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Performance Driven Workforce: Concrete Ideas for Making it Work

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By Kim Shepherd, CEO
With Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

Part 5 in our series: The Performance Driven Workforce: Performance Management Just Got Served

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

I’ve been on my soapbox about the performance driven workforce, a model I believe is more relevant to the Me, Inc. generation than TQM or Six Sigma. Those are great methods, but spend some time with the previous posts to see why I think the performance driven workforce can take the best of those and make it even better.

The performance driven workforce is working well at Decision Toolbox (DT) and it’s a perfect marriage with our virtual structure. I’ll share some of the tactics we’ve used to drive performance across the organization. Remember, focus on process, not outcomes.

Performance reviews are so 1990.  Instead of reviewing what happened in the past, use real-time metrics to drive performance. In human resources, for example, we monitor Recruitment Partners’ performance along a number of metrics (hire ratio, days to find, client satisfaction and many others). Recruiting Machine, our über-ERP/ATS, will alert us if the metrics are off. But it’s also a Quality Self-Service tool. Our Recruiters use it to focus their efforts before the alerts ever beep. This system drives performance by turning those numbers into an index score that we use to assign projects and, by extension, income.

Intentional quality and customer service highlight the proactive nature of the performance driven workforce. Set up your system to create excellence in those areas, not just to measure them. Among the tactics we use to do this are client quality surveys AND candidate surveys. Results for both tie into the real time performance metrics, so our Recruiters are incented to delight both clients and candidates. Metrics also feed into various dashboards for real-time monitoring and, more importantly, real-time calibration. We maintain Squeakyboards (remember those squeaky dry erase markers? We’ve digitized them) to set targets, monitor and brainstorm solutions around candidate sourcing and quality.

Growth? Piece of cake. Combine the performance driven workforce with great technology, and you’ve got the basis for powerful scalability. Throw virtual into that mix and scalability becomes boom-ability. Being virtual has led us to create many of the tools that also make us boom-able. For example, managing change orders can be challenging in a sticks-and-bricks environment. In a virtual environment there are even more cracks for things to fall through.

Say a client decides, mid-search, that they want to open up the requirements to broaden the talent pool. At DT that means several people have to take care of various small tasks. In our system, a requestor fills out an online Job Change Request, ticking off the various parties who need to take action. Notice is sent to all parties via email. As each party completes their task, they log it in the system. Sometimes the completion of one task triggers the next. But the system helps prevent things from falling through the cracks. This is what I referred to, in Part Four, as technology being the waffle batter that seals the gaps in your performance-driven processes.

Our people are our product. This is especially true in the service industry, but it applies in others as well. And just as you would invest in your product, you need to invest in employees to keep them at peak performance. You’ll see ROI in quality service, of course, but also in efficiency/cost effectiveness and employee retention. We depend on our people to be autonomous, so we micro-train and macro-manage. We offer regular trainings via Decision Toolbox University (DTU) and Decision Toolbox Sourcing University (DTSU). Training will always be more effective if it is fun and engaging!

In this blog series I’ve only been able to touch on the tip of the iceberg that is the performance driven workforce. But I’ve got more to say. Stay tuned for a white paper (with more elbow room!), and I’ll be speaking on this topic regularly. But you must have some ideas, too! Share, share!


Connect with Kim on Twitter and LinkedIn.

To learn more about Decision Toolbox, please contact us – we’d love to hear from you!

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Believe it or not, we don’t have giant heads. See More Client Quotes

  • " I appreciated (DT Recruiter's) enthusiasm, her approach-ability and can-do attitude. Great partner to us during our search... "
  • " (DT Recruiter) is hands-down the best recruiter I've ever worked with. She totally "gets it." As usual she exceeded expectations and did a fabulous job. This was a very tough position, but despite multiple obstacles she never gave up or let it get her down. She's like the Energizer Bunny -- she just keeps going. Kudos! And Thanks. "
  • " (DT Recruiter) was absolutely outstanding in every respect. I will (and have) recommend Decision Toolbox to other HR professionals searching for a creative, cost effective method of recruiting for difficult to fill positions. "
  • " (The DT Recruiter) was terrific. She dealt with some of the internal struggles our company is having in terms of "what type of candidate do we really need vs. what we thought we needed." She helped management think through the type of candidate we were looking for and was a huge asset to us. I also liked the web based system that DT has set up. I felt informed throughout the process. "
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