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organization, whether a service or product company, is established to address a
need as a going concern. The success of any organization therefore
depends on how well it is able to deliver on its focus areas and
solutions. Attainment of corporate goals may forever remain a strategy or
a design on the computer unless activated by key employees with a strong
discipline of execution.
organizations, key employees are top performers and critical performers.
A popular misconception on the part of many is that ‘top performer’ is the same
as ‘critical performer’. Without fear of contradiction I will like to
state unequivocally that they have different meanings and play different roles
in an organization. To the business they are however two important sides of the
Top performer status is conferred on employee
whose quantity and quality of output significantly exceed expectations whereas Critical performer status is a designation of a
job, not the person in it, and it is based on the relative importance of a
position to the organization’s success. For clarity it is possible for a
poor performer to occupy a critical role, in such a situation, the challenge is
for the management to make appropriate changes.
organizations have critical performer positions that must function effectively
if the company is to attain its desired results. Any job that could
powerfully impact a company qualifies for this designation. It should be
noted that a job that is critical to performance today may not be tomorrow.
question or challenge for an employee who wants to remain perpetually relevant
is ‘Are you a top performer or Are you playing a
critical role?’ Except you are doing one of these two, you may
soon become history in that organization.
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aspiration of any forward looking employee should be to operate as a top
performer since a critical performer runs the risk of relegation based on
possibility of shift in corporate focus and value. It is important to
note that the human resource strategy of a professionally managed organization
usually is to turn every staff to a top performer while simultaneously working
on producing as many players as possible for each of the critical positions in
order to save the organization from key man risk. Failure to do this may
open the organization to being held to ransom by occupiers of such positions
and also make succession difficult whenever a vacancy occurs either through
voluntary or involuntary exit.
is important to mention that an organization’s people management strategy pays
special attention to top performers and critical performer positions. Top
performers are recognized and rewarded for their outstanding contributions
while occupiers of critical performer positions are replicated to overcome
succession and retention challenges. To fail to do these is to plan to
conclusion each employee is in a position to determine how he or she will be
treated in an organization. For you to secure your employment permanently
you must be a top performer. Occupying a
critical position may also secure it for as long as the company focus is on the
role you are playing and you are the only one skilled in the art.
that as staff members keep embarking on continuous improvement activities in
keeping with the GMD’s culture brief series, they will surely be pushing the
boundaries which may include venturing into new areas, acquiring new skills and
competences and taking up new roles and challenges. Implementing continuous improvement and
boundary pushing from the corporate angle may have devastating impact on
whoever thinks being stationary is an option.
Even the world is in a state of flux so refusing to grow or improve
cannot be an option.
By Bayo Odeyale