I've just seen this issue nicely typologised in a white paper on "performance toolkits" by Peter Casebow and Owen Ferguson. There they distinguish three levels of engagement from an employee:
- Just-in-time: "Employee seeks help and suport at the time they need it to deal with an unfamiliar task, challenge or problem." They won't consider this as learning, but as "getting the job done".
- Explore: "Employee recognises that the issue justifies investing some time to investigating the task, challenge or problem." They won't consider this learning, but rather "research" or "investigation".
- Deep dive: "Employee recognises that they need time away from work to immerse him/herself in 'learning mode' to acquire new skills and perspectives." This is where formal learning is involved, and is the only one which employees are likely to consider unproblematically as "learning".