Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Evaluating performance gaps, part of Instructional Design: Needs Analysis.
In training, a performance gap is the difference between what people should be doing, and what they actually are doing. Analyzing data can help us identify these gaps, and determine whats causing them. And if we know that, we can create training programs that will help employees close these performance gaps. For this video, we'll come back to the interviewing skills training program as an example. The performance gap for this project is turnover rate for employees within their first 90 days, The goal is 15%... But the actual percentage for many supervisors is much higher than that.
From our interviews, we identified three potential reasons why supervisors make poor hiring decisions. The first problem is not enough time. Some supervisors spend as little as 15 minutes interviewing potential candidates. This might cause supervisors to make hiring decisions without knowing enough about the person they're hiring. Another problem is inappropriate environments like an employee break room. This might make it difficult for supervisors to make good judgements about potential candidates. High potential job applicants might also be scared off if they're offered a job from another company.
Or the interview was conducted in a more professional environment. A lack of specific interview questions might also be a problem. Supervisors might not be doing a good job of uncovering a candidate's qualifications. If they aren't asking good questions. One way to test each of these is to create a chart for each variable. We know each individual supervisor's turnover rate. We also know, from a survey we conducted, how much time supervisors spend interviewing candidates, where they conduct their interviews, and whether or not they ask specific questions.
Let's see what each one tells us. This table shows a strong connection between time spent interviewing, and turnover rate for new employees. This analysis reveals that supervisors who spend more time interviewing employees, generally have lower turnover. This next table shows us that supervisors who generally conduct interviews in a conference room. Have a lower turn over rate, than supervisors who conduct interviews in less appropriate locations like an employee break room. Finally, this table shows us that supervisors who ask specific questions have a lower turnover rate than those who don't.
Analyzing this data has helped us confirm our suspicion that time spent interviewing. The location where the interview is held. And whether the supervisor asks specific questions are all strongly connected to turnover among employees within their first 90 days. Now that we've identified some root causes, we want to gain a better understanding of why this is happening. One helpful technique is called the five whys. It can help us identify the root cause of a problem by asking why until we get to real issue. You don't really need to ask why five times.
The name is based on the idea that it often takes approximately five questions to get to the heart of the matter. We can use the five whys technique to get a better understanding of why supervisors. Aren't spending enough time interviewing prospective employees. We might start by asking, why supervisors aren't spending more time interviewing? Our observations and interviews with supervisors, tell us that supervisors feel like they're too busy. So, why do they feel like they're too busy? One explanation is that high turnover rates creates a time crunch for supervisors.
Here's some additional info that we were able to discover. The average supervisor with a 30% new hire turnover rate must hire, and train 6 new employees per year. Supervisors spend an average of 24 hours hiring, and training each new employee. That means a supervisor with a 30% turnover rate, spends approximately 144 hours each year hiring and training employees. That's nearly one month of work. With this data, we might be able to convince supervisors that they can save a lot of time just by spending a little more time on hiring. We can use the five whys technique to understand the root cause of other problems too. For example, why don't some supervisors hold interviews in conference rooms? It turns out, there aren't always conference rooms available. Why? There are only a few conference rooms and they get booked in advance. Why don't supervisors book conference rooms in advance? Turns out, that's because a recruiter typically schedules interviews with only one day notice. Why don't recruiters give more notice? We've learned that supervisors and recruiters, don't always coordinate their calendars. This insight tells us we need to find a way to get supervisors and recruiters to do a better job coordinating their schedules, so supervisors can book a conference room to hold their interviews. Supervisors might save even more time if they coordinate with the recruiter to schedule several interviews. One after another. Okay, we've covered a lot, so let's recap. First, it's important to identify the gap between existing and desired performance. Second, combine data from various sources to analyze the gaps.
It often helps to present the data visually, such as a chart or a table. Finally, use techniques like the five whys to dig deeper until you've identified the root cause of the problem.
- Setting project objectives
- Identifying the target audience for training
- Selecting data sources
- Facilitating focus groups and interviews
- Designing effective surveys
- Identifying participant needs
- Defining learning outcomes
- Presenting results to project sponsors