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The world has been witnessing a major transformation in the business landscape over the last few months. However, the change, perhaps, is not temporary and here to stay. ‘Work from home,’ earlier deemed impossible for specific roles has become a part of the routine with an indefinite extension. While the workforce continues to physically stay away from work, organizations remain responsible for revisiting their employees’ development practices.
Organizations must realize that the ‘war mode,’ following the disruption, is eventually fading away as employees are adjusting to the new way of life. Therefore, it is an opportune time to focus on assessing the leaders. But would the older models enable managing the disruption? Absolutely not! The new reality demands new leadership development goals and hence, a renewed approach.
It is a highly dynamic and complex work wherein old leadership assessment practices no longer serve an organization’s purpose. Several key assessment areas, such as resilience, ambiguity management, critical decision-making and others, more on the emotional management capabilities, have gained primacy.
Now, leaders must adopt a growth mindset to ensure a sustainable and upward business trajectory. Meanwhile, companies need to ensure their leaders are self-aware and work on their weaknesses to make themselves future-ready which can be achieved via a new leadership development framework model.
Due to continual business changes, predicting how leaders will adapt and perform, going forward, is becoming more challenging for organizations. This can be attributed to the growing scope of the current role, which is more complex and dynamic. Existing frameworks are not equipped enough to compensate for the new business reality. They fall short in accurately presenting whether individuals can push themselves or expand their skills to adapt to the demands of the future.
Eu Natural CEO Vinay Amin believes that it is critical to reassess your existing leadership development framework model to determine if it is still applicable in a post-COVID world. He poses an important question by asking business owners to analyze whether the new framework considers disrupting factors like a pandemic or national civil unrest. He suggests that the leadership development framework needs to assess one’s ability to respond to various worst-case scenarios.
A leader’s role is to analyze the impact of a broader socio-economic transformation on the business. This corresponds to the calculated risks and a detailed action plan undertaken by organizations to drive sustained results. Evaluating leaders on these parameters serves as new leadership development goals allowing organizations to assess leaders’ competence for their evolving role.
Re-designing or adopting a new leadership development framework model impresses the need to seek help from trusted Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), such as psychologists or HR practitioners. These SMEs assist businesses by suggesting the best possible solution after understanding the business requirements. They are experts in streamlining your leadership development strategy. The following need to be considered while designing an assessment framework:
Here, the L&D department states the organization’s requirements and sets the context for analysis by the SMEs. The experts discuss to present the plausible outcomes and their business impact.
The second step involves evaluating the impact of leadership assessment by making a qualitative comparison between the ‘before and after.’ The analysis depicts changes across the leadership and organizational levels.
The assessment reports must depict various work-relevant personality traits that influence on-the-job performance. The report must contain a summary, strengths, weaknesses, response style and areas of development.
According to a 2015 Gallup research, leaders’ role in providing an ideal environment to grow, and directing and motivating their teams, explained the stark difference of 70% in the employee engagement levels. The role of leaders is critical for an organization’s growth. They not only select and groom the right talent but create a culture of inclusiveness and knowledge-sharing. However, before assessing your leaders, it is advised to evaluate your organization’s leadership development goals, such as:
1. Leading by Example
When leaders set an example by following a course of action required to conduct business successfully, the team looks up to them and emulates their traits. Great leaders influence others’ behaviors, set a clear path and encourage the team to face challenges. These are a few critical aspects that organizations must assess in their leaders. These are assets to the leadership development framework model.
2. Building High-Performing Teams
Teamwork is the building block of organizational success, which is why cultivating a high-performing team is an asset. Employees are the bricks, and leaders are the mortar required to build a building. Employees are the bricks that possess the characteristics to build a wall, while leaders act as the mortar that holds the bricks together, enabling employees to do their job efficiently. High-performing teams are critical in driving the company’s performance and fulfil the organization’s leadership development goals, thus providing a substantial edge over competitors
3. Accelerating Innovation and Change
Innovation is the key driver for any business to flourish. Consequently, in a continually evolving world where change is the only constant, organizations need leaders with an innovative bend of mind. Effective leaders remain calm amidst the change and provide comfort to their teams. A continual engagement amidst the transformation and ensuring that the team gets ample time to adjust to the change is the desired leadership trait among organizations. They evaluate what won’t work in existing processes and devise new approaches to drive business results. Having a leadership development strategy that encompasses this goal is crucial.
4. Leading the Business
A company’s growth and sustainability are dependent on leaders. Their ability to work cross-functionally by addressing critical business problems enables them to formulate new business strategies. Staying calm amidst ambiguity and making informed decisions allows achieving long-term business results. It acts as a cornerstone for a stellar leadership development strategy.
As per Mercer | Mettl’s Talent Assessment Practices Report, 73% of companies shared that leadership development was their key focus area. This matches our findings in the Mercer 2019 Global Talent Trends survey, in which one of the top concerns for high-growth companies was the thin leadership pipeline. A majority of respondents emphasized the effectiveness of assessment tools.
