Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many of us are now working at home. The responsibility lies on us to manage our time and workload to ensure we are maintaining a good work/life balance. 

We will strap small computers to our wrists that assess our steps, sleep patterns, heart rate, food intake and weight to ensure this balance is met. These are assessments, right? So, why when we hear the word “assessment” in relation to learning do we often cringe? We think of school and passing or failing. We feel stressed about being judged. 

Realistically, helping individuals take control of their learning is not any different from helping them take control of their health. When done right, both rely on an assessment-driven process designed to drive specific feelings and behaviors that lead to key results. Ultimately, key results are what people love. 

What starts this process?

It’s usually a sense of being stuck. Andy Perkins very interestingly referred to this notion as “organizational permafrost,” defined as those within the organization who are good people but who offer less discretionary effort than new hires. He goes on to describe the early phase in one’s career as full of enthusiasm and hope. Eventually, the pressures of life begin to catch up with the “bright-eyed starburst,” and they “give less of themselves.” And, it is evident for all to see. Doesn’t this also sound like the beginning of a Fitbit commercial? 

What’s next? 

Identify the problems. Individuals may have a sense that they are slowly disengaging with their careers but don’t have a clear vision of the problem. Maybe they feel tired or mentally out of shape. This is the career equivalent of 20 pounds that creeps in over five years. You hardly notice it happening, but it definitely slows you down. This is the point when organizations need highly robust assessment tools, tailored to the organization’s operating model and personalized to targeted individual needs. Sarah Cordwell recently discussed some of these assessment types in her article on assessing training needs. 

The bottom line is individuals will want to take control of their learning if the diagnostic data enlightens them. They should be able to clearly see their individual strengths and weaknesses, understand how their weaknesses are impacting their overall performance, and clearly understand the personal ROI of reaching those key results. 

Then what?

Get moving, and keep assessing. Just like any targeted fitness plan, an individual needs training, coaching, and continuous measurement to ensure he or she is on track to achieving those key results in the most efficient way possible. Continuous assessment allows individuals to frequently benchmark against the desired results, change course, and learn in their own way. So, in the words of Andy Temte, “They can take the fastest path to the results that matter.” In the current global crisis, set out clearly by Andy Perkins, these words have never rung truer.


Ready to see how you can meet your organization’s learning and development needs? Learn more about the unique digital learning environment of Kaplan Performance Academy.