Learning in the Workplace
29 February 2016
Learning in the workplace plays an important role. For learning to be effective and at its full potential, for the benefit of both the employer and the employee it must be identified how the learning is conducted. By identifying different types of workplace learning available and comparing to the current learning used within the workplace, you will be able to identify deficiencies in the learning environment. Identifying these deficiencies we can then mould solutions to maximise workplace learning. Physical and social environments within a workplace can also affect the wide range of contexts that learning takes place. It also highlights the fact that learning takes place in both formal and informal methods.
Below are four methods of how learning may take place within a working environment.
- Mistakes will be made.
Mistakes will always happen in a working environment but it's up to the individual/group to conduct the process of identifying the mistake, identifying the cause, identifying a response, and identifying a course of action to avoid making the same mistake again. If all the stages in this process are completed then the group should learn from the mistake and find a solution so it does not happen again.
- Self-education, 'on' and 'off' the job (The nature and commitment of workers to workplace learning.)
Because there is so much to learn and not enough work time to learn it, often we will continue learning in our personal time. This is not because we are made to, but because we have motivation to be the best at our job, and we have an interest in learning topics that will help us or the team in our job.
- One's personal values.
Providing and instilling an organisation with workplace ethos and values will ultimately benefit both the workplace and the worker if these are embraced and put into practice.
- Formal training.
So the worker can perform workplace tasks on the job to the standard required. It is important to have formal training in a workplace so that training can effectively and regularly be assessed both internally and externally. Without formal training it would be very hard for a training establishment to conduct assessments and testing on individuals and groups to see if they are meeting the set standards of learning.
In summary, learning in a workplace can quite often occur in a hectic and informal learning environment, accompanied with trial and error, learning on the job and learning by mistakes. Learning methods used will depend on the roles and the tasks at that particular time but as with most workplaces, there are gaps within the learning environments. It is important to be able to identify these and fix them in order minimise the impact on the learning environment.