Right Job, Right Person
Recently, I participated in a webinar led by Marcus Buckingham, a well-known author and expert on strengths based performance. He spoke about the strong correlation between employee performance and engagement and the importance of providing employees with the opportunity to play to their individual strengths. For me, it reinforced the conviction I have about how essential it is for a business to match the right person with the right job. Without that match, the opportunities to realize superior performance will always be elusive.
How can a business increase its success at making the right match between employee and job? In my experience, I have found this can be best accomplished by focusing on these areas:
Job definition and meaningful work –A first step involves clarifying the responsibilities of the job and the performance outcomes, which can usually be accomplished by preparing clear, complete job descriptions and by formulating performance goals. Part two of this speaks to the importance of offering stimulating, meaningful work that has a purpose and provides a line of sight with the organization’s mission.
Matching the person with the job: To make “best fit” decisions, organizations should incorporate due diligence processes that will improve the selection decision odds before hiring, promoting or transferring a person into a position. This means conducting realistic job previews that accurately reflect what the job really is so potential employees can self select to jobs that appeal to their skills, abilities and interests. It also includes bolstering these realistic job previews with other rigorous selection tools, including structured interviews, so managers have an accurate picture of the potential employee and can make an informed selection decision.
On the job: Placing the right person in the right job sets the stage for superior performance. Once in the job, the employee must be provided with opportunities to perform work that taps into their individual strengths on a regular basis and offers them opportunities to perform”in the zone” work, where they are at their individual best.
Making the “right person right job” decision takes ongoing practice and commitment, but the paybacks are enormous. They translate into a significant decrease in the amount of time spent addressing performance issues and an increase in employee engagement and performance.