Saturday, November 21, 2015

Three Questions to Evaluate an Employee’s Potential

Performance keeps the business moving, and the potential makes the business grow, transform, and leap to the next level of maturity.

Modern talent management is both the art and science. However, most of the HR organizations still use static mechanisms to measure talent performance, mainly based on quantitative delivery, with ignorance of qualitative perspective, talent potential assessment, intangible culture effect, and lack of tailored solutions to reach the next level of HR maturity. So from talent management perspective, which questions should you ask to assess an employee’s potential? And how to encourage employees to compete for uniqueness, instead of everything? From individual talent development perspective, how to discover who you are, and who you would like to be, hone your skill set and manage your career path more proactively? How to manage your energy and time more effectively? Improving your weakness vs. growing your strength, which one should you focus on?

Do you have a growth mind with the adaptation to changes? The talent employees with growth mind continue their journey to pursue autonomy, purpose, and mastery. From talent management perspective, the growth mindset is utmost quality for being a right fit, because the power of the mind is the force to change the business or even the world for better. The premise is that you should hire the growth mind, capability and intelligence, not just specific skills, as the skills change so rapidly due to the shortened knowledge and technology life cycle. But how to create a structured approaches for assessing and evaluating not only the behaviors, but digging through to mindset level: how do people think, why do they think that way, and how do they approach problems and solve problems, so you can easily and consistently differentiate high potential-the future high performers from mediocre mindset in your organization. And, of course, you can also use your discoveries to find and recruit high potentials with hard-wiring attitude and multi-dimensional intelligent minds into your culture. The great culture catalyzes positive mind, attitude, and behaviors; but discourage the negativity and unprofessionalism.

Do you have learning agility to leap from one learning curve to the other all the time? Besides the dynamic business and global environment keep throwing a new set of situations to deal with, today business environment makes it imperative that people need to have ability & agility to adapt to such changes, mental agility will be as important as the personality or characteristics. The management process/practice begins with the digital professionals discovering ways to challenge current thinking, beliefs, and assumptions about important elements of the organization. The digital professionals need to be encouraged to explore different possibilities and think in new, innovative ways. Those who are learning agile continuously seek new challenges, solicit direct feedback, unleash the potentials, self-driven, and accomplish the work resourcefully. High potential is usually more innovative because they see unique patterns and make fresh connections that others overlook. As changes are expedited for both business and individuals, and neither business nor life is linear these days, the capabilities to adapt to unpredictable is critical, and the best way one can compete is the ability to leap from one learning curve to the next. High performers may be at the top of their game at the moment, but the question is how well will they adapt to changes, having learning agility or their innate capability. This is where potential comes into play. Potential is about future performance, not past performance. How well does the individual continue to perform and grow in their current roles, how likely are they to take on new challenges at work, rapidly learn and grow into next-level roles, or roles that are expanded and redefined as business changes? Individuals showing potential are distinguished usually by their mastery of new roles quickly and effectively, learning more rapidly than their peers, more innovate to overcome challenges.

Who are you and what is your strength? Discover the strength and uniqueness, it’s whatever you are motivated to work on. The next step is investigating what’s your strength, your passion: defining your task, things you want to do and do better than others.  It is more impactful to work on improving your strengths as this is where you can work in your sweet spot. Our strengths are where our natural talents lie, they energize us and point to where we can be most successful - so the trick is to know what your strengths are (realized and unrealized), and then strengthen your strength. For example, are you a specialist, or a specialized generalist? Are you more as a big picture strategist or a tactical doer? The emphasis is on trying to determine which competencies or capabilities should be used in which combination, and with what level of weight for each, for every different situation. Learn self-awareness, engage in reflective practice: Indeed, it is at two-level reflection: (a) personally- who are you and what is happening in your life that influences your career pursuit. To be "authentic" and genuine first and foremost, ensuring that your voice and actions are in synchronization by combined action, endurance, and with the right spirit. This must be relevant within boundaries to maintain professionalism in the organization.  (b) professionally- are you a business innovator or a change agent, a thinker or a doer.  Generally speaking, you should build upon your strengths and talents. The ROI on building your strengths is always higher. From talent management perspective, there is something here also about matching your strengths with what the business needs so there may be a need to hone, adapt or even play down the strength to ensure you fit with the business direction. Because business capability is collective and amplified human capability well aligned with processes, technologies, culture etc. to achieve the expected business result.

If performance focuses on today, and then potential is more about the future. The potential is the ability and interest to take on more responsibilities in the future which is displayed by their thought leadership, unique capability, or exemplified behavior; Performance keeps the business moving, and the potential makes the business grow, transform, and leap to the next level of maturity.


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