Archive for September, 2010

Employee Engagement impact on Business Results or vice versa ?

September 14, 2010

Is engagement the right measurement to predict future business success or is it the result of the current success of the company that leads to increased employee engagement ? Is there a better factor to measure and to react on ?

According to a study in the 90s at Sears found that ten items on their seventy item employee survey would predict customer satisfaction and, ultimately, revenue. Reference: Effron, Marc; Ort, Miriam: One Page Talent Management; Harvard Business Press, Page 107.

On the opposite a large study published in 2003 that looked at thirty-five companies over eight years found that a company’s performance (earning per share and return on assets) predicted employee satisfaction more strongly than satisfaction predicted performance. Reference: Effron, Marc; Ort, Miriam: One Page Talent Management; Harvard Business Press, Page 112.

How to solve this dilema ?

A recent study of Harvard professor Teresa Amabile of several hundred workers over few years who tracked their day to day activities and rated their motivations and emotions daily showed that making progress in one’s work — even incremental progress — is more frequently associated with positive emotions and high motivation than any other workday event. Reference: http://www.danpink.com/archives/2009/12/harvard-business-review-on-what-really-motives-workers.

This latest finding could open up a new way of understanding engagement. Instead of asking 300 questions maybe just two question will help predict the future performance of acompany.
The first question to ask is on a scale from 1-10 how are you making progress in your work in the current work environment you are in and the second question I would base on the Net Promoter Score (1-10) developed by Fred Reichheld: How likely is that you would recommend your current company to others as a place to work ?

Based on these two questions I have created an open survey on employee engagement and business correlation.

The results as stated below can be used by any researcher in this area. (see description below)
1) Link to survey: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dFNyZkJDNmRZU0NJeTB1d0J6VVU5Mnc6MQ

2) Graphical Representation of the results: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewanalytics?formkey=dFNyZkJDNmRZU0NJeTB1d0J6VVU5Mnc6MQ
3) The results of the survey in spreadsheet format: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ArQI1UCaBIHOdFNyZkJDNmRZU0NJeTB1d0J6VVU5Mnc&hl=en
You may use the results of this survey for your own analysis under the condition that you explicitly state the source of the data by including the link to this survey and the link to the survey results in your analysis and or publications. This is an anonymous survey. Do not use any means or make any conclusions to associate the data to persons or organizations. The survey was created by Peter Palme only www.linkedin.com/in/peterpalme and has no association to my current employer.

Overview on Research on Potential Assessment and Leadership Transition

September 1, 2010

“After decades of research on managerial derailment, researchers have concluded that managers who derail often share similar charecteristics:
They tend to have limited self-awareness.
In particular, they are less likely than successful managers to be aware of
– their styles,
– their strength,
– their weaknesses.
Equally important, they tend to be unaware of how they are perceived by others.
Furthermore, managers who derail often overestimated their abilities and overrely on strengths that served them well in the past. Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 4

Sydney Finklestein, professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and author of the book Why Smart Executives Fail, explains that the highly successful executives he studied eventually failed “not because they couldn’t learn, but because they had learned one lesson too well.” By relying too much on a narrow skill set, they limited their ability to adapt when the environment changed and missed opportunities to learn different skills.” Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 4

Successful managers tend to have a more accurate understanding of their abilities (or may slightly underestimate their abiliteis), seek more feedback on their performance, invest more in continuous learning and self-improvement, and thus have a broader skill set that serves them well in a variety of situations.” Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 4

“In his book The New Rules: How to Succeed in Today’s Corporate World, Harvard Professor John Kotter descirbed his 20-year study of 115 members of  the Harvard Business School’s Class of 1974. He found “no possible correlation between their GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) score and how they’re doing on the job in terms of income and responsibility.” “Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 4

Study of MBA graduates by Standford professor Charles O’Reilly and Jennifer Chatman. Conclusion: high GMAT Scores that are designed to measure people’s analytic cognitive abilities are an insufficient predictor of success. People who a personality characteristic called “conscientiousness” – a combination of how ambitious, efficient, hard-working, and dependable one is – in addition to high GMAT scores tend to be more likely than other MBA graduates to achieve higher salaries and promotions early in their careers.” Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 4

Robert Sternberg, IBM professor of psychology and education at Yale University reviewed decades of research desgined to understand how well performance on cognitive intelligence tests, such as IQ tests, predicts success on the job. He concluded, that performance on cognitive intelligence tests predicts only between 4 and 25 percent of the variation among people in their job performance.” Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 4 f.

