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Our top tips to increase the capability of your team

Building the capability of your team needs more than a ‘tick box’ appraisal. The OPG consulting team is often engaged by clients who need both to transform performance and to identify strengths and development needs in their leadership team at individual, team and organisational levels.

  • Over the last 25 years our business psychology team has identified the following key indicators:
  • Do you understand the team dynamic and have a clear understanding of performance and potential?
  • Is your senior team stable but with some turnover to keep it fresh?
  • Does your senior team operate as a decision-making unit with participation from all members?
  • As a senior team do they have regular two-way communication with employees?
  • Is there a succession plan in place?

High performance is shown to be largely dependent on the quality and dynamic of the leadership team.  Putting managers and leaders on courses is ineffective without properly understanding needs.

We recommend:

1. 360-degree feedback and/or psychometric assessment with expert feedback and development planning for leaders. This provides much more detail than can appraisals especially if it is provided by an impartial, expert, leadership professional who can get ‘buy in’ from the participant.

2. Organise coaching post assessment and development planning on a one on one basis. ‘Shot-gun’ approaches to training courses simply lacks effectiveness at this level.

3. Engage as a decision-making unit collectively to develop the team dynamic and leadership team effectiveness.  Find regular time on the leadership team’s agenda for reviewing its own performance.

4. The chairman or CEO must take ownership for the leadership team. Proper succession planning and a culture of shared leadership is proven to improve performance.

5. Work with managers to prepare them for promotion to the senior team. Make sure the leadership group is kept fresh with new talent. Stale leadership amongst leadership groups damages innovation, creativity and the energy to grow.

Kissing Frogs to find Princes and Princesses

Lean, operational excellence and TQM depend on effective recruitment & selection to recruit employees with appropriate behaviours and motivation. Modern internet-based recruitment meanwhile has widened the application pool for many appointments, but it is still challenging to achieve a skills and motivation fit.

Just how do we uncover the gems amongst the masses?

One on one interviews alone are unreliable. An abundance of evidence proves this. Moreover, the cost of a failed hire is huge, there is plenty of proof of this.

Our six steps to best practice recruitment & selection will help improve hiring quality and reduce cost:

1. Make sure you have a well-researched competency framework in place. We have designed competencies for clients who understand the need to think about future as well as current requirements.  Building organisational performance goes beyond short term thinking.

2. Ensure an effective job analysis takes place to identify requirements. Make sure they are clearly articulated in the job and person profile.

3. Think about job enrichment and career development at hiring stage. People want careers and in today’s flat structures it is challenging.

4. Openly advertise vacancies. Avoid agencies who bombard clients with CVs. They want placements and do not really care about finding the right candidate.

5. Invest in online psychometric assessment. We charge just a few hundred pounds for the market leading OPQ with ability testing and telephone feedback from assessment experts. Alternatively, assessment centres remain the ‘gold standard’ for selection.

6. Instead of one on one interviews it is far better to use panel interviews. Research shows that they are better at identifying the talent every organisation needs and this is shown to mitigate the impact of individual bias and poor practice at interview.

Matthew Davis is an expert Consultant in the skills and leadership arena. He regularly advises organisations on all aspects of capability and performance. He is contactable at medavis@ramseyhall.com or on 02380 236944.

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