Supporting workplace learning

It takes much more than courses delivered through a learning management system to support workplace learning in the network era.

The basic building block, in my experience, is personal knowledge management. People who can seek new information, make sense of it, and share it with their colleagues, will be an asset to any work team. However, they need access to their learning networks while at work, and this is often a challenge. Reduce these barriers, and support PKM practices, and the organization will benefit.

Performance support tools can be developed by observing how work gets done and then creating ways to make it easier, or simpler, or safer. Good performance support enables workers to focus on the important things.

Communities of practice provide the bridge between new ideas and the workplace status quo, ensuring innovation.

Professional networks outside our workplaces keep us connected to new ideas and diverse opinions, which we may not come across, even in large organizations.

I haven’t mentioned knowledge management in general, because I think it underlies all of these components. As Patti Anklam explains:

In this last, the role of the corporation in supporting KM then becomes facilitating personal content management, providing methods (and training) to support information processing, and providing a rich and integrated infrastructure for employees to use the personal content management and the social tools that make sense for each them, their teams, and their communities.


2 Responses to “Supporting workplace learning”

  1. Jessica

    Thanks a lot for this post! I totally agree with you on the fact that personal knowledge is the tool for the success of any organization. I believe that creating learning spaces/ places is important. It shouldn’t be training centers, rather learning spaces should be created. Although, modern office spaces do provide open meeting areas which support informal gatherings, remember too that we also learn with others virtually – even when we are sitting on our own – so we also need to provide similar virtual informal (learning) spaces. I

  2. Tom Spiglanin

    Investing in PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (PKM) is perhaps the best investment in the future for anyone working in a corporate environment. We are nodes who bridge external networks with internal networks and CoPs. That gives us tremendous power to influence the future of our organizations, if we use that power well. Well-said that PKM is the basic building block of workplace learning.


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