Critical Features of Performance Management Software for WIA: Course Correction

Social Solutions Blog

Critical Features of Performance Management Software for WIA: Course Correction

For organizations accepting funding through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and state agencies overseeing WIA distributions, performance management is a key component to success. Because all data collection and workforce reporting systems have different features, though, some are better suited for WIA-related initiatives than others.

In our ongoing 6-part series, we’re examining the key features you need to look for as you choose a system to help manage your WIA-based initiatives and programs:

This time, our focus is on course correction.

Make Improvements Mid-Stream

For many WIA-funded programs and initiatives, the reporting period is a time of surprise, insight and reevaluation. It’s during this time when the success or failure of their workforce development efforts are seen and corresponding changes are planned. This course correction is crucial to ongoing success. With the right performance management software system, though, you don’t have to wait until the reporting period to recognize when projections put you below your marks.

The right software for your program will give you the information and insights you need between reporting periods so that you can make adjustments mid-stream and change your projections for the better. To accomplish this, look for a performance management system that includes real time data entry and analysis.

Real-time Data mean Real-time insights

The best way to integrate real-time data into performance management is by integrating case management into your workforce reporting tools. This allows data collection to happen as fast as your job counselors perform their duties, and reports can be generated on that data just as quickly.  This speed of access allows you to catch problems in their early stages and solve them before they become larger and impact your long-term success metrics.

Course Correction Example: A workforce development program provides access for their participants to technical and vocational classes. Not every participant attends classes regularly, and over the course of a reporting period, this causes that participant to miss out on services crucial to their re-entry into the workforce (and can result in failed program metrics and potentially reduced funding).  Without real-time data, it may be difficult for a case worker to know this behavior is happening until a final attendance report is released and it’s revealed that their participant missed 50% of their classes.

Instead, if the workforce development program had a performance management system that implemented real-time data and reporting, this problem could be caught much earlier. When a participant is marked as absent from the class, an alert can go through the performance management system within 15 minutes and alert the appropriate case manager. This immediate feedback gives the case manager the chance to act and get their client into class and back on track.

A leader within a Milwaukee work force investment board relayed how the course correction methodology has changed his group:

“Without real-time access to data from programs and providers in one place, we would have a difficult time managing our performances to stay competitive.”

Real-time data allows you to improve effectiveness on the fly, which is fundamental for maintaining the outcomes necessary to keep your WIA funding, but also better enables you to do what’s most important: help your participants achieve successful integration into the workforce

Key Takeaways

–       There are several features of your performance management systems that make reporting for WIA programs easier.

–       Course Correction is one of them.

–       Traditional performance management tools require that you wait for a reporting period to see your impact and make changes.

–       Real-time data and reporting can help you make course corrections mid-stream.

–       Course-correction not only leads to success for your program, but to success for your participants.

 

Social Solutions’ Efforts to Outcomes provides the real time data collection and insights necessary to adjust your efforts before you deliver WIA reporting, not after. 

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