As competition intensifies and internal and external factors pile pressure on organisations, management must seek ways to adapt to changes in the global marketplace in order to bolster the performance of their people as they strive to gain a competitive edge.
To do this, they cannot afford to rest on their oars– they know complacency may mean a downward spiral towards failure.
While ramping up people performance is by no means an easy task, with the right measure of emphasis and deliberate effort to effect change, it is possible. Transforming people performance does not necessarily translate to a radical departure from the way things are done which may portend more harm than good for the business, rather, it refers to a gradual change that is introduced by conducting a competency-based performance assessment for employees.
One of the tried and tested ways to transform people performance and result is by assessing the current employee performance threshold. This exercise provides data that reveal how employee skills and behaviour align with the organisation’s strategic goals.
Mckinsey and Company identified some fundamental questions organisations who are looking to transform their performance must answer, two of them include:
- How can we dramatically improve the organisation’s business and fast?
- How can we create a sustainable competitive advantage in a constantly changing world?
The challenge, therefore, is not just to improve productivity but to go one step further to ensure the sustainability of the positive result that will be recorded.
In deploying performance management assessment to drive employee productivity, business leaders need to examine the culture of the organisation. What has improved employee performance in the past? Identifying this will help them pinpoint what their people place value on and how they can plug any of these into their employee value proposition to boost staff morale and ultimately drive better results for the firm.
Of utmost importance also is the alignment of the business’ current performance management with its goals. An organisation may underperform if the metrics or Key Performance Indicators used to assess employee performance are not the right ones.
An analysis of how its workforce views learning and development programmes designed to improve their skills on the job will give valuable insight into what can be done to boost their performance. If employees have an apathy for training, then they are not likely to be responsive to it and will not be well-equipped to tackle the challenges they may face in executing their day-to-day tasks. Effective assessment will bring all of these to light and reveal the gaps in employee development.
Assessments show the true picture of employee performance to both employers and employees. Employees are able to see where they need to improve while employers also identify the development areas that will provide the greatest impact on performance.
Workplace assessment can take the form of personality or competency assessment. In another report, Aberdeen Group named the identification of high-potential employees as one of the uses of assessments in organisations. Assessments can be regarded as talent management weapons that can be employed to achieve one or more of the following:
- Boost employee motivation
- Promote leadership development
- Enhance teamwork
- Aid succession planning
With the right assessment, decision makers within the organisation are able to put the right people in the right roles.
An effective assessment should measure 3 critical elements to success in any job:
- Competence: Is the employee demonstrating the capability to execute his job function efficiently?
- Work Ethics: Does the employee have the right attitude to work?
- Emotional Intelligence: Do they possess the maturity to lead?
At the end of the day, whether organisations are assessing competence or behaviour, employee performance will be transformed only when assessments are well-designed to predict the likelihood of performance on the job.