A long time ago, too long to actually confess when in this forum, I took a “personality test” designed to help my company decide which business unit my character traits and personality traits were best suited for. I was given the option to follow the guidelines of the test or to go against the recommendation and be hired into the other business unit. The company said that they would hire me for either business unit. I was smart enough to understand the value that my (soon to be) employer placed on this test, so I went with the recommendation of the test. I can honestly say, that was one of the most accurate personal profiles of myself that I have ever taken. And, it opened up a very successful career for me. Had I gone against the recommendation, I am sure that I would have left the company after 2 years.
Fast forward the tape several years (Ha! Thought you were going to catch me didn’t you?) and my…how things have changed in this space. Personality testing has given way to Talent Analytics and a whole new way of looking at employees and productivity. Today, forward thinking companies are using talent analytics in a predictive sort of way. By better understanding employees motivators, drivers, capacity, etc. companies can improve (shorten) the on-boarding process and make new hires more productive sooner in the their careers. This new knowledge also provides a road map for companies to understand what roles within the company an employee can fill, therefore, allowing the company to develop a customized career development plan for each employee. This not only reduces turnover and the associated cost; it leads to happier, more productive employees.
Talent analytics also make managers better at their roles. Now managers have a window into what makes their employees tick. This allows for customization of plans that develop the employee in a manner that works for them, leading to higher than average performance from that employee. Prior to the use of talent analytics, companies “customized” employee plans in name only. Managing reps and employees was an ad hoc adventure, leading to mixed results at best. Everyone had the same objectives and were expected to perform the same tasks, yet the company professed to have “unique” plans tailored to the individual. Now, there is accurate information available on every employee which takes much of the guesswork out of managing people. For business, the investment in people pays off faster than they would otherwise experience without using this data. For employees, it provides comfort in knowing that the company “gets them” and has developed a legit development plan that will challenge them. In these situations, employees will always work harder for companies who demonstrate a continued investment in them.
I strongly encourage you to use talent analytics to assess your team and coach them to their maximum performance. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how this tool can help your company achieve its goals.