Leaders and managers have learned over time that there is not a single test that will provide you with all the answers you need to identify, manage, develop and retain the best employe. If someone tells you a test will do just that, they are ill-informed and have more interest in selling you something than helping you.
Astute leaders have begun to rely on a battery of assessments that will allow you to establish and benchmark the four critical areas requiring attention and focus. Two areas must be aligned to ensure the job is performed with success, while the other two must receive equally focused attention or the first ones will fail miserably.
The first two areas revolve around the task (job description) to be performed. They require skills and initiative to ensure the job is completed satisfactorily.
You must MANAGE the following:
- Competency – “Can they do the job?”
Does the individual have the observable abilities, skills, knowledge, motivations or traits defined in terms of the behaviors needed for successful job performance? You must know if the individual has depth in the requisite abilities and/or qualities to function, respond or develop in a particular way. This is where most employers focus the majority of their attention – and rightly so. However, even if a person has the skills, this does not mean that they enjoy the work, find satisfaction in the work, or see the work as providing value to themselves and others.
- Character – “Will they do the job?”
All individuals possess mental and ethical traits that individualize them. These characteristics are what make one person distinguishable from others. Most managers want employees with the integrity and work ethic that distinguishes them as trustworthy, loyal and a person who can be counted on when needed. Just because an individual has the “competencies” does not mean they will perform well, especially if they are operating under work-related stress from an improper job fit.
The second two competencies revolve around the people aspects of job performance. Because the vast majority of people (67%) are relationally oriented (in comparison to task-oriented) understanding and developing an ability to apply them determines a critical aspect for a marketing manager’s success.
In order to achieve long-term success and personal satisfaction, the CMO or marketing manager must cultivate an internal desire for each employee to perform over a long period of time. Continued, sustainable excellence can only be achieved when a marketing manager develops the people attributes in his/her team members. This is the primary reason employees leave their positions – NOT because of competence or character issues.
You must DEVELOP the following:
- Chemistry – “Can they work in our culture and well with our team?”
Psychologists agree that about two out of every three individuals possess the desire for relationships to work well together. However, just because people enjoy working together does not mean they will enjoy working with your employees or other company associates. In most work environments this is a very specialized and measurable culture which, if interrupted or tampered with, will have an impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of all team members. There must be mutual attraction, attachment, or sympathy between people working together making their interaction harmonious or effective. This is why there is often conflict between sales people and employees or employees and purchasing agents – they are not looking for the same type of environment. Even very competent individuals with a strong work ethic and character will not remain in what they perceive to be an abrasive or difficult environment.
- Capacity – “Will they be able to mature personally and professionally?”
Capacity is most often viewed as “the potential or suitability for growth and development of an individual’s mental and professional abilities.” Most employees have the ability to receive new information or concepts which will help them perform at a higher level. This is true of a vast majority of employees, meaning you must pay attention to their potential or you will lose them.
Yes, there are some who are at the top level of their potential and must be considered differently. They will remain content doing what they feel they have mastered or what provides them with a high level of comfort. However this does not pertain to most employees. Top managers hire people with the potential to perform at higher levels. Ignoring this potential is the number one reason top employees leave jobs, develop morale issues, or become disgruntled.
The manager is responsible for helping strategize and advance each employee’s growth and development process, NOT the company. Failure to do this will be blatantly ignoring the primary individual issue for leaders today.