What is the index
for learning @ work?

The Index for Learning@Work is a diagnostic tool developed by the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) to help enterprises and organisations get a snapshot of the current state of learning in their workplace.

Think of it as a health-check that any enterprise senior or middle management personnel can request for their business unit, division, or even the entire organisation. This health-check will allow organisations to collect data on how their staff experience learning at the workplace, understand what is working well, and identify areas which require further examination.

This diagnostic tool is made up of two components:

  • Quantitative online survey (estimated completion time: 10 minutes)
  • Qualitative interviews with a sample of employees.

The quantitative online survey consists of around 65 behavioural and perception questions, covering learning conditions that are critical for effective learning and performance at work. Respondents are required to rate each item on a 5-point Likert scale (a scale used to establish people's attitudes to a topic).

These are the six different learning conditions featured in the diagnostic tool:


Is management supportive of staff accessing formal and informal learning opportunities at work and out of work?


Does management provide effective feedback and coaching to staff in order to enable continuous learning and performance enhancement?


Does management recognise the learning and development of staff, and reward improved performance?


Are staff members open to learning, and do they have the relevant qualities both to learn and make the most of learning opportunities in the workplace?


Is the workplace environment, organisation climate, and culture conducive for learning?


Does the job role and nature of the industry require continuous learning?

View Sample of Survey Items

Watch this video to learn what promotes learning and performance at work.

How does the index work?

Two distinct sets of survey items are available
- one for managers and supervisors, and one for workers.

Learning Condition: Quality Feedback
Groups Survey Item Findings
Managerial I am good at coaching my staff to perform effectively. A significant disparity in scores between both groups may signal a underlying disconnect between the manager's self-perception of competence in coaching and what the non-managerial staff are experiencing when being coached (or not) by their managers.
Workers My manager is good at coaching me to perform effectively.

This distinction is based on the assumption that interactions between managerial staff and their team members have a significant impact on motivation, opportunities for learning, application, and feedback.

The results dashboard generated upon successful completion of the survey run will flag up items which show a significant disparity in the responses from both groups. These can then be examined and will provide valuable opportunities for intervention to improve the quality of learning at work.

Where there are learning conditions with significant disparity in the ratings for both staff groups, conducting qualitative interviews will be recommended as the next step. The interview questions can be customised to uncover the "story" behind the numbers, and provide a much more complete picture of the state of workplace learning within the particular organisation. Do note that this online platform only provides results for quantitative surveys. The qualitative interviews will need to be conducted by individual organisations.

The online survey component can be completed by directing your nominated employees to complete the survey. Once the minimum number of survey responses has been met, a results dashboard will be generated by the system for your review.

Download Sample of Result Report

How is the index different from an employee engagement survey?

The Index is designed to uncover how staff members feel about a range of documented learning conditions, and foster a more focused understanding of how the workplace and the nature of work processes afford opportunities (or not) for learning. It also highlights how individual employees can access direct and indirect guidance and support at work in order to perform effectively.

Other advantages of the Index include:

  • Comparison of how managerial staff believe they are managing their staff, and what staff actually experience, thus highlighting any misalignments
  • Provision of data on the frequency and effectiveness of workplace learning approaches used in the organisation (e.g. mentoring, buddying) to identify practices that can be enhanced
  • Understanding the implications of the score for each learning condition and getting suggestions for improvement
  • Benchmarking against other organisations with similar profiles (this will be made available once a sufficient amount of data has been collected).

How many respondents
need to be involved
and how to choose
the target group?

For meaningful results and to protect the anonymity of respondents, the minimum recommended number of participants are:

  • Online survey:
    4 managerial staff and 10 non-managerial staff.
  • Qualitative interviews:
    5-6 interviewees with a mixture of staff holding supervisory and non-supervisory responsibilities. This group of staff should have already completed the online survey.

You can log in to your Index for Learning@Work account to find out more on how to choose your respondents.

(NB: Managerial staff is defined as individuals who are responsible for the on-going supervision and/or performance appraisal of at least one other full- or part-time staff within the organisation.)

Who can commission the index?

The Index is suitable for any private and commercial entity keen to improve staff capability and enhance business and organisational outcomes.

However, the survey component means that organisations with fewer than 15 full-time employees may have difficulty meeting the minimum recommended sample size.

The Index can be commissioned by any of the following individuals:

  • CEO or head of the organisation
  • Director/ Head of Department/ Manager in any of the following functions:
    • Human Resource Management and/or Development
    • Learning and Development
    • Organisation Development
    • Operations

How to commission the index?

It’s as easy as one, two, three!

  1. Step 1

    Create a user account. This will allow you to track the participation rate, send reminders and access the result dashboard upon successful completion of the survey.

  2. Step 2

    Simply input the e-mail addresses of the staff you would like to involve in the online survey.

  3. Step 3

    An e-mail will be sent automatically to those employees to request their participation.