Category Archives: PAP

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Pros and Cons of Internal Development for Succession Planning

Leadership and talent succession is a touchy subject for many organizations. Most have a tenuous grasp on who, where, and how to hire replacements for key players, often with the intent of spending large amounts of money on hiring on senior staff.

The high-demand for skilled leaders has led to a commodity market, where talented individuals often have too many offers to count and bringing any of them into an organization will be costly.

For this and other reasons, organizations are increasingly adopting internal development as their primary succession management strategy, as pushed by influencers like Ram Charan and Stephen Drotter.

If you’re considering doing the same, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of both before adopting a single strategy.

Cost of Hiring vs. Developing Leaders

Hiring a leader for any type of senior position can be exorbitantly expensive. With few leaders on the market, many will find themselves deluged with offers. You’ll have to offer high in terms of compensation, environment, and interest/challenge to get anyone to consider your organization.

Developing leaders internally can be expensive as well. Investing in individual development often means training, mentoring, coaching, assessing results, using assignments to broaden experience, and continuing to follow up to ensure the individual is moving in the right direction.

This can be quite costly but will vary depending on the individual and the role. Internal development also means taking on risk, because if the individual leaves your organization, they aren’t delivering a return on any of that investment.

Culture Fit and Culture Awareness

Some organizations prefer to bring external leaders in to add new insight, new ideas, and new concepts. This can be extremely beneficial in that leaders with insight and experience in outside organizations can have a better view of what you’re doing, what markets are like, and can bring a broader range of experience to your organization. This can pay off.

However, it is also a risk. For example, Ron Johnson was brought onto Apple, where he greatly improved processes and increased profits for the organization. Attempting to do the same thing at JCPenney, he displayed a marked misunderstanding of the organization’s target demographic and their stocks dropped by 51%.

Internal hires are brought up inside your organization. They know how things work, why things are the way they are, and if you’ve handled development correctly, they have a deep understanding of your organization at every level. This can enable application of the Shuari principle of understanding and mastering before making changes to improve.

CEOs like Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, who worked with Microsoft since 1992 are good examples of successful applications of using internal development for leadership pipelines.

However, internal development has its own risks. People could leave. Internal people often don’t have external insight and might miss key flaws or bottlenecks preventing growth. And, internal people are less likely to create needed change.

Development Path

Hiring externally means that every one of your hires will have had the chance to pursue a range of experience and roles in external companies. This can include one or numerous other organizations which means that an external person will almost always have more diverse experience.

Developing leaders internally offers other advantages. Here, you can optimize development and experiences to meet the needs of a role through assignments, training, promotions, leaders, and coaching. You can, in short, design what you believe is the perfect leader based on assessments and job profiling.

Internal development is a valuable strategy that can help you to develop leaders, increase the availability of candidates for roles when positions open, and improve the quality of hires. However, it shouldn’t be a sole strategy. In most cases, both have obvious pros, cons, and limitations, so a mix of the two strategies is likely to deliver the best total results.


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5 Ways to Motivate Employees in 2020

As an employer, you should strive for motivated employees who are interested in their work. After all, happy employees equal great results.

However, some employers don’t think about employees’ needs. They look at the competition, come up with “Friday pizza day” or think that a fair salary is enough to keep someone enthusiastic about their job.

It’s true that people work for money – no one can deny that.  But it takes more than that to turn your employees into true brand ambassadors that will be happy to stay with the company long-term.

And for that, one needs to know all the intricacies of motivating employees. Ready to learn how to create a healthy work environment and make people happy? Let’s start!

Explain why they matter

Nothing works better than recognition of achievements and success.

Employers should point out mistakes or things that can be improved, but how often do they thank their employees for work or recognize their contribution to the overall success?

Start by explaining how each individual task contributes to the success of an overall project and the company. When people know that they make a change with their work, they will be ready to go the extra mile to ensure everything is done.

Another important thing is recognizing achievements. Do you see that somebody on the team shows stellar results? Approach them and let them know you’ve noticed their hard work.

Why it works: appreciation helps employees understand their significance and role in a company. This, in turn, is the driving force behind exceeding the set goals.

