Magazine article Talent Development

The Measure of a Worker: Leaders Are Uncertain about How to Assess the Worth of Their Present and Future Talent

Magazine article Talent Development

The Measure of a Worker: Leaders Are Uncertain about How to Assess the Worth of Their Present and Future Talent

Article excerpt

One of the dramatic results of the current economic situation is that many executives have to reorganize and restructure their workforces, often with little notice or planning. Unfortunately, in the ensuing shuffle, potential talent can be mismanaged or lost. In fact, many senior leaders are confused about how to best navigate their crews through this difficult and foggy atmosphere.

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A staggering 90 percent of business leaders reported that they are uncertain about whether there are objective evaluation criteria for the top performers within their organizations, according to a report from Profiles International, a provider of employee evaluation and human resource management assessment tools.

In other words, how well a worker fits a job should be based on how well top performers in that job fit given criteria. If these criteria remain unmeasured, then talent selections are based on "gut feelings" rather than quantifiable metrics.

"Some organizations just haven't bought into the concept of understanding what makes performers successful," says Dario Priolo, managing director of the Profiles International Research Institute. "Some have bought into it, but haven't come up with the proper tools to get it done."

The survey pool consisted of 785 business leaders--about half of whom were directors, vice presidents, or senior executives within their companies, while almost a third were managers. Thirty percent of respondents worked in organizations with 500 or more employees.

Seventy-six percent also said they are uncertain about how each job within their organization supports the company's key objectives, and another 76 percent are uncertain that they apply a consistent selection process to all job candidates. Seventy-three percent said they are unsure if all the relevant key players are involved in employment decisions.

Due to the current dire economic Situation, regardless of what information executives may not know or have, they often act in the interest of doing something rather than nothing. But hasty steps can lead to serious and lasting trouble. "[Leaders] are making decisions based on emotions rather than facts," says Priolo.

He notes that this behavior could expose business leaders to lawsuits when it appears they aren't treating people fairly, and could lead to very negative publicity for their companies. …

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