Talent Management Process
When we talk about identifying high versus low performance, I recommend the following process.
“What Does This Job Do?”
The process of assessing performance needs to start with asking, “What does this job do?” One of the fundamental questions we have to ask in pretty much anything we do in HR, whether it’s a performance, compensation or organizational issue, is “What does this job do?”
The best way to articulate the answer is to have a well-defined job description for that role. Then, that job description can help each manager to create clear expectations for the role that can then be turned into performance metrics, stating exactly how those goals are met.
I have noticed that sometimes organizations are missing this piece. And, I’m not talking about missing job descriptions, because nearly every organization I talk with is missing job descriptions in some form or another. But, even in the absence of job descriptions, are your managers really able to articulate what the job is responsible for and what this job does?
This is the first part of identifying performance issues. We have to take on the responsibility we have as an organization, or managers, of clearly outlining what each job is responsible for. Once we’ve identified what the job is responsible for, then we can set expectations for performance.
Again, a lot of organizations tend to do a really good job of writing a descriptions, posting a job, and doing some hiring, but once we get the person on board, we fall short in really helping the person know what the expectations are for the role. And, that issue relates to training.
Sometimes what we are lacking is a really good system for training people so that they can get up to speed on our systems, culture and process. Do you have training documents prepared? Beyond that, do you have a system so that new hires can get to know the people they are going to work with?
Defining what the job does, setting expectations and training the employee are the building blocks of a system of talent management. From that foundation, you can define measureable goals for the role.
We must provide measurable goals, give regular feedback to the employee and document when things go wrong.
If you have worked in HR for longer than a couple of days, you’ve probably run into the situation where somebody has come to you and decided that a particular person is no longer going to work out for them, yet the documentation is lacking. They say, “I’ve had it up to here. I’ve tried working with this person and it’s not working out,” but there is no documentation of what’s happened. Or, in the worst-case scenario, there is opposite documentation stating that the employee is performing well.
Managers must document when things go wrong. These steps are the beginning of what we need to do as an organization to make sure that we can define high and low performance and make sure that our teams are successful.
Stacey Carroll, SPHR
Director of Professional Services
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