Keep a positive attitude

One of the worst nightmares for the majority of the employees would be the failure of the project and the proceeding outrage from the employer’s side.

But we can understand the manager too. When you are responsible for the whole team of people and the whole project, you will be double-worried if anything goes wrong.

Critical situations show whether a person can be a good leader. When something bad happens, an efficient manager will keep up a positive attitude and focus on solving the problem instead of yelling or finding whom to blame. The employees, in turn, will feel that the situation can be fixed, stop panicking and come up with brilliant ideas.

Why it works: negative reinforcement simply doesn’t work. A poor attitude doubles the stress and spreads to employees. If people see that their manager is self-collected and calm, they will be able to problem-solve with a cool and collected mind.

Be approachable

You want people to ask questions, share their ideas, and freely talk about their thoughts and feelings. For that, you need to establish an atmosphere of trust in your company.

If a boss is too arrogant, cocky, or cannot listen, people will simply stop approaching him or her. Instead, they will avoid asking for advice and struggle to solve issues by themselves, which takes longer and is less efficient.

But you are here to help them. And how can one help if people are too afraid or hesitant to even say hello?

Analyze your behavior on whether you seem approachable or not. You could be sitting with an open door all the time and people still avoid it. So how do you fix that?

Show genuine interest for your employees and prove that you care by asking questions. Do not hesitate to share your past failures and mistakes – this will help them see you as a person who once stood in their place.

Why it works: people will trust you more if they see that you care about them and treat them as peers, not just as a valuable asset.

Ensure the matching of skills and tasks

About 70% of the employees do not feel very engaged at work, according to the study by the Achievers. While there may be different reasons for that, one of the most important ones is the mismatch between the person’s skills and the tasks assigned.

Each person has different talents. The task of a good manager is to recognize these talents and assign the tasks correspondingly.

For that, ask people how they feel about their current job, what kind of tasks they are most interested in, what do they think they can do the best. Proper task assignment will not only boost employees’ engagement but will also have a positive impact on work.

Tip: Using employee assessment tools help you match skills and talents to roles, before you even hire.

Why it works: when the person feels that they are making a difference with their work, this serves as an immense motivator and boosts self-confidence.

Always give constructive feedback

First, you should give both positive and negative feedback. Positive is needed to encourage people to keep up good work and negative can be used to learn on mistakes and point out the possible improvements.

Second, the feedback should never be vague. For example, you can say: “Great job with these presentations!” However, you can go a bit further and say: “Great job with these presentations. I especially liked how well you visualized the data and the way you formulated your arguments”.

Let people know about their strengths – they will be motivated to grow further!

As for the negative feedback, do not make it sound like blame. Just point out the specific moments that need improvement and advise on the best ways to fix them or offer help (i.e. an opportunity for learning).

Why it works: when people know about own strengths and weaknesses, they will better evaluate themselves and know what is needed for further growth, like getting a salary raise.

Establish transparent communication

It is crucial that you and your employees can efficiently communicate with each other. For that, follow these principles:

  • Always keep in mind the goal of communication: to come up with the best solution, not to decide who is right and who is wrong,
  • Everyone has a right for a voice and deserve to be heard,
  • Even the craziest idea may turn out to be brilliant: encourage free sharing of thoughts,
  • Do not punish the employees for saying something that you personally do not agree with,
  • Respect each other and treat people the way you want to be treated,
  • Take responsibility for the actions and never lie – teach your employees the same.

Though obvious, these principles are often neglected or forgotten.

Why it works: a lot of problems can be avoided by clearly communicating thoughts and ideas.

Conclusion

In 2019, we celebrate diversity, including the diversity of talent, skills, ideas, and mindsets.

For the employers, it’s time to change from being a boss to being an inspiring leader who understands this diversity. In order to achieve set goals, one should invest a considerable amount of effort to nurture a healthy work environment with an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.


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Taking Team Dynamics into Account During the Recruitment Process

Hiring often looks simple from the outside. An inside look shows a process complex enough to have thousands of studies dedicated to single aspects of recruitment. Companies spend millions on assessing, training, and hiring the right people to drive their companies, and for good reason. The right people can make or break a business.

