Learnability is an indispensable capability for employees the modern business world. It is an aspiration and capacity to improve new in-demand skills quickly to meet the needs of a constantly shifting employability marketplace. Over the last decade, learnability has become one of the most important soft skills required to stay relevant in organisational environments. The advent of the internet, subsequent globalisation and technological innovation has profoundly changed the professional landscape we operate in. The increased pace of change associated with these factors has highlighted learnability as an indispensable trait that employers need to search for during the recruitment / selection and employee development processes.


Do you have a learning mindset? 

Take the Psych Press Learning Mindset Quiz to find out. 


Why is Learnability Important?
Continuous professional development is critical for employees wanting to remain attractive to employers. In fact, the critical employee success factors of efficiency, agility, job satisfaction and performance are determined by an ability to learn and adapt to change in the workplace. This ability is a major determinant of promotion and career advancement. Learnability is also critical from a management perspective. A workforce that can adapt to new technologies and industry standards is more likely to remain significant in their market.
HR managers that emphasise learnability are putting their organisations into a win-win situation, with the benefits of recruiting employees who possess learnability being two-fold. For the employee, a learning mindset promotes new skills and experience that can further their career. For the employer, the organisation benefits from increased employee knowledge, experience and engagement which increases productivity, profit and industry relevance.
So, what should you consider when implementing a learnability mindset in your organisation?
1. Prioritise learnability as an employee trait in the recruitment process
Eager employees that want to learn are more engaged, satisfied and productive in the workplace. This has a flow on effect which is evident in reduced staff turnover. Some of the personality traits that have been most associated with learnability are personal development, innovativeness, openness to change, ambition and divergent thinking.
Personality questionnaires like the Business Personality Reflections possess the ability to assess these key competencies early in the recruitment cycle. These attributes make certain individuals easier to train and should be considered when hiring new staff. In the recruitment process, the use of reliable psychometric assessments and behavioural interview questions can ensure employers fill available positions with personnel that have a high aptitude for learning.
2. Encourage the desire to learn
Organisations should set aside time for employees to develop skills and learn new things through attending seminars and professional development. This behaviour must also be modelled by managers if learnability is to be normalised as a central part of the workplace culture. Information about rival industries, areas of the workplace outside one’s specialty field or challenging one’s routine can all be areas where investigating new ideas or alternative ways of doing things is an opportunity to learn.
Creating an ethos within the organisation that embraces new knowledge can have a positive effect on motivation, productivity and morale. It also provides an opportunity to bring new ideas into the workplace and serves as an avenue for employees to question ‘why’. The freedom for employees to question and be involved in developing new ideas and procedures demonstrates that their opinions are a valued within the organisation. This is central to increasing employee retention and job satisfaction.
3. Reward employees that display the ability to learn
In order to build an organisation with a learning mindset, it is important to reward employees that do so. This is a way of reinforcing learning behaviors and setting an example to other workers that are reluctant to take on professional development opportunities. Good managers are not only responsible for their own self-development, but the development of their employees. Rewarding modern professional learning behaviours is fundamental to streamlining work processes and increasing productivity because it creates a culture where improvement is part of the everyday organisational routine.
These three points highlight that it is the responsibility of management to provide a framework that promotes an innovative culture as the norm. Moreover, a top-down system of rewarding employees that embraces service, routine or product development with learnability as a focus is crucial. This does not happen quickly or by accident. The process of ensuring an open learning environment is the product of planning, reflecting and gathering feedback over a sustained period of time in all areas of the company. The use of periodic organisational self-assessment tools is a way of creating a positive feedback loop that can drive the strategic planning of the business.
Unfortunately, despite research touting the benefits of learnability, many organisations still over-emphasise hard skills and qualifications in recruitment. This is a common mistake as academic results do not ensure a graduate employee is equipped with the skills required in today’s business market.
The ability to learn has been identified as one of the top predictors of high job performance and success over the course of one’s career.
Conscientiousness, interpersonal skills and adaptability are also important as they are linked learning. Furthermore, the priority placed on convergent thinking at university indicates whether a graduate is fit for work on paper but gives no indication of whether they are fit to learn. This disconnect is illustrated in the ‘real business world’ where learning is less structured than in university institutions. In the workplace, divergent thinking is required and employees must manage short-term job goals as well as long-term goals for career progression.
Employees will always show individual variation in their curiosity, drive and desire to learn. It is the responsibility of management to prioritise learning as a trait in recruitment and training
Managers should provide an environment that encourages and rewards learning in the organisation. If executed correctly, an ethos that promotes learnability provides a win-win proposition for organisations. It allows a business to build a more productive, talented workforce while providing individuals with professional development that gives them skills to advance their careers.
To assist management in the recruitment and development of an organisational learning mindset, many organisations are utilising bespoke personality questionnaires like the Business Personality Reflections®. Developed by Psych Press, this assessment contains 70 personality scales that can be tailored to any organisation’s needs. This includes scales related to learnability like the Divergent Thinking scale, which evaluates an individual's tendency to consider innovative approaches to work problems.
Divergent Thinking
Divergent thinking can be briefly understood as the ability to push boundaries of established thoughts. Research suggests1 that divergent thinking tests can predict an individual’s creative achievement significantly better than IQ. Individual divergent thinking skills include openness and potential to generate new ideas, ability to move efficiently from divergent to convergent thinking; and a passion for cognitive challenges2. It is a useful personality trait for learning-orientated employees working in a business environment that is innovative, fast paced, and requires thinking outside the box.


