Transform the 80/20 Performance Rule into 320/80 Rule
Conventional business wisdom says that 80% of your business value is driven by 20% of your staff. We see those rock star business performers when we walk through the halls of our offices, see them in our virtual meetings, and hear about them from happy customers. What would happen to your business if you could clone those high performers? If you increased that 20% of your staff to 80% what would be the impact on your business?
Clone might be too strong a word – and it is a little futuristic. But the more you understand how your top performers work, the better you can identify and hire more of them.
How a person performs in a role is affected by many different factors. Conventional hiring evaluations are based on a candidate’s experience, product knowledge and training. How often have you scanned through a mountain of resumes looking for candidates that have worked in the same industry before? The normal assumption is that they will ramp up faster, and even bring a book of business with them but this isn’t always the case.
Decades of behavioral science research have shown that insights into WHO the person is can result in greater business performance. The answer most likely lies under the surface, in their core traits, attitudes and standards. Information about their behavior that resumes don’t include.
There are three things that you want to know about a person:
- CAN this person do the job? – do they have the must-have requirements that include skills or certifications, education, and the availability you require?
- HOW will this person do the job? – based on their personal traits and characteristics, are they a good fit for this specific job?
- WILL this person do the job, and WHY? – do they have the ethics and commitment, the right attitude, the integrity, and values… to fit into your environment?
Using an assessment tool for all your applicants will provide insights into their how and why that go much further in determining their ultimate success in your organization. But an even better starting point is to gain insight into how your top performers tick. Understanding how your top 20% behave will help you find more of them.
In a study we conducted with one of our clients, the top 4 performers on a sales team had a distinctly different personality than those team members whose performance was moderate to low. Using these team members to build an ideal candidate profile and then assessing all new hires against this target first totally revamped the hiring process. Only after the company identified the candidates who fit the profile, were they then evaluated for the other job requirements.
The results were clear – employee performance and retention was up from the previous year, and in fact, so was overall company growth.
You may not be ready to hire today. But you can get ready to hire more of the best by starting an evaluation of your current team so that when you post a job you will know exactly who you need. Getting more of the 20% who now carry 80% of the workload could significantly impact your overall company performance. It’s the next best thing to cloning.
For more information on how to assess your current team, click here.