People-fit is a crucial topic, and one that many companies don’t spend enough time on. Today, the lens of hiring is slowly shifting to look at aspects such as personality, behavior, and beliefs to create teams that truly work together.

Team dynamics are an incredibly important consideration, because they affect not just how one person works, but how an entire team will get along and work together.

Personality Type

Personality type is the first and one of the most important things to measure. In most cases, you should use personality assessments during initial employee screening. This can include something like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or another type of test. Competency and behavioral assessments are important as well, because they indicate what a person can do, why they would or would not do that, and how they do it.

Understanding personality type and behavior is key for determining where someone fits into a team. However, it’s equally crucial to have this information regarding existing team members.

Mapping Team Roles

Mapping team roles allows you to picture what you have in your team and then work to fill gaps. Various tools, typically models and frameworks, exist to help you do this. Look at assessments that can map out roles in successful teams, and the types of people who fit those roles. Your assessment provider should be able to assess multiple roles per individual, as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for any candidate. That way, you can also keep your teams small with 3-5 people, and at the same time have every role filled (since each individual would be suited for multiple roles).

Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity is the concept of having a range of influences and background in a team. This allows individuals to influence, challenge, and push each other to excel in ways they wouldn’t on their own. Cultural diversity can be achieved by hiring diverse people, by building cross-functional teams, and by tearing down silos so that teams can work together and be exposed to new ideas, ways of thinking, and approaches.

Cognitive Diversity

Cognitive diversity, like cultural diversity, is about creating teams stemming from different backgrounds, with different thought processes, and different levels of education. This involves understanding how people work, how they use existing knowledge versus creating their own, and whether they tend to use their own expertise or leverage that of others. Strong teams require a mix of cognitive approaches.

Team Compatibility

While it’s important to introduce diversity, you also have to pay attention to compatibility. You don’t want everyone on the team to be the same, but you also don’t want people who will naturally clash. Understanding how different types of people work together (and don’t), will allow you to make better decisions. Diversity for the sake of diversity benefits no one when it means individuals cannot work together.

Strong team are composed of diverse individuals, typically with a range of backgrounds, cultures, and cognitive methods. Most also require a set number of skills such as a specialist, coordinator, and implementer to actually be productive. Understanding each team, who is on that team, and what they need to be most productive will help you to find and fit candidates into those roles to enhance the team.


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What Goes into Quality Employee Screening?

Employee screening functions to ensure only the right candidates make it to interviews. This serves the dual purpose of reducing time and investment spent at later steps and reducing the risk of a wrong hire. Screening can be as simple as a background check or as complex as a multi-pronged behavior, competency, and personality assessments alongside those (mandatory) checks.

In either case, your employee screening will determine who moves into hiring processes. Having quality screening in place will save your organization time and money and will work to ensure you don’t accidentally turn away quality candidates. These steps will help you to set up a quality screening process so your organization can hire the people it needs to succeed.

Conduct and Background

It’s always important to run assessments determining the quality of conduct, previous behavior, previous performance, validity of degrees and qualifications, and so on. This process is standard in most organizations and you likely already have it in place.

Personality and Behavior

Using employee screening to test personality and behavior is a relatively new process, but it can help you to determine if a candidate actually meets your needs. Here, it’s important to have extensive competency frameworks and job profiling in place, so you can pinpoint what is desirable for a role, team, or for future change. Personality and behavior assessment should follow employee screening and results should be linked to individual roles and teams, even if you’re hiring for several comparable roles. This screening can involve:

  • Competency testing
  • Soft-skill testing
  • EQ assessment
  • Personality testing

In most cases, you want to choose one or two of the most relevant assessments to hand to a candidate so that they don’t invest too much time in a role. However, you do want enough information that you can make a quality decision, so the more important the role, the more time the candidate should be willing to invest upfront.

Culture-Fit

Culture-fit tells you if a candidate is likely to fit into an organization and team based on their personality, actual behavior, and how they get along with team members. Some culture-fit can be determined from personality and competency testing. Once a candidate has passed this, they should actually meet your teams.

