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Voss Graham interviews Ron Bonnstetter

Ron Bonnstetter is the Sr VP of Research for TTISuccessInsights and a leader in brain research for improving our assessment reports. And, no this is not some boring presentation of analytics from a researcher – it is a dialogue between an entrepreneur and an executive dialoguing about the advantages of Research on the accuracy and validity of the assessments used by InnerActive Consulting Group Inc.

Watch this spirited dialogue between two people who are passionate about what they do for their clients everyday. Watch it now…

If you are interested in having a dialogue with Voss Graham regarding how these assessments can benefit your organization – just click the button below…

Beware of Averages – Especially with Benchmarks

I ran across a situation recently that made me scratch my head. A very smart group of managers were discussing their newly discovered “benchmark” for a particular classification of job. While I do get excited about gaining insight through the use of matrix, I was disappointed in the overall effort or structure they used to develop their “benchmark.”

Here was their system or process for developing a broad benchmark for a job position. Seems they took a number of people who had been selected as “top performers” and then ran some assessments on this group, averaged the data across the group and decided the data from the average was good for a usable benchmark.

Well, this plan had several major flaws and will probably get them in trouble legally with the EEOC and other watchdog agencies. Here is a list of the flaws I found in their system…

Success and Career Paths

The fourth C in the twelve part series on success is Career Paths.

Career Path is a hot topic, yet for some of the wrong reasons these days – the recession and the loss of so many jobs. Yet, read on since if you are in this group – career path becomes more important than before. Career Paths truly have an impact upon both you – the individual – and organizational success. It is important to understand this importance.

What is Career Paths?

Hiring Tip for Employees – Pick a Good Boss

With the recent high unemployment rate, I felt it was time to give a few tips for those who are looking for a new job. So your first tip is…

Pick a Good Boss – If You Want to Grow

Yes, it is important to pick a good boss because they will determine your next level of growth and happiness. In fact, if you are looking for a long term position, then this becomes even more important.

Benchmark the Job Rather than the People

When reading some new information about our hiring and selection process, I was reminded that when benchmarking performance in the hiring and selection process –

“You Must Benchmark the Job Rather than the People in the Job.”

This is a very important factor for three reasons:

  1. Legal Foundation – a Job Benchmark takes out any bias and focuses strictly upon the job and the traits necessary for the job to perform at higher levels. If you have benchmarks for all the jobs using the same process and used this tool to compare to a common talent assessment, then you have a legally clean system that can be defended or even thrown out of court for lack of bias.
  2. Quality of the Current Team – This is tough for some leaders to deal with, yet, it is more common than most would believe. I have experienced this in the review and evaluation of a Fortune 100’s sales team. They were evaluating the sales team for a complete restructure of the sales organization. When we analyzed the data, the evidence showed the quality of the entire team was low (which had contributed  to the decline in sales over the past three years) – so a benchmark of their top performers could have established an B or C level benchmark for future selection. This company needed more “A” players to remain in on the playing field of top performing companies. Their brand name was the only thing carrying the majority of the sales teams performance.
  3. Objectivity – One of the key points for using a job or position benchmark is to eliminate bias or personality from the selection process. It also is the starting point for putting objectivity back in the subjective process of hiring and selection. When there is no check system that uses a proven objective scoring or measurement of traits needed for a job or position to be successful, you will be fooled by people in the interview process.

Does this type of process or system work? Well, yes it does. Our research partner has been following the success of using an assessment based hiring process with the focus on job or position benchmarking. Their data indicates that 92 percent of the people placed in jobs using the patented job benchmark to talent report system are still in their position after a one year. This compares with placement agencies record of 20 to 50 replacement rates.

This improvement in placement and retention rates will have a significant return on investment in your company. If you want to learn about this hiring system, contact Voss Graham at 901-757-4434 and we will discuss how this system can improve your bottom line.

Do You Have an “On Boarding” System in Place?

Whether you call it an “on Boarding system,” an orientation program or a Fast Start system, it may mean the difference in having a high performer or not. It is one of the key systems for creating a high performance culture.

So what is this on boarding system all about?

In simple terms it is a process that gets a new employee in a job started with clear focus on the outcomes of the job. It helps to get someone new in a position to get started quickly and get productive as soon as possible.

