Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between employee training and performance enablement. In businesses, both training and enablement have the same goal - better job performance - but they go about it in a very different way.
Training's primary goal is to teach an employee something that they will then hopefully apply in the workplace. It is designed to be a transfer of knowledge and/or skills.
Enablement is different. Enablement assumes that the employee can do the job effectively, they just need a little help. Enablement focuses on removing any roadblocks that prevent the employee from being successful.
Training tries to cram knowledge in. Enablement draws it out. With ScreenSteps we are trying to bridge the gulf that exists between training and performance. Employee enablement can fill that gap.
Example of Training vs. Enabling
Let's look at an example of a salesperson who is struggling to ask effective questions when talking with potential customers. At the end of the conversation they don't fully understand their prospect's needs. We can attack this problem with training or with enablement. Let's look at both.
If we are taking a strictly training approach we might do the following:
- Have them attend an instructor led coarse or have them watch a training video.
- Provide some opportunity for them to practice.
- Perhaps have an assessment to see if they can regurgitate key facts about asking effective questions.
Now let's look how this would be different if we were focusing on enablement.
- Have them review some information on asking more effective questions on their own. This could be a video or blog article.
- Schedule a time to meet with them.
- During the meeting answer any questions they had. Have them practice and offer feedback.
- Determine where they will need to use this skill and add prompts. In ScreenSteps, for example, we would add a customer question checklist on our CRM screen since that is where our Sales people are when they are making a call to a customer.
- Listen in on a few calls to provide additional feedback and determine if the employee needs to have any additional resources available to them in the moment they need to apply the skill (you can read more about the importance of more frequent feedback here).
The trainer's job is done when the class is over. The enabler has to drive an ScreenSteps. The trainer assumes that knowledge taught will be transferred into knowledge applied. The enabler plans for their person to forget information and gives them the help they need to apply the knowledge successfully.
The biggest difference is the impact on the business. Training drives assessments. Enablement drives ScreenStepss.