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Figuring out the best way to lead teams and drive performance is one of the toughest challenges in business.  What’s the best way to improve an employee’s performance? How should we handle performance evaluations? And who is responsible for performance management, anyway? Is it the HR manager, the employee’s manager, or someone else entirely?  Every good leader has struggled with these questions at one point or another.  People analytics provide us with a better alternative for navigating these complicated questions.  

Improving Employee Performance is Tough Because People are Complicated 

The questions are complicated because people are complicated!  It’s hard to know what truly drives, motivates and inspires someone, let alone in the workplace when we are each busy with our own responsibilities. However, we can’t improve our employee’s performance until we understand the drives and needs behind their workplace behavior.  Traditionally, we resort to guesswork and awkward, stilted conversations. We ask someone what would help them improve, what’s going wrong, or what they’re missing. We do our best to accommodate those needs and set goals to motivate the employee to improve.  And then nothing happens. Maybe we see an improvement…but 9 times out of 10, we’re back to square one within a few weeks. We see this happen time and time again in business.  Unfortunately, these efforts are often built on a misunderstanding of the situation. 

Common Roadblocks to Improving Employee Performance 

Perhaps the employee feels uncomfortable being fully transparent. They might not feel comfortable sharing issues they have with management, for example.   In other situations, they might not have the self-awareness to even accurately identify the problem. Conversely, even the best leaders might not have enough self-awareness to understand how they are contributing to or creating roadblocks to stronger performance!  Lastly, the problem might just be that the individual in question is poorly aligned with the company or role. In this case, our ability to improve their performance is limited. The bestcase scenario here is typically to switch them to a new position or let them go. However, it’s often hard to identify when we should work to improve performance, when we should switch someone to a new position, and when we should just let them go. 

The Answer to Employee Performance Lies with People Analytics 

It’s incredibly difficult to efficiently and accurately gain an understanding of workplace behaviors through simple conversations, interviews, or discussions. People analytics provide a highly-effective solution to this problem.  With cutting-edge behavioral assessments, we can quickly gain in-depth, accurate insights on the core drives and needs of an individual. Here at Qualigence, we use the assessments provided by the Predictive Index.   These assessments can be completed in as little as six minutes and are accompanied by comprehensive write-ups that explain an individual’s natural strengths, needs, and drives, as well as what they may struggle with in the workplace.  Best of all, they are scientifically validated to give us an accurate understanding of our people and drive workplace performance. The analytics from PI are also paired with a robust software platform that allows you to generate customized reports on how to resolve conflicts, lead each individual most effectively, and get to the heart of different team dynamics. It also can help you predict which types of people will excel versus struggle in certain roles, making candidate selection easier for recruiting. Overall, the software gives you a clear road map for solving your people challenges.

Understanding is the Key to Stronger Performance 

Once we truly understand why someone is acting the way they are, we can inspire them to deliver greater performance. This is an area where HR can really step up to the plate and drive business results, but it’s also crucial for leaders. When you understand the core of what’s driving someone’s behavior – what drives them to crush it, or what’s leading them to underperform – we can adjust our management style to cater to their unique needs.   At the end of the day, it’s all about inspiring our employees rather than simply motivating them. Motivation revolves around the carrot or the stick, both of which offer diminishing returns. By inspiring our employees, we light a fire inside of them to go on and crush their goals.  For some individuals, inspiration might come in the form of public recognition of their accomplishments. For others, that may be embarrassing – they might feel more inspired by a personal note acknowledging their achievements and giving them more responsibility.  People analytics are your shortcut to understanding what someone will be inspired by, as well as why they are inspired by it! 

People Analytics Are Just the Beginning 

People analytics are just the start of the equation. You use these tools to gain an understanding of your team, but then it’s time to put that understanding into practice by leading your team accordingly.  If you’re looking to learn more about this topic, click here to schedule time directly with our CEO Steve Lowisz to learn more. He will ask you some questions about your own situation and give you an idea of how analytics can be used to solve your business challenges. You can also attend a live demo showing you all about behavior analytics. Just click the image below.  Or you can continue with business as usual and settle for turnover, so-so performance, and hit-or-miss leadership…the ball’s in your court.