A Walk on the Human Performance Side Part I

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1 A Walk n the Human Perfrmance Side Part I Perfrmance Architects have a license t snp. We are in the business f supprting ur client rganizatins in their quest fr results that meet r exceed gals. We accmplish this by pking ur nses int all aspects f hw emplyees perfrm their jbs t learn hw they cntribute t thse gals. We uncver the nuances f hw wrk gets dne and can then identify where and hw changes culd be made t imprve all the elements f the wrk effrt. When a client finds that a prcess is prblematic, a prcess expert usually investigates. The expert dismantles the prblem prcess, makes adjustments t fix what is nt wrking, and ften adds additinal prcesses n tp f it. Frequently, despite the expert s best effrts, the perfrmance issue remains. With a fcus n the prcess itself and n tls fr explring hw ther cmpnents f the wrk envirnment might be sabtaging success, the prcess expert is caught in a frustrating cycle f cause and effect with n clear way ut. Often, it is nt the prcess itself that is brken but ther factrs that impact the individual wrker. Other factrs might include challenges within the wrk grup, the practices f the wrker, r aspects f the wrkplace that create perfrmance issues and cause results t fall shrt f expectatins. Intrducing a Three-Part Series With this editin f ur Clumn, we begin a three-part series t explre mdels and tls t help prcess experts with the human perfrmance side f wrk. Each Clumn in this series will walk thrugh human perfrmance issues at a different rganizatinal level: Wrker/Individual/Team Wrk/Prcess Wrkplace/Organizatin We will discuss typical perfrmance issues and pprtunities fr each level. Then we will share an apprpriate mdel r tl t enable prcess experts t identify the perfrmance issue and respnd t it. Finally, we will share a success stry in which the featured tl r mdel made a significant difference in rganizatinal results. 1

2 The Wrker/Individual/Team Level At the Wrker/Individual/Team Level, Perfrmance Architects may investigate hw individuals perfrm a particular jb, the dynamics f a department f emplyees with varied respnsibilities, r perfrmance issues and pprtunities within a specific prject team. Typical Perfrmance Issues at The Wrker Level We are typically asked t address Wrker Level perfrmance issues like: A drp in individual wrk utput levels Increased errrs and the need fr re-wrk Failure t meet sales gals Incnsistent use f required safety practices Often, when perfrmance is belw standard, management assumes that emplyees need sme training t imprve their wrk results. T slve ther perfrmance issues described abve, managers typically ask fr training specific t the wrk t be perfrmed. Unfrtunately, at this pint, training wuld be a prescriptin fr a prblem we haven t yet diagnsed.if we were t respnd with a training slutin withut further investigatin, we wuld want t be sure ur medical malpractice premiums were paid up. The Perfrmance Architect s perative respnse t a request fr training is, Yes, and first let s take a lk at all aspects f the wrk t understand hw it is perfrmed and what challenges may exist fr this individual r team. While there may, indeed, be a need fr training, it is mre likely that the cause f pr perfrmance is smething else. Fr training t be part f a slutin, we want t be sure that the emplyees dn t knw hw t d the wrk. If they used t d it well, r if they were trained t d it in the past, the cause f their pr perfrmance will lie elsewhere. The gd news is that mst perfrmance imprvement slutins are cheaper and faster t implement than training. What we need nw is a cnstruct fr explring the perfrmance issue r pprtunity. There are a number f effective mdels and tls that can help. We share ne here that has a prven track recrd f effectiveness: a diagnstic tl called the Perfrmance Map. The Perfrmance Map The Perfrmance Map is easy t understand and use. It s fast, t. Rger develped it because he needed an easy way t talk with clients abut slutins fr perfrmance issues ther than training. Because the Map is visual, clients can quickly see the variables f perfrmance. With its brad fcus, the Map supprts ur preferred apprach: Invlve the client in diagnsing the perfrmance issue Set the client s expectatin that we will deliver a Ttal Perfrmance System that may r may nt include training Mve ur thinking frm designing training t designing a Ttal Perfrmance System We invlve the client early in ur investigative prcess because this tl demnstrates very clearly why training may nt be the best slutin t a perfrmance issue. It helps the client t wn the investigatin and the slutin that will fllw. The Map is a diagnstic tl with a simple grid frmat that invites clients t pick up a pen and engage. 2

3 Perfrmance Map TM 10 9 Mtivatin "why" Envirnment "where" Culture Plicies Cmpetence Skills Knwledge Abilities Feedback Cnsequences Cntingencies Incentives Cmpensatin Career Develpment Caching Structure "what" Missin Strategies Gals/Objectives Functins Tasks Recruitment Selectin Organizatin Design Team Building Physical Layut Wrk Flw Tls Resurces External Issues Vigilance Ergnmics Persnal Prblems Learning "hw" Infrmatin Cmmunicatin Training Jb Aids Clinic Mentring Wrkshp On-the-Jb Experiences Cntinuus Imprvement V i s i n V a l u e s B e l i e f s M a n a g e m e n t P r a c t i c e s Prcedures Stries Legends Crprate Identity Status Pwer Cnfidence Accmplishments Behavir Attitude Cntributin Figure 1. Perfrmance Map Rger Addisn, The Grid The fur quadrants categrize the pssible drivers f perfrmance and identify typical elements t cnsider: Structure shws the what f the rganizatin, r its fundatin Mtivatin is the why, as in why d emplyees want/nt want t perfrm their jbs well Envirnment is the where, and includes all the external cnditins that affect hw the rganizatin grws and develps Learning describes hw emplyees gain prficiency in particular skills and knwledge The nrth-suth axis cnsiders emplyee Cmpetence n a scale f 0 (lw) t 10 (high). The east-west axis reflects the emplyee s Cnfidence in being able t d the jb, als n a 0 t 10 scale. 3

