Are You Topgrading?
By Ross Haynes, Vice President / COO
At Taylor Commercial, we have placed an extremely high value on personal development for our employees. Each month, we read books as a company and discuss the books at our monthly staff meetings. To this point, no book has impacted our business in the way that Topgrading (by Bradford D. Smart, Ph.D.) has. Topgrading is an approach for hiring, developing, promoting and retaining A players in your organization. A players are the “best of class” which make up the top 10 percent of talent available at all salary levels. Most companies today should expect at least a 75% failure rate in hiring and promotions, meaning that only 1 out of 4 individuals hired or promoted through the standard methods turns out to be an A player. The reason for this is that the average company uses single 30-minute interviews to make hiring decisions and does not invest the time to review more candidates and truly find the best candidate available. They also have poor performance management systems (if any at all) and place no focus on developing their employees. These companies also fail to timely redeploy poor performers (B and C players).
Mature companies who embrace and implement Topgrading methodologies have experienced upwards of a 90% success rate in hiring and promoting A players. These companies successfully employ the following Topgrading techniques described in the book:
• Implement Topgrading from the CEO down; first Topgrade the Executive Team and teach them to Topgrade their teams.
• Use Topgrading Interviews to identify the A, potential A, B and C players.
• Use Topgrading Interviews when hiring externally or promoting people.
• Provide employees with the necessary coaching and development to become and remain A players.
• Redeploy chronic C and B players into positions within the company where they can be A players or release them to the industry.
The Executive Team at Taylor Commercial has begun to fully incorporate Topgrading into our culture, and we are already seeing tremendous results. As the economy has tightened, we have taken a close look at our business to ensure we are investing in the right people, processes and tools to best serve our customers, and Topgrading will be a major part of our success going forward. We are excited to share this information and recommend this book and program to our customers and partners. Studies have shown that the average mis-hire may cost companies up to $1.5 million…are you Topgrading?