Success Performance Solutions

Success Performance Solutions Close Leadership Skill Deficit with Management Testing


Lancaster, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/25/2013 -- Google “management test” and in a split second over 1.2 billion results appear. People might think with the abundance of management tests available that they would be an integral part of every company’s selection process. But despite a proven track record, less than half of all organizations have a formal assessment plan in place.

“Companies tend to be a bit myopic when filling frontline manager positions,” says Ira S Wolfe, President of Success Performance Solutions.

Senior management and HR seem to agree. In a recent DDI white paper, Finding the First Rung study, only 31 percent of HR professionals and leaders felt their leadership selection system is effective. Even fewer (33 percent of leaders and 22 percent of HR) expressed confidence in their leadership succession.

This lack of confidence reveals a troublesome story - 60 percent of first-time managers fail, according to Corporate Executive Board surveys.

Wolfe agrees that at least 33 percent of managers get their first leadership position because they were "the best technical expert." Their promotion is significantly influenced by what they know and what they did. But this runs contrary to best practices today. Nearly every study points to a number of “people skills” as being critical for productivity and management tests are a very predictable way to assess innate and potential capabilities.

Surprisingly, few companies test first-time managers for competencies (potential and transferrable skills). A few more do test prospective managers on their personal qualities and motivations, using behavioral-based assessments such as DISC or Myers-Briggs. But overall, this heavy reliance on technical expertise drives promotion of individuals who are not yet equipped with the skills they really need.

This failure to adequately test managers impacts their ability to build high performing teams due to poor relationship management, delegation, conflict resolution, and coaching skills. “Productivity is hampered if not jeopardized and profitability suffers,” Wolfe warns employers.

When leadership performance is compared to all frontline leaders, technical experts have significantly higher percentages of development needs in seven out of nine essential leadership competencies. Once promoted, these newly minted leaders require significant training and development in critical “people skills” area. According to Wolfe, “Many managers overlook that a good management test exposes potential blind spots and the same assessment report can be used for management development as well as selection.

One of Wolfe’s clients, an electrical cooperative providing service in Arizona and California, has been using SPS management and leadership tests since 2004. Of the 44 employees that have participated in their Succession Management Program, 18 have been promoted to management or other key positions so far. According to the client’s HR director, “Managers actually come looking for the assessment test results …they understand how useful these tools really are.”

Success Performance Solutions plans on revealing new studies on how a typing test can be an integral part in a company’s success.

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