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Tuesday, July 1, 2008
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Below are some excerpts of online reports that may add insight into the issue of identifying and retaining high-performing employees.

Making a Quality Hire

Other than guesswork, the two most popular ways of identifying a quality hire are profile and performance-based selection. While each method has its advocates, they come from contrasting theoretical perspectives, and provide very different end-user information.

A white paper by CorVitus provides a brief overview of each approach and reviews their respective strengths and weaknesses.

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High Performers: Your Best Kept Secret?

Most organizations do not differentiate to any significant degree between high performers and those considered average or below average. The customer-relationship-management disciplines have clearly shown that not all customers are equal. Because some produce a great deal more revenue than others, they are treated as a special group, with a tailored program to take care of their needs, maximize their contribution and strengthen their loyalty.

Why not do the same for high-performing employees? Identifying them as a group, connecting them with each other, asking for their help to improve your business and rewarding their performance appropriately could give your company a major boost.

This white paper, focusing on the financial-services world, offers four key ways to help employers make the most of their best asset.

 

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In Search of Better Employee Performance

The problem with most approaches to sustained high performance is they only deal with people from one perspective and that is primarily from the neck up -- only connecting high and sustained performance with cognitive capacity.

This was the finding of Jim Loehr of the Human Performance Institute (a U.S. performance psychologist, who has worked with many world-class athletes).

His research found sustained high performance must pull together all the elements that make the person a whole -- an integrated approach that addresses the body, the emotions, the mind and the spirit.

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Attrition Among High-potential Employees in Asia

Identifying the leaders of tomorrow is the first step to ensuring they remain with your organization. Leaders have begun to recognize the importance of their employee talent, particularly high-performing and high-potential talent, and are taking steps to develop and motivate them.

In fact, Hewitt Associates' Attrition and Retention Asia Pacific Study 2006 found that of the 174 participating companies, 89 percent of respondents have a process in place to identify high-performers, and 37 percent indicated that 10 to 20 percent of their total workforce has been identified as high-performers.

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Sustaining Employees' High Performance

In a blog post, Fathi El-Nadi, an HR consultant focusing on U.S. and Middle Eastern organizations, provides four ideas for HR leaders seeking to sustain a good caliber of employees through enhancing their performance. It is a non-stop management process that ensures a competitive edge for any organization, he writes.

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Five Paths Toward a High-Performing Workforce

In Peak Performance, Jon Katzenbach draws on an in-depth study of 25 enterprises -- from Home Depot and Southwest Airlines to Marriott Corporation and the U.S. Marine Corps -- that excel at energizing their employees toward consistently high levels of performance.

Here, Katzenbach writes about the "five paths that work" -- allowing diverse organizations to produce a high-performing workforce. These "balanced paths" reflect the critical importance of sustaining a dynamic balance between worker/enterprise performance and worker fulfillment (i.e., wherein both the company and its employees benefit by achieving distinctiveness along their chosen paths).

These paths are: Mission, Values, and Pride; Process and Metrics; Entrepreneurial Spirit; Individual Achievement; and Recognition and Celebration. There are overlaps and similarities among the paths, but the primary focus and value proposition of each is quite distinct:

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High Performers: Staying on Top of the Game

Who are the "best and brightest?" Who form the backbone of some of the most profitable corporations in America?

"They see themselves as relationship builders, not as specialists in software or some other technical competency," says Beth A. Walker, a marketing professor at the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Walker and colleague Michael D. Hutt, also on the marketing faculty, have been taking a close look at these frontline salespeople for many years. Their research is yielding insights as to what makes the high performers tick.

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