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COVID-19 RE-OPENING EXCLUSIVE: Nr. 8. – Chatterbox? Manipulation? Destroy it now! Organisational Development Guide 2021, Part 2

A study on employee performance in the first nine months of the COVID-19 period. The study is based on international data from Mentors & Partners Group (MPG).

Across 118 organisational development programmes, MPG examined a total of 84,782 employees using the RISE personality and behaviour analysis system, which identifies decision-making mechanisms. These departments were monitored for a minimum of three and a maximum of 9 months, depending on the time of the first measurement. The organisational development programmes were prepared based on assessments have been running for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 8 months. That means, on average, it took approximately 1 month after the employees of the organisation took the assessments for the evaluations and analyses to take place and the specific organisational development programmes to start. From the consultants’ findings regarding the complex research, we selected the most informative and provide guidelines for decisionmakers when evaluating their organisations.

The RISE System

Among the psychological systems available today, RISE provides the deepest and most complex assessments for individuals, teams, organisations, and multinationals. By identifying the “original personality”, the “present personality”, and the “idol personality”, RISE clearly defines how decisions were/are/will be made in the past, present, and future. It also shows how these decisions differ during crisis periods and peacetime, and the internal motivations at play. It delineates are the most important motivational factors for a given person and their weak/strong points for a given employer, organisation, society, and market. In addition, it identifies the factors the “present behaviour”, “short-term behaviour” and “long-term behaviour” that explain the behaviour of the analysed person, making them more predictable. The system also defines how a person has been modified and how that influences their decision-making, showing the way to the most successful path and peak performance for the analysed person, their teammates, and their employer. The RISE system’s growth is not as spectacular as some of the analytical tests on the market. The main reason for this is that RISE focuses on presenting reality — holding up a real mirror — even if it is not necessarily sympathetic to the person being analysed or the employer. However, this honesty ensures truly sustainable, long-term results. The crisis has put honesty first. Employers, team leaders, and even employees themselves now want to see reality, not a nicely formed sentence about personalities. Because of this, RISE has gained significant ground in 2020 and is being used by an increasing number of market-dominant companies. First, they use it to analyse their key people, and then they move further and lower down the organisational hierarchy, so they can measure the important people with whom they plan for the future, using tests of varying complexity.

“The cornerstone of robust organisational development is to have the most accurate information possible about that organisation’s employees. That is why we use the RISE system in our own development programmes,” began Miklós Palencsár, the founder of MPG. “It is important to us that the tests are constantly evolving and meet current market challenges. Which means in 2020, we needed assessments that clearly identified factors like the ‘home office index’ or the ‘stress index’ for respondents, or just the knowledge of which role a given employee should play in the reorganisation — the ‘reconstruction index’. It is a basic expectation on the part of our partners that they want to see who among their key people needs close attention, because taking advantage of the ‘home office’ opportunities, they are looking for a new job and losing them would be a serious problem for the organisation. Or they want to know, in light of the current crisis, what kind of motivational tool each employee needs to not get into the state of thinking they start to look for a new job, how can we keep them, how to increase their level of satisfaction. And we need to be able to define, given the new situation — either in the reconstruction phase, during the re-opening period, or after the re-opening — who are the workers that can deal with more tasks, and who can be given more responsibility because their personalities are perfect for managing such workloads during this period. RISE has defined all three issues quite clearly with its products (the ‘hidden turnover map’, ‘retention motivation analysis’, ‘restructuring and promotion map’) and has provided us with very significant support to get our partners stronger and ready to start a new business era,” concluded the CEO.

Home-office, efficiency, manipulation

The study determines clear directions in behaviour and efficiency based on one’s main personality types. Because the main personality types — Ruler, Individual, Supporter, Expert — make decisions, behave, and react to the crisis completely differently, we can also interpret the consistencies displayed. One of the biggest surprises of the study was that the home office index, which shows how well a person can perform in a work from home environment, was not outstanding at the surveyed organisations — on average 54%, i.e., employees produce half of their performance while doing their work from home. Yet somehow, the participating organisations showed a higher productivity and workforce efficiency during the home office period, in the first month of starting to work from home, than under normal office conditions.