"Working life is impermanent and unpredictable, and will only become more so. That is daunting, but it is also liberating. We are increasingly willing to take control."
Attitude towards divergent thinking and openness to experience is positively associated with employees’ creative performance. It was also found that attitude towards divergent thinking is likely to be influenced by the amount of structure that supervisors initiate for their subordinates3. Organisation-level antecedents of divergent thinking include an innovative culture that encourages idea freedom and diversity2. Additionally, divergent thinking across middle and senior managers increases with experience4.
A sample item that might be seen on one of our tests is:
“Describe a time you had a big decision to make. Did you ask for/consider other people's suggestions or decide independently?”.
A high score on this scale reflects an individual who is more likely to be very open minded in their thoughts and ideas. The individual is likely to be good at examining problems from all angles and considers others’ ideas along with their own but may often becoming bored if methods of thought are stagnant or routine. They can value alternate modes of thinking and will often use techniques such as brainstorming to generate new ideas. They are often more innovative, resourceful, and inventive.
Organisations that prioritise divergent thinking in their employees can benefit from the range of possible solutions generated in a short amount of time. Instead of relying solely on existing knowledge base for a solution, unexpected connections could be drawn to propose a solution that works best. Employees displaying divergent thinking can influence others in the work environment to exert more cognitive effort through increased engagement in divergent thinking and develop more original products and qualitatively better decision5. Firms reap the benefits of confident, innovative, and efficient workers.
You should consider using divergent thinking scales in your recruiting and development processes if your business operates in an environment that is:
  • Innovative
  • Fast paced
  • Creative
  • Requires strategic thinking
  • Highly-efficient
Organisations that prioritise divergent thinking in their employees are reaping the benefits of confident, innovative, and efficient workers. Stay ahead of the game by acting on improving your recruitment and development processes today!
Do you have a learning mindset? Take the Psych Press Growth Mindset Quiz now to find out!

Questions about our Divergent Thinking Scale?
Contact us to find out how we can make it work for you and your business.


In the modern world of work there is now a constant pressure to do more with less.   Agile work conditions are increasingly becoming commonplace as organisations realise the benefits.  Paired with an explosion of global business practices, this has given many employees the capacity to work anywhere at any time.  Employees are now being asked to be adaptable to changing circumstances, autonomous, and capable of self-managing their teams.  Too often however, organisational development can occur to infrastructure and processes, and yet fail to engage employees.

