Boost Productivity in Tough Times By Getting Connected to Your People

“Watch your words: they become your thoughts.
Watch your thoughts: they become your actions.
Watch your actions: they become your habits.
Watch your habits: they become your destiny.”

Frank Outlaw

Personality tests not only help when hiring, they just might be a manager’s best tool to connect with employees.

You can manage the hard way or the easy way, the choice is up to you.  The hard way is to be the “my way or the highway” type of boss.  You know the kind, always forcing workers to do things in a way that isn’t natural for them. Wouldn’t it be better to use your understanding of personality traits to tap into the natural flow so you can get the best out of your people? Of course, knowing your employees, understanding their concerns, and developing connected relationships with them should be the normal procedure for all managers.

What is the payoff to a manager for developing connected relationships with employees using personality assessments? Here are three good benefits. First, it enables the manager to better anticipate what roadblocks might occur with a worker, and what to try to reduce this resistance. Second, understanding where employees are coming from will help you plan out how much participation you need from them, and will give some clues as to how change should be communicated to them. Third, building connected relationships builds commitment and loyalty.

Take The Connected Leader Test

How connected are you as a manager?  To find out, we asked our colleague Dr. Bruce Heller, an industrial psychologist with 20 years experience, to help us design a quick connected leader self test.  Once you answer the questions, we will provide you with specific tips and ideas that you can begin to implement immediately.  For most managers, leadership does not come naturally.  The tips we share will help you to become a better listener and a more connected leader.  Employee buy-in comes when a manager is able to listen attentively, understand their needs and concerns, and to lead using your natural style.

To read more about this topic and how to use in-depth work style and personality assessments during your selection process as well as gathering mentoring and coaching ideas, you can order our book, Cracking The Personality Code by visiting www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com.

To begin taking the connected leadership test, please click here.

To sum up, we all want to be understood. Employee buy-in comes when a manager is able to listen attentively, understand them as people and to lead naturally.

Dana Borowka

P.S. Discover the importance of personal style and fit when trying to hire top talent by taking our Hiring Methodology Assessment. After determining that the candidate can achieve the required results, you can then determine how you'll get along with them and whether they'll be a fit in your culture. Style and fit are two important elements to measure for a successful hire. Take the assessment and discover whether you're effectively measuring these two elements.

Is Your Organization Going To Make It To 2010 and Beyond? Part 2

We focused on the question above in part one of this article. If this is keeping you up at night, we have some additional ideas for you to consider and implement so your organization will not only make it through the current storm but will thrive well into the future!   You’ll know by reading this article if your ship is heading towards the rocks, towards the open sea or on a clear course to your destination.

A Checklist for Success

  • When selecting the crew – have a clear understanding of the ideal crew member and have a system and process to assure you have selected the correct crew members. This can be done through interviewing and asking questions for specific examples and compare those answers to what an ideal crew member would do. Gather as much data as possible from reference and background checks as well as provide an in-depth work style and personality assessment with Lighthouse Consulting Services.  The information should be used to validate the interview responses, background and reference checks.
  • Ask each current crew member for feedback on where they see the team and themselves could be more efficient in the market place within the next 30-60-90 days. This means that everyone on your ship needs to have their eyes and ears open to seeing where it might be possible to improve and enhance processes, structure, services, customer service, etc.
  • Captains and officers need to listen to everyone and create a truly open environment. Come up with three things that you can do that will make that happen.
  • Define what the ideal crew member would possess in skills, work style and personality and make it measurable.
  • Assist the current crew to fulfill that role. Make sure you have an in-depth work style and personality assessment of your crew members so you’ll have the insight to help everyone thrive and to get the best performance from every member of the team.  You’ll want to know how someone problem-solves, deals with stress, makes decisions, processes information, creates and follows up on leads, etc.  This will help to ensure that you have the right person in the correct position so they can perform to the best of their ability.  Contact us at reception@lighthouseconsulting.com to get started.

