Learning in the Flow of Work: Deliver Training Where Your Learners Want it

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Richard Posluszny ·

Apr 22, 2021

The ever-increasing array of digital business models has presented a new — and serious — problem few companies have been able to solve. I’m talking about the acceleration of demand for skilled workers. 

Many of the professions created by digital businesses are jobs that have never been done before. They require skills that were non-existent even just 5 or 10 years ago. But, today, they’re in high demand. 

For forward-looking businesses, training for these new skill sets has shot to the top of their priority list. This is due to the difficulty and expense involved in hiring for these roles. Need proof? When Linkedin asked L&D pros, globally, about their most important areas of focus in 2021, upskilling and reskilling topped the list. 

For the businesses that have figured it out, this acceleration has actually turned out to be a strategic advantage. 

So what are they doing differently? These companies are leveraging and measuring the business impact of learning in the flow of work. By doing so, they’ve proven that learning deserves a seat at the table and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Learning is actually a lever for growth

Your Workforce Wants to Learn

In a different Linkedin survey, 2,400 professionals were asked “what would make you leave your job?” Respondents said their ability to learn and grow in their role is roughly twice as important as getting a raise. Even more important, their ability to learn is more than twice as important than the relationship with their boss. 

That same study found that employees who spend time at work learning are:

    • 47% less likely to be stressed
    • 39% more likely to feel productive and successful
    • 23% more ready to take on additional responsibilities
    • 21% more likely to be confident and happy 

However, according to Gartner, 70% of workers say they do not have the mastery of the skills necessary to do their job. And, only 20% of workers say they have the skills needed for their current and future roles. 

Diligent professionals realize that at this point, lifelong learning is an imperative

So, if learning makes our people happier, healthier, more productive, confident and higher performing, why aren’t they? And, if they are, why isn’t that learning reflected in the bottom line?

Strategic Alignment Needs to Happen First

Outdated modes of delivery; irrelevant subject matter; and poorly designed curricula are just a few of the reasons why learning programs fail. The most common culprit however, is strategic misalignment.

At Northpass, we’ve developed a framework called Learning Ops. When followed, it purposefully aligns learning programs with measurable business goals. 

Frankly, you shouldn’t even think about learning in the flow of work until you’ve accomplished the first step of Learning Ops, which is:

    • Garner support from leadership — get an executive sponsor
    • Understand the opportunities for learning across the business
    • Prioritize business outcomes and plan for impact

When surveyed, employees overwhelmingly complain of not having the time to learn at work. Here’s the good news: Once a learning program is aligned with the goals of the business and has an effective executive sponsor, a cultural shift will take place. A learning-centric culture will emerge where employees are both empowered, and expected to, level up their skills. 

Related Reading: Meaningful and Measurable — Why Learning Ops Must Be Tied to Business Outcomes.

Creating the Engaging Content Learners Crave

The second step of Learning Ops focuses on creating content that drives better performance. This involves writing learning objectives, mapping the learner journey (e.g., where, when and how learning will happen) and making sure your content is: 

    • Intentional
    • Structured
    • Well Designed
    • Personalized

Clear and compelling learning objectives are important. When people know what they’re going to learn about and why, satisfaction and confidence skyrockets. 

Mapping the learner journey involves planning the path that people will take as they progress through your program. Consider how they’ll learn (e.g., Microlearning, Instructor-Led Training, etc), where they’ll learn (e.g., in-app, CRM, website, etc), and when they’ll learn (e.g., a worker picks up a new shift, a customer purchases a new product, etc). 

Related Reading: Northpass 101: Engaging Your Learners.

Learning in the Flow of Work Requires Frictionless and Human Learning Experiences

The people and companies investing time into learning are experiencing a long list of benefits. The Learning Ops framework, coupled with its supporting technology (Northpass), have cracked the code on how to deliver people learning in the flow of their work. This is accomplished by seamlessly delivering learning to various touchpoints your employees already access on a daily basis (e.g., website, Helpdesk, HRIS, CRM, in-app, etc). 

There’s just one more thing. In the third step of Learning Ops, the focus is on delivering frictionless and human learning experiences. 

Imagine being able to trigger highly contextual learning content based on an employee’s individual behavior. With Northpass, it’s possible. Highly contextual and personalized learning enables you to: 

    • Support your workers in the moment they need it 
    • Streamline your company’s operations and reduce support costs
    • Reduce employee onboarding time
    • Boost retention
    • Improve performance

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t. 

To learn more about the Learning Ops framework, download our eBook.


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About the Author
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Richard Posluszny

Richard Posluszny oversees Northpass' marketing efforts. When Richard isn't spreading Northpass' gospel, he can be found driving something sporty, at an art gallery or learning more about American history.

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