As more and more organisations adopt technology solutions to support performance management there are also an increasing range of options available in how to structure your performance management processes.

There is one area that I find to be incredibly useful in aligning learning and development to performance.  I would go further and say that this alignment will extend to the strategic level if you design it to do so.  The majority of performance management processes I come across are still using Key Result Areas and Key Performance Indicators as the primary means of measuring a person’s performance.  I also find a splash of behavioural indicators that are usually linked to a mission, vision and values document somewhere.

If you are not including competencies (skills) as a factor in measuring performance you are missing a vital piece to sustaining a learning organisation and one that has a broader scope in developing its people as opposed to simply measuring performance.   It is input vs. output.

The measurement of a person’s development in your organisation is a measure of a valuable input.  The measurement of key performance indicators is a measure of an output.  You cannot ignore either one.  In an era when we hear approximately 70% of workers in the United States Gallupare not engaged in their work, we may like to find ways to develop frameworks to encourage greater engagement and the benefits that accrue from it.

Start at the beginning.  Each job title in your organisation has a purpose and to meet or exceed that purpose the person must have the competencies to undertake the work.  Therefore we start at building competency frameworks at the Job Title level. People who join the organisation to assume a job title may not necessarily have all the needed competencies at the start.  Having the framework in place provides a path to achieving them.

In the performance area, the competencies achieved that are directly part of the Job Title framework are usually considered essential.   If there are gaps in achieving these essential competencies then these need to be picked up and addressed in a performance appraisal.  With an LMS or talent solution this is made much easier with data capture and automated notifications.

If you take this further and permit people to explore other learning and development opportunities then you are creating the scenario whereby a person makes themselves more valuable to your organisation and this should be linked to performance appraisals.   I like to include a large section of the Performance Appraisal that is capturing the learning undertaken by the individual [competencies achieved] and weight these results at least on par with other measures.  You can increase or decrease weightings as needed to encourage learning outcomes.

The Performance Appraisal now has a forward looking perspective.  We are acknowledging learning and development and hopefully gaining some insight from the person on how they applied their learning in their work.  A manager should also be seeking feedback on learning activities and resources during the appraisal and ensure this information is captured.  A new Development Plan can now be discussed and in most cases I encourage the employee to create their development plan first and then have it reviewed by their manager as necessary.  This ensures individual stewardship and responsibility for their career development.

If you would like to see how this can be set and structured in the DOTS LMS you are welcome to make contact with me [Brian Clark] by calling our Brisbane office or submitting a form on this website.

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