Talent Management

Employee Experience more important than ever!

You can't avoid the topic: employee experience and trends like employer branding, employee journey, candidate experience and employee centric. It is clear that the employee is central in 2018.

- The first blog in a diptych about Employee Experience & the Employee Journey -

The year of the employee. This means that we as an organization must take good care of our own employees. As an Employer Branding Specialist, I am therefore regularly present at events with these themes. For example, I was present at the event Inspiration for Employee Experience on January 23rd, the first event in the Netherlands focusing on the so-called ‘EX’. That is why I would like to share my expectations for the future with you. At the start of next month, we will also map out the most important trends for 2018 in the area of the entire employee journey.

‘For years, marketing has been about the Customer Experience, the brand and the product of the company. 2018 is the year of the Employee Experience.’

Challenges for HR

Employee Experience is the new challenge for HR. 88% of HR managers worldwide see Employee Experience grow in importance in the coming years (survey KennedyFitch, 2017) via Happy People Better Business. And that makes sense, because happy employees ensure happy customers.

When I received a LinkedIn invitation from Heleen Mes to become a member of the Employee Experience Netherlands / Belgium group during the middle of last year, I found it cool to see that more and more attention is being paid to the journey that every new employee has to make and what is important to facilitate as an employer. Upcoming time I am going to talk with Appical colleagues and customers to map their employee journey and I will look for best practices for their biggest challenges in this area.

7 reasons to start with employee experience

  • Our organization has difficulty attracting talent.
  • We spend a lot of time onboarding new employees and would like to use an interactive platform to make this more fun and easy for both the new hire and the manager.
  • We are working on our ambassadorship internally, but this is difficult because we do not have a specific story. Each department does this in its own way. Often the responsibility for onboarding lies with the supervisor, but we want everyone to get the same ‘generic’ part (see organizational story).
  • We want to put the employee more central and encourage us to provide useful feedback from the first day or even before that.
  • We want to connect more and more online and offline. We see an increasing need here, both for young professionals and for all our other employees.
  • Certain training courses come back annually. We also want to bring this in a more interactive way than through the intranet, from static to dynamic.
  • As an organization you always have to deal with turnover. That is not bad, but we would like to secure knowledge and ensure that someone leaves us ‘happy’ and would recommend us.

Event – Inspiration for Employee Experience

Personally, I was very curious about the challenges and trends that exist among colleagues in the HR field. ABN Amro, a Dutch Banking company, talked about how employees experienced their career at the bank and how they are distinctive in this. Mars (known from many chocolate brands) talked about the integration of values as a condition to make a difference for employees and how they recognize internally, initiatives and contributions. Oracle talked about the latest technologies that can contribute in this process and JvH Gaming was named Best Managed Company 2017 and told how successful onboarding contributes to internal and external success when it comes to the employee journey. JvH Gaming has been using the Appical platform (pre- and onboarding) since July 2017 and we were therefore pleased to see that they wanted to share their experiences on their own initiative. We are very curious about what the entire employee journey looks like and how they will further professionalize this in 2018. The event ended with a ‘compliments session’ and I was happy to see how giving compliments strengthens the motivation in daily practice. The event honored its name. It was an inspiring event where sharing knowledge about the main topic employee experience was central and where you as HR manager, recruiter or marketing manager can immediately get started with!

Tips from Appical

The employee experience and what it delivers to put your employees first, have been longer under scrutiny. In case you were wondering if it was the umpteenth HR hype .. No! Companies that ignore the ‘hype’ will have difficulty getting their growth targets.

In my next blog I will tell you how good pre-, on-, and offboading contribute to your Employer Brand.

You will receive answers to the question of how you can shape your employee journey in order to recruit and retain talent. For example, asking yourself the following questions:

  • Why should I pay attention to the employee experience?
  • Why are a fair organization story and transferring your corporate culture so important?
  • What do I need to think about when I reach my target group?
  • What pain does a good pre- and onboarding process take away for HR and managers?
  • How does an onboarding process work exactly?
  • Why is it so important to organize offboarding properly?

