III Performance and Talent


Multiple factors determine the competitive advantage of a company: financial capital, innovations, and technologies; but there is only one sustained and not easily replicated one: talent and how it is managed. Activities in this area have the goal of always having the right people in the right positions: today, tomorrow and in the long-term.

Not only people with talent for upper management are “talents.” Talents are engaged, high performing people who add significant value to a company, as diligent experts in accounting, as creative minds in innovation centers or as entrepreneurial and inspiring leaders in upper management positions. Talent development focuses on the individual and his or her career progression within the company.

Talent development has the perspective of “looking back” at past performance and “looking forward” to future assignments. To achieve this, a talent management plan needs to be closely aligned with the company's strategic goals and business needs—goal alignment clarifies job roles and demonstrates ongoing values of the employee to the organization. By creating employee ownership in the company's success and high employee commitment, talents are supported to reach the desired high levels of job performance.

Performance and Potential Management

Create Acceptance and Commitment to Your Assessment

Make sure the assessment tools and results have top management attention. Ensure the assessors are well selected and highly respected. Ensure the assessment results are respected.

Ensure Transparency and Objectivity in Your Assessment

Assessment criteria and assessment pocess have to be transparent. Ensure appraisal input from at least one additional source beside supervisor's appraisal (e.g. additional appraisal from selected executive; integration of appraisal within supervisors peer group; assessment center).

No Work-Around

Do not allow work-around of your policy regarding performance and potential management. If certain aspects of your policy are not feasible, change the policy rather than tolerating non-compliance with your required standards.

Ensure Global Standard

In international organizations: ensure that you have a good overview of performance and potential in your country organizations. Ensure a global standard of assessment criteria to enable international development of talent.

SMART Target

Set targets which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Do Not Forget Qualitative Targets

Integrate Leadership behavior in target agreement and/or evaluation of target achievement.

Combine Your Performance Management System with Measuring Values and Behavior

Ensure as an organization that you also track how targets are achieved to enhance a mindset defined by the company's values.

Positive and outstanding behavior according to your set of behaviors should be encouraged and vice versa behavior you would not like to embed in your organization should be fed back.

Require Leaders to Give Feedback

Make feedback to employees about their performance assessment and development discussions regarding their potential assessment mandatory.

Avoid Surprises

The final performance rating at year end should not come as a surprise! To prevent surprises and give clear guidance, supervisors should give frequent feedback throughout the year, and HR should encourage them to do so. Potentially, HR should implement a formal mid-year review.

Do Not Only Think Vertically

Ensure that a horizontal potential statement is considered as well as an important development opportunity.

Enrich Your Potential Statement

Link a concrete developmental initiative (focusing on areas where the assessment indicates development needs) to your potential statement.

Activate Employees

Encourage employees to play an active role in their career planning and career development.

Do Not Underestimate Expectations

Every potential statement creates expectations. Make sure, that they are/become realistic.

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