How you assess your business talent is a critical aspect of business growth. Just as you analyze your business financials, which includes reviewing revenue growth, profit margins and expenses, you utilize a similar strategy as it pertains to people.
Let’s start with revenue growth as an analogy to people growth. How are your people improving? Are they improving at all or just completing repetitive tasks? How is your leadership compared to your competitors? A good place to start is to assess people growth through surveys, performance reviews and a developmental 360. Keep in mind that a 360 is not a performance review.
How about profit margins? Does it cost more to have an employee on the books than what they are producing or retaining or contributing? This is about their productivity along with what they do to move your business forward. I am sure you can recall that employee that is either destructive to your culture or not fully engaged. This decreases your profit margin because their expense exceeds either what they retain or bring in.
Here are 3 ways to assess your talent:
1.) Competitor Benchmark: As a successful business owner, you are aware of the capabilities of your competition. This should absolutely include their talent. How do their leaders compare to your leaders? You have two choices here: You either take theirs or develop your own. Depending on your size you can obtain the reports from outside sources or your benchmark study will have to be informal.
2.) Survey: A good way to get a feel for your business is to enter to win the Best Places to Work for your local area. Usually, these types of programs include an anonymous survey completed by your employees. You are sure to get back some valuable input from your staff. Leaders you will need to make sure you have a response to the survey to bring validity to the exercise. In other words, a survey without an improvement response is simply a survey.
3.) 1:1 Interviews: There is nothing like an objective consultant spending time in house to ask your people questions. Usually there is a one time project fee for this, but you can gain valuable information from this process. A good consultant co-writes the questionnaire and creates a summary of findings. If they are exceptional, they will be able to benchmark that information with your competition.
How do you do this? Do you do this at all? It is worth your time, otherwise you are presuming that others are behind you or that you are better than you think. A good leader understands reality and moves toward the unknown to make the situation better.
You might end up building a training platform. Please keep in mind that training is only a percentage of how people improve, develop skill and grow. I share a few of those thoughts in this video below.