David Fuhrmann Consulting, Organizational Learning & Performance, Performance Management, Technical Training

November 19, 2019

What is Organizational Learning and Behavioral Performance?

The purpose of this article is clarity of the phrase, “Organizational Learning and Behavioral Performance”. This is a phrase we often hear and see but don’t fully understand the importance of or the results that will come from it. Organizational Learning and Behavioral Performance. Organizational Learning and Behavioral Performance is more than a training manual, more than policy, and more than evidence. As a consultant, I often see worker manuals that discuss procedures being completed according to the company/department policy, but there is more often than not a lack of evidence or even proof the evidence is even accurate. Stating something does not make it accurate any more than true and many individuals struggle with tools such as statistical data used to prove the evidence is accurate.

  All too often, I find it easy to clear a room full of people by simply saying, “Okay folks, I have to work on statistics”. One would think I would have yelled, “Fire”. If life, we find that people avoid that which isn’t comfortable for them. Talk about negative reinforcement. Adding a stimulus to an environment that creates an uneasy feeling or challenge can be a wonderful tool for getting the desired result(s). For a simple explanation of this check out this article here I found that explain Positive and Negative reinforcement versus punishment.

 The first question that should come to mind when referring to the accuracy of a process is data. WHERE IS THE DATA? If there is no data, there is nothing to measure. This often creates a sense of panic and urgency because most people have not assigned a person or group of people to collect data. Thankfully, there many different ways of collecting data. One of my favorite types of ways to collect data is to have employees observe other employees in an anonymous data collection setting. No-one is named, just the process observed and then reported (AlleyDog, 1998-2019).

 By collecting data in this manner, we can gather more data than if observed by one or two individuals. People who are collecting the data must fully understand the necessity of keeping the data completely anonymous. By doing such, the implementation process will move smoother as there is no one person or group of individuals named for completing a process different from that of policy. Also, often some discrepancies will present themselves in nonconformance due to an error in the policy process, technology avoidance, or overall avoidance.

If there is data, then you are in a better position than without. If there is a plethora of data, then it can separate samples by categories Within an organization, anonymous data or data collected without punitive judgment is best. By establishing focus groups, discussion groups, and open interviews with the premise of there being no wrong answer, processes can be observed without policy creating a nervous environment. Individuals may be interviewed to discuss how a procedure is being completed in a manner consistent or inconsistent with policy. Take this time to create flowcharts as they discuss how an individual or group of individuals complete a process. Next, schedule future meetings and have the interviewees approve or disapproved previously discussed process now on a flow-chart. 

Once data has been collected in this manner, make sure to have a step-by-step process written out as well as a diagram such as a flowchart to show processes completed in or out of compliance. Once that has been accomplished, compare the process to the policy of completing the process. If there are discrepancies, inquire as to the reason why. This data can also be presented to upper management or the board to discuss policy change or needed training. 

Thanks for tuning in. If you’d like to reach me please email me: david@davidfuhrmann.com

Works Cited

AlleyDog. (1998-2019). alleydog.com. Retrieved from alleydog.com: https://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.php?term=Anonymity

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