If you have the right team in place, your organization will be able to deal with the many challenges that will come along during the voyage. The key is to hire right the first time and to assist those on board to be the best that they can be.  This will lead to happy customers, happy employees, innovation for the future, efficiency for delivery of the product or service and of course, a profitable bottom line.

To take a leadership assessment to see if you have what it takes to help your organization sail well into the future, please click on this link:

http://www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com/LeadershipTest.php

You can gather additional ideas for working with your current and future crew members by reading Cracking The Personality Code. To order this book, go to: www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com.

Is your culture one of team work and does everyone in your company agree? Have them take our Company Cultural Assessment. CLICK HERE to download your assessment.

Is  your hiring methodology designed to attract top talent and weed out those candidates that embellish? You can download our 8 Point Hiring Methodology Assessment Scorecard and find out. CLICK HERE to download.

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC has over 25 years experience in the area of business consulting and helping organizations both nationally and internationally in raising the hiring bar through using in-depth work style assessments.  Dana is a nationally recognized speaker on this topic and has built a well recognized organization that provides expert interpretation of in-depth work style assessments during the hiring process, providing a variety of workshops and assisting those with communication challenges. He is the co-author of the book, “Cracking the Personality Code”.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA  90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our Website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth personality assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, conflict management, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.

How To Attract and Retain Sales and Customer Service People Using In-depth Work Style Personality Testing Part 2

How do you build up your sales and customer service force in a down economy? In part one of this article, we talked about some ways to attract and retain your sales and customer service people. Below are additional ways to use personality testing in the workplace to help attract and retain sales and customer service people:

1. Treat co-workers the way they want to be treated. In today’s fast-paced world of business, there is little time to get to know many of your co-workers. Using personality assessments as the basis for team building exercises can quickly get everyone to have a healthier respect for other ways of seeing the world.

2. Get everybody to play nice. Sales and IT, customer service and marketing, operations and financial people have to interact to make the company run smoothly. Too many employees get frustrated with other co-workers and just wonder why everyone doesn’t act like them. Through the use of personality profiles, managers can coach employees on how to interact better with peers.

3. Make managers better leaders.  The days of seat of the pants leadership are over.  When sales and customer service managers understand what makes their people tick, then they can be better leaders. Make sure you provide a 24 hour service.  From time to time quoting few funny sales quotes and knowing personality traits can help with motivating teams, communicating change and delegating authority.

4. Pick better teams. Today so much work is done by ad hoc teams that come together for a specific purpose.  Before you assemble a sales or customer service team it pays to know the strengths and weaknesses of the team members.  Sometimes this can be the difference between a productive team that gets the job done and one that pulls apart at the seams.

5. Set people up for success.  Sometimes we hire the right employee and put them in the wrong job.  Understanding preferred work styles and where a person would be happiest goes a long way to improving retention and productivity.

While in-depth work style & personality testing can be a valuable resource before you hire sales and customer service people, perhaps the true value of any assessment comes in using the insights it provides along the entire spectrum of employment. Personality assessments lend objectivity to decisions that may otherwise be largely subjective.

If this was helpful to you then it will be helpful to others. Consider passing it along to your team, emailing it to your network or updating  your status on Linkedin. Helping others is always a good thing.

Remember, it is not how many great people you hire. The true measure is how many great people you keep! For more information, please visit our Web site , www.lighthouseconsulting.com to sign up for our Open Line webinars and monthly articles.

You can download the recording from our radio show on Retaining Top Talent with Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognition. This is a two part series. CLICK HERE to download.

Join our Linkedin group Hiring and Retaining Top Talent. Lots of discussions and articles on this topic. CLICK HERE to join.

Author Bio

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC has over 25 years experience in the area of business consulting and helping organizations both nationally and internationally in raising the hiring bar through using in-depth work style assessments. Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.  To order the book, “Cracking the Personality Code” please go to www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com.

