All It Takes is Talent? Just Another Myth About Building a High Performance Workforce

Building a high performance workforce is easier said than done.

There are a number of reasons why a high performance workforce is hard to implement, but they all boil down to the same issue — there’s no silver bullet that will make it happen.

In fact, there are many conflicting ideas on how to build a high performance workforce, and here are three common myths about it.

1. All it takes is great talent

The most common myth you hear from HR people and business executives is, “All we need to do is hire great talent and we’ll have a high performance workforce.” Guess what? It’s not true – or even close to being that simple.

If you hire great talent and they don’t work well together, you won’t have a high performance workforce.

If you put great talent in an empty warehouse with no desks, software, or computers, how productive do you think they’re going to be? Is this going to be a high performance workforce? Not a chance.

Hiring the right people is important, but it is far from being only thing that matters.

2. Engagement is enough

OK, engaged employees are fantastic. But engagement isn’t enough.

Imagine if you fully engage a workforce of the wrong people with all the wrong skills; do you then have a high performance workforce?

Certainly not.

2. Structure and Process are a panacea

The third myth about building a high performance workforce comes mostly from CEOs and other senior level managers who say, “Look, I just need to find the right organizational structure and the right work processes to make productivity take off.

As a former consultant, I’ve helped a lot of companies with organizational structure and process re-engineering, and I saw that almost every CEO had a stack of different org charts they were playing with.

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Organization structure can be very powerful, but a good structure with the wrong people won’t get you a high performance workforce.

The truth is, you DO need these three (3) cornerstones, and you need all three of them working together.

  • First, you’ve got to assemble the right combination of talent. That means finding the set of employees, contingent workers, professional services, outsourced services, and possibly even robots that work TOGETHER well. It also means quickly identifying and removing the wrong talent.
  • Then, you’ve got to make sure that you put that talent into an infrastructure that allows them to do their best work. Infrastructure includes organization structure, work processes, policies, tools and technology.
  • Finally, you need to earn the ongoing engagement of your talent. You can’t trick people into ongoing engagement. And you must engage ALL the talent working on behalf of your company, not just your employees.

Only with these three  cornerstones in place can you truly build a high performance workforce.

What Now?

To learn more about how you can build a high performance workforce, you need to attend TLNT’s High Performance Workforce Summit in Atlanta, GA., May 28-29, because it’s the one event where you can get everything you need to know.

Click to find out more here (and get a $300 discount if you sign up by April 30).

You can also check out my last article — Think You Know What a High Performance Workforce Is? Well, You Would Be Wrong

Stay tuned for the next article in our series.

Ron Mester is president and CEO of ERE Media, Inc., which, through its four brands (TLNT, ERE, SourceCon, and The Fordyce Letter), is the pre-eminent source for information about talent acquisition and talent management. Before joining ERE Media, Mester served for eight years as president and CEO of Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), transforming the company into the premier research and analysis firm covering the contingent workforce. He also spent 11 years with Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson) — including five years as a partner — where he advised Fortune 1000 companies in more than a dozen industries on human capital strategy, organizational effectiveness, and overall business strategy. He also served as an executive at two venture-backed startups in the research/business intelligence space and earned a patent for Zoomerang, which became one of the world’s top online survey tools (before being acquired in 2012 by SurveyMonkey).

 

 

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