Profiles International - Victoria    eNewsletter   May 2010 

Going Nowhere Fast? There's An Assessment for That     
A popular country song title, "Going Nowhere and Getting There Fast," fits well the philosophy of some organisations. They have an idea of what they want, and maybe a notion about how to achieve their goal. But they set forth on the journey without a plan and little knowledge about what works and what does not.

Sometimes this practice—also known as flying by the seat of your pants—works. For a brief period, the organisation might soar with the eagles. More often, it never gets high enough to see anything but tail feathers before coming to a humiliating halt.

With so much knowledge in the workplace about the best way to get somewhere, why does anyone want to fly by the seat of his pants? Yes, sustained success takes hard work and is not for sissies, but it provides long-term gratification. Unlike getting nowhere fast, which provides short-term excitement but little else.

Aberdeen Group, which provides organisations with facts that make a difference, has studied top organisations and their practices. Its researchers have discovered that, no matter the type of organisation, the best ones have these things in common:
• They use assessments with more employees than do other organisations.
• They use assessments more frequently than do other organisations.
• They use assessments more consistently than do other organisations.

Aberdeen calls these organisations Best in Class, and discovered that they are more than three times likely to have a clear process of assessing new employees during their first year than do "Laggards"—Aberdeen's name for organisations that trail behind the best in important measures of how the organisation is doing. Also, Best in Class companies are twice as likely to assess workers who have stayed with a company longer than a year.

The numbers show that assessments succeed because workers who have bought into performance expectations, as well as their companys plans for development, have a strong connection to their companies. Simply put, they are engaged.

Lets look at each of the three uses of assessments listed above to determine what each means:
Using assessments with more employees. Some organisations start out slowly with assessments. They might use them only with executives, for example. Perhaps they are trying to develop a succession plan, or build a team for a project. They may use them only when recruiting and hiring new workers. They may use them only when they have a problem they want to solve. Research shows that best-in-class companies use assessments with all employees. The march toward progress and growth begins with a single step, but this broad use of assessments gives every worker the message that all roles are important and every worker must meet a standard. This is an important message in an economy when more productivity is required from each person.

Using assessments more frequently. Every worker everywhere likely recognises the performance evaluation model. These glancing blows at how an employee is performing occur maybe once a year—if a worker is lucky—and often make both the manager and the employee uncomfortable. Better than nothing, yes. But they could be so much better! Instead of annual performance reviews, think of coaching sessions that occur daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the team members needs. Why not use an assessment to help determine which workers are the right ones for a team, depending on their needs and competencies? That is a way of using reviews in a positive way, to choose the right employee for the role, instead of a negative way. Or how about using assessments for retraining workers when changes in the organisations occur? Best-in-class organisations fill in the blanks, using assessments when they need them. This is a key element of training a workforce to be first-class.

Using assessments consistently. When people say they dont like surprises, they generally mean that they dont like unpleasant surprises—like those that inconsistency brings. Such surprises include not telling workers how they are evaluated and chosen for leadership roles, what has to happen before their salaries increase, or not informing employees how they can be players on an important team. Employees need to know how things are done at their workplaces so they can play a part in exciting company changes, perhaps even volunteering for positions that no one else wants, or seeking retraining if necessary. Workers will buy into the way their employer does things if they get the chance to grow at their jobs and become the leaders. Responsible executives can avoid springing unpleasant surprises by being even-handed, and assessments help by providing objective guidance throughout the employee life cycle.

Organisations often need to move fast, but just as important is knowing the goal and having a clear idea of how to achieve it. Best in class operators are unfazed when they have to stop along the way to make adjustments in the pace. They know exactly what is working right and what requires repair and maintenance.Best in class organisations have a schedule for getting to their destination, and usually arrive right on time.

FROM BUD HANEYS DESK: Bud Haney, President Profiles International

The Most Serious Threat to Employers in this Recession May Be Its End

The following is information gained from HRMarketer:
Employers need to stay connected to their employees in order to stop them from jumping ship once the job market rebounds.

A recent workplace study by the Adecco Group, a global recruitment firm, found that more than half (54%) of employed adults report they are likely to look for new jobs once the economy turns around. This should be warning to employers that they risk losing their top performers if employee engagement and job satisfaction does not remain a priority.

Why jump ship?

The recession has meant longer hours and increased stress for those employees who are being asked to take on more with less by their employer. This leads to low morale, decreasing engagement and job dissatisfaction – all factors that cause employees to look for greener pastures elsewhere. The last thing employers want are their top performers leaving for a competitor when the job market picks up and the “war on talent” resumes.

