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In-Focus: 5 Practical Ideas for Embedding Learning into the Workflow (2013)


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DateJuly 04, 2013 Posted by: Charles Humphreys   Keywords: blended learning, In-Focus, innovation, learner engagement, learners, strategy

In Towards Maturity's new In-Focus Report we look at the massive importance of integrating learning into the workplace and the vital position that technology has to play in this role. 

The shelf life of the skills we build in formal learning programmes is rapidly decreasing. There is an increased recognition that the real learning that takes place in business happens nowhere near the classroom. 

Missed opportunities
The Towards Maturity 2012-13 Benchmark report  highlights a number of missed opportunities faced by L&D professionals :

  • 94% seek to speed up the application of learning back into the workplace: only 23% achieve this
  • 95% seek to improve the sharing of good practice: however, only 25% achieve this on average
  • 92% seek to increase their ability to adapt and react to business change. Only 25% of them achieve this
  • 90% want learning technologies to help them implement new products and processes. Only 45% are achieving this

Integrating learning more effectively into the workflow will help to close the gap. This report draws on our research into the good practice of top learning companies (who are twice as likely to be achieving these benefits) and the experience of our independent experts who have help us shape and refine the Towards Maturity Benchmark over the past 10 years to consider 5 practical ways in which we can help embed learning into the workflow more effectively.

We would like to thank Jane Hart (C4LPT), Con Gottfredson and Bob Mosher (Authors of Innovative Performance Support) and Charles Jennings (70:20:10 Forum) who are all great supporters of the Towards Maturity Benchmark, and have given permission for us to draw on their work in this study and to IMC for their support in bringing this report to life.

Additional facts from the Embedded learning report:

The following have been taken from the Towards Maturity 2012-13 Benchmark with 500 L&D professionals from around the globe)

  • Two thirds of L&D teams provide job aids for staff
  • 41% of organisations encourage user generated content
  • 44% of L&D professionals understand the support systems available to staff but less than half use available support systems to promote a culture of self reliance


  • 25% of L&D teams train classroom trainers to use technology to extend learning beyond the classroom
  • Only 1 in 5 L&D teams know how their workers are using social media outside of L&D
  • 2 out of 5 help staff locate in-house experts
  • 13% encourage learners to share experiences and solve problems using online social media tools
  • 15% actively encourage learners to collaborate in building knowledge resources
  • 16%  agree that their current learning technologies enable staff to communicate and learn from each other
  • Only 7% are using content curation tools
  • 1 in 5 organisations agree that they equip line managers to help their teams get the most from learning opportunities available
  • 26%  follow up with managers afterwards on the extent to which the learning points have been applied at work
  • 17% involve line managers in the design of learning
  • 23% believe managers encourage and make time for staff to learn on the job

Top learning companies understand the importance of these approaches and are twice as likely to be engaging in these activities

From a learner perspective (taken from the ongoing Towards Maturity Learning Landscape study N=700+):

  • For 50% of staff, it is their manager’s opinion that is most likely to get them involved in learning
  • 86% of staff are willing to use technology to share their knowledge to help others learn
  • 24% of staff need help to get started

This study has been independently conducted by Towards Maturity, but is free to download thanks to the support of IMC.

Please note that you need to be logged in / registered to download your copy. By downloading this report you agree for your email address to also be shared with IMC. (Please contact us directly for a copy if you do not wish for your address to be shared).

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