At Entelechy, we believe that the ONLY reason for training is to improve business.
We begin by first, defining your business needs — not your training needs — and second, we clarify the performance requirements. For the organization to achieve the desired business results, people have to perform in a certain way (which is different than how they are performing today).
Once desired business results and performance requirements have been identified, the third step is to identify current performance: how employees are currently performing.
We can identify current performance by:
- Monitoring employees.
- Interviewing managers.
- Reviewing the results of employee work (cases, reports, forms, etc.).
The fourth step is to identify the gap — and the reasons for the gap — between current performance and required performance.
There are many possible reasons for the gap, each with its own “best” ways of addressing the gap, which we address in Instructional Design.
Many Tools for Increasing Performance
When we work with you to analyze the performance gap — what people aren’t doing and why they’re not doing it — we look at the five main elements that impact performance:
- Clear expectations and feedback: Sometimes the reason people aren’t performing as desired is that they didn’t know they were supposed to — expectations were never clearly set. Sometimes they may have done it as they were supposed to but no longer are doing it — they were never given feedback.
- Resources, tools, information: These are the things people need to perform. Sometimes it’s a faster computer or a job aid. Sometimes it’s information, or easier access to that information.
- Work flow design: Sometimes performance isn’t as it could be simply because the way the work is carried out could be improved. For example, reducing the number of hands involved sometimes improves performance.
- Recognition and motivation: We all work for different reasons but most of us like to be recognized for doing the work well. We become motivated to work harder. Sometimes the simplest solution to increased performance is a pat on the back.
- Skills and knowledge: Sometimes, performance can only be improved by increasing the capability of the people performing the job. Training — including instructor-led training, web-based training, computer-based training, and self-paced training — can all be effective in increasing the skills and knowledge of employees.
There’s a saying: To the hammer, everything looks like a nail. To most training companies, every problem looks like an opportunity for training. To Entelechy, training is only one of many tools available to address performance problems.
When Entelechy recommends a course of action to address identified performance gaps, we rely on what we call “blended performance solutions” to ensure effectiveness. Blended performance solutions — from Entelechy’s perspective — are solutions that address any gaps in any of the five elements impacting performance:
Let’s use a customer service center example to illustrate:
As a result of our Needs Assessment process, we conclude that product training is NOT needed. In fact, providing additional product training would be futile and frustrating.
Training IS required to reshape the perspective of the reps who believe that selling is manipulative and pushy. Training can help them see that offering products and services that may be of interest and value to the customer is, in fact, an extension of their job of helping the customer. As part of the training, we also may decide to collect and share customer stories where additional products and services were seen as a benefit to further help those reps who thought that selling was pushy and manipulative.
Additionally, we find the incentive/compensation plan needs to be investigated since it appears that the metrics (number of calls) directly and negatively impact the stated business goal.
An unknown at this point is the reps’ ability to position appropriate products; however, based on call monitoring, it appears that most of the reps could use some guidance/refresher on listening for clues, paraphrasing, positioning appropriately, checking back, and closing.
THIS is a true blended performance solution (even if we didn’t touch all five performance elements) and one that is guaranteed to be successful.
Note: Entelechy distinguishes between blended performance solutions and blended training solutions. Blended performance solutions are outlined above. Blended training solutions use an effective mix of training approaches (e.g., instructor-led training, web-based training) to provide the most effective training solution. This training solution might be one component of the overall performance solution.