After three years of conducting Situational Judgement Assessments with 4,500 employees at global firms, Kaplan Leadership and Professional Development has identified five key workplace findings.
In a Situational Judgement Assessment, employees are presented with scenarios that reflect their typical workplace duties and challenges. Their responses are then analyzed and areas of corporate risk are identified as well as areas for improvement.
“In simple terms, we presented employees with situations that ask them to make judgements—often using ambiguous and incomplete information, to best simulate the real-life conditions of decision making,” said Dr. Ian Stewart, Executive Director Learning and Design at Kaplan Leadership and Professional Development. “Across the thousands of data points, common themes and patterns emerged, revealing insights — some relatively obvious, some less so, and some counterintuitive.”
The five key workplace themes that arose from the work with 4,500 employees:
- Smaller work teams perform better than larger teams. The smaller the group, the greater the collaboration and sharing of best practice.
- Individuals and teams with ‘skin in the game’ do better—incentives matter, though these need to be managed very carefully. Several times, we found misaligned rewards that created internal competition at the expense of better organizational outcomes.
- Teams whose work connects them to other parts of the business (outside their department) do better. Teams working in silos perform significantly worse on measures of commercial decision making.
- People closer to the commercial decision making ‘front line’ do better. This is partly ‘psychological,’ but the distance between the individual and the commercial reality is a key predictor of effective or ineffective practice.
- Teams that are cross-functional do better than specialist groups—counterintuitively, this holds even when the specialist group are finance professionals.
“The data provides insight and evidence to challenge some of the traditional organizational and structural thinking,” said Stewart. “Is it really more effective to have a dedicated team of individuals with the same specialty, or should we introduce greater diversity into the decision-making group? The data certainly appears to support this. We might also think more about the physical environment that teams work in—we know that isolated teams do far worse than connected teams. So, can we connect such a team to the wider business, and could we create professional networks that connect teams?”
About Kaplan Leadership and Professional Development
Kaplan believes that an organization’s training investment should align with its commercial strategy, so they partner with organizations to assess, design and implement innovative learning solutions that address the growing challenges facing the business.
By using diagnostic capabilities, Kaplan identifies learning priorities, unlocks hidden talent and measures training impact. These insights are key to developing meaningful, performance-driven and critical skill sets that businesses and their people need.
With global reach and regional expertise, Kaplan specializes in tailored learning journeys that scale, turning training investments into business success.
For more information, go to www.kaplansolutions.com.