Learning in workplaces is always mediated through talk. It is tempting for management to seek to utilise everyday talk as part of learning and therefore enhance productivity. This paper examines the responses of workers to interventions that aim to formalise informal conversations at work as part of an explicit workplace learning strategy. It draws on interviews with managers and workers in a public sector organisation to examine their experience of these practices. The paper raises questions about whether interventions in the name of fostering informal learning may well be hindering what they seek to promote.