By Shweta Bapat
To have a competitive advantage over others, performance improvement has been a key focus area for the organisations from many years. Since long training played a very important role of improving performance by identifying the specific training needs. But training always had process in which the training need analysis plays an important role or foundation of any training programme. If performance is satisfactory or as per company expectations, many companies do not want to ‘invest’ rather ‘spend’ on training. Training addresses the learning need, therefore if there is need there is training. In short training always was reactive response to the problems related to performance.
Since year 2000 a new dimension of performance consulting is trying to compete rather overpass the traditional training system. Performance consulting is a holistic and systematic approach to increase the organisational results by strategically linking the performances to the organisational outcomes.
Performance consulting addresses the organisational objectives therefore it can have training as well as non-training solutions. It follows a proactive approach by identifying the performance gaps and analysing the potential. This helps managers to define performance requirements and barriers to performance. It is basically a diagnostic approach to the performance inconsistency in spite of having performance potential.
It focuses on improving performance at all levels right from workers up to CEO of the organisation.
Performance consulting is multi-fold programme that involves the steps like strategic identification performance objectives of organisation, performance analysis, needs assessment, cause analysis, environmental analysis, designing solution and implementation. The service of preparing and implementing customised performance improvement models are prepared as per the requirement of the organisations by the consulting firms operating in the market.
The role of Performance consultant is also very important in this process because he assists the management in taking actions needed for desired performance change. He/She needs to play the multiple roles such as an evaluator, an analysts, performance improvement expert, change manager and most importantly liaisoning officer. Consultant needs to have knowledge of varied areas affecting environment of business to analyse the situation.
Consultant works as a strategic partner along with internal stakeholders, system owners and leaders. His or her role includes identifying the gap between performance competencies and requirements of organisational best practices, then to generate learning sponsors, develop performance improvement recommendation, but this requires the deep knowledge of business of business.
Measuring the results of performance consulting mainly involves qualitative measures like the response of the employees, changes in the job behaviour, changes in the capacity to work etc. The quantitative measures like return on investment (ROI) helps to measure the results in terms of numbers.
Overall performance consulting facilitates new mind sets and improved behaviours at all levels of organisations which leads to developed performances and engaged employees. Therefore it is beneficial to the organisation in various manner like eliminating in training and its cost, increased learning effectiveness of employees and ultimately achieving business goals.
(About the Author: Mrs. Shweta Bapat, HoD Human Resource Management, Kaveri College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Pune)
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