Bottom-up learning occurs because employees want to be able to perform effectively in their jobs. The exact motivation may vary, from achieving job security to earning more money, gaining recognition or obtaining personal fulfillment, but the route to all these is performing well on the job, and employees know as well as their employers that this depends -- to some extent at least -- on their acquiring the appropriate knowledge and skills. Bottom-up learning occurs in four contexts. These are: 1. incidental, 2. reactive, 3. proactive, and 4. formalized. While the learning and development professional may not determine the "content" of the learning that takes place on a bottom-up basis, they certainly have a role to play in determining the process. Because it is impractical to meet all learning requirements top-down, it is in the interests of the organization to encourage relevant, work-related, bottom-up learning.
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