It’s time the L&D industry faced some facts: Our culture’s desire for convenient, self-directed, highly accessible and instantly applicable information doesn’t just vanish when we walk through the office doors. On thecontrary, it’s the little frustrations, inconveniences, and lost time that snow-ball, eventually frustrating and alienating even the most engaged employees. If we are to further learning in the workplace and champion the needs of the businesses we support, we must move beyond training and embrace opportunities to create (or foster environments that create) new-era performance support solutions. Of course that begs the question, where do we start?

1. Understand the characteristics of a good performance support solution.

Tools that support job performance are:

  • Relevant to a specific task
  • Timely (i.e. right information at the right time)
  • Easy to access
  • Easy to use
  • Focused on need to know information

2. Analyze and synthesize old training content.

  • List and then prioritize your existing core training programs from most critical to the success of your organization to least critical.
  • Focus on critical skills to further prioritize.
  • Extract the key information and set-aside the nice-to-know stuff.

3. Transform!

Ready to get started? Here are ten transformational ideas to consider:

  1. Turn case studies into a library of skill-based practice scenarios managers can use for coaching their staff, or that staff can use to practice their skills on their own or with a colleague.
  2. Re-work existing trainer or manager-led activities into independent study exercises.
  3. Replace step/action quick-reference guides and paper job aids with quick “how to” screencasts and demos.
  4. Design hybrid tools. For example, give classroom training participants worksheets and then have them use those worksheets as the basis for designing their own job aids.
  5. Turn click and read online training into downloadable, task-oriented check-lists or action planners to help team members apply their learning.
  6. Replace bullet-riddled, text-heavy PowerPoint slides with ones that ask a question or provoke debate within the audience.  Not only does this turn a passive experience into a more interactive one, it also gives you an opportunity to collect and catalog best practice tips from your audience.
  7. Move frequently referenced documents, presentation files, or .pdf forms to a central online repository so everyone can view them as needed.
  8. Use several short audio podcasts to refresh key ideas, rather than circulate the same dated, lengthy training video.
  9. Distill wordy explanations of concepts into sleek infographics.
  10. Encourage the use of blogs and social tools for employees to share their best practice tips and advice with colleagues. Nothing sells an idea like hearing it from a successful peer!


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