There are several key items for an on boarding system to work.

  1. Key Accountabilities for the Job
  2. A Prioritized Listing on Key Traits for the Job to be Successful
  3. A Manager Who Understands the Need for a Fast Start in a New Position
  4. A Mentor or Coach Assigned to the New Person

Key Accountabilities for the Job include the key outcomes that are expected from this job function. This is not to be confused with a Job Description. Most, not all, Job Descriptions are nothing more than an activity list for a job with no mention of actual outcomes and results expected.

A Prioritized Listing of Key Traits identified for the Job to be successful show the person just what is needed to be a success. These traits should be closely matched to the new hire (if you want to top grade your company and staff) with few exceptions. The closer the true match, the higher the level of natural performance from the individual in the position or job. It is a true win-win for both the company and the employee. Also, any mismatches between the job traits and the individual’s traits reflects a clear path for an individualized personal development process.

A Manager that understands the need for a fast start when a potential high performer is on board. The major mistake by most managers in this situation is to be unprepared for the start up or to take a lazy attitude about ramping up the responsibilities of the new hire. I have seen terrible situations regarding new hires whereby the manager had no place assigned for a new employee. Placed the person in the company lunchroom and forgot about him! Two weeks later the manager was amazed when informed that the new potential superstar had quit.  – You can’t make this stuff up! It’s true. New hires, especially potential high performers need to launch quickly and take on critical projects as soon as possible. Remember, high performers are looking for new challenges rather than hiding from them.

Finally, a mentor or coach should be assigned to the new hire to assist them with the inner workings of the organization, who the real players are, what politics are in play, and what are the procedures that need or should be followed to get things done quickly and effectively. An organized mentor process will increase the effectiveness of a new hire by a factor of five, due to less trial and error and more focus on getting results.

If you don’t have an effective “on-boarding” system, contact us immediate to discuss how to get one for your team or organization. They are proven to get the results you require and create a high performance culture. It’s simple to install and works in every area of the organization. Call us at 901-757-4434 and let’s discuss your situation.

Workplace Motivators Tell the “WHY” We Do Things

Using assessments in business is still important since it is the only true source for objectivity in understanding people. Since people are the key source for performance, productivity and results, it is important to know “WHY” each person does the things they do.

Some people believe they only need a behavioral assessment to answer all the questions on people issues. My answer to this – DISC only gives you the “HOW” a person does things. Since it is behavioral based the broadcast media that people use to communicate, listen, walk, talk, etc.

Workplace Motivators on the other hand get into the reasons “WHY” a person makes decisions the way they do. It answers the question about what they value and what they devalue – showing the sources of passion or indifference.

Identifying the source of passion or what is valued will tell a manager why a person prefers a certain type of job or why they make decisions or what positions they prefer due to the rewards of a particular position.

An example of these Workplace Motivator showing high performance can be traced to outside sales positions. In research of top performers in sales in the United States and Europe, we found that 93% of the top performers in the US and Europe had a certain Workplace Motivator as the number one or number two driver. This driver was the need to get a return on everything they did. It sounds logical, yet, every day sales people are hired who do not possess a passion for a return on everything they do. This are the same people who later de-hired by their sales managers due to a lack of results!

What are you doing in the hiring process or the evaluation of performance process that involves Workplace Motivators? If the answer is nothing, then you are risking your job. Excellent executives understand the value of objectivity in decision making and understanding what makes people tick. People skills is the main issue for success or lack of success. Assessments are the key component for finding the objectivity needed in a subjective area – such as people.

Want to know more about Workplace Motivators? First, go to our assessment site and read about Workplace Motivators and then download a sample report to review what is identified. Now one thing about a sample, it will not be as meaningful since it is not about you or someone you know. But it will provide a glimpse into the information format.

Next contact or call me to discuss how to use Workplace Motivators in your group, team, or organization. You will benefit in several ways using these assessment tools and we need to discuss exactly how they can help you. Call me at 901-757-4434 and we can discuss how to make you more productive and effective with people skills.

What’s the Stock Market telling us Now?

What is the stock market telling us today? If you are a seasoned watcher of the stock market and have watched it go up and down during several decades you may know the signal. So what is the signal you may ask? The stock market is a good forecaster of the direction of the economy.

