November 02nd 2020

(Digital) Workplace Learning: HR department is now a competence center

The place of work and place of learning merge - competencies are the key

In modern (digital) workplace learning, the focus is on developing competencies. What exactly are competencies and how can they be defined? There are different taxonomies in this regard. However, if you look at those that are reasonable, then a competence consists of the following components:

  • Knowledge
  • Ability and
  • Skill.

The dividing line between formal learning (classical education and certified further education), non-formal learning (planned, targeted and systematic courses without formal qualification or formal certificate in the sense of vocational training, studies or further education) and informal learning is now becoming less important. The same can be found in the demarcation between learning at work, learning while working and learning outside of work. More and more attempts are being made to combine these areas (using digital technologies, among other things).

In-company learning becomes correspondingly more small-scale, i.e. it is less tied to learning events and is more part of everyday (work) flow. Accordingly, certificates or information on the duration of further training etc. are becoming less important. The success of training or learning will and should be therefore measured by improved job performance. If this ideal is anchored in the mind, the following learning approaches can be helpful:


Collaborative learning

A group of at least two people learn together. The advantage of this learning approach is the use of the competences of the other group members. So you learn from each other.


Participative learning

Participative learning promotes the co-design of learning processes and contents.


Situated learning

This approach takes greater account of the situational (and also social) context in which learning takes place.


This all entails a comprehensive shift in roles: the role of HR department is changing to competence management, which lays the foundation for competence development. Learning opportunities are no longer designed, but an environment is being created that transforms emerging problems into learning opportunities and that allows each individual to identify and take advantage of these learning opportunities.

As a result, the role of the learner changes as well. He used to be a purely passive recipient and now he is responsible for his own didactic-methodical development planning and even producer of learning content.