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Things to Know About the 9-Box Grid Model

9-Box Grid Model

9-Box grid model is a tool for employees’ assessment. Every company wants to see the capacity of its employees. They divide groups on the basis of their potential and performance. While assessing, managers focus on two things. This includes identifying how they perform today, and how they can perform in the future. This tool also helps manage all the employees. This grid is used for highlighting the employees’ performance at a single glance. This tool helps in creating future leaders too. The vertical side of the grid indicates the potential of employees. While the flat side indicates their performance.

The employees fall in different areas of this grid. Firms find their best performers that will lead with the best marketing strategies in the future. It is a well-organised tool for creating a succession plan for the company (Jones, 2021). They also find employees who are not good for the firm. This grid is useful for future planning purposes. Firms manage their talent in an efficient manner. It also highlights whether an employee is in the right place or not. In short, HR managers use this for the planning and development of employees.

How to Create a 9-Box Grid Model?

Firms need to assess the performance and potential of their employees. Then they need to bring them together for creating the 9-Box grid model.

For assessing performance, firms categorise this aspect into three (high, moderate, low) forms. Firms appraise employees on the basis of this scale. Every firm has its own way of scoring the performance of employees.

  • Low performance: Employees fail to fulfil their targets. They are not fit with their jobs’ needs.
  • Moderate performance: Employees meet their targets. They match the job requirements to some extent.
  • High performance: Employees fulfil their targets. They are the right people for the job.
  • Firms also assess the potential of their employees. They give scores regarding potential of the employees as well.
  • Low potential: Employees have low potential. They work hard, but their potential is still not increasing.
  • Moderate potential: Employees have moderate potential. They can increase it with time.
  • High potential: Employees can lead people. They will be promoted to the leading role.

Score of Potential:

The score of potential affects an employee’s performance. Hence most of the companies don’t share this score. After assessing the potential and performance, firms need to plot them on the grid as well. After finding the capacity of employees, firms use different plans to deal with them. The potential is not always linked to performance. Employees that don’ not perform well, may have high potential. For example, the fresh employees may not perform well. But they can have higher potential than the others.

Recommended by a dissertation help firm, after plotting the employees on the grid, it’s time to use it in a meaningful way. If employees perform well and have high potential, how can they be groomed in their careers? Firms may develop them for future roles. If employees prove themselves as bad hiring, what can the firm do with them? Is there any chance to improve their performance? If employees are moderate performers, how can their performance be improved? The development plan can help boost their potential as well. This process requires focus. This will be helpful in gaining the advantages of this tool.

Pros and Cons of the 9-Box Grid Model


Easy to use:

It is quick to set up and easy to use. It doesn’t need a lengthy process, so managers do it whenever they want. This visual tool makes conversation easy between the managers. Besides, the explanatory grid helps them in planning for the future.

Welcome dialogues:

Evaluating the employees is not an easy task. Yet, evaluation helps in future planning. It is a simple, and very useful tool. It welcomes the dialogue between managers. It also encourages them to talk about talent management. A study shows that the 9-Box grid is a useful tool for talent management (Mistry, 2017). It helps in defining the strengths and weaknesses of a manager’s team. Their conversation helps place the right people for the right job.

Plan for future:

This grid helps firms in planning for the future. Managers can use this grid to make development programs for the future. They develop their future leaders. They can define career paths of employees as well. Future planning ensures a firm’s growth. Talent management helps in the effective continuation of this growth.

For example, firms may develop their potential employees. Soon, they may take the vacant place of managers. But if firms don’t train their potential employees, they can’t take the leading roles.

Highlights training needs:

This grid highlights development opportunities. Employees with high potential can improve their performance through training. For example, a firm hires a fresh graduate. He has high potential, but did not perform well in the first quarter. The firm helps him in improving his performance through trainings. A potential employee may not fit with his role. A change in his job role may increase his performance as well. An employee with low potential and performance needs a different approach. Do managers think that he can improve himself through training or not? This is a valid question within this context. They also see different factors that can affect his performance.


Subjective in nature:

9-Box Grid Model is subjective in nature. Managers may subjectivity affect the grid. Every person has a different kind of potential. In this tool, managers determine the potential of employees. The standard of potential may vary from manager to manager. Hence, the personality of the manager affects the scorecard of the employee.

Affects the performance:

This tool lacks transparency. No one wants to be considered less important than the others. If an employee knows that managers consider him less capable for a higher role, how will he feel? This grid affects the performance and emotions of people.


A 9-box grid model is a popular tool for employees’ assessment. A firm uses this to find the capacity of its employees. It helps make plans concerning talent management. In contrast, this may affect employees’ emotions. Employees are treated according to their tags. This grid divides employees into different groups. Managers may use this grid to develop their employees. Managers’ personalities also get affected by this grid. Firms need to realise that this grid is not to separate employees into good or bad aspects. This grid is to highlight the areas that need more focus from the management.