What's Your Learning Style at Work?

In most organizations, HR managers today provide so many opportunities for their employees to reach out for the goal of empowerment. This can be noticed in terms of different types of trainings done on a regular basis. By all means, with the increasing demands for sophisticated competencies, human resource development at all levels have become of paramount importance today more than ever before. For the sake of meeting proficiency at work, again HR managers are giving much more space for the workforce to learn on an individual basis, in particular new recruits.  Obviously working and learning are very much interconnected but sometimes it’s hard for managers to make sure that this is indeed taking place. For the same reason, it’s a good idea to figure out what learning style an employee has in order to learn new things at the work environment.

Honey and Mumford (1981) developed four learning styles which are often put in questionnaires to identify the type of learners at work and they are listed as thus:

·         Activist: this type of learner usually learns by being actively involved in tasks and also like team work. What’s more important is that he/she takes action more often than keep thinking in reluctance. In short; a doer than a thinker.

·         Reflector: always reflects upon past experiences when dealing and being engaged in new tasks. Also this type is an active listener using an analytic approach that’s why they usually stay back from what is newly presented with and observe.

·         Theorist: this type likes general ideas and situations where they’re generated. But they easily absorb new ideas, concepts as discussed because they use a great deal of thinking. But they’re slow in taking action as it’s a matter of being convinced to do so.

·         Pragmatist: a learner with this learning style usually links information to real-life situations to solve given problems. They always seek ways where they can put into practice immediately what they’ve learnt from previous experiences. They also seize opportunities as they’re given away.  

From the list above, HR managers can help out new employees as well as old ones to develop more quickly to be proficient at their work. The tasks designed to them should be based on their learning styles. This can result in individual learning if employees are to be put in situations where they feel they can get out their skills, competencies and talents. It also saves the company another budget for training them while the real training can be done right where they’re doing the job.

Another advantage of knowing the learning styles of workers is that it helps make a healthy recruitment right from the start. On the evaluative sheet of hiring the right person, there should be a part for learning styles to see if the potential recruit is able to progress by individual learning in the job he’s going to be assigned or not. Also this makes it easier to find out later on if he deserves an internal promotion when a vacant post is valid.

In conclusion, in general people learn what they can do well but sometimes they can’t learn because they’ve never been put in situations where they can learn. Most companies spend huge sums of money on training their employees as part of empowering them but they overlook the importance of individual learning. So by getting to know the types of learners at work, they can eventually give a chance for everyone to show what they can do. In brief, the unemployed today isn’t someone who doesn’t have a job but it’s someone who can do a better job but still sticking to the same old one.  


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