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Post assessment: Ongoing actions

March 30, 2008

In addition to a development plan, the former student can adopt some behaviours that will assist their continuing improvement. Pro-activity will drive progress quicker than idle waiting and these habits will identify them as someone who is willing to learn how to improve their overall effectiveness in the workplace.

As a trainer turned mentor, you can encourage these actions by explaining how they can be adopted and what the benefits are for doing so. Assist, but don’t do it for them. The value comes in the result and the result will be proportional to their effort in the process. Make it clear that if you assist to much, the benefit of the process will be lost.

The actions

There are a multitude of actions that the former student can take to improve their performance but what we are trying to achieve are regular behaviours that become automated and persist throughout their careers. There are six behaviours that the trainer can immediately introduce to the student.

  • Set Goals
  • Pre-brief daily
  • Debrief daily
  • Invite feed back
  • Find a coach / mentor
  • Get involved

Set goals: This is usually part of a development plan but some people don’t like the associated structure or pace that this places on them. Regardless, goal setting is an integral part of measured success. Without goals, success is coincidental. Write them down and review them regularly. However, the importance of a full development plan should be stressed and the student encouraged to use one.

Pre-brief daily: Use the pre-briefing model as a template for a daily brief to prepare for the work day. Don’t neglect the value of short term goal setting because aside from the motivational aspect, it will really assist measuring performance at the the end of the day. If this was used during training, it will be easier to have the student continue the practice.

Debrief daily: Use the debrief model to evaluate your performance and set remedial actions to overcome any shortfalls that are identified. Knowing your own weaknesses is valuable insight into your own capability and looking at ways to improve on them shows courage and conviction. If you have a development plan, you can also assess progress toward longer term goals.

Invite feed back: This means actively seeking comments and suggestions form your co-workers and supervisors to assist your own development. Use open ended questions utilising ‘How’ and ‘What’ the their fullest – don’t ask ‘how did I do?’, instead ask “how could I improve?’.  If you are only after a measure of performance, ask specifics that require quantitative or definitive answers.

Find a coach / mentor: Use your trainer or a co-worker to help you set goals and find the means to meet them. Their insight into the workplace, it’s structure and the dynamics will give you a ‘leg up’.

Get involved: If something unusual comes up – ask to do it or assist if you lack the necessary experience or qualifications. The key is to get involved and take what you can away from the experience.

Conclusion

It is easy for a student to settle into a comfort zone following a successful assessment. They may see this as a reward for their previous efforts and ample justification for ‘resting on their laurels’. Very few things irk supervisors and co-workers more than someone who stales and is quite happy to do so. Some of the practices used during training can be continued to ensure that development continues after training and the student can adapt to meet evolving demands.

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