To become a leader of a successful team you have to work hard, learn your own and your employees’ strengths and values, as well as explore in which way each individual performs best.
Let’s take an example. Having worked hard, you hired and trained a great management team. Jamie joined you four months ago; he’s got a direct style of communication and many bright ideas. He rocks at starting new projects but is weak on finishing them. Ann, on the contrary, is wonderful at working on details. He always has her projects finished but is not initiative enough. Joey keeps everyone engaged and motivated, he’s a stellar team builder. Yet, he should improve his time management skills. Every time you end up reminding him to have the projects finished timely. Lisa is intelligent and bright but is unsociable. She’d rather stay at her working place and communicate with her colleagues by sending emails. You can’t help asking yourself, “Why can’t they simply be like me?”
In the older days, the approach of many managers towards their colleagues used to be narrow. Often, those people who didn’t respond to their style of management seemed to them to be defective. They evaluated people, being guided by a persuasion “one size fits all”. Today’s managers know that they can find in workers eight different, yet predictable styles of work or behavior patterns.
In practice, managers or individuals who have no idea of such common patterns of behavior would unintentionally destroy their own or other’s personal effectiveness. Managers, who understand such differences and uniqueness, gain a stronger position. They understand and manage people better, lessen frustration, and can lead workers to a higher level of productivity and morale. Their efforts result in higher rates of retention.
Assessments and testing of personality traits gain popularity among organizations. They are applied both to managers and workers. Back in the 90’s, only 5% of companies from the Fortune 500 list used assessments of some type. Nowadays, this figure climbs as high as 65%. According to a study conducted in 2000 by the US Management Association, half of the polled employers used one or more assessments in the process of interviewing applicants.
The benefits of the assessment include:
- Workers realize own strengths, identify jobs that suit them best, and develop a plan to surmount shortcomings.
- HR managers can predict the success of a job applicant before he/she is hired.
- Owners of business understand work style and temperament of each manager and employee.
- Supervisors can give feedback on the performance of workers in an understandable style that they would accept and use to improve their performance and professional development.
- Co-workers improve understanding, communication and enhance the personal
- Sales managers improve the process of selection, hiring, development, and motivating super sales workers.
As an example, one company introduced assessments, to improve the process of recruiting and hiring people. Earlier, this company basically used to listen to their “gut” and would hire new workers based on their resume only. Many of the hired newcomers created conflicts, showed poor work ethics, and generally had a bad influence on co-workers.
Assessments let the abovementioned company create a graphic benchmark of the best performers. They gained the ability to identify behaviors, values and emotional competencies essential for the company’s success, and based on each department’s needs and requirements (such as customer service, sales, management, assurance of quality, technical support, etc.)
They developed a roadmap leading to success. Things they identified in it were motivation, behavior patterns, styles of communication, and best employees’ attitudes. To put it differently, they cloned the top performers.
Such assessment can measure values, behavior, individual interests and attitudes with 85 percent of accuracy. Now this company can reject applicants who have great interview skills and an impressive resume but don’t fit a job they apply for. The new approach reduces frustration significantly and saves the company thousands of dollars.
Any of the assessments the today’s market offers can be run online with a surprising number of details. One of the assessments we know provides 25+ pages of guidance including:
- Overall characteristics
- Value an organization gains
- Communicating checklist
- Communicating taboos
- Environment needed for perfect work
- Motivating keys
- Managing keys
- Areas to improve
- Top 12 competencies of leadership
- Plan of actions for general improvement
Successful programs of management development firstly start with an analysis of self. A manager who understands styles of behavior can create a roadmap to enhance communication and improve potentials. One of the assessments identifies 8 unique patterns of behavior workers may fall in. These styles of behavior are:
Very often, management consultants are asked to help the groups of employees who may experience difficulties working in one team and thus can’t meet objectives.
Here’s one more example of a company which couldn’t reach the sales goals, and asked a management consultant to help them out. Their problem was solved, once a behavior assessment was completed on each of the company’s directors. As it came out, the executive director and two assistant directors shared the same style of personality – they all couldn’t stand confrontation. By nature, these people were ready to do anything to please those around them. They also liked to keep others accountable. Having understood their natural dispositions, they could adapt and learn to manage effectively.
It’s more advantageous to develop people rather than fire them. Having understood the differences in behavior, a company can adjust motivations of employees to own missions. Assessments help workers to reduce conflicts and understand each other better. More than that, c-workers learn to cherish each other’s unique abilities and strengths. Keeping this in mind, managers and whole organizations can take the abilities of their workers to the highest level, and develop each employee into a stellar performer.