High Performers Purge the Unproductive

By Mark Vickers

Sometimes patience is not a virtue, and high-market performing firms know it. They get their employees ready quickly, they avoid employee stagnation and they weed out those who don't come up the productivity curve.

i4cp's new member-requested study on Time to Optimal Productivity shows that over half (55%) of respondents from low-performing organizations report that employees often remain in positions after their productivity has begun to wane. That's true for only about a fifth of those from high-performing firms.

This kind of stagnation might contribute to crippling the U.S. economy as a whole. U.S. productivity took a nose dive in the second quarter of 2010 for the first time since 2008. Corporate profits are up but, being cautious about the future, companies remain reluctant to make new hires. Some observers think U.S. employees are too stretched to keep making productivity gains. And since lean operations mean relatively few promotions or even lateral transfers, many have been at the same jobs for far too long. "Well over a third of respondents to our new study say employees often stay in their jobs after productivity is on the decline," notes Jay Jamrog, i4cp's Senior VP of Research. "Add that problem up across the whole economy and it could have disastrous effects."

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