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This post appeared first on LinkedIn.
Have you ever wondered what it is that makes you ‘happy’ at work? Do you know the answer? I think I do…
High performance… That’s it. And if you reflect on it you know it is true. Think about all those times that you finished your day and drove home with that intense feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. You know you’ve done an amazing job that day or perhaps finished a project in a way you hadn’t imagined possible. You were able to perform at your highest level and there’s just nothing like that feeling!
And it doesn’t stop there. The next day you arrive at work you’ve still got that buzz. That feeling of happiness you get from being able to operate at the top of your ability has increased your engagement as an employee. Today you will look at the challenges you and your organization faces in a different way. Your brain is in a ‘can-do, getting-things-done’ state. You’ll be more productive and, bringing that attitude into work you’ll affect the people you work with and the projects you work on. When you are able to impact those people and projects it’s quite likely that that positive attitude will lead to more engaging conversations which lead to more innovative solutions that benefit the company and its customers.
This is exactly what happens in high performing teams. They create a self-sustaining high performance loop.
That means that if we, as Learning and Development and HR professionals, want to contribute to our business impact we need to improve employee happiness. That means supporting them in any way possible to create the circumstances that will allow them to perform at the top of their ability. For the past decade I’ve been hearing senior leaders as well as L&D and HR professionals talk about creating a ‘learning culture’ in their company when what they really need is a ‘performance culture’.
“People don’t come to work to learn. They come to work to work, to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
Laura Overton from Towards Maturity states that one thing is clear from their latest report ‘Unlocking potential’; “People want to be able to do their jobs better and faster!”. To me that clearly signifies a big change for L&D. We need to refocus from the traditional creation of courses and programs to more performance based solutions that have a direct impact in the workplace. How can we support our employees to maximize their day-to-day performance? How do we help managers identify top performers and learn from what it is they do different from the ones with average performance so they can increase the performance of their entire team? How do we start building a culture of high-performance?
Now I don’t pretend to have all the answers (sorry about that) but I do believe it starts with moving from Content to Context. Learning solutions (and HR Infrastructure) should support employees with the right content in their moment of need, which is mostly while they are doing their jobs. No more ‘one size fits all’ training programs but contextualized and role specific support to ensure people can keep performing critical tasks and don’t get bogged down getting trained in trivial meaningless tasks that add little value.
Support your employees in achieving their maximum performance and you’ll impact their happiness, engagement and ultimately their productivity and innovation!
This obviously doesn’t happen overnight but ask yourself:”What change can I make today that will have an impact tomorrow?”.