Organisational risk of the Peter Principle

The Peter Principle is a concept inwhich the selection of a candidate for a position is based on their performance in their current role rather than on their abilities relevant to the intended role. The business then of course running the risk of promoting someone until they are in a role in which they under-perform. How do we avoid this?

From an HR perspective, the risk associated with the Peter Principle can be negated simply taking on-board the direction that an employee wishes to take their career, as opposed to promoting a staff member according to the company organisational structure only. Of course this doesn’t mean that we place less importance on the business objectives, because of course these are very important also – What it does mean that we should be using far more foresight when hiring and aiming to align someone’s key professional growth objectives with the organisational goals as much as possible.

When we align an employee’s growth plan with organisational objectives, both parties stand to reap the benefits and in turn minimise risk. The employee is given the opportunity to achieve their professional goals and grow their knowledge and experience in the areas that the business requires that skill/experience which of course limits the likelihood of poor performance.

Recruitment needs to become less reactionary (where possible) and more forward thinking and strategic. In doing so, employees will note that you have their best interests in mind along with other commercial interests, and this in turn – in most cases, will be reciprocated in the form of staff being engaged, driven and committed to achievement, all whilst managing potential future risk.

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Organisational risk of the Peter Principle

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