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With many reports highlighting that managers play a critical part in the engagement levels of their employees, it’s high time we took a look at the defining factor in what makes a manager engaging.
That’s exactly what Sirota and Hogan Assessment Systems talked about yesterday at their exclusive panel discussion and event titled How to Grow Employee Engagement Using Personality.
The event, which also also served as an exclusive sneak peek into a new employee assessment model, was attended by about 30 senior HR professionals across various industries.
Human Resources caught up with Lewis Garrad, managing director of Sirota Asia Pacific, who explained leadership is a critical driver of having a highly engaged workforce.
“We need to be building a more powerful connection for individual leaders and managers between who they are, and how they behave at work and how that influences the engagement of their teams and helping those leaders and managers build strategic self-awareness is the best place to start to help them do that.”
He also noted that in Asia, the people selected into managerial roles tend to be highly technically competent.
However, they lack the interpersonal sensitivity, sociability and flexibility, which are not just challenges for now, but also for the future.
Here are 3 tips Garrad included on how to avoid selecting bad leaders.
Firstly, leaders need to make sure they are assessing people in the right way.
“The personality and character assessment industry has been captured by what you call the strengths based approach, it tells people what’s great about them and help leverage that to perform well,” said Garrad.
While it’s not a terrible approach, he noted, that “you also have to help them understand where they might go off track, what their derailers are, what potential things in their personality they might think are strengths, but actually later on in their career, if it’s a more senior leadership position, derail them.”
“Using a tool that can help you as a leader and as an HR function, get to the bottom of that in a valid way, I think is the first thing. Make sure you are assessing people in the right way.”
Secondly, it is crucial to understand what makes leaders successful.
In this case, success means “a leader that generates high team and organisational performance, that’s when you call them successful, not their ability to get promoted.”
“Be very wary of people who are great at getting themselves promoted in your organisation without actually generating tangible results,” he cautioned.
“Make sure you understand how you assess them and ensure that you’re measuring them based on the way that they generate performance in your organisation and build success profiles around those people.”
Finally, make sure that you’re incorporating the full suite of metrics while assessing people.
“In the presentation, I talked about competence, competencies and character, which is ability to get results, how I behave at work/how I get the results and what’s at my central core, my values, my personality,” said Garrad.
“You want to make sure that you understand all of those three things, and it’s not just about having someone who is able to do financially well, it’s how do they behave, how do they engage others and people who could do all of those things are likely to be good leaders. So avoid emphasising any one particular point,” he advised.
Panel discussion: seated left to right, Lewis Garrad, managing director of Sirota Asia Pacific; Ho Wan Leng, CEO & chief consulting officer, Asia of Optimal Consulting; and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Ph.D., CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems