Leapfrog Training and Learning Now!
Leapfrogging is the concept of smaller entities adopting innovative technologies earlier than larger ones, which enables the smaller entities to dominate their market. Leapfrog examples have existed throughout history, but recent examples include undeveloped nations moving to cellular phones without first building a landline infrastructure and adopting solar power without first building an electric grid infrastructure. Both examples have the potential of saving undeveloped nations trillions of dollars while benefiting from the newest technologies. At this moment, small companies worldwide have a golden opportunity to leapfrog competitors by implementing new performance enablement, performance assurance, and continuous improvement technologies and foregoing costly, ineffective, old training and learning modes.
The Trouble with Training and Learning
The unspoken goal of training and learning is to enable people to memorize, then perfectly recall and perfectly perform assigned workflows without support or aids. Unfortunately, not all workflows can be memorized. They include workflows, a) With too many steps, b) With steps that frequently change, c) Workflows performed too infrequently, d) Too many workflows to memorize, and e) Not given enough time to memorize.
Memorization and recall are particularly challenging across manual worker populations of which most businesses still depend on to deliver all the services and produce most of the products they depend on for profit. Manual workers cannot safely, efficiently, or sanitarily access computers, handheld devices, or even printed aids as they work. They include everyone from bartenders, cooks, and housekeepers, to doctors, scientists, engineers, assemblers, installers, and many others.
Training organizations have long overstated their capabilities. In addition to being ineffective when memorization is impossible, Ebbinghaus’s 1885 research and subsequent validation proved learners forget up to 60% of their training within the first 60 minutes of an event. Some training methods have proven to slightly improve memorization, but the improvement is lost within a week if spaced practice is not provided.
In 2020, US businesses spent $92.3 BILLION on training, including training for manual workers. A growing percentage of that number goes to performance support and workflow learning systems. These are job aids delivered via various formats such as YouTube, context sensitive/pop up help, and mobile checklists, none of which are sufficient for manual workers who cannot safely, efficiently, or aseptically access computers, handheld devices, or printed aids as they work.
The trouble with training, learning, and memorization is, they don’t necessarily enable, assure, or continuously improve performance. This is especially true across manual worker populations which consist of people who cannot safely, efficiently, or aseptically access computers, handheld devices, or even printed aids as they work.
Enabling, Assuring, and Continuously Improving Performance
Given training, learning, and most performance support systems are either unsafe, inefficient, or unsanitary for manual worker use, there needs to be a better solution. To find the solution, start by clarifying certain terms as well as worker needs. The terms are:
“Training” is the action of teaching.
“Learning” is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or being taught.
“Performance enablement” is providing the to perfectly perform a workflow in the proper order every time the workflow is performed.
“Performance assurance” is the ability to guarantee and prove every step of every workflow was performed in the perfect sequence, every time.
“Continuous improvement” is the ability to repeatedly and incrementally increase worker and organizational effectiveness, efficiency, and product quality.
The action of teaching and the acquisition of knowledge or skill cannot enable, assure, or continuously improve performance. Manual workers need a performance enablement, performance assurance, and continuous improvement system that:
Works hands free - Because manual workers cannot safely, efficiently, or aseptically stop what they’re doing to access a computer, watch a video, search for instructions, etc.
Verbally deliver step-by-step work instruction on demand - Manual workers with requisite basic skills generally only need step-by-step instructions delivered verbally
Automatically captures valid, unbiased, reliable performance data - Periodic supervisor observations cannot be unbiased or reliable. The data is essential to both assuring and continuously improving performance.
Alerts a supervisor when it appears a worker has underperformed a step - Underperformance impacts safety and quality.
Enables workers to verbally call for help - Manual workers cannot efficiently or safely stop what they’re working on to pick up a phone and call their supervisor.
Captures worker suggestions for continuously improving both worker and work system performance - Worker suggestions are often the best way to improve performance.
Reveals continuous improvement opportunities - Performance interval data at worker and workflow step detail reveal which workers need coaching on which workflow step(s), which can greatly improve performance while reducing costs. It also reveals improvement opportunities across locations where employees perform similar workflows.
Verbal Workflow Management, VWM, is a system that verbally delivers their step-by-step workflows on demand, hands free, globally, while capturing the time workers spend on each step along with their continuous improvement suggestions. VWM differs from traditional performance support and workflow management in its ability to: a) Be operated 100% hands free, b) Automatically capture valid, unbiased, reliable performance data, c) Produce and update workflows in minutes or seconds compared to weeks and months other systems, and d) Capture continuous improvement suggestions from workers and reveal continuous improvement opportunities.
The opportunity for entrepreneurs to leapfrog much larger competitors is by replacing much of their training with VWM to cut training costs, dramatically improve performance information, and support continuous improvement.
So, why aren’t Fortune 500 companies already using VWM when its benefits are so obvious? Who cares? As technologies advance and accelerate, there will be many opportunities for entrepreneurs to leapfrog old technologies and out-perform big, slow to change, corporations. VWM is one such opportunity. Don’t let it pass you by.