The Benefits of Workflow Learning in the Workplace

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Manager and supervisor taking inventory in warehouse picture id1210182387

LMS? You mean like that one that rhymes with “slack bored?” I used it back in college, but now that I’m working, we use something else. I don’t know what it’s called, I just search my inbox for the link and reset my password the once or twice a year I need to use it.

If this sounds familiar, you are in the overwhelming majority of employees, or learners, in today’s corporate environment.

Learning/training happens before work. When it comes to learning we typically equate that to an academic environment (with a tenuous-at-best connection of that education tying directly to our job function.)

Likewise, when we hear training we tend to think about all the knowledge we attain to prepare us to execute job functions.

Separating these concepts aligns well with the old guard of learning and development: learn and train before you do. Workflow learning has changed this, however; for a number of years now it’s been clear that workflow learning is the L&D transformation that every CLO, CHRO, and learning and development professional has anticipated – and it’s here to stay.

workflow learning

What is Workflow Learning?

So, what is workflow learning? Simply put, it’s learning during a workflow! It’s the concept that teaching learners in a contextual manner in the flow of their day-to-day work is the most effective manner of teaching and developing skills and ideas.

To further complicate matters, I’m certain you’ve heard of personalized learning, Five Moments of Need, informal learning, and 70-20-10. While certainly not all the same model, adjacencies exist in that these new learning and development models call for technology that can best deliver that framework to your learner base.

Regardless of the model you want to adopt for your organization, a CLO must consider a few items to support the new models of learning:

  • Does your LMS have high availability?
  • Is it available in real-time where learners can access it immediately?
  • Does the tool support collaborative learning so learners can interact with other learners in a synchronous and asynchronous manner?
  • Does the LMS tie into the actual work function, where it can derive quantitative and qualitative metrics connecting training to performance?

If your LMS/LDP doesn’t satisfy these requirements, you may want to take a look at the new-age EduTech solutions on the market today. Workflow learning uniquely brings academics and technologists into the same space (albeit sometimes with conflicting opinions!).


Why It’s Worth It

The benefits of workflow learning – presenting content in the flow of work – are transformational.  Gone are the days of learning in one space and performing in another; now we see a transformation in learning where we can contextually apply the content we are learning as we learn it.  By presenting this content at the moment of need, learners keep their focus in relation to the performing work at hand.

Workflow learning requires the consolidation of services on a unified platform. AvePoint’s ethos for business productivity and learning and development has always been to provide a holistic approach to bringing persona-based functions into a consolidated platform.  In the vein of, “make it easy to do the right thing” governance models, “make it easy to train and easy to perform” is certainly a mantra to adopt when considering workflow learning.

Beyond the immediate benefit of bringing learning into the workplace from an employee perspective, it’s also worth noting the advantages that come from the teaching side. Content managers, instructional designers, and subject matter experts can receive near-immediate feedback on how their content is actually reaching their intended audience. Having a unified environment greatly reduces the feedback loop enabling a closer-knit, performance-based relationship between instructor and learner. Being able to quantify and qualify how well content is translating into job function is a valuable metric to measure.

workflow learning

Final Thoughts

So, where does this leave us? Well, workflow learning enables organizations to bring continuous learning and development into the same space as the job functions of the employee and learner. This is how the user experience has greatly shifted, in that there are no longer spaces of performance and spaces of learning, but a unified space in which we learn and perform seamlessly. Learners can ingest new content, apply it in practice, and continue to refine and retain new skills, all within one ecosystem.

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