Performance gaps negatively impact your client’s business, causing inefficiencies and ineffectiveness that can create a downward spiral in your growth, revenue and profitability. They can appear in any area of the business and might not be immediately noticeable. 

These unnoticed issues can significantly affect your clients’ ability to achieve the results they have been working hard to accomplish. 

As a consultant, it is your duty to help your clients develop and set high-achieving performance goals by preparing them to address discrepancies before they significantly impact their growth goals. 

Discrepancies in performance, or the difference between current and desirable performance, is called a performance gap.  

When a discrepancy is a cause for immediate or repeated concern, it is important as a consultant to identify the reason or reasons with precision so your client can experience a corrective course of action as quickly as possible. 

5 common reasons for performance gaps 

Lack of clear performance goals 

It will be difficult for your client’s employees to meet their performance goals if they do not understand what is expected of them. Not only do they need clear communication about their goals, but their goals should be aligned with the company’s goals. This helps give them a roadmap to success in their work and provides clarification about how their work connects them to the overall success of the company. 

Having unreasonable expectations 

As the hired consultant, when setting performance goals for your client’s employees and the team, it is always good to include them in the process. Having your client solicit the input of their team members will help establish attainable and realistic objectives. In addition, including clear job titles, job descriptions, written processes and guidelines will help avoid inconsistencies in performance, so your client’s employees have the best chance to meet reasonable expectations. 

Poor leadership communication 

When employees do not get clear support and guidance from their leaders, it makes it harder for them to perform their best. Good leadership creates the right culture that supports growth and improvement for employees to thrive. Remind your clients that how a leader communicates is essential in motivating and engaging employees, with the intention of positively impacting the overall success of the company. 

Insufficient training and resources 

Even the best employees can only do so much unless they have the tools, training, and resources available to them. Your client will not be able to utilize their strengths to their fullest potential. Advise your client not to wait until the annual performance review to learn from an employee about what they are lacking. Educate your client to hold team meetings regularly to understand policies, procedures, office resources and supply needs. Additionally, offer your client relevant training and workshops to strengthen employee skills and knowledge.  

Ignoring personal issues and conflicts within teams 

Personal issues and conflicts within teams distract from performance. They create challenges that impact motivation, require time and effort to resolve, delay completion of tasks, affect revenue, and can even put much needed goals at risk. They can sabotage everything a leader is trying to accomplish. Many times, issues and conflicts go unnoticed because of cultural problems within the company. As the hired consultant, it is imperative that you guide your client to create a culture that maintains professionalism and fosters respect for all.  

Effective performance management is essential for business. Including performance gap analysis in your consulting process for client management is a key factor in detecting any patterns or problems before performance levels decrease. 

Performance gap analysis helps you, as the consultant, and your client identify and correct problems with performance more quickly. It helps put measures in place that are more effective. In addition, it is in your best interest to help your client to always be on the lookout for performance gaps before they become accepted as a part of the company culture. Monitoring performance and conducting gap analysis regularly is vital for the success of your client’s business. 

The Profit Enhancer Analysis provides an easy-to-use tool for consultants to help their clients quickly identify problem areas and track performance. You can then focus your attention on areas that need the most help in improving performance.