Q&A #2: How to Build a High-Performance Workforce

Posted By: John Hindman, Director of Learning Services, Tooling U-SME on October 24, 2017

5 Best Practices

We recently posted Part #1 of this Q&A series about how to build a high-performance workforce using a competency-based training and development program. As we noted, world-class companies outperform others in large part because they manage and train their workforces differently.

So how do they do that? Today, we continue providing answers to frequently asked questions on that topic. What other questions do you have about building your skilled workforce…and your business?


What’s the best type of learning program?

Consider a blended learning program. This method leverages curriculum of different learning methodologies that are tailored to meet workforce requirements including:

  • Elearning
  • Instructor-led Training (ILT)
  • Hands-On Labs
  • Self-Instruction (books, videos)
  • Job Performance Support Aids

Don’t forget that proficiency of skills can lessen over time, so it is important to include performance support and continuous education strategies in the overall training and development plan.


How does on-the-job training (OJT) fit into the mix?

Workers who receive perfectly aligned prerequisite training still might not reach performance goals without OJT. OJT teaches workers their job-specific and task-specific standard work. The OJT program should consist of sequenced hands-on learning activities that will prepare associates for successful job qualification during their end-of-training evaluation. Performance-based training programs should require the use of standardized OJT tools and techniques to ensure consistent delivery of training.


We have some experts who informally act as teachers. Does it really matter if they have any formal training?

Yes! Poor OJT trainers can lead to low morale, ineffective training and delivery, and high attrition, resulting in adverse performance and unmet financial goals. With an increase of new hires from an unskilled talent pool, it is more important than ever to provide your trainers with the competency to deliver training in a consistent and concise manner. Companies should invest in developing their OJT mentors/instructors with competencies in adult learning, mentoring, and the delivery of their OJT sessions. Promoting a high performer into a training role is not enough to guarantee that all your workers will be high performers.


Why should we do a measurable impact study?

An impact study should be created for every learning program. It starts by documenting goals that you can refer back to in order to see how the program measured up. A well-designed impact study has a tangible ROI, and validates the success of learning programs, an essential part of maintaining or expanding your training initiatives.


The bottom line is a well-designed competency framework, tied to business goals, becomes the foundation for performance management, talent acquisition and leadership development. To learn more, download a free copy of 5 Best Practices for Building a High-Performance Workforce.

Have any other questions about building high-performance teams? Ask away!

Tags: "5 Best Practices for Building a High-Performance Workforce", ATD, competencies, "competency modeling", "learning and development", "learning culture", manufacturing, "State of the Industry"