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Missing the Mark with Your Approach to Organizational & Workforce Issues? Hit the Bullseye with Targeted Assessments

At some point, your organization will face acute workforce issues that could benefit from targeted assessments and subsequent actions. Although conducting a targeted assessment may at first seem like one more initiative that will take up valuable resources, the risk of not addressing acute organizational issues can be much more costly. Consider the following scenario that illustrates this point before you dismiss the need for your company to utilize this approach.

A company is preparing to undergo a large-scale change — a reorganization. Without evaluating how well the change has been communicated to employees, the level of pre-change buy-in the company has from employees, and the level of willingness among employees to endure the change, the organization would be taking a huge risk. What type of risk you may ask? By potentially mismanaging the change and not fully understanding or addressing the employee perspective, the organization risks low morale and productivity, high levels of turnover, lack of commitment from employees regarding any change initiatives, and damage to the company reputation. Moreover, all of these things ultimately take a toll on the bottom line. You care about the bottom line, right?

This post is the first in a three-part series on targeted assessments. The subsequent posts will discuss how to demonstrate ROI with targeted assessments; explain when and how to conduct targeted assessments; and provide examples and case studies.

Pop Quiz – Do You Need a Targeted Assessment?

There are three main reasons your organization may want to use a targeted assessment: (1) timing, (2) problem, or (3) identity. The first step is admitting you have an issue. To see if you do, review the questions below; if your answer is “yes,” you’ll want to read on.

Timing: Making Changes?

  • Are you experimenting with flat hierarchies, cross-functional structures, and virtual teams to try to adapt to changes more quickly and better than your competition?
  • Are you downsizing to allow for greater decision making in lower rungs of the organizational ladder, to allow for agility and faster decision making capability?
  • Are you acquiring small but savvy start-ups rather than wasting time to build out the capabilities in-house?
  • Are you merging to gain names and talent to then downsize the low performers from either company?

These and other changes are notorious for leading to massive problems down the road for organizations, if they aren’t properly managed from an employee perspective. Targeted assessments provide the necessary information leaders need to fully grasp the employee perspective and incorporate it into any decision making or action planning around an issue. If you don’t address the issues now, consider these risks:

  • Turnover of high potential employees
  • Decreased employee performance and productivity
  • Drop in company profit

Problem: Houston – We May Have a Problem

  • Are your leaders hearing rumors of employee concerns?
  • Are you seeing changes in performance metrics?
  • Are you noticing a shift in focus or morale among employees?
  • Are leaders hearing employees make comments about the lack of career development they receive, or that they are “stuck” in their current roles?

At times, organizations may face specific issues among their employee population. Whatever the issue at hand, gathering data from employees on their perspective provides actionable information to leaders that can inform decision making and messaging around the potential concern. Gathering data regarding employee development, opportunities for advancement, mentoring support, and turnover intentions can help the organization understand where it may be deficient in supporting the individuals that it would hope to retain and develop through the organization.

Identity: Taking a Look in the Mirror?

  • Are you questioning your culture or organizational identity?
  • Are you wanting to create a more positive, collaborative culture?
  • Are you operating on assumptions or using generic assessments?
  • Do you feel “behind the eight ball” when it comes to smartly determining how their organization is doing and where to take strategic action?

Organizations are obviously unique so different drivers consistently emerge as critical predictors of outcomes even when two organizations look the same on paper (e.g., similar employee size, industry, goals, etc.). When organizations take the time to assess aspects within their own unique contexts using custom assessments, they become equipped to directly address the issues they know are problematic for their organization and they have a distinct understanding of where to take specific actions to address any potential issues.

Hit the Bullseye!

We hope we’ve convinced you that ignoring organizational issues or approaching them in the wrong way is a huge mistake! Stay tuned for our next post. In the meantime, check out our white paper where we discuss the benefits of targeted assessments and provide best practices to help you successfully navigate through the ever-changing demands in the modern world of work.

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