Performance Support – Do You Support Your Performers? – Part 2

In part 1, I introduced you to the five phases of performance support and a video recording example to get you thinking about embedding support into your work environment.

You’ve most likely experienced this scattered information approach, since it’s common today. Eg. Instead of going to a manual drawer, finding a manual, and then searching through it, employees go searching for electronic information scattered far and wide. There was a time when people were willing to make this scavenger hunt, but not today.


Figure 1: The benefits and characteristics of performance support also vary across the spectrum

Introducing “Targeted Performance Support”

Here is an example of a client moving up the spectrum towards what we call a “targeted performance support solution”. They are aiming to escape the chaos of scattered information.

They took their amassed job aids, FAQs, tools, templates, demos, and a broad range of learning resources, and moved them all onto a company intranet. They were somewhere between a 1 and a 2 on the PS spectrum, but they wanted to move up due to the positive effects PS could have on their organisation.

So how does targeted performance support differ? Let’s go back to a different video recording scenario. Instead of getting up off the couch and leaving your lounge room (workflow) to find the manual, you grab your laptop and log in to your account on your cable TV provider’s website. Here, you immediately find and click on a “How to” button. A functional listing of tasks appears. You click on a second link that says “Record a TV Series” and you find what you need offered in a “just enough” format starting with Steps (if you need a reminder), then Details (if it’s your first time), then Deeper Reference (if you’re an a/v geek). You can inform the household and leave website directions at the TV.

This targeted performance support moves up the spectrum from “low” or “marginal” to “tangible.” Productivity rises because employees find optimum support in their environment that provides answers in seconds.

The payoff for change

We can talk all we like about the upper phases but the reality is that most businesses and business owners are operating under a ‘scattered approach’ and using PS effectively will move your business up the spectrum. The journey pays for itself in performance and productivity gains, in savings of time and money, and in the benefits of process compliance and consistency.

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