Make the difference with Performance Support

The way we look at effective learning has changed in recent years. We used to think learning mainly took place in the classroom, nowadays we agree that most of the learning takes place in the workplace. A connection with the workplace is very important to have an impact. But how do you support learning in the workplace in a good way? Performance Support – or in typical Dutch workplace support – offers a solution. In this blog I will take you into the world of Performance Support: what is it and what does it look like?

First a definition

Performance Support is support that ensures that employees receive exactly the information they need at the moment they need it to be able to perform their work properly.

Just in time – just enough – just in place – just for me

To understand the entire spectrum of Performance Support, the ‘Five moments of need’ helps. This methodology has been developed by Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher, the gurus in the field of Performance Support. The five moments they describe provide an overarching framework where good learning solutions meet a need:

  1. New: When you want to learn something new.
  2. More: When you want to learn more about something.
  3. Apply: When you try to apply something.
  4. Change: When you want to stay informed about change.
  5. Solve: When you try to solve a problem.

Does your learning solution take all these needs into account? Then your learning solution ensures that someone not only reaches the desired level, but also stays on that level.

In this article from Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher you can read more about the five moments.

Performance Support – you see it everywhere

Performance Support may sound a bit much. Still, you probably use Performance Support on a daily basis. A number of examples that you probably know or use:

Google Translate
You can translate directly with the Google Translate app. If you’re on a vacation and you don’t know what a sign means? Or you don’t know what food you will be served? Then this app will help you immediately.

YouTube is actually a Performance Support tool too. A video about how an application works, how to fold a toss tent back together or how to change a tire. These are all examples of performance support.

Speed dial telephone
You can call family and friends with your smartphone via hotkeys or voice command. The moment you want to make a call, your smartphone will help you carry out the action.

Examples in the work environment

There are also many great applications of Performance Support in the work environment. Some examples:

Performance Support in applications
Performance Support in applications is perhaps the best known form. The application itself contains a context-sensitive help function with explanations or videos. The support in an application is getting smarter. Examples of advanced tools that provides support in the application are WalkMe or LEO .

Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is a technique that enriches reality with information. For example, using an app on your phone or the HoloLens. Thyssenkrupp, a large tech company that specializes in elevators, among other things, offers its service technicians performance support by using the HoloLens via Augmented Reality.

Another example is the affordable Aryzon solution, which is still in production today. This is, as it were, the cardboard version of the HoloLens.

Quick Reference Cards and Decision Trees
Performance Support can also take less technically advanced forms. A Quick Reference Card or decision tree are examples of support that can be very effective.

You can also offer performance support via a chatbot. A chatbot is an automated conversation partner. You can ask the chatbot all your questions that you have but cannot or do not want to burden a colleague with. This technique is still in its early stages. For the future of performance support, this is one to keep an eye on!


In short, there are plenty of options in the field of Performance Support. What matters in the end is the effect you want to bring about. Start by asking that question. Then choose the right resources, at the right time to suit the needs of the employee.
Would you like to know more about Performance Support? Or would you like to drink coffee to share your experience in this field with me? Then contact us!



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