Our first step is to conduct a gap analysis. We have the survey results that indicate how employees feel, but we need to understand why they feel that way. Our approach to this performance analysis is to also look at what are the desired behaviors and performance outputs, versus the current behaviors and performance outputs. Only once we understand the performance gaps, articulated in very concrete and behavioral ways, can we determine the true root causes of these gaps and design effective solutions to close the gaps.

This gap analysis is the beginning of the change process. Simply by asking the right questions and paying attention to the data we collect, we start to create a mindset and expectation for change. So it is critical to have a well-formulated strategy for the change process that begins with articulating the business-based results and performance goals that will be accomplished by this effort. Our efforts begin by helping you to understand and clearly state the value proposition for this work by answering the questions: what will be different, why is that important, and what different results will we achieve?

Our first area of inquiry is to identify the gaps or needs: Who is affected by these performance issues? Whose performance is the problem? What is the actual performance level? What is the desired performance level?

The second area of inquiry is to determine the priority of the gaps: How important is the identified gap? How often does the gap occur? How costly will it be to resolve the gap?

With clearly defined performance gaps, we turn our attention to the causes of these performance gaps. We use a number of different methods to determine causes, including brainstorming, performance mapping, surveys, interviews, focus groups and data reviews.

Are these gaps caused by: A lack of knowledge or skill? Lack of resources? Weak link in structure or process? A need for more information (e.g. communication, expectations or documentation)? Lack of consequences for poor performance? Issues with motives or expectations of the performer? Inadequate feedback? Lack of capacity to perform due to hiring, selection or promotion issues? We also look at levels of causes: organizational, management/ process, job/performer, skills and knowledge and environmental.

During this process we need access to senior managers for the initial steps (identifying business performance requirements, building the value proposition for the effort, establishing involvement and ownership of the process from the top).

Then we will conduct the gap analysis and cause analysis with the key stakeholders – namely the managers, supervisors and other key employees. This requires access to these people, along with potentially reviewing data (such as training records, performance plans, etc).

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