Competency Based Assessment Design

Comptency Based Assessments.png

7 Steps Process

Organization Competency Framewoke based Assessments

We specialize in psychometric, cognitive, IT skills and other skill based assessments. Our solutions help organizations to scientifically create organizational competency framework based assessments that have a high correlation with future on the job performance. We use a bouquet of proprietary tests around cognitive, personality, behavioural and domain competencies to address business challenges and deliver our assessments through our state of the art proprietary secured cloud based platform.

Our solutions are being used today by over 1500+ organizations in 80+ countries globally (SAP (in 18 countries), Capgemini, Aquent, Sapient, Cognizant, Sears, 3M, Accenture, HCL, Polaris etc.) to fulfil their Pre-Screening, Campus Hiring, Experienced (Lateral) Hiring, Employee Engagement (through interactive “Contests”) and Learning / Development needs across a variety of job profiles, job roles and departments.

If you are in the market to for CUSTOM COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK BASED ASSESSMENTS please contact us here

6 Ways To Make Your Life Easier

The McQuaig System allows you to benchmark a role internally, recruit to the requirements of that role, develop your people based on their strengths, and retain your top performers.


Hiring managers are typically under a lot of stress – they need to hire the right employees quickly to fill vacant positions, or else productivity will start to plummet. Pressure from upper management, uncertainty in the hiring process, conversations around how to evaluate candidates, and much more can all lead to extremely high tensions. And high tensions can put certain people in the workplace into a perpetually bad mood. If only there was a way to make people happy again. If only there was some sort of solution that could help hiring managers find the people they need, easily coach them, and increase their team’s overall productivity.

Oh, right – there is. Here’s how the implementation of personality assessments can boost your hiring manager’s mood. Because when the boss is happy, aren’t we all happy?

They find what they need

Let’s face it: hiring managers may not be the best at recruiting because they don’t do it all the time. In fact, Workopolis has a great blog post about common interviewing mistakes that hiring managers can sometimes. Unless they’re in a high-growth phase (which is awesome) or experiencing a lot of turnover (which is not so awesome), they’re not constantly filling positions. Just like anything, practice makes perfect – and without routine practice, it’s easy to make mistakes. Personality tests can help hiring managers a) figure out who they’re really looking for, b) match candidates to the kind of profile that the job requires, and c) conduct better interviews to get the information they need to make that determination. If you find a test that’s easy to complete and understand (yes, they do exist!), then it might even be a little fun. Finding what they need and injecting a little fun into their day might just be enough to crack a smile.

It makes coaching easier

Coaching is something that a lot of managers really struggle with. Each person on their team requires a unique communication approach, and really knowing the nuances of those approaches is not an easy thing to do. But personality assessments can spell this out for them, with some even providing a straightforward list of do’s and don’ts for how to best manage each employee. Any time you’re making their life easier, you’re working your way into a hiring manager’s heart.

Their team’s productivity increases

A manager’s success is ultimately measured by their team’s effectiveness. If you can help them improve productivity, there’s no way you’d be on their bad side! Personality assessments can help managers to coordinate tasks by leveraging employees’ natural strengths and fostering more efficient communication. You’ve probably seen it on your own team: when people are doing what they’re good at, and they’re communicating well, engagement and productivity tend to go up. The manager’s role is to lead the team and get everyone jiving together. If you arm your hiring managers with the right resources to do this, they can get the most out of their team – which helps to make them look good.

Achieving hiring manager satisfaction may not be the easiest thing to do, but personality assessments can definitely help you get there. Who knows – you might even get a bonus for all your efforts!

I mean, we can dream, can’t we?




There seems to be some common, standard interview questions that always get asked during interviews – ones that seem to be popular but aren’t always effective. “What’s your greatest weakness?” “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “Why should I hire you?” These questions might provide a little bit of insight, but they’re not great indicators of future behaviour – nor do they help to identify whether a candidate has the right personality for the job.

In many cases, asking a candidate about their weaknesses is not really a question about their weaknesses – according to The Interview Guys, it's a way for potential employers to see how self-aware their candidates are. it’s asked to evaluate the self-awareness of the candidate. And asking candidates about their plans for the future is really just a roundabout way of seeing if they’re planning on sticking around for long. But these are boilerplate questions that were probably invented around the same time as the interview itself. Candidates know how to answer them in a way that makes the interviewer happy, so the value that can be gleaned from them is relatively minimal.

There are better ways to find the answers you’re looking for, while also getting insight into the kind of value that a candidate could bring to your organization. Discussing a candidate’s successes - instead of where they’ve previously failed - fosters a sense of contribution to your organization, and you’re more likely to hear success stories that correlate closely to the position you’re interviewing for.

“What can I tell you about our company and this position?” “If you envision yourself in this role, what do you see could be your biggest challenge(s) at the beginning? What approach would you take at the start of this role to tackle these challenges?” “How does this role align with your career plans?” “What work experiences do you feel will support you in this role based on your understanding of the outline?”

These questions provide valuable insight into a candidate’s knowledge and awareness about your organization, and how prepared they are for the interview. It also offers up scenarios to visualize how the candidate would work in the role, and how thoroughly the candidate considered the requirements outlined in the job description and job profile. The more they can articulate that they truly understand the role, beyond just the basic day-to-day tasks, the clearer it is to see how they’ll handle the position. These kinds of questions also allow candidates to display how they solve problems, come up with solutions, and provide information in a clear and timely manner. With questions like these, it's also easy to use the SARR method to clarify answers and get more details.

When you run your next interview, try avoiding some of the clichéd questions. Instead, use a few questions that really validate the candidate’s ability to fulfill the role and become a valuable addition to your organization. If you’re stuck on ideas, the right personality assessments include interview questions that you can ask. Verify if your candidates’ strengths fit what the position requires, and if their personality aligns with the temperamental requirements of the job. This approach avoids focusing too much on the negatives, and it also helps to avoid canned responses. But most importantly, it gets more value out of your interviews, and provides a more comprehensive view of your candidates.


To schedule an in-house demo or try McQuaig for FREE contact us on: Psychometrics@hr-email.com 

Five Ways to Develop Employees Using Succession Planning


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Successful succession planning depends on retaining high potential talent and developing those employees so they are prepared to fill key roles. Development efforts often are based on well-defined individual career paths, which keep employees engaged and motivated to excel. However, even companies who don’t have a full-scale career pathing process can bolster succession planning efforts by focusing on honing the talent and leadership skills needed for each vital position. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

Constructive feedback tied to specific goals helps employees clearly measure their performance and adapt to meet new challenges. Unfortunately, only 23% of employees feel they are getting the feedback they need to excel. Companies who focus on providing regular and meaningful feedback to employees, however, see 3.6 times the level of engagement, which translates into higher retention rates—a vital component of successful succession planning.

Lateral moves help high potential employees gain necessary skills for new roles by exposing them to varying tasks and responsibilities. Such moves also keep employees engaged by offering the opportunity to meet new challenges. Employees who make many lateral moves also obtain a big-picture view of the company as a whole—a perspective necessary for success in many top-level roles.

Leadership roles like team lead build the kind of leadership skills an employee may need to succeed in future management roles or executive positions. They also promote confidence, a trait that makes employees more likely to speak up about new ideas.

Special project assignments can build specific skill sets, as well as encourage self-direction and independent thought. They also can help fill identified skill gaps in an otherwise well-qualified candidate. Assignments like spearheading a new division or opening a branch in a new region may also serve as a trial run to see how a candidate might perform in a larger role.

Internal and external training opportunities do more than train employees to be better workers. They also encourage retention. Two out of three employees say training plays an important role in their decision to stay with their employer. To be effective, however, training must be engaging. Research indicates that customizable, interactive training that allows employees to go at their own pace and review material already learned may be the most beneficial.

By investing in the development of high potential employees in any of these five ways, companies ensure continual access to a talented and qualified pool of candidates for succession planning purposes. This enables a more robust planning process than creating a simple list of back-up candidates and ensures each person has the skills necessary to handle his or her new job when the time comes. For more information on succession planning, please contact us for an onsite demo. 

INTRODUCTION TO MCQUAIG - A Three Part Video Webinar Series

Now What?

As a McQuaig customer, you understand the lifelong value of assessment tools and how they can enhance the hiring, professional development, and retention of your employees. But you might be wondering exactly how to use your new McQuaig tools to their fullest. We wanted to make sure you're feeling confident in the tools you're about to use, so please enjoy these three short videos to get acquainted with McQuaig, our philosphy, and some orientation on our suite of products. If you have any questions, your Client Success Manager would love to hear from you!

Chapter 1

The Theory

Chapter 2

The McQuaig 3-Step Process

Chapter 3

Team Effectiveness & Succession Planning


For more information on The McQuaig Psychometric System or to schedule a demo, contact us here or simply drop us an email on Psychometrics@hr-email.com

Using Career Paths to Effectively Address Skill Gaps

Approximately 10,000 baby boomers retire each day in the United States. That’s about 30,000 skilled workers per month. And, while there are around 8.7 million people available for work in this country, there are far fewer who have the skills to fill those openings left behind by the Boomers.

Would the third of the above figures be applicable to this ME/GCC Region? 

Skill gaps cost the U.S. economy about $13 billion per month. To thrive in their industries, companies must address these gaps. Doing so means partnering with educational and development organizations and doing one thing many companies just don’t know how to do—creating the talent needed for key roles by training and promoting the candidates already available.

Nearly three out of four U.S. employees are open to hearing about new opportunities, according to latest surveys. Effective companies will harness those wandering eyes—and ensure their own success­—by providing the opportunity for employees to grow and advance past their current roles within their current companies.

Many employees don’t believe they are capable of advancement, because they don’t have the information necessary to move along their career paths. This keeps employees in a holding pattern, which kills engagement, and hinders employers’ abilities to move talent into essential open roles. By providing the right resources and visibility into open roles and competencies, employers can address these obstacles, helping employees obtain the information they need and filling needed skill shortages at the same time. An effective career pathing program is key.

Managers often are able to point employees in the right direction by offering information on major skills shortages or providing access to learning resources. Many times, however, the gaps between where an employee is and where he or she wants to go are small and numerous. A manager may not have the time or the knowledge needed to be able to point out them all.

A comprehensive career pathing software program, however, can look at an employee’s individual talent profile and then compare his or her current competencies, piece by piece, to the competencies required for success in the individual employee’s specific next step. This provides the employee with extensive knowledge into the gaps that need to be filled, an extensiveness that would simply take too much of a manager’s limited resources to achieve. It also enables managers to focus their attentions on what gets the best results—coaching.

Managers can utilize the software’s detailed gap analyses to walk employees through the skills needed for advancement at a level that best fosters understanding and development. Managers also can use the detailed analyses to better track employees’ progress toward their goals and to help employees see where and how they’re making the most progress. This reduces learning time and propels employees along their chosen paths at a faster rate.

Such software also provides additional, targeted learning resources for addressing gaps, instantly putting the power of advancement into the employee’s hands. This enables employees to take immediate action to improve their skill set via mentoring, coaching, and additional training. Such motivation plus the tools necessary to realize those ambitions equals an unstoppable force for employees and companies alike.

Road to Career Pathing in Your Organization

Starting a career pathing program at your organization is not a difficult journey but there are checkpoints that need to be reached in order to complete the trip to your final destination. View this infographic to learn where you need to go and what you need to do when you’re on The Road to Career Pathing In Your Organization!


Ladder or Lattice? Which Career Development Strategy is Best for Your Employees

Career development is essentialto today’s workers. Employees are eager to grow in their careers and advance within their organizations. Companies unable to facilitate that growth will continue to be plagued with engagement and retention problems. There are two main options for moving a career forward – up the career ladder or through the career lattice. But what does that growth look like?

The first is the traditional ladder model. Climbing the ladder is a vertical approach that is best suited for highly specialized careers and employees who are already in a particular field and know exactly what role inside that field they want to have in the future. This approach offers employees the chance to become experts in their chosen field, and progression along the chosen career path is logical and easily flows from one position to the next. However, this also limit’s the employee’s overall perspective of the company and movements up the ladder may be restricted based on companywide tenure rates and size. Roles along this route also tend to be more rigidly established, meaning work/life balance and personal fulfillment may be more difficult to achieve. This may be why increasing numbers of employees are choosing to look at their career progressions as occurring on a lattice rather than a ladder.

A career lattice offers employees variety and extensive opportunities for meeting new challenges, two things Millennial workers—in particular— find necessary for active engagement. Movements may be vertical, lateral, or diagonal, which places countless job roles on each employee’s potential career path instead of just a few. The lattice also avoids the limited perspective pitfalls of the ladder. The lattice’s broad moves across departments and functional areas enable employees to gain cross-functional skills that will put them ahead of their peers in general tasks and benefit them in many roles. It also enables employees to reframe those roles to better fit their personal ideal work/life balance—an issue especially important to women. Approximately 60% of female workers say work/life balance is “very important.”

The lattice’s greatest challenge, however, is that employees don’t know how to build it and do not have access to various progression. Even if they are fully aware of which roles and departments they want to experience, they are generally unaware of what skills gaps will need to be addressed to move between them, how to fill those gaps, and which order of movements is most beneficial for their specific long-term goals.

A robust career pathing software brings transparency and know-how to the career development process. Such software utilizes a systematic approach to career development, enabling employees to map multiple career path scenarios, review job competencies, and evaluate skill gaps. By giving employees the career pathing tools necessary to chart their career progression, they become more engaged in their roles and the development of their careers. The most effective also dynamically match employees with their next best role, depending on where they are at the moment.

Lattice or ladder, however, one thing is certain: Employees want a clear path forward. They want to broaden their horizons, grow in their careers, and excel in new challenges. Companies that understand how to help employees navigate their will be rewarded with high retention and increased engagement. To learn more about effective career development best practices, view our Learning Center.

How to Help Employees Develop Career Paths

Employees want to understand what is required of them to change roles or advance in their careers but the necessary processes may not be in place. By understanding how to help employees develop career paths, you will soon be able to provide employees with a clear road map to career development and growth. If employees are left to guess and wonder what steps they need to take, you will likely find them moving to another company that can meet their needs.

As the job market and economy improve, the number of employees willing to leave their positions and companies for greener pastures is climbing. January 2017 saw an increase in voluntary separations compared to the months before, and 51% of employed personnel in the U.S. are actively seeking or watching for new openings. The data taken together—and combined with the general low tenure rate for Millennial workers—clearly show one thing: retention may be one of 2017’s biggest human resources problems. If companies don’t partner with their employees to achieve individual career goals, those employees will leave.

An effective human resources department will be that partner—assisting employees in creating and navigating their desired career paths. To be that partner, however, HR must be able to do the following:

  • Provide employees with access to job role data
  • Help employees objectively assess their skills, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Offer a method for comparing employees’ current tactics to future roles
  • Provide access to mentoring, coaching, and learning resources that work for a variety of learning styles
  • Offer opportunities to test out newly acquired skills in a team environment
  • Support lateral and vertical moves in each unique career path when employees are ready

An effective career pathing process combines these steps into a streamlined, easily accessible program. While a human resources department can achieve the desired results by providing employees with the above information and opportunities on a piecemeal basis, it takes a significant investment of time and resources. It also depends on the availability of the human resources staff at any given time. Accessible and interactive career pathing tools are a more efficient method.

An all-in-one career pathing software program offers employees the opportunity to build and navigate their career paths independently—but with expert guidance. The best programs combine talent profiles, gap analyses, organizational insights, coaching and development, and job searches together, in a dynamic, user-friendly interface. TalentGuard’s also offer customized career paths, including specific information on skills needed for each movement and knowledge on how to acquire those skills, to help employees get from where they are to where they want to be.

Are You Ready to Start a Career Pathing Program?

You know the basics: Career pathing boosts employee engagement, improves retention, and significantly increases customer satisfaction and overall profitability. You’re sold. You want to start implementing a career pathing program at your company today. The only problem is you’re not sure where to start.

See whether you are ready to start a career pathing program by answering the questions below:

1) Do you have job profiles built?

If your company already has job profiles built, fantastic. You’re one step ahead, and you can move on. If not, you have two options: you can build competencies in-house, or you can purchase access to a competency library.

Competencies are clusters of related skills, abilities, personality characteristics, and knowledge that enable a person to be effective in a particular job or situation. Using them to build ajob profile ensures clear communication between managers and employees regarding what it takes to succeed and excel in a specific job or role. Competencies also promote organizational culture by emphasizing a long-term fit between job candidates and positions.

Building competencies in-house requires extensive effort (often 80% of the total time involved in starting the program) that may be better spent launching and implementing the career pathing program. It requires observing each employee in his/her role, personal and/or group interviews, surveys, and behavioral and job analysis. It also can take months – even years – to develop completely, which means problems with disengaged employees and poor retention persist far longer than necessary.

Gaining access to a competency library is much simpler. Instead of spending 80% of your time creating the framework for your program, acquiring a professionally built library reduces creation time to 20%, which reserves your time and resources for where they’re needed most – implementation. A quality competency library will include job families grouped by function and industry; job roles with titles, descriptions, and primary responsibilities; categories of competencies for each job role; proficiency descriptors; and learning references. This enables you to quickly identify, match, and customize the job profiles that best suit your workforce.

2) Have you identified the possible career paths for the job profiles?

If you have, proceed to question three. If not, you again have two options: you can utilize a consulting service to help identify the career paths, or you can utilize in-house services for the process. Identifying paths in-house requires an intimate knowledge of the organization’s succession plans, a thorough analysis of organizational personnel gaps and skills shortages, and detailed research into various career lattices that may stem from each individual job profile. Compiling this information in-house can take months to years of dedicated work. Utilizing consultants already familiar with the career pathing process enables you to focus on the overall architecture of your program instead of the minute details and ensures you get the most important things right. It also moves you more quickly to launch – reducing the time and resources involved in creating a career pathing program by more than 50%.

3) Are your progression paths defined?

Career paths must be visual for best utilization. Employees need to be able to see where they’re at, where they’re going, and how to get there. Spreadsheet-based programs can be used to visually map static paths from one job role to another. However, interactive maps that change and mold to each individual employee are considered much more effective.

These maps take your employees’ personal profile – strengths, weaknesses, skills, desires, and personality characteristics – and dynamically match it to various career paths, enabling the employee to choose or create a new path at a moment’s notice. Customized career pathing software combines job profiles, information on your company’s organizational structure, and your employees’ talent profiles to create immediate, customizable, and dynamic career paths for each individual employee. Such software can also identify skill gaps and offer coaching and development recommendations for filling those gaps. To see career pathing software in action, schedule a demo today.

That’s it. Once you’ve built job profiles, identified the possible career paths in your company, and define progression paths, you’re ready to launch your official career pathing program.

To schedule an on-site demo please contact us through form below or info@hr-email.com

One Performance Management Change That Can Boost Employee Engagement and Performance

Despite the changes many companies are making in performance management models, 58% of executives still believe their current approach has little positive effect on the two things performance management is meant to drive: employee engagement and high performance. They’re right. In fact, many models are accomplishing the opposite.

Sixty-eight percent of today’s employees report that their company’s performance model has either no effect or a negative effect on their overall engagement. Fifty percent also say it fails to provide any insights into improving their performance, and thirty percent see management’s salary decisions as arbitrary, with little ties to employees’ individual work.

With more than 50% of companies having changed their performance management models in the past two to three years, that’s disappointing. Research indicates, however, that these models – even the newer ones – may be failing because of one simple mistake: They aren’t focused on coaching.

According to research, career and employee development continues to be overlooked by nearly two-thirds of companies, and employees are noticing. Only 20% of people surveyed thought their company’s performance management model supported career planning, and only 1 in 3 surveyed reported having even one discussion that year focused on career opportunities and growth.

These numbers change, however, often substantially, when a coaching-centered performance management model is implemented. Coaching, according to research, generates quantitative, long-term benefits to both employers and employees. Most importantly, it increases the holy grail of HR – employee engagement, with 50% of coached employees believing they’re more engaged because of their company’s performance management (compared to 21%). It also improves performance by empowering employees with actual insights into their performance. (Seventy-two percent of coached employees reported insights versus 32% of those who didn’t receive coaching.)

Coached employees also respond more favorably to feedback, believing a program that includes coaching more accurately measures their individual performance (55% compared to 26%). One out of two employees who receive coaching throughout the year feel positively about their end-of-year review compared to 1 in 5 who don’t. Coached employees also are significantly more likely to find the process fair (73% of coached employees compared to 45%) and effective.

As the numbers show, coaching works. So why isn’t everyone doing it? Hesitation to add another change to an ever-shifting performance management model may be the cause, but implementing a coaching program doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Research indicates that simply shifting company culture to better support two-way communication goes a long way.

Encourage managers to talk to their employees about their careers, and to show confidence in employees’ abilities. Offer insight into opportunities for growth and ways each individual can advance. Support high potentials who want to excel with feedback on goals and strategy, extra resources, and training tools. Want to take it a step further? Download: Career Pathing: Is It the New Performance Appraisal?

3 Steps to Better Performance Management

The days of the traditional performance review are behind us. Today, 75% of companies surveyed either have switched, are switching, or are planning to switch to a more updated performance model in an effort to boost employee engagement and drive productivity. Defining that model, however, is a difficult task, as each organization is unique. Following these three steps, however, will ensure an effective transition.

1) Increase Transparency. Employees can better align themselves and their goals with company values and benchmarks when they have a clear understanding of how embodying those values and meeting those benchmarks impacts their day-to-day work life and their overall compensation package.

Ask yourself whether all of your company’s employees can fully explain the organization’s performance management process and the link between their overall performance and their pay. Do they know what all the benchmarks are and how they were chosen? If not, consider filling in those gaps in knowledge with clear explanations.

Transparency builds trust, and trust is a crucial element to organizational success. High trust in the workplace not only makes a company a top-ranked place to work, it also makes a company more than two-and-a-half times more likely to be a high performing revenue organization. The most trustworthy also have been found to consistently outperform the S&P 500. That’s a high reward for a little clear communication.

2) Build a Mentoring Culture. With increased transparency, employees have all the knowledge they need to know how they’re doing in their current roles and what they need to accomplish to grow in those roles and/or to take on new ones. However, if they don’t have any way to act on that knowledge, it won’t be of much use. Creating a mentoring culture, however, ensures they can put their knowledge to good use by asking for feedback or coaching when they need it.

Make sure they have access to educational resources, including experienced members of your team. Most companies focus too much on formal education and career development, when research shows that approximately 80% of learning takes place in an informal environment. A mentoring culture helps adjust this error by encouraging questions, discussions among peers, and on-the-job learning.

3) Give Employees the Wheel. Once you prioritize transparency and foster a mentoring culture, your employees will know where the company is and where it wants to go. They’ll also have the tools and resources necessary to help you get there. Once they have that knowledge and opportunity, it’s easy for them to adjust their day-to-day tasks to propel the company forward. Don’t tell them how to do their jobs. Tell them what you want the company to achieve, and let them figure out how to get you there. The more active your employees, the higher their engagement, their performance, and your overall productivity.

Transitioning from a traditional performance management model doesn’t have to be difficult. Implement these three steps, and watch your company culture, performance, and revenues bloom.

For more information on TalentGuard in Middle East or to schedule a demo please contact us for a call-back.

Is Your Performance Management Process Adapting to the Times?

What drives your employees, and how do you harness that drive to benefit company culture and profitability? Traditional models of performance management say you do it by offering financial rewards based on the accomplishment of yearly goals, and that model has survived for decades, despite research that indicates only about half of people think such a model has any positive effect on an organization. (This may also be why only 28% of people surveyed in 2013 considered their organizations’ performance management processes effective, and why 71% considered those processes unfair.)

Performance management, however, is an ever-evolving process. Prior to 2015, nearly every company surveyed used the traditional annual review as their primary method of performance management. In 2013, however, more than three-fourths of companies also said they had recently made or where planning to make significant changes to their performance management models. In 2014, though, more than half said they thought performance management in general was an ineffective use of time.

Basically, though the systems kept evolving, no one thought the changes were doing much good. Employee engagement was still dismal, with numbers hovering near 30%, performance continued to lag, and retention rates were still low. In a country where the companies with the highest employee engagement also are 21% more profitable and 17% more profitable than those with the lowest engagement, that’s a major concern.

In 2016, about 33% of companies are replacing their traditional performance management processes with new, continuous feedback models in an effort to boost engagement and overall performance. Another 70% are on their way toward such a move, according to researchers. The question now is will it work?

Quite possibly. According to studies, only about half of employees believe they know what’s expected of them at work. This means that even if they are motivated and energetic, they may be advancing the wrong initiatives and failing to add value where its needed most. After a while, engagement declines, and performance falls even lower. A continuous feedback model, unlike the traditional annual review, would catch this issue quickly, offering instant feedback and clear expectations so employees can adjust goals, harness their energy effectively, and be of greater use to the company.

Adding strengths-based development to a continuous feedback model, (i.e. focusing on an employee’s strengths instead of weaknesses during feedback), is even more effective. According to Gallup, employee engagement doubles (jumping from 33 to 67%) when employees feel their managers focus on their strengths and positive characteristics. (Conversely, engagement drops to a mere 2% when employees strongly believe their managers focus on their weaknesses.)

As expected, when engagement improves, so does performance. In one study, 90% of companies who coupled a continuous feedback model with strengths-based development saw a significant increase in performance, with average increases of 9% in sales, 15% in profit, and 4% customer engagement. Turnover rates also declined.

So, what drives employees, and how do we harness that drive to benefit company culture and profitability?  The answers aren’t the annual review.  Rethinking performance management, however, seems to offer some real results, especially when companies offer continuous feedback focused on individual employees’ strengths.

To learn more about how you can improve your performance management process, please view the following resources:

Webinar: Career Pathing: Is it the New Performance Appraisal? 

Taking the Confusion Out of Competency-Based Career Pathing

This webinar is intended to guide and inspire more effective and efficient use of competencies by illustrating best practices in competency-based career pathing. The following will be highlighted during the webinar.

  • The Business Case for Career Pathing

  • Best approaches to linking competencies to Career Paths

  • Implementation: What are the barriers to Success?

  • Case in Point: Competency-based Career Pathing Success Story

Here Is How iLeader Can Help New Leaders

Professor William Scott-Jackson's latest webinar for the Madinah Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship (MILE) reveals how Saudi Arabia can quickly build leadership capabilities by using the Gulf Arab Leadership Style (GALS), undertaking world-class training, starting leadership development early, and employing the latest technology.

For more information or to book a demo click hereq

Hiring Effective Sales People in 2016!

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Effective Sales People

Statistics show that 80% of sales require at lease five follow-up calls, and 44% of sales people give up after one. How can you tell if the candidate you're considering will go the distance? It's not likely from the interview. Research shows that interviews are only accurate predictors of future success 14% of the time.

You need to know what traits will signal future success and how to tell if a candidate really has them.  

In this eBook, you'll learn:

  • The most common trait of successful sales people and how to assess for it
  • The most effective interview strategy for hiring winning sales people
  • How a candidate profile increases hiring success
  • What to do when you hire the wrong person

Download this free eBook and get started finding your next Top Producer now! 

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INFOGRAPHIC: Four Steps to Successfully Implement Career Pathing

Career Pathing is a structured, comprehensive development planning process to help employees visualize their career growth within the company. Career Pathing is a proven program by which successful transitions of employees can occur. It helps with succession planning, employee engagement, skills attainment and alignment between employee and company objectives.

There are several reasons why companies have not implemented Career Pathing: Years of traditional employee processes; resistance to changing those processes; fear of employees expecting advancement once they have a career path; belief that these solutions are costly and time-consuming; and expecting implementation will be complex and resource-intensive. In reality, understanding the steps involved in implementing a successful Career Pathing plan helps ensure a smooth transition for the company, rapid implementation time and immediate as well as long-term ROI.

Here are four key steps to consider when building out a formal career pathing initiative:

30 Essential Behavioral Interview Questions by LinkedIn

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Why behavioral interview questions matter?

Screening candidates for soft skills is often the toughest part of an interview. You have less than an hour to figure out if the person has the qualities you are looking for in your next hire. The good news is that behavioral interview questions are a proven way to reveal a person’s ability to collaborate, adapt, and more. By looking at their past behavior, you can more easily determine what someone will be like to work with. To find out what are the best behavioral interview questions, LinkedIn surveyed nearly 1,300 hiring managers. This eBook will walk you through their answers and give you tips on how to ask these questions. 

To test-drive a behaviour based psychometric assessment please click here