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Review Your Business for a great 2014 - Your People

Often when business reviews are conducted the most important business asset is overlooked - your people.  Business leaders today are finally starting to realise that there is nothing more important than developing and implementing a strong company culture equally focused on employees and customers.

In a business world which is increasingly driven by exceeding customer expectations, team member disengagement and low productivity has an extreme impact on business success.

So what is your business doing to ensure your team remain engaged in delivering a superior customer experience to your competitors?

As part of your business review you should also perform a skills gap analysis of your team, where are they now and where do you need them to be to deliver your customer expectations and to deliver business success.  A skills gap analysis identifies gaps in the team’s performance and knowledge in areas for training and development. They tell you what is missing, and where they need help.

To identify the skills that an employee needs, but may not have and effectively carry out their job, following steps are useful:

  • The first step in performing an analysis is to clearly identify all the skills required by an individual to carry out his or her work. Define what ideal performance looks like. This is known as competency profiling.
  • Identify the critical and core (non-critical) skills that are needed to carry out a role effectively.
  • Once the benchmark for these competencies has been established, you can rate your team member’s skills against each criterion – use previous review notes, mystery shopping, KPI analysis and observations to rate skills.

 We use a very simple template:

Performance Quadrant

 1.       Quadrant A (Motivation): If the team member has sufficient job knowledge but has an improper attitude, this may be classed as motivational problem. The consequences (rewards) of the person's behaviour will have to be adjusted. This is not always bad as the team member just might not realize the consequence of his or her actions.

2.       Quadrant B (Resource/Process/Environment): If the team member has both job knowledge and a favourable attitude, but performance is unsatisfactory, then the problem may be out of control of the employee. i.e. lack of resources or time, task needs process improvement, the employee doesn’t have the necessary tools to complete a task

3.       Quadrant C (Selection): If the team member lacks both job knowledge and a favourable attitude, that person may be improperly placed in the position. This may imply a problem with team member selection or promotion, and suggest that a transfer or performance management programme be considered to move the employee on.

4.       Quadrant D (Training and or Coaching): If the team member desires to perform, but lacks the requisite job knowledge or skills, then some type of learning solution is required, such as training or coaching.

It is important that you look at these skill sets across all levels of your business, and that they are under constant review and improvement.  If you are managing this process correctly, your team should be fully informed of their strengths and weaknesses, so if the need for performance management does arise, that it comes as no surprise.

Team performance is centred on communication and we are big believers of ensuring that any issues of performance or gaps in learning with your team are addressed swiftly.  There is nothing worse than trying to change an adverse behaviour that has been ingrained in an individual due to lack of follow up!   You will also gain the respect of your team as they know that your business has a vested interest in seeing that they are the best they can be in their roles.

By identifying your team’s skill and knowledge shortfalls, you can target training resources on those necessary skills that require the most attention. This should result in the optimal use of resources in terms of improving the overall performance of your business.  Skill gap analysis also allows benchmarking and encourages tutoring and mentoring within teams.

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