Every office, warehouse, and production facility has one employee who takes up an inequitable portion of their supervisor’s time and effort. This employee may bring valuable knowledge and experience to the role, but they also cause frustration for management, and other team members, because they “just don’t get it.”

What “it” is, varies from job to job, but the scenario plays out in a similar way. First, there’s the initial period while you wait for things to click. This is followed by the constructive coaching effort. Then, finally, the escalation to performance management, which is a coded way of saying warnings and performance improvement plans.

Right Qualifications, Wrong Role

Let’s pause and clarify; this is not unqualified individuals who should not have been hired in the first place, people who are experiencing personal problems (though that’s something to consider with struggling employees), or those who are openly uncooperative and insubordinate.

We mean someone who has the education, credentials, or work history and came well recommended. Let’s also assume your company administered proper training and made efforts to integrate the employee into the environment. And that the employee is, of course, eager to succeed.

Often times it’s as simple as this: The employee is in the wrong role.

Pre-Employment Assessments: The How

Ideally, companies would assess all of their top candidates using a scientifically valid pre-employment assessment. Not a cheap, gimmicky “personality test” without proven reliability, but a validated instrument that has been thoroughly researched, tested, and refined over decades and is respected throughout the industry (modesty prevents us from saying “Hint Hint: the Caliper Profile”).

Pre-employment assessments are becoming a crucial necessity for many companies, saving them time and money and improving their turnover. So, how do these assessments work? Such a tool can reveal an individual’s strengths, motivations, and limitations relative to (here’s the important part) the job responsibilities you expect that individual to perform. Take a closer look:

Provide Data-Driven Results: Assessments provide you with standardized and useful insights, regarding how candidates interact in the workplace and also predict job performance and fit with the company. This data will also help improve the team’s overall productivity and success.

Fast Fact:

Unlike in face-to-face interviews, personality assessments enable a company to quantify a wide range of attributes in detail objectively. Ensuring both accuracy and fairness.

Improve Selection Process: A large percentage of employers already understand that assessments provide highly valuable information about specific aspects of a person’s potential. Not only does this make employee selection decisions more accurate and useful, but it also informs how the individual should be onboarded, managed, coached, and professionally developed throughout their career.

Increase Employee Retention: Over 70% of candidates are expected to leave a company within two years of getting hired. So, while finding the right candidates is crucial for any company, having the ability to retain them and keep them engaged in a role they will succeed at is just as important.

But say the company did not assess the employee prior to hiring them. They’re in the role now, so it’s too late, right? Not at all! Existing employees can benefit greatly from completing an assessment.

Did you know?

Pre-hire assessments can have a positive impact not only for onboarding, candidate fit, and retention but on a wider range of positive HR indicators, including time to hire, performance, and engagement.

Sometimes a coaching strategy and an action plan arise from the evaluation. Other times, like in the scenario described above, we find that the individual’s strengths do not align with the current position. It could be that a struggling sales rep would be ideal for a warehouse operations supervisor position. Or that a seemingly absent-minded administrator is really a frustrated account manager waiting to take flight.

Employee Assessments: The Benefits

The benefits of finding ideal roles for promising, but struggling employees are often greater than simply resolving an underperformance problem. Using employee assessments to help align your struggling employee with a better role is the key to ensuring they succeed. You save time and money rather than having to train a new person from scratch on your products, services, procedures, and organizational goals.

How can you and your employees benefit from these assessments?

More Engagement: Employees who are struggling or not fitting in their current role are less engaged and more likely to churn than those who are. With an assessment, managers can identify and gain insight into what an employee needs to help stay engaged and active in a role they can fully grasp and will fit in better.

Increased Productivity: Every employee is different and requires their own unique management style to ensure they’re getting the most from their managers and can put their best performance in action. Completing an employee assessment will give managers the information they need to understand what coaching style works best for each employee for them to be productive and efficient.

Problem Employee to Top Performer Transformation: Having a struggling employee take an employee assessment can help unlock their full potential which was overlooked before. While they may have the qualifications on paper, discovering their personality type and understanding how they accept feedback can turn any problem employee into a top performer.

With assessments, you gain insights into what type of coaching would work best for the struggling employee. The results can be revisited later for career path development. Companies who have a struggling employee could have a top performer just waiting to get their opportunity to shine. However, if the role is not quite suited for them, or the development opportunity is overlooked they could be deemed as a wrong employee altogether.

Before you think about the write-ups and warnings, use the time and have your employee take an assessment, such as Caliper’s employee assessments, and find out if you have a hidden top performer just waiting for the right role to use their skills to the fullest.

Updated on April 17, 2019.