According to the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80–20 rule or the law of the vital few, companies get 80% of their value from 20% of their employees. What does that mean?

Only 20 percent of your supply chain employees are vital, while 80 percent are not pulling their weight.

Can you figure out which of your supply chain employees belong to which group? And can you raise the percentage of exceptional performers by training that 80 percent better?

Productivity can be hard to measure, and results aren’t always easy to categorize. But what you can do is benchmark each job, not the people in the job.

If you determine the key accountabilities of each job, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify the behaviors, values, personal skills and task preferences required for superior performance.
  • Decide what a top performer looks like in the position.
  • Evaluate current position holder(s) against the benchmark.
  • Design individual development plans to optimize their potential.

Doing this also eliminates bias in the hiring process, because all candidates will be compared to the same standard. And if this helps you place the right person in the right position, you’ll see increased productivity, increased employee satisfaction and lower turnover rates.

Training and Development are Key

Successful companies have training and development plans for every employee that not only focus on performance improvement, but on their future career goals within the organization. Is it worth the money you spend? According to a 2009 study, organizations with high-quality development programs, as compared to those without, enjoyed double the median revenue per employee. Employee training programs can pay for themselves.

Will You Tolerate Low Performers?

Once you’ve identified the 80 percent and shared development plans with them, you’ll have to decide how long they have to get up to speed. Jack Welch, one of the leading CEOs of all time, had a strict annual policy of letting the bottom 10% of employees go. When employees fall below the minimum acceptable level, give them an opportunity to make up the difference. If they’re not willing or able to do that, then you’ll need to make some tough management decisions.

Another way to guarantee great talent when you need it is to partner with an experienced, specialty staffing firm like ZDA Supply Chain Recruiting. With our years of experience, we can help you identify gaps in your workforce and help you find the right people to fill them. Want to know more? Contact us anytime!