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Why Good Assessments Matter to Your Business

Assessments are, metaphorically speaking, a sort of knowledge compass. Ultimately, they should provide two important granular views: on a per person basis, and on a per competency basis. These insights into individuals’ competencies are important for the following reasons:

  • Effective screening of candidates enables superior selection of incoming talent.
  • Verification of demonstrable new skills indicates training success and supports good job placement.
  • Monitoring individual job performance across useful metrics identifies contribution, reliably.
  • Feedback assessments allow individuals to take targeted and appropriate improvement.
  • Reliable assessment of individuals’ tendencies help to design optimal succession plans.

What is an Assessment Framework?

There is no independent ‘assessment plan’ unto itself, as far as most companies’ knowledge operations are concerned. More commonly, other activities like training, hiring, annual appraisals, and 360 feedback sessions, etc., are the triggers for assessments. That makes it even more necessary to look at the bigger picture to be sure there is sanity in how your company applies assessments across the board. A well-considered assessment framework, applied across a company, will offer the following benefits:
1. Help to create a general pool candidates based on required levels of skill or knowledge
2. Assess knowledge at the individual level, relative to the baseline standards.
3. Assess performance at the individual level, relative to expected standards
4. Prioritize learning needs against a cornucopia of personal interests.
5. Reinforce the enabling or gating objectives of training, and promote overall talent upgrade.
6. Provide an overall read into the state of a company’s talent tool.

Where to Start

Identify all areas (at a block level) where some form of assessment is required. Identify the nature of the assessment. Define the organizational purpose of the assessment.

Recommended Approach

Track assessment best practices across various industries for each class of assessment. Ensure that the best practices are refined to fit your company’s priorities—do not let others dictate how your company should operate. Verify that the clear value that each assessment delivers, which others recognize as being of tangible value to the company. Then, align assessment standards across the company to ensure they complement each other. Establish rules of application: an expectation that ‘people should know to do them’ is not enough. Are the assessments mandatory or optional, and why? Then, publicize them for all users to see and use.

Tip: Use your assessments!

Good use of assessments promotes response to knowledge needs—a thoughtful, pro-active, and integrated approach to addressing knowledge and talent decisions. A poorly structured approach makes the use of assessments reactionary—an inconsistent and disconnected pattern, which erodes their immense capacity to guide effective use of knowledge assets. The worst thing to do is to treat an assessment as a benign thing. That pretty much renders the assessment activity useless.

■ Customized assessment design and delivery
■ Personal evaluation plans
■ Individual performance improvement plans
Extended assessment capabilities offered in partnership with specialized vendors.