Doug Leigh, PhD and Ryan Watkins, PhD created the Handbook of Improving Performance in the Workplace, Vol. 2: Selecting and Implementing Performance Interventions to help leaders truly discern the best training and professional development for their organizations.  With smaller budgets and leaner staff, it is imperative that your employees are properly skilled, motivated, and happy. Leigh and Watkins recommend the following to ensure that you maximize your employee effectiveness as well as your professional development dollars:

  • Rewards, recognition, and incentives. Achieving your desired results is greatly contingent upon a logical incentive program.  Incetives must actually be viewed as valuable by your employees and carefully aligned with subjective appraisals of value.  Take time to consider how effective your incentives actually are.
  • Motivation and self-concept. Employees lacking in confidence or motivation will not respond to the best training programs.  Consider motivational communications, career mentoring and job crafting to engage their interests and improve their performance.
  • Knowledge and skills. Most performance problems are not related to hard skills deficiencies.  Instead, formal skills training should only be considered when a clear deficiency exists.  Typically knowledge and skill enhancements can be accomplished through mentoring, e-learning, cross-disciplinary learning and executive leadership coaching can maximize your investment.

We at Brighter Strategies often recommend creating a focus group within your organization to consider these issues.  As leaders, sometimes the best motivation we can provide our employees is to ask them what they think and respond accordingly.