If you ask most people who are new to the field of Human Performance Improvement, most of them want to jump straight to the tools. What they don’t realize is this will often derail a Human Performance program before it gets off the ground. There are a couple of reasons why this is.
First, a lot of new HP Practitioners think Human Performance Improvement is just about the Tools. By this, we mean that the Tools are sometimes viewed as a measuring stick to which all employees must work, similar to being tardy. When this occurs, we tend to conclude a “Root Cause Analysis” once we find out which Tool was misapplied or not used and by which employee. We then censure said employee and re-train the employee on the proper use of the Tool. We can go home at night thinking we did a good job.
Secondly, and this is a symptom of the first problem, employees begin to see the Tools as another attempt by Management to place blame for failures. The Tools begin to be resented by employees, become seen as a waste of time, and lose their effectiveness as the reasons for undertaking an HP Program begin to become distant memories. This is difficult to recover from.
One thing we must all remember is that Human Performance is not just about the Tools, and the Tools do not define Human Performance. The Tools are a way to for us to bring attention and focus to a task, and they should not be applied in a way that distracts or wastes time. The Tools are just that – Tools used to complete a job or task.
We are currently working on a complete series on the common Human Performance Tools – What they are, how they work, and when they should be applied. However, a solid foundation needs to be laid prior to their application if an HP program is to be successful.
To request more information on the HP Tools or to see how we can help, please contact us.