“We should not train someone to do something differently unless we place a value on the consequence – unless we see that consequence as a valuable accomplishment….

… So what we really want to engineer is not just valuable performance but worthy performance – in which the value of the accomplishment exceeds the cost of the behavior.”

Thomas Gilbert (founder of human performance technology), Human Competence, 1978

The plain truth is that formal training alone often fails to improve on-the-job performance much less add value to the business for the following reasons:

Knowledge and skills are usually not the problem:

  • Research and field experience has shown that the employee’s knowledge and skills contribute less than 25% to on-the-job performance. Factors that have a greater impact on achieving business goals are leadership, process design, and the work environment. These are addressed more broadly in performance consulting.

Most training fails to transfer:

  • Research indicates that only about 20% of what people “learn” in training is applied on the job.

Training measurement is invalid and insufficient: Research has shown that “smile sheet” data have a very low correlation to the learners’ ability to retrieve or apply the information. Also, according to noted researcher Dr. Will Thalheimer, although post-course tests “enable us to assign grades,” test scores are not very reliable predictors of how well learners will retrieve information on the job.

Given these facts, why engage me to close gaps in knowledge and skills?

Because moving beyond common assumptions allows you to maximize impact and minimize costs by incorporating these elements:

  • Goal-driven design
  • Inform-Transform
  • Accomplishments-based curriculum development (ABCD) including job aids

Worthy Performance begins with mutual agreement on measurable business outcomes that result in a positive return on investment. It addresses deficiencies in knowledge or skills by:

  • identifying the accomplishments of a role that produce the most value for your organization
  • differentiating between the need to change behavior through training or coaching and the need to transfer
  • knowledge via job aids, knowledge bases, communities of practice, etc.