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The Three Dimensions of Learning Agility

Curious to learn new things? Great achievements await you!

The level of learning agility that talent is determined by how fast he/she is capable of learning new things. For example, if a content writer with no technical background learns data analytics and coding with ease, then that individual can be considered learning agile. To be learning agile, not only should the individual be capable of grasping absolutely new concepts from scratch, they should be passionate about learning new things at all times.

Jack of all trades or a master of one trade? You can be both!

Learning dimensions are attributes that define the type of learning that an individual is capable of. Some individuals can learn fast, while others can learn a variety of things or develop expertise in a particular subject. Having knowledge about an individual’s learning dimensions can help organizations in defining their employee’s career path and trajectory.

Learning Dimensions

Learning agility is a concoction of speed, variety, and depth. Every Job role requires a specific combination or mix of these three dimensions of learning agility.

For example, a Stock Market Trader needs to have a high speed of learning as they need to analyze huge amounts of data in a short span of time. They also need to have in-depth knowledge of trading rules etc. They are also required to have knowledge of varied subjects such as socio-economic conditions, events, and factors that can impact the stock prices. Hence, they can be successful at their job only if they are capable and willing to learn a wide variety of subjects in detail in a short span of time.

Who is your best friend? Books or Teachers or Google?

Everyone has their own preferred way of learning. Some like classroom teaching so that they can interact, others like to read on their own. In organizations, when training employees to up-skill or re-skill them, it is important to know what their preferred mode of learning is. This knowledge not only increases the ROI from L&D initiatives but also contributes towards creating a more future-ready workforce.

There are three types of preferred modes of learning: Self Learning, Classroom Learning, and Mentor-Based Learning

  • Self-Learning: Prefer to self-learn with resources including books, classes, and e-learning sources.
  • Classroom Learning: Prefer to learn from instructors in a formal classroom setting.
  • Learn from Mentors: Prefer to learn from others with an experience like mentors or coaches.
learning preferences

Learning preferences are continua, not exclusive categories. Dominant learning preference is more often a way of taking information from various sources during learning situations. The purpose of learning about employees learning preferences is to suggest the most effective way by which organizations can maximize the learning of employees by customizing the learning intervention as per employee preference. It is a well-known fact that most of the employees learn mostly from on-the-job learning experiences, rather than from classroom or course-based learning. In addition, an important source of learning is developed from one’s relationships with other people, networks, or mentors.

Once an organization is aware of the learning agility level, dimension, and learning preference of their workforce and talent pool, they can hire better, train better, and grow faster.

Learning Agility is the strongest indicator of an individual’s/ employee’s potential to succeed in their present and future job roles. This is because Learning Agile employees are very adaptive to change and can tackle new problems and situations with ease. A Learning Agile workforce is needed to sustain and increase organizational productivity in the present and future.







Originally published February 20 2019, Updated June 16 2020

Romila Kanchan

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