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TALENT MANAGEMENT


NINE BOX Forget the rating, it’s all about the conversation, says Dan Lucy C


onsiderable eff ort is invested in identifying talent, building bench strength and helping to


ensure the continued competitiveness of organisations. It is common to hear of one framework or another being used to identify high potential employees. Having heard a deal of frustration expressed with some of these frameworks, and their potential impact on employee engagement, the Roff ey Park team explored the issue further, focusing on the Nine Box Grid. Here we outline key insights


from this research,1 highlighting how


successful implementation of the Nine Box depends on clarity about what it means to be a ‘high potential’, and targeted development to build the confi dence and capability of managers to hold eff ective develop- ment conversations with their staff .


Talent strategy tool T e Nine Box Grid is a tool which has


20 | October 2016 |


Involve managers in determining potential


Our research found that managers, not surprisingly, struggled most with assessing staff for their potential as opposed to their performance. T ey talked about feeling that judgments of potential were too subjective or strug- gling to fi nd evidence to support them. Engaging managers in determining


been adopted in many organisations as part of an overall talent strategy. T e tool is used to assign employees to a box based on two dimensions – their current performance and their future potential. Typically, the horizontal axis has


three levels of performance and the vertical axis has three levels of potential. Managers make a judgment on where each employee is placed. Organisations often attribute diff erent labels to each box, beyond the obvious high potential/ high performance. A simple representa- tion of the Grid is shown right.


High


potential —


Low performance


Medium potential —


Low performance Low


potential —


Low performance High


potential —


Medium performance


Medium potential —


Medium performance Low


potential —


Medium performance Performance


what potential looks like in their context can engender greater ownership of the Grid process and enhance capability when making assessments of potential. T e perceived value among


managers of using the Grid appeared to hinge on level of seniority and degree of involvement with the overall process, including meetings to cross-validate box ratings. Here, the Grid appeared to provide a helpful


@TrainingJournal High


potential —


High performance


Medium potential —


High performance Low


potential —


High performance


Potential


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