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How I’ve benefitted from Kellogg’s culture of learning

Kellogg believes a strong learning culture is critical to our success. Learning plays a key role in enabling our growth and nurturing effective leaders. On the heels National Learning Month, we asked one of our leaders to share what learning at Kellogg means to her.

My seven-year-old daughter came home from school the other day holding a worksheet.

She’d completed half of it and asked if I’d help her with the rest. I looked at the piece of paper.

Logic problems?

I thought, wow – you’re doing this in the second grade?

I love logic problems.

But I started doing them in high school!

I’ve been an engineer for 20 years, the last six at Kellogg. The first half of my career, whenever I got end of year feedback, there was a theme: people noticed that if I was confident in the subject matter during a meeting, I’d speak up.

But if I wasn’t?

I’d sit silently. I wouldn’t even say, “I don’t know.”

So, I set out to change that.

I began to make sure I knew what was expected of me. For example, who are the people involved? What’s the technology I need to know? My ongoing goal is to at least sound intelligent enough to start conversations or ask the right questions.

Of course, it’s vital to have the right learning tools.

I became even more intentional about learning when Kellogg rolled out its Growth Competencies earlier this year. That involved assessing myself on the soft skills required to be successful in my current role – and the next role I wanted.

Kellogg has unveiled a variety of learning tools for employees at every level and learning preference.

There’s Employee-Generated Learning, which equips subject-matter experts with the tools and processes to design their own learning (instead of relying on a centralized Learning and Development team).

Leadership training is now levelled so that it develops leaders of the future at various stages of their careers. And my favorite – Individualized Learning – provides highly customized content that is on-demand.

LinkedIn Learning is an on-demand online learning platform, offering over 15,000 courses across business, technology and creative topics.

It offers multiple ways to consume information, based on your preference. I’m a visual learner, so the videos LinkedIn Learning offers are a great option for me. One of the first videos I watched was on company financial metrics. I knew a little bit about how a company like Kellogg operates, financially, but I wanted to truly understand it. The video really helped.

Another key aspect of learning for me is making it a priority.

I schedule an hour on my Outlook calendar every Friday afternoon. I like that time of the week, because it’s usually quieter around the plant. I’ll watch a video or review meeting notes, so I can reflect on what I said and prepare myself to follow up on it.

Ultimately, it’s about growth – individually and as a leader of a team. I promote Kellogg’s learning tools to my team members, because a) the tools have helped me so much; and b) it’s up to me as a people manager to nurture our learning culture.

For example, I have a rotational employee on my team. Rotational employees in Supply Chain spend four or five years in different parts of the company. We didn’t think sending this employee to conferences was the best use of his time, so I suggested he do a project management refresher video course on LinkedIn Learning.

He thought it was fantastic. He even picked out things I didn’t catch. He related it to the work he’s doing within a week. It lit him up.

And that’s what learning is truly all about to me: lighting up at the chance to understand something new, be it company financials or project management.

Or logic problems in second grade.