Here, it’s valuable to host open days at your offices, so prospective candidates can come in, meet each other, and meet teams with no pressure. From there, you can bring final candidates in for single or two-day work assignments in-office to see how things work out.

This will tell you exactly how well everyone will get along, what the individual looks like in a casual as well as a work environment, and how they react to their prospective team-members in person.

Employee screening is your only chance to determine whether a candidate will perform. Today, some 93% of employers in the United States require background checks but fewer check for job-fit, culture-fit, and competency-fit. Doing so will improve the quality of employee screening, will help you to better match individuals to specific roles and teams.


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How to keep up with recruitment in the digital age

In today’s fast-paced, socially connected, and digital world, companies are beginning to realize that technology is key for attracting, assessing, and employing the top talent. Why should you be left behind? These top HR recruitment tips show you how to keep up with recruitment, and your competition, in the digital age.

How has technology changed recruitment

Technology has a funny way of bursting onto the scene and completely changing the way you do things. Over the past ten years, methods of recruitment have evolved to include:

  • Online applications;
  • Advertising on job boards;
  • Searching LinkedIn profiles; and
  • Conducting pre-hire profiling.

And, as HR technology continues to evolve, so do candidate expectations – directly affecting the amount and quality of candidates who apply to your positions. So what can you do to keep ahead?

Keeping up with recruitment in the digital age

Future success in recruitment requires the adoption of a digital hiring model that embraces technology across attraction, selection, and experience.

Attraction

Gone are the days when a newspaper advertisement would result in hundreds of applicants queuing at your offices and gone are the days when a job board advertisement would result in hundreds of applications queuing in your inbox. To keep ahead of your competition, consider adopting:

  • Targeted recruitment ads – ensuring that only relevant applicants see your vacancy;
  • SEO optimized job vacancy pages – increasing your search ranking in Google; and
  • Dynamic branding – attracting the top talent to your company through an engaging and consistent online presence.

Selection

Resumes are dying out – make sure your recruitment campaigns don’t die with them. Your sifting and selecting process needs to change, to ensure that you can handle the increased volume of applications that your new attracting process is generating. A digital selection process incorporates:

  • LinkedIn resumes – it gives you everything you need to know, including the candidate’s professional contacts;
  • Online presence – do an online search for any industry-relevant blogs, social media posts, or following by the candidate; and
  • Predictive analytics – pre-screening profiling, personality testing, and automated selection tools remove hiring bias and accurately assess a candidate’s fit and ability to perform – enabling you to hire the right person to build a top team.

This will reduce the time it takes to find the perfect person for your vacancy.

Experience

The digital age has also changed everyone’s expectations about experiences – preferring speed, ease, and personalization over anything else. Respond to this by using technology to:

  • Streamline the application process with applicant tracking and updating systems;
  • Speed up selection by offering Skype interviews; cutting-edge selection tools, and self-booking interview portals; and
  • Don’t stop once the employee has started – technology should be embraced throughout the onboarding process and beyond.

By doing this, you’ll retain the interest of candidates throughout the recruitment process and come across as a dynamic and happening company that they can’t wait to work for.

Final thoughts

The key to keeping up with recruitment in the digital age is adaptability. In 2001, critics described the iPod as a gimmick – guess what they’re listening to their music on now. Find out about the latest HR technology by following HR blogs and Facebook pages, listening to industry-relevant podcasts, and attending local networking events and organizational development forums. And then, embrace that new technology with open arms because you never know how much you’ll rely on it tomorrow.

Happy recruiting in the digital age!


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Implementing Background Checks and Pre-screening into Interviews

Most organizations perform some background checks and pre-screening before individuals walk into their first interview. This is necessary for most and sometimes mandatory. But, how do you use that data to improve the quality of your interview?

In most cases, recruiters can analyze data from background checks and prescreening to ask better questions, get more information, and form a better opinion of who the candidate is.

Perform Comprehensive Pre-Screening

Pre-screening should include background checks, contacting references, and so on. It should also incorporate personality and competency tests to see who the person is, what they can do, and how they will do it.

While not every role will require comprehensive screening, doing so will allow interviewers to create a more comprehensive picture of who a person is before they come into the interview. You should (at the least) test for personality and soft skills such as communication or EQ, which can be delivered in several tests or rolled into one.

