Closing the People Performance Gap

In most organizations there is a very large gap in performance between the top and bottom performers in every job in the organization, from the C-suite down to the lowest levels of the organization. Top sales people, whether they are selling cars, pharmaceutical products, office equipment or anything else typically sell several times more than the least effective sales people. Likewise, the top performing Engineers, Scientists, IT, Marketing, HR, Finance, Operations, Audit, Supply Chain and other people in professional positions out-perform the weakest people by a wide margin. Even in the simplest jobs, the gap in output between the top and bottom performers is often 50 – 100%. We call this gap in performance the “People Performance Gap”.

The “People Performance Gap” impact is greatest at the C-suite level. A highly effective CEO can lead an organization to great success while an ineffective CEO can easily bring an organization to mediocrity or even failure. (“People Performance Gap” article).

Most organizations don’t do enough to understand and address the “People Performance Gap”.  In many of the employee engagement surveys, IT customer satisfaction surveys, external customer surveys Quantisoft conducts, we see significant problems due to ineffective and difficult managers and people in various positions. The problems impact employee and customer engagement and loyalty, employee and organizational performance and the bottom line.

Workforce Excellence Findings from the Holistic Organizational Effectiveness Survey (HOE Survey)

The HOE Survey includes the following workforce effectiveness questions. The overall average ratings for all responses for each question/issue are shown with each question. The rating scale is 5 = Effective and 1 = Ineffective. The overall average ratings range from a high of 3.47 (a relatively low rating) to 2.65 (a very low rating). These ratings indicate that most organizations have a very large opportunity to improve what they are doing to increase the effectiveness of their employees. Using the “People Performance Gap” concept, organizations can identify their top, middle and lowest performers in every job category and then become significantly more effective in addressing the issues included in the HOE Survey questions below:

  • 3.47 – Ensuring Employees Have Skills and Abilities needed to Meet Demands of the Business
  • 3.46 – Matching the Right People to the Right Positions
  • 3.42 – Retaining High-Performing People
  • 3.35 – Fostering Continuous Learning/Knowledge Sharing
  • 3.35 – Hiring, Promoting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce at All Organizational Levels
  • 3.33 – Building Needed Skills and Competencies in Multi-Cultural Sensitivity and Supporting Diversity Across the Organization
  • 3.15 – Making Targeted/High-Impact Development of People a Priority
  • 3.03 – Building Skills for Workforce Innovation and Flexibility
  • 2.65 – Identifying and Dealing with Low-Performing Managers/Employees

Key Questions for Your Organization

  1. What if anything does your organization do to recognize and deal with the “people Performance Gap”?
  2. What is the impact of low-performing people in your organization?
  3. How much better could your organization become in terms of achieving desired outcomes by effectively addressing the “People Performance Gap” and workforce effectiveness issues included in the HOE Survey?
  4. What needs to be done and who needs to do it for your organization to address the “People Performance Gap” opportunity?

Information about employee surveys / employee  engagement surveys

About Howard Deutsch

Howard Deutsch is the CEO of Quantisoft, a New Jersey based full-service survey company conducting employee, organizational effectiveness, leadership feedback, customer satisfaction, IT customer satisfaction, enterprise risk and other types of customized surveys since 1999. Howard has extensive senior line management, internal and external consulting experience in many industries. He has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA in Finance from St. John's University. He was an adjunct faculty member for several years at the Seton Hall University School of Business.
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