Is Learning about Performance?

It’s a question I’m just not sure about so I’m going to write and see where it leads me.

What is performance at work?

Performance in the workplace is all about hitting targets or objectives. That’s it.

It’s a managers job to make sure they monitor performance of team members. If there are issues with performance then you put a plan in place to improve things.


Learning at work is the process of taking in new information with the intent that it will give you new skills, knowledge or ability to achieve something. That something could be about negotiations, it could be about assertiveness, it could be about IT systems or it could be a number of other things.

If I learn, I gain a new skill.


Are they therefore reliant on one another?

If I am facilitating a learning session, am I helping someone to improve their performance?

I guess that’s the aim isn’t it?

But that’s not necessarily my focus in the learning session.

My focus in the learning session is to help you achieve a new skill. For application back in your day to day role, yes, but not exclusively.

If you’re on a five day Prince 2 Practitioner training, you’re learning how to use the Prince methodology. Not the application of it necessarily, but certainly how to use the model to effect.

What if you’re on a two day presentation skills session? My aim is to help you deliver a better presentation than you started with. That may or may not be your direct goal back in your day job, but you’ll have the skills to do it.

How about when you do some online learning to learn some core knowledge about changes in legislation or regulation which is fundamental to your job although it may not be used everyday?

And this is where I get stuck with the whole performance thing.

Yes, your learning may improve your performance, but that’s not what I’m an expert in.

I’m an expert in learning principles – be they online or face to face. I can design learning sessions to be awesome, immersive, relevant, technical or compliant. Regardless of the need of the learning, I can design something to meet that need.

I am not an expert in performance. I do not know what targets or objectives are core to you doing a good job. It is not my place to suggest or advise what is a reasonable metric or not. I am not there to ensure you have fair performance measures in place.

Help me out here people. What’s your view?