few years have impacted people globally like an economic and political tsunami.
Who would have thought ten years ago that a start-up called Facebook
would have a greater market cap than GM, or that IBM would stop making
PCs, or that Blockbuster would file for bankruptcy as physical movie
rentals became a thing of the past? Without question, today's global economy and rapid pace of change are
creating many challenges that organizations must rise to. There is one
thing that hasn't changed much, however - organizations don't achieve
results... people do. Because of this, a primary challenge is the
identifying, hiring, engaging, developing and retaining of talent in a
manner superior to that of the competition. If you are not rising to
this challenge, simply put, your organization will not compete effectively for employees or customers in the long run.
In pursuit of talent performance, one of the practices we have observed in organizations which has caused me great concern over the years is that often clients will try to use training or coaching as a cure-all. For some it is effective and for others it isn't. The reality is, when the person is the wrong fit for the job, all the training and coaching in the world will not bring the person to the same level of performance as a "Right Fit" person.
To put it another way, if a sales
position requires Donald Trump for high performance and instead you have
Mother Theresa, all the training and coaching in the world will not get
the same results. Likewise putting Trump in a position to be an
empathetic counsellor for the homeless will not be very fruitful.
Think of the cost of poor performance
from the “misfit”, turnover due to frustration, sick days, training
expenses, cost of replacement, etc. Think of the wasted resources trying
to better train apples to produce orange juice.
The second practice we observe,
particularly among sales teams, is that when “Mother Theresa’s”
performance doesn’t improve after training, the next move is to enhance
her performance-based compensation. She would be offered added bonus
incentives if she increases sales. The reality is this – research shows
that extrinsically driven compensation works only with a small
percentage of the population.
For a good explanation of this concept, see the video of
Dan Pink on motivation, below.
So the question remains: In an
extremely competitive landscape, how can we gain superior business
results through superior engagement and performance of our talent?
Answer: For superior performance through candidate selection, succession planning, and coaching of existing talent, achieving optimum performance will come from understanding the inherent intrinsic rewards that a job provides, as well as the intrinsic motivators of your talent, and making sure that they are aligned/ matched.
Organizations will need to understand
key job functions objectively, in terms of what skills, motivators,
rewards and behaviours are embedded in the ideal performance criteria.
They will also need to understand the team of talent they have (either
internal or external) in terms of their skills, motivators and
For example, within the profession of nursing, one of the intrinsic values it nurtures is that of compassionate service. For ideal performance in most of these positions, it is suggested that a person who is motivated by the opportunity to offer compassionate service would be intrinsically engaged to perform in that job in a superior fashion. Again, it is unlikely that Donald Trump would find that to be a hugely satisfying position, if service is not in the top of his list of intrinsic motivators.
Organizations that align talent intelligently with key job functions will be rewarded with superior engagement, performance and retention in addition to superior customer satisfaction. To create a superior beverage, determine the correct ingredients needed. Apples make great apple juice, while oranges make great orange juice. Stop wasting money on training and coaching the wrong talent for the job.
more information on Excel's Talent Intelligence tools,
Reynolds, Excel Group Development, 2009
Chuck Reynolds is a Principal and
Chief Performance Officer with Excel
Group Development a Performance Solutions firm that assists
organizations in enhancing management and team effectiveness. He can be reached
indirectly by emailing our
admin group. Insert 'ATTN Chuck' in the subject area. Visit them at www.ExcelGroupWorks.com