New Study Shows Organizations Set Low Expectations for Employee Performance

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Managers currently identify a small percentage of their workforce as performing at “go-to” levels on a consistent basis, according to the “Talent Development Issues” study conducted by Novations Group Inc. At a time when organizations are struggling to “do more with less”, the study revealed a discrepancy between leadership expectations and management behavior.

The reality is that most managers make assignments based on predictable performance rather than potential performance

Managers currently identify a small percentage of their workforce as performing at “go-to” levels on a consistent basis, according to the “Talent Development Issues” study conducted by Novations Group Inc (http://www.novations.com ). At a time when organizations are struggling to "do more with less”, the study revealed a discrepancy between leadership expectations and management behavior.

Respondents revealed:
The percentage of employees managers consider performing at “go-to” levels on a consistent basis:
•<5%:8%
•10%:20%
•20%:30%
•30%:15%
•40%:8%
•>50%:6%
•Don't know:13%

Additionally, the study revealed that almost half of these managers believe some employees have more potential than others and use that belief to give job assignments to a select few.

With respect to developing employee potential, which of the following best describes the prevailing belief of management at your organization?     

  • We believe everyone is capable of performing at higher levels, and our job is to provide growth opportunities to all: 34%
  • We believe some employees have more potential than others, and our job is to identify the ones who have potential and invest in that population: 47%
  • We don’t have one prevailing belief system: 15%
  • Don't know: 4%

This indicates that most managers believe their job is to identify the employees who they believe have potential and invest in that population.

“The reality is that most managers make assignments based on predictable performance rather than potential performance,” said Gerard Lupacchino, Novations’ senior vice-president of business development. “At a time when employers are requiring reduced workforces to sustain levels of productivity, managers seem to spend more time proving their assumptions about capacity, rather than building the capability of more people on their teams.”

Novations has found that successful organizations have moved away from this traditional approach by layering in one more key component: reduce the workforce, increase the performance levels of everyone employee who’s left, and then raise expectations. Leaders in these successful organizations used the following techniques to build capability within reduced workforces:

  • They made clear to every manager, in every department, that no employee can remain disengaged, and therefore, performing below standards. This is the new standard—the 80/20 rule can no longer exist.
  • They used assignments, beyond just making them. These managers are intentional about who gets what opportunity, so that more people are able—with managerial support and coaching—to take more moderate risks.
  • They rewarded efforts and outcomes, so that everyone could see what created individual and organizational success.

About Novations 2009 Talent Development Issues study
The data was compiled as part of Novations 2009 Talent Development Issues study, a representative quantitative analysis of executive management, human resources, training and development, and diversity and inclusion professionals in companies across all industry segments. Scheduled to be released the week of April 13, the study was design to measuring the current state of the Training & Development industry. Members of the media can register for a complimentary copy at http://info.novations.com/tdstudy.

About Novations
Novations Group, Inc. is a full-service talent development firm, based in Boston, MA. For over 25 years, we have partnered successfully to implement innovative talent development solutions to leading companies around the world. Our consulting, training, and measurement services help organizations gain a competitive edge in today’s global market.

Media Contacts:
Clint Poole
Novations Group, Inc.
617-206-2590

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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