What Makes Modern Workplace Learning More Attainable?

With new trends in L&D and more revolutionary ideas in workplace learning, you must have witnessed major transitions in organizations moving away from conventional training and adopt online or blended training. However, this is done with the intention of making learners more self-directed, but what has the success percentage been? I mean have the organizations achieved the planned objective –improving performance outcome?

I see the trend moving forward, however, the implementation of all these innovative ideas in an organization remains a challenge. We are all aware of the research reports and the trends in training but knowing is different from doing. Despite research evidence, organizations still continue to believe that training (formal learning) is still the best solution. Only do they replace face-to-face training with online ones.


Besides mindset_ strong resistance in adopting modern workplace learning_ the leadership also faces their own challenge. That is making their staff more self-directed in learning. In this, L&D professionals should take a more active role rather than just taking orders. As Connie Malamad shares, leverage on self-directed learning efforts of employees. You should certainly be aware of the abilities of self-directed learners and then address them to bridge the performance gaps.


Likewise, leverage on Personal Knowledge Management and monitor their metacognition. A personal knowledge management platform for employees helps them refresh their knowledge. Therefore, employees need an ongoing chance of learning provided for them.



Create an ecosystem in which employees can constantly improve their knowledge, collaborate with their workmates to develop skills and achieve an automated level of skills to do things. When and where necessary, formal education could be the best solution. Rather than merely creating courses, you should provide solutions, and wait for the change of mindset to occur. As you have noticed many organizations have already adopted eLearning but this needs to be seen in a more global perspective.


Further, Helen Blunden emphasizes that L&Ds should inspire managers to consider employee development through social learning. She shares the ideas to achieve this here.



Identify the barriers in learning, which could be lack of motivation or confidence. Similarly, observe them during learning and identify lack of prior knowledge, or negative transfer.



Further, the leadership should create a trusted environment in which employees could seek feedback on their work from their peers and supervisors is ideal. Creating a culture of trust is certainly in the hands of the leadership.



Don’t be disheartened by the resistance of stakeholders. Give it some time and accept that change of mindset takes time. Simply see it as a challenge and find a different way to tackle it. Patience is a virtue.

In a nutshell, while the leadership in organizations should shift their training policies, and focus more on workplace learning, they should also help their staff be more self-directed and embrace growth and development. By providing a wide range of platforms, and making only limited number of training mandatory, certainly there will be gradual change in their mindset.

2 thoughts on “What Makes Modern Workplace Learning More Attainable?

  1. It’s a nice shortlist of key directions for growth in workplace learning.

    I’m mostly interested in the personal knowledge management direction, for obvious reasons.

    I feel that the major friction here is the deal established between employers and employees. Considering most employees will not spend their whole career in the same place, how much they can take with them, how much time they can dedicate to broaden their knowledge, beyond what’s immediately needed, is often limited. People try once, twice and they give up if they are not encouraged.

    It’s shouldn’t be the work of L&D or HR to think this relation. It’s the strategy of the company which embeds it or not. Similar to companies who decide that preserving nature is critical, supporting diversity or being customer oriented. It’s more than culture, it’s a voluntary effort.

    Kate wrote a post on the idea of Social Contract. I’m not sure it overlaps completely my idea but something around it seems promising. https://rusticlearning.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/the-social-contract/

    I’m wondering how many companies are willing to make this shift?

    1. Thanks much for your comment, Bruno! You’re right about the conflict, which is why I believe it’ll take a long time to establish and all including employers, employees, and L&D should work towards it. I see the role of L&D more in creating that awareness and sharing other alternatives with organizations who seem inclined or even resist any change whatsoever. Thanks for sharing the blog post. Will certainly read that. 🙂

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