New Research from ATD: Learning Cultures Correlate to High Performance

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Building a Culture of Learning: The Foundation of a Successful Organization

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New research from the Association for Talent Development (ATD) reveals that learning is a valued way of life and essential to growth within an organization. Learning helps promote a collaborative environment where knowledge is readily shared, and performance steadily improves, at both the individual and organizational levels. Despite the benefits, only 31 percent of organizations have well-developed learning cultures.

ATD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) explore the robust cultures of learning as distinct hallmarks of organizations that consistently produce the best business results – companies that lead the world’s markets in revenue growth, profitability, market share, and customer satisfaction. Findings are contained in the report, Building a Culture of Learning: The Foundation of a Successful Organization.

Key research findings are:

  •     Having a culture of learning is a hallmark of high-performance organizations. Top companies are five times more likely that lower performers to have extensive learning cultures.
  •     In high-performance organizations, employees share knowledge with their colleagues at a rate four times greater than that of workers in lower-performing firms.
  •     An employer’s commitment to ongoing talent development during prehire interviews is a distinguishing trait of high-performance organizations. However, just 22 percent of all respondents have these conversations with candidates.
  •     High-performance organizations are three times more likely than lower performers to hold leaders at all levels accountable for actively demonstrating the importance of learning.
  •     In organizations with strong learning cultures, employees are aligned with the goals of the business.
  •     The learning function’s participation in talent planning activities is linked to better market performance.
  •     Impact measurements—assessing learning’s effects on worker behavior and on business results—are differentiators applied extensively by fewer than one in four organizations.

Building a Culture of Learning: The Foundation of a Successful Organization, is available on the ATD store. Visit Building a Culture of Learning.

About ATD

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees, improve performance, and help to achieve results for the organizations they serve. Originally established in 1943, the association was previously known as the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

ATD’s members come from more than 120 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD supports talent development professionals who gather locally in volunteer-led U.S. chapters and international member networks, and with international strategic partners. For more information, visit

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Kristen Fyfe-Mills
Association for Talent Development
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