This is why employee empowerment is so important to success during organisational change.  It is a critical element for any organisation committed to development and change in the digital age. Shifting circumstances need an aligned change culture, or risk critical failure. Given the costs typically associated with restructuring an organisation, it is reasonable to question organisation and individual benefits when it comes to promoting an empowerment mindset.  Business leaders and human resources academics have frequently made note of the many key workforce issues that can be addressed through employee psychological empowerment strategies.

Turnover Intention
Employee empowerment has been shown to have negative direct and indirect effects on turnover intention.  Empowered employees are far more likely to care about the work they produce, as well as their organisation.  This loyalty and commitment has enormous implications.

A recent report by the Australian Human Resource Institute revealed an average turnover rate of 16%, a notable increase given the turnover rate was 12% only three years prior.  It is no secret that increased employee turnover has detrimental financial implications for organisations – it can cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to double an employee’s annual salary, just to replace one individual.  This is before factoring the intangible costs of employee turnover on organisations, such as added stress, tension, reductions in employee morale, and disruptions to group synergy and productivity.

The benefits increase even further when considering the features of the digital age, where smaller talents pools have created a shortage of quality candidates.  David Brown, a Deloitte partner in Human Capital, noted that in Australia “we spend almost twice as much on recruiting people as we do training and developing them”.  Reducing turnover intentions through empowered employees allows organisations to invest less on recruitment and more where it matters: development.


Leadership Development
For years organisations have proclaimed the importance of cultivating leaders from within their organisations; executives frequently posit that succession management is their most critical human capital priority.  While leadership development programs have come a long way, they are far from ideal when equipping employees with the necessary skills to manage within their functions.  Far too many training initiatives tend to assume one size fits all, and that the same styles of leadership will produce consistent results across areas of work, indefinitely.

In enacting an employee empowerment strategy, employees can be given a sizeable chunk of the decision-making function, alongside a small number of key competencies that will make a sizable impact on performance.  Instead of throwing high potentials into a sea of capability frameworks and organisational value statements, the impactful aspects of leadership - such as decision-making and coaching skills - can be fostered on a daily basis.  With the right training in place to aid employees to develop these core capabilities, today’s sales representative could be tomorrow’s empowerment leader.
                          
Productivity & Performance
Greater productivity arises at the operational level when employees are empowered, as they have a superior ability to resolve problems without added delays in contacting front line managers.  At a more strategic level, employees who feel as if they have a say in the decision-making process work harder.  Understanding that they have additional autonomy over their work, and that managers are going to back their decisions fosters a sense of ownership.  This feeling of ownership leads employees to feel more committed to producing quality work, leading to higher productivity and performance.  

In the digital age department budgets are growing exceedingly smaller as margins thin.  Having employees that are able to do more with less ensures sustained, competitive advantages in the market.

Innovation
Giving employees more autonomy over their environments and consumer interactions provides additional insights into management decisions and service innovations.  Front line employees can often see problems that behind-the-scenes executives won’t.  Being empowered gives these employees the capacity to share their insights in a far more effective manner.  Organisations that value innovation (which should be all of them) get access to a wealth of employees who can bring new ways of thinking to existing practices.  This employee feedback provides the opportunity for practical organisations to develop their business strategies and cement their role in the market. 

Beyond these significant business advantages, empowered employees also promote effective culture change that aligns with modern continuous and iterative change practices.  It appears evident that when seeking to implement role restructuring, employee empowerment ensures sustained buy in.


With an understanding of the numerous long term organisational benefits, the next question is how to implement the required changes to foster a culture of empowerment – the how to.

Foster Frequent Communication Practices
Transparent and frequent communication should be, or should become, the norm.  Not only does this aid in building trust and creating a collaborative culture, but empowered employees need as much information as possible to ensure informed decision-making in critical situations.  Share any relevant information as immediately and effectively as possible.  Employers should also put in place systems that allow employees to have their voices heard.  Empowered employees should feel as if they can express themselves and that they will be listened to.

Provide Clear Vision and Objectives
The organisation’s long-term vision and objectives need to be salient to all employees.  Empowered employees have greater flexibility in their need to rely on management for guidance.  In this dynamic, managers should be able to provide a clear vision of the organisation’s future.  Acting as transformational leaders as opposed to transactional ones gives empowered employees a resource they can turn to when required but won’t interfere with every decision made.  Further this ensures decisions made by employees align with consumer demands and the movements of the market.

