Many articles have been written about reducing turnover as it is one of the most costly transitions a company can suffer through. But recently, employers are shifting their thinking and starting to look at "turnover" as a turn for the better...in some cases.
When six-figure-earning "Negative Nelly" leaves her position, by her own choice or that of the company, she takes her bad attitude, high salary, low morale, lack of loyalty, and antiquated ideas with her, making room for a new go-getter with a starting salary, new enthusiasm, and fresh perspectives. Then there is "Superstar Susie" with a similar salary, high productivity, extreme loyalty, a constant desire to always improve, and a drive to move up in the company...or move on. How will you know to hang on or let go?
Start with Simple Observation
Determining if employees are "keepers" can begin by watching, listening, and sensing. How does the employee...regardless where they are on the organizational chart...interact with others? Does he smile? Is she a top performer? However, observation is not always reliable. It could be easy to see "Steady Steve's" punctuality and promising performance as potential for promotion when, by digging deeper, you find that Steve would stink at managing people.
Many of our clients benefit by using our Aptitude Assessment to help them find out if they should promote Steve. Being a loyal, conscientious, productive employee in XYZ position is super important, but that does not equate to being the right person to promote for XYZ manager. Many companies promote the best sales person who becomes now the worst sales manager. Now what do they do to rectify that mistake?
We have conducted many studies over the year by assessing top- and bottom-performing managers. Assertiveness is definitely one of the most important traits for managers. I'm not recommending that you want "super assertive" managers either. The optimum scores typically run from the 50th to the 80th percentile of the population.
Another super important trait is cognitive abilities, which measures how slow to quick the person learns. How much can they handle on their plate from a cognitive standpoint and how well will they problem solve.
These are two critical examples that help you identify which candidate is better suited for the manager role. Desired scores will vary depending upon several factors involved. There are many other examples and traits to look for on this assessment to determine who to promote or hire as it measures nineteen traits.
Assess and Capitalize on Their Strengths
There is a direct correlation between your interest in your employees and their performance. The more attention you give in supporting their strengths and training and cross-training them to be able to grow both personally and professionally, the higher their desire to be productive and the better they will perform. One of the top reasons top performers give for dissatisfaction at work is the feeling that management doesn't care about their success. By discovering strengths, uncovering desires, and providing additional coaching for "Willing-and-Able William," you can help him become "Be-All-You-Can-Be Bill."
There are several assessments to consider for this example. The Aptitude Assessment is applicable as it will not only help managers know what areas are realistic to work on, but it will also help managers better understand why the person behaves or performs as they do in certain situations. This will not only make managers better managers, but it will also help reduce frustrations, stress, and other emotions by better understanding the employees that they are supervising.
Right Person, Right Job
Is "Struggling Stella" having trouble because she's not good at her job, or because her job is not good for her? Is "Motivated Mike" really management material?
Before giving up on a hard-working, but having-a-hard-time employee or giving a promotion to a highly productive, but problem-producing team member, find out if the job is a good fit. And if you are hiring to replace "Negative Nelly," be sure "Superstar Susie" is the right choice.
No matter what sport you follow, each player has their strengths and weaknesses as do employees. If a football player runs the 40-yard dash in 55 seconds, he's not going to be your wide receiver. If he's 5'10" and 200 pounds, he is not going to play the line. Sports have more stats than us managers will ever have on our employees...especially prospective employees. Sports team continue to make mistakes too, but their odds of making a more informed decision is higher due to all these stats that are available to them.
Predicting future behavior and performances are not easy. We human beings are very complicated with some of us being much more so than others. They say that staying married is a lot of work, which is true. Hiring the right person, promoting the right person, and managing employees is no walk in the park either.
Be diligent and use appropriate measures and methods that predict with accuracy so that you can learn more about each person's strengths and weaknesses, which in turn will help you do a better job of hiring, promoting, coaching, training, and developing your employees to reach their full potential.