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Local Businesses See Benefits of Systematic Performance Management System at STLCC Forum

April 14, 2011

CBIL Forum  
Participants in the CBIL Performance Management Forum
discuss the performance issues related to existing employees.

St. Louis Community College’s Center for Business, Industry and Labor (CBIL) recently hosted a Performance Management Forum for area businesses at the Training Center on the Florissant Valley campus. 


Lou Gerst, CBIL business practice leader for assessment and research, facilitated the forum and shared an effective analogy to demonstrate the benefits of using a systematic performance management system in selecting a family dog. He described the approach used in selecting two dogs, but the one chosen with more forethought and care needed far less training and achieved performance goals at a significantly higher level. 


By walking the audience through the seven lessons learned when selecting a family dog using this system, Gerst helped the group visualize the benefits their businesses would see if they used the same type of system when selecting, training and evaluating new employees: 

  1. It pays to do a solid job analysis. You can’t effectively choose a dog until you have figured out why you want the dog. Defining required attributes, skills and abilities should be systematically captured (size, obedience requirements, retrieving behaviors, swimming ability/tolerance, watchdog behaviors, outside dog/inside dog, fit with young children, level of activity needed/wanted).
  2. Use the job analysis information to create a structured selection system. Use competencies and attributes desired to screen through applications (breed standards) and choose the best match based on this predetermined criteria.
  3. Set performance expectations early. High performance starts with a fully informed performer and with informed supporters of those expectations.
  4. Support your new dog with training and rewards that will help him/her meet expectations. Raw talent is not enough. Your dog can excel only when provided the training associated with success.
  5. Provide timely feedback. Let your dog know what he/she is doing right or wrong. Without feedback, the dog does not know what behavior is desired.
  6. Evaluate your process frequently and learn from your mistakes. Each selection is an opportunity to learn from and improve your process.
  7. Great performance does not happen by accident. Hope is a strategy, but not a particularly good one. Marrying a solid selection system that helps you choose the right dog with a planned and structured continuous training/behavior management system gives you the best chance at great performance.

The event concluded with an interactive issues forum facilitated by Gerst and Barry Schapiro, business practice leader for leadership and team development.  Participants were invited to share performance management challenges with the group so that the group could collectively offer solutions.


For more information about performance management solutions, contact Gerst at lgerst@stlcc.edu or 314-539-5325.