Remain Accepting of Mistakes
Providing additional responsibilities to employees comes with a natural risk of blunders, especially for those that lack experience.  While offering resources and providing agency, be ready and willing to allow employees to make and learn from their mistakes.  Berating employees for trying something novel only serves to deter others.  The long-term benefits of an innovative culture far surpass these risks.  Remain cognizant of the big picture and the myriad of other satisfied clients when it comes to mistakes.

Even further, create an environment that celebrates not just the success stories, but the failures as well.  Applaud employees that were willing to take a risk but didn’t quite get the intended results.  These are opportunities to learn valuable lessons and maintains a freedom to innovate novel business solutions. 


Position Teams to Transition into the New Hierarchy
As employees start to feel empowered within their work functions, slowly and carefully transfer further responsibilities from managers to teams.  Role restructures towards a flatter organisational hierarchy should occur over time as an iterative process, ensuring that key functionally and managerial responsibilities don’t fall to the wayside, or are taken on by employee’s incapable of immediate delivery.  Easing into this process with a lot of support from employers can make or break a successful change management strategy.

Practical organisations have the chance to foster a sizable competitive advantage through an empowered culture.  In saying this however, some employees are much better suited to empowerment than others.


Personality questionnaires offer organisations an opportunity to identify those employees who are the most capable of excelling in this environment.  One vital personality attribute we at Psych Press have observed makes all the difference in these types of endeavours is Autonomy.

Autonomy measures the extent to which an individual feels comfortable acting with independence, and whether they can perform in a situation with little or no supervision.  Autonomous individuals are likely to enjoy and succeed in empowered environments with minimal guidance, where they have the freedom to work through business problems independently.

An item that you might see on our Business Personality Reflections® questionnaire measuring Autonomy is:

“I make decisions quickly and effectively under minimal supervision”.

Employees that enjoy autonomy at work have been shown to have higher work engagement (Christian, Garza, & Slaughter, 2011).  As stated in the Job Demands and Resources Model, the job resource of autonomy helps to mitigate the undesirable aspects of work, including high stressors and psychological strain.  Individuals who can work autonomously also bring organisational advantages, increasing performance and organisational commitment (Spector, 1986).

Moreover, as noted by Ryan and Deci (2000) in their Self-Determination Theory, autonomous employees possess higher levels of motivation, contributing to better performance and high-level execution of tasks.  This demonstrates how an autonomous employee in your workforce, could require less supervision, yet perform tasks to a higher quality.  Employees who have a high level of autonomy over their work have a better sense of pride and accomplishment, and are more resistant to job burnout, reducing turnover intention (Kim & Stoner, 2008).

You should consider using an Autonomy scale in your recruiting and development processes if you:

  • ·         Intend on implementing an employee empowerment strategy
  • ·         Want to improve employee motivation and satisfaction
  • ·         Have increasing levels of employee turnover
  • ·         Want to improve workplace performance without constantly providing guidance

Organisations that hire high-scoring autonomous individuals are reaping the benefits of more motivated, satisfied and empowered employees.

If you were interested in learning more about the Psych Press Autonomy Scale on the Business Personality Reflections® personality questionnaire please simply enquire now for access to an exclusive free trial, or to see how this menu-driven system can work for you.



For organisations and businesses in 2018, effective employee communication is crucial for sustained competitive advantage.  It is the foundation of collaboration, and without effective communication practices organisations are likely to suffer.  When communication breaks down, so does the business.  If your organisation is identifying rising levels of stress, unmet expectations, relational breakdowns, health concerns, or a smaller bottom line, poor communication could be at the root of the problem.

As social creatures it is not difficult for employees to communicate with each other, and yet all too often you hear about agitated team members that have been left out of the loop on an important email chain, or unable to locate saved meeting notes.  We cannot expect employees to do their best work if they don’t have access to all the necessary facts.

