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Informal learning “crucial” to staff development


A survey of HR professionals found that most see ‘unstructured’ learning interventions as a crucial element for inspiring the curiosity to learn in their work force.

The small-scale survey by LINE Communications focused on the notion of inspiring the curiosity to learn in the work force. Most of the responses centred on a need to create or allow networks of learning to form within organisations to allow staff to share expertise. These networks could take the form of social networks or more formalised mentoring programmes.

Respondents also noted the importance of ambiguity in learning interventions. Most respondents stated that training and learning needed to push employees outside of their comfort zone.

Finally, most of the HR professionals saw the need for learning to be self-guided but tied to rewards or succession.

Piers Lea, CEO at LINE, said: “Informal learning has always been a powerful component of organisational learning. Web 2.0 and other technologies can help support this approach but it’s often quite difficult to introduce these tools into organisations as part of a learning strategy. The European HR professionals surveyed provided some interesting evidence of their successes in this field as well as the challenges that they have overcome.”

The survey was conducted at ETD.08, European Training & Development Summit, in Prague where LINE surveyed approximately 50 HR professionals representing European organisations with 3,000 or more employees.


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