Bridging the learning environment and the workplace



There is often a glaring divide between what goes on in the learning environment and the work environment. People Capabilities HR Consultants, a human capital consulting, training and talent sourcing firm conducted a study to explore how learning behaviour influence capability transfer to the workplace. The focus was to provide some insights on how to bridge the gap between the learning environment and the workplace. Data was gathered from a sample of 16 police officers attending an on-the-job coaching course at a training provider organisation. The salient finding from this study was that the learning environment must be interactive and modelled on workplace-based scenarios for it to deliver tangible bottom-line value in the workplace.

The ever increasing skills shortage and combat for talent has meant that training continues to take an even more strategic position on corporate agendas. Organisations find themselves having to invest heavily in employee development to develop robust talent pipelines that can sustain business operations. However, there is need to ensure that there is a return on this human capital investment.

Learning must be integrated into everyday work, not detached from the work situation. The transition of graduates from the lecture theatre into the world of commerce presents a challenge for organisations. A multi-stakeholder approach is needed to ensure that educational institutions produce workplace-ready graduates. By the same token, training and learning interventions must be crafted around the everyday dynamics of the workplace if effective knowledge transfer is to happen.

The study also provided a compelling insight that interaction and participation in learning or training activities create effective platforms for capability transfer to the workplace.

Training is not about the two day or three day event that goes on at some venue, it’s the empowerment process that allows learners well after the power point slides and flipcharts have been closed to be able to use what they learnt.

Line managers also need to complement the learning effort by providing opportunities for application of what was learnt on the course. Bridging the divide between the classroom and the workplace is only possible when learning activities reflect the practical realities of the work environment.

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