Today I want to discuss an issue found in organizations using assessments – actually using assessments is a good thing. The fact is – most are doing some things wrong while only a few are getting it right.
The issue comes from using only One Assessment and believing it is an end all tool. Unfortunately, in most cases the users are creating more problems for themselves – unless the assessment being used is correctly used. An example of one assessment, which has multiple uses, yet, is not the end game solution for everything is the DISC assessment tool.
The DISC tool is a great report for understanding “How” a person delivers results using their behavioral style. It uncovers observable behavioral traits that are actually hard-wired in a person’s mind. Behavioral style is the primary method for communication and creates the most conflict issues.
Other assessment tools are available that uncover additional areas related to an individual’s ability to perform at higher levels.
How do you choose the right assessment from so many choices? That is a question that shows up every day. Some people have the answer and others just keep using the one that was introduced to them while in school. Others use the ones recommended by their boss or someone they trust or respect.
The above methods are subjective at best. So how do you choose the right one for you or your organization? There are seven factors to review, so let’s get started:
- Price – Some choices are made only based upon price. Price per assessment, per project or per group. Price is a consideration, yet, it should not be the only issue to review for using assessments. There are other more important considerations.
- Validation – Now this is another important area, yet it can be overused. Validation of personal assessments should be validated in several areas – accuracy, relationship, construct, and consistency. However, not ALL assessment are in need of validation. There are numerous situations that call for job related accuracy only. In fact, we see this element being a key factor in several assessment processes – are there job related benchmarks being used in the interpretation?
- Legal – Are the legal requirements of the assessments being met? In the 50’s and 60’s some assessments were used in an illegal manner to eliminate certain classes of people from employment opportunities. And, laws were passed to stop this practice. However, today, several people still have a misunderstanding of what is legal and what is illegal in the use of assessments – particularly in the hiring and selection of people. While you will want to check with your legal advisers – the EEOC and the Department of Labor are very clear on the use of assessments. It is perfectly fine to use assessments – especially if they are focused upon the needs of a job or position rather than an individual. Benchmarking that is job specific is good for legal requirements.
- Norms – What norms are being used by the assessment provider? If the provider cannot “show” you when and where the norms for their assessments were established, then decline to use them. There are many “copy cats” in the marketplace that have not done any research and development to keep their assessments current. Most behavioral assessments were normed on the baby boomers population. Therefore, the X and Y Generation individuals do not get accurate results. Thus a disconnect between the report generated and the belief that the information is accurate. Your norms should be set from the 21st century not the early 20th century.
- Easy of Use – The assessment process should be difficult for the user or the benefactor of the results. The instructions and deliverable should be easy to understand and implement. Simple and clear is the key.
- Support – Do you have a provider that has experienced and certified individuals to support the debrief of information provided from the assessments. To often, you will have a “certified” individual that has no practical experience. Therefore, the insight into how certain factors or combinations impact an individual or organization could be missing. This lack of insight will hurt you in the long run.
- Language – During the 20th century one language was okay. However, today with the global presence and multi-cultures in the marketplace the question of “What languages are available for this assessment?” is key. A quality assessment should be available in multiple languages over the same system that everyone uses. By the way, our experience is the base language spoken by participants is important for taking assessments. To much time is wasted trying to interpret the definitions of words used in the assessment with misunderstanding and inaccurate results commonplace. However, when people use their primary language while taking the assessment – the accuracy is improved.
Review these points before making your decision as to how to which assessment or combination of assessments you should be using to get the results you want. If you need samples of assessment reports, then go to our assessment only site – use the Individual Focus or Corporate Focus tab to find the specific report you want. Call us if you want to get an assessment – 901-757-4434.
How Assessment Results Boost Retention and Increase Performance
Managing employee retention is one of the biggest challenges many companies face. With so many employee retention strategies out there, it is often difficult to determine which one will work for you, your company and more importantly, your employee. The good news is, improving employee retention doesn’t have to bee as hard as you might think, but it must be something that is a concern from day one, not when you start to feel an employee slipping away.
When you consider the employment cycle from beginning to end, it is apparent that training and on-boarding is the most crucial aspect of retention. A company can hire the best candidate who is destined for success, but it is up to the employer to give them the training, attention and motivation it takes to build a dedicated superior performer. Without it, the employee is not likely to build a strong connection with their new employer and will quickly feel under-appreciated, unimportant and simply lost in the shadows of the organization.
A few years a good client and friend posed an interesting question to me – What is Human Potential? He stated that he had been hearing this term for years and was truly troubled by his lack of a good answer. We began a dialogue and more questions than answers about the concept of human potential – What does it mean? How do you measure it? How do you know if someone has potential? How can you tell if someone has used up all their potential? What is Maximum Potential? These questions opened our minds to real issues facing managers concerning both hiring/selection of talent and how to develop your existing talent.
