Learning in the flow of work: Agile, adaptive and practical

How do adults learn? While younger learners are still used to the classroom environment, where they imbibe knowledge in large blocks over periods of hours, adult learners need small parcels of information that can directly be applied.

Since the pandemic began, at least, we’ve been “always-on”. Working from home, we never really log off, something that’s enabled by modern tech and resources. This makes work/life deeply integrated and nearly seamless. Modern technology helps free up redundant time, which creates more time for learning and development.

What is learning in the flow of work?

The method of providing your employees with information that they need, when they need it, is called learning in the flow of work. Rather than a formal e-learning course with a defined start, assessment and conclusion, learning in the flow of work allows employees to access information any time, when they need it, as they work. 

Why does it work?

Organizations that train their employees through learning in the flow of work experience improved business outcomes, according to research by Deloitte. By implementing a flexible L&D strategy, the organization is better able to adapt to changes.

Learning in the flow of work matches normal habits, which means that you need not attempt to change user behavior to make employees learn. In real life, we don’t take a 15-day culinary course when we want to prepare a Thai meal – we just Google a recipe! Through learning in the flow of work, your employees learn and immediately apply. On the other hand, learners going through a structured course may or may not be able to recall the information required, when it needs to be applied.

Employees spent almost a quarter of their working day (two hours a day) looking up information. By maintaining a bank of informational content that is always available and searchable, your team is able to save a sizable chunk of time. By helping your workforce learn and adapt in real-time, you help establish the team as a competitive advantage for your business.

How do you use learning in the flow of work?

  • Create guides with clear answers for frequently asked questions.
  • Establish microlearning modules so that the learner can access the learning content any time.
  • Prioritize mobile-friendly content formats and material. Mobile devices are easier to use in the flow of work.
  • Vet, curate and use third-party content wherever possible.
  • Ensure searchability and practicality of the material and platform.
  • Use tech that works for you. Launch mobile-friendly versions of your LMS, learning experience platforms and microlearning platforms.
  • Provide online, searchable repositories of all new and third-party content, including books, podcasts and bootcamps.

The key is that these modules can be accessed any time. There is no defined start and end to the course, and need not be any assessment involved. This means that you do not have metrics based on which you can measure the success of the learning delivered. Work with an e-learning content expert to create material that delivers the business outcomes you want. Let’s get started today!