Since the 1960’s when I was first taught a few things about the stock market, there has been rule of thumb in play. The rule is:

“The stock market is always ahead of the economic numbers by six months.”

So, what is the stock market telling us now? If the six month rule is correct, then we will see so major improvement in the economy during the end of the third quarter and definitely the fourth quarter. So start your planning right now and get ready for take off!

This means it is time to get ready for business to pick up. So there are four things to focus upon during the current quarter:

  1. Training and Development – Get your people ready for the upswing in business. Use this down time to pull people out of line positions and develop their skills and knowledge. Because once the up turn begins there will be no available time for this.
  2. Hiring and Selection – Get your hiring and selection process working overtime. There are very talented people in the job market. So now is the time to find them and begin the upgrading of your human assets. Talented people will be harder to find once every knows the economy is back AND it will cost you more to employ them when more bidders are looking for experienced and proven talent. Keep your personnel expenses lower by starting the process before everyone else does.
  3. Upgrade your Systems – Now is the time to get new systems and technology into your organizations. Currently discounts are strong for new products so the initial savings are significant. Then the longer term savings due to productivity increases will kick in and you will be seen as a genius.
  4. Review your Processes – Closely tried to the systems is the quality of your current work processes and work flow processes. Now is the time to check out the effectiveness of the processes. Are there any steps that could be removed to shorten the process cycle? Are their redundancies that could be eliminated, thus saving more money and improving work flows? Test the processes now because productivity will be very important as the economy upturns. Profits will be higher.

Take note of these ideas and launch into improvement today because soon you will have no additional time for people to respond to these changes. Growth is coming – Will You Be Ready?

We have been assisting our clients in all four areas over the past 20 years and we can assist you also. Contact us if you want to discuss how to implement any of the four projects in your organization. Our phone number is 901-757-4434 – call today and start while them is time to implement the change and improvement projects.

The Second Sales Myth and Truth

The Second Myth of Sales involves the selection of sales people. Many sales managers believe that anyone can sell, so the hiring process is easy. Just hire anyone and put them in the job. No training necessary if they follow the instructions of the sales presentation. Well, maybe some product knowledge training which has been up to 85% of the sales training budget for many companies (commodity companies). If a person can fog a mirror, they can fill the position! Major mistake were made using this method.

Then if a person does not work out, fire them and replace the person with another. No problem using this method. The problems of this method of hiring is really a big problem. This process belief ignores both the direct costs of bringing the wrong person “up to speed” and then replacing them, as well as the indirect costs of lost business and dissatisfied customers. The indirect costs can be very large depending upon the size of average customers and average sales volumes. I have seen one bad hire cost a company several million dollars with lost customers!

The Truth is that the proper effort used on the front end will have the right sales people doing the right sales job.  Successful sales people can be found using effective selection processes.  Organizations using proper hiring methods get better results by increasing sales, improving profitability and reducing turnover.

A proper hiring process includes a complete understanding of the sales position. Accountabilities are established for outcomes, types of territories, number of accounts within a territory, percentage of market-share (using different categories – total customers, products or services mix, etc.). Then an accurate establishment of traits needed for the position to be successful are identified – before talking to the first candidate.

Other criteria are identified and weighed as to level of importance in the hiring process. Then behavioral interview questions are both identified and selected or assigned to the interview team. Standards are set for identifying potential high performers. Assessments are used to create objective information on each candidate. And, multiple people are interviewed in order to have a selection of top talent.

R & D Key to Top Talent in Organizations

Yes, you read the title correctly. R & D is the key to getting Top Talent in your organization. Research and Development is only half right with my version of R & D. The new version of R & D is Recruit and Develop. I borrowed this term from college football. During the major recruiting event of the year ( First Wednesday in the month of February), several coaches were talking about the dual importance of getting the “best” prospects to sign on – yet, it was the coaches responsibility to Develop the talent during their tenure on campus.

What a great analogy for all organizations to follow. First, recruit the “best” potential people for your company. And second, Develop the talent to the next level of performance and productivity. Interestingly, this seems to fit the methods used by the top companies. You know the ones that are ranked in both “Best Place to Work” and the “Top Performing Companies” lists.