Employee Performance - How to Harness the Skills of Rockstar Employees

By: Carrie McFarland on January 30, 2017


Knowing your employees’ performance ability is the first stage of strategic workplace planning. In order to make informed employment decisions about the next phase in an employee’s work life – such as promotions and steps for retention – you need a baseline understanding of their skills, strengths, and areas for improvement.

Gather and analyze 

Kick off your assessment process by gathering, analyzing, and interpreting all existing in-house resources. Review job descriptions for each employee and consider the individual duties and qualifications necessary to perform these unique roles. If employees have fulfilled additional projects or assignments, make sure to include those descriptions along with any evaluation from supervisors such as annual performance appraisals.

Determine opportunity for growth

Use the employee assessment results to drill down the areas of strength and possible opportunities for growth in each individual. Different roles require different levels of proficiency, though certain basic skills are important across the organization. Compare assessment results with the essential requirements of job descriptions in order to fill in any skill gaps with supplemental training or job shadowing.

List employee competencies

Consider an inventory of competencies for each team and then narrow down a subset of skills for individual roles. This inventory list should include more technical related competencies like attention to detail, project coordination, or written communication as well as adaptive skills like conflict resolution, analytical thinking, or flexibility. It's helpful to ask "What skills will employees need at every level in order to be successful?" You can also find out if candidates are a good fit before you hire by using employee assessment software that can screen for cognitive ability, motivational potential, personality and more. Then keep a pulse on the internal climate with employee and culture assessment software, which uses surveys to understand the staff environment or track employee effectiveness.

Define employee growth opportunities

Match peer and supervisor feedback up with skill assessment outcomes to get a bigger picture of an employee’s growth and potential. Focus on specific skillset ratings and review comments from the supervisor about the employee’s demonstration of those skill sets. Does the level of proficiency or mastery align with the daily performance level? This thorough comparison of competency results and performance informs how to address employee development and next steps in the career process.

Chart employee career pathing

Once they have identified their areas of strength, you and your employees can map development opportunities. "Career pathing" is the process of charting a course within an organization through employee development, promotions, and lateral position advancement. Creating mentorship experiences for skilled employees to increase their practice in leadership, delegation, innovation, or presentation skills is a natural outcome of thoughtful employee competency assessment and can result in higher employee engagement and job satisfaction.

Can you predict how your employees will perform?

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