ATD Blog

Creating a Learning Journey That Improves Employee Performance

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Many employees want to improve their performance in the workplace as well as in their careers, and they seek to become better all around. To assist them in their personal and professional development, your organization can establish effective learning journeys.

What Is a Learning Journey?

A learning journey is a series of formal and informal training programs that ingrain new knowledge, build on existing skills, and change the behavior of employees through personalized content.

The learning journey facilitates behavior changes to better align employees with their organization’s business goals. Leaders and managers are responsible for the performance and productivity of each member of the team, which makes it essential that each employee has a growth plan that meets the needs of the team and the organization. Having effective learning journeys established ensures the performance and productivity of the organization.

Learning journeys make team members better at their respective positions as they acquire new skills and become proficient in their areas of expertise. Organizations benefit from this learning intervention with a cohort prepared for future challenges that continues to strive for improvement.

Encourage Continuous Learning

Learning is a continuous process, not a one-time occurrence such as a webinar or module. Because a successful learning journey depends on employee engagement, the objectives and goals must focus on the individual—their needs, desires, and constraints.


Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each employee relative to their own and the organization’s goals and priorities. Leaders and managers meet with each team member to discuss their professional development and career goals, build awareness of the learning journey, and create different techniques to support the learning process. Along with stakeholder feedback and buy-in, the goals and objectives of an employee’s learning journey should align with the organization’s mission.

Invest in Training and Mentoring

Let employees embarking on a learning journey know that leaders and managers support the learning process through coaching, mentoring, listening, and availability. If the individual training needs aren’t met within the organization, bring in external resources.

Ensure that those on a learning journey understand their career paths and motivations. Self-motivated individuals want to learn a new skill to gain knowledge. For employees who need additional motivation, set up a progress reward system to encourage them to learn.


Set Up Learning Milestones

Establish checkpoints for the team to ensure that every individual completes their training on a timely basis. Provide positive reminders to individuals to continue their learning journeys.

Regularly meet with employees to discuss their progress and to have a place for the individual to apply their new knowledge and skill. Also offer employees additional informal training to enhance their new craft. As teams progress on their learning journeys, transitioning the new behaviors into practice ensures employees fully understand what they’ve learned and how it affects the organization.

A successful learning journey is beneficial for the employee and the organization to meet the challenges of the rapid changes taking place worldwide. Additionally, learning journeys build trust and create collaboration among team members, growing productivity and performance, increasing employee retention, and delivering lasting results.

Additional Resources

About the Author

Dr. David Marshall is 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.

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What if the learning journey was the entire team learning how improve serving customers profitably? Companies who engage employees around the noble cause of serving customers profitably outperform their competitors. This is not just my opinion. This Inc article shares research on hundreds of companies that show how partnering with employees to serve customers drives superior results:
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