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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Are you Assessing for Success? Guest Blog on Behavioral Assessments

Note from Stacey

Many of my professional friends and clients swear by behavioral assessment tools.  I wanted to learn more, so I asked Gurus' friend Dolly Penland from Predictive Results to give us a peak into the tool she supports Predictive Index (PI).  Curious for more information, Dolly's contact information is at the bottom of the blog.

Take it away, Dolly....

By Dolly Penland - Predictive Results

The cause of most customer service problems is often related to one of two things. Option 1 is a lack of clear customer service standards with measurable, actionable strategies. Option 2 is having the wrong people in those customer-facing positions.

The latter is a disconnect in many organizations.  They go to great lengths to establish guidelines and procedures, but they fail to develop sound hiring and talent training processes. A behavioral assessment tool, such as the Predictive Index (PI), can help ensure the best customer service every time a customer interacts with your business.

The idea is to fill important talent gaps with “rock stars” to ensure the right cultural fit for your company, and ultimately, your clients. Businesses cannot afford to make hiring mistakes and be stuck with the wrong employees.

And, even if you hire rock stars, they must be placed with managers who have been trained to effectively motivate and communicate with them every day. Extraordinary customer-facing employees provide extraordinary customer experiences, and only when they are led by managers who truly know how to work with and motivate their people.

How to do this? First, visualize and define what the ultimate customer service rep is for your company. Great customer service is delivered by companies that build it in to their company culture. Do you need people who are fast? Attentive to details and accuracy? Perhaps someone who is genuinely friendly?  What makes YOU different from your competitors?

Turning that vision into reality means defining what the ideal is using a behavioral assessment tool, and then conducting a fit/gap analysis to understand exactly who candidates are for customer-facing roles in your company.

For your current employees, behavioral assessments will coach existing talent in a way that improves performance. Everyone has strengths, but you must know what they are to best use them. What you want to do is understand what truly motivates your people, hire the best and train them in the way that will ensure your customers enjoy that ultimate customer service experience.

There are many benefits of using a behavioral assessment tool. First, placing the right employees in the right jobs means higher customer service ratings and increased sales. Second, knowing exactly how to effectively manage those employees leads to higher job satisfaction and productivity.  Finally, more engaged employees lead directly to improved customer loyalty.  The cost of acquiring a new customer is five times that of retaining an existing one. It all comes down to great customer service.

  • Behavioral Assessments Drive Results
  • Decide which metrics you want to improve
  • Choose a tool that has proven success in that area
  •  Make sure you can customize the target pattern to your cultur
  •  Ensure that it is EEOC compliant
  •  Use it as a pre-interview screen to get the best results

Dolly Penland is a business adviser and speaker with Predictive Results who works with organizations helping them to hire and manage their talent to their highest potential. Dolly specializes in multiple areas including helping businesses grow sales, reduce turnover and develop leaders.

She can be reached at (904) 374 9914 or

Stacey's Final Thoughts

I am an unashamed HRD geek! 

I love to learn what is available and how to help organizations work better, smarter, faster, and happier.

One aspect of my geekness is reviewing the many exciting tools available to help hire and manage talent.  It is striking how the world changes, adapting to new technologies and research.

I have done the Predictive Index assessment twice, and it was eerily spot on.  The first time 6 years ago, my corporation administrated the test to our entire team, as a quasi-team building event.  But there was no follow through and it left me feeling deflated. 

We did the analytic debrief as a group, I had areas I would have liked to develop, but nothing, nada, happened.  (To be clear, this was not the awesome Dolly helping us). 

So lesson learned, when you use such tools, be sure your plan is comprehensive and dedicated to completing the experience.  That is the key to the maximum ROI.   

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