Successful companies view their preparation of organizational strategies and operational plans, their formulation of budgets and their monitoring actual performance against planned performance as a critical investment in their capability to compete effectively in the marketplace.
When an organization develops a product or service it spends a great deal of effort on forecasting demand, formulating detailed strategic and operational plans, budgeting, and monitoring planned and actual outcomes.
Any organization should handle its training in exactly the same way, investing the same kind of effort in forecasting demand, formulating detailed strategic and operational plans, budgeting and monitoring actual outcomes against those planned. The same processes are needed for the development of people as are needed for developing products and services.
A performance-linked learning system focuses each team on learning that is of the highest priority for the performance of the organization and the teams within it. This is achieved by ensuring that the team’s values, vision, and mission reflect the values, vision, and mission of the organization. Team outputs, performance measures, and targets are then established within this framework, and feedback systems are put in place. Only then can training be provided – training which meets the specific performance needs of the team because it is developed as a response to the question, Who in the team needs which competencies, and in what order, for the team to achieve its targets?
When the performance of the organization is the guiding focus, learning can purposefully increase the overall performance of the organization as well as satisfy individual learning needs.
As the team leader is responsible for the team’s performance, and as it is estimated that 90% of a team member’s development takes place on the job, then every line manager or team leader is a de facto training manager, also:
- Team leaders know their people, the job and the work situation.
- Team leaders know what the real problems are – what tasks are being performed incorrectly, what knowledge is lacking, what attitudes exist.
- Team leaders can model performance all day long.
By contrast, in off-the-job training:
- Trainers know trainees, the job and the work situation only superficially.
- Trainers have less information on the cause of problems.
- Trainers can only model performance in a simulated situation such as a classroom.
While full-time, professional trainers can provide valuable assistance in developing training strategies, managing specialist training problems and coordinating the system, even the best training expert cannot match the team leader’s on-the-job experience, knowledge of the work situation and knowledge of the team.
Team leaders are the key to successful organizational learning. Not only are they closest to the performance needs of their team members, but team members generally listen to and respect their leaders. Team leaders have the greatest potential to impact on team performance by constantly modeling the skills they require from their team. This is the best way of transferring desired behaviors through an organization, to the levels where change really counts.
See our Performance-linked Learning publication for more on the above.
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- Performance Measures Applied
- Performance Linked Communication
- Success Through Team Performance
- Performance Linked Learning
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