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Are You on the Right Track? Using Assessments to Predict Success

August 30, 2010

You have identified high potential employees…now what?

Focusing on cost cutting and developing new technologies will invariably give you a stronger balance sheet and an edge on the competition in the short term.  However, only a superior team will give you a real hope for meaningful market differentiation in the long-haul.  Good talent matters in today’s market because of downsizing, rather than in spite of it.  There is a reason why some companies are leapfrogging the competition.  It is because they are not only pulling the best and the brightest to their virtual doorstep, but they are also inviting them into the lobby and moving them forward.

Performance Elevators

These companies create a performance elevator that links employee success to three foundational elements, each of which must be measured by the assessment practice in order to achieve superior performance.  Those elements are:

  • Capabilities: possessing the competencies and skills to execute
  • Commitment: having the passion, drive, motivation and DNA
  • Alignment: a sense of connection to the mission and vision of the organization

Once you know the competencies required for success in your business, you should take it to the next level and build an atmosphere that promotes commitment and alignment to the organization, rather than rely on an arbitrary performance feedback processes and the wrong incentives, which may only create greater unease between direct reports and their managers.

Money is not the Only Incentive: why not ask your employees how to keep them?

In this market, cutting back on the wrong things – like your assessment practice – will rob you of your edge over the competition.  Instead, build a rigorous talent management strategy based on regular assessment practices that incorporate the key competencies of your company – this is what will develop your people.  Essentially, you need to ask them what matters to them.

A recent article in Harvard Business Review, How to Keep Your Top Talent, indicates that two of the ten critical components of a Talent-Development Program are “emphasizing future competencies and creating individual development plans aligned with organizational objectives” (Martin and Schmidt.) It is significant that these components are based on using customized competency models linked to your future strategy.

Ultimately, a company’s talent management practice will differentiate whether it wins or it loses.  Your next step is to diligently focus on calibrating skills, talent and abilities, and getting the right people in the right places to do what they do best.

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