4 Using the Perfrmance Map Begin by meeting with yur client t identify the emplyee(s) whse perfrmance is nt meeting standards, has deterirated, r is therwise cause fr cncern. Then: Help yur client evaluate the Cmpetence f the emplyee(s) by asking a questin such as, What critical skills must emplyees have t perfrm the jb successfully? Ask yur client t rate the emplyee s cmpetence n a 0 (n skills r knwledge) t 10 (highly skilled and knwledgeable) scale. Determine the emplyee s Cnfidence level next. Explre with yur client examples f accmplishments, behavirs, attitudes, cmmitments, and cntributins made by the emplyee. Yu might say smething like, Tell me abut yur emplyee s attitude tward this jb. Again, ask yur client t rate the perfrmer(s) frm 0 (the manager has n cnfidence in the emplyee) t 10 (the manager has cmplete cnfidence in the emplyee). It is gd practice t have the same cnversatin with the perfrmers t determine their views f their wrk. Cnflicting respnses ften pint t ther issues that are affecting perfrmance. Mark the levels fr Cmpetence and Cnfidence n the grid and draw lines t cnnect the tw. Which quadrant hlds the pint f intersectin? With this infrmatin, yu can diagnse the mst cmmn causes f perfrmance issues and prescribe ne r mre pssible slutins. Fr example, in the Envirnment quadrant, bstacles t perfrmance may cme frm inadequate tls and materials, prly designed wrkflw, r individual emplyees struggling with persnal prblems. Regardless f the quadrant yu fcus n, be sure t cnsider the ther three. Yu are wrking in a perfrmance system that is part f the larger system f the rganizatin. Actins yu take in ne area will affect thers. Fr example, if yu identify the Learning quadrant as the surce f the perfrmance issue, and the emplyee in questin is cnfident but lacking in skills and knwledge, it will be imprtant that the manager creates an envirnment in which that emplyee can perfrm at a high level. Did yu ntice that the rganizatin s Culture is represented in the upper right f the Perfrmance Map? Cnsider hw the slutins yu suggest will fit with the way the rganizatin perates. A terrific perfrmance imprvement slutin fr ne cmpany may be a pr fit at anther because the tw cultures are different. Remember, culture rules! Success Stry Sme years ag we were Perfrmance Architects at a large financial rganizatin. A majr initiative at that time was t prvide extrardinary custmer service. Our leadership saw service as ne way the cmpany culd distinguish itself in the marketplace. Accrdingly, we were asked t develp service training t give custmer-facing emplyees the skills t prvide exceptinal service. Rather than respnd with a custmer service training prgram, we met with the requesting executive with a cpy f the Perfrmance Map and extra pencils. We talked abut the needs she saw and then asked the cmpetency questin. Our executive said that the custmer facing emplyees were highly cmpetent, tk a pencil, and marked the nrth-suth axis between 9 and 10. Her respnse t the cnfidence questin was a much lwer scre, abut a 4, and she marked that n the Map as well. When she cnnected her marks, she saw that the perfrmance issue she described was in the Mtivatin quadrant. Our subsequent discussin explred the: 4

5 Quality and frequency f the feedback emplyees received n their perfrmance Caching, if any, prvided t enhance perfrmance Incentives in place, r nt, fr frnt-line emplyees Cmpensatin prgram and hw it applied t these emplyees Career develpment pprtunities fr service emplyees We were able t help ur client see that service skills training was nt likely t help with the service initiative. Instead, we created the fundatin fr a service culture by cnstructing a Ttal Perfrmance System cmpsed f imprvements frm the list abve. The rganizatin was able t successfully use the resulting exceptinal custmer service as a cmpetitive advantage. Tips fr Success With The Perfrmance Map Use the Perfrmance Map t identify bstacles t perfrmance ther than, r in additin t, skill and knwledge deficiencies at the Wrker/Individual Team level. Take a systemic view as yu and yur clients explre the issues and pprtunities fr imprved perfrmance. Help them see that perfrmance imprvement is a prduct f the alignment f the Wrker (peple), the Wrk (prcesses and practices), and the Wrkplace (enterprise). In ur experience, mst situatins have a finite cause that can be reslved with ne r mre slutins. The Perfrmance Map is a tl that can pinpint that cause. Next: The Wrk/Prcess Level Jin us when next Clumn cntinues ur Human Perfrmance walk with an investigatin f perfrmance imprvement pprtunities at the Wrk/Prcess level. BPTrends Linkedin Discussin Grup We recently created a BPTrends Discussin Grup n Linkedin t allw ur members, readers and friends t freely exchange ideas n a wide variety f BPM related tpics. We encurage yu t initiate a new discussin n this publicatin r n ther BPM related tpics f interest t yu, r t cntribute t existing discussins. G t Linkedin and jin the BPTrends Discussin Grup. 5

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