!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: ILO Study of Learning in High Performance Workplaces

Thursday, February 28, 2008

ILO Study of Learning in High Performance Workplaces

In 2002 the International Labor Organization, a UN agency, published a study by David Ashton and Jonny Sung of the University of Leicester that takes a comprehensive look at how organizations can best design and deploy learning activities to support high performance. The entire text is available online. A detailed table of contents is provided here.

Ashton and Sung cite four dimensions that characterize the work practices that distinguish high performance workplaces, i.e., workplaces designed to elicit maximum contributions from all employees in meeting company objectives:
  • employee autonomy and involvement in decision making, often effected through organizing employees in teams

  • support for employee performance, achieved through formal and informal training, feedback, and mentoring

  • rewards for performance, both monetary and non-monetary

  • sharing of information and knowledge, with information flowing in both directions between management and employees
The ways in which learning can support high performance work practices are discussed in Chapter 4. I would particularly note the emphasis Ashton and Sung place on establishing relations of trust within the workplace so that individuals are willing to share the tacit knowledge which underlies much of the value creation in contemporary business enterprises. Fundamental to nurturing trust is establishing a culture in which all employees are treated with respect. (See the section in Chapter 4 on "Translating learning into performance at the individual level.")


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