Like many organizations, Quintiles recognized the need to make sure all learning goals are linked to business goals. To that end, they identified high performance individuals to become part of a new Performance Partner consulting team. The difficulty in implementing the new approach was ensuring all consultants had the baseline skills needed.
The team members are assigned to work with both internal and end-user clients on training requests. Stakeholders at Quintiles needed to see improvements in their abilities to interview and better manage the client training requests. The team needed both a methodology and a means for developing new skills in proactive consulting, reactive consulting, and completing gaps maps for performance problems and solutions. Since none of the participants were located in the same city and most not even in the same country, the logistics and potential cost for participating in workshops and coaching sessions was a real challenge.
One of the key design considerations was not just information presentation for the new skills, but the practice and feedback required to develop real skills that could be put to use in the work environment immediately. Normal webinar-style PowerPoint slides would not work for critical skills. Handshaw was able to conduct normal role play scenarios and include participants in providing group feedback for the role plays by using webcams and small groups of six participants for role plays, with up to twenty participants for information presentation. As a result of the feedback sessions, participants were able to do their own coaching in teams using the criteria that were employed during the role plays.
Company-specific role play scenarios provided better context for application on the job. Even gaps map solutions were based on company specific problems for better skill transfer. Performance on the completion of gaps maps was especially efficient and successful.
Despite the fact that participants were dispersed all over the globe and in many different time zones, the skill level of participants who completed all the webinars was identical to groups who have attended these workshops in person. In subsequent coaching meetings where participants reported on their successes and failures, participants were able to coach each other according to the principles learned in the workshops and resolve many problems on their own.
Quintiles met many of their performance goals for the first year of their Performance Partnering program.