In corporate environment, one of the most commonly heard terms after training is performance support. In most cases, managers tend to focus on either training or performance support, but for a conducive corporate environment both of them are equally important. Another commonly made mistake is using training and performance support synonymously, but even this is not the case. There are underlying differences between the concept and principles of training and performance support. eLearning has introduced electronic lessons and changed the way training is conducted in corporates, similarly, technology has also introduced electronic performance support tools for using in corporate environments.
Electronic Performance Support is any learning resource, modality or asset that is accessible to employees whenever and wherever they need. It is a part of the work process and can be accessed in the context of workflow or used help in solving specific business problems. Today, electronic performance support tools can be found on desktops, laptops, MP3 players and other types of handheld devices. From simple Internet search to advanced process embedded versions, there are various forms of Electronic Performance Support tools available today. It can be considered to be an extension of eLearning as there are instances where learners forget the content provided to them during training. So, when they face a problem, they refer to colleagues, call support desk, search online and try other informal ways to find a solution. This is the situation where Electronic Performance Support system comes into play. So, training and performance are not synonymous; training is required to gain knowledge and skills while performance support is required to finish processes and tasks. Purpose of training is to teach new skills or upgrade existing skills of learners while purpose of performance support is to apply a skill for problem solving. Thus, time required for training is fixed and can be as long as an hour. But, in case of performance support, time required is short and quick, and not regularly required.
Electronic performance Support Systems (EPSS) help corporates to reduce cost of training of their employees without compromising on their work quality. In fact, it improves performance and productivity of employees without wasting time in external intervention. There are several characteristics of Electronic Performance based systems, it includes –
- Computer-based: Though there have been manual and paper-based performance support systems earlier, EPSS are powerful, computer based tools. It provides quick access to information in form of audio, video, image, text and other media.
- Easily Updated: EPSS can be easily updated, in order to keep the information current and up-to-date with latest trends.
- Controlled: Information provided by EPSS can be easily controlled by employee or worker. Each person using EPSS can decide what information is needed and when it is needed.
Formal eLearning lessons are designed to educate learners while Electronic Performance Support Systems make resources convenient, easy to access and relevant to learners. It provides workers with the right tools to get their job done.