“The first data was surprising for us too, because telling a company that the efficiency of working from home will be ‘only’ 54%, is not very positive. Although we have indicated that this value has never been measured before, i.e., it will be really interesting when they will see the fresh efficiency data or see the new management reports in this field as it will become comparable to the past. We are fully aware that there is a significant level of overemployment in the workplace, as this is a major theme in all our organisational development projects, and by recognising this, we can make a given business more efficient and profitable. By filtering out people from the organisation who are not fit for their positions, we find the positions fit for them, and we remove the manipulative workers who hinder the work of others. Those people who work little, but can sell the little work they do with their good communication, a group usually composed of managers who take up a significant portion of the wage budget at a given firm. What’s more, in addition to not working, they try to cover up their lack of work by obstructing the work of others with unnecessary work, meetings, calls, evaluations, and so on” analysed Mr Palencsár. Along with the aforementioned analyses, MPG assesses other factors such the “level of manipulation” of a given organisation and thus points out the extent to which a given company is exposed to unnecessary diplomatic games and position struggles that cause serious financial losses in the field of human resources. “Breaking it down into countries and regions, we can present the change in the level of manipulation very well. There are countries where the average level of manipulation of top and middle management is 38% based on our data so far, and there are countries where it is less than 6%. This clearly shows where the energy of leaders in a given country is going. It is often very informative to see a given multinational company headquartered in a country with an average manipulation of 6%. They do not know what to do with the underperformance of local management of a region where the manipulation index is 38%. They simply don’t understand each other because the former believes in work that can be tied to performance, and the latter believes in the power to explain things away,” continued the business mentor. “In light of this, it was not surprising that efficiency measurements showed that the home office was more efficient than working in normal times under normal office conditions in some countries. The first month still showed efficiency reductions on average, but efficiency indicators continued to improve from the second month onwards. It has become clear that the average worker, or workers who actually do their jobs, can perform better from home. In many cases, the data and recognition were staggering for company management. In addition, the stress level of the employees was able to decrease, and if we consider that a deadly virus took many victims during this period, it is a very thought-provoking data, which HR and company management must take seriously!” warned Mr Palencsár.

Individual direction

“Obviously, we didn’t stop collecting this data, as communicating a fact is not enough for an organisational development consultant. The partners expect concrete answers, explanations, and, most importantly, a solution from us” the CEO continued. It is clear that everyone is looking for a solution, and this is what we experience in today’s circumstances when writing about MPG findings. We can gather all sorts of astute thoughts and data from companies but extracting specific solutions on a topic is almost impossible. However, as a business development magazine, we have clear expectations in this regard. “Further evaluation of the analyses revealed that one personality type behaves drastically differently from the others, and that is the INDIVIDUAL. That type generally has the lowest work efficiency index, as they love to communicate, which they are very good at, but when specific tasks have to get done, they fail. The hardest part for them is going through any process from beginning to end. But this type is not suitable for that either. On average, home office index was the lowest because they were most affected by social exclusion, as for them, it is paramount talk to many people and make contact with others. They are very creative people with bright ideas, but they work little, they love freedom, and they skirt the rules. They’re the ones who want to talk about everything, who want half-hour meetings about topics that can be handled in two sentences in an email. They can’t summarise the main point, and that makes them feel a constant compulsion to continue communicating. These features make them seem very dynamic to employers, and they can appear to have a heavy work volume. But this is mostly achieved through unnecessary meetings or by committing the working hours of another workforce. And that’s the key to home office efficiency gains. With the physical change of the whole organisation, the INDIVIDUAL’s stage ceased to exist. They can’t unnecessarily tie up others’ energies with their endless chats and meetings, where many times a company’s entire management discusses a topic that could be settled in a short email thread. That period has ended” Mr Palencsár concluded. But why can a personality type do so much harm within a company in terms of efficiency?

To be continued.

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The curse of being good – Organisational Development Guide 2021, Part 3

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What is really under the surface? Organisational Development Guide 2021, Part 1