Can you name your best employees?

Posted on Oct 01, 2015

Learning strategies

Adobe Captivate Prime allows employees to compare their performance with colleagues

You've spent a long time recruiting the best people for the job, but how do you know which of your employees are performing best?

It’s not just HR that need to be aware of the skills and potential of your employees. All line managers can benefit from knowing which members of their team are suited to which roles.

Retaining your best employees requires careful attention and nurturing, but why is it so important to keep identify your A-players?

Internal vs external recruitment

Sometimes it’s not possible to source an applicant from within the organisation to fill a role, but whenever it is you should make every effort to do so.

Advantages of internal promotion:

  • Fewer applications to process
  • Knowledge of the candidate is already good, no need for lots of research
  • Faster than external, interview process is quicker and easier to organise
  • Current employees are already familiar with company culture, a huge part of the settling in process
  • Morale is boosted when an internal hire is made, it indicates career opportunities are available
  • Better able to fill the position being vacated before they move up, reducing costs of lost productivity
  • The time for an external candidate to achieve full productivity is often underestimated

It’s no surprise then that 42% of all positions are filled from within the organisation, making it the biggest single source of new hires.

An often quoted study from 2011 confirms that external hires are paid more and perform worse than an internally promoted employees.

Knowing who the best person for the job is ahead of time can speed things up even more. No application process is needed if you have the information you need to make the decision already.

Bad employees are costly

Discovering the cream of the crop can help in many ways, including highlighting the below average performers.

Many companies have realised the importance of not hiring bad employees in the first place.

This practice is exemplified by Zappos’ mid-training offer of $2,000 if new customer service employees quit there and then. The hope is that by ensuring that only employees who really want to be there complete your initial training you’re filtering out unengaged candidates.

But sometimes an employee might be a great fit for the company culture, but missing some piece of the puzzle. Identifying different traits, both strengths and weaknesses, is essential for managers to get the best out of employees.

It could be as simple as a change to the working environment, in Susan Cain’s book and Ted talk she explains the importance of allowing introverted people to work in a way that allows them to be themselves.

Whether you can turn an under performing employee around or not, it’s invaluable to your management process to be able to judge how they are doing.

Elearning can help

Now we know why it’s critical to know who your best employees are and what they are good at, we’re going to explore why elearning is one way to identify the top performers:

  • Tracking

Using any modern LMS you can track your employees’ progress through courses and see results from assessments. Having objective figures on training performance allows managers to quickly discover high performers.

Many LMS allow you to monitor whether staff have returned to an elearning module. Staff who are referring to their training to retain their knowledge are likely to exhibit other positive traits at work.

  • Cross training

If you have a course which is designed for your sales team and one for your marketing department it’s easy to allow the target audience of each course to access the other.

Known as cross-training, it can help people collaborate better and if it’s introduced on a voluntary basis it will help highlight employees who are willing to put in extra time to better learn how to best help their colleagues.

  • Comparison

By providing standard assessments to all members of staff it becomes much easier to directly compare individuals to the group and other individuals.

Adobe’s recently launched Captivate Prime LMS makes a big deal of the ability to compare progress between employees.

Adobe Aptivate Prime, the new LMS, has many comparison features for admins and learners

Whether you keep this information confidential and use it for performance reviews only or make it a part of motivating your staff is something to consider, but the value for discovering high flyers is undeniable.

  • Self-paced learning

Giving staff the opportunity to take the learning when it’s most convenient is a big plus for elearning. As a bonus for management it can help reveal who is most motivated to complete training quickly.

If a deadline is set for the completion of the module you will be able to see who has decided to leave it to the last minute and who takes a more calculated approach.

  • Interactivity

Elearning gives you the opportunity to get feedback from staff during or directly after the training. Hearing what employees have to say about the course can really help you find the people who are asking the right questions.

Beyond feedback there are many LMS’s that allow learners themselves to create and share content about the training. Giving staff the chance to record a video or statement which is made available to the rest of the team is a great way to get the stand out a-players.

We've outlined the ways keeping track of your best employees can benefit your organisation and how elearning can help with the task. If you’d like to learn more about any of the ways elearning can help you get in touch.

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