Optimize Your Staffing Decisions by Using In-depth Work Style and Personality Assessment Tools; Part 2

As mentioned in part one of this article, the wrong hiring decision can cost your company well over two to three times the individual’s salary according to Barry Deutsch, Impact Hiring Solutions. This figure may be a conservative estimate because of factors like training, evaluation, termination, re-initiating the hiring process, and lost opportunity costs. There is also an emotional factor involved in a bad hire situation. Not only can it cause stress and anxiety for both management and employees, but it also takes away focus from your company’s primary goals. Essentially, a bad hire can have a negative impact on your company’s bottom line and that won’t benefit you or your workforce.

These circumstances can be minimized during the initial hiring process by using several techniques including effective recruitment programs, skilled interviewing and in-depth work style and personality assessment tests. A personality assessment is a highly effective tool and an efficient use of company resources at this crucial point of the decision making process.

Which Personality Assessment Tool Should My Organization Use?

The following are some things to think about when reviewing various work style & personality profiles:

  1. Training or degrees required for interpretation of the data. Weekend training programs can be problematic since testing and human behavior is a very complex subject. When making hiring or internal decisions, organizations need as much information and understanding as possible as the consequences can be very costly.
  2. A copy of the resume should be supplied to the testing company to review when discussing the assessment results. We suggest that you make sure that they require this as part of the process so it is used when reviewing the assessment.
  3. Scale for “Impression Management” to understand accuracy of results and if someone is trying to ‘fake good’. The questionnaire needs a minimum of 164 questions to gather enough data for this scale.
  4. Common warning signs: When a representative uses absolute statements when describing human behavior, like ‘People are all the same’ or ‘People don’t change.’ This will convey what their level of understanding of the human personality is. Or when someone claims that their profile is 98 or 99% accurate, which rarely can be clinically supported. If you hear this, ask how the data was collected.
  5. Career Matching: Some organizations claim to know what the perfect “sales person” or “secretary” is from a personality perspective.  Ask how many careers and occupations have been studied; is the data base validated by outside organizations or only by “applied in-house studies”? “Ideal” is very difficult to define due to the variance of geography, job history and education. What is most important is if the individual has a similar thought pattern that meets the criteria within the job description.
  6. Number of clinical studies conducted by major universities. There should be multiple studies for validation purposes.
  7. How long has the profile been used – what is the history?
  8. How often is the normative database updated and where is the data coming from? (For example, U.S. Census 1990, 2000)
  9. Cultural bias – is it built into the profile and for which countries?
  10. Does the profile meet U.S. government employment standards? Has it been reviewed for ADA compliance & gender, culture & racial bias?
  11. Reading level required (5th grade English, etc).
  12. Number of profiles administered.
  13. Number of actual primary scales as defined by the “Big 5” testing standards. Many tests will claim to have more scales than they actually have – this can lead to misrepresentation of data.
  14. Does the data provide the depth necessary to understand how an individual is wired inside?
  15. Validity, reliability and basis.

These are some general questions and if a profile falls short in any one area, we strongly suggest additional research into the accuracy of the data being generated.

 

Conclusion

A personality assessment is only one component needed for a successful recruitment and hiring program. It can provide valuable information for critical personnel decisions. Combined with an effective recruitment program and skilled interview techniques, it can benefit your company as a whole, in addition to your individual employees. Armed with accurate and quantifiable data from an in-depth personality assessment, the interview process becomes much more reliable. Ultimately, this only adds to your organization’s bottom line, allowing more effective management of your existing workforce and limiting the potential for wrong hiring decisions. For more information, please visit our Web ite, www.lighthouseconsulting.com to sign up for our Open Line webinars and monthly articles.

Do you know your companies culture? Would others in your company describe it the same? Take our Company Culture Assessment to find out. It is FREE to download CLICK HERE.

