It can be complex to identify professionals who are performing on average, above, or below expectations. There are important points of attention for an accurate measurement, and everything starts with well-defined metrics.
Now that you already know how ReFrame Learning plans its training and have much more clarity about the right time to invest in training and development processes, the time has come to identify who needs training.
If you still think that the whole team needs to be trained, regardless of the performance level according to their function, the initial suggestion is: reconsider. All training has direct and indirect costs, and every development effort needs to be highly optimized, aiming at the evolution of those who can perform better, not necessarily those who already deliver extra-class performance. For these talents, the approach must be different, and this will be the subject of future posts.
What needs to be addressed right away when we need to define which employees should participate in a specific training is precisely which parameters will be used to identify who is performing their duties on average, above or below expectations. What indicators will support the decisions to be taken from then on? What areas will be involved in this definition?
On this last question, the first step lies in mapping the stakeholders and, naturally, talking to the training area (be it within HR or operations) to reach other areas possibly involved.
From a practical point of view, L&D should inform what are the barriers, obstacles, and logistical challenges. But it cannot lose sight of the strategy. Therefore, the suggestion is always to pay attention to the company’s guidelines regarding human development.
From there, it’s time to involve the area that will be trained, be it customer service, sales, production, etc. Together with it, it is essential to understand what are the pains, challenges, and barriers that tend to influence the evaluation of who is performing well or poorly. Normally, four parties are involved here: operation and three levels above in hierarchical terms (management, supervision, and direction). Everything is thought so that the strategic vision of the business is never lost in the face of what is being carried out daily. It is common for misalignments to be found here, and good training should solve this as well.
Finally, it is quite common, especially in large companies, the necessity to involve areas that handle data (related to IT, usually) so that we can understand how data is generated, managed, and crossed. Only then we will be more confident when interpreting this data.
Defining KPIs in a clear and objective way
During these conversations with the areas involved, one of the central topics is the definition of the KPIs that will base the decision to invest in training and who will be part of the activities. But, how to conduct this conversation to find the “right” KPIs, which, in fact, impact employee performance?
To find good answers and paths, you need to ask powerful questions throughout this analysis process. They are the ones that will lead you towards the “treasure” in the form of well-defined and reliable KPIs, which will be the foundation of the training as a whole.
From more open and broad questions (what is the manager’s view of the team’s performance? What are the main difficulties encountered in carrying out the work?), which will make the interlocutors more comfortable discussing their perceptions, we move towards more specific and direct questions with all audiences (from what was taught in the last training, what was used and what was not useful?).
These are the questions, from the most open to the most focused, that will reveal all the distortions and shortsightedness of the team concerning what the company expects versus what happens in practice. And, thus, it is easier to map the correct attitudes, which give more results, and the actions that have harmed performance within the analyzed context.
After analyzing what needs to be done (and what needs to be left undone) so that all areas and hierarchical levels are aligned, it’s time to cross all this with the performance data obtained and previously defined.
This data collection and analysis needs to consider the qualitative and quantitative dimensions, taking into account the different contexts discovered throughout all the conversations. Eventually, there will be much clarity and security to define the public that should or should not participate in the training activities in question.