SELECT PERSPECTIVES BLOG

Do High Assessment Scores Always Lead to Better Job Performance? [Whitepaper]

Posted by  Ted Kinney, Ph.D.

job-assessment.jpgThe relationships between employee assessment scores and critical outcome variables, such as job performance and turnover, are not always clear cut. It is important to understand that such relationships do not always follow the linear pattern that most assessment vendors assume. There are certain situations in which we are more or less likely to see that linear trend.

For example, as the economy continues to improve, we are seeing turnover rates on the rise. The reason being, there are more alternative employment options available to employees and they are often easily accessible via the internet. Employees literally have these alternatives at their fingertips. Under such conditions, we cannot make broad claims that hiring individuals based on top assessment scores will always lead to reductions in turnover.


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How a Hiring Process Can Improve Employee Performance [Case Study]

Posted by  Mark Rogers

employee-selection-1Improving safety and employee performance should be high on the to-do list for almost every company in America and with good reason. Unfortunately, it’s much easier said than done. Companies struggle every day to improve in both of these areas. Even industry giants like DuPont have safety issues – they were recently cited by OSHA for a number of safety violations. If you run a company, large or small, and want to improve safety and employee performance, where do you start?

A leading manufacturer recently decided to make improving the quality of its workforce and reducing safety incidents a major initiative. Not that this company had any major safety incidents, but they always strive to improve. Management decided to tackle this situation from all angles, and they started with the hiring process.


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Would You Pick A Boring Job?

Posted by  Amie Lawrence, Ph.D.

Ponder this question - if you had to sit in a chair for 5 minutes, would you rather sit there quietly with nothing to do (no television, smartphone, music, or reading or writing materials) or solve some puzzles to pass the time? If you were paid for your time, do you think you should get paid more for solving puzzles than just sitting there?


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Tips for Employee Feedback

Posted by  Alissa Parr, Ph.D.

One big myth of employee feedback systems is that all supervisors want to give feedback and all subordinates want to receive it. It’s often, if not always, the case that supervisors want their employees to grow and develop but apprehension grows when faced with the idea of providing negative feedback to employees. Similarly, subordinates want to improve their skills and performance but may be hesitant to hear this information from their supervisor. Therefore, it’s important to consider best practices of feedback giving so supervisors can be more confident in giving feedback and subordinates can be more willing to hear feedback and then take actionable steps to improve.

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1. Establish a feedback environment. A feedback environment should be one that promotes learning to achieve both organizational and individual goals. In such environments, feedback is easily accessible and salient. The less effort employees need to exert to receive feedback, the more likely they will be to obtain it. Essentially, feedback environments promote employees to actively seek feedback. Those who more actively seek feedback tend to have higher performance than those who do not seek feedback and, as a result, they are more likely to use the feedback to promote change. Providing an environment that is safe for inquiry and that minimizes effort on the part of the employee is important—especially since those who need it most might not be seeking it.

2. Focus on feedback content. While feedback is helpful for improving performance, the degree of improvement is largely dependent on the content of the feedback. Feedback interventions are much more effective when feedback is task-focused and simple. Furthermore, being specific to the task can increase learning because employees can envision how to make effective changes. It’s also important to give feedback relative to a neutral standard, rather than in comparisons to peers. Individuals are less likely to accept feedback when it is focused on the self, rather than the task, and when compared to peers it can hurt individuals’ self-concepts.

3. Consider feedback delivery. It is often the case that employees will have some areas for development and therefore how supervisors present this information is very important. First, while delivering this information, it is important to maintain a sense of respect throughout. Even though some of the information may be challenging to deliver, maintaining composure can help prevent reactance from employees. Showing one’s credibility and status of being knowledgeable of the information presented will help to gain acceptance. So, it’s important to be prepared prior to the session. Second, when presenting the material, it’s helpful to start with strengths to spur feedback acceptance. Following, areas for development should be presented while keeping in mind it’s good to have a balance of strengths and areas for development. It’s often the case that providing a few unfavorable statements or areas for development motivates employees to make changes and therefore is a critical part of the session. To facilitate changes, supervisors can engage in goal-setting with employees to more concretely understand the steps they can take to improve their areas for development. This will help employees to focus less on the short-term, and more on long-term steps they can take to develop. Developmental reports resulting from assessments can be very helpful in generating ideas for goal-setting.

Taking into account these three best practices, employees should be more inclined to want to receive feedback and take actionable steps to improve. Since there will be less reactance and more acceptance from employees, supervisors can be more confident in delivering feedback— a win-win situation for the supervisor and subordinate.


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How to Change Employee Behavior

Posted by  Steven Jarrett, Ph.D.

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One of the things that HR professionals, I/O Psychologists and organizations as whole struggle with on a daily basis is changing our behaviors or the behaviors of our employees. For instance, these could be performance-related behaviors, safety-related behaviors or any other behaviors observed in the workplace. Organizations should really focus on two kinds of factors to change their employees’ behavior, whether that be with a reward structure of their choosing or the way that they’re providing feedback to employees.

Employees are going to inevitably repeat behaviors for which they are rewarded. For example, if an employee is rewarded for their productivity, he or she is going to focus on productive behaviors and, as a result, this will help to drive productivity. If an employee is rewarded on safety, he or she is going to focus on those safety behaviors – after all, that’s where the rewards come from –  and you’ll observe employees repeating behaviors that are more safety-oriented and promote safety in the workplace. It’s important for organizations to find that balance between their organizational goals and their reward structure and try to promote the behaviors that will reward their employees and allow them to achieve those organizational goals in the end.


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3 Tips for Giving Employee Feedback

Posted by  Alissa Parr, Ph.D.

One big myth of employee feedback systems is that all supervisors want to give feedback and all subordinates want to receive it. It’s often, if not always, the case that supervisors want their employees to grow and develop but apprehension grows when faced with the idea of providing negative feedback to employees. Similarly, subordinates want to improve their skills and performance but may be hesitant to hear this information from their supervisor. Therefore, it’s important to consider best practices of feedback giving so supervisors can be more confident in giving feedback and subordinates can be more willing to hear feedback and then take actionable steps to improve.


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5 Ways to Fail at Human Capital Management in Your Organization

Posted by  Amber Thomas

If failure is your goal, here's your 5-step plan (although we really hope you'll learn from these mistakes):

1.  Select and promote leaders with paltry leadership skills.  A leader with the emotional intelligence to engage with his or her staff will have a better understanding of the needs of each employee. Equipped with this understanding, the exemplary leader will demonstrate a commitment to human capital and will invest time and energy into mentoring, coaching and training each group member.  Helping organizations identify and develop effective leaders is a large part of what we do.  But if your goal is to ignore the potential of human capital in your organization, invest as little time and energy into selecting and developing leaders as possible. 


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Keeping Top Talent at Your Company Isn’t All About Luck

Posted by  Amber Thomas


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Not All Job Performance Measures are Created Equal

Posted by  Kate Van Bremen, Ph.D.

Most HR professionals spend a good deal of time job_performanceresearching what tools to include in their employee selection process, as well they should.  However, significantly less time is spent considering what it is they’re trying to predict.  But job Performance is important:


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