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Talent Management

Talent Management: The 9 box grid

Ravi Panchal



Employees are classified into nine groups based on their performance and potential in the 9 box grid, a well-known talent management technique.

Managers frequently consider two factors while evaluating employee performance. The first is how well they are performing right now, and the second is how well they are projected to perform in the future. The 9-box grid is a framework that aids in the management of all personnel in a company.

How to Make a Nine-Box Grid

Creating your own 9-box grid entails evaluating each employee’s performance and potential before combining it all.

Performance Evaluation 

Performance boxes range from low to moderate to high. Managers can use the information gathered and score employees on this scale using your performance management system. This structure can be used:

  1. Low efficiency. The employee does not meet the job criteria and fails to meet their specific goals.
  2. Moderately successful performance. Employees only partially match the job needs and their personal goals.
  3. Exceptional performance. Employees satisfy all job criteria as well as their personal goals.

This structure is based on a clear job description and how your person meets the position’s requirements. Other firms prefer to evaluate performance based on other aspects such as personal goals, teamwork, and 360-degree feedback findings.

Identifying Potential

The next phase evaluates the potential, graded similarly to performance—low, medium, and high. However, rather than just tracking performance, analysing potential uses the information from performance reviews to decide if individuals are currently performing at their full potential, maybe developed in their current function, or are eligible for the promotion.

Consider the following scenario:

  1. Potential is limited. The employee is working at maximum capacity and is not likely to improve, either due to a lack of motivation or because they are at total capacity.
  2. The potential is moderate. The employee can advance in their current position. This can be in terms of skill, but it can also be in terms of performance.
  3. Exceptional potential. The employee is eligible for advancement either right away or in two to three years.

Even though the technique is the same, assessing potential is fundamentally different from rating performance. Employees categorised as having limited potential may already be operating at maximum capacity, which is required for their current employment. This isn’t to say they’re a horrible hire; it just implies they’re unlikely to become part of your management team in the future. On the other hand, if an employee has high potential but is in a low or moderate position, experience obtained via development and goal planning could put them on the fast track to promotion in two to three years.

Putting everything together

After both performance and potential have been evaluated, they are plotted on a 9-box grid. As a result, managers and HR have a clear picture of where each employee stands according to the talent matrix. The finest thing is that employees’ performance and potential can be assessed using any performance evaluation technique.

The 9 Box Grid Quadrants and What They Mean

The advantage of employing a 9 box grid is that you can instantly see where your employees stand once they’ve been plotted. For example, tasks may be performed if all of your staff are in the bottom row, but future growth is constrained. If any of your employees are in the upper right, on the other hand, they may start looking for jobs elsewhere if you aren’t meeting their professional objectives.

High Potential Diamond in the Rough:
These employees may be awesome but face some problems.
High Potential:
Good performer that may easily go to next level.
Always performs well, thinks big and is a problem solver.
Moderate Potential On the Fence:
Needs development or coaching.
Solid Players:
May have more responsibilities but need people management training.
High Performers:
They always perform well but may need to set goals.
Low Potential Bad Hires:
Reassign, terminate, or demote.
Good performer but may have acquired the career potential.
Great at their job but no desire to expand the skills
Under Performer Moderate Performer High Performer

Employers can examine each of these quadrants to decide what actions are required.

Set up coaching sessions for employees with low potential to assist them in becoming more innovative and improving communication and delegating abilities. Medium-potential employees may require assistance in establishing more strategic goals that are more focused on the broader picture. Employees with high potential must be prepared to advance in their careers.



Many firms execute 9-Box once a year; however due to the increased frequency of review cycles, Performance Culture and its matrix should be changed more frequently.

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Talent Management

Importance of building a cross-functional team for Small and medium enterprises

Ravi Panchal



Importance of building a cross-functional team for Small and medium enterprises

Individuals from various areas within your firm must participate in building a successful team (such as IT, legal, marketing, sales, and finance). A diverse set of viewpoints allows a team to visualize risk potential in a broad sense and build mitigation approaches that consider a wide range of subject matter and risk vectors.

Teams with a single, concentrated discipline (or even an individual operating on behalf of many departments) risk generating short-sighted solutions that are difficult to scale as your operations change in response to market movements.

