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Beware the Risk of “Learning Fatigue”

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Article by CrossKnowledge

The need for training is increasingly clear, and its benefits are even clearer.TOP
Whether its via digital or classroom learning, acquiring and improving your skills is now seen as a huge opportunity for personal and professional development, helping learners achieve fulfilment in their company.

It can be a way to respond to various driving motivations:

  1. increase performance and remain competitive, thereby increasing an employee’s value on the job market
  2. career advancement and better opportunities
  3. achieve personal fulfilment and feed curiosity and an appetite for learning
  4. develop agility, anticipate changes, possibly to reskill or upskill

It is also a vital means of adapting to ever-demanding professional fields, especially when confronted with multiple pressures:

  • to perform well in a role by demonstrating the ability to contribute to the team project without neglecting personal development
  • to demonstrate agility and adaptability in a world that is constantly moving, all while maintaining continuity and stability in order to develop a vision.

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Learning helps to strengthen ties with the company and create a fruitful and reciprocal relationship. Overall, the benefits and motivations for learning are undeniable.


Is there such a thing as learning that’s too structured?

When examining the pathways towards goals and the experiences revealed by learners can reveal a very complex reality. On the one hand, constantly acquiring new skills can turn individuals into better versions of themselves. But when faced with too many course requirements, learners talk about reaching a kind of saturation point, a phenomenon sometimes called “learning fatigue”. For many people, it’s the structure and organization of in-house corporate learning that can be counter-productive or demotivating.

What causes learning fatigue?

There are several possible reasons for this:

  • the dread of wasting time and energy on subjects that are not essential to the learner’s role and responsibilities
  • saturation point with regard to compulsory training courses that are either too general or too tedious to follow for some learners (e.g. regulatory upgrades)
  • no possibility for immediate application, to help reinforce what was learned and ensure true skills acquisition
  • feelings of going through the motions to maintain a professional image or impress management, while lacking any true learning motivation

It is crucial to consider the possibility of learner fatigue when designing courses for corporate learning, and to allow for some amount of autonomous learning and personal choice in skills development. Leaners need to feel that they are more than passive participants.

Access to learning just isn’t enough to deliver real results

Simply providing an access to learning, as we know, can never provide true learning outcomes or long-term results. Organizations need to adopt a genuine strategy in relation to the content offered, one that takes into account the frequency of training and each person’s specific levels, needs and aspirations. This means that a learner’s underlying motivations must be fully understood and appreciated, and the training must be designed with the individual learner in mind to be truly effective.


Take the time to discover our first article from this study: E-Learning vs. Face-to-Face Training: from the Learner’s Point of View


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Profiles International EA
Profiles International EA