A performance gap can negatively influence the productivity of your client’s team and affect the success of their organization. As their consultant, identifying performance gaps and addressing them quickly are essential to getting them the results they anticipate in their business.  

In general, performance gaps are often related to leadership, direct skills gaps, or lack of motivation. While identifying individual performance gaps in a team can be challenging, there are ways to address the overall performance of a company to maintain smooth running operations and keep the business healthy and thriving. 

Consulting Your Client on a Performance Gap

Here are 5 ways to help your client address performance gaps:

Effective communication 

Effective communication is paramount to team performance. If leaders in an organization are not effectively communicating clear performance targets, the teams will not have a clear understanding of what their performance goals are. Without a clear understanding, it will be difficult for them to meet expectations. 

To overcome communication problems and reduce the potential for performance gaps, recommend your client and the leadership team get training on effective communication that includes setting baseline standards and policies for company communication. Additionally, encourage positive, open communication practices as part of the company culture. 

Leadership development 

It is important that your client develops good leadership within their organization. A big problem that can occur in performance is when a high performer is promoted from a technical role to a leadership role without leadership development in place. The high performer is good at doing the work but does not know how to lead. This can cause them to micromanage, do the work themselves, and ultimately demotivate the team. 

To perform effectively, your client needs to provide clear support and guidance to their team. A good recommendation to address this area would be for your client and their leadership team to participate in a formal leadership development program. 

Skills training 

Spotting missing skills in the team can be difficult. New technology could be problematic for senior leadership who were very good at doing their job previously but have a difficult time shifting to new skills. Even with appropriate training, it could take them longer to grasp new concepts and cause them to underperform.  

On the other hand, new employees can be trained in certain skills, but will have a learning curve that only experience can provide. What can make performance gaps even more difficult to catch is when a problem arises from in-house training. For example, one leader may learn a “bad habit” from another leader. 

To address skill deficiencies, your client’s team needs to be able to reach the performance goals your client sets for them. They need to have the right skills sets, training, knowledge and experience to perform their duties.  

While investing in good training is essential, encouraging your client to have regular group leadership workshops can help give them consistent training to do their jobs the way they want them to do it, with the skills they need. 

Workplace culture and environment 

An important aspect of gap performance management is creating a high-performance culture that supports growth and improvement. This environment empowers the team with clear values and attainable goals, keeps them motivated, and gives them the resources, knowledge, and support needed to achieve those goals. 

It is essential to highlight positive performance experiences so the team can become motivated and engaged. A good way to do this is for your client to arrange regular meetings with their team to reinforce best practices and encourage good habits. 

Competency frameworks 

Having a structured approach can effectively close gaps in performance. Helping the team get the training and development to close the skills gap puts your client’s company on track for success. Competency frameworks further increase a company’s potential to perform its best by creating a foundation to assess and monitor productivity. This comes down to conducting regular performance gap analysis that allows your client to recognize what good performance looks like as opposed to only looking at skills and development. 

Competent performance is essential to the success of your client’s business. The sooner performance gaps are addressed, the better. The Profit Enhancer Analysis can help you gather and analyze the appropriate data about your client’s company performance, so you can review how their company is performing in different areas over time.