The activities of the research group focused on continuous learning has started at the University of Eastern Finland

Unwanted Consequences of an Intensifying Work Life Can Be Mitigated by Supporting Continuous Learning at Work

Supporting continuous learning is essential in the everyday reality of an intensifying work life, and the discussion about its importance has increased in recent years, both in Finland and internationally. Continuous learning is crucial for individual skills and career development, as well as for organizational renewal, innovation, and the retention of a skilled workforce.

A new research group focused on continuous learning at work has been established at the University of Eastern Finland. The goal of this group is to deepen the understanding of workplace learning and its consequences for both organizations and individuals. The Continuous Learning at Work (JATKOT) research group broadly focuses on learning, skills, well-being, and creativity as integral parts of work life and organizational routines.

“At its best, creativity blossoms; at its worst, well-being deteriorates”

The majority of adult learning happens in the daily work environment. This learning is guided by many pedagogical characteristics of organizations, whether they are purposefully designed or unconscious.

“In Finland, there is considerable variation in how learning is understood across different organizations. There are pioneering companies where learning support is diverse, and employee development considers both the strategic goals of the organization and individual motivational factors and career prospects,” describes the research group’s leader, Soila Lemmetty.

However, there are still organizations where learning support is limited to sporadic training, or it is assumed to occur naturally and independently among employees.

According to Lemmetty, the research group also focuses on the fact that, besides the positive outcomes of learning, continuous learning can lead to undesirable consequences, such as ethically questionable practices and inefficient organizational procedures. The intensifying work life, with its overwhelming learning demands, can at worst turn skills development into a risk for employee well-being.

“If learning is left solely to the individuals or reduced to merely completing performance-based courses, it exacerbates stress. Through our research, we aim to better understand the relationship between learning and well-being.”

Additionally, the goal is to develop practices and recommendations for organizations and various actors in the work society to support sustainable and creativity-enhancing learning.

The multidisciplinary and multimethod research of the JATKOT group focuses on, among other things, identifying and developing skills during career transitions, creative agency in the context of digital transformation, the significance of psychological safety and communal learning in organizational strategy work, self-directed learning, and motivation building in workplace learning situations, and leading learning to promote well-being.

The JATKOT research group consists of nine researchers and is funded by the University of Eastern Finland, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and the Academy of Finland.

For more information:

Research Group Leader, University Researcher Soila Lemmetty, +358 50 471 3933, soila.lemmetty(at)

University of Eastern Finland, Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology, JATKOT Research Group