Organisations have long understood the importance of their formal learning initiatives and architecture. Yet informal learning – free knowledge exchange between employees - is as vital and in serious need of help.
Focussing on individual knowledge agents and their close entourages, “Informal learning in organisations” explores employee attitudes, experiences and needs. It reveals blockages as well as clear opportunities for managers and organisations to benefit from the rich knowledge capital of their employees.
Jos Velthuis, Executive Board Member of Krauthammer, comments: “For 20 years I’ve been using the same check question in Management and Leadership Development programmes: "What was the most impactful learning experience in your professional career?" People invariably cite informal learning moments, demonstrating the vital importance of creating these.”
- 73% of people are sharing their knowledge proactively or regularly. But 36% mistrust the reactions of others – plagiarism, sanctions, their knowledge being used against them. And only 30% say that knowledge flows freely beyond close personal networks.
- 72% even want targets for their informal knowledge-sharing activities. Recognition from managers is crucial, but only 49% of people are satisfied. And whilst 64% think their manager believes in knowledge-sharing, only 34% get enough support in securing resources.
- 34% of peer entourages are characterised by empathic or trustbuilding behaviour. And whilst 56% display timely and spontaneous idea-sharing, people tend to submit to dominant personalities. And only 14% of people say the best ideas are met with open minds by management.
- 20% think the people in their organisations can quickly form new patterns of thinking. 24% believe their organisation anticipates and adapts to change in a rapid and supple way.