The Bryq 9-Box Model

The Bryq 9-box allows for an objective assessment of where your employees lie within your corporation.

Talent management can be tumultuous. At times we keep underperforming employees for far too long, and sometimes we let go of underperforming talent with loads of potential. At other times, we end up promoting or keeping employees in roles that just aren’t suited for them. If we make the wrong talent management decisions, we end up paying the price in huge amounts of money and time fixing our mistakes. But what if we told you there’s a way that significantly reduces the chance of any of this happening? Enter the 9-box model.

In this blog, we will be defining what the 9-box model is, the benefits of implementing one throughout your talent management process, and how it helps you to promote things like talent mobility within your organization.

What is a 9-box?

Known as both the “9-box model” and the “9-box grid”, this well-known talent management tool transforms the way companies think about talent.

The 9-box is a simple chart that places employees on a grid in order to see how they compare to one another. On the horizontal axis you have the actual performance level of the employee (roughly split into low, mid and high categories.) On the vertical axis, you have the performance potential of the employee – again split among low, mid and high categories.

This distribution forms 9 different boxes, each one clustering employees with similar characteristics together – hence the 9-box name! 

As you place each employee on the chart based on their actual performance and potential, you will get a clear distribution of your employees across those 9 different boxes. This makes the entire process more equitable, as employees in the same boxes are generally given the same treatment and opportunities as each other.

Knowing how to make the most of employees in each box helps you take a structured and efficient approach to talent management.


The 9 Boxes of Bryq’s 9-Box Model

The Bryq 9-Box Model contains 9 different boxes that companies can place talent into based on objective performance data. Each box is a cluster of people with similar performance characteristics (Remember: this refers to their performance in their specific role and it is not a generalized performance/potential indicator.) By understanding the characteristics of each box, we can now easily map our available employee management tools to the specific employees.


Promising Fit(High Potential, Low Performance)

These employees are exceeding expectations based on their potential, but their performance is not up to par. While they show signs of great potential and might be highly driven to deliver results, their lack of experience, competency or even lack of organizational skills might be stopping them from reaching their full potential.

Rising Star(High Potential, Medium Performance)

These employees show high potential but have not yet achieved outstanding performance. They are effective in their current role, but they may need to take on more responsibility or reevaluate their goals in order to reach their full potential.

Game Changer(High Potential, High Performance)

These employees show high potential to grow into a more complex role with broader responsibilities and they exceed performance expectations. They are self-motivated and perform well in a variety of settings. They are effective problem solvers and communicators, and they cooperate well with others, focusing on the big picture. They are often seen as role models to other employees.

Questionable Fit(Medium Potential, Low Performance)

These employees have potential, but are not performing up to expectations. While they might be trying their best, their deliverables do not reflect this. This may stem from a potential mismatch between their skills and their designated role.

Valued Talent(Medium Potential, Medium Performance)

These employees have moderate potential and performance. They may be considered for promotions at work, but they will need to develop additional skills and competencies, including people management. They are capable of growing further, but the growth should be gradual and aided by the support of management.

Influencers(Medium Potential, High Performance)

These employees have limited maximum potential, yet they provide consistent and high performance results. They are typically operationally focused people who might continue growing in their current roles if they improve upon their tactical and strategic thinking abilities. They will also need to eliminate limitations and reassess their goals.

Risky Fit(Low Potential, Low Performance)

These employees display low potential and are poor performers. They might exhibit resistance to coaching and development activities. These employees should be considered for either reassignment or reclassification of their roles, or they should be considered for job dismissal.

Backup(Low Potential, Medium Performance)

These employees show limited potential for future growth, but they still perform at an acceptable level. They are reliable and functional within their current role and level of responsibility. They have either reached their career potential or they may need enhancement on their lateral thinking in order to step out of traditional ways that they might adhere to.

Trusted Talent(Low Potential, High Performance)

These employees have reached the limit of their career potential, but they are still experienced and reliably high performers. They are valuable employees who are specialists in their roles. They are not necessarily motivated to expand upon their expertise due to either a limited skill set or a closed mindset.


The Benefits of the Bryq 9-Box

The 9-box isn’t a new concept – but it’s surprisingly something that many companies don’t utilize to its full potential, if at all! Using a 9-box throughout your talent management process offers you a great number of benefits including:

– creating a more objective and equitable talent management process

– helping you focus your learning and development initiatives on employees who would benefit from them most

– identifying your best performers

– identifying which of your employees should seek out new careers (whether that is at your company or another company)

Far from one-dimensional, the 9-box is simple in theory but multifunctional in terms of its uses. From creating new career paths for underperforming employees to promoting talent higher up the career ladder, the 9-box model is able to help you make any talent management decision so much easier.


Enhancing the 9-box Model

While the model works well the way it is, some argue that the data used simply isn’t objective enough. How could that be? The typical 9-box is based on predicted performance data that is completely subjective, which allows bias and discrimination to seep into your organization’s talent management process. 

The 9-box grid works even better when we replace subjective performance potential with an objective approach based on actual data. And talent intelligence platforms like Bryq allow you to do just that!

What makes Bryq’s 9-box different from the others is that we predict performance by using the “Bryq score” – a combination of cognitive, personality and culture indicators that has been scientifically proven to be the most accurate predictor of performance. 

This allows us to counter the most significant shortcoming of the 9-box. By replacing the subjective predicted performance with an objective, scientifically-validated measure, we now have a talent management process that is truly equitable and bias-free.


Bryq Goes Against the Grid of Subjectivity With Real Data

The Bryq 9-box Model is changing the way that companies are managing their talent. By combining both performance data and Bryq scores, we are able to place each of your employees onto the grid precisely where they should be.

With the Bryq 9-box model, we have managed to turn the typical 9-box grid into an HR tool that is multi-dimensional and transformative. Bryq has included our unique indicators into the design of our model. By doing so, Bryq users now have the ability to access employee information that isn’t just based on job performance and Bryq scores, but is specifically targeted based on the indicators you choose to look for in your talent.

Let’s say, for example, that an employee wants further training. A company is able to select Bryq’s “Learning Agility” indicator to see if this employee is truly willing to learn more based on their Learning Agility score. You are able to gain valuable and specific insights depending on your chosen indicators.

Bryq is helping companies measure, analyze and assess their current and future talent through not only our 9-box model, but through other groundbreaking features such as our ability to map company culture and our data-based talent insights like internal mobility.

To learn more about how Bryq is transforming the way companies manage their talent, book a demo with the Bryq Team today.

Do you want to see how Talent Intelligence helps you create the Future of Work?

Book a meeting with our team today to find out!

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