In the past, many organizations have relied on generic personality profiling tools to assess, recruit and manage their employees. Though these tools have garnered a certain measure of success, there were many flaws that needed to be addressed for increased workplace relevance.
In view of these concerns, First Quatermain has developed THREE tools and has blended them into an integrated schema known as the Synergistic Organization of Unique People (S. O. U. P) Model.
This integrated model has been developed holistically for application in a workplace context. The three tools are:
1. WorkACTIONS Map
2. WorkSMARTS Map
3. Nature of Effective Organization (NEO) Profile
The WorkACTIONS Map was developed based on the premise that a human resource profile tool must:
1. Be Relevant in a Workplace Context. It was discovered that there is a degree of dissimilarity in a person’s attitudes and behavior when at work, as compared to outside the workplace.
For example, an employee who is very passionate about playing golf may not necessarily bring this passion and enthusiasm into his/her workplace.
2. Focus on the Line of ACTIONS rather than just Personalities. In most profiling tools, potential employees are selected, based partly on the assessment of their suitable personalities. Though this can help increase the success of recruiting suitable talents, it is still rather myopic in nature.
In contrast, the Map’s emphasis is on analyzing the individual’s thought processes and the line of actions he/she will undertake in problem solving.
3. Support Organization’s Strategic HRM Framework. The WorkACTIONS Map (as part of the holistic SOUP Model) was developed to facilitate strategic human resource management within an organization.
For example, senior management can use the Map to select suitable personnel when building project teams. As different strategies and environments call for a certain mix of people in a team, the Map can heighten the success rate of choosing the right people for the right situations.
Based on the seminal research work by Harvard’s Prof. Howard Gardner, First Quatermain has adapted and re-defined the concept of Multiple Intelligences for workplace relevance.
Prof. Gardner's research states that there are several kinds of intelligences (or SMARTS) inherent and nurtured within an individual. This set of intelligences will determine the individual’s ways of carrying out certain tasks, learning styles, job preferences and more.
WorkSMARTS Map consists of these FIVE types of Intelligences. They are:
WorkSMARTS Map was developed for organizational use based on the following factors:
1. Different SMARTS for Different Job Functions. With the application of WorkSMARTS Map, an organization can place the right people with the appropriate mix of intelligences for specific job functions and responsibilities.
2. Unique set of SMARTS, Unique way of Organizational Learning. This realization will enable an organization to disseminate information effectively and develop appropriate corporate training methodology for the staff.
For example, if the majority of the sales agents learn better through drawings and diagrams, a Sales Training program should avoid being too wordy, which may confuse them in their learning process.
3. Diversity of SMARTS, United as ONE. The success of a company’s project management would require a melting pot of a variety of intelligences.
For example, the effectiveness of a marketing project team will depend on the team’s make-up of the different kinds of SMARTS. A GREAT marketing team would usually comprise of members who are People-Smart (knowing how potential customers will feel and response), Word-Smart (how to write catchy slogans and taglines to attract the attention of the potential customers) and Logic-Smart (the step-by-step process of executing the plan).
Nature of Effective Organization (NEO) Profile
The Nature of Effective Organization (NEO) Profile serves as a 360° Feedback Survey for senior management to understand how their employees view their organizations, the management and its operations.
Using similar profiling framework as WorkACTIONS Map, this organizational profiling tool provokes a company to rethink the way they lead and manage human resources.
To be more specific, there are various points of strategic reflections that would hasten senior management to use the Nature of Effective Organization (NEO) Profile as an information-gathering tool. The following points of strategic reflections include:
1. High Turnover Rate. Many leaders and senior management of organizations tend to (or choose to) ignore the feelings/views of their employees. Many good employees have left their organizations to chart their career paths successfully with other companies (usually with their previous firm’s competitors) partly due to this reason. If companies do not act fast to curb the employees’ perception gap, this usually leads to a high turnover rate, notably in respect of the firm’s best talents.
2. Lower Productivity & Profits. In general, when employees perceive that the organization does not listen and response to them effectively, distrust and low morale will ensue. This will affect the employees’ motivation and decrease productivity and eventually, lower profits.
3. Strategic Mis-Communication. As the employees on the ground are the true experts in their specific areas, they are the best people to understand and response to market changes. With the absence of good communication outlets between the employees, senior management may not be able to develop sound organization strategies for market relevance.
The Confluence of the Three Strategic Tools The rationale of fusing the three tools as an integrated model is simple and direct. With WorkACTIONS & WorkSMARTS Maps, an organization is well equipped to assess and employ new employees, and also to manage the existing human resource adaptively.
WorkACTIONS + WorkSMARTS =Putting your Employees’ SMARTS to ACTIONS!
While the following tools can help narrow the risk of errors in personnel recruitment and strategic management of talents, it is only half the battle won.
More importantly, how does an organization retain the talents that they have carefully selected and trained?
By using the Nature of Effective Organization Profile, a company can better understand their employees and response effectively to their needs. This will help in retaining and motivating the best talents through developing appropriate corporate culture and working environments.
In a nutshell, the S. O. U. P Model would eventually help in accelerating the growth and profitability of your organization.
Dr. Alvin Chan is a Research Fellow at a research forum in Asia. In addition, he acts as an Advisor for several organizations such as CambridgePI (Europe) and Tumble Tots (Singapore and Asia-Pacific). Contact Dr. Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org