Do you want to hire the best talent – and then retain these employees so they grow within your organization instead of outgrowing it and moving on?

Of course you do.

By taking an innovative approach known as the Four Pillar Model, you can help ensure that this happens. As you follow the basic premises of this model, you effectively manage the performance of new and existing hires and achieve the maximum ROI from your human capital.

Break the Recruitment Paradigm

Traditionally, organizations have measured their talent investments through satisfaction surveys, absenteeism, turnover and similar HR metrics. These are all well and good; however, they are “lag indicators.” In other words, the data that stems from them often comes too late to be effective.

By contrast, the Four Pillar Model enables you to shift your focus toward lead indicators of your workforce and allows you to identify key concerns before they impact customer or financial performance.

Break the paradigm by driving alignment, capability, resources and motivation. These elements will take you beyond the basics of employee engagement and let you truly empower employees to support business-critical strategic initiatives.


Alignment is the extent to which candidates and employees know what they should do to make your company successful. Arm them with the information they need to make the right decisions and behave accordingly.

  • Role clarity is essential. Keep your job descriptions current so employees understand exactly what needs to happen when they walk in the door every day.


Capability focuses on the ability of people to do their jobs or perform effectively in the position for which you are hiring. It encompasses:

  • Technical abilities: In new hires, look for the basic requirements. Keep in mind that these can always be enhanced via training, multi-skilling and professional accreditation.
  • Soft skill capabilities: While these can neither be bought nor taught, they can and should be continually developed. Examples are ongoing communications and active listening training.


These are the tools employees need to successfully do their jobs. They include:

  • Physical resources: These are the necessary equipment, machinery, furnishings and fixtures that make a working environment conducive to ongoing productivity.
  • Time and people: When employees are stressed due to excessive workloads with too many demands, their sense of engagement plummets. With it go quality, morale, productivity and ultimately, profitability.
  • Information: This covers access to technical, competitive and customer data that contributes to the quality of employees’ work and their ability to make informed decisions.


You must ensure a good fit between an employee, their role and your corporate culture in order to motivate them to perform well over the long term. Effectively motivating your workforce requires attention to both intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

  • Intrinsic motivation is optimized when employees support one another and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.
  • Extrinsic motivation can reinforce desired behavior, but only when you link pay to performance. Set clear expectations, measure progress, reward successes, and communicate the consequences of shortfalls. Constructive criticism and counselling are effective in dealing with poor performance behavior. They also motivate good performers as they see that their efforts are worthwhile and appreciated.

Apply All Four Pillars

Once all four pillars are in place, you can reach productive engagement. Apply them through tailored management training and a performance management system that ensures alignment between individual, departmental, team and company goals.

  • Create a balanced scorecard based on the four pillars. Use it as the core of your bonus distribution formula.
  • Translate corporate-level indices into specific, measurable goals. Manager’s performance appraisals should assess the extent to which they have engaged and enabled their employees to support the model.

As you develop your workforce for success, turn to the executive search consultants at BrainWorks for the latest tools, resources and cutting-edge expertise, customized to your business and industry. Contact us today to learn more.

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