The challenge of business today is to provide more quality and more service with fewer resources. We are in an environment where customers are demanding more for less. Having the right people in your organizations, working on the right things, at the right time has never been more critical to an organizations' survival- nor more difficult to obtain.
Here are four steps you must take to unlock the unlimited potential of your most precious resource- your employees. That includes what you need to do even before they become your employees.
The first step is to design and define the key roles. Sounds so obvious, but let me tell you from years of experience that this step is often left out, and is the reason why we hire the wrong people, or have the right people working on the wrong things. Take the time to consider the essence of the role. Why is it important to the success of the company? What responsibilities should the person in the role take care of. DO NOT make a laundry list of tasks. That will lead to frustration and poor productivity. Carefully craft a list of 5-7 specific concerns that the person in this role must take care of. The test is, if they do those things, you would forgive them of all else.
Once you have established what you need the role to accomplish, the second step is to identify what kind of person is most likely to be successful in that role. In our process, we call this a job benchmark, and again it is critical to your success. Now that you have taken the time to design the role, you must think through the attributes : the elements of how people work, what motivates them and what their talents are. If it's a sales position you need someone who likes people and has great influencing skills. If it is a teacher or social worker, you need someone who is motivated by helping others vs. making money
Now, this part isn't always as easy , it's hard to translate those needs into words, which is why we use an online tool called Trimetrix that queries all the people who have a stake in the role. Based on a unique 37-factor analysis, TriMetrix reveals a person's specific traits in three areas that describe the how, why and what of individual performance.
The third step is logical. Match the people with the role- measure and assess their personal attributes against the attributes for success you discussed in the last step. Don't put people in roles they are not suited for, believe me you will be tempted to make plenty of rationalizations here. They range from the path of least resistance (change does cause interim pain) to just not having paid attention to steps 1 and 2. Leaders in this situation know something is wrong, turnover is high, productivity low but they can't put their finger on the problem. I have two insights too share here: the first is that when asked "what is the biggest mistake you made" I most often hear business leaders say that it is holding on to the wrong employee too long. So, be on top of the responsibilities, the benchmark and how well your people match. The flip side of that is a mantra that my first employer Prudential engrained into all managers: Mine the Gold. It is your duty as a manager to identify peoples talents and match them with roles that bring it out in them!
This step is where you can make the most impact in the future of your business. STOP hiring employees without assessing how they match the requirements. I noted we use Trimetrix as a tools for matching the person with the role and checking for best fit. The cost is miniscule compared to what a bad hire will cost you in terms of salary, morale, customer satisfaction, and productivity. To me it is analogous to constructing something with expensive materials and wasting precious resources because you were too cheap to buy a good measuring stick..
Last but not least is to continually develop your employees strengths and talents. For those that have used our Trimetrix process, we produce a full coaching report which identifies an employee's strengths and weaknesses. It is an awesome foundation for managers to use instead of trying to create a development plan from scratch. The most wonderful part of employees is their capacity to grow, strengthen their talents, learn and apply new skills. Push them, enable them, coach them to be all they can be and your business will be more successful.
Designing and benchmarking key roles is what YOU need to do as a leader to ensure your business can compete and be successful by making the most of your valuable human resources.
Visit our website: www.benchmarkrole.com to learn more about the process, see samples or experiment with a complimentary assessment