In this HBR article, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic advances that data without insights is meaningless, and insights without action are pointless.
He highlights that
For instance, despite the well-established fact that people enjoy their job more and feel a greater sense of purpose when their personal values and personality are a good fit with their role or job, the majority of people end up in jobs they dislike and are disengaged and unproductive at work.
So, what’s getting in the way of helping get the right people in the right role for them?
- People Data. Chamorro-Premuzic advances: “It is also clear that robust data — in the form of hard facts — is notoriously absent on the employer side.” He may be alluding to the fact that most employers have more data on external candidates than employees – both text-based data (eg. resumes) and qualitative data. Fortunately, more tools are now available for human resources to gather behavioral data and retain a more complete picture of what makes their employees a great fit for different roles.
- Performance data to be mapped to people data. Chamorro-Premuzic cites examples in subjective evaluations of Uber drivers and the difficulty of evaluating CEOs such as Steve Jobs. Interestingly, he does call out that there are jobs where performance data should be available. In jobs such as sales where quota attainment dictates compensation, it would be possible to directly map people data (such as behavioral data) to performance data.
- Office politics. In the absence of the top two categories, Chamorrow-Premusiz boldly reminds us that “Politics are still an influential force underpinning the dynamics of any organization. They dictate who gets hired, promoted, and fired. “
He wraps up with a quote from Stephen Hawkins
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.”
So what are leaders to do to address this?
- Build up an understanding of the people in the organization through behavioral assessments delivered objectively and at scale;
- Map behavioral data to performance data to understand what makes someone successful – not according to a singular manager or peer review, but by objectively mapping behavior to performance such as quota attainment;
- Enable discussions on behavior and success based on the findings;
- Supercharge internal hiring with a platform that helps map behavior to Success Profiles
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