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.