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Do You Have the Right People?

What happens if you don’t have the right people? The value of the organization isn’t met and the reputation of the function is poor. I’ve seen many organizations in large and medium sized companies that are viewed as “retirement jobs.” What happens is that either the deliverables and goals are not well defined or the human skill-sets don’t align with the needs. In either case, people know that they can’t be successful so they make work for themselves; but, often can’t articulate the value. The leader’s role is to ensure that the vision and the deliverables are defined by value and the personnel are the right ones for the job.

Once an organization defines its value to the business and has specified deliverables required to meet those goals, the type of people needed to execute on these goals must be defined. Role definition includes both skill sets required to produce the appropriate outcomes and behavioral competencies that describe how the job is performed. Its not enough for a person or an organization to deliver. The culture must be one that outcomes are valued and methods are positive. Most professionals want to be viewed as valuable and are often drawn to work with others that have the reputation of getting things done in a supportive environment. Its not only what we do but also how we do it that creates this culture.

Draft a job description that describes the core deliverables for the roles within the organization and outline experience and education required to successfully achieve those functions. Once you’ve validated the job descriptions with stakeholders then work with the management team to evaluate the existing team members. This is a baseline criteria and will provide insight into our staff’s strengths and development areas. Decide if your talent gaps are areas that you can grow the people to fill or if you have to hire to. At the end of the day, its about delivering what your organization has committed to in the timeframe that you’ve promised. Is it possible with the existing talent?

Behavioral competencies are every bit as important as deliverables. They are linked so tightly that, I would argue, if an individual doesn’t meet well-crafted competencies I’m not sure they can meet deliverables. Competencies are high level categories that are described by specific behaviors. For example, “Conflict Management” would include behaviors such as: 1) Remains calm during stressful interactions, 2) Remains open to contrary points of view, 3) Directly addresses conflict and develops a plan to manage through the conflict, 4) Identifies areas of agreement or “common ground” when working with conflicting individuals, 5) Identifies solutions that will minimize the ongoing conflict, 6) Confronts the issue not the person. Competencies must include important attitudes and cultural behaviors. These behaviors taken together define the competency and are performance expectations that must be managed.

You need to define five to seven competencies, and their subsequent behaviors, that are mandatory to achieve the organization’s goals. Any more than this will be too complicated to coach and manage. Use your skill-set map and competencies to evaluate your organization. This happens by direct observation, coaching, and interviews. You will now know if they have the needed skills, experience, and education to perform their functions. Nobody will be 100%, but they should at least show half of the behaviors (per competency) or you should be concerned.

Identify any performance gaps that you have and work with the management team to develop a plan to either teach the appropriate skills or identify more appropriate roles for people. Your people were hired for a reason and are likely solid performers that should be leveraged in appropriate roles; but make sure that you have the right people in the right jobs.

My Zimbio
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1 comment to Do You Have the Right People?

  • Monica

    I really like your approach on this, and I remember what you had (have?) in place which clearly identified skills and competencies by function and level. I’m trying to use this model to give my team better perspective as well as for growing the team… will keep you posted!

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