Assessing Development Needs of Your Direct Reports

Evaluate your direct reports in terms of performance and potential and find an appropriate development strategy.

 

Think about the employee you are evaluating and ask yourself the following questions.

Answer yes or no.

1. Does the employee exceed expectations in at least one performance area?

2. Does the employee exceed expectations in most or all performance areas?

3. Does the employee meet or exceed expectations in all performance areas?

4. Is the employee a key contributor to the team or organization?

5. Does the employee act on corrective feedback in order to improve performance?

6. Has the employee received any performance rewards, such as bonuses or formal recognition?

Award one point for each question that you answered with a yes.

Points: ____

 

Based on the score, assign a value the employee a value of low, medium, or high as illustrated in the Performance table

Now ask yourself the following questions about the employee's potential.

 

Answer each question with yes or no.

1. Within the next year, could this employee perform at a higher level, in a different position, or take on more responsibilities?

2. Within the next three years, could this employee perform at a higher level, in a different position, or take on more responsibilities?

3. Do you think this employee could perform at two levels above her current position in the next five or six years?

 

4. Is your organization likely to value growth of the skills and competencies of this employee over the next several years?

 

5. Could this employee learn the additional skills and competencies she needs to be able to perform at a higher or different level?

 

6. Does this employee demonstrate leadership ability, such as showing initiative and vision, delivering on promised results, communicating effectively, and taking appropriate risks?

 

7. Does this employee demonstrate an ability to comfortably interact with people at a higher level or in different areas?

 

8. Does this employee demonstrate comfort with a broader company perspective than his job currently requires?

 

9. Does this employee demonstrate flexibility and motivation to move into a job that might be different than any that currently exists?

 

10. Does this employee welcome opportunities for learning and development?

Award one point for each question that you answered with yes.

Points: ____

 

Assign a value of low, medium, or high to the employee based on the number of points scored as illustrated in the Potential table.

Find the employee's position on the Performance/Potential matrix.

Based on the position, you can conclude whether the employee is an overachiever, solid performer, or underachiever.

  • Employees who fall on 2, 3, or 6 are overachievers;

  • Those who fall on 1, 4, or 5 are solid performers; and

  • Those who fall on 7, 8 or 9 are underachievers.

If the employee is an overachiever, some strategies to consider include:

  • Helping to increase the employee's exposure within the organization

  • Involving the employee in important projects that provide an opportunity to develop leadership skills and talents.

  • Preparing the employee for more challenging roles in the future considering the employee for succession

If the employee is a solid performer, some strategies to consider include:

  • Offering the employee a chance to participate in side projects that match interests

  • Extending the scope of work in the employee's current position

 

If the employee is an underachiever, some strategies to consider include:

  • Putting the employee on a specific performance improvement plan

  • Providing the employee with corrective training or coaching to help raise performance level

  • Moving the employee to a less challenging job within the organization

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