There are a lot of people out there wasting money on behavioral assessment tools. That probably sounds weird coming from someone who works for an assessment provider, but it’s a fact.
The reason they’re wasting their money isn’t because the tool can’t do what they need it to, it’s because it’s not being used the way it was meant to be used. This isn’t their fault. They were probably never told how to properly implement it.Proper implementation greatly reduces the risk and increases the effectiveness of a behavioral assessment tool. There are basically four stages of a good implementation plan for an assessment tool:
- Set Your Goals
- Create a Plan
- Launch/Roll Out the System
- Review Progress
Follow a few key steps in each stage and you’re far more likely to see results your C-Suite will definitely notice.
Motivation guru Zig Ziglar once asked, “How can you hit a target you don’t even have?” The only way to really know if your assessment tool was a success is to know what you were trying to achieve with it and have solid targets and metrics. With our clients, we like to set short, medium, and long-term goals. That provides things to work on in the short-term to make sure you’re on track, while still keeping your eye on the big picture.
Some common goals that an assessment tool can help you with are:
- Increased retention
- Reduced cost per hire
- Reduced new-hire failure rate
- Hiring manager satisfaction
- Improvements in effectiveness of coaching
By setting targets in these and other areas and tracking results, you’ll be able to see what kind of impact your assessment tool is having.
Creating the Plan
Anyone involved in rolling out a new tool knows it is fraught with risk. Take time to create an implementation plan that specifies:
- How you will integrate the assessments into your existing processes; and
- How you will introduce the tool to the organization
Part of this planning process is creating all of the communication pieces you'll need. You should also have a schedule and know who's doing what and when. We work with our new customers to create a customized plan that sets them up for success.
Launch the System
Now it’s time to follow your plan and engage your organization. How and where you start, and how you proceed will depend on your organization. Communication is key at this phase. The success of an assessment tool is often dependent upon players outside of HR, like hiring managers. And, of course, you want to ensure your executives are onboard and championing use of the tool. During this phase, you’ll be running executive briefings, webinars, training sessions, as well as issuing emails to the relevant stakeholders. All of the activities you created in your planning phase.
This is a critical phase for success. Too often this gets left until it’s time to decide whether or not to renew your contract with the vendor. That’s a big mistake. That’s like looking at your own goals for the year five minutes before walking into your performance review.
You should be reviewing the metrics you established in the Setting Goals phase regularly and you should be meeting with your assessment provider quarterly to discuss progress with them. This is why we like to set short-, medium- and long-term goals with our clients; so we can see early on if things are going as planned. If you’re not seeing the results you expected let your provider help you make adjustments to your approach so that you achieve your longer-term goals. At each meeting:
- Review progress to near-term goals
- Identify gaps
- Create a plan to address any gaps
If you follow this four-phase implementation plan you’ll be much more likely to see results from your behavioral assessment tool, and to have a good news story to tell your superiors at year-end.