Learning takes place every day in the life of an individual. Even in the workplaces where in-class learning are less expected, learning still plays a fundamental role in defining and modelling the process of task accomplishment in various fields. Notably, learning provides an opportunity for one to grow into a better individual with better problem-solving skills and experience. Therefore, when learning takes place in a workplace organization, it does not only benefit a few people but rather the whole body. Attention is paid to how one of the organizations that I have worked for, Publix, emulates a learning organization and how I, as a human resource manager, can the firms learning environment. Based on my experience while working on this, it is worth arguing that for a firm to successfully transform into an effective learning organization, it must endorse and practice the principles of teamwork, shared goal, personal mastery, and a team learning.
Principles of a Learning Organization
I worked at Publix Supermarkets Inc., located in Lakeland Florida for sixteen years. This organization presented itself as a learning organization with the years I moved up the ranks. Moreover, the group placed more emphasis on its employees and the customers. It is worth mentioning that the supermarket utilized the key principles of a learning organization to ensure the employees are highly productive to meet adequately the changing expectations of the clients. In line with Senge (1994), five principles can readily transform an organization into a learning organization. These include shared vision, team learning, personal mastery, mental models, and systems thinking.
In Publix Supermarkets Inc., employees ensure the provision of pleasure for every customer that walks into the stores. The workers offer the customers a fulfilling service. This shared vision allows the other staff to grow and learn. They learn to interact and improve their customer service skills. Moreover, they learn the importance of ensuring that their services reflect the vision of the company.
Furthermore, at Publix Supermarkets Inc., there is a shared vision that includes sustaining and improving the image of the organization. Therefore, every employee is taught on these values and vision when they join the team. This shared vision ascertains that employees are working to achieve the organizations mission. In accordance with Senge (1994), the principle of a shared vision helps in the improvement of a learning environment. The employees have to collaborate and work together in ensuring that they fulfil the vision.
Lastly, the organization had aspects of personal mastery and mental models. Working as a manager, I learned how to be the master of my emotions and opinions. There were times when my junior employees would fail to achieve their objectives. Such actions would result in unfulfilled goals, which would aggravate my seniors. Therefore, in such cases, I had to master my emotions and feelings. I could not have nerves breakdown in front of the other employees. Such mastery helped me to grow and further presented the organization as a learning organization.
These principles guide someone in understanding what constitutes a learning organization. Therefore, as Human Resource Manager, I can enhance Publixs learning environment by incorporating fully the five principles of a learning firm. As a matter of fact, such standards would act as the guidelines for attaining the set objectives. Moreover, in cases where there is a lack of these policies, as a Human Resource Manager, I can cultivate it (Noe, 2010). I would introduce the policies in the daily operations for the firm and integrated it into the employee manual and train the employees on them. Although it would take time to achieve them, it would eventually transform the organization into a learning organization.
To be brief, a learning organization constitutes a group that follows the core principles of employee support. These policies help to cultivate the organization into a learning organization. Furthermore, Publix Supermarkets Inc. presented itself as a learning organization through the utilization of the principles. Through them, one can see the characteristics of a learning organization in the company. Lastly, one can cultivate an organization to become a learning organization by ensuring that all workers are trained sufficiently on the new skills and knowledge that are necessary in their line of work.
Noe, R. (2010). Employee Training and Development. Fifth Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill
Senge, P. (1994). The Fifth discipline fieldbook. New York: Currency, Doubleday.