“Yet the kind of intelligence that predicts how well you handle your job and your life in gerneral is based, in large part, on characteristics that are not assessed on standardized intelligence tests. After all, real-live problems are ambiguous, have mulitple solutions (each with assets and liabilities), and must be solved and implemented in large part through talents most commonly known as “street smarts” or what Sternberg calls “tacit knowledge”. These talents include the flexibility to deal with ambiguity, the ability to think creatively, the willingness to take calculated risks, the desire to learn and adapt, the ability to build mutually supportive relationships, and the resilience to persist and bounce back from failure when situations don’t go as planned.” Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 5

Researcher Carolyn Dweck and her colleagues found that people who believe that intelligence is fluid are more likely to be successful than people who believe intelligence is fixed. Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 5

“People who believe that intelligence is fixed tend to tie their self-worth (and possibly the worth of others) too closely to what they perceive to be their innate intelligence”. This leads to becoming overly concerned about looking smart. “They are less likely to take risks,…,less likely to engage in new skills and more likely to underestimate the power of learning, effort, and persistence.” Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 5

People who believe intelligence is fluid are “more likely to believe that learning new skills and putting in more effort will pay off, are more willing to aks seemingly “dumb” questions, are more likely to seek out feedback, are more likely to take risks, are more likely to cope well with failure, and are more likely to stay motivated and persist in the face of obstacles.”Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 5

If you would like to test your fluid intelligence here is a link to a free test:
http://similarminds.com/int.html

What predicts success ?

“Conscientiousness and a belief that intelligence is fluid rather than fixed. People who are conscientious set high goals, are achievement oriented, focus on the task, work hard, and are dependable. People who believe that learning is fluid rather than fixed are more likely to take risks, learn new skills, persist when they face hurdles, and believe that effort will pay off. Other characteristics that predict success include proactivity, learning goal orientation, creative intelligence, pratical intelligence, emotional intelligence, and positive emotions. Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 9 f.

Researcher Lillian Eby and colleagues found that “people who are highly proactive are more likely than others to actively manage their careers, show political savvy, and take actions to influence their environment.”  Proactiveness “predicts professional success in areas such as salary, promotions, job performance, career satisfaction, and community involvement.” “They manage their careers by joining professional organizations, subscribing to industry trade journals to stay on top of trends and engaging in both self and environmental exploration on a continual basis, taking advantage of learning opportunities and stretch assignments within one’s organization, attending seminars and training, or going back to school to diversify one’s portfolio of skills” Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 10

“Researchers [Schibert, Scott; Maria Kraimer; Michael Crank] have found that people who complain about the way things are without offering solutions and taking actions to remedy situations tend to receive fewer promotions and lower salaries.” Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 11

Research by Judge Timothy, Joyce Bono, Remus LLies, Megan Gerhardt 2002: “People high in conscientiousness are achievement-oriented, organized, disciplined, dependable, committed persistent, hard-working, and focused on getting the job done well…. it is most powerful when combined with a characteristic called agreeableness, also known als likability. Agreeableness is particulary important in jobs that require cooperation with others. People who are high agreeableness are viewed by their colleagures as helpful, cooperative, tolerant, flexible, generous, courteous, and socially competent. … people who are high on conscientiousness yet low on agreeableness tend to receive lower performance ratings by their supervisors.”Reference: Caproni Paula J.: Management Skills for Everyday Life, Second Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004, Page 10

Critical Developmental Experiences to become a Senior Executive

“A survey conducted as part of McKinsey’s “War for Talent” study asked a sample of 200 senior executives to identify their five most important developmental experiences. The top overall responses all involved significant transitions into new roles:
– New position with large scope
– Turning around a business
– Starting a new business
– Large, high-profile special project
– Working outside home country”
Reference: Watkins, Michael: The first 90 Days – Critical Success Strategies For New Leaders at All Levels, Harvard Business School Press, 2003, Page 5f.

More research to follow ….

If you have any other intersting research on these topics to share, you are welcome to add in the comment section below. Thank you in advance.


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