28 Learning professionals from a wide cross section of industries participated in the online Workplace Trends Forum on Supporting Performance with Learning. Peter Davis moderated the session with an expert panel comprising of-

  • Belinda Liu – Global Head of Talent and Learning Operations, Standard Chartered Bank
  • Ian MacLean – National Instructional Design Manager – Australian Red Cross Blood Service


Learning needs to step out of the normal role of training issues, into the workplace and address larger issues that impact performance problems. Learning can change the paradigm of addressing purely training issues to larger performance issues, with the support of executives, and asking beginning conversations with “why is there a need for training?”

Business is riddled with Performance Problems, and you can make a start at identifying them, by talking with Customer Relations, HR, CEOs, CFOs and so on. Departments which address performance issues could be BPI, OD, Change, Employee Engagement; HR Learning will need to partner with these departments for Performance Consulting and holistic solutions.

Trends influencing performance support include:

  • Performance Support in many cases means accessibility, and getting byte-sized information at the time required.
  • Designing Performance Support is about understanding the means, tools and work environments. This could mean designing a number of different solutions depending on the target audience. Mentoring and Coaching are also performance support.
  • Performance Support is based on reactivity. Answers are needed quicker and easily available and on a self-service mode – with extended additional support as required.

Performance Support focuses on short-term learning.  Are there dangers in developing long-term skills and capabilities?  The Panel felt the two were not either or choices. 70.20.10 model explains that 70% of learning happens on the job through informal learning. Traditionally Learning has placed too much of its stake informal learning or the 10%, in the past.

With more “social”, more unstructured environments – the way we work has moved more from individual to collaborative. Performance support is on an evolutionary path like many other things, and fits in with Communities of Practice

Participants Comments
  • Nobody has mentioned the Kirkpatrick model of assessment linking training to job performance!
  • Work contracts have also changed significantly whereby more short term, project, contract roles are prominent whereby investing in training may not be considered worthwhile spend for ROI.
  • At my workplace, we have a quite high awareness of performance support tools, but as the presenter just mentioned, there is still an underlying assumption that lack of performance is ‘best’ resolved by training.
  • Given learners have been effective in organisations prior to the current technology being available, I’m inclined to think the technology can only ever play a minor role. I’m interested in other’s views…
  • In this dynamic business environment is there such a thing like “Long-term learning”?
  • Evaluation is an interesting question. The way we evaluate will need to change to measure effectiveness and applicability as most PS is about incremental improvement.
  • Performance Support also allows SMEs to deliver timely and relevant info without the learning structures we traditionally apply.

Tweets LearningCafeMagLearningCafeMag

  • The emerging Learning Cafe model for types performance supporting http://t.co/WnkHIqq4
  • According to one research paper informal learning is – Result – Informal learning has 3 times more impact
  • Training only effective if it’s Skill and Knowledge factor
  • Ian MacLean – Clear expectation and rich feedback is often the important factor
  • Belinda Liu – needs discussions are about performance 1st not training 1st
  • Ian MacLean – has senior support for the move of learning to performance outcomes.
  • Factors to look at when think about performance – training is one part. http://t.co/6bRZEhHa
  • Peter Davis – the right solutions might be diverse and customised for different employee groups
  • Informal learning has exploded in recent times buts suffers from a lack of definition and substance

Discussion Presentation

Observations from Supporting Performance with Learning