The findings in our latest study correspond to the Talent Assessment Study, based on our internal assessment data, which represented the use of online assessments growing by 116% in L&D from 2016-2017. The study was based on the data collected as part of talent acquisition and L&D programs run by various organizations globally.
A similar report also exhibited an increase in the use of psychometric assessments by 49%, leading to a surge in L&D processes. The use of online assessments witnessed a massive growth of 780% in L&D, accounting for 15% of the total psychometric assessment usage. The survey results prove the increased adoption of psychometric assessments in employee development. The statistics point at the urgency of revamping leadership development framework models to stay relevant.
Information derived through online assessments acts akin to a feedback mechanism for leaders, prompting companies to suggest individual development plans.
Assessments efficiently identify the competency gaps and further equip leaders, enabling companies to prepare for an unforeseen change. The areas of improvement and development plans act as a growth opportunity for leaders. They are integral to achieving leadership development goals.
We, at Mercer | Mettl, understand organizations’ leadership development strategy and goals. Hence, based on extensive research on our new personality tool, we have curated a leadership assessment framework that will help organizations thrive amidst the change. The traits have been segregated into four buckets, further divided into ten critical leadership competencies.
The tendency to continually learn new things, being open to feedback, remain focused in the face of adversity and effectively manage one’s emotions.
The tendency to promote diversity and collaboration and develop team members by coaching and mentoring them to help them grow, develop and become future leaders.
The ability to manage change, think innovatively, and always work toward building a culture of experimentation and innovation.
The ability to set a vision for the future, work across boundaries to develop a strategic relationship and make critical decisions to adapt and handle business challenges.
Leveraging over eight years of experience in providing state-of-the-art leadership development strategies and solutions for varied talent assessments to Indian and global organizations, Mercer | Mettl pioneered a new personality assessment tool, specifically catering to organizational needs. This new tool is an amalgamation of rigorous and evidence-based psychological science and industry-relevant, client-focused applications.
The Mettl Personality Map (MPM) is a contemporary, evidence-based personality assessment that seeks an in-depth measurement of critical, work-relevant personality traits and behavioral tendencies. It is designed to be used across employees’ life-cycles, from personnel selection to training and development, and help employers gain access to otherwise hidden information about a person, critical in influencing their behavior at work. This tool was specially curated to be more in-depth than previous measures of personality and includes contemporary work-relevant personality traits that have been found useful by industry experts and practitioners. These allow for a more comprehensive understanding of personality at work, which is notably more relevant at the mid and senior level.
MPM measures 28 work-relevant personality traits. Our team of psychometricians went beyond the well-established “Big Five” model of personality, which uses five factors or broad personality trait categories to describe people. While the five-factor model of personality was well-researched and extremely relevant in the field of assessment, including contemporary work-relevant facets of personality to provide a more in-depth analysis of personnel at work was needed. MPM does not discard the old model of personality but goes beyond it. It measures personality via a unique and innovative 28 facet and a four-factor structure of personality.
MPM, an important tool in the leadership development strategy, can be useful in identifying an individual’s relative strengths or weaknesses within a job setting. Information about such intrapersonal and interpersonal variables interfering with one’s desired performance would help organizations design the most effective training programs. It is recommended that MPM is used along with other measures to achieve the best results in this setting.
The assessment is more comprehensive and in-depth and measures new-age traits, some of which are especially relevant in higher-order competencies. Therefore, it would be beneficial to use this measure to assess senior-level employees.
In addition to our new inventory, Mercer | Mettl has other tools for leadership assessment. Our personality profiler is based on the well-established ‘Big Five’ model of personality traits. The tool can be mapped to any job role, using the Mettl Competency Framework or the company’s internal framework.
Additionally, our Assessment and Development Center includes real-life business challenges for leaders. Assessment centers employ multiple tools. Our team of experts helps you select the essential competencies for each role and map them to the right tools, activities, and assessments.
Change requires leaders with learning orientation who possess the resilience to handle ambiguous situations, devise strategic plans, and lead their teams through any transition. To evaluate whether your leaders possess the grit to face the dynamic world, companies need to adopt new and relevant methodologies. Organizations must continually gauge new tools and technologies and recreate their leadership development strategy to stay ahead of the competition.
Originally published July 29 2020, Updated December 16 2020
A writer at heart, Megha has been in the content industry for 4 years. Starting her career from print, her journey spans across IT, legal and consulting industries. She has been associated with Mercer | Mettl as Assistant Manager, Content Marketing for 2 years.
A leadership assessment is a type of personality test used to identify and develop the competencies required in a good leader - decision-making, empathy, communication, inspiring others, etc. A leadership test can contribute to organizational planning initiatives, such as promotion decisions, succession planning, etc.