“We will help our learners achieve performance excellence; enabling them to have improved abilities, skills, confidence, and readiness to perform.”
This principle closely relates to principle number 3 which states we need to tie learning to individual performance and organizational goals. In professional organizations, the goal of learning is performance improvement, which means a change in behavior. Doing something differently or doing something else which is more effective. In my previous post on prinicple number two, I already wrote about the approaches of Bob Mosher, Conrad Gottfredson and Clark Quinn. The essence of what they say is that the most effective learning takes place in the workplace, at the moment of need. I can’t add much to that.
I attended the ASTD ICE conference in Washington DC which gave me some new insights on this topic. It is not only a question of how to change the behavior of an employee, but it is of course also about what is most effective. Charles Jennings (see my full session report) mentioned in his presentation a survey that said: Improving the learning function can result in a performance improvement of 4%, improving the quality of middle management can result in a performance increase of 20%. And this was clearly a trend at the conference. I never saw so many presentations and expo booths on ‘Leadership development’. The assumption is that change is driven by middle management, so if you facilitate them, they will drive the change into your organization. Interesting, because we are talking more about the personal development of middle management with the goal to enable them to drive the change in the organization. This also means they are the group of employees that can frustrate change. So skilling them, motivating them and taking them along on the path of change is crucial for success.
Making the most out of your middle management
I found this post which drives home the importance of bringing middle management along. “The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) (www.shrm.org) recently released the annual “Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement” research report, which found that employees rated their relationship with their immediate supervisor more important to job satisfaction than either compensation or benefits. Ensuring that middle managers are on board with the company mission and vision plans will likely result in their subordinates achieving high levels of job satisfaction and engagement – a key contributor to business success.”
See the overview article for other published posts of this series.