How Performance-Guided Learning Can Support Operational Goals

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

The practice of using personalized, data-driven learning has great potential for the healthcare arena. That’s because it shifts the education/training paradigm away from mandated classes and annual testing to a more nimble, customized model that plays to employees’ strengths, based on data. It also should be viewed through an operational lens, because when properly implemented it can do much to foster and achieve operational goals.

For instance, imagine a healthcare organization where an overarching goal of reducing patient falls has been introduced, with a set target number and date. Chances are that some goal-setting meetings have been held, and word got out to staff around the importance of the issue and the steps being taken to address it.

Undoubtedly, there is strong buy-in, because patient safety is the foundational goal of any healthcare enterprise. But what does the education portion of the program look like? If it’s just a series of mandated workshops and lectures, a huge opportunity is being missed. Even the most eager learner’s enthusiasm is cooled by an educational component that lumps everyone into the same skill level and doesn’t attempt to recognize individual achievement or preexisting competency levels.

Aligning goals with innovative education

This is where performance-guided learning has such appeal. By assessing an employee’s performance and then connecting it with how he or she learns and develops, an entirely new approach can be formed. Rather than everyone beginning at a basic level, skills can be taken into account so that each learner gets what he or she needs and then moves ahead.

For instance, those who have demonstrated strong capabilities around patient falls, everything from a spotless record to innovations that have helped improve safety, shouldn’t be sitting in a “Patient Falls 101” class. The skills of those employees should be recognized through ongoing performance conversations—and turned into educational ambassadors for the chief goal.

That’s what performance-guided learning is all about. By utilizing an employee recognition solution and tying that into enterprise-wide learning and performance tools, learning becomes a much more customized and integrated process. Rather than being seen as an interruption, continuing education is an essential part of every day.

And employees who value something are eager to not just take part in it, but also to master its requirements. A continual feedback loop that showcases performance excellence while also creating opportunities for non-punitive remedial education and training has great value. The end result will not just be achieving a systemwide goal, but also a workplace where education is fully utilized. That results in employee satisfaction and higher operational efficiency.


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