Ask Questions Related to Assessments

Most assessments will turn up information that can lead to further questions. Reviewing assessments like answers given by previous employers and background data will allow you to form pointed questions that can help you learn about a candidate. For example:

  • Reference data: “So, we called your previous manager at your last job and he said you’ve had some issues with conflict in his team, what’s your side of that?”
  • Background data: “What convinced you to switch from marketing to finance? Are you happy with that choice?”

Why should you create specific questions around background results? Generic questions based on responses often don’t tell you a lot about an individual, their choices, or why they are in your office. Instead, you’re likely to get very prepared responses. Asking specific questions about data they’ve given you, in line with the information you need, will help you to improve the total result of your interview.

Question Prepared Answers

Candidates now have the tools to prepare for nearly any type of interview, often based on the organization. Having behavior and competency information for a candidate gives you the opportunity to actively question prepared answers based on those assessments.

For example, if a candidate suggests they would respond in a specific way, you can ask how that compares to their test results showing X behavior. This can force an individual to give more honest answers, because they won’t likely have time to prepare for this sort of questioning. Nearly everyone expects they’ll be asked “How would you respond to X situation”, but following their answer with something like, “Your personality profile suggests you prefer to avoid conflict, how do you manage that in a situation like the one we’ve just gone over?” would prompt an answer that hasn’t been prepared for.

Integrating assessment and personality testing into the interview process will give recruiters an easier way to determine who an individual is, how they react, and what they can do. It also allows recruiters to see how well that data matches up to personality shown during interviews, so they can create a bigger picture with more data to make a final assessment.


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When to Let Go of Poor Performers in the Workplace

Performance reviews have long been under-fire for practices of ranking individuals into top, middle, and bottom tiers. However, these tiers or other setups showing individuals who consistently perform under set standards can help your organization to improve and succeed. Traditionally, individuals who consistently underperform are simply let go, as they are either fired or do not receive contract renewal.

Modern HR practices typically require a much more human-friendly approach, where you should offer opportunities and tools to improve. Understanding these tools and approaches will help you to understand both how to improve performance and when to give up and let go of someone who simply is not responding to efforts.

Poor Response to Coaching

Coaching and mentoring can greatly improve performance for many. Here, leaders can simply step in to determine what’s gone wrong and why. This may result in the individual being moved to a more suitable team. It may result in their roles changing. It may result in them being pushed into personal development or training to improve specific factors.

Poor performance can result from myriad factors such as stress, poor home-life conditions, poor work-life balance, overwork, a bad manager, a poor fit with team, lack of crucial knowledge or skills, lack of motivation, and other factors. Coaching can help with any of these.

No matter what direction coaching takes, it’s important to monitor results. If someone fails immediately, it may be the fault of the coach. However, if the coach is good, there is a certain point when further investment is likely futile or no longer a good investment. Here, you should set a budget based on the cost of hiring and onboarding a replacement to the same or a higher level of performance and work within that.

No Interest in Development

Individuals who do not respond to or show interest in personal development cannot improve or change. This is important because most remediation efforts for poor performance eventually result in development. Individuals who lack skills for their current role have to be trained. Persons in a role that is changing outside of their ability to perform have to be trained. Individuals who can’t communicate well have to be trained as well.

If someone is not interested in learning and improving themselves, they cannot increase or improve performance. You can typically gauge this before development begins but should do so as it proceeds as well.

Lack of Personal Motivation

Personal motivation is the key to self-improvement and it is one (hard to measure) factor that will make or break the success of any initiative. Without motivation, an individual cannot respond to coaching, cannot push themselves through development, and will not be able to engage with or become passionate about work. You can take on several strategies to boost motivation through empowerment, stress reduction, training, and offering opportunities, but it is up to the individual to respond.

Like with coaching, motivation training should stop at a certain point when it becomes clear that the cost of doing so will exceed the cost of replacing the individual altogether.

Most people will train, develop themselves, and strive to do better when given the opportunity to do so in an understanding environment. People respond well to coaching, are able to make changes to their schedules and work methods and can learn new skills to improve performance. On the rare occasion that individuals do not respond to these methods or the cost of delivering them far outstrips the cost of hiring a new employee, you should let poor performers go.


