Picture this — two young boys are sitting on the porch steps cooling down after an intense Saturday morning bike adventure. A yellow lab joins them to relax. Its’ obvious the lab belongs to one of the boys. “I taught Lucky to whistle yesterday!” “Really?” replied the other young boy as he intently stared at the yellow lab. Several long minutes passed and nothing happened. They both appeared disappointed. “I thought you said that you taught him to whistle?” Lucky’s owner replied, “I said I taught him to whistle. I didn’t say he had learned it yet!”
In order to engage and sustain high performance, employees must continuously learn and then actively apply what the business ‘teaches’ them. It’s about employees doing the “4 Rights”… doing the
RIGHT THING (aligned to goals and values)
At the RIGHT TIME (timeliness)
The RIGHT WAY (following processes, procedures, policies)
For the RIGHT REASON (commitment vs. compliance)
Here are some key ways employees learn what is and isn’t important in your organization – what techniques, processes, and procedures should be used – and what behaviors are expected.
Leadership. Employees constantly watch and listen to their leaders. They learn new concepts; vocabulary; metrics; ways to analyze & interpret information; how to handle change; and most importantly accepted behavior. They watch for consistency and alignment (the talk matching the walk). What are your employees currently ‘learning’ from their interactions with leaders?
Decision-making. Employees learn a tremendous amount about trust, delegation, empowerment, judgment, and accountability by how leaders share decision-making. If employees have had the “4 Rights” taught and consistently reinforced then they will most often make a logical choice or decision from the options available. How effective is decision-making shared in your organization?
On-boarding. Every new employee can ‘learn’ so much about their organization through a formal on-boarding process. Consistently sharing small relevant ‘pieces’ of company history, product, customer base, competition, practices, and business culture in a standardized process helps build engagement and retention. Is your organization confident new hires are ‘learning’ how to be the most effective and efficient in their new business environment?
Formal training & development. There are countless examples of excellent formal training & development initiatives in business. Some are in the classroom – others are on line – as well as blended. Some use internal trainers and others use external experts. But simply stated – the ROI on training & development is application of the learning. How robust is your organization’s post training/development efforts? Is there the same discipline and expectations for execution of technical and inter-personal learning?
Like our opening story, there can be disappointment and unfilled expectations when what is taught has not yet been learned. It’s not about degrees, certificates, or scores on e-learning evaluations. It’s about your employees consistently doing the “4 Rights” necessary to make you successful!
Republished with author’s permission from original post.