How well do you know your people?

Are you sometimes surprised by how people respond differently to changing business environments? The American workplace is a fluid environment that is constantly changing and this is especially true of the combinations of people that need to work together. Today’s managers have to make critical decisions in an ever changing, dynamic and culturally diverse workplace. This requires an in-depth knowledge of each person’s strengths and weaknesses and guessing at this exponentially increases the risks to the business.

In most businesses this knowledge is accumulated over a long period of time through an expensive process of trial and error. One challenge with this is that the loss of the manager results in the loss of a tremendous amount of very expensive tribal knowledge. This is even more important when you consider the new hire. In this case the new person coming into the team is largely an unknown. Through the interview process we learned a little bit about them and expanded our knowledge with reference checking and some skill tests but in reality we know next to nothing about the real person. So the manager is faced with the job of fitting an unknown person into a poorly documented existing team. It is no wonder that this does not work sometimes.

While there is no substitution for a personal relationship with another person, you can rapidly gain a better perspective of another person through the use of psychometric assessments. This tool gives the manager a better understanding of the core characteristics of employees and improves their ability to make team decisions that work better. If your objective is to increase employee performance, improve employee communication, provide leadership training and development, reduce turnover, improve employee motivation, increase sales, or hire the right person this tool needs to be in your toolbox.

So what is a Psychometric Assessment? Simply stated it is a profile of the attributes of the person’s personality. It helps you understand strengths, weaknesses, and values/perspective that person uses to make decisions. It advances your knowledge of the job match attributes of that person. We all know that different personality types perform at different levels depending on the challenge at hand. For example an entrepreneurial personality is not likely to be happy in a very structured and repetitive work place but they are incredibly valuable in new product development.

The areas measured by these assessments include: Learning Index, Verbal Skill, Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Ability, Numeric Reasoning, Energy Level, Assertiveness, Sociability, Manageability, Attitude, Decisiveness, Accommodating, Independence, and Objective Judgment. Beyond these measurements it also identifies their interests including Enterprising, Financial/Admin, People Service, Technical, Creative, and Mechanical.

As a business grows, eventually it becomes impossible to know everyone at a personal level. People have many facets to them and these assessments can help you discover things that could take years of working with the person. These tests are not perfect and there is no single answer to how to deal the diverse workforce of today but the more you information you have the better your decisions can be. The question you have to ask yourself is do you have the time to use trial and error or should you step up to something more scientific.

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