This month, we will focus our “Topic of the Month” series on strategies for improving employee performance—specifically in terms of productivity and quality measures. Talent management is always a top-of-mind issue for executives, and with cost pressures in the industry escalating, improving employee performance is a sure-fire way to realize operational efficiencies.

We will kick off the series with a case called “Collaborative Work Systems”. It’s one of the most rigorous talent management practices we’ve seen at the Council, and the profiled institution developed this system largely as a response to increased pressure on employee performance.

There are two key concepts that make this case unique:

Clearly Defined Job Tracks. The profiled institution identifies job tracks for various roles in Operations, based on process interdependencies and competencies required. For each job track, there is a clearly outlined set of responsibilities at each employee level. The thinking here is that employee performance gets better when they have a good picture of what is required of their current role and what will be required of them as they move up.
Self-Directed Teams. This institution also encourages employees at all levels to take on more leadership responsibilities, especially in managing their own daily tasks. Teams are restructured so that one manager oversees up to 35 people (as opposed to an average of 9 in the earlier structure), and employees are also held accountable for team performance in addition to individual performance. This tactic also does wonders to improve employee performance.