Firing Freeze: Using Assessment Tools To Put The Right People In The Right Place

"I'm sorry, but this just isn't working, I think it's best if we part company."

Have you been on the giving or receiving side of that statement? Do you recall the unpleasant sense of regret, the foreshadowing and worry that led to those words?

A performance-based dismissal is typically preceded by a period of discomfort when everyone realizes there's a bad fit to the job. Remedial steps may be taken in the interest of fairness, but there's a sense that the situation will not improve. During this interim period, productivity dives, momentum is lost, and morale deteriorates as fellow employees watch and wait for the inevitable.

Since dismissals commonly play out like this, it is paramount to simply put the right person in the right place from the start. One way to determine whether or not there's a "job fit" between the prospective employee and your business is by using assessments.

Assessments can measure and accurately describe an individual's attributes. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, "...appropriate use of professionally developed assessment tools enables organizations to make more effective employment-related decisions than the use of observation or random decision making,"

You can integrate assessments into your operations from pre-hire through retirement. The goal is to address people challenges before they negatively affect your business. Information from assessments can help you diminish or avoid negative impact.

Properly used, assessments help managers better understand themselves and the people they supervise. They provide information on capabilities, capacity, behavioral style, compatibility with the business, and employee perceptions of management.

Typically, 60 percent of a manager's time is spent fixing people problems and 40 percent of it is spent reaching the company's goals. Using assessment tools to reduce people-related problems gives managers more time to work toward achieving those goals.

Decision-making improves when a business has more complete information about job candidates and employees. Promotion and succession-planning decisions are enhanced, and training programs become more effective. When each individual's "occupational DNA" has been examined through an assessment, decisions can be tailored to an individual's specific needs and characteristics.

There is tremendous potential for greater efficiency when assessments help match the prospective employee or existing employee's talents to the talents the position requires. Using assessments, any business can provide the right fit between jobs and employees. The results change average performance into winning performance. Research across a broad cross-section of businesses makes it clear that people are happiest and most productive when their competencies and core behavioral traits are well aligned with their jobs.

Published: March 14th, 2012

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