Behavioral Assessments in the Workplace

The Use of Behavioral Assessments in the Workplace

There are three significant trends pertaining to the United States workforce which merit consideration:

  1. There is a growing shortage of qualified workers.
  2. The workforce is increasingly mobile and less loyal.
  3. Human Capital is fast becoming the most valuable asset for top performing companies.

The Civilian Labor Force is slowing, as the following tables indicate:

Ages 25 to 54

  • 1986-79,563,000
  • 1996-96,789,000
  • 2006-103,566,000
  • 2016-106,026,000 projected

Percentage of Change

  • 1986 to 1996-21.6%
  • 1996 to 2006-7%
  • 2006 to 2016-2.4% projected
    Monthly Labor Review-November 2007

Demand is outstripping supply by a wide margin.

35 – 45 year old employees

  • Demand will increase by 25%
  • Supply will decrease by 15%

New Generation Employees are less loyal.

  • 55% of employees are thinking about or planning to quit in the next year
  • Replacing an employee costs between 30% and 100% of annual salary

Human capital is the greatest asset a company possesses.

  • Top Performers > are twice as productive as average employees
  • 100 Best Companies more than 2 X as profitable as the S&P 500
  • 100 Best Companies’ stock price grew at nearly 3 X rate of other companies

Emotional Intelligence has significant value in today’s workplace. It has been proven that our abilities to manage ourselves, and our relationships with others, are compelling definers of success in the workplace. It has been validated across cultures, gender, economic status and occupations. In other words, “IQ” is less a predictor of success in the workplace than is “EQ”. Considering the impact of this, organizations need to turn their focus toward the challenge of developing “Emotional Competencies” through selecting emotionally competent leaders, coaching the talented executive who finds unsure footing outside the technical realm and in reinforcing competencies that support an Emotionally Intelligent culture.

What is the EQ of your workforce and your managers? What can your organization do to enhance the emotional capabilities of those who impact your bottom line? How are your service representatives managing interactions with your customers? How do sales people interact with their prospects? How do they respond when the prospect says “no”? What is their aversion to risk and how do they respond after making 20 phone calls and getting rejected 20 consecutive times? How do your mid level managers respond to the basic needs and concerns of their people when they themselves are having a stressful day? How does management evaluate the strengths of each team member, and how do they align those resources with those strengths and coach them to greater levels of performance? How does management deal with an employee who is failing but unaware of their deficiencies?

We are constantly faced with adversity in our workday, thus our ability to adapt, learn, share and motivate is a constant we bring to each and every work opportunity. Emotional intelligence is a gauge to one’s ability to deal with change and adversity. By understanding a candidate’s emotional quotient, we can predict with a great deal of accuracy how they will respond to the particular rigors of a job. Armed with this information we are able to employ the teachings of Collins in making better selection decisions, then coaching and motivating the right people to higher levels of performance.

There has been a great deal of conversation surrounding assessments and their use in the workforce. There are a variety of assessments available in the marketplace; those that measure intelligence, behavior, personality, emotional quotient, attitudes, skills, etc. Which ones should be used? The answer depends on the job itself and precisely that which the work environment requires of an individual. There are 2 critical measures of an assessment’s effectiveness; validity and reliability.

  • Validity: does the assessment measure that which is intended?
  • Reliability: does the assessment consistently yield similar results?

When selecting an assessment tool you must insure that the assessment is statistically valid and statistically reliable. If you are selecting an unusual or obscure assessment, insure that you receive INDEPENDENT validity and reliability studies from the administrator of the instrument. Also insure that the administrator of the assessment is certified in its use. It is commonly acknowledged that the greatest predictor of future behavior is ones past behavior. For this reason, research has found DISC to be the very best tool to analyze and predict behaviors in the workplace.

How does DISC measure behavior?