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Executives Need to Boost Employee Performance by 20 Percent in 2013

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Tue Dec 11 2012

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(From The Sacramento Bee) -- CEB, the leading member-based advisory company, today released its annual Executive Guidance indicating that the majority of executives are seeking breakthrough performance gains of 20 percent from their employees to achieve their business goals in 2013. However, only five percent of their current employees have the ideal mix of core skills and competencies to deliver the results required. Since only 32 percent of executives plan to hire to meet their goals, companies will need to develop and transform existing workforces to achieve high performance and greater productivity in today's erratic and often volatile work environment.

In a study of more than 20,000 employees, CEB determined that the convergence of a sluggish economy, globalization and a host of other business challenges has fundamentally changed workplace dynamics. Employees must work differently to survive where frequent organizational change, knowledge work and increased collaboration are the norm. To thrive under these conditions, employees must be immune to the complexities of change, willing to collaborate with a broad range of individuals and be able to apply sound judgment in increasingly knowledge-based roles.

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"Organizations must understand the dramatic shifts underway in the new work environment and equip employees with the skills and competencies that enable them to be successful," said Conrad Schmidt, global research officer, CEB. "With 67 percent of executives reporting continued pressure to lower costs despite increasing revenue expectations, the corporate bottom line is increasingly dependent on achieving greater labor efficiencies.  In order to overcome new workplace challenges and facilitate increased employee productivity, executives will need to organize and manage their workforce differently."

Executives seeking to develop and transform their employee base to realize business goals in the new work environment should:

  • Accelerate skill development through guided stretch roles: Promote learning on the job by designing stretch roles to drive collaboration as well as business objectives.

  • Adjust employee roles to the demand- and supply-sides of collaboration: Redefine employee roles to emphasize collaboration and broader organizational impact.

  • Reorient managers to guide and empower knowledge workers: Focus managers on removing complications that arise in a less routine, more ambiguous work environment.

  • Target technology investments to the evolving needs of knowledge work and collaborative teams: Improve mobility, data usability, collaboration platforms and customized applications by building back from specific employee needs, not broad business objectives.

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