The Lost Opportunity Of Using Assessments Post-Hire (Training Exercise for Managers)

Kris Dunn Engagement and Satisfaction, HR Technology, Kris Dunn, Leadership, Learning and Development, Meridian

As HR/Talent/Recruiting pros, we are always looking for a new tool or technique to give us the edge.  Some of us love it when those solutions are delivered via technology, which in 2016 is the rule rather than the exception.  Some of us drag behind in the adoption of the tools we purchase ourselves – to say nothing of the adoption of the employee bases we support.

But one thing is true – we rarely fully deploy the solutions/technology we have in HR/Talent.  As a result, we lose a lot of power related to the tools we have in place.  It’s a vision/discipline issue.

Let’s take the behavioral assessment as an example.  Many of our HR/recruiting shops use a behavioral assessment as a pre-hire tool to help us screen, interview and select.  We make the assessment a part of the hiring decision, then we do something strange.

We forget about that assessment as the new employee onboards with our company.

That’s too bad, right?  Examples where that tool might come into play in any employee’s first year with your company:

  1. Initial meeting with manager – a great time to show what you learned about the employee and have them learn more about themselves as well.
  2. Manager shares their own assessment under the same platform – there’s no better way for a manager to be transparent and build trust with a new direct report than to share their own behavioral profile. Here’s me – I’m strong and a freak show at the same time, just like you.
  3. Talking about employee strengths and weaknesses behaviorally for the job they’re in, the team they’re a part of, and the overall company culture.
  4. As a reminder of their strengths and weakness in any individual coaching conversation.

Let’s unfold that last one – coaching conversations.  If your manager is doing what they’re supposed to be doing, they’re going to get in front of performance issues early and often.  A great manager coaches all employees, but the problem is often times managers don’t know how to get into the conversation.

When it comes to broad based coaching, I’m a big fan of the 6-Step Coaching Tool – you can read more about that by clicking on this link.

But if the situation is right, there’s nothing more powerful than making an employee’s behavioral profile part of the coaching.

The way to do that is simple.  Let’s say you have 8 primary categories that your assessment models people on. Your managers should look at where the employee sits in those 8 categories and talk about dimensions that might be contributing to the performance issue in question.

Simply put, we always regress to who we are behaviorally.  I’m low rules, so that means I naturally buck at any situation that tells me exactly what to do if I see opportunity to make something better, and of course, do my own thing.

It’s a dimension like that that matters when coaching someone. I have to control that, otherwise it could be a problem.

Below you’ll see some eye candy to an exercise I did on Using Assessments to Build Better Teams as part of the Manager Training series we have at Kinetix (called BOSS – Leadership Skills for the Modern Manager).  The assessment used isn’t the key – you can plug in your own assessment for these exercises as part of training for your managers and get great results.

The exercise below outlines a Marketing Manager who is showing little creativity in their work and a manager at large who has chronic deadline issues with work coming out of his group.  It works through how a manager can prepare and use behavioral data to make the employee in question more self aware of where they may trip up.

Take a look and use it if you can.

Most of all, do something in 2017 to make your behavioral assessment earn its keep POST-HIRE.  Your assessment is capable of that – it’s more about you than it is about the tool.

PS – Low Rules people are the best.  Just ask them.



FOT Note: This rant is brought to you by the good folks at Meridian, who like us enough to be an annual sponsor at FOT for all content in our learning and development track (and don’t expect that we run any of this by them ahead of time). They’re also up for having fun to the extent that they’re sponsoring the Learning and Development Hangout Series. Check it out!