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Companies, Employees Have Different Views On 'Learning Organizations'

Everyone wants to be a learning organization. But most companies are struggling with how to make that a reality. A survey released earlier this month by William M. Mercer Inc. found that more than 75% of all organizations consider themselves to be a learning organization, but 83% of those surveyed characterize their organization's effort in that area as either not effective or only somewhat effective. Likewise, 85% said their organization's efforts to connect employees to corporate goals were either not effective or only somewhat effective. And 80% criticized their company's attempts to share results and information. To be effective in today's environment, communication programs need to be designed "using adult learning principles" that take into account the knowledge and experience base of the employees "as well as the learning styles they prefer and their personal motivations," says Joel Head, organizational communication expert in Mercer's Cleveland office.

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