Predictors of Employee Performance
Employees are hired, valued, and rewarded for their performance in their assigned duties of their job role. Of course, exactly what is considered an acceptable level of performance is dependent on the context of the job. Some employees may be evaluated on the quality of their work, while others on the quantity. Speed and accuracy may be important, or a level of customer satisfaction may be the greatest indicator of job performance. Because job performance is so critical to an organization achieving its strategic outcomes, a great deal of research has been conducted to identify the best predictors of job performance.
The most significant predictor of job performance is an inherent quality that employees bring with them – cognitive ability, which includes reasoning abilities, verbal and numerical skills, analytical skills, and the overall intelligence level of an employee. An employee’s behavior, and performance at work, also depends highly on how they feel about being there. This is why it is crucial to study work attitudes. A work attitude refers to opinions, beliefs, and feelings about aspects of the organization. The two attitudes which are most influential in shaping work behavior are job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Job satisfaction describes the feelings employees have about their jobs, while organizational commitment refers to the emotional attachment employees have for their company.
Key factors influence an employee’s level of job satisfaction and organizational commitment. These factors include the person-environment fit, job characteristics, the psychological contract, organizational justice, work relationships, and work-life balance.
Person-environment fit has two components: person-job fit and person-organization fit. Person-job fit refers to when the employee’s abilities match the requirements of the job, and person-organization fit refers to when the employee’s values match those held by the organization.
In addition to the need to match an employee’s abilities to the job needs, research has also shown that specific job characteristics will lead to greater satisfaction and commitment. These characteristics include the opportunity to use a variety of skills, to have autonomy at work, receive feedback, and perform a task which has perceived significant value for the organization.