Performance Improvement ConsultingHuman Performance Improvement (HPI)
How often have you seen your organization create more and better training to “fix” a problem – because training fixes everything…doesn’t it? If only.
Over time, we have discovered that there may be many variables that attribute to low and high performance alike. Human Performance Improvement (HPI) is a consulting methodology that allows us to approach performance issues as a whole within the business, rather than just a training “fix” that probably won’t fix anything.
So what is HPI?
According to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), HPI is defined as: “…the systematic process of discovering and analyzing important performance gaps, planning for future improvements in human performance, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable interventions to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions, and evaluating the financial and nonfinancial results.”
We know that performance happens at three levels:
- Organizational level
- Process level
- Individual level.
From an HPI point of view, when aiming to affect performance, we need to look at all three levels to determine where the performance issues are occurring. Once we know at what level we are working at, there’s a very effective performance-engineering methodology to help uncover and analyze the variables affecting that performance.
There are environmental supports that affect performance like:
- Data, feedback, guidance
- Tools, job aids, work process
- Incentives, pay systems, competing objectives
There are also behavioral variables that we need to consider:
- Knowledge of the individual performing & training as it relates to on-the-job performance
- Capacity & Capability to perform the job
- Motivation to do the job, working conditions, incentives
Note that training is definitely one performance variable (the Knowledge variable [see above]), but to be truly effective we must also analyze the other five supports and variables.
Sometimes we discover after analysis of the 6 supports & variables that the solution may really be training. If this is the case, we still need to position training as a process, not just an event. We want to be sure to affect all of the supports & variables that performance relies on before and after the training event.