Profiles for People surveys are useful for all planning that involves or affects people, including:
- human resource planning
- succession planning
- career planning
- policy planning
- strategies and tactics
- planning and managing change
Human Resource planning
The demand for excellent people is always high but the supply, unfortunately, always falls well short of demand. The naturally excellent sales person, manager, accountant and so on, is already working for someone else – perhaps in his or her own business.
You can only expect to get a share of what’s left – so you need to be careful about the quality of that share, and take care also in how you use and develop it.
Human resource planning aims to have the most effective quality and quantity of people available, to fill positions and roles when and where they are needed. Technical training and development get first priority. Few organisations do what is needed to enhance personal behaviours, that enable people to make a greater contribution.
Profiles for People helps you focus on the vital factors that lead to effective performance and personal fulfilment. You establish a human resource database to provide for planning, combined with a means of checking progress.
Remember, most of the behaviours people bring with them have been developed over the whole of their lifetime. Most work behaviours, good or bad, are learned on the job in organisations like yours. What people learn, how well they learn and whether you want to have it, is either a matter of choice or a matter of chance. Planning offers you choices.
‘Name three people who could step into this position tomorrow!’
Often, very few managers are able to offer three names – or sometimes even one – with any confidence or certainty. One reason for this may be that they simply haven’t done their homework. But even when they have made an effort, there is that stumbling block of ‘insufficient data’.
Anything less than clear and confident suggestions, about who could succeed whom, implies reservations about the people being considered. That must reveal a need to explore those reservations and, perhaps, that there is much work to do: applications for Profiles for People.
Many organisations are not able to sustain their own succession plan. In that case, selection of a successor from outside must be excellent – including predictions of future performance. Track record and personality tests just won’t do as indicators of future performance.
The odds are that the person who is appointed is moving into a bigger job – the challenge, the scale, the culture, the market – where they will be tested beyond their past experience and record. Is this when they face the Peter Principle? Is this when they get promoted, finally, to the level where they cannot deliver, stretched beyond their competence?
Track record and personality, while important basic checks, are not enough to predict success or prevent failure. Profiles for People gets inside the real-life behaviours that lead to success.
Career and succession planning are closely linked to each other, and to human resource planning. By guiding people in their careers, you help create the supply of capable people, with competent behaviors, that your organisation needs now and into the future. You are more able to help people to face and overcome or work around their limitations.
Although many people aspire to leadership and management positions, they each lack something – relevant interests, personal drive, decisiveness or leadership style, for example – to suit the situations they will meet. When people understand and accept their own limitations, they can better act to overcome or correct them; or rationalise their hopes.
Policies that affect people will be accepted and followed more readily when those people can relate them to their own needs and drives.
For example, policies that reward ambitious people with career opportunities and job progression are likely to be more effective than policies that offer financial incentives. But the opposite is likely to be true for people near the close of their career. Profiles for People enriches everyone’s view of incentive, reward and recognition.
Strategies and tactics
Because Profiles for People presents a whole picture, strategies can be devised to modify or maintain the picture, working step by step.
This survey suite, quite separately from its diagnostic use, is a planning tool to devise ways and means to bring change, or to influence many factors in the environment.
The Action Style survey has been used strategically and tactically in a variety of situations: for example, to plan for staffing reductions, to increase market share, to modify the behaviours of individuals and groups, and to remodel organisational cultures.
Profiles for People provides you with the means of measuring where you are starting from, where you are heading, and what remains to be done. It contributes to planning, organising and leading the change process. The insights gained contribute to design of interventions, and their effectiveness as they unfold.