Informal Learning: A Spotlight on Hidden Learning in the Canadian Workplace

The Conference Board of Canada, 78 pages, August 27, 2018
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The recently developed Conference Board of Canada Workplace Environmental Index offers insights into the quality and state of Canadian organizations’ informal learning environment and the strength of their learning culture.

Document Highlights

Is informal learning in the workplace a result of potential shortcomings in workplace learning programs, or is it simply emerging as a key contemporary, just-in-time, learning strategy in Canadian organizations?

Operational and human resources leaders in Canadian organizations believe their organizations to be highly supportive and conducive to informal learning. This sentiment is not shared, however, by employees on the receiving end of learning. They are generally split in their belief for the level of support from senior leadership and their direct managers or supervisors. This is where previous Conference Board of Canada research and benchmarks break down and fail to provide an understanding of informal learning support.

Informal Learning: A Spotlight on Hidden Learning in the Canadian Workplace discusses the recently developed Conference Board Workplace Environmental Index, which measures elements representing the quality and state of an organization’s work environment and the strength of its informal learning culture.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1–Motivation for the Research

  • What Is Informal Learning?
  • Why the Focus on the Impact of Informal Learning?
  • Formal Side of Organizational L&D
  • Informal Side of Organizational Learning
  • About This Report

Chapter 2–A Deeper Dive Into Canadian Workplace Environments

  • What Does It Take to Engage and Enable Employees?
  • The Workplace Environmental Index
  • Demographic Profiles of Organizations by WEI Profiles
  • Availability of Learning Opportunities
  • Satisfaction With Learning Opportunities
  • Who Is Responsible for Workplace Learning?
  • Formal Learning Event Attendance
  • Organizational Support for Self-Directed Learning
  • Time Spent on Informal Learning
  • Dispelling Myths About Informal Learning
  • Learning and Career Development
  • Intention to Leave
  • Methods of Informal Learning
  • Summary

Chapter 3–Profiling Canadian Organizations at Different Levels of Workplace Learning

  • What Differentiates Organizational Learning at Different Levels of the WEI?
  • Scenario 1: Differences in Performance Profiles From Weak to Moderate WEI Organizations
  • Scenario 2: Differences in Performance Profiles From Moderate to Strong WEI Organizations
  • How Important Is the Work Environment?
  • Summary

Chapter 4–Conclusions

Appendix A–Bibliography

Appendix B–Survey Methodology and Respondent Profile

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