For business

Barriers to Workplace Learning

In our previous post, we discussed that the only path to long-term sustainability as an organization is to learn faster than the competition. In this next part of our series, we’re going to discuss the barriers to learning.


The first and most obvious barrier to learning is a lack of time. How often have you purchased a book with the intention to read it over a long weekend, only to put it on the bookshelf and completely forget about it? Like many busy professionals, finding the time to dedicate to learning can be a challenge.


Motivation (or lack thereof) is another barrier to learning. When was the last time you were forced to attend a workshop covering a topic that you had little interest in? Now, think about a class covering a subject that interests you; you are more likely to be engaged, retain more information, and you are much more likely to apply what you learn.


Another barrier to learning is the lack of relevancy. If you are trying to solve a particular challenge (i.e. – leading a distributed team), you may struggle to find relevant content to help, especially for cutting-edge technologies. Search engines have made strides towards solving this problem, but it can still be a challenge, especially when it comes to the next point.


While search engines have helped improve the relevancy of content, there’s still another major issue – quality. How many times have you visited a resource online, only to find low-quality content written by someone who lacks real-world experience with the subject? It takes time to sort through these results to find quality content.

Information overload

Next up, too much information can be a barrier to learning. How many times have you sat in a classroom, overwhelmed by the amount of information presented by an instructor? How often have you read a business book, only to realize that the most important lessons could be summarized in a few minutes?

Learning culture

Finally, there’s the culture of the organization to consider. Does the organizational culture encourage learning? Is this a strategic priority from leadership? Do middle-managers have the learning opportunities and support they need to succeed and grow in their career?

How do we remove these barriers to learning? Learn more in the next post in this series.

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