Mind over matter – Is it training or performance enhancement?

Mind over matter – Is it training or performance enhancement?
October 7, 2019 Linda Murray
In Coaching, Executive, Leadership, Teams
blended learning

I’m very pleased to see a shift in corporate training lately. For years “training” meant going into a training room away from your normal workspace. Later it expanded to include online learning as well as formal training. We’ve looked at workplace training as a set of skills and knowledge a person needs so they can do their jobs.

Traditional Training is No Longer Working.

The problem with that approach is that people are trained according to a corporate schedule, not their own schedule. They don’t always learn what they need to, when they need it. There’s a gap between need and practice and it can make training ineffective.

There’s another problem. According to research by LinkedIn, the number one reason employees give for not engaging in workplace learning is because they don’t have the time. You probably know what it’s like to sit in a training room while your mind is on your work and worrying how you’ll catch up. No wonder that within a week of training, people forget an average of 90 percent of it. Yes, 90 PERCENT!

What does this mean for you if you’re in L&D? It means changing the way you view training. Instead of being formal units of learning, put it where it should be – a normal part of work. It’s learning for performance enhancement and because it’s directly connected to work, learners see the need to learn.

In partnership with our client, leading insurance company TAL, our Graduate Program was recently awarded the Best Graduate Development Program in the 2019 Australian HR Awards. I have no doubt that a critical component to winning that award is that the program is designed specifically to maximise the Graduates engagement, learning experiences and creating opportunities for them to embed their newfound skills.

Blended Learning and Performance Enhancement.

Blended learning calls on a mix of learning modalities including coaching, on-the-job, online and placement learning, all with the emphasis on improving the individual’s ability to do their work. It’s flexible and it happens right when the learner needs it. It becomes more practical and relevant, engages learners immediately and offers scope for them to have a successful experience straight away. Learning becomes a habit. The key is to have learning available when it’s needed.

  • For immediate answers, why not develop an online manual or even build in help buttons for technical and online work?
  • Create video instruction for the routine questions on policy or procedure?
  • Use coaching for hands-on learning and mentoring for personal and professional development?

It’s all about learning to use a range of delivery methods which suit the subject, can be accessed at the moment in time the learning is needed, and which engages learners.

What About Follow-up on Learning?

In many ways, this form of learning puts control into the learner’s hands. It gives them responsibility for their own development. The question is, how do you keep them accountable? How do you know it’s working for them?

If we see learning as performance-enhancement, then monitoring and following up should form part of the regular performance feedback process. While there are some forms of feedback such as quizzes which can be built into the learning process, and there is feedback for learners when they see what happens as they apply the information on-the-job, the best feedback comes from an external source – the coach or manager as coach. This is the validation learners will look for. Without feedback, it will be difficult for learners to feel confident about their progress.

Over to You…

What are your thoughts on blended learning and performance enhancement? How do you think coaching fits in?

If you have some experience you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it. Leave me a comment below or contact me here.

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