How the learning at work has changed 

Ongoing learning and training is increasingly recognised as important in the working environment, both to employee development and ensuring that organisations have skill sets they need to keep up with competitors.

We have written before about the value in ongoing professional education for businesses and individuals, and this is increasingly supported by trends in employment packages as well as the key skill sets that are shown as desirable by leading firms. However, it’s not just what we learn or the importance of learning itself that is evolving, but how we learn as well.

How we learn

Barclays recently released an article that looked at the changing learning landscape. It referenced the idea that companies used to look at team training in line with Kolb’s ‘experiential learning cycle’. It’s a four stage process for acquiring and embedding new knowledge. It focuses on experience, reflection, conceptualisation and experimentation in equal measure.

However, more recently, organisations have been leaning towards other methods, like the 70/20/10 model, which states that 70% of learning happens through experience, 20% is from colleagues and friends and the final 10% from formal training experiences. The emphasis on social learning is interesting because it not only lends itself to technical skill, but also to the increasingly recognised importance of so-called soft skills, like communication, leadership, teamwork, interpersonal skills, adaptability and problem solving.

Employee values

Ongoing training is also proving to be increasingly important to employees themselves. There is a growing rate of self-reflection that is encouraging employees to seek out a sense of purpose and personal growth in their work. Training and opportunities to learn new skills feed into the motivational factors that not only value remuneration, but other factors that provide a sense of work/life balance, wellbeing and self worth as well. Learning is seen as a fundamental part of that.

“Tailored training that reflects personal circumstances, usually online and able to be undertaken on mobile devices, is proving popular, research found. Nearly half would like to be offered mobile learning, and three-quarters want to have more control over what and when they learn.”

– Barclays

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