“It’s one of the things I really like about managing people — the teaching element, and giving feedback,” commented SugarSync Chief Executive Laura Yecies in a recent interview with New York Times reporter Adam Bryant.
Yecies likens it to a professor grading assignments. “If the teacher gives you a B, without any specifics, that’s not an acceptable situation” adding “that dynamic happens a lot in the workplace.”
That is, an assessment on its own does not help learners improve their performance; they need specific feedback on what worked—and what could be improved—to move forward in their ongoing learning process.
In the context of informal learning, that means the following:
- Identifying the intended outcome and how close (or far) the worker reached it. That, in turn, requires that managers and others coaching workers in their learning process have a clear understanding of the end result. That may or may not be the case.
- Describing the gap between what the worker provided and what was sought.
- Suggesting ways the worker can bridge that gap in the future.
Tip: Check out Chapter 8 of Informal Learning Basics for a framework for evaluating informal learning and Chapters 4 and 6 for more tips on coaching workers in their informal learning efforts, and.
Bryant, A. (2012.) When you write a report card, explain the grades. New York Times, June 9, 2012.Viewed at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/business/laura-yecies-of-sugarsync-on-thoughtful-evaluations.html?ref=business. Visited June 10, 2012.