In recent years, the field of people management has experienced a revolution in comparison to traditional practices. New approaches, technologies, and tools constantly emerge, challenging established methods. During this evolution, the 9Box, a performance evaluation tool, continues to spark discussions about its relevance and effectiveness in today’s corporate world. The question many managers ask is, “Is it still worth applying the 9Box?”
The 9Box, or potential and performance matrix, is a tool that helps categorize employees based on two dimensions: current performance and growth potential. Traditionally, employees are placed in a 3×3 or 4×4 matrix, depending on the version used. The idea is to identify talent, create development plans, and make succession decisions based on this classification.
However, as the business environment evolves, the application of the 9Box becomes a complex issue. Here are some points to consider:
1- Organizational context
The value of the 9Box depends on the organization’s context and goals. In companies that value talent management, the use of the matrix can be highly beneficial. However, in organizations seeking more agile and collaborative approaches, this tool may seem outdated and restrictive.
2- Complexity of reality
Assessing employees based on only two dimensions (performance and potential) may oversimplify the complexity of the workforce. Other factors such as specific skills, adaptability, and interpersonal skills are often overlooked. Therefore, the 9Box may not capture the complete picture of an employee’s performance and potential.
If your organization already uses the 9Box or is considering adopting it, it’s important to consider the need for adaptation. Customizing the matrix to meet the company’s specific needs and ensuring its ongoing relevance can be helpful.
3- Alignment with the current scenario
By combining performance assessment with goal management in the nine-box matrix, it is possible to ensure a closer alignment between employee performance and the organization’s goals. This action helps direct employees’ efforts toward areas critical to the company’s success.
In other words, my opinion on the question “Is it still worth applying the 9Box?” is that it depends on the organization’s context and goals. The 9Box can be an essential tool for identifying talent and creating development plans, but it’s not the only option available. As the business world evolves, it’s crucial for managers to continuously assess their people management practices and adopt approaches that best fit their reality.
Remember, people management is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The key is to find tools and practices that align with the company’s values and goals, promoting the continuous development of employees and, consequently, the success of the business.
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