Observing for Top Performer Outcomes
Surely the best method for identifying top performer outcomes is to watch top performers. It sounds simple, but it works. By watch them, we mean to observe them as they do their work in their normal work environment.
If the normal work environment is a call center, then sit next to them, listen to calls, and watch how they use their IT systems and any documentation around them. Pay particular attention to any handwritten job aids. If a top performer thinks something is important enough to write down, then it usually is a critical item that would benefit other performers.
If the normal work environment requires interfacing with customers (e.g., an outside sales rep) then the ideal method is to accompany the reps on customer calls. See what they do before, during, and after each customer interaction. For instance, what notes do they take and how do they document any follow-actions?
Sometimes the normal work environment is challenging for observations. We’ve worked with top performers everywhere from refineries where we had to take special training and don lots of protective gear to tugboats escorting loaded tankers through Alaskan waters in winter temperatures and very uncomfortable sea conditions. But in every case, we’ve learned a tremendous amount from being present with the top performer and seeing firsthand all of the hints and tricks they leverage.
Questions to ponder:
– Where do your top performers work their magic? Have you observed them as they do their work? What have you learned from your observations?