Redbean Learning Solutions - Learning and performance in an organisational context can be incredibly subjective. Not knowing how well any learning program is going to achieve its business objectives makes employers anxious. Their response to this anxiety is typically to prescribe authoritive training regimes that have the structure of; tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em, tell ‘em and then tell ‘em what you told ‘em. Then do lots of assessment to ‘prove’ learning took place.
There is a smarter way. Benchmarking your learning and performance provides not only a valuable resource for current and future comparison but also a revealing and enlightening insight into both your learning programs and employee performance. Knowing the causes and conditions that effect success or poor performance in your organisation is invaluable business intelligence that few companies possess.
Benchmarking, whether by survey, testing, interview or observation, is usually a win-win way of asking employees how they are doing and what would help them do better.Yet done poorly it can dumb down results fooling managers into thinking that it is just a ‘training’ problem. Providing yet another training course to improve their attitude will usually just piss them off. There’s no other way to say it! Research has shown that up to 60% of staff are only partially engaged and a whopping 15% are actively dis-engaged from their work. Now that is a lot of money you are paying to have people push a mouse around their desk all day.
Hence the first part of benchmarking is to ask about attitudes before trying to measure the learning and performance behaviours - activity, aptitude and application. Attitudes may be good or poor for all sorts of reasons which training either had no effect on, or has no hope of fixing. And guess what? If people’s attitude is either good or bad then their learning and performance will follow suit. But you don’t need me to tell you that. Just ask HR.
Unfortunately, even in small HR departments the people who measure attitude, as an element of performance, rarely talk to the people who design, develop and deliver learning programs. And both groups are often guessing as to which causes good or bad outcomes. Benchmarking learning and performance, thoroughly, often and together, is the only way to gain insight into what works and why, and perhaps provide that edge your competitors don’t have.