Leaders spend a great deal of time creating strategies, laying out short– and long-term plans to increase market share, improve net income, or simply retain customers only to have those best-laid plans run into unseen barriers. The types of barriers range from unforeseen expenses to a lack of motivation from employees.
To uncover these hindrances to performance and deal with them effectively takes an ability to analyze factors within the organizational system. This is no easy task in the rapid-fire corporate environment most of us live in. The barriers remain hidden to us because we can’t slow down enough to reflect and consider what is getting in the way of the plans we were sure would work.
Exposing performance gaps requires a systematic approach that looks beyond the surface assumptions, such as training, pay and incentives. It is a common solution to retrain or reprimand employees who are not meeting performance expectations, but we fail to get to the real issue, which could be anything from an ineffective software program, a poor system of accountability, or a workflow that creates a bottleneck outside the control of the employee you’ve determined is a poor performer.
The fact is, identifying gaps in human performance is not simple. It takes skill and a reliable process to evaluate the multiple factors that contribute to performance gaps. A useful model is the Human Performance Technology model promoted by the International Society for Performance Improvement, which espouses ten competencies that, properly applied, identify the unseen barriers and provide a framework for performance improvement.
Illuminating and eliminating invisible performance barriers takes practice, but the benefits of following the HPI model leads to net gains, increased engagement/satisfaction, and an increasing ability to see the unseen as the organization builds a culture of evaluating the system and making smart, strategic decisions.
*To find out more about Human Performance Improvement & Technology, visit www.ispi.org
Visit www.cornerstoneglobaltps.com for more information about HPT-based consulting.