Top talent needs nurturing, but is targeting the rest of the employee population a better strategy to improve performance overall? The latest Hays Journal explores how the debate has raged in the HR community about how best to invest in developing and managing high performing teams.
Focusing on the top performers can be satisfying in terms of providing high-level and high-profile achievements, but many HR professionals argue that nurturing the average band of workers making up the body of any organisation would prove a more effective investment.
In addition, defining performance can be a minefield and it can be difficult to distinguish between mid and top performing people. Many mid performance staff stay at that level not because they lack potential, but because those defined as the top maintain their own level by not providing information that might help others to follow in their footsteps. Line managers also contribute to the problem by creating a culture in which the top level is promoted, regardless of whether they are adding value in reality or keeping to the company’s values. Setting targets acts as a incentive for everyone, but striving for the unachievable is disengaging and can lead to extreme behaviours such increased risk-taking. Meanwhile, those at the top are likely to underperform, even on easy goals, if their only reward is likely to be setting harder goals.
Barney Ely, Director at Hays Human Resources, says, “Good performance is not just about getting the best results. How people behave within an organisation also plays an important role. On occasions, bad or damaging behaviour can be overlooked if the individual is high performing. If all employees are genuinely regarded as talent, then staff will see that high performance really is something for everyone and not the preserve of the privileged few. With such a message at their heart, organisations might hope to create a performance culture that will help them survive and grow into a successful future.”
To access the Hays Journal please visit: www.hays-journal.com
Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2012 the Group employed 7,810 staff operating from 240 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2012:
• the Group reported net fees of £734 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £128 million;
• the Group placed around 55,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 182,000 people into temporary assignments;
• 33% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 36% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 31% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
• the temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 44% of net fees;
• Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA
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