5 Reasons why Behaviour is the Key to Optimising your Talent

Published October 16, 2015

In talent management, assessment and development are key for ensuring anyone in your organisation is a) aligned to the right parts of the business, b) equipped with the right capabilities to perform, and c) engaged and motivated to embody the company’s mission, vision and values.

So what do you actually measure when you assess and develop talent?  Whether it’s values, personality, ability, technical skills or competencies; what truly is the most important and effective variable for performance at work?

We know from research that the answer to this question is behaviour.  Here are 5 reasons why.

  1. Behaviour directly influences performance

Behaviour is simply what people say or do.  Behaviour can also be a lack of doing or saying anything when it may be expected of them.  Individual and organisational performance cannot happen without individuals taking action, or choosing to do nothing.  In the words of the hero in Batman Begins: “It’s not about who we are underneath, it’s about what we do that defines us.

  1. Behaviour is most accurate

This isn’t to say emotions, personality, beliefs etc. aren’t important, but they don’t confirm that we’ll actually carry out the things that we intend, or do them in the way we intended.  These constructs also live ‘under the surface’, where we have to interpret what they mean because we can’t see them directly.  In contrast, we can actually see behaviour happening.  We can’t align or develop our talent properly until we get the best picture of how people genuinely and naturally behave at work.

  1. Behaviour is objective

Have you ever known someone be turned down for a promotion and be upset with the process?  Have you ever seen a developmental feedback report and found the results useless or inaccurate?  People buy-in to decisions and feedback far more readily if it’s based on an actual observations, made by someone impartial and objective, from an activity that simulates their work environment (if not their actual environment).  At a&dc, we train assessors to eliminate unconscious bias from their decision-making process in order to achieve this.

What’s the benefit?  Greater engagement and perceived fairness from your workforce; both highly influential characteristics in effective organisations.

  1. Behaviour enables strategic decisions

Behavioural assessment, for whatever purpose, enables you to capture valuable, objective data about your talent, because it’s fair and accurate.  This information is essential for making strategic decisions about how to select, align, develop and engage your people in order to function better as a company, and that in itself is a major benefit.  You couldn’t do this by assessing personality or intellectual ability alone, because it doesn’t give you enough precise information about how your talents’ strengths and weaknesses are actually expressed in the workplace.

  1. Behaviour makes HR more valuable

Organisations are increasingly finding themselves in situations of complexity and ambiguity.  Change is accelerating at its most rapid pace ever in the workplace, and dealing with change requires the most important resource, human talent, to function at its very best.  As a result, talent management (or perhaps more importantly talent optimisation) is now an essential part of maintaining competitive advantage.

Your business needs to hear this, because I’ve seen in too many companies that HR and Talent Management are criminally undervalued functions.  There’s no better way to guarantee that your talent optimisation initiatives are working and having a business impact than by evaluating them.  Behaviour is one of the most simple things to measure, replicate and evaluate as it only requires objective observation in realistic simulations or real-life tasks.

So ask yourself this question: Are you effectively focusing on behaviour in your talent initiatives?

If you can do more with this vital aspect of talent management and optimisation, give us a call for some free advice.  After all, we are the leaders in behavioural assessment and development.

Author: Jordon Jones

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