Greetings of the day I would like to know about the learning curve in individuals. How this can be linked with career-building let’s say for the promotion of an individual.
From India, Bangalore
Process Industry Consultant / Soft Skill
Ceo-usd Hr Solutions
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Learning curve for a progressive person should be positive and going up at all times.
As the years pass by, new learnings should get added to one’s resume. It will enable an individual to rise in his career.

Suppose a person keeps on doing the same job for many years he is not really adding anything new to his experience. We can just say it is one year learning repeated many times.

New learnings show new experience gained.
A person rises in his career on this basis taking higher responsibilities.

V Raghunathan. Chennai

From India

The above post from Mr. V Raghunathan is good and realistic. During my starting of career in mid 70s, I worked with one Organization viz Guest Keen Williams Ltd, (GKW) MNC as diploma mechanical engineer. The organization every year recruited Graduate engineers from Shibpur BE College, Jadavpur Engineering college and IIT Kharagpur. 1st class 1st, 2nd, 3rd along with 10th, 15th etc. rank candidates.

After 2/3 years one lower rank student( 10th /15th rank ) got promotion. The students who ranked 1st, 2nd became very upset. I was training officer at that time and my boss was training manager who was also one member of promotion committee. The upset employees met training manager to know why they were not been promoted. The Training Manager explained nicely. The submission of the employees were that they had completed successfully all task which had been entrusted to them - then why not promotion.

Training Manager told that you all have scored 100 out of 100 which is brilliant in aceramic sector and you all are also brilliant as you had scored 1st, 2nd in your academic career. But in industry scoring 100 out of 100 you are eligible for only normal increment. To get promotion you would be required to score 120 or 130 out of 100.

Training Manager also explained the reason for getting promotion of Tool Room Engineer as Assistant Manager who was from Shibpur BE College Mechanical and academically stood 12th. The employee was entrusted to look after the production of Press tools ( Blanking, Piercing, Forming tools etc.) which he had done successfully. Over and above he has learnt the operation of different specialized machines - Jig boring, Jig grinding, Profile grinding, etc. and add value by improving certain operational procedure in those areas.

To my opinion the above is the learning curve to any individual for career building. For my present nature of job I interact with many HR professionals and to my opinion they are of two categories. One category have superficial knowledge which they are not aware and another have in depth knowledge and interested to learn new things. I also learn many things from them. Good number of HR professionals are working on knee jerk principle basis - not at all proactive , not serious to learn but interested to enjoy power, promotion etc.

There is no other alternative other than to learn every day to add value on self for career development and to stay at system.

S K Bandyopadhyay ( WB, Howrah)
CEO-USD HR Solutions
+91 98310 81531

USD HR Solutions – To Strive towards excellence with effort and integrity

From India, New Delhi

Hello Sap_hrm,

Learning is one of the dynamics of individual behavior critical to determining an organization's current as well as the future performance. While highly respected colleagues wishfully state that learning curve should 'always go up', the reality is different. The fact is, learning is expressed as a 'curve' which goes up and eventually does come down. Therefore, the HR professional's challenge is to understand how the learning curve is shaped for the individual, for teams, and for the organization, and based on,that understanding, design interventions that help the organization align its functional strategy implementation (eg recruitment strategy, sales strategy, retention strategy, and so on) with it.

Where does the concept 'learning curve' come from? It has its origin in the lives of engineers at work, who observed, for example, how much time was taken by a worker to assemble a product. A new worker at job would initially take longer time, but then as the worker learns, the time taken for performing the same task would come down - but it will never be 0, and on the other hand, if other context factors such as negative politics and conflict between workers and management, worker's fatigue and boredom etc. are present, then the time taken to perform the same task may actually rise.

As we can understand, lesser the time take, greater is the learning, so there is an inverse relationship between the two, and therefore, we expect a curve (showing time taken to perform a task) rising and then falling. We would like to see a lot of falling here :)

So, what an HR professional can do is as follows:
1. Observe learning curve, and add training and development interventions in order to accelerate learning. So, the natural speed of learning can be enhanced.
2. Observe the rate at which the reduction in time taken to perform a job and introduce refresher training initiatives so that the rate of learning does not decelerate.
3. Look for points that disrupt the downward movement of the curve and remove negative grapevine, politics which are not pro-excellence, and simmering conflict that manifests in deviant behavior. OD interventions, culture-building interventions, strengthening systems and moving towards creation of a differentiated workforce are some examples of what Hr professionals can do.

Some interventions wok best at the entire system level, while some are for the teams, and yet others are for individuals. So, the HR professional has to carefully choose which interventions to choose, how to schedule them, and ensure they are well-aligned. Interventions at only one level hardly help.

Now, that you wish to relate learning curve with the individual career building, here is hat comes to our minds:
1. make career management and succession planning linked with recruitment. Hire individuals with learning preferences and pace that match with what your orgnization's strategic needs.
2. Filter individuals who can have future with your organization, sort them by their learning pace (organization needs both, fast and slow learners).
3. integrate HRD and OD systems with HR systems.
4. Carry out career assessment (in terms of potential) for individuals and carry out performance and potential assessment using assessment centers.
5. There are various frameworks that explain career progression. Choose and design framework for your own organization, which states how careers are expected to progress.
6. Make sure that performance management system is well-integrated with communication system, reward system, and retention system, so that during the stages of career building, the focus is on learning, that when the person is accomplished, there is accelerated learning, that the learners are not punished for mistakes made in early stages, that there is organizational support, and that when the person is in the stage of 'giving back', there is a match between what they can contribute with what organization needs.
7. Finally, make sure that there is a balance between performing and learning and that the people can clearly 'see' what they are expected to perform and what learning will be instrumental in their goal-achievement.

There's more, but we can share more if you found this early background suitable.

Best wishes,
Team HRM For Non-HR Managers

From India

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