Sunday, April 5, 2009

Do you know what drives work performance? Part 2

In an earlier blog I identified what may be the single best predictor of work performance – general mental ability. The take-away was that we should focus on designing jobs that ordinary people can excel at instead of searching for extraordinary people to do the job.

Do you know what the two next best predictors of work performance are?

Job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Research suggests that a sound measurement of overall job attitude is one of the most useful pieces of information an organization can have about its employees (Harrison et al. 2006).

The five most common things people have degrees of satisfaction with at work are pay, opportunity for promotion, supervision, co-workers, and the work itself. Of these five, supervision and the work itself may be the most important. Some of the things that affect commitment are job satisfaction, participation, job security, and the characteristics of the work itself.

I think this is great news! We have direct control over the most important things that will help our folks perform better. First, we should build unique, purposeful relationships built on a foundation of trust with all of our employees. Then we partner with our employees to create a work environment where everyone can thrive.

Build relationships with your employees, ask them what they think and seek their suggestions on how to improve the work they do, and then involve them in implementing those changes.

Stop blaming employees for poor performance. Fix those crappy systems!

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