Powerful Performance From Within: Unlocking Best Practices

Discovering and spreading best practices to improve performance while reducing costs, working more effectively, and closing gaps.

It’s surprising but many organizations aren’t aware of internal best practices. In the search for improving procedures, job tasks, and the performance of teams and equipment, companies often overlook opportunities to discover best practices that already exist. Finding those and combining them with other opportunities to improve teams can have a significant impact in virtually every aspect of facility operations.

The first step is to identify teams that are outperforming others and discovering the practices leading to that success. Once discovered, setting programs in place to institutionalize those practices can elevate the rest of the workforce to the same standard.

Another important aspect to remember is that an outside perspective is helpful. The best programs for improvement analyze what exists internally and externally and how those can combine to form a model of excellence across teams and throughout an organization.

Training as a By-Product of Structured OJT

Often there are ways of capturing these best practices during your normal course of conducting training. For example, there is a movement to use video as a tool to capture structured on-the-job training (OJT). Videotaping these interactions allows you to have sustainable documentation of employee performance, both to confirm the observation was completed and to use as documentation in the event of a future incident.

What organizations often overlook is that while the documentation is occurring for feedback purposes, they are also capturing best practices. Using the videos from the OJT, these videos can then be harvested and used as training modules for future training needs. In the process of assessing your learners to provide feedback, you likely captured some of your learners doing things right! Leveraging these materials as a training modality is an excellent way to communicate best practices as a by-product.

Best Practices as Part of the “Training for Impact” Approach

Training brings people from different parts of an organization together. It is wise to capitalize on this periodic gathering and always, where appropriate, harvest and document Best Practices as part of your training approach to performance improvement.

As an example, when GP Strategies is called on to provide training or workshop facilitation around the subjects of Reliability and Planning & Scheduling, our facilitators routinely face an assembled audience of individuals from various parts of the client’s organization and who play various roles, for example, management and supervision, skilled trades, planners, operations personnel, etc. We like to begin by engaging the participants in a structured discussion and listing current best practices relative to the subject matter.

Focusing on the positives at the outset, from the perspectives of the individuals in various departments and roles, allows people to talk about what is working and to spread awareness of their Best Practices.

Many times a number of procedures, worksheets, methods, and management processes are shared and documented, and then explored during the course of the training as warranted. Operators have shared specific best operating practices, maintenance has shared new tools and software or methods, management has understood variation in processes and gained clarity about future alignment, and the facilitator has become aware of the organizational terrain that must be acknowledged for performance improvement.

Post-Outage Team Review Exampleperformance“Things Gone Right” – “Improvement Opportunities”

Taking steps to capture best practices at an organization is an excellent first step to improve the effectiveness of teams and personnel. Using methods such as the two mentioned in this post to discover and institutionalize best practices can have a lasting impact and takes a leading approach to achieve a higher level of performance.

Learn more about our training programs and solutions or contact us to review your current training program to identify opportunities for improvement.

Sheri Weppel

Sheri Weppel started her career as an art teacher covered in finger paint, clearly teaching people about out-of-the-box thinking (or at least off-the-construction-paper thinking). While working on her master’s degree in Instructional Design and Development at Lehigh University, she realized that we could learn a lot from the public-school classroom. Concepts like micro-learning, learning styles, gaming, and training on demand were common in grade school, but were considered new concepts in the corporate sector.

Because one degree is never enough, Sheri continued her studies at Lehigh with a focus on Gaming for Instruction. In her spare time, she spent her evenings losing to her husband in Scrabble and wanting to throw the letter Q across the room, making her realize the emotional attachments we can have to games. If we could harness that desire to succeed, compete, or win to a learning environment, what impact could we have on learner motivation?

Countless games of Scrabble later, Sheri started at GP Strategies as an Instructional Designer and was able to inject those concepts into solutions for her customers. This is often a challenge for customers that want to use gaming but often don’t believe they have the time or budget required to successfully launch into the gaming space. Sheri is driven to help these clients find a balance in embedding gaming elements into instruction in a practical manner.

In the past nine years, Sheri has held many roles within the organization, from instructional designer to sales lead for blended learning, and is now focusing on the off-the-shelf product GPiLEARN+, growing the product into a true blended learning solution. Regardless of her role, Sheri is always focused on working with customers to help build impactful training solutions that focus on the needs of all populations. She helps clients determine specifically when to incorporate gaming versus using hands-on, traditional approaches.

When she is not working, Sheri enjoys having adventures with her dog Olivia, attending barre classes, and learning new three-letter words that begin with the letter Q.

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