Businesses today are faced with a complex challenge: how to hire the right people while having the confidence that they will be able to adapt and succeed in an ever-evolving workplace. Business requires visionary leaders who can make tough decisions, empower employees and pivot quickly. To secure and develop these leaders, businesses currently invest millions of dollars of time and energy into leadership development, stabilizing their company’s future in an the marketplace.
The American Society of Training and Development reports that “businesses spend more than $170 billion dollars on leadership-based curriculums, with the majority of those dollars spent on leadership training. While online courses, classroom training, employee retreats and other methods certainly hold value, regular leadership assessments are the most cost-effective and simple approach to building a team of leaders for today and tomorrow.
The Real Value of Leadership Assessments: Long-Term Business Growth
How do businesses hire with the long-term view in mind, not just for a specific role today? Several job candidates may have all the credentials required as well as impressive experience for the job, but making sure these candidates possess leadership qualities requires a deeper view. “That’s why an accurate assessment of their motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination is all the more important,” a top advisor at an executive search firm reported to Fast Company.
Businesses of all sizes are facing a leadership gap. Baby Boomers are off to retirement and Millennials already fill more than 34 percent of the workforce. This dramatic shift in experience also brings a shift in culture and employee expectations. Organizations are struggling to develop their leaders at a fast enough or effective pace. Instead, many organizations have begun to evaluate their hiring practices and how predictive analytics and other assessments can aid in hiring the leaders they are lacking 89 percent of companies agree that leadership assessments are very important.
The First Steps to Defining a Leader
Before an employee’s leadership abilities can be evaluated, it’s important to give some strategic thought to their position, and what the company views as a leader. Companies must evaluate the goals they wish that person to accomplish. What do they want this person to achieve in a year, and in five years? What skills and previous experience are necessary to make these things come alive?
Next, a company needs to look inward to evaluate the specific skills they value in a leader. Leadership is a broad term; there are many types of leaders and many types of ways to manage a team. Does the company value quick decision making? Are they seeking a visionary, confident in their ways despite the status quo? Or, are they seeking a diplomatic leader who only makes decisions based on feedback from direct reports. There is no right or wrong.
Finally, the company must combine these two evaluations and analyze what opportunities for leadership there is within any given role. This will provide insight into the type of person the company should be hiring and insight into development needs of current employees.
What a Leadership Assessment Looks Like
There are many ways to perform a leadership assessment. Companies can create their own process or leverage Leadership Skills Assessment tools. But the most important framework for any effective leadership assessment involves defining core leadership qualities and having a way to collect valuable feedback. Since companies will have already given thought to the leadership qualities they value most, they can solicit feedback across many platforms: face-to-face feedback, email feedback, anonymous feedback and feedback given directly to the person’s manager or HR.
Leadership Skills Assessment Tools are a convenient method to perform assessments, since all feedback is funneled through one online platform. These tools allow many co-workers to provide feedback on one person, in one safe place, but feedback can be shared with managers, executives and HR instantly. Plus, ease of use and online access generally means a higher feedback rate.
The Benefits of Leadership Assessments Far Exceed the Feedback
Leadership assessments have the potential to be the driving force behind a business’ success. These assessments are not just employee feedback loops; they are tools companies can leverage to tell their employees and customers alike: “This is what we believe in.” And over time, these assessments garner momentum and impact everything from employee morale to the bottom line. Companies that put leadership assessments to good use experience the following:
- Elevated trust among employees
- Employee morale
- Efficient business operations, including customer service
- Confident decision making
- Increased overall company stability
- Accountability across all teams
- A spirited following of company strategies
Leadership assessments have the ability to unlock an organization’s long-lasting potential. If you’d like to discuss a leadership assessment tool for your organization, please contact us. We also offer extensive leadership courses, all online, for easy access to leadership training.