What’s the difference between Trainers and Performance Consultants: Aren’t they one and the same?

I’m often asked this question a lot.  In a previous blog, “Isn’t this still training”, I shared why it still looks like training.  Alas, this post brings us to the beginning of another series within the Human Performance Improvement (HPI) arena.  I’m calling it “HPI: Making it Work for Compliance Trainers”. So, in this blog, I will expand upon 6 elements of comparison to illustrate the difference between the two and the depth of impact one has over the other.

 

FOCUS

Training addresses the learning needs of employees.  Various definitions include closing the knowledge and skill gap of what they know now and what they know afterwards.  It’s built on the assumption that the cause of the gap is a lack of knowledge and skill.  Performance Consulting addresses business goals and performance needs of the affected employees.  Training is just one of the possible solutions that can be used; not the only one.

 

OUTPUTS

A training solution delivers a structured learning event.  Whether it is classroom or virtual or self -led, the event itself is the end goal.  Performance Consulting or HPI projects are implemented to improve performance.  The end goal is not about the solution such as the specific HPI Project, but rather a positive change in performance that leads to achievement of the business goal.  The end point is “further down the road”.  So it takes longer to produce the results.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY

With training, the Trainer is held accountable for the event.  In a lot of organizations, there is an implied but not spoken accountability for the results back on the job.  But without the proper systems and support mechanisms in place, many Trainers get “blamed” for training transfer failure.  Here’s the big difference for me.  Performance Consultants (PCs) partner with their internal customers, system owners and business leaders in support of the business goals.  The accountability for improved performance becomes shared across the relationships.

 

ASSESSMENTS

Trainers typically conduct a needs analysis to design the best learning “program” or course possible.  PCs conduct performance analyses gaps assessments to identify causes that can go beyond knowledge and skills.  See previous blog, “Analyses du jour”.

 

MEASURES
Trainers
very often use course evaluation sheets as a form of measurement.  In the Compliance Training arena, knowledge checks and quizzes have also become the norm.  PCs measure the effect on performance improvement and achievement of business objectives.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS

This is another key differentiator.  Training is viewed as a cost typically.  Compliance Trainers are all too familiar with the phrase, “GMP Training is a necessary evil”.  PCs become business partners in solving performance gaps and accomplishing organizational goals.

 

In the next issue I will continue the blog with becoming a business partner.  In the meantime, for those of you wanting to learn more about performance analyses, read  “Performance Analysis: the learn approach to solving performance problems”.         – VB

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