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How to Improve Performance Management Through Training

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Employees crave guidance from their managers in order to improve their workplace performance. Feedback and goal-setting are two examples of guidance that managers can provide their employees.

 

But training employees in performance management teaches them how they are going to be assessed. This training can teach them what to expect in terms of feedback and also guide them towards tangible goals to develop their professional skill set.

 

There is a clear connection between training and performance management. Training can help improve performance management in your workplace. Training gives employees a framework of how their job duties and tasks should be completed, and, most importantly, what their managers are looking for. It centralizes knowledge in the workplace.

 

Investing in training can be extremely rewarding to the entire business, including to its clients and customers. There are several benefits to training in a performance management lens, including lower employee turnover, higher employee productivity, higher customer satisfaction, and likewise - higher profits.

 

Here are six things to look for in an effective training program.

Training should excite employees.

excited-employee

Too often, employees—and sometimes, even managers alike—groan when they hear there is another training schedule, especially if is mandatory. That’s because training often has a bad reputation. After all, how many times have we been cooped up in a stuffy conference room for an entire day, taking notes from a bland Powerpoint presentation?

 

But training doesn’t have to be boring. When it comes to performance management training, employees should be involved with how to apply the training to their current positions. They should leave with actionable steps on how to maximize their workflows to benefit the whole team. 

 

If your training aligns to your team culture, it should get employees excited. Company culture does so much to attract top talent, retain great employees, and ensure people operations are always performing at its best.

 

If you aren’t sure if your training is boring, consider the following questions:

 

  • If you were an employee receiving this training, would you be uninterested and disengaged?
  • If you were an employee with tons of work to return to after the training, would you feel this training was wasting your time?
  • If you were an employee who received similar training before, would they feel the information is redundant and their attendance was unnecessary?

Training should be as long or as short as you need it to be.

happy-employees-training

Too often, companies block out entire days and weeks dedicated to training. While many programs require a lot of time, much of the content in training can be easily wrapped up and summarized.

 

Don’t waste everyone’s time by drawing out training for longer than it needs to be, because you could be taking away from employee’s work time and therefore, company profit. But at the same time, you don’t want to speed through the material faster than employees are able to process it.

 

If you’re curious if your training is just the right amount of time, think about:

 

  • Can the content of the training be condensed?
  • Does the content of the training feel too short or that it needs to be expanded?
  • If you were an employee with working waiting at their desk, would you feel this training would be redundant and unnecessary?
  • Could this information also be consumed by an employee individually? Does it require a group to process?
  • Will this material be relevant to employees who aren’t new?
  • Does this material provide a new context or practicality than those in prior trainings?
  • Do you have static content that can but put into online training?

Training should be updated with the latest information.

updating-training-materials

Training isn’t always for new employees. Even those who you have been managing for years are hungry for new ways to improve their performance.

 

After all, companies evolve and develop over time, so performance management should too. Therefore, training materials should be updated with new information to adapt to the changing office climate and processes.

 

Think about the following when it comes to updating training material:

 

  • Will this material be relevant to employees who aren’t new?
  • Does this material provide a new context or practicality than those in prior trainings?
  • Do you have static content that can but put into online training?

Training should be measured, just like employee performance.

result-focused-training-min

Many companies struggle to execute training that actually provides positive, profitable results. To achieve the results you want, training must not only receive the information and/or skills they need, but training must also be measured in similar ways to how an employee’s performance is measured. In other words, your training must be measured in terms of how much it improves employee performance (or not).

 

When it comes to performance management training and its effectiveness, ask yourself the following questions:

 

  • Do my employees have a better understanding of what is expected of them? Why or why not?
  • Do my employees have a better understanding of their job duties and tasks? Why or why not?
  • Do my employees have a better understanding of how to receive and give feedback? Why or why not?
  • Do my employees have a better understanding of how to develop their skill sets within their positions? Why or why not?

Training should be a collaboration between a third-party consultant and managers.

on-demand-learning-platform-min

Many companies rely on third-party consultants to provide this training. While it can be incredibly helpful to have an unbiased perspective that can look into your company’s performance management, that perspective can be totally useless if it doesn’t understand what results you want or what kind of performance you want to see in your workplace.

 

This is why it is critical for managers to collaborate with third-party consultants to fine-tune trainings to fit the needs of their employees and overall organization.

 

Some questions to think about when it comes to collaboration:

 

  • Does this training introduce new concepts, or re-introduce former concepts in innovative ways?
  • Can this training be assessed in terms of how well or poorly it impacted employees’ performance?
  • Does this training fit the needs of my organization and how employees can meet them?
  • When do you expect to see returns on investing in training?
  • What are the manager’s expectations of the training effects?
  • What are the employee’s expectations of the training effects?
  • How will this new business outcome affect the whole company?

Training should improve a business outcome.

content-matrix-onboarding

Finally, training should be directly related to a business outcome. It’s all very well to teach employees new skills or adjust to new software, but those skills and software should be directly related to their work.

 

Plus, while it might be great to have your employee learn every new skill in the business, it’s important that they learn skills that can work in your business. It’s great to be certified in a certain aspect of work, but if your company is pivoting away from that product or industry, it’s important to think about the return on investment such training can have.

 

Similarly, when your employees do learn skills that affect the business, make the effort to show how that training made a difference. Before training, discuss the KPIs you expect based on their new skill. After the training, discuss and schedule goals posts that that you and your employee expect them to hit, based on their new skills.

 

Questions to discuss when measuring business outcomes of training:

 

  • When do you expect to see returns on investing in training?
  • What are the manager’s expectations of the training effects?
  • What are the employee’s expectations of the training effects?
  • How will this new business outcome affect the whole company?

 

Performance management trainings should be exciting, as long or as short as it needs to be, updated with the latest information, measured, and also a collaboration. If the training hits all five traits, your team will be on the way to having elevated performance. 

 

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About the Author

Sulagna Misra is a Content Marketing Manager at Lattice, a people management tool that helps companies continuously align, grow, and engage their employees. Lattice makes it easy to launch 360 reviews, share and gather ongoing feedback, facilitate 1:1s, implement a public praise system, and setup goal tracking across the company.

About the Author

Sulagna Misra is a Content Marketing Manager at Lattice, a people management tool that helps companies continuously align, grow, and engage their employees. Lattice makes it easy to launch 360 reviews, share and gather ongoing feedback, facilitate 1:1s, implement a public praise system, and setup goal tracking across the company.