Key Learning Points:
- Managing employee performance is critical to the sustainability of organisations;
- Generic performance ratings prove ineffective and result in demotivated employees;
- Utilising the correct tools can provide meaningful information that motivate and develop employees.
Organisations have had to adapt to a fast-paced changing environment by reengineering, restructuring, changing their focus or location of their production, or downsizing to remain competitive. Each of the possible activities employed by organisations to adapt to the changing environment has led to a number of significant changes in the way that work is organised. Employees need to deal with technological advances and the increased rate of change, while managing information and being sensitive to diversity within the workplace. Amidst all these changes, employees are required to learn faster and to deliver outputs of a high quality at a quicker rate. Employees are also required to perform to their potential in order for organisations to stay competitive in the market place. A management process with a specific focus on ensuring that employees perform optimally and that employees’ performance is aligned with the strategy of the organisation, is often a large contributor to the sustainability of the organisation.
Performance management is concerned with the management of employees’ performance in order to align employees’ performance with the organisation’s goals. It is important that the design of the performance management system meets the following two requirements in order to be effective:
- Produces a clear understanding of what performance is expected from an individual; and
- Effectively measures whether the individual accomplished what was expected.
There are many detailed features that make a performance management system effective, some of which include objective measures, ongoing feedback on performance, and input from employees on the system such that they are part of the process. In addition, an effective performance management system has to ensure that the ratings given to employees are meaningful3. Perhaps, this may be one of the most challenging aspects of performance management. Organisations aim to differentiate high from low performers but often this process can leave employees feeling demotivated. This can especially be the case in the instance where employees are ranked from best performer to worst performer. Even in an instance where developmental guidelines are given for the improvement of performance, employees may still feel demotivated as these guidelines may be so generic that employees may feel lost between what is expected of them and their current behaviour.
Our assessment tools enable individuals to understand what their unique strengths are, as well as what their potential performance could be. The performance feedback tools allows individuals to rate themselves, and to be rated by their peers, colleagues, subordinates, clients and management on their actual performance. Individuals may then make a comparison between their potential performance and their actual performance in order to gain relevant insights into their unique developmental areas. When relating these unique development areas to the individual’s key performance areas, the individual may gain further insight as to what specific behaviours need to be changed or optimised. Using our comprehensive assessment toolkit helps to ensure that performance appraisals are more meaningful for employees, and provide employees with more specific information on how to develop or to enhance behaviours to improve their performance.
Key Learning Points:
- Organisations need highly adaptable employees;
- Retention is a key success factor in selection processes;
- Highly valid and reliable tools enhance organisations’ performance.
Employees are key to business success. An organisation’s performance is directly related to the quality of its employees. Selection decisions impact directly on organisational success. Effective selection practices consist of evaluating individuals against set criteria, comparing individuals to the criterion; and selecting individuals who are best suited for a particular position.
Creating a workforce with high adaptability requires a shift in focus from a job-based to a competency-based approach as a more competency-focused approach could be a turning-point to allow an organisation to be more flexible and adaptable in times of rapid change. While a job-based approach focuses mainly on job descriptions, a competency-based approach focuses on person-descriptions. By selecting an employee through the use of a job-based approach, an individual will be selected based on ability to perform those responsibilities unique to a specific position. By making use of a competency-based approach for selection, an individual will be selected based on existing competencies as well as the ability to learn the types of skills needed by the organisation.
Employees in the twenty-first century spend less time with individual employers than in the past and may be less committed. Selection costs may seem prohibitive in certain instances and organisations need to incorporate plans for retention as early as the selection process. A major cause for employee turnover is poor chemistry or bad fit. It is therefore important for organisations to not only choose a candidate who possesses the required skills, but also a candidate whose attitude, personality and behaviours fit within the culture of the organisation.
In order to be able to select an individual who will be the best fit for the position, it is crucial that the selection methods used have both high reliability and predictive validity. While, a reliable method will have the same outcome when repeated after a period of time, a method of high predictive validity will successfully predict the individual’s performance in real life situations.
By taking these contemporary challenges into consideration, it is clear that successful selection processes should be valid and reliable, measure an individual’s job-fit by comparing individual competencies with the competencies critical for success in the position; and measure individual-organisation fit by comparing the attitude, personality characteristics and behaviours of the individual with those of the organisation.
Our tools meet the above requirements and were developed by making use of a performance driven, validation-centric strategy which means that the best predictors of criteria were included in our questionnaires. The job profiler is a questionnaire designed to determine the competencies specific to a position and when it comes to selection it can be used to determine the set of competencies (criteria) against which individuals should be compared. The assessments were designed to describe individual differences in terms of motives, talents, preferred culture and competency potential. In addition, the ability assessments were designed to further measure an individual’s cognitive ability. By employing these tools during selection, an organisation can better predict performance, proficiency, promotability and potential. Fit for purpose leads to better performance enhanced engagement.