I have fond memories of my first manager, at my very first job. Her name was Jessie. I was 22 years old – fresh out of college, fearless and ready to conquer the world. Even with zero real-world experience, I was pretty sure that I knew all the answers. Stop smirking. So Jessie pretty much had her work cut out for her. And while she could have rolled her eyes and shoved me off my high horse, she didn’t. Instead she chose to take me under her wing and coach me.
Jessie intuitively knew that playing a more supportive role would create a shared understanding about what needs to be achieved and how it is to be achieved. This behavior also allowed me to feel in control, empowered and appreciated, even while learning new skills. Under her guidance, I flourished.
Like Jessie, successful organizations understand the importance of establishing mechanisms to reinforce newly learned skills and foster continuous improvement on the job. Coaching provides on-the-job support and gives the employee an opportunity to hear about aspects of his/her performance and to play a role in figuring out how to best adopt or modify their behavior for success. A modern approach to coaching is Performance Support which is a smart application that runs on your computer.
Performance Support takes coaching one step further to provide on-the-job guidance in real-time, at the moment of need.While Jessie was a great coach, there was just one of her and her time with me was limited, whereas an application is always available, doesn’t need to sleep and can be run on thousands of computers at the same time. The Performance Support application works with any computer software to coach the user and can even step in to automate the process for tasks that are repetitive or not covered in training, reducing errors.
Performance Support technology has many great features, but it is not a replacement for coaching. Instead it is a very powerful supplement when coaching isn’t available or when employees need to apply new computer skills on their own, but with some smart assistance if needed. Coaching sets clear goals and provides feedback that drives ownership, engages employees on a personal level, and helps them gain the requisite knowledge to perform better. What Performance Support offers is a valuable tool for the 99% of employees who don’t have access to coaching and a way for companies to offer coaching 24/7 to all their employees.
Performance Support empowers employees to overcome performance challenges and achieve business results. Here’s how:
- Creates a ripe environment for performance
It is common knowledge that when employees are happy in their job they stay longer and contribute more. Knowing that Performance Support is always there to guide provides employees with both the peace of mind and confidence they need to follow through with the task at hand.
- Closes the gap between an employee’s actual and expected performance
Companies are continuing to increase the goals and expectations of their employees, only to realize that they don’t have the time or resources to properly train them on the skills needed to reach those goals. They introduce new tools and software in an attempt to implement positive change only to find that they cause even more frustration and lowered productivity. Performance Support alleviates employee frustration and takes the edge off scary, complex systems. It guides users through each step of the business process towards its successful completion. Think of it like a GPS for business applications – as long as you know the destination it will get you there.
- Increases efficiency
Most tasks performed in a day are routine and the staff know them well and how to execute them efficiently. But what happens when they encounter a difficult task or one that occurs infrequently? Expecting employees to know how to handle a task that comes up once a year might be too optimistic. Most of us will need a reminder or (you got it) Performance Support. Performance Support allows the employee to learn it on their own with guidance or opt to use automation to complete the task for them.
- Removes obstacles
Even your top performers are going to make mistakes, even when it comes to day-to-day tasks. After all, we are only human. Unfortunately, these mistakes can sometimes come at a high price, especially if you consistently notice similar errors by multiple users.Performance Support systems identify errors in real-time, based on pre-defined rules. It alerts the user and then guides them through the correct task completion, preventing costly errors.
Having coaching available to employees has many great benefits. Add Performance Support to the mix and everyone gets to enjoy the ‘special treatment’. To find out more about Performance Support technology and how it can benefit your company, please visit the Kryon Systems website.