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Improving Human Performance – Is Training Always The Solution?

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Importance Human Performance - Is Training Always The Solution?

Ignorance of all things is an evil neither terrible nor excessive, nor yet the greatest of all; but great cleverness and much learning, if they be accompanied by a bad training, are a much greater misfortune.”-Plato

Human performance is the epitome of knowledge shared and knowledge gained, where life lessons are implemented to survive in an organization. According to BusinessDictionary.com human performance is defined as the accomplishment of a given task, with agreed standard of accuracy and efficiency. So where does human performance stand in an organization? Or better yet, how is it improved in the existing criteria?

Every person, who is out there in the world (including me), trying to make a living or earning a livelihood, is constantly being judged and scrutinized, because let’s face it, no one would ever pay you just for sitting and warming your chair! So get up and perform! The world is your oyster, but the pearl doesn’t come out easily, does it? Just as you try and try to open the oyster, similarly human performance needs to be prodded and pushed, for you to be the pearl of your organization.

It’s a common notion that all performance issues can be tackled by proper training. We blindly believe that every training is good training, just because it happens to be training! Now would you play badminton to learn tennis? Jumping into training without thought, is like trying to do deep sea diving in a well! Before you even start the thought of conducting training, you need to meet your new best friend, the creator of the Front End analysis Mr. Joe Harless; trust me you need him!

Front End Analysis

So what exactly did Joe say that sends shivers down the spine of training experts? Nothing extra ordinary, just a few simple smart questions, which makes you think why couldn’t you come up with them! Before you start your training, you need to ask yourself at least six of the thirteen questions jotted down by him. First and foremost, “Do we have a problem?” Followed by, “Do we have a performance problem?” Then comes “What is the performance problem?” “What are the probable causes?” “Its constraints?” And finally addressing “What are your overall goals that you aim to achieve?”

How to improve skills with and without training?

Human performance is ideally enhanced by motivation and blended training. Motivation is something that comes from within, a drive to do better; and training without motivation is unproductive and disruptive in nature. It is best advised to have a subject matter expert, who is well versed in what he does, to teach you the dos and the don’ts you require to know. Further performance enhancement can be done with the use of job aids, be it visual or auditory and a hard backing from a support system of your organization.

Every person is unique in their own way, so learning methods also differ from person to person. Not everyone learns in a classroom, some explore, some read and some experiment.

Human performance in workplace not only depends on training, but other factors also influence human performance, such as process and procedure in a company, motivation, job aids, performance support system in place.

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