June 19, 2015
Simply asking employees what they like most about their job can reveal true talents and aptitudes that pay dividends to overall team performance. But all too often, the “ask” never takes place. Improving performance management processes for an organization should ideally involve more focus on where people excel and address the employee-employer relationship.
At Deloitte, we’ve amended our assessment process to include identifying areas of employee preference and skills. We consider an employee’s work performance and ask strengths-based questions about what aspects of work they enjoy most, and why.
This practice can uncover potential areas for professional development for which we can provide specialized skills training. This also becomes an opportunity to further build subject matter expertise within the team – all designed to add value to the work we do on behalf of our clients.
We get the best from our employees when they’re given meaningful work that leverages their personal strengths and aspirations, and strengths-based questioning can also help identify underutilized employee talents. Asking the right questions can bridge the gap between skill sets and managerial expectations.
This practice also comes into play when evaluating potential hires. Ask where a candidate feels their professional strengths lie. This information can then be measured against team needs.
The goal isn’t to create a sea of sameness, but to identify the combination of attributes that leads to a more successful team and a greater likelihood that the candidate is both successful and fulfilled by the work.
When clients ask me about improving their performance management processes, I often counsel that performance management models are most certainly evolving, and the “secret sauce” lies in identifying the potential of each individual and developing a plan to develop the capabilities of each. The drive behind the change is keeping teams engaged, energized and performing at sustainably high levels.
A recent Deloitte University Press report on performance management includes advice to “look hard at your performance process, and push toward simplification and strengths-based assessment and coaching … The days of traditional appraisals and forced ranking are coming to an end; performance management is now a tool for greater employee engagement.”
When we engage our people in a more authentic way, we earn their respect and loyalty – and ultimately we’re all successful: our people, our organization, and most important of all, our clients.