A recent conversation with our candidate manager Nic Peacocke gave me a lot to think about after she explained how she found it necessary to take each of her children’s needs into consideration when providing homeschooling during the lockdown. 

All their routines had been tipped upside down overnight and they needed to learn how to do things differently. While everyone in the family has proved resilient, Nic gained insights into the importance of recognising how much things had changed and how different people need different kinds of support. 

Avoid one-size-fits-all support

Nic’s observations got me to thinking how this applies to adult learners.

Lockdown conditions are changing and it’s clear that many people’s needs, and many organisations’ needs, have also changed. Our workshops and other offerings therefore will need to be tailored accordingly. 

L&D professionals everywhere will be in a similar situation as organisations and their people find they need support to adjust to the ‘new normal’. Now, more than ever, it’s vital to learn from the learners rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to training.

The power of performance consulting

Performance consulting is a robust, data-driven process that will be very helpful when making the case for new interventions such as the ones we are likely to be faced with over the coming months. Most importantly, it is based on the identified needs of learners and the organisations they work for, thus providing strong foundations for tailored support that gets great results.

The steps I have outlined below provide helpful guidance, particularly if you are asked to create the dreaded one-size-fits-all training or support programme!

Performance consulting in seven steps

  1. Find the real problem: Training is often used to fix something that isn’t working. Take time to explore what the problem really is, rather than just focusing on the symptoms. 
  2. Work out what good looks like: Identify what the ideal outcome is and why that is important. Remember to talk to those affected by the situation, to understand their needs.
  3. Find the cause: Now look into what’s going on and what’s at the root of it. Gather this information before starting work on solutions.
  4. Find solutions: Now is the time to propose and agree solutions and delivery timeframes.
  5. Measure impact: You already know what success looks like, but how will you measure the difference between now and then? Establish and agree how to measure the intended changes.
  6. Plan and deliver: It’s finally time to plan and deliver the proposed support. Having done the groundwork means you can be confident that your intervention will meet the identified needs.
  7. Show impact: This part of the process is super-satisfying; it’s where you map your success and report back to stakeholders.

Moving forward

As we start to emerge from lockdown, organisations are going to need to adapt to all kinds of changes. Learning from learners presents great opportunities for L&D professionals to prove their worth while helping to smooth the way forward for organisations and their people.

Find out more about how to use performance consulting in this guest post from Paul Matthews, and this article in HR Magazine

Contact us to find out more about performance consulting.