Is it time for performance audits?

e-mail-69907_640There’s a lot of talk about the role of L&D in performance support – which has mainly focused on moving content creation efforts from courses to resources.

But dealing with performance improvement is more than creating a lot of job aids. Sometimes, a performance problem can be solved by changing ineffective work practices rather than by unnecessary training or adding job aids (as I showed in Case Study 2).

In a blog post in 2011, Time for a workflow audit, Seth Godin recommended:

“Go find a geek. Someone who understands gmail, Outlook, Excel and other basic tools. Pay her to sit next to you for an hour and watch you work. Then say, “tell me five ways I can save an hour a day.” Whatever you need to pay for this service, it will pay for itself in a week.”

As the role of L&D moves towards a focus on performance support and improvement, rather than just reacting to performance problems, there is also a need for pro-actively supporting individuals and teams by undertaking performance audits. Helping to improve some of the little things in their workflow, can have a huge productivity impact.

(This blog post is a re-worked version of one I wrote in 2011)