Unpacking the New World Kirkpatrick Model #4 - Is learning the answer?
Having carried out a business needs analysis and a performance needs analysis it’s now time to complete a learning needs analysis, or is it………
If you been following the previous articles, we’ve completed the business needs analysis (BNA) and the performance needs analysis (PNA) and finally we can think about a learning component. But wait is it really required? During the BNA and the PNA you’ve found out what the organisation and key stakeholders really want to see, and the behaviours that are needed to get the results. And during your analysis, you have found out that people actually do know what is required of them but for whatever reason they just aren’t doing it! It could be that the processes and systems make it too difficult or are wrong, that the organisation rewards different behaviours to the ones needed, that it’s just too difficult or people are just stuck in the old way of doing things, but they actually do have the knowledge and the ability to do it. Alternatively, how often do we see an organisation knee jerk a reaction to an issue or an incident and go ahead and re-train people as the solution to the problem when people actually do know what to do? Well as learning and performance professionals our job is to push back here and to be honest with the organisation that learning is not the solution. What we do need to do is work to implement an on-the-job performance support and accountability package in partnership with the organisation rather than carry out more learning. It is this that will get behaviours on the job happening. To know more about this package you can read the previous article on what this entails.
Of course, in some cases we will find that there is a lack of knowledge, skills, and confidence with some of our team members to do certain things that enable them to perform better. So now it is time to carry out our learning needs analysis and from this go ahead and design our learning package. Now for most learning professionals this is the part we are most familiar with, completing the design and development of learning. We can use all varieties of learning that work with the culture of our organisations. The key for me here is that we go back to our business performance analysis and our performance needs analysis and concentrate solely on delivering what is required to improve performance and to get the organisational results required. I know it myself that in the past I have designed learning to include material that I am passionate about and to “fill” learning blocks. However, what I’ve learnt is that learning is not the holy grail, performance is! So, in design and development we must concentrate on keeping the end in mind and always focussing on the desired results of the organisation and the few critical behaviours that will improve performance and subsequently lead to better results of saving or enhancing people’s lives, protecting borders, driving higher profit, saving the environment and so on, those highest-level goals of our organisations.
So we have designed a complete package of learning including our support and accoutabilty elements but before we go ahead and deliver any learning there are 2 key elements of the New World Model that we must discuss and I’ll cover these in the next blogs:
- These are making sure the program has every chance of success by addressing things that could derail it
- Making sure we have systems in place to monitor the outcomes of the learning.