As heads of organizations and heads of Learning and Development departments, we are on a constant lookout for measures that can positively impact our employees’ performance. There are many approaches that can be adopted to bring in performance gain. In this article, I will outline how to boost your workforce performance with interactive PDFs and eBooks (when used as Performance Support Tools or PSTs).
In 1991, Gloria Gerry pioneered the initial ideas and practices of Performance Support (PS) in her book “Electronic Performance Support Systems”.
She rightly proposed that the learning strategies of organizations needed to “be reconceived to influence the primary purpose of organization: To perform effectively and efficiently”. She also observed that the “information, rules and knowledge” that employees needed in order to “optimize performance” were “spread all over the place” and needed to be “within easy reach”.
Gerry felt that organizations must “give up the idea that competence must exist within the person and expand [their] view that whenever possible it should be built into the situation”.
Unfortunately, Gerry’s vision of what PS can do for organizations experienced a short period of attention but this concept did not quite take off (primarily because of high implementation costs).
Today, there is a wider acceptance of the fact that use of formal training is not enough to help learners apply the learning on the job. There is a renewed focus on using Performance Support as an integral part of an organization’s learning strategy to push the knowledge acquisition to application.
In my own organization and with several customers, we have successfully demonstrated the power of PSTs. In this article, I will outline how you can use interactive PDFs and eBooks as Performance Support Tools.
Performance Support Tools (PSTs) are on-the-job tools that support and guide employees at the precise moment of need. Unlike training, which is characterized by providing information and guidance beforehand, these tools assist employees as they actually do their jobs.
These tools are very easy to find, often directly embedded into the learners’ workflow (Learning Hub). They offer active guidance, saving the employees the hassles of “searching” for information and assistance. These solutions enable organizations to provide the right amount of task guidance, support, and productivity benefits to their employees just when they need them.
PST formats are limited only by your imagination. Some of the formats we have extensively used are:
For a deeper understanding of PSTs and why they must be an integral part of an organization’s learning strategy, refer to my article Performance Support Tools: Top 5 Things Your Boss Wants To Know.
Interactive PDFs and eBooks enable you to generate high quality PSTs fairly quickly. These are available in multi-device format enabling your learners to use them on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PCs.
As we all know, the key is quick access to most recent information. These formats enable organizations to make information accessible, searchable, and up-to-date.
Availability of these learning aids within the learner’s work-flow significantly increases the probability of usage thereby increasing the application of this learning on the job.
You can boost your workforce performance with interactive PDFs and eBooks by using them to supplement or complement formal training (online or ILT). Essentially, they allow you to make factual, knowledge-based information available to your learners quickly and easily.
Typically, they include:
They don’t have to be long (in fact, they shouldn’t be) but a short and sharp byte of knowledge when you need it can be invaluable.
Both formats accommodate the same level of design (visually rich text, audio, and video). eBooks also allow SCORM output thereby enabling you to track the usage of the learning aid.
Here are a few examples of Interactive PDFs and eBooks:
For more details on this example, refer to my article Performance support: Featuring Interactive pdf as a Learning Aid to supplement online learning.
I hope this article provides cues on how you can use simple learning aids like Interactive PDFs and eBooks to create a strong Performance Support intervention and enhance the application of learning. This in turn will certainly boost your workforce performance.
I have several case studies that reflect a direct impact of Performance Support Tools on the ROI of training. Do contact me for further details.
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I work as a Project Lead at EI Design where I develop the visual design for client projects. My focus is to provide end products as per the client’s design and requirement. This puts me in a position where I need to understand core client requirements. I achieve this by communicating efficiently across the different domains that are involved in the project. As a Visual Designer, my focus is to develop eye-catching products that not only capture the imagination of end-users but also enhance their learning capabilities through our innovative technologies.
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We can always be the best in anything we do, provided we are ready to work hard for it.
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I work with the Quality Assurance Team at EI Design, co-ordinating with multiple domains (ID, VA, Tech, and VD) to deliver exceptional product experiences for learners. It is my duty to ensure that the developers are equipped with accurate information in order to fix/uplift the product experience. I also bridge the gap between developers/testers and the client to provide clarity on the feedback received from client. In conclusion, I can say that I drive the quality of work generated across domains and monitor the performance of domains, teams, and individuals using Quality Measurement Analysis reports.
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Don’t Be the Smartest One in the Room
“Oftentimes, leaders feel that they need to be the “smartest guy or gal” in the room, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Good leaders are the smartest one in the room, great leaders surround themselves with smarter people that will challenge ideas, bring new perspectives to the table and drive innovation.”
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As a Senior Business Development Manager at EI Design, my main role is business mining, building new opportunities for our business.
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Work till you need no introduction.
I joined EI Design as a Quality Analyst and worked my way up to become an Associate Project Manager. I now help my team plan their daily tasks and provide the necessary guidance to meet project deadlines accordingly.
My role at EI Design involves the delivery of quality products to all our clients and address their concerns and queries through multiple stages of the project life cycle.
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Every time you come across a challenge you need to face it than avoid it. It will help you grow professionally as well as personally.
As the Project Lead at EI Design, my role involves supporting my team in delivering quality products and managing iterations. I am also responsible for coordinating multiple projects with clients across the globe. I am perpetually involved in supervising and guiding my team through the numerous tasks that come our way. It is my duty to ensure smooth functioning of daily processes and drive my team to deliver quality, while maintaining consistency.
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If you want to grow you must be ready to learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime.
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