Making enormous sweeping changes to work systems and culture to foster a communicative workplace can seem daunting, but in reality, only subtle changes to management practices and minimal buy in from employees are required.  The advancements within the digital age have heralded new ways open communication can be fostered.

So, how to foster communication in the workplace?

1. Utilise instant messaging and social networking to ping employees quickly

Almost one third of the world’s population is on social media in some way or another. And while sites such as Facebook may have seriously shaken the public’s confidence and trust with the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, businesses have access to a wealth of encrypted programs designed to foster communication, as well as keep data safe.  

Instant messaging is an easy to use way to get news to travel fast.  By providing a platform for 1-on-1 or p2p communication that employees know how to use, communication between levels and management becomes natural.  For those who struggle with face to face or over the phone communication, especially when raising issues, it can relieve the stress from getting that information out to where it needs to go. While overtly social and recreational forms of instant messaging (WhatsApp, Snapchat and others) would be a deterrent, there are a huge number of professional and reliable platforms out there.  Microsoft Office, Skype for Business, and many email programs already have built in communication systems that can easily be set up across the organisation.  Additional online communication tools such as Slack, Azendoo, and Bitrix24 are extremely customisable and designed with business communication in mind.

Social media itself should not be encouraged, however your employees should feel comfortable enough to talk to each other outside of work.  Encouraging employee external relationships creates a more positive environment when people are actually excited to come into the office and collaborate.  It creates a better corporate culture and improves morale.  We communicate better with those we are comfortable with, so providing an environment that harbours friendships can work wonders for your organisation.

2. Hold short meetings to communicate important news in person

Did you just successfully tender?  Sign a large client?  That’s wonderful! But how are you going to inform your employees, if you do at all?

Emailing staff important information regarding business movements can ensure employees have access to the information, but there’s no guarantees they won’t be overlooked on a busy day.  It’s also an impersonal experience that can make employees feel like spectators in their teams, as opposed to valued resources.

When something worth celebrating happens in your organisation, no matter how small, endeavour to tell your employees about it in person.  A quick, informal five-minute chat next to everyone’s desks is a far more inclusive and positive way to share news and doesn’t leave employees feeling left out.  It brings a sense of humanity to the organisation and doesn’t keep the managers hidden within their offices.

While we can’t always meet employees face to face, whether due to agile work practices, working from client sites, or contacting offices in differing cities, try to go for the personal approach whenever possible.  Taking control of the informal grapevine in this manner ensures you get the message across as intended. Involving all employees is key, especially in a business where communication is an issue.

3. Document meetings and other important information

Employees miss meetings.  It’s inconvenient, but it happens in every workplace.  What is even more inconvenient, is having said employee running around trying to find out what happened after the fact.  Meeting Minutes are an old-fashioned concept that are not utilised as often as they should be.  Not just limited to courtrooms and government sittings, documenting important meetings in some form or another is extremely useful and beneficial to every employee, whether they were there or not.

For employees that may forget the minute but important meeting details, having somewhere they can easily locate the information is a great help.  For those who didn’t understand a concept, or for those that weren’t able to be there, it is again, a very useful tool.  Having someone taking notes to distribute after the meeting is a positive and simple way to ensure that everyone is on the same page at the end of the discussion.

In addition to minutes, organisations should consider sending out weekly newsletters, or other simple documents recapping the important work and news from the week. Keep all your employees informed and involved by providing such a newsletter, or blogging platform, as in the same way that meeting minutes do, these references give all employees confidence in their position in the business, and where the business is headed.

4. Talk, don’t tell

Collaborative communication always beats the top-down approach, and in a society that is in constant technological flux, organisations can not afford to be static.  Top-down may have been crucial for organisational development in the past, but organisations have now evolved to a far flatter agile structure.  Reflect this approach in communication practices by giving the floor to the up-and-coming employees in discussions where possible.

Encouraging an environment with open communication is a must, and employees shouldn’t be nervous or worried about speaking with any other employee, no matter their title.  The fear of disapproval and rejection is something that keeps people from speaking or expressing their views, and this stagnant communication will be detrimental in the long term.

