The 9-Grid: A useful model for talent management

by Danique Geskus | Nov 22, 2023

Talent management is all about attracting, developing and retaining top talent. But how can you effectively shape your talent management strategy? One model that many organizations use to assess and develop talent is the 9-Grid. In this blog, we will explore this model, understand how it works and why it is valuable for talent management.

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What is the 9-Grid?

The 9-Grid is a model used to assess employees based on their performance and potential. The model is built around two main dimensions:

    • Performance: this refers to an employee’s current performance and abilities in their current role. It assesses how well they perform their duties and contribute to organizational goals.
    • Potential: this refers to an employee’s future potential to grow within the organization. It assesses whether they have the capacity and will to handle more responsibility and more complex tasks.


With these two dimensions, the 9-Grid creates four quadrants into which employees can be placed:

    • Low performance, low potential: employees in this quadrant are not currently performing well in their roles and also have little potential for growth. This may signal a reconsideration of their position within the organization.
    • High performance, low potential: these employees are strong in their current roles, but may not have the desire or potential to advance to more challenging positions. It is important to maintain their involvement and satisfaction.
    • Low performance, high potential: here are employees who are not currently performing well but have the potential to grow. This can be an opportunity for development and coaching to improve their performance.
    • High performance, high potential: this is the ideal quadrant. Employees here perform extremely well in their current roles and also have the potential to grow into leadership positions and more responsibility.


Learned UI waarin te zien is hoe een Marketing manager beoordeeld is door drie personen op verschillende skills

With Learned, you make evaluations more honest. Don’t base the final assessment on the manager’s gut feeling. Make evaluations more fair by easily calibrating evaluations with Learned.

Explanatory Figure: The 9-grid model in Learned makes it easy to compare and calibrate evaluations from different managers.


Why is the 9-Grid valuable for talent management?

The 9-Grid offers several benefits for talent management:

    • Objective assessment: the model provides a structured framework for assessing employees, reducing subjective assessments.
    • Identification of growth potential: it helps organizations identify employees who can be developed and prepared for leadership roles.
    • Risk management: by assessing employees for both performance and potential, organizations can identify potential risks and opportunities for growth.
    • Development planning: the 9-Grid helps create effective development plans for employees in different quadrants.
    • Succession planning: the model is valuable for identifying succession candidates for key positions within the organization.


Facilitate 9-Grid development

The way to facilitate this fleet review is to download our e-guide. This FREE e-guide will help you gain insight into the engagement and performance of your employees. We offer an innovative solution to find and retain the low and high performers within your organization.


Combining the 9-Grid and fleet chase

Within the context of talent management, the 9-Grid is often combined with a fleet review (talent review). A fleet review is a structured meeting where the leaders of the organization meet to discuss the performance and potential of their employees. Here, the 9-Grid serves as a visual tool for evaluating the various talents within the organization and prioritizing them for development and succession planning. It enables leaders to make joint decisions about who is ready for greater responsibility and who needs additional support.


Learned facilitates the use of the 9-Grid

Learned offers tools to support talent management within your organization. This can greatly simplify the 9-Grid. For example, Learned provides tools for collecting performance and engagement data. This makes the process more efficient and provides real-time insight into the organization’s talent pool.

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Chart low and high performers with objective evaluations

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