Senin, 16 Maret 2009

Three Hiring Mistakes Managers Make

by Ira Wolfe

Copyright (c) 2009 Success Performance Solutions

There are plenty of good people looking for work. What turns these good workers into great employees?

Motivation. All a manager needs to do then is uncover what motivates their employees. For the sake of simplicity, let's say motivation is a collection of learned attitudes and beliefs that energizes your behaviors, defines your values, and shapes your personality.

Mismatching employees to the wrong jobs places managers and employees at opposite ends of a motivational tug of war. These mismatches just sap the life out of the workforce and the soul out of the culture. What are the most common motivational mismatches and hiring mistakes that managers make?

Mismatch of behavioral style. Behavioral styles predict no more and no less than how an individual will perform in the workplace. It doesn't predict success or competence but the way people will respond to (or ignore) problems, people, pace of the environment and procedures. Mismatches between job and personal styles and inter-personal styles don't necessarily guarantee failure but do ensure that stress and conflict will eventually show its ugly and costly face. How an individual learns to adapt and a manager learns to respond ultimately determines if harnessing the energy of behavioral style will boom or doom performance.

Mismatch of values. While people can learn to adapt behavioral styles, adjusting personal values, or motivators, is not so easy. In fact, people generally don't change what's most important in their lives without some life-altering event like the death of a loved one, a personal tragedy, starting a family, divorce and so on. When values collide, some people will adjust their behaviors to reduce conflict between other people or the job. But with time, the tension between different values wins out. Workers then decide to leave the job or fight for their cause. In either case, the cost to the employer (and many times the health of the employee) is enormous. Selecting individuals who are motivated by the job and/or company culture is just one way to make sure employees expend their energy on productivity not conflict.

Mismatch of personality. At the core of every human being are key personality traits that determine how people respond to competition, initiative, conflict, flexibility, traditions and organizational policy, large groups of people, mental toughness, curiosity and more. Research shows that these traits predispose many workers toward a "natural" competence in areas such as drive for results, follow-through, detail-orientation, planning and organizing, interpersonal skills and stress management. Mismatches between a proven "best-fit" profile for the job and the individual in the job leads to significantly higher incidences of turnover, poor performance and stress.

What's a manager to do? The answer is quite simple. Understanding what motivates an employee can take hours if not days of observation and interviews. Even then the results might be unpredictable and suspect. Behavioral and personality assessments, on the other hand, take just a few minutes for a candidate or employee to complete. Once in the hands of a manager, these reports can help take the guesswork out of engaging and motivating employees.

Three types of assessment are particularly effective at predicting employee engagement and motivation:

1. A behavioral style assessment such as CriteriaOne DISC identifies the behavioral styles that energize (and de-energize) individual employees.

2. A values assessments like Business Values and Motivators can identify the six core values that motivate employees.

3. A five-factor personality test such as Prevue or ASSESS can predict innate talent and job fit when compared to top-performer job profile. A good job fit is not only a good predictor of high performance but sustainable job satisfaction.

About the Author

As president of Success Performance Solutions(, Ira S Wolfe has led his workforce consulting firm to national prominence, helping organizations find and hire the right employees and identify high-potential leaders. He is an expert on hiring, workforce trends, managing the generations, and the author of several books including Perfect Labor Storm 2.0: Workforce Trends That Will Change The Way You Do Business.

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