Human Performance Improvement Can Transform Businesses

Put a good performer in a bad system, and the system will win every time. -Geary Rummler

A small business should consider the tremendous financial impact that employees will have on the organizational bottom line. Employees are one of the leading expenses for a small business and should therefore be set up to succeed based on these factors – focus, capability, time well managed, high productivity, collaborative teamwork, and high sales.

Usually, when employees are not performing well, businesses will attempt to fix a performance problem with training, a performance improvement plan, or simply letting the employee go. These common mistakes can stifle growth and become a significant cost to small businesses. Training is not a silver bullet, band-aid, or bridge to better performance unless it is delivered with a specific purpose.

Human Performance Improvement (HPI) should come into play. HPI techniques can help businesses identify their goals and enable them to cultivate their employees, develop leaders, execute business processes, and make a direct and positive impact on business outcomes and the bottom line.

Leaders need to identify the root cause of the business performance issues and provide recommendations, solutions, and tools to solve the real issue. Not being able to identify the gaps and the real cause of performance issues can be very dangerous to the health of your business.

  • It would offer significant benefit if businesses took a systems view and examined the real reasons for any deficient performance. Typically these can include; high turnover and disengaged employees?
  • Results and behaviours not delivering the standards required
  • money spent on training but there are no measurable results or positive changes in employee behaviours?
  • no business processes in place or business operating in chaos or frantic activity?

Sales figures are down”?

Lack of proper resources or other obstacles that prevent good performance

Poor incentives/no consequences for poor performance

People are the wrong for required roles i.e. they have limitations in capacity

You must have effective business processes in place to be able to discern how employees will be recruited and trained and who are willing and able to perform. Without those key elements, your business will fail. You need to precisely diagnose your issues and challenges. When you do this properly, it will inevitably lead you to examine the culture of your organisation—the immune system of your organisation. A proper culture assessment often reveals an organisation’s true DNA.

When the organisation has a clear focus, performance is well-defined, and individuals know, understand, and enjoy their roles, then performance is enhanced. Don’t be afraid to seek expertise in arriving at a precise diagnosis of your needs. Let’s discuss.

Adapted from Wanda Ganjehsani | How Human Performance Improvement Can Transform Businesses | 2019