This guest blog post was written by Dr. David Marshall, a technical writer and a training developer since 2007. He is also the owner of Neithdos Consulting Services LLC. Dr. Marshall received his DM in Executive Leadership from Colorado Technical University in 2021. Currently, Dr. Marshall lives in Summerville, South Carolina and is planning on following up his dissertation on Changes Executives Need to Implement to Promote Women to Executive Positions with additional articles to business journals.

There are many employees who want to improve their performance not only in the workplace but also in their careers. These individuals are looking for the right learning platform to become better not only at the job but all around. A way an organization can assist in helping the team is to establish an effective learning journey.

What is a Learning Journey?

A learning journey is a series of formal and informal training programs that ingrains new knowledge, build existing skills, personalized content, and change the behavior of employees. The team uses the learning journey to become better at their positions by acquiring new skills and becoming proficient in their areas of expertise. Organizations benefit from this learning intervention by having a team that is prepared for future challenges and continues to strive for improvement. The learning journey is an effective experience to facilitate behavior changes that coincide with the business goals of the organization. Having an effective learning journey for the employees is essential to ensure the performance and productivity of the organization.

Encourage Continuous Learning

Leaders and managers are responsible for the performance and productivity of each member of the team. This is why it is essential to ensure that each member of the team is growing by integrating a learning content management system and developing a training program that meets the needs of the team and the organization.

Organizations interested in how to develop a training program for employees need to keep in mind that learning content is a continuous process, not a one-time course such as a webinar or a learning module. A successful learning journey depends on employee engagement. It is essential that the objectives and goals focus on the individual. What are their needs? What are their desires? What are their constraints? The goals and objectives should also coincide with the organization’s mission and have input from all of the stakeholders.

The next step is to understand the audience by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each employee relative to their and the organization’s goals and priorities. This can be done by leaders and managers meeting with each member individually to discuss their professional development and career goals, build awareness of the learning journey, and create different techniques to enforce the learning process.

Invest in Training and Mentoring

Employees going through the learning journey need to know how leaders and managers are supporting the learning process to include coaching, mentoring, empathizing, and ensuring that the training is available. Are the individual training needs being met within the organization or are resources needed from the outside? What is the career path ahead for the employee who takes part in the learning journey? What is the motivation? There are individuals who have self-motivation and want to learn a new skill or gain knowledge. However, there are others that need additional motivation, for example, a system of rewarding progress that encourages individuals to start and continue throughout the process.

Setup Learning Milestones

As the journey progresses, leaders and managers need to establish milestones for the team to ensure that each individual is completing their training on a timely basis. Also, it is beneficial to have a way to provide positive reminders to the team to continue with their learning journey. Leaders should also take time to meet with their employees on a regular basis to discuss the progress and to have a place for the individual to apply their new knowledge and skill and offer additional informal training to enhance their new craft. Meeting with the team will ensure that they are fully understanding what they are learning but also seeing a change in their behavior.

Summary

A successful learning journey is beneficial for the employee and the organization to meet the challenges of the rapid changes that are taking place all over the globe. There are additional benefits to include building trust and creating new ways of collaboration amongst the members of the team, increasing productivity and performance, delivering lasting results, and increasing retention.

Cole, Britney, (2020, February) 3 Keys to Create Learning Journeys that Work [YouTube] Ken Blanchard Company