As much as employees need to be confident with suggestions, their higher ups need to be confident in giving feedback.  Explain why the idea would or would not work; explain how they can improve what they have.  Employees should not fear the hierarchy, as it should not be something that gets between them and organisational success.

5. Be compassionate

Communication and compassion should come hand in hand, as employees are far more likely to feel comfortable and productive in an environment where they feel cared for. Communication should trickle down from compassion, but it’s not always easy to determine how compassionate, or communicative, an employee is before you hire them. For this reason, Psych Press has built a Compassion Scale into our Business Personality Reflections® questionnaire to accurately measure a candidate’s compassion.  Ideal employees will be considerate towards other employees and clients, creating a positive flow of interactivity and communication, by expressing interest and sympathy towards those around them.  Those who do not possess compassionate traits, however, will not be involved in the affairs of others, and will keep to themselves objectively, potentially damaging employee relations and overall corporate identity.

It can be of great benefit when an organisation encourages compassion.  Encouraging a healthy amount of chatting at work helps people to feel bonded and positive about work and the workplace, reducing anxiety, encouraging mindfulness, and reducing stress.  A happier, healthier employee will take less leave, and will be more passionate about their work, which will ultimately benefit the bottom line. 

If you are hiring for a job that is associated with high amounts of stress, teamwork, or you just want to improve your communication practices, consider the Compassion Scale in your recruitment process.  To learn more about the Compassion Scale, or the Business Personality Reflections® questionnaire, contact us now or simply visit our website.



The future of work can’t be discussed without mention of digital disruption.  It has already transformed the way organisations operate and how they engage with consumers.  Incumbent market leaders will face some serious challenges if they fail to become students of technology and advocates of change.

90% of CEOs have stated they believe their organisations are facing digital disruption, and 70% of them said they don’t believe their organisations have the skills to adapt.

For those who do have the capacity to future proof themselves, it is going to be a very exciting next few years. Digital technologies are reducing barriers to entry, blurring market segmentation, and opening the doors for the next generation of innovators.  Perceptive organisations are already making strides to embrace digital technologies, particularly within HR, a necessity for success in the global market.

However, that’s not to say that digital technology can only be taught to the up and coming millennial workforce.  

A recent article in Nature exposed as a myth, the proposition that exposure to technology has made young people “digital natives”.

The conclusion arrived at was that “the younger generation uses technology in the same ways as older people — and is no better at multitasking.”

It begins:

“Some people put the cut-off at 1984, but for most it is 1980.  People born after that date are the digital natives; those born before are digital immigrants, doomed to be forever strangers in a computer-based strange land.”

“But a paper published last month in Teaching and Teacher Education reaches the opposite conclusion.  The digital native is a myth, it claims: a yeti with a smartphone (P. A. Kirschner and P. D. Bruyckere Teach. Teach. Educ.67, 135–142; 2017).
It is beyond dispute that people brought up in the most recent decades have been exposed to a lot of digital technology — at least in developed countries.
However, a 2011 review for the Higher Education Academy in York, UK, put it bluntly, as the first of its executive-summary conclusions: “There is no evidence that there is a single new generation of young students entering Higher Education and the terms Net Generation and Digital Native do not capture the processes of change that are taking place”.  Many members of the digital-savvy generation use technology in the same way as many of their elders: to passively soak up information.
Consequently, all HR professionals are going to benefit from learning how to leverage technology for greater organisational outcomes.
With the ongoing digital revolution that streamlines processes and reduces transactional costs, HR plays a key role in improving the efficiency of operations, through standardising processes and using transactional technology (digitalising traditional pen and paper practices).
So, what 3 things should HR leaders consider when combatting digital disruption?
1. Culture is the most significant factor in successful digital transformation.
Having a culture that is open-minded, embraces change and agile will ensure the effectiveness of new digital initiatives.  Today, executives are investing energy into initiatives such as artificial intelligence; programs that use data to build a model for future predictions, and the Internet of Things; the interconnection and communication between devices via the internet.  Ten years ago, only about 40% of CIOs were involved in strategic planning, whereas today, they comprise some of the most integral players in the C-suite.  High performing executives have improved their ability to embrace digital, and the results are evident.

