On-The-Job Learning

Dec. 21, 2004

William Rothwell, a researcher and professor of workforce education at Pennsylvania State University, interviewed hundreds of workers in five industry categories at nine different levels of the organizational chain to identify common skills of successful workplace learners. Good workplace learners are good at:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Computation
  • Listening
  • Questioning
  • Speaking
  • Social skills
  • Technological skills
Better workplace learners also possess:
  • Teamwork skills
  • Self-mastery
  • Self-awareness
  • Ability to share vision with others
  • Short-term and long-term memory skills
  • Subject matter knowledge
  • Enjoyment of learning and work
  • Flexibility
  • Persistence
  • Confidence
  • Sense of urgency
  • Honesty
  • Willingness to show respect for others
The most proficient workplace learners also possess:
  • Analytical skills
  • Sensory awareness
  • Open-mindedness
  • Humility
  • Highly developed intuition
  • Skill at gathering and organizing information
  • Ability to solicit feedback
  • Willingness to experiment and gain experience
  • Capacity to adapt knowledge to new situations
  • Self-motivation

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