So back to the original question – What is Human Potential? I believe that the answer lies within the total capabilities a person possesses and how easy is it for a person to tap into this “reservoir of talent” within. This is both the answer and the problem. How do we know that someone possesses capabilities? And how do we know if they are capable of tapping into their talent potential?
To uncover human talent potential, assessments become a primary tool for tool for showing this information. There are several tools or assessments on the market that show a person’s behavior, personality and motivators. There is only one to my knowledge that uncovers potential. We use this assessment to uncover the both the potential a person possesses and how well they are using it today.
This tool gives us an accurate idea of the cognitive potential and where the individual places emphasis regarding thought and decisions. It tells us things about an individuals approach to People, Processes and Systems. It farther separate the outward or external thoughts from the inward or internal thoughts.
Using this information we can determine how well a person developed balance of thought – the ultimate good thing regarding leadership. It also covers the source of how an individual receives mental value and what it means to their performance. It has also uncovered situations where a person could be unstable in their thoughts and actions. A disaster waiting to happen if you please! The key is not have the disaster happen on your watch.
Most importantly, this assessment tool uncovers the truly high performer. The one that will take the organization to the next level of performance. When the high performer is identified, you have the ability to insure an environment that releases this energy into the organization. The only limiting factor for these people is an environment that refuses to allow high performers to excel. Micro management or restrictions (usually due to fear) placed upon high performers does not work – unless your goal is to run the high performer away from the organization. True high performers look for organizations that allow them to excel and use their strengths to win the competitive advantages that excellent talent begins to the table.
If you have a question or comment about this article, write a comment for this post. Just click on the Make a Comment button and let us know your thoughts. Also, if you want to learn more about this assessment, call us at 901-757-4434.
Soft skills are hard for the corporate world – really they are hard for most people. Why? Because the soft skills are less tangible regarding results. This factor allows for some managers and executives to devalue the worth of the soft skills.
Often we are told by managers in corporate environments that they do not want anything that is soft. They want hard, tangible skills for their people. Again, Why? Because they feel (actually they think rather than feel) that the so called “hard skill” training and development will ensure success and results.
How incorrect is this? Big time! Soft skills rule in the success and high performance avenues. The research that has been conducted on high performers – shows that the hard skills knowledge has no bearing on the results – yet, there is a direct relationship to the soft skills.
Let me use a sports analogy to show the difference. As some of you know I am a dedicated fan of college football. Therefore, I watch a large number of teams each weekend during the season. Three factors show up – 1. The best programs are at the top of the rankings every year. 2. Any team can win on any given weekend – no matter who is the competitor. and 3. The best coaches appear to really work the mental side of winning games – the soft skills side of the equation.
Now looking at the three factors a little closer, the winning programs do appear to get the best available talent every year. Yet, no one seems to dominate their league anymore. This is due to the limits placed upon all teams regarding number of players they can have on the team. Therefore some good players go to competitors.
The second factor shows that this balancing effect of player limits has improved the talent levels of every team. This shows up on game days where the favorites are defeated. How often has a team from the top five been defeated this year? No team is guaranteed a victory for just showing up. This is hard for a large number of fans to accept, yet it is a reality.
The third factor – the one dealing with the soft skills or mental edge – appears to be the difference maker. The top coaches are masters of using psychology to get their players ready for every game – not just the big ones. The best motivators get their players to win the games they are supposed to win and play the entire game against good competition. This is the source of the winning edge – the ability to deal with adversity and not panic, the ability to expect to win, to visualize the final score, to have the faith in your teammates that everyone will do their part to seal the victory. This is the world of soft skills.
Organizations should understand this important factor and get their staffs on the winning side of the mental game. Hard skills are important – yet, the soft skills ensure the proper use of the hard skills to win. If you believe that there is a need for more soft skill training in your organization – call us at 901-757-4434. We offer several processes for establishing the winning attitudes for your team. We also have assessments that can check the soft skill potential of the players.
Many people ask me why they should use assessments – primarily in their hiring process. Many believe that the only tool necessary is the behavioral question model and hiring will be great. My response to these people is that the behavioral question model is an excellent tool and I encourage its use in the selection process.
However, just as assessments are not the only tool you should or can use in the selection process, behavioral questions are not the only tool to use either. Why? Because one tool will only give you one part of the result – not necessarily the right result.
Okay, let me explain why only using the behavioral questioning model is a possible mistake. There are three primary reasons for caution if only using behavioral questions.