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Incentivising employees to put theories into practice May 29, 2006

Posted by exertia in Management.
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“What do you think is a good incentive to help people think through theories that show evidence in practices or outcomes?” asks Dr. Ellen Weber of the Brain Based Business blog, commenting on my earlier post on talent management. From my experience (as a participant) in the talent management initiatives of some well-managed organizations, this is how I think the process can be formalized:

  • Participants in a talent development course, say a 6-sigma course, are first asked to formally note down their understanding of the subject matter, say Quality Management and 6-Sigma concepts before attending the course.
  • Before the course starts, they are to note down their expectations from the course and how they plan to translate it into results. For key courses / audiences, this could be quantified – say, in the number of hours or dollars they expect to save by using the inputs from the course.
  • At the completion of the course, participants are to again note their key learnings from the course as also any additions / changes to the benefits they can think of having completed the course.
  • These objectives can then be formally tracked at the completion of set timeframes, say 1 week, 1 month and 1 quarter from the completion of the course – how many objectives were practically achieved? Of the objectives that couldn’t be achieved, analyze the reasons for further process improvements.
  • In the annual / periodic performance appraisals, track against each performance objective how much the courses attended earlier contributed. If possible, attach dollar values to the value added attributable to the courses.

Thus you have metrics to measure the benefits derived from each course as also a ranking of the attendees who were the best at putting the theories into practice – something which can be further incentivized in the form of recognition and/or rewards.

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Comments»

1. Ellen Weber - May 29, 2006

Thanks for this amazing set of clear criteria that could change the problem of poor action plans that show evidence of applications of theory … following rigorous training. This rubric should be published because I think that people tend to stop their development process at points prior to the execution of the ideas back in their workplaces. Would you agree that this same metric could be stretched to evaluate 1). finances raised…2). talent engaged…3). learning approaches preferred…and 4). diversity energized…? It appears to me that this is a piece not yet part of most training programs… Do you see a wider use? Again thanks for teaching me…and all the best.

Brain Based Business

2. exertia - May 29, 2006

Ellen, thanks to you for your thought-provoking question which prompted me to think through and conceptualize these steps. Yes, I agree – most training programs do not incorporate all these steps yet, although some of them do include the first 3 steps. Most of them tend to lose touch once the participant leaves the training room and gets back to the workplace.

Thanks for the mutual learning experience… All the best to you too!

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