Many factors inhibit organizations and managers from acquiring enough information and the right information about their employees to make the best possible decisions for both the organization and the individual. There are three reasons for this:
1. Employees have a tendency to embellish their qualifications. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), 53 percent of resumes they reviewed contained false information. And others who don’t embellish their resumes may lie during a job interview. The workplace is full of people vying either to get hired or to get promoted to the next level. In a game of relatively high-stakes, many people will ignore the risks of lying in order to compete for a position.
2. Managers have a tendency to "filter and scrub" employee performance reviews. In our litigious culture, few former employers will provide a negative reference about a job candidate. Even performance reviews are filtered through an employee’s immediate supervisor, who, though well intentioned, may be less than fully objective. We’ve known supervisors who felt threatened by rising stars, and who downplayed their subordinates' talents, accomplishments, and potential. And we’ve seen those who, fearing they'd lose a good employee to a promotion, quietly sabotaged their own people's upward mobility.
3. People are just plain difficult to read. Employee behavior is often compared to an iceberg – about 90 percent of our behaviors are explained by factors that, on the surface, cannot be easily observed or understood in a meaningful context. Without advanced training in psychology, many of these behaviors are difficult – if not impossible – to detect, and the manager is at a disadvantage.
Valid assessments can uncover truthful information about the employee in a very cost- and time-effective manner.
"My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too." Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric
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Reprinted with permission from HR.com