Why You Should Conduct a Talent Evaluation of Your Team

Business owners and managers are tasked with getting the most possible productivity out of their team – it’s all about motivating and inspiring people to do their absolute best. The Talent Review is a tool that leaders can employ to ensure that they’ve got the right people in the right jobs, and it can really make an impact on performance when done correctly.

A Talent Review is a process by which a business owner or security manager takes stock of their current staff by asking two questions:

  • Is there anyone on this team who is (or appears to be) struggling with consistently hitting their performance objectives?
  • Do I have the best possible hire in each position in my company or security staff?

Question #1 is fairly simple. I want you to stop and immediately think of the one person in your company whom you know is not delivering to expectations on a consistent basis. Newsflash: you have an obligation to take action.

For many, the “not-so-fun” part of managing a team starts with telling someone that they aren’t performing at the level expected – so we avoid doing it. At some point, you end up in an awkward limbo where you’re afraid to rock the boat – and the person in the job knows that they’re walking on thin ice. It is obvious that this situation is doing more harm than good.

The first step is to be honest with your employee and tell them where they’re missing the mark. One of three things will happen: 1) they’ll tell you that you never told them what their goals were 2) they’ll shape up; you’ll be happy, 3) they’ll start looking for another job. All of these outcomes are good.

Question #2 is much more complicated, but it’s where the real payoff lies if you can determine the right answer. Sometimes, you have a superstar employee but you have them in the wrong role or they have outgrown that role. Many managers are hesitant to move “A” Player staff members because they’re worried about “losing” that person and what they contribute. This is counterproductive thinking because there’s a good chance that they’re already unhappy and not feeling challenged (great employees don’t like to feel like they’re not doing great work).

Think of it like the coach of a sports team who takes a high-performing player and puts them into a different position on the team because it’s much more suited to their skills. College football coaches do this all the time. They move a recruit who played safety in high school (where he was really good) to a linebacker role and four years later he’s in the NFL. Is this risky? Yes, because they took a great safety off the field – but in this case they gained a superstar in return. That opportunity exists somewhere within your organization, I guarantee it.

How do you begin to answer these questions? The methodology for addressing this situation is a process I call the Talent Review, and it’s a tool that you should master. Simply stated, the Talent Review is the process by which you analyze each position in the company, asking the question, “Do I have the best possible hire in this position?” The process begins with reviewing the job profile established for each position and then scoring the team member currently in that role against the benchmark score for a “perfect hire” that’s contained in the job profile. The goal is to make an emotions-free assessment about whether or not it’s time to make personnel adjustments that will have a positive impact on team performance.

I advocate the continuous (every six months at least) use of Talent Reviews by owners and senior managers and security team leaders, because performance is never static. It’s an especially important process to consider if any of the following are true:

  • You’ve had the same team in place for longer than 12 months, with no adjustments to personnel. Time to look at that lineup.
  • Your hiring process is ad hoc, or you’re getting inconsistent results from your interviewing process. Time to validate your original decisions.
  • Your business or team is not hitting the performance objectives that have been set. Time to analyze the problem at what is likely the root cause – wrong people in the wrong jobs.
  • You have high staff turnover. Time to find out if you have the wrong person managing staff.

Think of the Talent Review process like any other investment decision – by dedicating a little bit of time on the front end, you can dramatically cut your risks and improve results over the long run. Cutting risk and increasing reward – two no-brainer reasons to consider a Talent Review for your business or organization.

Please share your Talent Review outcomes with me. I look forward to hearing about your success!

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