In a learning culture, formal training is just one of many methods used to facilitate employee learning. In a learning culture, we start with a collaboratively defined performance goal and then select the mix of methods that will help employees acquire, apply and retain the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs they need in order to achieve that goal. This is a list of 50 of those methods. The first 25 are primarily instructor-directed (push learning); the second 25 are primarily learner-directed (pull learning).

Leader-Directed or Facilitated

1. Instructor-centered class (fact to face) – traditional classroom in which instructor controls the content and learning process

2. Instructor-centered class (virtual) – similar to classroom except instructor delivers instruction via the Web and class can be synchronous or asynchronous

3. Instructor-facilitated seminar – meeting convened by an instructor; learners discuss a topic relevant to their work and chosen by instructor

4. Instructor-facilitated workshop – meeting convened by an instructor; participants learn from experience of working together on solving a problem or creating something new

5. eLearning (computer-based instruction) – content delivered to learner via computer; usually desktop computer

6. Mobile learning – a form of elearning that is accessed by a mobile device such as smart phone or tablet; can be anywhere, anytime

7. Coaching – a relationship in which a trained coach helps an employee develop the knowledge and skills to be a more effective manager by addressing real situations that manager faces in workplace

8. Mentoring – a relationship in which senior leaders impart their knowledge and wisdom on employees who are learning to be leaders

9. Learning alliance – a relationship between managers and their direct reports that focuses on employee learning and how managers can support that learning

10. Game –engaging employees in learning by applying principles of gaming (scoring, competition, rules of play, etc.) to create an experience that is interactive and fun

11. Simulation – replicating real-life problem solving within a safe environment; for example, learning business acumen by working with a team to solve a typical business problem and receiving immediate feedback on their performance

12. On-campus college courses – attending for-credit courses or non-credit courses that are relevant to one’s job

13. External online courses (e.g., MOOCs) – taking relevant courses online from leading institutions and from renowned faculty

14. Webinars – participating in a Web-based program using video conferencing software; usually a one-session offering by an expert on a specific topic

15. Internship – working in a temporary position for the purpose of learning about a job, the work environment of that job, and the organizational culture

16. Apprenticeship – working under the guidance of experienced employees for the purpose of learning specific skills

17. Business case-study – drawing lessons from discussing the documented story of actual events in another organization

18. Performance measurement – learning from measures of performance such as sales figures, production numbers, and customer service feedback

19. Success Case Evaluation Method – a method of evaluating training (or any learning intervention) by identifying those participants who successfully applied learning in the organization and telling their stories; learning comes from analyzing those stories and drawing useful conclusions from successes and failures

20. Assessment center – a dedicated space where employees participate in exercises designed to simulate the conditions of their jobs; observers look for specific behaviors that indicate the employee’s suitability for the work; learning comes from receiving performance feedback and planning how to improve

21. Department meetings – often a lost opportunity for learning, these gatherings can be designed so that participants learn about processes such as planning, project management, innovation, and evaluation

22. Testing knowledge – using results of knowledge tests to facilitate more learning

23. Testing performance – using results of behavioral demonstrations of learning to facilitate more learning

24. Training evaluation – learning from evidence (quantitative and qualitative) collected to show the impact that particular training programs have on individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole

25. Learning Management System (LMS) – using the data from training program tracking software as a focus for discussing employee learning goals and progress toward those goals


26. Roleplay – people (usually two or three) acting out roles to learn about themselves and others by putting themselves in somebody else’s shoes

27. Reflection-in- action – learning from reflecting on an activity while doing it

28. Reflection-on- action – learning from reflecting on an activity by looking back on what happened

29. Reflection-for- action – learning by applying what was learned to a new situation

30. Daily log – individual employees writing or recording learning from each day of work, introspectively reflecting on meaning, and then discussing their observations with co-workers

31. Survey debrief – meeting with co-workers and other stakeholders to discuss what can be learned from the results of company surveys (such as pulse, employee satisfaction, and climate)

32. Experiments – gathering evidence in a controlled environment to support or refute a particular change that is being proposed (for example, testing an innovation in the product development

33. Prototyping – testing a new design of a product or process by constructing an example or model and then trying it out and learning from what happens

34. Content apps – using a software application on a mobile device to provide information and instruction on-the- job, just-in- time

35. Job share – splitting the hours required for a job with someone else and sharing experiences with each other for the purpose of learning

36. Job rotation – trying out different jobs in an organization for the purpose of discovering the best fit and, at the same time, learning about the organization and its culture

37. Community of practice – people who share the same interests or responsibilities in an organization come together to learn from each other

38. Social media – using computer-mediated platforms for sharing information, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs

39. Benchmarking – learning by comparing the structure, policies, practices, products, and programs of one’s organization to the best in the industry

40. Structured observation – learning about some aspect of individual, team, or organizational behavior by observing what occurs according to a set of questions and criteria

41. Books and articles – reading books and articles that have information and expert advice about an area of needed performance improvement

42. Video – learning as-needed from high-quality, relevant videos on sites such as TED and YouTube

43. Recordings – learning as-needed from high-quality, relevant recordings of presentations by business and organizational experts

44. Team reflection – working with team members to find useful meaning in data about team performance

45. Enterprise-wide reflection – working with co-workers across the organization to find useful meaning in data about organization performance

46. Performance support tools - print or electronic tools, such as checklists, micro-lessons, and video demonstrations, used post-training to ensure on-going performance improvement

47. Interactive performance support system (IPSS) – performance support tools that allow the user to interact with Web-based materials for the purpose of shaping the support being provided so that it’s just-in- time and just-enough

48. Professional conferences – attending local, regional, national, and international meetings that have presentations of content relevant to one’s work; learning comes from reflecting on that content and discussing application with others

49. Book groups – groups of employees meeting during the workday to discuss a book they have all read; they learn from the discussion about how it applies to their work

50. Internal wiki – like Wikipedia, this is a company Web site where any employee can contribute content that might be helpful to every employee’s learning; this could include relevant books and videos, tools such as checklists, best practices, survey results, project results, etc.

You can think of more ways to lever learning. What would you add to this list?