A few years back, I wrote a presentation on Strategy Race Model to upgrade the performance of your employees. This was a two-pronged approach. In the first one the metaphor of burning coal and its relevance to the enhancement of the performance of employees. In the second approach, I used racing as the metaphor for enhancing employees’ performances. I looked back on these two metaphors and I find them applicable today more than they were years ago. I shall explain why soon.
The process for improving the burning of coal involves the following steps and as outlined in the figure below.
Extending the same thinking to enhancing employees’ performance is reflected in the next image.
The process sequence includes Review, Avoidance, Conversion, and Employment and hence the acronym RACE.
Like we need to review the quality of coal, we need to review the quality of employees. The presence of impurities may retard the good burning of coal. Likewise; the presence of reckless employees may decrease the firing potential of good ones.
The type of impurities in coal may differ depending on the origin of coal and its environment. Employees when they move from one place to another may carry with them the seeds of their previous environment. If these seeds are bad, they are prone to downgrade the performance of the organization.
The burning of coal is influenced by the burning environment. Likewise, the burning of employees shall cause the burning out of good employees if the work culture is unhealthy. The bad employees shall expel the good ones. Employees increasingly come from different origins. Watch out for an effect on performance. The wide range in properties of coal results from coal’s diverse origins and this needs proper attention.
Like we upgrade coal to a higher burning one, so we need to upgrade the performance of employees. This is only possible if we don’t allow the low performing coal (employees) from downgrading the performance. Only then it shall be advantageous to upgrade coal (employees) performances and then convert them to other uses of higher value-added. The better the quality of coal gets, the more it is possible to convert it to worthy products. The same logic extends to employees.
We may get more insights if we consider racing sport. One lesson we may conclude that runners with similar average speed win the race because of the way they distribute their efforts. There are claims that the fastest business wins. This isn’t always true. The rabbit may run very fast until it meets water to cross. The rabbit can’t swim and the tortoise can swim to win the race. The slow beats the fast. It is like running a racing car that runs into heavy traffic.
The enhancement of employees’ performances to reach the performance potential of an organization has new realities to digest.