How do organisations know for sure what differentiates people and drives them?
We all use laptops for work, but can we use the same charger to charge laptops of different makes?
Certainly not. A Dell charger will not fit into a Lenovo laptop.
But if we cannot use the same charger to charge different laptops – how can we be so naïve as to try and charge different human beings with the same charger? Take a moment to think — isn’t this something that we mostly do in our organisations in the name of motivation?
We unknowingly tend to treat all humans as robots of the same make and specifications. That is the reason why we believe that everyone working in the company has the same motivational needs and drives. As a result, we assume that everyone should be charged up when they get a fat pay hike or pay cheques. But does that work? A recent Gallup survey showed that only three in ten employees are ‘engaged or involved in their work’. This should not come as a surprise considering our robotic approach to engage employees.
So what do we need to do to engage and charge our workforce?
First of all, organisations need to realise that everyone working in the company is different. Each individual, irrespective of her/his level in the organisational hierarchy, is unique, and hence, important. There are differences in terms of what they need, what drives them to work, what motivates and demotivates them, as well as in the way they perceive and interpret the world around them. No one is good or bad, but just ‘different, unique and special’.
Human analytics marries psychology with analytics and data. It converts the otherwise subjective personality of a person into actionable scientific data points.
What an organisation needs to do is celebrate this difference and use it effectively for the happiness of the employees and the growth of the company. While this difference can bring in diversity and synergies, if not channelised properly, it can even be the reason for perennial conflicts and the downturn of the company.
But how do organisations know for sure what differentiates people and drives them? Well, this is a million dollar question and the answer lies in ‘Human Analytics’.
Human analytics marries psychology with analytics and data. It converts the otherwise subjective personality of a person into actionable scientific data points. So, on one hand it allows organisations to know in a quick and scientific way everything about the drives of their people, and on the other hand, it also allows them to scientifically determine the behavioural competencies required for a specific job role. Knowing these two aspects, companies can easily predict the performance of a person in a particular role even before meeting the person! It can also reveal the kind of challenges a person is likely to face in a specific role and with a certain team. It is possible to know exactly what inspires or demoralises each individual in an organisation.
Organisations that have deployed human analytics have been able to achieve great results. Let us take the case of an organisation that provides high-end consulting services to its clients in the field of climate change. After the analysis and mapping of behavioural competencies of the business development role in this organisation, certain observations were made. Primarily, for a person to be successful in the given role, among other factors she/he must possess a good eye for detail, have the ability to go deep into a subject and also articulate the same, to be able to discuss it with the client like an expert.
Based on this finding, the company further analysed the behaviours exhibited by its top and bottom performers, and the same results got validated. This allowed the company to understand that the so called average performers were struggling because the demands of the job did not match their core motivators, needs and drives. The people at the bottom were essentially those who were majorly generalists and did not like to get into the finer technicalities of things as a regular part of the job. They are the ones who approach the client with only a broad idea of the concept and play more on pricing to close the deals. As a result, clients are unable to look up to them as subject experts to seek any guidance. Their lack of knowledge resulted in a lack of trust, and hence, they were unable to justify why the client should invest in their service. With this insight, the company slightly reshuffled the roles and redefined the KRAs according to the innate behavioural competencies. This gave rise to a charged up team. Productivity grew by about 30 per cent without any additional inputs from the manager.
The example clearly indicates that once human analytics is used to predict job fitment and performance of a person, it is just a matter of time before people naturally start performing at their peak. This helps their organisations grow as never before.
A few very good human analytical systems are available today, to analyse both the job and the individual. Using these systems one can understand and match the behavioural and cognitive aspects of a personality with a desired role. Organisations just need to pick the right tool or system, which suits their unique requirements. The available systems these days take from a minimum of six minutes to a maximum of three hours for the analysis. Some produce results that are very specific and to-the-point, while others dwell on various aspects of personality and often run into hundreds of pages. One needs to determine the level of granularity required and the time one can spend on each candidate during the process of selection or succession planning.
Applying the power of analytics to convert subjective attributes of humans into hard-core objective data has never been so easy, economical and profitable as it is now — all thanks to technology! So, stop assuming and charge your workforce with the right charger!
(The author is an HR professional.)