One such example is that of GE’s previous CEO, Jeff Immelt.  One of his legacies is the digital transformation of the organisation.  Immelt’s financial performance exceeded competitors; earnings tripled during his tenure and resulted in record-high market share.  To influence digital transformation throughout the organisation, Immelt maintained an unwavering, persistent and open-minded approach, with an all-or-nothing attitude.  His view was prevalent in all areas of the company, as he encouraged all employees to learn how to code. Whether they learned or not, he maintained that an open attitude and mindset towards new software was imperative.

Investing energy into cultural transformation will complement change.  A common factor for successful digital transformation is strong leadership buy-in, along with a corporate mindset of innovation.  Leaders can account for up to 70% of an organisation’s culture and need to lead the charge when it comes to digital transformation.

2.  Leveraging digital platforms can lead to successful talent ventures.

As jobs and skills adapt to meet the needs of a digital future, finding and recruiting the right people is becoming more important than ever. Luckily digital platforms also have the capacity to revolutionise the recruitment process. Leading organisations are using social networking, analytics, and cognitive tools to improve efficiency and reduce bias in candidate screening.  Akin to the talent acquisition processes of the Big Four, NAB has recently automated their volume recruitment process thanks to platforms like E-Recruitment.  NAB includes these technologies from the very top of their selection funnel, including an online application, a cognitive assessment, a values questionnaire, and an online interview.  NAB’s Chief People Officer, Lorraine Murphy suggested that this new model saved over 700 hours a month and halved the turnover of recruits during the training period.

In addition to using digital platforms to inform decisions about employees, online tools allow important data to be collected to improve HR decision-making.  As such, data analytics may also assist HR to make unbiased judgements and decisions regarding existing employees.

Leading organisations such as Google and Luxottica have further shifted towards relying on the data in their recruiting.  Luxottica identified in their analyses that the slow process of hiring external candidates was caused by hiring managers stalling their decisions.  With this information, Luxottica then altered their recruitment goals and strategy, reducing the time it takes to recruit senior positions with external candidates from 96 days to 46 days.  
This data-based people management is increasingly used in technology firms, as leaders in innovation, and sets an excellent example for other industries to follow. 

3. Workforce planning based on data-analytics and digital technologies.

Beyond recruitment and talent acquisition, digital and data-analytic approaches can assist key elements of workforce planning.  Despite this, once candidates have successfully proceeded through the recruitment and onboarding process, many organisations are failing to emphasise the importance of ongoing learning and development programs.

David Brown, Deloitte Partner in Human Capital, commented that hiring costs can be significantly reduced by changing hiring practices.  He noted that in Australia, “we spend almost twice as much on recruiting people than training and developing them” and if “organisations were to increase their spending on capability uplift, they would be able to reduce those hiring costs.”  Digital platforms and data analytics vastly improve these practices by providing objective insights.

Organisations that are effectively future-proofing themselves understand that continuous learning is critical for business success. Employees are now pursuing opportunities to learn and progress at a rapid rate, which isn’t surprising when the half-life of a learned skill is now only 5 years.

Through digital means, organisations now have the capacity to deliver learning that is always online and available across a myriad of platforms. Training costs can be reduced significantly with adoption of virtual training rather than full-day workshops. Additionally, by collecting employee data and monitoring their output, employees can be selected to attend training according to their needs.

“Everything changes, and nothing stands still.” - Heraclitus

These three HR practices demonstrate the benefits of continued digital transformation.  HR leaders play an integral role in the effective implementation of digital practice.  They can strongly influence and shift corporate mindsets and culture to embrace emerging digital platforms.  Moreover, they can capitalise on efficient talent acquisition solutions, and data-analytic approaches foster unbiased, beneficial people solutions.  The future of work is now, and HR professionals have the capacity to assist integration of technologies into the business, embrace big data to measure workplace productivity and combine digital with people-led management.

