columnBy Memory Nguwi
Have you ever wondered why some organisations are perennial under-achievers?
Regardless of the amount of money poured into these organisations they still fail to perform.
Some of them have blamed both the political and economic environment for their failures. The honest truth about these organisations is that they just do not have the right talent to take the organisation to the desired destination or vision.
Look at these organisations and you will discover the following fact: they do not put enough effort in getting the right talent.
In some instances the organisation has created such a bad employer brand that not any sober minded person would want to work for them.
The root cause of all this is that the board and senior management do not really care about the quality of the individuals joining the organisation.
There are no transparent recruitment processes to support the organisation's vision. As a result of this distortion incompetent relatives and friends get jobs and promotions ahead of very talented individuals.
Look at any successful organisation right now here in Zimbabwe; you will discover that they make every effort to get the right talent in. It's a case of garbage in garbage out.
Do not expect your organisation to perform wonders if it does not have the right talent. You may have all the material resources as long as you do not have the right talent success will be a pipe dream.
The two key aspects to any successful organisation are; get the right talent and manage that talent well. Look at the teams at the world cup right now.
Teams that are progressing in the world cup have taken their time to identify talent and created the environment for the talent to shine. Organisations will not succeed with third rate talent.
Until and unless sober minded senior executives and the board start indentifying the right talent and creating the right environment for this talent to shine success will not come.
Equated to football, most organisations have players who deserve to be on the substitute bench instead on the field. Some of the employees do not even deserve to be on the bench.
Successful organisations need to have effective systems for getting talent in and making sure that this talent finds opportunities to shine.
The other sad development in the corporate world in Zimbabwe is the length of tenure of CEOs. Some of the worst performing companies have CEOs with over 10 years at the helm. The honest truth is that these executives have passed their sell-by date and are blocking exciting talent both within and outside the organisation.
This problem starts with board members who have also overstayed. Shareholders must be more vigilant and get rid of the deadwood especially at the executive level.
The major source of all the problems outlined above is how organisations select employees who join them. A number of organisations waste a lot of time trying to manage wrong employees. If only organisations could take their time to select the right employees half their employee-related challenges will be solved.
Talent is the key to success, without it nothing can happen within the company. It is a critical element in creating competitive advantage because it is difficult for other firms to imitate and it is the critical determinant of performance.
Success of any organisation depends on the quality of staff. Peter Drucker says that: "Companies will regret 60 percent of their hiring decisions within 12 months." This is because organisations do not want to invest money in the right and best selection methods. Despite the low reliability and validity of the interview method of employee selection it remains very popular.
Managers love this system beca-use it can be easily manipulated to suit personal preferences which may damage the organisation's performance in the long-term.
Managers need to understand that not every employee is talent and it takes a great deal of specialised methods to be able to identify talent.
Most of the attributes (90 percent) that are needed for employees to be successful are not visible in an interview. The interview can only assist you to identify (10 percent) of the attributes needed for successful job performance.
The interview methods need to be supported by such selection methods as psychometric assessments.
A quick look at some of the companies that have performed consistently during the hyperinflation and the multicurrency period reve-aled that 85 percent of these companies use psychometric tests for employee selection.
Some of the worst performing companies do not even want to hear about psychometric assessment because it will put a stop to the hiring of incompetent friends and relatives. Shareholders must make a choice between staffing their organisations with dead wood and getting the right talent that will make a huge impact the moment they join the organisation.
Taking employees into your organisation without going through psychometric assessment is like buying shoes with a "no returns" label without trying them. Should there be a problem later you have to live with the consequences.
It takes a great deal of effort and resources to manage out non performing employees in Zimbabwe. Organisations can save a lot of money by paying attention to the people who join the organisation.
Memory Nguwi is the Managing Consultant of Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone 481946-48/481950/2 900276/2900966 or cell number 077 2356 361 or e-mail: