 

Our Skill and Career Development System gives employees the tools they need to take control of their career growth and progression and close the skills gap by uncovering which skills are lacking, delivering impactful learning to improve those skills, and helping employees articulate and achieve their career visions.

Bridge helps you evaluate company-wide skill mastery through self, peer, and manager assessments, using those insights to help employees build career development plans that align with their desired skills and career vision. Wherever your employees are in their career and whatever they want to accomplish, you can track progress with our reporting and analytics dashboard.



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Bridge is a learning and performance platform that transforms organizations by bringing together learning, skills and performance in one unified experience.

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