Discovering future performers in your team depends on your company requirements and the methodology that you use to assess performance. As a manager or an owner, you’ll need to have a good idea about the most important organisational criteria and the ability of employees to address those.

What does it take to identify future performers in your team? Figuring out what competency model to use is the first and the most important prerequisite for success.

The Basics: Coming Up with a Competency Model

The company strategy should be based on competency models. These focus on corporate objectives and requirements for each group of employees. Once an adequate competency model is established, assessing the performance of employees against this foundation becomes relatively easy.

Review the work that each group of employees does and figure out how it contributes to accomplishing corporate objectives. This is the best strategy for coming up with a competency model, whether you’re assessing the work of a creative director or an accountant.

The model will also make it easier for you to figure out which individuals are your top performers. The competency of the top employees is much higher than that of the average worker and as long as you’re using the right criteria, you will get to identify the best members of the team easily.

The Definition of Top Talent

Identifying future performers on the basis of a formula may sound like a simple task but it’s actually a complex process. The problem stems from the fact that no universal definition of outstanding performance exists.

The formula that may deliver spectacular results for one company will probably be highly inefficient for another corporate structure.

The basic definition of a top performer is an employee that exhibits the most valuable characteristics in relevance to the particular organisation. For some companies, creativity and communication skills happen to be most important. Others are looking for team players and technologically-savvy workers.

Figuring out what you need from employees and cultivating these positive characteristics will help you identify the future performers and develop their skills.

Evaluations play a vital role in the process. Scoring the work and the performance of your workers will help you figure out how their skills and output compare. Apart from depending on such scores to figure out which employees are the biggest asset to your company, you should also communicate with managers and team leaders on a regular basis. These individuals can provide a lot of essential information about performance and the manner in which the work of one employee compares to that of another.

Recommended Reading: Ways to be a Good Team Player

The Best Tools for Performance Assessment

Performance assessment is a complex process. It should involve your top managers and team leaders and it should be based on your competency model. Once you have a functioning model, you will need to figure out how to do adequate assessment.

There are dozens of software products that can be used to keep track of performance. Though human input is most important when it comes to making adequate decisions and identifying the top performers, the creation of professional databases can be really helpful.

Once you have defined your performance objectives, you can use software to track those through the years. The accumulation of this data is incredibly valuable for the continuous process of talent identification.

You can also use such tools to evaluate individual performance, to get feedback about the performance and to organize the database in the most logical manner. A so-called competence database can give you all of the information needed to do effective analysis and more efficient human resources management.

Stimuli and Motivation

Identifying top talent and future performers is just the first part of the process. You will need to nurture the relationship with such employees and provide the right kinds of incentives and stimuli.

Programs created to reward and motivate your workers will take the future performers to the next level. According to a Tower Watson study, top performers are most engaged when they understand the company’s vision. They are also highly competitive and they are focused on work ethics. All of these characteristics set future performers apart from other workers. These characteristics can be nurtured through reward programs, which enable the top performers to continue evolving and gaining personal competence skills.

To meet the needs of your future performers and to build stable relationships with these employees, you will need to provide a clear definition of the company’s vision and objectives. In addition, you should make sure that top performers have the tools to do their job and that their career progress is fully-supported by the organization.

There could be major variations between what your best workers want and need. Coming up with several reward systems that address the particular specifics (the needs of creative staff vs. the need of entrepreneurial staff, for example) will be the key to effectiveness. Getting to know your top performers as individuals may be helpful for improving the professional relationship and keeping these excellent employees both engaged and loyal.

An Integration Strategy is Essential

Is your company suffering from the so-called competency gap? Do you find it difficult to employ future performers and nourish a relationship with these professionals? Having an integration strategy will be the key to attracting top talent and keeping these individuals inside the corporate structure for a longer period of time.

Training programs, workshops and courses are crucial. You may even want to come up with individual opportunities for further qualification that are based on employee assessment. Such programs are vital for getting access to top talent, especially if you work in a highly competitive niche that sees a professional shortage.

Choosing talent management and identification work practices will help you empower future performers and meet corporate goals easily. Though coming up with such programs is a lengthy and challenging process, the outcome will justify the means.