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21 Interesting Facts about Organizational Learning


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21 Interesting Facts about Organizational Learning

Written on Dec 8, 2016 10:05:56 AM, by Ilie Ghiciuc

One of the many benefits of the digital age is the availability of information. In any given industry, we are now able to benchmark and analyze trends, acknowledge success stories and build on what others have discovered.

To understand organizational learning and how it happens in your company, it can sometimes be helpful to know where the industry stands and what other pertinent discoveries have been made in other successful companies, that you can integrate in your own learning strategy.

Also read: 11 Best TEDTalks About Company Learning

We set out to assess the state of organizational learning by asking essential questions such as:

What are employees’ expectations about learning and development?

As companies hire new employees, many may be hiring former interns or hiring people who are looking for their first job after graduating. Those employees come into a company with certain expectations.

It can be beneficial for companies to know more about those expectations in order encourage retention, engagement, and productivity.

If you are having difficulty relating to employees who are new graduates, an excellent learning and development program is one way to attract and retain them.


80% of 2016 grads expect their first employer to provide formal training.

— Accenture

35% of Millennials say good training and development programs are the most desirable quality in a workplace.


72% of employees value on-the-job training more than a college degree.

— Glassdoor

53% of Millennials say learning new things or having access to professional development opportunities would make them stay at their job.

— EdAssist

64% of employees want to be assessed at regular intervals to ensure maximum retention of knowledge.

— 24x7 Learning 

Also read: Does Your Talent Management Strategy Support Millennials?

How do organizations measure learning success?

It can be a huge asset to have a learning development program, but if a leader or outside agency asked you how effective it is, how would you answer?

Employees and managers within a company are the main proponents of success when it comes to a learning and development program. If they are not using it or gaining something from it, then it does not matter how good it is.

There is a lot of important learning data and excellent feedback waiting to be gathered within the company. With that data and feedback organizations can begin to answers questions about how successful their learning and development program is.


Only 8% of organizations actually evaluate the value of learning and development initiatives.

— McKinsey Quarterly


Only 3/10 companies (29%) quantify the impact of learning and development.



91% of managers, 81% of HR administrators and 75% of employers surveyed said they believed that their organizations did not do onboarding well.



60% of companies don’t set any milestones or concrete goals for new hires to attain.

— Fast Company

Also read: Proving Learning Value Is Hard But Not Impossible

Are learning organizations performing better than others?

When thinking about investing in a learning development program, some organizations look at the costs and decide to scale back or abandon the project altogether.

It can be difficult to look to the future when external and internal financial forces are putting pressure on the organization.

Many companies miss out on the many benefits of organizational learning by not doing research into how much better learning organizations perform.


Organizations with comprehensive training programs have 218% higher revenue per employee and 24% higher profit margins.



Introducing a formal mentorship training program increased retention rates by 23% for participants in this survey.

— Sun Microsystems


Leading-edge companies trained 86% of employees while average companies trained only 74%.



Employees from companies with poor training opportunities are more than 3 times as likely to want to leave their job compared to those whose organizations have excellent training programs.

— Harris Interactive 

Also read: The Future Of Your Organization Is In Its Culture Of Learning

What is the best learning method?

When deciding to start a learning program within your organization it can be difficult to know where to start. There are so many theories and programs out there. If you are having this type of dilemma, one of the best places to start is listening to your employees.

Many companies have found that their employees have strong opinions about how they want to learn new information.


4 out of 5 companies do not get any significant impact from training employees.

— Implement Consulting Group


59% of companies are leveraging social learning activities.

— Brandon Hall Group


80% of employees say it’s very important that their company provides training options to fit their learning styles.

— Jones/NCTI


1 out of 3 employees say that uninspiring content is a barrier to their learning

— Towards Maturity


47% of employees wanted the flexibility to complete training at their own pace.

— Intercall 

Facts you’ll probably find surprising

Organizational learning may be a struggle. It can seem like a far off dream you may never achieve. Or you may have an excellent program that you are trying to make better.

Whatever your opinions about it are, it is always surprising to learn what employees and leaders think about organizational learning as it changes.

You can stay ahead of the curve by learning as much as you can from your own employees as well as from facts from in-depth reports, 44 of which we have here in a downloadable pdf.


67% of employees learn about their jobs from co-workers and not from their bosses.

— Leadership IQ


Only 38% of managers believe that their learning programs meet their learner’s needs.



Nearly 50% of job seekers are interested in learning new skills, even if those skills lead them in a different professional direction.

— CareerBuilder


65% of Millennials say that the existence of personal development opportunities was the most influential factor in choosing their current job.

— UNC 

Use these stats to understand how organizational learning has evolved and what today’s employees or new hire prospects expect of you.

If you’re curious to read more facts on learning in companies or are pressed for time, download the PDF with all 44 facts about learning in companies here.


FREE EBOOK: 44 FACTS ABOUT LEARNING IN COMPANIES Find out what today’s employees or new hire prospects expect of you.     Download now

Free eBook: 44 Facts  About Learning    Download now
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Ilie Ghiciuc
I've been an entrepreneur for the past 10+ years building great software companies together with fantastic teams. I like to spend most of my free time reading :)