The “ABC” process I’m going to tell you about is designed to give your company both a people and a performance edge.
During my clients’ strategic planning meetings, I have each manager stand in front of the room. The managers are then asked to rank—one at a time—their direct reports as an A, B, or C Player. The group has to be mature, sophisticated, and responsible enough for this type of activity. I ask managers to read several articles about the process in advance, so everyone already understands the process. Once the manager ranks employees and has explained his/her rationale, others at the table can give their views. Only those who have real work-related experience with that person state their rankings and justifications.
I’ve seen very positive results from the dialogue that managers hold with the leadership team about key employees. Managers realize how others perceive their direct reports. Below the surface issues are brought to light. The team can then design actions to deal with those issues.
Another disclaimer: This exercise is not about hearsay and gossip. Participants must have adult sophistication. For example, absolute confidentiality is a must. What goes on in the meeting room stays in the meeting room; all participants need to understand and honor this. To take the discussion out of context and share with anyone outside of the room is a fireable offense.
Next week I’ll define what each type of player is.