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How to Preserve Institutional Knowledge and Prevent Brain Drain

Brain drain is a situation where organizations are faced with older staff leaving and retiring at a faster rate than new employees reach equivalent levels of skill and expertise. This can be a problem in organizations of all sizes.

While especially relevant to fast-scaling startups who often outpace their own ability to onboard effectively, brain drain impacts even massive companies with tens of thousands of employees.

Preventing knowledge loss often means creating preventive strategies, effectively onboarding people, and hiring to incorporate new expertise while retaining existing knowledge.

These tactics will help you preserve institutional knowledge across your organization, so that the workforce remains productive, valuable, and capable of delivering on strategy and vision.

Implement Succession Planning

Succession planning is one of the most valuable strategies to prevent brain drain, because it ensures you always know who will take the place of existing skilled or valuable persons. This often means developing a matrix to highlight your most value-added or key employees, using competency frameworks and job profiling to determine why they add value and how to replace them, and then generating succession planning based on predictions of their likelihood of leaving the role within x amount of time.

This strategy approaches brain drain from the idea that it will happen, you have to plan for it, and you have to have people ready with the right knowledge, skills, and behaviors, to prevent drops in performance when key people do leave.

Create Mentoring Programs

Lack of proper onboarding is very common in new and old companies alike. Here, new people are often hired on, very quickly introduced to their roles, and then left to be productive under a manager or Scrum leader with no real follow-up or intensive mentoring.

When more experienced individuals do leave roles, these new people are left with very little idea of how or why things are done the way they are, no idea of backlogs, and no real way to add value without changing processes, reverting items, or making a lot of mistakes.

Introducing mentoring programs as part of onboarding helps subvert this issue by ensuring existing employees always pass their knowledge, documentation, and organizational insight on to new people. While most people don’t want to make time in their role for mentoring, it is an important part of a role. The faster you’re hiring, the more time experienced people should be making for mentoring.

Focus on Employee Retention

While replacement strategies are important, employee turnover is still one of the most crucial contributors to skill loss. If you slow down how quickly employees leave, you slow down brain drain, giving your other strategies more time to take effect.

Here, you should focus on employee satisfaction, employee empowerment, fitting individuals to their roles and teams, and creating an environment people want to work in. While you’ll always have individuals who don’t fit, employee retention will make it easier to reduce losses in other places throughout the organization.

Brain drain will slow productivity, decrease profit, and force the organization to change direction or focus as individuals with crucial knowledge leave an organization. Adopt strategies to share knowledge throughout the organization to prevent losing key employees as quickly, and have a plan in place to replace key individuals when they’re ready to move on.


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3 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement to Improve Productivity and Reduce Turnover

40 years ago, almost no one cared about metrics like “Employee engagement.” Today, most HR departments are painfully aware of the difference engagement can make. With research by the Korn Ferry Group showing that companies with engaged employees are up to 2.5 times more profitable than those without, most of us are right to be concerned.

At the same time, engagement offers room for improvement. Whether your organization already has a relatively engaged workforce or one that focuses on clocking out and going home, you can take steps to improve engagement and business results.

Importantly, employee engagement is never about perks, about specific rewards, or about one-time actions. Engagement only happens with consistent long-term results that drive change.

Link Vision and Strategy to Daily Work

Most people clock into work, perform an allotted number of tasks or work towards specific goals, clock out, and go home, all with no real idea of what they’ve contributed towards or achieved. This can be highly demotivating, especially over the long-term, where individuals often see no real change.

One important way around this type of demotivation is to ensure everyone always knows what they’re working towards. This means linking organizational vision and strategy (or big goals) into smaller goals, broken down into daily work. If everyone can easily see what their work is contributing towards and hopefully how close that goal is, they’ll be more motivated and therefore more engaged.

