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Ask An Expert: How to Use Performance Mapping to Improve Employee Training and Development

Get tips used by instructional designers to connect employee behaviors with desired outcomes, and develop better learning and training measurement in the process.

Is your organization using the performance mapping process as a first step to develop and update your employee training and development programs? If not, your team is missing opportunities to:

  • Increase your learning and development (L&D) team’s ability to build better training programs
  • Improve overall learning outcomes
  • Support greater employee productivity
  • Develop measurement processes that show the ROI of your training

So, how do we define performance mapping? Most simply explained, performance mapping is the process by which an organization identifies the necessary employee behaviors and skills (performance), and then connects the dots with the behavioral outcomes and acquisition of skills (the training) needed to reach the desired objectives.

For example, does your team have a skills matrix outlined for employee roles within the company? That’s a first step toward performance mapping. That’s the kind of information that should be the basis for training development.

If you’re not sure how to determine the skills needed, you can review both:

  1. Observable employee behaviors and steps within a given process
  2. Skills needed, as reported by both employees and management

You may also glean insights from data gathered from your existing learning management systems (LMS) if you have them, or user data collected from internal systems. These can include completion rates of digital learning courses, for example. You might also review productivity numbers from individuals or a department, for comparison and analysis. Customer service complaints is another metric. So are numbers of errors and time spent on a process.

You could also use assessments and surveys. It’s a fairly straightforward process to test for skills. You should also ask employees for feedback, and gather input on employee confidence. Your team wants to improve and will often provide reliable, valuable insights into the skills they would like to have training on to be more successful in their role.

Once you have documented skill sets and identified needed performance steps, you should develop training based on those needs. Later, you can measure performance before and after training to take measurement of the effectiveness of your training. Those number will help you not only to show ROI, but will also provide valuable data on where you can improve your training offerings to account for less than desirable outcomes.

Moreover, you can use the data to identify segments or modules of a training program that need to be updated. This will save you long term in investment of time and money, as you’re able to drill down on the best means to improve individual training modules – rather than starting over with a redesign from scratch.

(As part of the process to update your training initiatives, you might also want to use a needs analysis. You can learn more about what is involved and how to conduct your needs analysis here.)

Need more information? AllenComm CEO Ron Zamir offered insights into the subject of the value of the performance mapping process in a recent Forbes article, which you can find here.

We also encourage you to contact a training consultant to provide support to your internal learning and development team, if needed. Performance mapping is a valuable resource and can save money and time overall.