Why Behaviors Matter

Human Performance is the outcome of two inputs: Behaviors and Results.

Human Performance is the outcome of two inputs: Behaviors and Results.

HP = Behaviors + Results

Results are easy. If an action occurs, what happens?  Results are easy to identify, easy to trend, and tend to drive Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for many companies.  Results are what we refer to as lagging indicators.  Results are important, and this post is not to diminish them.  However, results are not the whole story.

What about the behavior side? Believe it or not, behaviors are at least, if not more valuable, that the results we see.  Behaviors give you a glimpse into the mind of the person and what may be going through their head as they perform a task.  Are they overly focused on a task and possibly missing a key piece of information?  Do they seem overconfident, or are they in total control of the situation.  This can only be determined by an analysis of their behaviors exhibited during a task.

Behaviors also give insight into items “below the water-line.” These are leading indicators – things such as near-misses.  Unlike results, the items below the water line are subtle.  Left unchecked, these items will eventually turn into tomorrow’s incident.


Finally, behaviors are one of the most powerful ways to understand the culture of an organization.  Does an organization condone drifting from documented standards and procedures?  Is stopping a job due to a safety concern frowned upon?  Or are managers quick to pass blame onto employees for making a mistake?

Behaviors are that important.

For more information on learning to monitor behavior or to see how we can help, please contact us.