'A-talent' strategy makes Apple, Google and others 40% more productive

Dive Brief:

  • Bain & Company researchers found that companies like Apple, Google, Dell and Netflix are 40% more productive than other companies, Fast Company reports. These companies also have correspondingly higher profit margins, ranging from 30% to 50%.
  • Bain research shows that the most productive companies have about the same percentage of star players as less productive companies — 16% versus 15%. The difference is that Apple, Google and the others select a few roles that are critical to the business and fill 95% of those roles with A-talent, Michael Mankins, Bain partner told Fast Company. The remaining roles have fewer star players, he said.
  • Bain researchers also found that the super productive companies get more done by 10 a.m. on Thursday than other companies achieve in an entire week.

Dive Insight:

Employers must decide how to become as productive as possible based on their own culture and vision.

The most productive companies happen to be tech employers, which place a premium on star performers. Technology evolves at a fast pace, so these firms need A-talent teams that can get state-of-the-art products quickly off the drawing board and into the marketplace.

This strategy might not work — nor is it necessary — for all work environments. Still, research generally suggests that it's wise for employers to focus on improving their treatment of star performers, which might include looking at the teams that surround such workers.

Employment specialists say some companies have shifted away from employees fulfilling separate roles to teams working together on projects. High-productivity companies reward star performers on a team basis. This approach can build solid teams and foster camaraderie among members.

A drawback to a team-only approach is when employees’ individual needs are overlooked. HR can help build effective teams while ensuring that employees have career development and advancement opportunities, and are recognized for any singular contributions they make.

Filed Under: HR Management Corporate News