Workflow learning is a relatively new technique that aids HR in addressing new L&D industry problems.

One aspect that emphasizes the significance of learning initiatives is the widening gap between the necessary abilities and the existent skills. To address this issue, you need to provide learning while working options for your employees.

That’s why it is important for you to learn what workflow learning is and how it is different from regular training.

What is workflow learning exactly?

Workflow learning enables your staff to acquire new knowledge or recollect previously acquired knowledge without substantially delaying their job. It reduces significant interruptions that impair productivity and raise employee stress.

To be precise, workflow learning encourages employee productivity by allowing them to learn while working. It is most effective when it occurs concurrently with routine business operations.

workflow learning
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How is it different from regular training?

We will focus on five major characteristics that are related to work performance to try to explain these vital differences between workflow learning and training.


Even if eLearning can be completed while physically present at their workstations, training pulls learners away from their daily responsibilities.

The name itself contains the most evident distinction between workflow learning and traditional training:

  • Performance support and workflow learning are, by definition, tools that help employees accomplish their duties.

Employees can effectively address urgent needs and resolve issues as a result, increasing productivity. This is the number one difference that you should keep in mind.


Learners can and do train independently, as a cohort, or in groups.

Workflow learning is typically solitary:

  • A worker runs into a difficulty or a knowledge gap, looks for information, and then carries on. This minimizes interference with work responsibilities.

However, collaborative process learning has its place as well. By providing useful materials in a location that is simple to find, content curation enables coworkers or peers to assist each other.

If professional networks are responsive to issues that emerge, social platforms like Slack also provide workflow learning solutions. Despite the fact that these solutions are collaborative, learners will probably read this content while working, facilitating effective problem-solving in the workflow.


A training course could be a scheduled group class that takes place online or in person. It might also be asynchronous training or microlearning that attendees complete at their own pace.

Although training can come in a wide variety of forms and styles, it is frequently something that a learner must choose to do and carve out time for.

Workflow learning and performance support are typically unplanned and only used when necessary. A new piece of software, a procedure they haven’t used in a while, or a new idea are all potential challenges encountered by employees. In this case, employees search for information, read or view it, and then continue with the task without missing a beat.

Workflow learning can be done in a variety of ways, but it usually consists of quick, tightly focused lessons that address typical issues that crop up at work.


In a traditional training program, the learning objectives should be focused on achieving organizational goals, addressing specific issues, and altering behavior in a certain manner.

The course’s content is what matters. Learners are expected to master a body of information or a particular set of abilities. Instructional designers must offer guidance, opportunities for practice, and a way to assess competence.

Instead of focusing on developing mastery of a subject or skill, workflow learning and performance assistance frequently aim to address an urgent issue.

For the employee, knowing where to get the material could be more crucial than learning it itself. This indicates that for instructional designers, giving discrete chunks of material in an on-demand format and providing top-notch search tools matter more than fully encapsulating a complicated topic.


Although improving performance and efficiency is a goal shared by both training and performance support, how they go about it can vary greatly.

By conveying knowledge that causes altered behavior at work, teaching a new skill or method of doing a task, or both, training frequently aims to change behavior. In the end, the learner behaves differently than they did before the training.

By automating or taking over some tasks, instead of instructing the learner how to execute them, performance assistance may increase worker productivity and efficiency.

A workflow learning tool could lead learners through an activity that isn’t done regularly, enabling them to accomplish their professions more successfully without altering their long-term habits.

However, when used repeatedly for a task, the same tool may exhibit different behavior over time as the worker becomes an expert at it by practicing.

Checklists are one type of workflow task assistance that may permanently alter behavior. The employee’s usage of the checklist is there to ensure precision and consistency.

Is it worth the investment?

The days of learning in one place and performing in another are long gone, and learning has undergone a change that allows us to contextually apply the material as we learn it.

By providing this information when it is needed, instructors help learners stay focused on the current task at hand.

Consolidating services onto a single platform is necessary for workflow learning. Moreover, it’s important to note the advantages that result from the teaching side of the equation in addition to the immediate benefit that comes from integrating learning into the workplace for employees.

Subject matter experts, instructional designers, and content managers can get almost immediate feedback on how well their content is connecting with the intended audience.

Final words

Workflow learning enables businesses to integrate ongoing training and development with worker and learner job responsibilities. The user experience has changed significantly because there are no longer separate spaces for learning and performing but rather one unified space where we can perform and learn simultaneously.