Performance Management Training: How to Help Your Employees Succeed

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Andrew Brown ·

Sep 05, 2022

There’s no denying that employees crave training, guidance and feedback to improve their performance and advance their careers.

In fact, ​​76% of employees want opportunities for career growth. This need has grown recently in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In September 2021, 4.4MM Americans quit their jobs.

What’s driving this mass exodus?

Low pay, burnout, and you guessed it, a lack of career development opportunities.

This is why any company that wants to stay in business needs to take performance management training very seriously.  

Here's what you need to know to optimize your performance management training and get the most out of your workforce in 2022 and beyond. 

Bonus Content on Employee Training 🚀

How to Build a Better Onboarding Program [Webinar]

Creating a Learning Culture: 8 Ways to Get Everyone Excited

What’s Performance Management Training? 

Performance management training is an initiative in which employees work with their company, namely their manager, to improve their workplace skills and performance. Performance management training aims to improve performance in the short term and advance career trajectory. 

Performance management training is most often associated with one-to-one meetings and quarterly or annual reviews but is becoming increasingly tech-driven as more companies prioritize learning and development.

Why’s Performance Management Training So Important? 

There's a clear connection between training, performance management and the impact an employee has on the company.

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 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 higher profits.

How to Maximize Performance Management Training & Get the Most Out of Your Employees

So, you know the “what” and “why” of performance management training, but the more pressing question involves how to do it correctly and in a way that actually benefits your employees.

It's not as hard as you may think.

Here are 6 ways to improve your performance management training strategy in 2022: 

1. Keep Performance Management Training Exciting

Too often, employees — and sometimes, even managers — groan when they hear there’s another training or mandatory review. We’ve all been there. That’s because the old way of training has a bad rap. After all, how often have we been cooped up in a stuffy conference room for an entire day, taking notes from a bland Powerpoint presentation or sitting with our managers talking about things we already know? Too many times. 

But training doesn’t have to be boring. When it comes to performance management training, it’s important that you involve your employees and mold it to their current positions and career aspirations. Do this by using surveys and forms to understand their feelings, their pain points and what they want to improve.

You can even use these forms and feedback methods to evaluate performance training after the fact to ensure it's excited and beneficial as you hoped. 

If your training aligns with your team culture, it should excite employees. Company culture does so much to attract top talent, retain great employees, and ensure people operations are always performing at their 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?

2. Keep Performance Management Training Short and Sweet

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 or broken down into bite-sized chunks (i.e., microlearning).

Don’t waste everyone’s time by drawing out training for longer than it should, because you could be taking away from an 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 can process it.

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

  • Can I condense the training? 
  • Does the content of the training feel too short?
  • Does the training feel redundant? 
  • 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 pieces of training?
  • Do you have static content that you can put into online training?

The answers to these questions should shape your thinking about training duration and allow you to implement a program that aligns with what your employees want and need.

3. Keep the Training as Up-to-Date as Possible

Training isn’t only 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 you can put into online training?

4. Focus Everything on KPIs

Many companies struggle to execute training that actually provides positive and profitable results. To achieve the results you want, training must not only receive the information and/or skills they need, but you must also measure the training in similar ways to how an employee’s performance is measured. In other words, base the program's efficacy on how your employees are improving (or not improving).

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

  • Do my employees have a better understanding of what’s 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 skillsets within their positions? Why or why not?
  • Are new employees becoming proficient members of the team quicker than more? 
  • Is the onboarding process more efficient than before? 
  • Is employee satisfaction on the rise? 

5. Collaborate With a Third-party Consultant and Managers

Many companies rely on third-party consultants to provide this training. While it can be 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 which results you want or what kind of performance you want to see in your workplace.

This is why it’s critical for managers to collaborate with third-party consultants to fine-tune the training program to fit the needs of their employees and the 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 based on 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?

6. Make Sure it's Actually Improving Business Outcomes

Finally, you should tie the entire program to real business outcomes. 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 and how they’re impacting the greater organization.

Plus, while it might be great to have your employee learn every new skill, 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 an effort to show how that training made a difference. 

Before training, discuss the KPIs you expect. After the training, discuss and schedule goal posts 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?
  • What are the employee’s expectations of the training?

Performance Management Training: The Great Differentiator for Modern Businesses

Companies of all shapes and sizes need to reevaluate how they view their employees. The days of seeing them merely as a number — a catalyst for profit — are gone. If someone feels like they’re a cog in the machine, they’re more likely to leave. Instead, it’s imperative that you invest in performance management training that puts your employees in the best position to succeed in the here and now, but more importantly, for years into the future. No one wants to be stuck in the mud. 

Training your customers, too? Take a look at more Northpass content. 

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About the Author
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Andrew Brown

Andrew is a Content Marketing Manager. When he's not creating, you can find him watching the Buffalo Sabres, obsessing about Scandinavia or exploring NYC.

Read more from Andrew Brown

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