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Key performance analysis is unlike ordinary training needs analysis in a number of important respects. Training needs analysis tends to look back and identify skill shortfalls. Key performance analysis looks forward to identify training needs that are linked to operational results. This involves a seven step process which involves looking at the following questions:
People tend to think that developing people is just about adding something to them - new knowledge, new skills, new attitudes, etc. The thinking behind this is flawed: 'You’ve got a two and if you add two more you’ll get a four'. Unfortunately, people aren’t numbers, and we may have to subtract something before you can get the sum right.
Nancy Friday, an American writer on family relations, tells a story about a man married to a woman who always cuts the Sunday roast into two parts before she puts it into the roasting tray. He asks her why and she says that she’s not sure, but that her mother always did it that way. The man, curious, goes to the mother, who can’t remember but was sure that her mother did it that way. The man then visits the grandmother, and asks her why she did it. The grandmother replies that she had only had a small roasting tin when she was younger!
In a small organisation, or a department within a larger one, you are likely to develop people informally on a regular basis. It can help you to consider what methods are available to develop employees. Then, integrate these into an effective overall developmental plan which links into the objectives which you have defined by using key performance analysis. Development can be achieved through four main processes:
You can develop employees informally through a number of ways:
communication - changes in knowledge can develop people. Regular bulletins, team briefings, meetings, etc will help develop employee knowledge;
delegation - delegation should be a developmental activity;
project work or assignments - giving someone a clearly defined project to carry through can pay dividends in development; and,
One-to-one training is perhaps the most common sort of training in smaller organisations. It can be effective if carried out properly. However, It is important to avoid the production line syndrome. This occurs when a new worker is given five minutes of instruction on working on a fast-moving production line and told, 'Now you do it and you’ll soon get the hang of it'. The unfortunate employee is required to assemble unfamiliar objects passing by at speed having only just arrived in a new setting and where the information processing load is fairly high already, ie meeting new people, finding their way around, discovering the rules of the organisation, etc.
When you don’t have time to train, you can delegate the training task to someone else - a colleague or a peer. Employees tend to listen more carefully to other employees - after all, they see them all the time whereas they may see the manager only now and then.
Another advantage is the 'stickability' of the training. Training is associated in learners’ minds with the trainer. If the learner is in constant contact with the trainer, they are more likely to find the learning is constantly reinforced.
Group training is generally perceived as the only form of training, because of our early classroom experiences. Group training has a lot in common with presentation. If you marry the principles of employee learning to the skills of presentation, you will need to take control of the session through effective planning and to encourage activity, challenge and participation in the group that you are training.
Once you have actually carried out the training, the final step is to evaluate it. Training without effective evaluation is worthless. Evaluation is necessary for two main reasons. The first of these is that evaluation will give you feedback on the effectiveness of your training.
Think back to the worst teacher that you ever had. They might have talked to class after class of children, five days a week for 30 years, never changing their style or material, ignoring their pupils' needs and judging their performance solely on exam results.