Assessment ServicesWhat is assessment?
Assessment is an analytical problem-solving process. We use it to tackle organizational "pains" with observable "symptoms." My assessment process starts with recognizing measurables of your organization's performance and morale. Then we articulate what healthy performance and morale would look like. The difference between your current state of organizational health vs. where your organization wants to be defines your performance gap. The next step is to discover the causes of the pain or performance gap. Just like a doctor, we know long-term treatment must eliminate and control cause, otherwise pains come back and performance gaps remain open. Once we know causes, we can brainstorm "treatments" or solutions, select the solution that eliminates the cause, implement it, resource it, measure it, and reward the healthy result. - Dr. Kristin D. Charles
What kinds of problems can Kris address with an assessment?
Almost any observable problem related to employee performance and morale should start with a thorough assessment. Example problems could be low scores on customer service, a drop in market share, high employee turnover in a particular department, an unresolved conflict between employees or units, or decreased morale on a team.
Ever get so entrenched in a problem that you can't see the forest through the trees? That's where an outside consultant is a great resource. Kristin can help you ask the right questions to define your current problem, identify your desired measurable outcomes, find causes, and eliminate causes through effective solution implementation.
Here are other examples of problems that can be addressed through assessment:
- A board of directors is experiencing conflict, unproductive meetings, and attritution, and they can't pinpoint why
- A business is losing market share and doesn't seem to have a plan to regain it
- One particular role in an organization is experiencing high turnover. After the fourth hire in five years, it is time to assess the problem.
- A department consistently misses monthly performance benchmarks. The VP is getting vague, informal opinions about the causes of the problem. Everyone is finger-pointing and protecting turf. The VP doesn't know who to believe and wants to take a systematic approach to solving the problem.
Assessment involves finding cause. Sometimes people are afraid that finding cause means "placing blame." When left to find cause on their own, leaders sometimes run up against understandably defensive behavior. The right questions don't get asked. The political games begin.
Kristin's style turns assessment into a productive pursuit for improvement, rather than a witch hunt. Kristin's singular goal is to help the organization improve its productivity and morale. Since Kristin has no authority in the organization's structure and is not seeking in-house employment, her inquiries and problem-solving pursuits are less threatening. It is much easier to cooperate and be candid with a person who can't sign your pink slip!
Kristin has developed her facilitation skills with a variety of organizations over the last 20 years. With post-graduate studies in problem solving and group facilitation techniques, Kristin can help your group quickly gather and analyze information. Kristin carries a heavy toolbox loaded with formal ways to facilitate problem solving in groups. Her approach is unthreatening, constructive, and organized.
Do you have existing employee and customer surveys? Do you ever question their reliability and validity? How do you know the survey is measuring what you really want to know? Although data analysis can be a dry, complicated subject, it is extremely important in problem solving. Kristin's background in statistics and quantitative study gives her an edge in analyzing data. Let's not over-react to jumps in our measures until we understand significance, sample size, reliability, and validity. On the flip side, let's make sure we react to changes in measures that are tried and true.
A note from Kris:
"Once a client called me because a score on a standard employee satisfaction survey triggered a system warning about one of his department supervisors. When we dove into the wording of the questions, sample size, margin of error, and recent changes to this department, we discovered there were many other causes for the numeric "warning" besides leader competence issues. A quick meeting to analyze data halted a possible knee-jerk, disciplinary reaction to numbers on a page. The result was a much more collaborative approach to addressing causes of organizational problems that were evidenced as symptoms on a survey."