If there is one thing employers need to know…It’s that retaining employees after the recession means staying connected to them during the recession when times are tough. Some employees may not feel comfortable speaking to their managers about their frustrations and lack of motivation in fear it will increase their chances of being let go, should the company need to make cuts. This is where HR needs to step in to help managers and the organisation as a whole stay connected to their employees.

How can employers stay connected?

Have regular conversations

Open the lines of communication by ensuring managers meet with employees on a one-on-one basis to talk about their role in the organisation. Executives must also communicate the company’s plans for the future to the company in order to keep everyone informed and aligned to current corporate objectives. When employees know what is going on they will focus on getting the most important things done.

Provide the resources employees need

Employees are not always prepared or trained for the new responsibilities or tasks that are thrust upon them by their managers. A lack of training leads to frustration and resentment because employees feel left in the dark with no one they can go to for help. HR needs to find the needed resources and offer opportunities that allow employees learn the skills required to perform their new tasks. This may include a mentor, company training sessions or cross-departmental team support.

This press release was distributed through PR Web by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: on behalf of Right Management.

Exercise Makes You Smarter: 5 Moves to a Brighter You
We all know, or have at least heard, that exercise is good for you. It reduces cholesterol, improves cardiovascular health, promotes weight loss, strengthens muscles and improves one’s overall sense of well-being. But did you know it also makes you smarter?

John Ratey, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain", says that exercise stimulates our grey matter to produce what he calls “Miracle-Grow” for the brain. His research shows how even regular brisk walks can boost memory, alleviate stress, enhance intelligence and calm aggression. Physical activity boosts blood flow to the part of the brain that is responsible for memory and learning, promoting the production of new brain cells.

You don’t have to become a marathon runner to benefit your brain. The mainstay of exercise is simple – try any of these moves to smarten up.
1. Take a brisk walk to increase your heart rate, boost oxygen intake and strengthen your core muscles.
2. Take the stairs. If you have stairs in your work environment, take advantage of them. Put on your walking shoes and make your way to the top floor to boost your heart rate and strengthen your legs and back and improve balance.
3. Join a group. Many communities have walking, jogging, biking or hiking groups at varied levels. Exercising with a group promotes accountability and provides valuable social connections.
4. Hit the gym! Classes like spin, step and other cardio focused exercises are ideal for those who are motivated by a structured exercise environment.
5. Learn a new hobby. Pick up tennis, racquetball or embark on a race training program to meet new people and discover what your capable of. You can do more than you think and boost your brain power in the process.

PPIs Team Analysis Turns Individuals into Invaluables
You have assembled an expert team of workers who fit their jobs well and are aligned with organisational goals. They are high performers, and you could not be more pleased with each of them individually.

Yet something important is off. Jason almost never appears satisfied with answers to his questions, feedback from his team leader—with anything, really. He is impatient and often grumbling, and his dissatisfaction is rubbing off on others. Yet he is extremely skilled at his job.

Jasons manager, Julie, consistently ensures her team is performing superbly by meeting deadlines and communicating well with internal and external clients. But there is friction between these two key players, and you have big plans for the team: a project that they will spend most of the year developing before presenting to external clients. You have a nagging feeling about their chronic inability to get along because you have seen small irritations between two people fester and grow until culminating in a huge blowup that threatens the entire team.

So right now, before you involve Julies team in the new project, step back and assess. Literally. Take a few minutes to examine the source of the friction and figure out how to dissolve it before it dissolves this high-performing team. Profiles Performance Indicator™ and its Team Analysis Report are the prescribed methods of finding the underlying cause of conflict on your team and improving communication. Its reports may help you form a new team, or figure out how to enhance Julies leadership skills so that the friction disappears.

Organisations appreciate PPIs aid in motivating and coaching employees and resolving performance issues. It measures a workers motivational intensity and actions related to:
• Productivity
• Quality of work
• Initiative
• Teamwork
• Problem solving
• Adapting to change
• Response to conflict, stress and frustration

The Team Analysis Report will help leaders:
• Form new teams
• Reduce team conflict
• Improve team communication
• Improve their ability to anticipate problems
• Enhance team leadership skills

PPI takes about 15 minutes to complete, and Julie will know the results immediately. So will you—before handing that new project to the team.


Going Nowhere Fast? There's an Assessment For That

The Most Serious Threat to Employers in this Recession May Be Its End

Exercise Makes You Smarter: 5 Moves to a Brighter You

PPIs Team Analysis Turns Individuals into Invaluables


Partner Training:
Training scheduled for 25th May. 

There is no seminar scheduled for May.




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