Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hack Performance Management by Hiring Right

a cartoon figure climbing up a ladder is passed up by a business woman with a jet pack

Can you manage performance before an employee is actually on the job? We say that you can.

Performance management training typically addresses important manager effectiveness skills around setting clear standards and expectations, measuring performance against those standards, regularly holding employees accountable, and coaching effectively using constructive feedback to improve on-the-job behavior. Managers who consistently do these things well have teams with higher levels of engagement, performance, and retention.  They also report lower levels of employee relation issues. 

How can you get a head start on managing performance and giving your employees a boost up that career ladder? By hiring well in the first place. 

When you can put the right person with the right skills and attitude in the right job in an organizational culture that suits them, you are well on your way to engaging, developing and retaining a high performer. There are pre-hire assessment tools of course. But they often don’t tell you all you need to know to make a good hire. They may tell you something about a candidate’s personality and aptitudes but, unless you can match those to a specific job with a specific team and manager and corporate culture, those hiring tests cannot guarantee a successful placement. In order to hire “right,” you need to know not only the behavior-based competencies and attitudes and motivations of your candidate, but also exactly what is needed for success on the particular job in your unique environment. The match is critical.

There is a lot of hiring buzz these days about cultural fit. We define corporate culture as how things truly get done in an organization. It is represented by the way people think, behave and work.  And, we agree, that fitting into the corporate culture matters enormously. But there are two other factors that should be considered as well – Talent and Strategy.

Find an employee who has the talent for the current and potential future job profile, who operates on a day-to-day basis in a way that fits with the team culture and who is motivated by what drives the corporate strategy and you have a winner. Managing their performance on the job will be a breeze. Your greatest challenge will be to stay ahead of them and provide enough learning opportunities and stretch goals to keep them on a satisfying growth curve.

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