By Adelee Licir and Lisa Jasper, CPT, 2011 Conference Presenters

Have you ever been provided a training solution to a problem before you started your diagnosis? Stakeholders, wanting to see results now, use training as a quick solution without addressing the problems. The perception exists that poor performers who do not meet expectations can be trained to eliminate all performance deficiencies.

Training has become a bandage to an often larger issue. Many times, identifying a training solution that does not adequately address root causes can cause a greater disconnect between the performers and the performance expectations.

Training as a solution to performance improvement does not always change behavior permanently. In any organization, the worker, work, or workplace may cause performance deficiencies. To accurately verify performance expectations and understand unmet expectations, we must understand the gap between current performance and desired results.

Taking a systems approach to performance problems, especially perceived training solutions, ensures that gaps are accurately identified and solutions are effectively aligned with organizational strategy. A systems approach identifies the gaps in performance and also helps identify the gaps worth examining.

There are three critical components to a systems approach. The front-end analysis identifies the need to improve performance and identifies opportunities for improvement. This analysis provides the framework on what to focus on to improve performance and eliminate deficiencies. Understanding standards or goals versus actual performance is a critical part of this analysis. The second phase identifies what is preventing performance. During this phase, suggested interventions are identified. Lastly, the job analysis identifies the “desired state” activities performers should be doing to perform the job effectively.

This systems approach focuses first on results so an in-depth analysis evaluates the organization, the processes, and the performers. Knowing the desired outcomes ensures solutions are better aligned with the organizational strategy. This thoroughness in analysis further reinforces a willingness to hear, implement, and evaluate additional process improvement opportunities not related to training by stakeholders.

Join Adelee and Lisa on April 9 for a workshop where participants will be able to de-fuse training demands to address performance problems, define and use a systems approach to performance problems, and conduct a performance analysis using distinct system components. During the educational sessions, participants will learn how to define and apply the system components to effective performance analysis by working through real-life examples. Through these sessions, participants will gain greater insight as to why training, as a solution, is not the only option. Participants will leave these sessions with more tools to begin to build their own strategic partnerships and value during analysis!

Adelee and Lisa are two of the more than 100 presenters sharing their knowledge and expertise at THE Performance Improvement Conference 2011, April 10-13, in Orlando, Florida. If you would like to learn more, you may attend their 90-minute presentation, “A Systems Approach to Training.”

About the Authors
Adelee Licir PhotoLisa Jasper PhotoAdelee Licir and Lisa Jasper, CPT, are both performance consultants with Administaff, a leading a full-service HR department for America’s best small and medium-sized businesses. They may be reached at and