Improving Learning in the Workplace

Improving learning is concerned with adjusting learning based on evaluation and feedback; negotiating adjustments with training and development specialists and documenting adjustments to inform future planning.

Adjusting learning based on evaluation and feedback

Common causes of problems with learning opportunities include:

  • Learning not in line with the learning plan.
  • No alignment with organisational goals.
  • Content set at too high or too low a level of rigor for the learners.
  • Learning is unclear or does not provide adequate information.

Adjustments may need to be made to the learning opportunity in areas such as the facilitator, the activities, the timing, or the materials.

  • Facilitators Based on the evaluation and feedback the organisation may choose to source an alternative facilitator to improve the cultural fit, increase the level of skill, or decrease the financial investment.
  • Learning activities Based on the evaluation and feedback the organisation may choose to amend the learning activities to increase or decrease the level of difficulty. They may also need to be adjusted to align better with the organisation and relate better to the learner.
  • Timing Based on the evaluation and feedback the organisation may choose to extend or shorten the duration of the learning opportunity.
  • Materials Based on the evaluation and feedback the organisation may choose to reduce or increase the materials allocated to the learning opportunity.

Adjustments should be based on the evaluation and feedback received from all stakeholders including the human resource team, operational management the learner and the facilitator.


 Negotiating adjustments with training and development specialists

When adjustments are made to learning opportunities it may be required to negotiate with stakeholders.  Adjustments to learning opportunities can only be successful with the backing of training and development specialists.

Communication methods used for stakeholders may include:

  • Team meetings.
  • One to one meetings.
  • Intranet forum.

The communication method adopted will depend on the importance and complexity of the adjustment.  

Complex adjustments require the use of rich two-way communication channels such as meetings. Multiple channels should also be used to ensure that the stakeholder’s communication styles are catered for.

When entering into negotiations with training and development specialists, suggestions need to be supported with simple facts and figures that outline the reasons for the intended change. There also needs to be and explanation of the expected outcomes (comparisons between then and now) of the change plus the expected outcomes if the change is not initiated.

Documenting adjustments to inform future planning

Adjustments need to be documented to ensure insights and experiences from the learning opportunities are captured.  Placing this information in a knowledge management system ensures it is accessible to all stakeholders before, during and after the learning opportunity.

Knowledge management systems include:

  • Best practice transfer: this may be shared in meeting minutes, captured on an online discussion forum via communities of practice.
  • Cross-project learning: allows for previous learning opportunities information to be used to inform decisions. This information may be stored in learning plans on the organisation’s intranet.
  • Knowledge mapping: Creates a summary knowledge required in order to support future learning opportunities.
  • Knowledge repositories: this may be in the form of a paper based filing system or more likely stored online via the organisation’s intranet.

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