By Carol Haig, CPT, and Roger Addison, CPT, EdD

This month we turn our focus inward and put Carol Haig in the interviewee’s chair as a TrendSpotters guest. Carol Haig, CPT, carolhaig@earthlink.net, is the principal of Carol Haig & Associates, a California-based performance improvement consulting firm. Carol has been actively involved in ISPI for many years and received ISPI’s Honorary Life Member award in 2012. She adds her Success Map Template to the TrendSpotters Open Toolkit (TOT).

Genesis of the Success Map Template
Some years ago, Carol had a client who managed an 8-week classroom training program for financial professionals. They were hired and immediately enrolled in a rigorous course of study in financial products and selling skills. They were tested frequently, and the number of trainees who failed out of the program in the first weeks was high. The client wanted to increase the retention rate for these trainees. The ultimate solution was to provide the new hires with a Map of learning assignments and activities to complete before they entered the formal training program. The hiring managers at the local offices administered the Map and the trainees tracked their own progress. They built skills and knowledge that greatly improved their results when they attended the classroom program. Carol has used the Success Map with different clients in a variety of organizations addressing a range of needs. She finds it to be versatile, scalable, and continually evolving.

Description of the Success Map
The Success Map puts the responsibility for results jointly in the hands of the learner and the manager. A training or performance improvement group develops the Map but the users own it. The Success Map Template consists of flexible components that can be easily customized for any situation where skills and knowledge are to be acquired or practiced on the job. A Map can stand alone as a guide to:

  • New hire orientation
  • Building specific skills, knowledge, and experience
  • Producing “live” products and services in the work environment

It can also be a component of a larger training program, providing a guide to on-the-job practice or live production following formal classroom or online instruction. The Success Map Template includes:

  • 2 versions of the content: one for the employee and one for the manager or designee
  • The purpose and benefits of the Map
  • How to use the Map
  • A timeframe for Map completion
  • A list of learning assignments that may include formal training, readings, interviews with experts, observations, tests, and other activities
  • Instructions for each assignment
  • Worksheets, job aids, and reference documents to support the assignments
  • A completion checklist and sign-off sheet for the manager

The Map document can be produced in hardcopy or domiciled on an internal website for download by learners and their managers. A Map may be one document or a series of documents depending upon the scope of practice and/or live production. The Map produces the results of learning so it is logical to develop it before the training it will put to practical use.

Use the table below to design a Success Map that will build skills, knowledge, and experience for learners.

Content

Manager’s Map

Learner’s Map

Overview
  • Welcome
  • Purpose
  • How Maps Work
  • Map Assignment Components
  • Assignment Sponsors (SMEs)
  • Timing
  • Map Roles and Responsibilities
  • Learner
  • Manager
  • Assignment Sponsor
  • Map Completion Requirements

 

  • Welcome
  • Purpose
  • How Maps Work
  • Map Assignment Components
  • Assignment Sponsors (SMEs)
  • Timing
  • Map Roles and Responsibilities
  • Learner
  • Manager
  • Assignment Sponsor
  • Map Completion Requirements
Assignment Previews List of assignments

  • Self-study or online
  • Readings
  • Interviews with experts
  • Observations
  • Tests
List of assignments

  • Self-study or online
  • Readings
  • Interviews with experts
  • Observations
  • Tests

 

Assignments
  • Instructions and advice to managers
  • Goals
  • Benefits
  • Outcomes
  • Office Resources

 

  • Instructions
  • Goals
  • Benefits
  • Outcomes
  • Office Resources
  • Worksheets, references, logs, other materials

 

Completion Map Sign-Off Sheet listing each assignment

©Carol Haig & Associates 2012 – Used with permission.

How to Use the Success Map
The Success Map is a collaborative guide to the application of skills and knowledge in the work environment. It fosters a partnership between the learner and the manager and provides built-in opportunities for the manager to coach the learner or to assign other team members as SMEs for specific Map assignments. A typical approach to using the Success Map includes:

  • A planning session with the learner and the manager to read and discuss the Map and establish a schedule for completing the assignments
  • Identifying team SMEs to guide the learner through some or all of the assignments as appropriate and a designated person to assist in the manager’s absence
  • Establishing check-in procedures, milestones, and other monitoring to ensure the learner is properly supported and the manager can identify additional needs for information or more practice as the learner progresses
  • A review of the worksheets, job aids, and other resources included in the Map or required to complete specific assignments
  • Setting a start date

Success Story
An insurance company wanted to streamline the training for new hire property and casualty agents. In addition to reducing training time and expense, the branch managers and their senior executives were anxious to have the new hires productive and selling as soon as possible. The project team designed the training to include an introductory Success Map to be completed before the first week of class. This was followed by a series of Success Maps with sales and related performance goals. The Maps were interspersed with the remaining weeks of classroom training. Sales production during training had a baseline of zero. After the training re-design and the addition of the Maps, 51 new hires in the first two classes sold 171 policies and enrolled 857 new customers in other programs and services.

Advice to Users
Since Success Maps are owned and deployed by frontline managers, it is critical to involve them in conceptualizing how their Maps will be designed and used:

  • Choose SMEs from this group to identify the content while your performance improvement specialists pull it together to create a design and format the Map materials.
  • Identify a program manager from your team to carefully orchestrate and guide implementation.
  • Hold webinar-style introductory meetings for the managers who will have new hires using the Maps.
  • Check in regularly to monitor trainees’ progress, support their managers, and collect results data.

Links to the Performance Technology Landscape
The Success Map supports these principles of Performance Technology:

R Focus on Results – The Map is structured to produce results
S Take a System view – The Map supports the performance system in which training is a component
V Add Value – The Map supports business goals for individuals and the organization and fosters frontline ownership
P Establish Partnerships – The Map creates a collaborative relationship between the learner, the manager, and designated SMEs

Application Exercise
Use the Success Map Template to identify where in your organization’s performance system a Map could address a need or solve a problem. Identify the business need and rough out a plan for a Success Map to present to your leadership.

ISPI in Five Years
As many of us have observed over the years, ISPI is unique among professional associations. No other organization views human performance in quite the same way as our Society does. Within the next five years, TrendSpotters would like to see ISPI take on the role of integrator of the 4 Levels: Work, Worker, Workplace, and World. With a membership that includes recognized experts at each of the levels, imagine what an advocate ISPI could become, what global challenges we could take on!

Find all the models and tools featured in TrendSpotters at www.ispi.org/archives/perfXpress.htm#trendToolkit

Contact Carol Haig at carolhaig@earthlink.net or at http://home.mindspring.com/~carolhaig

Contact Roger Addison at rogeraddison@earthlink.net