Improving Employee Performance in 2019

With 2019 just weeks away, HR organizations are evaluating the past year’s employee performance and what turning their attention to identifying what will be the most impactful employee training needs in the year ahead. The most successful organizations will continue to embrace technology to support training and produce a high-performing workforce in 2019. As technology has become increasingly embedded in our personal and professional lives, learning styles have evolved to reflect our digital world, but traditional skills like communication are still critical to success. Here are five ways to improve training and boost performance in 2019.

Align your organizational goals and drive competencies toward them

This starts with making sure that HR and the rest of the C-level stakeholders are aligned in defining what the desired outcomes are for training and how the organization will support the learning and development needs of the workforce as they work toward those outcomes. This alignment ensures ROI on the training investments and helps to build a learning culture within the organization. Part of the goal alignment process should go beyond the training needed to help employees be successful in their current roles; it must also look ahead to the professional development opportunities required to develop future leaders. Leadership development requires both an understanding of what it takes to be a leader in the organization today and an anticipation of how leadership skills may evolve as the organization grows and changes.

Focus on communication skills at all levels

While technology is changing the way we approach training, it’s still important to foster the development of skills crucial to communication in the workplace, including skills that encourage emotional intelligence, collaboration and negotiation. Younger generations of workers are often strong in the use of technology but weaker in the “soft skills” that can be significant in building a connected culture. Training can help these newer members of the workforce not only refine their communication skills but also understand how and why soft skills can be valuable to their performance. In his book, Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent, Bruce Tulgan, recognized expert on leadership and management of young people in the workplace offers 92 lessons employers can use to teach soft skills to employees.

Tailor the training to the learner, not to the content

Content-oriented training focused on what information needs to be learned or on what skills need to be developed. Learner-focused training considers the individual as the center of the training experience, treating the employee as a consumer. Training programs should be designed to mirror the various ways we absorb video content as consumers, taking cues from YouTube and Netflix suggesting new content based on recent modules completed. Learner-centric can also include ways for an employee to socially share milestones and other training experiences, a feature that appeals particularly to younger generations of workers.

Gamify your training

While employers might scoff at the idea of trivializing important workplace skills and knowledge with the rewards normally associated with video games, badgers, leaderboards, are other incentives have been successful in motivating adults in other key areas of personal development such as health and fitness. Progressive rewards and community involvement can encourage those who may be lacking motivation and drive to engage more actively with training opportunities and ultimately build more enthusiasm for professional development.

Keep it digital and mobile

In its 2018 Workplace Learning and Development Report, LinkedIn found that most employees feel held back from professional development due to lack of time. Employers who make training accessible through a variety of platforms, in classrooms, via mobile devices and on-demand, give employees more opportunities to access learning when it is convenient for them. One-third of employees prefer to train outside of work, nearly half prefer to train at their own pace, and 49% prefer to train at their point of need.

Effective performance management

Organizations that invest in training strategically enjoy the benefits of an engaged and productive workforce. Take the steps today to ensure that your 2019 professional development plans are aligned with your organizational goals and build a program that puts the learner’s experience at the center. Asure Software can be a strong partner in your organization’s performance management strategy.

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