As we come to the close of another calendar year it is a good time to reflect on our organisations performance and whether we have the right people in the right positions.  Once we know we have designed the positions correctly and have the right competence in the employees then we will have the “people power” we need.   The obvious next question is: “are we paying our people correctly?”  – this role sizing and position evaluation will be the subject of another blog.

You will probably have noticed the global trend of focussing on “behaviour” of the employees including a recent AHRI LinkedIn “… Dealing with Employees Defensive Behavior”.

Maxumise has found that in most cases the “behaviour” issues are a result of a lack of competence.  The lack of competence often comes from, firstly a poorly designed position and therefore not recruiting the “right position”.  Then once the ideal position is designed properly we can recruit the right person or assess the incumbent to see if we have the right person in the right position.  If gaps exist (and they often do) then we provide and/or arrange for the competency development.

The defensive or other behavioural issues is usually directly associated with a lack of competence and the employee compensating for this lack of competence.  We recently completed an assessment and development program for potential “CEO’s” in an organisation (sponsored by the Board) and when the assessment results came out one Manager was written-off due to the gap in competence but more for the low attribute score – aggressive.   It was decided to continue with phase 1 of the development (largely competence development).  As we developed the competence in this manager the attitude changed dramatically to the extent CEO, Board, customers and even family members commented on the change over the initial 12 weeks program.  Other managers compensated in different ways, still largely behavioural – sitting in office closed door or could not be found or reached on mobile, absenteeism, inappropriate responses they thought were “funny”  etc

We asked the “aggressive” manager himself about the transformation and his comments were “now that I am competent I no longer have to be that bugger of a person I used too be –  I know what I have to do, I know the answers”.  While this is a single example we have a case study conducted on 19 senior managers of a retail chain – this case study demonstrates the gaps with up to 20% shortfall in competence.  If anyone wants a copy let me know

If we find defensive behaviour the first thing we look at is their competence for the position and are they compensating for a lack of competence.  If they are competent then look for other issues.

Have a great Christmas and we look forward to sharing more thoughts with you in 2015.

Max Underhill – Maxumise Consulting Pty Ltd.