So, as an OD Development executive, of course I have to look at the latest doo-dad and wonder, "What can this teach us about training"? Well, a lot as I'm seeing it.
For starters, it's competitive. I no sooner set up my user profile and other Fitbit users who were putting on their tech for the first time were asking to connect, as our goals were similar, all online. It allowed me to link in with MyFitnessPal (tracking food and cycling miles) and immediately made me part of a community of like minded people on the same mission, and with a love of tech. After wearing it for several days, a few things became very prevalent to me.
Where I Stand
Having your sleep, heart rate, steps, mileage, calories burned, floor climbed, active minutes tracked over time, you really get to understand where you stand, what you need to do to improve and then, you can adjust and go from there. Similar to how an Individual Development Plan (IDP) can help managers and employees gain insights to performance and competency improvement over a period of time. What I learned.
If an employee does not know their current state, development is harder to frame as there is no launching or starting point. Hearsay from top down or bottom up is just that, opinions and hearsay. Solid numbers allow everyone to elicit performance in and around real development.
Where I'm Great and Not So Great
I'd love to say I'm the pinnacle of health, but this isn't true. I'm in good shape but like many in the middle-aged years, need to keep a check-in on my weight. What I found remarkable is that years of strength training (very heavy training) has made my heart a smooth operator, when at rest. My resting heart rate is in the "athlete" zones, but I just know I'm not in the shape I should be. Well, not surprisingly, I noticed that my heart rate will climb quickly and max out with moderate to fast activity (running, cycling, CrossFit). So, now I know my challenge. Continue to strength train to maintain my heart's low beat per minute (BPM) at rest and sleep, but concentrate on higher impact cardiovascular activities. You know, help my heart hit the top line numbers I expect while still enjoying the low end numbers. What I learned.
If an employee does not know what good and bad look like, training for an outcome is an easily missed target. FitBit helped me compare my personal performance against national standards and then, of course, against my new online friends competing to be better with me.
Raising a son, being a father and husband, eating better, running and cycling more, sleeping more, loosing 30lb, running a business, fixing the garage roof and concentrating on total health in themselves are tall and lofty goals. Why not break out what goals are required, attainable and some that can be hit in a shorter order. You know, get some wins, right? Always look at the bigger picture, but keep those feel-good wins in mind too.
With analysis paralysis setting in, I decided that my mission will be to get back to the gym no less than 3x per week for a total session of 1.5-hours minimum. 4.5-hours of my life allocated to being a better and healthier person. I know this is highly attainable and it's now part of my schedule, so there are no excuses. What do I expect in 2016? I'd love t be 15-lbs lighter by the close of the year. If I can't loose 1.25-lbs per week, I'm failing. What I learned.
If an employee sees the performance goals as too lofty or too challenging, you just may well end up with a job shopper, an disengaged employee or worse, someone who does just enough to fly under the radar. Competency models that allow individuals to improve incrementally and employees that view these as wins are going to have better performance and retention overall.
So, these are my top of mind thoughts for 2016 as we get into a year of exciting jobs, projects and technolgies once again. 327 Solutions wishes everyone an amazing 2016 and that you'll find your bliss, pursue your passion and finally be going what you love.
But, don't forget how Fitbit can help you personally, and in the Learning and Development spaces.