Human performance improvement

Human performance improvement is the systematic process of discovering and analyzing important human performance gaps, planning for future improvements in human performance, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable interventions to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions, and evaluating the financial and non-financial results.
HPI focuses on efforts and results of people at work, school or any other institutions. HPI specialists work with the staff of the organization to identify the root performance cause and try to identify solutions that will best close the gap in performance. Human Performance Improvement includes three simple theories – vision, concept and desired end.

All business processes and systems are human performance systems” – Don Tosti

Several challenges are faced by small business people. The major problem being to get results on short time frames and to work with very limited financial resources. By following a proper approach of HPI, the performance consultant can look forward to immediate results and it also ensures that we address only the performance problems that are impacting the survival of the business. Thus, it makes HPI an ideal process for small scale business.

Human Resource development is to help employees develop their personal and organizational skills, knowledge and abilities. It includes opportunities as employee training, coaching, key employee identification and organization development. The goal for HRD is to develop the most superior workforce so that the organization and individual employees can achieve their work goals in service to customers.

Dr. Gilbert in his model shows leaders how to systematically identify barriers to performance. However, the most expensive solutions such as training are the very last that should be tackled. Training is only useful if the employee lacks knowledge or skill – not if the leader is lazy. Managers are responsible for making certain that employees have the information that they need, the tools required to do the job, proper incentive to do the right thing the right way at the right time, and the access to solutions that will help the employee succeed (discipline, aids, and training).

Points to ponder for performance by the organizations:

Leaders need to know that success in the competency-based organization depends on getting the right support to the right people, at the right time, in the right format. There’s a variety of reasons that make a transition to a performance perspective easier or more challenging and they vary with each organization. They would be

o        Organization is metric driven – An organization that do measurement has some advantages in HPI. They might be seeing good value in measurement.

o        Everyone’s focus is not very strategic – Most organizations, people see their piece of the business. They get focused on activity, not results which are certainly are the big picture. The organization that is clear on the end result has easier transition to HPI.

o        Accomplishments are focused – Organizations focus on traits, competencies and activities. The more of those are focus the harder it gets to move to more of performance improvement mindset.

o        Educate –  Keep informed of pertinent knowledge and competence in the workplace learning and performance field. This would develop human potential. Higher authority of the organizations should provide many training sessions for managers and supervisors and make them understand about performance improvement for the benefit of the organizations. Training should be provided in HPI methodology and equip the employees with the tools to identify. Analyze and improve the critical issues in the organization. Bring SME’s to coach the employers for the better results of the projects.

o        Empower – Make all the employees understand the performance improvement principles under which the organization plans to operate. Incentives and rewarding is the key for getting good performers in future.


ASTD Models for Human Performance Improvement, Second Edition William J. Rothwell, ed. defined.pdf