Author Bio:

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC has over 25 years experience in the area of business consulting and helping organizations both nationally and internationally in raising the hiring bar through using in-depth work style assessments. Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.  To order the book, “Cracking the Personality Code” please go to www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com.

Optimize Your Staffing Decisions by Using In-depth Work Style and Personality Assessment Tools

The wrong hiring decision can cost your company well over two to three times the individual’s salary according to Barry Deutsch, IMPACT Hiring Solutions. This figure may be a conservative estimate because of factors like training, evaluation, termination, re-initiating the hiring process, and lost opportunity costs. There is also an emotional factor involved in a bad hire situation. Not only can it cause stress and anxiety for both management and employees, but it also takes away focus from your company’s primary goals. Essentially, a bad hire can have a negative impact on your company’s bottom line and that won’t benefit you or your workforce.

You must know how and who to hire for the best of your company. This is where HR skills come into the picture. Visit the Ush Dhanak website to learn more about HR and its implementation.

These circumstances can be minimized during the initial hiring process by using several techniques including effective recruitment programs, skilled interviewing, and in-depth work style and personality assessment tests. A personality assessment is a highly effective tool at see if the basics of decision making are part of a persons personality and an efficient use of company resources at this crucial point.

In-depth Work Style & Personality Assessment Testing – A Standard in Recruiting

As with any business decision, having the right information is critical. Work style and personality assessment testing can provide insight into potential hires, as well as your current workforce, in several ways:

  • Identify potential red flags: A personality assessment can discover issues that are sometimes overlooked during the interviewing process and can quantify an intuition or feeling the interviewer may have about a particular candidate. It can be used to identify potential red flags concerning behavioral issues, help to understand how to manage individuals for greater work performance and compare interpersonal dynamics of teams, departments and candidates.
  • Learn how to optimize employee work performance: A personality assessment can provide extensive information on an individual’s abilitdey to work with their job responsibilities, team dynamics and company culture. Additionally, the assessment can show effective strategies to gain optimal performance from that individual within their particular work environment. It can also be employed to quickly identify the most effective management style for a new employee or predict how team members are likely to interact.
  • Ensure you have the right people in the right positions: Additionally, personality assessments can be utilized in rehires, or situations which call for employees to re-apply for their current jobs, as in the case of a corporate merger or restructuring. A personality assessment test can also ensure that your company continues to have the right people in the right positions and distributes assets & talents effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

A frequent question from companies and organizations concerns the legal guidelines in administering assessments to potential employees. Industry regulations can vary, and the best option is to consult with your company’s trade association or legal department. As a general rule, if your company uses an assessment, any test or set of hiring questions must be administered to all of the final candidates in order to assure that discrimination is not present. Additional information can be found online at the EEOC Web site, in the Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Examinations of Employees section: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/guidance-inquiries.html#2.

Conclusion

A personality assessment is only one component needed for a successful recruitment and hiring program. It can provide valuable information for critical personnel decisions. Combined with an effective recruitment program and skilled interview techniques, it can benefit your company as a whole, in addition to your individual employees. Armed with accurate and quantifiable data from an in-depth personality assessment, the interview process becomes much more reliable. Ultimately, this only adds to your organization’s bottom line, allowing more effective management of your existing workforce and limiting the potential for wrong hiring decisions. For more information, please visit our Web site at, www.lighthouseconsulting.com to sign up for our Open Line webinars and monthly articles.

Ellen and Dana Borowka

Join our Linkedin Hiring and Retaining Top  Talent Group for more articles and discussions. CLICK HERE to join.

Download a FREE chapter on Sourcing Top Talent from our best selling book, “You're NOT The Person I Hired” over 10,000 sold. CLICK HERE to get your free chapter.

Author Bio:

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC has over 25 years experience in the area of business consulting and helping organizations both nationally and internationally in raising the hiring bar through using in-depth work style assessments.  Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.  To order the book, “Cracking the Personality Code” please go to www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com.