How to Build Employee Proficiency and Expertise

A different approach to building employee proficiency and expertise to enhance performance in the workplace.


pexels photo 288477

Here are some different frameworks that I have found to build employee proficiency and expertise in the workplace that supports performance and practice.

The idea of Performance Support revolves around developing employee proficiency after the fundamental knowledge and skills are provided through the initial training process.

Some Performance Support functions that are being developed:

  1. Job Aids
  2. Peer-to-peer learning
  3. Functional networks
  4. Coaching
  5. Mentoring
  6. Social media tools.

There seem to be more evolving, varied, and flexible approaches to learning and development.

To paraphrase the tagline that APQC uses for their KM program goals.

Employees want learning and performance support to be: Just in Time, Just Enough, and Just for Me.

An Example of a Learning Process for You and Your Employees

Tom Gram, Vice President, Leadership and Business Solutions with Nexient Learning Inc. shared on his blog a framework for building performance support.

10 Strategies for Integrating Learning and Work (Part 1)

The first two strategies explore understanding the business need and then beginning with the third strategy, Tom begins discussing the support for building skills and proficiency.

It’s interesting that he also weaves in using the quality tools of continuous improvement.

  1. Understand The Job
  2. Link Learning To Business Processes
  3. Build A Performance Support System
  4. Build A Community Of Practice
  5. Use Social Media To Facilitate Informal Learning
  6. Implement A Continuous Improvement Framework
  7. Use Action Learning
  8. Use Organizational Learning Practices
  9. Design Jobs For Natural Learning
  10. Bring The Job To Learning

One Idea on Establishing Learning Objectives and Goals

In a benchmarking conference, I attended, sponsored by APQC, members of the Siemens Corporation shared how their learning strategies were developed from their business goals.

As the business goals were developed, three questions were asked:

  1. What new skills or expertise would be needed?
  2. What skills or expertise needed to be expanded so that they had enough of them?
  3. What skills and expertise were now so fundamental that they had to be held by most employees?

Looking at Inputs Rather Than Outputs

Charles Jennings had the following quote in a post from Wednesday, 7 April 2010, Five Barriers to Effective Learning in Organizations

The fourth barrier is the prevalence of ‘training’ mindsets. Training is an input. Performance is an output. Focusing on inputs has some, but limited, value. Focus on outputs provides much more value.

Too many of us see our L&D role as a piano teacher rather than a conductor. Certainly, a good piano teacher instills enthusiasm and a desire in her student to practice and improve, but a good conductor is focused on the performance above everything else.

Good conductors bring out the best. Great performance is not just about great skill. Skill certainly plays a part, but there are other important factors that only a focus on performance and outcomes can mine.

What behaviors best enhance performance?

How about teamwork?

What other resources need to be on hand for great performance?

What are the expectations of the audience/managers/organization?

So, exploring the many pieces mentioned above. We can weave them together to greatly enhance the development of both the employee’s and the organization’s capabilities.

Adopting some of these new ideas and methods could really accelerate growth in performance.

Tell me in the comments:

  1. What do you think?

  2. Do any of these ideas spark an idea that you might use in developing yourself or your employees?

  3. Or do you have some other ideas that have worked for you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *