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Many, many, moons ago, working at my first job out of college, I was promoted to first line supervisor. The company location had 300 employees working two shifts. Each shift had 90+ associates, 3-4 supervisors, a couple of managers and at times the director all working the same shift on the same floor. We had one shared office for managers and I never worked a shift without a manager on floor. All managers had direct contact with me, my peers and our associates.

As a brand new leader, I was the proverbial bull in the china shop. Feedback, for the most part, was positive and constructive, when I screwed up, it was immediate and unpleasant.  I attended the Company’s leadership training program and participated in various learning activities. All helpful, but the real learning happened by watching my fellow peers, our managers and the director. 

As work changes and organizations evolve and flatten, managers today are spending less direct time with their direct reports.  I have clients today, who have managers completing annual appraisals on leaders they have never met face to face.

Today training and development is often de-centralized and department heads are faced with finding cost effective developmental solutions that will help their team.  As an assessment producer, I’m pleased at the growing demand for our leadership assessments by individual leaders and department heads.

People Development and Performance Management are core leadership competencies, so developing your people and providing feedback is a must. Good managers leverage all available resources to help grow and develop their leaders. They take the steps necessary to ensure they are connecting and supporting their team members which in turn, builds relationships of trust and respect. If your leaders and their associates feel you, their manager, care about them by supporting their development, the organizational loyalty will increase.  The battle for Talent is on, good pay and benefits will only get you so far. The best managers develop self and others and build lasting loyal cultures through action.

There are 100s of assessment tools to support Leader Development. Personality Type Indicators, Skills Assessments, 360 Feedback Instruments are available online and can be used to identify leadership skill gaps and anchor individual development plans. All have varying degrees of effectiveness and all require time, thought and investment.  In the past, these assessments were purchased, administered and interpreted by Human Resources & Organizational Development Professionals who had experience with the assessments and in most cases, completed expensive certification programs to administer and interpret results effectively. Importantly, appropriately positioned, assessment tools can help focus your leader’s development where it needs to be. Assessments will help your leaders gain the necessary knowledge, skills & abilities faster and they will be more comfortable and successful. Future blogs will break down options, audience & application so stay tuned!

Importantly, assessments are best positioned when offered developmentally. For me and most clients, it is not so much about how you did… as much as it is about what you do to leverage the data/feedback. What is the action plan? What are you committing to do to address needs and leverage strengths? Will you be accountable?

I welcome all thoughts and ideas. To learn more about how we can help your organization feel free to contact me at (800) 305-2025 or click here to submit an online request.