The state of the economy is adverse. These are vexing times for organisations around the globe. Yet now is the opportunity to optimise your talent. You want to be ready when the economy turns around. You need to know your human capital inventory well enough to make the best decisions, and you have to be brave enough to make personnel upgrades when the opportunity presents itself.

There are four essential tactics for optimising your team talent.

  1. Remove your chronic underperformers – You need to be honest with yourself. They may be friendly people, but if they can’t or won’t add sufficient value, then you need to make the tough decisions to either move them into jobs they fit or you need to let them go. If you keep them, then your marginal-to-top performers no longer have an incentive to go above and beyond average job performance; they see that mediocrity is both tolerated and accepted. However, these decisions are best made by facts instead of opinions. There are many assessment tools at Power Assessments International that provide objective data for determining if an employee is a chronic underperformer or the victim of circumstances that can be overcome.
  2. Lose your bad apples – Poor morale is contagious. Bad apples distract your productive employees and negatively impact productivity. When all is said and done, even a high-performing employee who has a bad attitude and no desire to be a team player will cost you much more than he or she is worth. I am not advocating a group of “yes men”. You need people to speak up in terms of strategy implementation, but they need to do so in the spirit of making the organisation better. However, if they “can’t get with the program” then be courageous and do the right thing.
  3. Uncover your hidden gems – These people are diamonds in the rough. Use a system to find these diamonds. This will help you identify who has the DNA and the desire to be a future leader in the organisation. You will have better insight into an employee’s long-term value to the company while giving them the chance to develop their skills and experience needed in order to shine. Do whatever it takes to give your employees great opportunities and build loyalty in the process. Assessment instruments are extremely effective for helping you identify the genuine diamonds.
  4. Never stop your hunt for high-quality people – It costs very little to look and talk. Times of change and uncertainty present unique opportunities for organisations. The supply of talent has never been so abundant or so affordable. There are numerous sales, finance, and technical professionals looking for work. These people may not be right for every organisation, but they often bring advanced training know-how and contacts. The notion of “hiring freeze” is a ridiculous concept since you should always be on the lookout for the very best people you can find, regardless of whether they are external or internal. It costs very little to assess and interview qualified candidates. This is especially true when you are redesigning jobs to drive efficiencies in the organisation. The bottom line is this: You have a unique opportunity.

Thank you, 

Marcus van Wyk. Founder, Power Assessments International.