Author Archives: Pat Hutchinson

  1. Talent is not just for HR

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    Many organisations assume the responsibility for talent management lies solely with HR. An effective and well-organised business will take a collaborative approach, sharing the responsibility across all core functions. This enables the talent strategy to be linked to the core business objectives. (more…)

  2. Employee engagement is a shared responsibility

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    Employee engagementHow Employee Engagement Analytics Help Create a Culture of Engagement

    Employee engagement is a hot topic—and for good reason. Research studies from Gallup®, BlessingWhite®, and many more continue to demonstrate that employee engagement highly impacts key organisational metrics including talent retention, mission achievement, growth, and profitability.

    Engagement surveys are commonly used to assess the organisation’s level of employee engagement.  While this approach has proven valuable in many organisations, it has limitations in terms of improving individual engagement and creating a culture of engagement.

    Employee Expectations

    • This employee engagement white paper will outline why this is the case and what is needed to achieve a greater impact on organisational performance metrics.
    • It includes some key areas relating to engagement in the workplace and a crucial 3-step guide to assist you with the application of engagement analytics.
    • Written by Dan Harrison, Ph.D. – Organisational Psychology, developer and CEO of Harrison Assessments, this white paper is a must read for anyone involved in employee engagement.  Request your copy here –

    • Case Study: The entrepreneurial warehouse managers

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      Organisations seek to to attract and retain the best talent for specific roles and more importantly – the right cultural fit.

      Even organisations that outsource their selection processes have told us that although outsourcing solves the initial sorting process it often does nothing for the ‘cultural fit’ of applicant to organisation. In fact, the CIPD recently published statistics showing that only 8% of organisations are actually happy with their talent management approach. In our experience there are a number of reasons for this  – disparate methods being used at differing levels and in different areas of the organisation and the perception of cost and dissatisfaction with assessment tools are among the most common.

      So how do you measure company values?

      It has become common practice for business trainers/facilitators to help organisations identify their values and connect these to the behaviours expected in support of these values. Harrison Assessments helps to identify the behaviours behind the values in a way that hasn’t been easy before.

      How do companies measure employee performance against their values?

      The concept is simple. If something is important to us as human beings we will behave in a way that supports this value. So behind each value must be a set of behavioural competencies and behind each competency is a set of behavioural traits.

      Case Study: The entrepreneurial warehouse managers

      We were recently working with an organisation who have a strong value around entrepreneurship. They wanted all their warehouse managers to behave in an entrepreneurial way as if the business was their own. Of course this can mean different things to different people and it took time to establish what was really required in terms of behaviour. For example true entrepreneurs can be very high risk takers unable to convey their vision to others. This is certainly not what the organisation was looking for. When we broke it down we discovered that what was actually required was –

      • Essential traits – optimism, persistence, self-acceptance, self- improvement, the ability to take initiative, enthusiasm for the role, the ability to be open and reflective and some warmth and empathy.
      • Desirable traits – collaboration, effective enforcing, a desire to lead, a systematic approach, the ability to work as a team, diplomacy, frankness, the ability to enlist co-operation, the ability to handle conflict, flexibility, helpfulness and tolerance of structure
      • Traits to avoid – rebellious autonomy, harshness, insensitivity, evasiveness, imprecision caused through speed, scepticism, permissiveness and slow precision.

      Taking a closer look at these you may say that some entrepreneurs will fit into this profile but others definitely not. So gaining a clearer picture was essential to fully understand what the organisation was looking for.

      All the other company values were analysed in the same way to produce an overall profile against which the company can measure accurately.

      So now the company has an accurate measuring tool as well as a clearer understanding of their own expectations in relation to their advertised values. This not only represents a huge cost saving in making sure they recruit people who will fit the culture, it highlights automatically areas for development for existing employees and forms the basis for personal development plans. A next possible step is to incorporate this measurement into the appraisal system thus making it easier for managers to have conversations which may previously have been avoided.

    • Case Study: Cultural Transformation Increases Profit by 246 %

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      A highly successful European beverage company enlisted the help of Harrison Assessments to transform its existing culture. The company had a clear vision ‘ To transform the existing culture to facilitate greater motivation, accountability, collaboration, communication, trust, cooperation, and mutual support. To increase the number of employees and ensure they would fit into the culture of the organisation’ 

      The results of the Harrison methodology were tracked over a two and a half year period, with employees being supported with appropriate coaching and training.

      By the end of the implementation, profits during the two and a half year period increased by 246%

      Read the full case study here: Cultural_Transformation_Increases_Profit_by_246_Percent_

    • How to develop great leaders

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      46Some managers make excellent leaders, but many never really make the grade. Managers may be brilliant planners and organisers, or good with budgets and resources. They may be great tacticians, but if they lack the basic ability to engage their employees none of these attributes will make them a great leader. We want leaders that inspire and encourage us, give us stretch challenges and above all set a clear direction, and this requires plenty of eye contact and engaging conversation. One fundamental reason why some managers don’t make the grade can be traced back to their development path and is to do with a deep foundational strength found in effective leaders – courage.

      I’m not talking about the courage to parachute out of a plane, or to pitch up in the C suite, rather a more subtle courage to display humility, and to accept they still have plenty to learn. Also the courage to ask for and assimilate feedback about their own behaviour from the whole 360 spectrum, and of course the courage to act upon that feedback.

      I met a CEO of a tech firm some years back who was an extreme skier. No lack of courage there, but he confided in me that walking into a room full of people he didn’t know would strike in him a fear so strong it took away his ability to speak coherently.

      There are a number of irrational fears that managers need to overcome if they are to become great leaders, the first being the fear of socialising, a second is the fear of presenting. All great leaders need to be able to speak with passion and conviction, to any audience, at any time, without preparation, otherwise it’s an obligation and no leader ever became great through merely fulfilling an obligation.

      Why is courage important?

      I spoke with someone recently who told me he went to a 3-day leadership seminar and sat at the back so he wouldn’t be volunteered for anything. What’s that about? Not enough courage to get involved? I wonder sometimes whether some managers know what being a leader means in terms of their own behaviour.

      Unless you want employees who never ask questions, are afraid to ask for help, and bludgeon on independently rarely thinking about team working, then a leader needs to role model positive behaviours. People copy what they see their leaders doing; this is how cultures are created. This is why courage is important. If a manager has neglected this aspect of their personal development it is the first place to begin the journey to becoming an effective leader.

      Feedback for champions

      The future of executive coaching, it can be argued, lies with the new stakeholder centered coaching (SCC) approach created by Marshall Goldsmith. Whilst there are 360 tools available, many are ineffective and easily misinterpreted. SCC uses real face-to-face 360 feedback, plus an objective leader assessment to provide the leader with priceless information he or she needs to develop into an all-round effective leader. Taking this feedback on board, and acting upon it requires a great deal of courage and humility. This is in fact one of the pre-requisites for enrolling a manager onto the coaching programme.

      Perception becomes reality

      We all know that perceptions differ widely among people, even their perceptions about a shared experience. This phenomenon can act to cap a person’s potential and limit their capability, especially in organisations that tend to judge people quickly and easily, and where promotions are made via closed room discussions about the potential of individuals based on observed and expected behaviour.

      It needn’t be this way. Imagine knowing exactly what your key stakeholders know about you and what you can do to be a better leader. Imagine how this might progress your development, your career aspirations, and your value to your organisation. Imagine also, the people who have formed their perceptions about you and your potential, about how far you can go in the organisation, and what you can be trusted with, these people are your stakeholders, and they are watching you as you shape yourself into the leader they all have said they want you to become. How empowering is this?