Three months ago, Emeritus, a global online education company, published its list of growing workplace trends to watch for in 2022. All businesses are contending with changes brought about by the pandemic and everything is in flux all around us. Many of the coming changes are unavoidable but they can be made more manageable.
Some of the trends that will be sure to affect your organization include:
- Talent Shortages
- Remote Work
- A Need For Soft Skills
The challenges created by these changes can be mitigated by a wide range of assessment tools – if they’re carefully and thoughtfully applied. There’s no magic bullet solution available but accurate, reliable and trustworthy assessments certainly are. There are many ways in which assessments can help organizations identify problems with their corporate culture, help them remedy and develop managers who are struggling, screen for critical skills and competencies, and much more.
Here’s how assessments can offer guidance and solutions in these troubled times.
The BBC reports that “In the US, the Labor Department revealed that 4.3 million Americans left their jobs in August 2021, or about 2.9% of the national workforce – the highest number on record. In the UK, the number of open jobs surpassed 1 million for the first time ever in August. There are several reasons why workers are walking away, poor working conditions, fears of contracting Covid-19 and existential epiphanies among them.”
If your organization is having retention problems, it could be due to many factors; one of them being your corporate culture. It won’t matter how wonderful your benefits package is or how much vacation time you offer if working at your company is miserable. There are a number of tools to help measure your corporate culture and pinpoint where problems exist.
- The Organizational Culture Inventory® assesses corporate culture, company culture, and workplace culture by revealing what members collectively believe is expected of them and how those behavioral norms influence their engagement and effectiveness.
- The Organizational Effectiveness Inventory® can help you measure your employees on their experience and perceptions of things that influence, and can be changed to improve, your organization’s culture and its performance, the outcomes of your culture for individuals (e.g., their engagement), groups (teamwork), and the organization as a whole (adaptability and overall quality of products/services).
- The Organizational Climate Workbook helps managers assess the climate that they experience and the one that they believe they’re creating for their teams.
Manpower Group found that almost 7 in 10 companies globally reported talent shortages and difficulties hiring in 2021, a 15-year high. Keeping the people you have is certainly cheaper than hiring new, but assessments can help you on both fronts.
- Do you even know the reasons why your employees are jumping ship? Tools like the Employee Engagement Survey can help you obtain a snapshot of your employees’ current attitude toward their work, their job, and the organization. It offers management insight into the organizational “vibe” and brings to light job issues that they may not be aware of.
- Are your managers offering enough or the right kind of feedback and acknowledgement? The Recognition Practices Inventory enables employees to rate the frequency and type of recognition that they receive from their managers (or lack thereof).
- For new hires there are many assessments available to help rate their tenure risk. Tests like the STAY Inventory (Still There After A Year), the Employee Reliability Inventory or the ViewPoint assessments can help you screen for things like work ethic, commitment and turnover risk in addition to achievement/drive, empathy, persuasive interest, resilience, theft, and drug and alcohol use, all at the same time.
If there’s anything we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s that employees don’t need to be physically present to be productive. Many people have embraced the new work-from-home lifestyle. Last summer FlexJobs found that of about 4,600 job seekers surveyed, 58% said they want a fully remote role post-pandemic, and 39% preferred a hybrid setting. Working from home is now the norm and many employees prefer and expect it. Not everyone’s well suited to working remotely, however. Ensure that you onboard the right people by testing their ability to work without supervision and manage their time effectively.
- Tests like the Work From Home Telecommuting Tests I & II will tell you if your applicants are capable of working from home.
- Assess your candidates’ time management skills with the Time Management® test, Time Management-US or the Time Management Evaluation. You can also assess the skills of your exiting employees with the Time Management Inventory as part of a workshop.
A Need For Soft Skills
The Emeritus 2021 Global Career Impact Survey indicated that management, leadership, critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving were some of the most in-demand soft skills in 2021. That trend is sure to continue throughout 2022. According to LinkedIn, “soft skills are what set the best-performing employees and organizations apart. In fact, they’re so essential that LinkedIn research found that when new employees don’t last at a company, 89% of the time it’s because they lack soft skills.”
Luckily, there are dozens of assessment solutions available to help employers target specific skills like those above, as well as things like empathy, resilience, creativity, interpersonal communication and more.
- The Soft Skills Inventory is one such tool, as are the Analytical Reasoning Test and the Numeric Reasoning Aptitude tests.
- The premiere product for assessing critical thinking has always been the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, and tools like the Creativity & Problem Solving Aptitude Test, Creativity and Innovation Effectiveness Profile or the Employee Attitude & Personality Test will assess both specific and general soft skills as required.
Changes to how we work will always be with us but the need for skilled, reliable, conscientious, effective employees will never change. Navigating change successfully is always one of a business’s biggest challenges. Forward-thinking organizations can reduce the pressures they’re experiencing by being proactive and assessing and managing their organizations and employees.
A wide assortment of tools are available to help businesses identify exactly where changes are needed, help them take steps to improve their hiring success rate, and to help them develop their existing employees.
If your organization is facing any of these challenges there are solutions available and we’re eager to help you find the right ones for your specific needs.
David Towler is President of Creative Organizational Design, a firm offering nearly 40 years of expertise specializing in employee assessments and which has over 2000 different product titles available. Creative Organizational Design has 100s of assessment tools designed to help employers screen out other people’s rejects, assess skills, aptitude, attitude and ‘fit’ within an organization. For more information about the options available and help selecting the best tools for your needs please contact us. Please send comments about this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.