Empower Individuals and Teams to Own Their Projects

While traditional waterfall organizations don’t often support employee empowerment, doing so can greatly increase engagement. Here, you create cross-functional teams that can handle every aspect of a project they’re working on, assign ownership to that team, and allow people and teams to work towards results in a manner of their choosing. Doing so allows experts who know how to do their own work to optimize, take ownership, and engage with their work in new ways. What does ownership mean? One team will design strategy for, choose how to create, create, launch, and finalize any project. They’ll take full responsibility for its success or failure.

While this can create some risk in that everyone is not following the same standardized processes, you can implement with controls and general guidelines for processes in place to ensure everything is handled to the same (or better) level of quality than before. Why does offering ownership increase engagement? People get to be proud of what they’re working on, to improve it, and to work on it in their own way.

Encourage, Recognize, and Share Creativity and Passion

Not everyone in your organization will be creative, passionate, or engaged. But, when you do see these behaviors, it’s important to stop, recognize, and share them. Doing so can mean something as simple as having Scrum leaders stop to congratulate individuals on a job well done. It can mean improving performance scores. It can mean celebrating teams meeting new targets and goals.

Whatever you choose to do, it should involve specifically offering recognition when you see the traits you want to foster, encouraging them with open workspaces and flatter hierarchies, and creating space for individuals to fail and try again within those goals.

Teams are engaged when they have ownership, room to be creative, and space to communicate and share ideas effectively. If they know what they’re working on, why, and are responsible for the end-outcome, they have that much more motivation to engage with their work. Over time, this will improve productivity and increase employee satisfaction, both of which will cut down turnover and add to real business results.


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Using Employee Assessment for Succession and Development

Employee assessments are typically performed on prospective candidates, during annual performance review, and any time when additional assessment is called for. Assessment can offer organizations valuable input with which to make decisions regarding recruitment, salary, bonuses, and retaining individuals.

Employee assessment is also more often used for applications including personal development and succession planning. These applications enable organizations to utilize existing data for investment, providing they have the structures in place to map how assessment results relate to future roles and capabilities.

Using Job Profiles

Job profiling is the process of mapping required behaviors, competencies, skills, and personality to success in a role. Creating job profile frameworks, typically with the support of a competency framework, allows you to see specific factors such as behavior and personality that contribute to performance in a role.

Most organizations achieve these frameworks with an “out of the box” solution in a framework designed on industry averages, which is then updated and tweaked across the organization to reflect unique role requirements in the organization. This second step is typically achieved through a combination of interviewing, reviewing performance results, and discussing job requirements with teams and people around the role.

Mapping Assessment Results to Job Profiles

Job profiles list a series of behaviors, actions, and skills that contribute to performance in a role. You can easily graph these results out, and then simply match individuals with similar results to see who matches required traits. Here, it’s more important to pay attention to soft skills such as behavior and personality, which are more difficult to train.

Importantly several types of people can often succeed (and to the same degree) in a single role. Your job profiles should encompass what success looks like and why that is success, so that you can look for it in others.

Using Gap Analysis to Determine Development Direction

Employee assessments in hiring are most-often used to directly match individuals to required or wanted behaviors and traits but some of those skills will be missing. A gap analysis can help you determine what and where candidates need to improve. If you’re planning succession and development, you should be significantly more concerned with personality and behavior traits such as personal motivation, emotional intelligence, etc. These traits are difficult to train but greatly impact leadership and creative roles. If someone shows great promise in areas that contribute to a role but are not necessarily hard skills, you can flag them for further development.

This process should always involve:

  • Analyze what’s missing from the profile to completely fill out the role
  • Discuss options with candidates and determine motivation and interest
  • Offer development opportunities in line with the role
  • Offer coaching or mentoring in-line with the role
  • Monitor progress and continue to map personality to job profiles

For example, if someone’s assessment profile maps to success in a role such as branch director but they lack key skills and don’t have the broad range of experience necessary to make good decisions. Here, it would be a relatively simple decision to set aside room for personal development, to broaden their experience with assignments in other departments or branches, and to assign them a mentor or coach who could help bridge gaps relating to personal development.

Internal development can save time and resources over sourcing leaders and technical experts externally. Managing internal succession planning and development also allows you to better select the desired traits and personalities of individuals promoted into roles, allows you to control their work culture, and gives you more room to choose, because having internal people ready doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t still hire externally.


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