In her recent post on comparing employee assessments, our Whole Brain ® Thinking Catalyst Anne Griswold pointed out a simple truth about assessments: Application can be a challenge. How do you turn awareness and insight into actions that make a tangible impact on the business, especially once people are back in the daily whirlwind of the job?
It’s an important question, particularly as L&D is increasingly being pressured to clearly connect the work it’s doing with specific business results. Every developmental tool needs to serve as a link in a broader value chain. We know this, and still...all too often the employee is the one who’s left with the burden of figuring out how to apply these newfound insights—and then remembering to do it on a consistent basis. It’s a pretty tall order when so much else is going on, no matter how powerful that moment of awareness might have been.
The organizations that are successful in getting to application and business impact take a more strategic view of employee assessments from the get-go. Need some inspiration? Here are just a few of the ways our clients have integrated the HBDI and other assessments into their business operations to get tangible results.
1. Make it part of the daily routine.
The HBDI assessment is one of the tools IHG uses to help members of complex project teams learn about how they think and how their thinking preferences affect their work process and interactions. But it doesn’t end there. “The IHG Way Toolkit for Project Delivery” was designed to bring in the same concepts and Whole Brain ® methodology from the assessment. By putting project management tools and processes within that unifying framework, they’re ensuring that everyone is literally using what they’ve learned every day in their work.
2. Make it a problem-solving tool.
In an ideal world, employees would refer back to their assessment results when they face a tough challenge and think about how they can apply those insights to solve it. But let’s face it: Most of us don’t live in an ideal world. A better approach is to be intentional about helping employees make those connections. At Harrah’s Entertainment, for example, “Diverse by Design” teams are assembled, based on the HBDI and other assessment data, and then they’re given relevant processes and tools to solve specific business problems.
3. Make it a leadership tool.
If leaders aren’t applying it, it’s going to be an uphill battle to get (and keep) employees on board with it. Many companies use the HBDI as part of transformational leadership initiatives and management development programs. A great story of how that can translate into impact back on the job is the way leaders at Lastar have used the insights from HBDI individual and Pair Profile data to rethink how they assign work and communicate with and coach diverse employees. It’s become a valuable tool for improving utilization and accelerating the decision-making process—and increasing employee engagement in the process.
4. Make it a cultural standard.
Culture is where change really takes hold. When Cookie Time, an iconic New Zealand snack company, was restructuring to accommodate rapid growth, it didn’t want to lose the values and core qualities that made the company so successful in the first place. With the HBDI as a jumping-off point, the leadership used the Whole Brain ® Model to articulate its new vision, values and guiding principles. A personalized cube, which displays these principles alongside the individual’s HBDI Profile, sits on the desk of every Cookie Time employee, serving as a self-managing tool for keeping Whole Brain Thinking and the vision and values in mind.
Employee assessments are a great way to get the conversation started. But that dialogue won’t continue—and you won’t get the results the business is demanding—if you don’t think more broadly than just the assessment itself. Make sure you take the time to figure out what you’ll do to turn those initial “aha moments” of insight into tangible results, both for the individual and for the business.