In my previous article, I discussed how learning is undertaken by employees and employers in terms of knowledge production and positive professional collaboration. Knowledge and skills can be learnt and acquired at work, but can learning processes be transferred unroblematically from one context to the next?
The individual’s perceptions of learning change through time and influence the workplace. The employee’s identity and disposition are the basic elements in approaching their work. Every single employee brings different prior knowledge, background and social experiences with them. All these factors indicate the worker’s behavior inside a professional community and thus, they can shape the learning environment and the organizational learning structures.
As a result, we consider experience as a significant learning indicator. Our everyday actions and interactions with the workplace lead to the acquisition of knowledge. Our response towards everyday problem-solving situations is what crafts our job experience. David Kolb (1984) founded the ‘learning- cycle’, a model that highlights the importance of experience in learning. He supported that learning is a continuous process, which derives from experience. Experience is seen as the procedure of producing knowledge through the transactions between the human agent and the work environment.
Here, an important component of experiential learning that should be mentioned is the different learning abilities. Trainers know that in order to achieve effective learning, there should be specific abilities from the learner’s perspective. For instance, reflection upon concrete experience, abstract conceptualization, reflective observation and active experimentation. The truth is a few of us can develop all of the above abilities.
Hence, we are characterized by different learning styles according to the extent of the specific abilities we cultivate. Different workplaces may have completely opposite professional contexts; however the individual’s perceptions and learning abilities remain the same in any situation given.
Given the fact, we live in a world full of financial uncertainty and with high levels of employee turnover rates; organizations must focus on the competitive advantage that employee experience offers.
Manager’s Office Hellas
MSc in Human Resource Management & Training