Performance Improvement

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Articles & Reviews | No Comments

Practitioner/Peer Reviewed Journal from EDCI 528

Bingham, Tony. (2012). Performance improvement: Best practices from around the world. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 25(1), 99-103.

Dr. Tony Bingham, prior president and CEO of American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), wrote an article for the ISPI-sponsored journal. He focuses on the impact and best practices from around the world. He states when people and organizations are “operating efficiently and effectively, businesses benefit and the world quite literally works better” (2012, p. 99). He focuses on helping learning professionals lead talent management in their organizations, build their business skills, understand the impact of social media on informal learning, close skill gaps, and connect their work to the strategic priorities of business (2012, p. 103).

As part of his role at ASTD, Bingham seeks to recognize and share best practices to achieve strategic business objectives (2012, p. 99).  In order to this, ATSD offers an Excellence in Practice award. This is done by a blind and rigorous review process. It encompasses a committee to analyze organizations efforts in a broad range of practices, including performance improvements. In this article, he shares a few examples of the array of award-winning practice awards. My favorite example was Reliance Industries Ltd in India. Due to a great deal of physical injuries, a detailed analysis revealed that ineffective training was the root cause of the incidents (2012, p.101). The existing training management system underwent major restricting to include the following:

  • Structured classroom training with online validation for safety procedures and standards
  • Minimum required competency matrix and validation for each job position
  • Innovation on-the-job training for nightshift workers
  • Specialized training for all 3,300 employees and 4,400 contractors
  • A home-and-road safety awareness program for schoolchildren and family members

As a result of these actions, Reliance Industries’ Hazira reported zero process and fire incidents, zero financial loss, almost zero road accidents, and a dramatic decrease in the accident severity rate in 2010 (2012, p.101). What a win! This reiterates that performance improvement is an area of critical importance to organizations.

I deliberately tried to find an article that talked about performance improvement because of my interest in how it shapes real-life change (and my passion to work in a situation that will provide real-life impact like Reliance Industries). I questioned: How was performance improvement measured? What specific results were offered? While this article was helpful in celebrating award-winners, I found it pretty inspirational from the impact and value that performance improvements can make. The article presented very straight-forward improvement needs, systematic approaches and solutions. As someone just exploring performance improvement, I will continue to explore new areas of practice but also draw upon past experience and skills to inform my work.

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