Staying on top of digital disruption demands a culture of flexible thinking and innovation.  The ability to think creatively and flexibly within a dynamic and constantly changing environment can allow teams to survive where many others fail.
Whether for external recruitment or internal transfers, promotion or recruitment, companies are increasingly using objective data for its practicality in supporting human capital decisions. 

Psych Press’s Business Personality Reflections® menu driven personality questionnaire offers a choice of a variety of scales relevant to digital transformation from 70 scales in total.
These scales are Tolerance for Ambiguity, Ambition, Autonomy, Dynamic, Self-Discipline, Achievement Oriented, Achievement Striving, Self-Sufficient, Positivity, Positive Thinking, Optimism, Innovative, Imaginative, Strategic Orientation, Vision, Ingenuity, Divergent Thinking, Resilience, Emotional Resilience, Energy Level, Social Confidence, Active Leadership, Influential, Action Oriented, Responsibility, Teamwork, Social Skills, and Approachability.

As an example, one of these scales assesses Innovation, which provides some useful information in this context:

Innovation
Innovation is described as the ability to introduce new, useful and unconventional ideas, particularly in problem-solving.  It generally requires the use of original and creative thinking. The Innovation Scale measures an individual’s ability to develop interesting or unusual solutions to a problem.  Due to the fast-paced and growing workplace, having innovative employees is essential for an organisation to develop, grow and remain competitive.

A sample item from the Business Personality Reflections Innovation scale is:

“Pushing established boundaries is the only way to succeed”.

Despite the challenges of identifying innovative performance, research indicates hiring creative and innovative thinkers is linked with better individual job performance.  This, in turn, may positively influence the organisation’s innovative performance (Hunter, et al. 2012).  Additionally, Pot (2011) researched the need for policies encouraging innovation; research has found improvement in work performance and quality of working life from innovative employees.  Lastly, Scott and Bruce (1994) found a positive relationship between innovativeness and individual’s problem solving, leadership, and collaborative task skills – all of which are beneficial to any future-aligned workplace.

Individuals who score highly on the innovation scale will likely use their imagination to create novel solutions to problems.  High scorers will also be able to foresee future consequences of their ideas, prior to its development.

You might consider using innovative scales in your recruitment and development process if you want employees that:

·         Are excited at the prospect of new digital technologies
·         Creatively solve organisational problems
·         Work effectively and unconventionally to see what others will not
·         Create and develop unconventional procedures to grow your business

Organisations benefit from innovators as they implement novel solutions to problems and apply creative thinking to develop procedures that are outside tradition.  Recruit and develop employees that will allow your organisation to continue to grow and prosper where competitors will otherwise fall short.

For a free trial of the Business Personality Reflections® Innovation Scale please simply enquire now.


Build Innovative Teams Destined to Succeed

Having recruited individuals with a penchant for innovation and change, determined by a number of relevant personality scales, it might then be appropriate to form team/s on a similar scientific basis. In response to complexity and change in the digital age, businesses have turned to making teams the functional units of their organisations. Over many years, psychologists have been remarkably productive in assessing how teams are formed to produce the best results. There are well over 100 scientific studies about personality and team composition which Psych Press drew on to develop our suite of Team Assessments

TEAMBUILDER®

TeamBuilder® identifies the aspects of your team which are in need of team building, by allowing team members to provide anonymous feedback regarding eleven team-related attributes.

  • Clarity
  • Processes
  • Trust
  • Commitment
  • Resources
  • Communication
  • Participation
  • Development
  • Competence
  • Praise/Acknowledgement
  • Interpersonal Relations









These eleven research-based attributes are believed to be critical for team building success and address areas ordinarily neglected by routine performance reviews.

What will you gain from the team building report?

  • Identify your team's strengths
  • Identify your team's areas for improvement as part of team building
  • Team members' verbal comments regarding team effectiveness
  • Prioritisation of your team's development needs to facilitate team building.
  • Personalised development suggestions to facilitate team building and improve team effectiveness
  • Comparison of your team with others in similar industries

Get the most out of your innovative employees and face digital disruption head on with the Psych Press Team Assessment Suite today.