Cross-functional team collaboration has eight advantages.

Putting together a team that includes members from other departments can be intimidating. But after you’ve done so, it’ll be well worth it. Here are some compelling reasons why your teams should embrace cross-functional collaboration.

  1. Gain a better understanding : Cross-functional collaboration is a terrific way to get a sip of fresh ideas. Creativity is a collaborative effort. When project managers bring together specialists in many fields, each with their own set of abilities, new views emerge. This type of collaboration will provide the team with new perspectives, allowing them to develop unique solutions and improve their development. As a result, the work will progress and thrive as each team member brings their talents and knowledge to the table, resulting in faster solutions.
  2. Employees who are enthusiastic about their work : Employee engagement appears to be on the decline in recent years. This has a significant impact on the organization’s overall productivity. As a result, moving to a team-oriented structure can improve workplace dynamics by increasing team cohesion. A great leader in charge of a cross-functional team can help to break down silos and bridge the gap between team members.
  3. Inspiring new concepts : Cross-functional teams are believed to be an intelligent investment for teams to increase productivity and collaborate. This is because a collaborative team generates new ideas, which leads to innovation. It’s a terrific approach to get creative minds to collaborate and develop new ideas that set firms apart from their competitors. When various reasons in different roles are brought together, they can think beyond the box and produce significantly superior results. People who believe in new ways are more likely to make intelligent decisions, take better risks, and be more innovative and creative.
  4. Practising communication abilities : For any team to be successful, effective communication is essential. It’s a skill that can make or shatter a group. Clear and concise communication promotes cross-functional teams to share ideas. Having a cross-functional team implies bringing in a broad set of people who can share constructive comments and comprehend diversity concerns to strengthen their communication struggles and strengths.
  5. Developing leadership abilities : Another important aspect of honing managerial abilities is cross-functionality. Managing a team does not come naturally to everyone; it must be filed through experience. Your organizational skills will be put to the test after the teams are put together. To effectively lead a cross-functional team facing unique problems, you’ll need to build specialized skill sets to interact with people from various backgrounds and work styles.
  6. You have the opportunity to take on leadership roles : When you work with teams from several departments, you have the opportunity to be the boss or to guide your team in the right direction. In addition, the manager can allow other team members to lead the project so that they can get experience in leadership and breathe new life into it.
  7. Breaking stereotypes and reaping the benefits of diversity : Because it includes people from various backgrounds, a team will be aware of the strengths of other groups. When a tech team meets a non-tech squad, they can comprehend and benefit from one other’s efforts. You begin to share mutual aims and get some understanding. This type of understanding, which defies stereotypes, is beneficial to the business. A varied mix of people of various ages, backgrounds, and perspectives can also bring new ideas to the table.
  8. Further, build team spirit :The process of cross-functional collaboration will allow you to assemble a group of high performers capable of producing something significant, becoming more self-reliant, and taking on critical challenges. In addition, they can learn more about patience and establish a sense of oneness by working together.Creating a cross-functional collaboration to go the extra mile is a struggle for many teams in large organizations. As a result, you must take advantage of opportunities so that your cross-functional teams may offer their best. When you decide that your project requires a cross-functional team, use the cross-functional cooperation best practices to assist you in forming one.

Determine who has the best skill sets along the way.

  • Make sure the correct people are chosen.
  • Maintain relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Purchase collaboration software.
  • Encourage collaboration between departments.
  • The objectives should be mutually beneficial.



The ability of the teams to work together is an essential component in determining the project’s success. There will undoubtedly be obstacles, but there will always be a solution. For all creative problem-solving strategies, cross-functional teams have been promised to be the workplace’s secret weapon. If you get your cross-functional team collaboration perfect, you’ll reap endless benefits.

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How critical it is for SME’s to develop a second line of leadership

Ravi Panchal



As the team size of SMEs increases, it adds more hardships and critical functions to be managed for the life of the business owner or the leaders. Then comes the time for the current leaders to think about extending the SME’s leadership aura and that add the second line to their employee portfolio.

Statistics already prove that having a second line of leadership increases overall revenue generation. But, this is not the only reason behind the need to have the same.

