Shirley J. Caruso, Ed.D.
Identification of performance behaviors required of employees to perform their jobs is accomplished by interviewing or observing employees in action. Once a specific performance behavior is identified, it is further analyzed to identify the needs of clients.
The steps in identifying performance behaviors are as follows:
- identify the discrepancy in performance (what performance is presently taking place and what is the desired performance);
- determine if the discrepancy is worth pursuing (will it affect costs);
- determine if the discrepancy is due to lack of skill (could it be performed if their lives depended on it?);
- determine whether it was performed in the past (are employees capable of performing);
- is it frequently used (maybe a refresher course is needed);
- can the job be made easier (by adopting a new method or adding a tool);
- do employees have the know how (is lack of training the issue);
- is performance punished (are employees purposely avoiding the desired performance due to some sort of detrimental outcome);
- is the lack of job performance rewarded (do employees enjoy the same result regardless of their efforts?);
- does it matter how the job is performed (are the end rewards the same either way?);
- are there any obstacles preventing job performance (inadequate resources such as a telephone for a telemarketer);
- are there limits on possible solutions (are the employees incapable of performing or is there something preventing a solution such as a union contract).
Data gathered is reviewed for the purpose of determining the consequences of the performance related to the information obtained. This information can then be organized and presented to clients.
If the human resource development (HRD) professional chooses the proper means for gathering information, analyzing the information becomes a much easier process.
Conducting Informal Discussions with Clients
An informal meeting with the client prior to presenting a final report provides an opportunity to share unofficial information, rouses suggestions of how the final report should be presented, and allows for discussion of the areas in which intervention/change may be most beneficial.
Presenting Findings to Decisionmakers
After informal meetings have been achieved, the information obtained must be presented in a formal manner to the person(s) responsible for decisionmaking. The main purpose of the formal meetings is to discuss with clients the meaning of the information gathered and the proposed recommendations.
Determining Action Steps
Action steps are based upon the results of the information gathered and the recommendations discussed and presented. They include identifying intervention/change/improvement strategies to help the organization improve its performance capacity.