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Barriers and Facilitators of Workplace Learning Essay

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Barriers and facilitators of workplace learning

To begin with, it is vital to mention that workplace learning assists in integrating daily routines and work in order to boost productivity. While workplace learning is a powerful tool that can be used to motivate and improve the worth of employees, there are barriers and facilitators that can influence this aspect.

One of the barriers integrated with daily routines and work is the time constraints that employees face when delivering specific roles and responsibilities. In most cases, objectives are set in order to be achieved. However, timelines for achieving the set goals and objectives is often a real challenge. Secondly, lack of access to job resources can impede workplace learning (Schaufeli & Bakker 2004, p.296).

Challenging tasks and resources are necessary in order to improve workplace learning. Other barriers include lack of incentives, poor learning climate, lack of commitment towards learning by the management, low motivation and lack of expert guidance.

On the other hand, there are quite a number of factors that facilitate workplace learning. These factors include increased resources that boost learning wt workplace learning, use of diverse methods of learning, presence of informal coaches, appropriate climate of learning, and commitment to the process of learning by managers. It is also vital to mention that managers should minimize extreme pressure at workplace.

The latter has been known to demoralize employees since they eventually dislike their various roles and duties as well as job specifications. Employees who are pressed up at work can hardly be productive at workplace due to mental weariness (Schaufeli & Bakker 2004, p.294).

On the same note, an appropriate learning climate entails the presence of respect and dignity to employees. When employees are treated with dignity at workplace, a conducive learning climate is definitely created.


Workplace engagement is part and parcel of employee engagement at work while delivering various roles and duties. Hence, employees can only experience total workplace engagement when they engage themselves appropriately with the various assigned duties.

Although the definition of employee engagement has not been fully agreed upon, it is vivid that workplace engagement completely relies on the commitment of individual employees alongside the commitment of the management teams.


There are some scholars who have argued that a state experienced by employees with respect to their duties usually amount towards workplace engagement. Moreover, the success of this type of engagement also demands positive emotional energy, adequate physical energy, and intellectual energy required in the thinking process.

Moreover, when there is a positive connection with other people or employees and also a coherent social dimension, workplace engagement can be visualized. Workplace engagement has three main dimensions. In terms of intellectual engagement, accessibility to handle difficult tasks is an integral part of workplace engagement.

When positive work emotion is experienced, it contributes towards affective engagement. A typical example of affective engagement is enthusiasm. Additionally, when employees discuss factors that can improve workplace environment, it amounts to social engagement.

Advantages of workplace engagement

Workplace engagement enables workers to insert discretionary effort at the place of work. In other words, they commit themselves in terms of energy, brain power and even time. They often go beyond the required level. Employees who are engaged always aim at delivering the best services in an organization. As already mentioned, engaged employees perform their roles and duties with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

In most cases, they have settled mindsets in terms of career growth since they are least likely to seek employment opportunities from other locations. They also fully acknowledge, believe and appreciate the values out forward by their organization.

Another advantage or benefit of an engaged workplace is that the latter can improve the competitive level of an organization. The competitive power of employees can be significantly boosted through adequate workplace engagement. An engaged workforce is also in a position to improve the reputation of an organization.

The latter is attributed to the fact that full employee engagement is the opposite of burn out and also entails energy output, efficacy, and involvement (Schaufeli & Bakker 2004, p.298). The lead management and leadership teams are also expected to demonstrate high levels of reputation when discharging their duties. This can only be possible in an environment where employees are fully engaged.

Disadvantages of workplace engagement

The engagement of employees at the place of work may be thwarted if they lack adequate resources for carrying out various tasks. Job performance can be significantly affected if the energy possessed in employee engagement is not utilized well. Secondly, inadequate equipment support and budget may impede the peak performance of a workforce that is already engaged.

The same inadequacies may also de-motivate employees due to the high level of expectation that cannot be met. When employees cannot access vital information or when they have extreme workload due to their high level of engagement, they end up being less productive compared to a mediocre workforce that is not engaged.

Other barriers associated with workplace engagement include lack of proper training as well as goals and objectives that are not clear. Training is necessary in improving workplace engagement even if expatriates are part of employees (Lee & Croker 2006, p.1188). This implies that a fully engaged workforce requires systems and structures that are fully equipped.

Employees who are engaged always require the necessary support and systems that they can utilize by redirecting their enormous effort. There are several instances when employees have directed accusing fingers to top managers due to poor systems in place. They end up being frustrated and withdraw their efforts.

How to improve employee engagement

When the individual health and overall wellbeing is improved, employee engagement is also increased. Employees who are disengaged are least likely to be enjoying the benefits of personal wellbeing because the preferred self is the most ideal level of personal engagement (Kahn 1990, p. 700).

Secondly, employee engagement can be improved through reduced absenteeism occasioned by sickness. For example, employees who take frequent sick leaves can hardly be engaged with the operations of an organization.

In addition, employee engagement can be improved through reduced rate of turnover. The latter is related to the ability of an organization to retain employees over a significant period.

Moreover, when employees are provided with adequate job resources in an organization for a long time, they can be fully engaged with the operations of that particular organization (Bakker & Demerouti 2008, p.211). This type of engagement can be boosted trough high levels of individual performance and productivity as well as high levels of organizational citizenship behavior.


Bakker, B.A & Demerouti, E 2008, ‘Towards a model of work engagement.’ Career Development International, vol. 13 no. 3, pp. 209-223.

Kahn, W.A 1990, ‘Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work.’ Academy of Management Journal, vol. 33 no. 4, pp. 692-724.

Lee, L. & Croker, R 2006, ‘A contingency model to promote the effectiveness of expatriate training.’ Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 106 no. 8, pp. 1187-1205.

Schaufeli, B. W. & Bakker, A 2004, ‘Job demands, job resources and their relationship with burn out and engagement: a multi-sample study.’ Journal of Organizational Behavior, vol. 25 no.3 pp. 293-315.

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