Why is it essential to have the second line of leadership?

Leadership is essential for all SMEs, and leadership transition is widely essential and common. Second-line leaders are critical for the overall performance of an organization as they can effectively direct and motivate the staff.

With changing time and workflow of organizations, it is essential to get a second line of leadership. However, due to the inherent power dynamics of the role, it is also more challenging. As the team grows, you cannot solely handle all the issues, suggestions, grievances, and feedback of all staff members, and that is where the need for second-line leaders thrives more.


Values to look for in the second liners:

Well! Leadership is somewhat compact. It involves various facets: esteem, practice, heartfelt strength, soul skills, discipline, foresight, momentum, timing — and the list continues. Genuinely, there are three essential qualities each leader must possess, which are as follows:

  1. An intellectual approach to a strong leader;
  2. Absolute enthusiasm;
  3. A faithful promise to motivate others.

The thing that matters most is whatever you do day by day, across the prolonged haul. While considering coaching the executives and second-line leaders, the main focus is on the routine of a leader, which informs whether the candidate will be a successful leader. Encouraging them is essential to influence them because this is the approach where all the outcomes improve.

Role of senior leadership for second-in-line leaders:

The Superior Leader might start taking the change from Position to Permission to help approve second-in-line leaders. Whenever second-in-line leaders are cared for, feel liked, included, valued, and trusted, they soon operate with their senior leaders and others. Finally, this cooperates the entire working atmosphere. The age-old line predicts- people move along with leaders they get along with. So, it would be helpful for senior leaders to develop an atmosphere and participate with second-in-line leaders.

Things to help you develop the second line of leadership:

Build a complementary team

It is mandatory to get assured that you have a companion team that promotes your vision. It won’t matter to have people of equal strengths and ingesting the identical kind of things.

Many skillsets come together to administer business challenges, so it is essential to hold a companion set of people and people who like and promote the same vision.


Effectively delegating

  • Define Roles:Divide the responsibilities among all. Everyone must identify where the buck pauses and something specific they’re qualified to do.
  • Instill Accountability:Recognize Key Results Areas (KRAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for every area. Keep monitoring and regulating them. Develop benchmarks about what super excellent performance views like. Organize a weekly meeting where these numbers are analyzed and arrange plans to operate them forward. So, it becomes evident if someone is performing a good job or not. Performance and identification of achievements are chief motivators of human performance. Analyze all the skills of your team and identify what will be demanded of them to succeed. Build some training structure to upgrade the skills of the team to succeed.
  • Enabling your team to do day–to–day administration:Assuredly, it might be troublesome for entrepreneurs to enable their team to exercise charge and secure the day-to-day administration.


Treating the team members as the partners

Lastly, the final thing is to study to tackle your SLoM as co-workers. Identify some paths in which you can include them in important decisions, so they feel like a part of the team.

Is there some way you can involve them in critical strategic decisions to feel part of the group? Likewise, recognize other things: is there any approach in which you’re qualified to help them capture ownership? All these can be in the duration of employee stock options or profit-sharing. If all the members work well, their firm increases, the value rises, and the profits also improve.


Looking for the leaders already available with you

Meanwhile, your team is so large that you need help quickly. The situation becomes more dangerous as time flies by and things grow, and if your team doesn’t progress further.

The most apparent clarification is to recognize and promote from within your team: they are known with your culture, how the team works, and your expectations.

Promoting from your team is a strong move and a confident signal. Whomever you raise is a sign to your team that you compensate; they’re making a new title, new power, and new efficiencies.


Have a one-on-one communication

You own a new role where you get problems from other people to solve. Not getting a plan to get guidance and help from your manager makes you feel disappointed and striving. The saddest thing, all the issues hit everyone on your team, so it intensifies.

Became the leader who encourages their new supervisor so they’re not stretched out to air-dry. Moreover, if your manager doesn’t have a one-on-one with you, don’t leave any excuse to lose to support your new managers. Register the meetings and think about giving them more time to get satisfied in their new role.



With the enforcement of the second line of leadership, you can scale yourself as your business. This is also effective in helping your team get all the support and assistance whenever required for any reason.

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