Twenty years ago, I gave up my law practice to become a business coach. I was encouraged by a mentor to become certified in a variety of Behavioral/Personality Assessments that my clients (small and medium sized businesses) could use in employee selection and on-boarding and I could use in executive coaching. During this 17-year period, I witnessed several trends develop:
- Increased interest in Emotional Intelligence
- Increased interest in Employee Dissatisfaction
- Increased Interest in Leadership Development
Although Assessment providers quickly rushed tools into the marketplace to meet the needs of trends 1 and 2, there were over 8000 books published on Leadership and new ones are coming out every day as I write this. It seems that everybody and his brother has a program on Leadership Training.
While I am all in favor of education and diversity in ideas and thought, Leadership is part art and part science. You can teach the science (that is if there is a science to Leadership) but it is very difficult to teach the art-How can you teach someone to paint like Rembrandt? That’s the rub. Every so- called leadership course has a different curriculum – there is virtually no consensus on the science. So, some courses are heavy on communication, others on time management, some on goal setting, while yet others might focus on conflict resolution or creating and selling a vision. Bottom line, corporate America has spent millions of dollars a year on “interesting” Leadership programs with little or no proven results. And what’s worse is that most of these programs do not measure a baseline and end line before and after training, so no proof exists as to the efficacy of the programs. As an attorney by training, I find this outrageous!
I have done a lot of thinking and research over the past 17 years, and I want to share the results with you:
- Everyone wants their work to be “meaningful”. What is meaningful differs from person to person. Therefore, when hiring, assessments that measure what motivates a person are useful for measuring “culture fit” – to answer the question will this person be able to find meaningful work within the known culture of the company?
- The two biggest problems facing corporate America today are: (a) employee disengagement and (b) how to identify good managers and leadership training that works to enhance leadership skills.
- Base line and end line measurements must be made prior to and after training to measure the effectiveness of training.
Through my research I have been able to identify programs to accomplish the above.
The Central Problem of Recruiting , Motivating and Retaining Great Leaders
A company is as good as the quality of the decisions made by its leaders. Finding and retaining great leaders has always been about recruiting, motivating and retaining great people. These functions may or may not be a part or HR. It doesn’t matter whether you call it Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer, Recruiting, etc. the Central problem remains the same.
We believe that every person is hard wired to want “meaningful” work. The first challenge is to do everything you can to match available work with the person for whom such work is meaningful. This is sometimes referred to as having the right person in the right seat on the right bus. Jobs cab be bench-marked by subject matter experts (people who have shown excellence in performing the job and managers of such excellent people). Behavioral assessments can be used to identify job candidates to determine how close to the benchmark their attributes fall. However, that only will get you 1/3 of the way to a hire. The other 2/3 are the Interview and Resume of accomplishments.
At WBS, we feel that this Culture Fit is essential to great hires. Our company, using state of the art assessments, can help you identify which candidates are most likely to succeed within your organization, can provide continuous skill development support and can show proof of results by before and after metrics. Continue reading