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ATD Blog

Sneak Peek: New ATD Research on Building a Culture of Learning

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

ATD Research and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) are preparing to release their newest report, Building a Culture of Learning: The Foundation of a Successful Organization. This new research project offers detailed insight into the prevalence of learning cultures in high-performing companies, as well as hallmarks of learning cultures and tips for creating and nurturing a learning culture. The project is sponsored by Paradigm Learning

ATD Research and i4cp surveyed 832 talent development leaders from around the world in 2015. Participants from global and national companies were asked to complete a brief online questionnaire on whether their organizations exhibited characteristics of thriving learning cultures. 

Key Insights From the Report

ATD Research and i4cp found that having a culture of learning is an indicator of high-performance organizations. Individuals from high-performing companies are five times more likely than their low-performing counterparts to indicate that their company had a culture of learning. In other words, high business performance and a culture of learning go hand in hand. 

Further, high-performance organizations are likely to discuss their commitment to ongoing talent development during pre-hire interviews with potential candidates and use their culture of learning as a recruiting tool. Participants from high-performing companies are six times more likely to commit to ongoing talent development in the prehire interviews than those from low-performing companies. Moreover, individuals from companies who make such commitments during the prehire process are the most likely to have high market performance. 


Put simply, organizations that prioritize the ongoing learning and development of employees are more likely to be successful, both in the business market and in the market for talented hires, than those that do not. 

Best Practices for Building Learning Cultures 


ATD Research and i4cp also found that there are three learning-culture-supportive strategies considered best practice when it comes to employees: 

  1. Every employee should have a regularly updated personalized learning and development plan.
  1. There should be employee accountability for the learning that is specified in the individual development plan.
  1. Companies should give nonfinancial rewards and other types of recognition or awards to further encourage employee learning. 

Learn More 

The full report will be available for purchase on March 1, 2016, for a member price of $199 ($499 for nonmembers) at There also will be an infographic and whitepaper, both of which will be complimentary for ATD members. The infographic is also free for nonmembers and the whitepaper is $19.99 for nonmembers. 

ATD and i4cp will host a free webcast on April 28, at 1 p.m. ET; you can register online now.

About the Author

Megan Cole is a former ATD research analyst. Her primary responsibilities included creating and programming surveys, cleaning and analyzing data, and writing research reports for publication.

She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida and earned a doctorate in communication from Arizona State University. 

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