Closing in on Employee Performance Gaps

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Do you have employees who do not meet the expected standards of the role? Do you have managers who consult you with on how to help employees bridge that gap? Performance gap exists where employees do not meet the expected standards of the role. Here are steps through which, we as HR professionals can help the manager and the employee close in on those gaps and reach their true potential.

Start by identifying the desired performance:

Work with manager to identify and articulate the desired performance that is realistic for the position. Quite often we see unrealistic expectations gets toned down once they are written down, and documented. It would be worthwhile to look into industry standards on desired performance and benchmark accordingly. If there are high performing individuals within the same team with similar job profile, such data might help set the performance you want standards. Once you can map desired performance, it is easier to identify why the gap exists and how to bridge the gap.

Map the desired performance against the actual performance:

Once you have the defined the desired performance, maps the real performance against it. The jobs that are quantifiable are easier to plan and would take much less effort compared to those, where the desired outcomes are more qualitative. The blueprint that comes out of this effort will also help the manager to structure the performance conversation with the employee.

Identify the source of the performance gap:

Once the desired performance is mapped, it’s easier to determine the origin of the gap. Is it about knowledge and skill level of the employee or is it due to misaligned goals and lack of clarity. Does the gap exist due to the introduction of new technology or is there a job mismatch. Asking these questions can help you identify the cause for the difference.

Develop and action plan to bridge the gap:

Identifying the cause makes it much easier to work out an action plan. If there is a skill mismatch, training the employee might help in bridging the gap. But if the gap is due to misaligned goals or lack of clarity on the job role it might take concerted effort from both the manager and the employee to bring it back on track. Either way, a performance analysis can give valuable input to both employee and manager in taking the right pathway forward.

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