7 Dec 2021 |

Tools for Building a High Performing Team.

Building a high performing team is a challenge, and the last thing you need after putting in all that work is to bring in the wrong person – someone who doesn’t fit the culture of the team, or they are not a good fit for the role they were hired to do.

Choosing a Selection Tool

The first thing to be clear about when choosing a selection tool is that to be effective it needs to predict performance on the job. Has the tool been proven to demonstrate predictive validity?

Secondly, have you identified the skills and abilities the employee needs to have to perform effectively in the job and does the assessment measure these skills and abilities?

Wiley Professional Learning, a division of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., a highly respected publisher in academic and professional circles, have found that there are three main areas that predict job performance:

  1. Thinking Style – measures cognitive ability, or how a person processes and communicates information (verbal skills, verbal reasoning, numerical ability, numerical reasoning), predicts 40% of job performance
  2. Behavioural Traits – measures behavioural preferences that help define who we are by influencing our behaviours, predicts 40% of job performance
  3. Interests – that describe people’s motivation and potential satisfaction with their jobs, predicts 20% of job performance

A purpose-built selection tool allows the hiring manager to compare profile results with other candidates, and with a performance model or job profile which has determined the level of skill the job requires.

In March 2019 Wiley released a purpose-built selection tool, PXT Select, that measures all three areas that predict job performance – cognitive skills, behavioural traits and interests. It also comes with a library of over 150 performance models, that are proven job profiles that candidates can be compared to, to measure their degree of Job Fit.

How is PXT Different from DiSC?

DISC profiles measure aspects of personality – they do not measure behavioural or cognitive skills. DISC profiles have been used in selection for decades because they measure behavioural style, but there is a trap here. For example, the Influencing style in DiSC has a strength for enthusiasm, but that enthusiasm may not always be used skilfully. In fact, it could result in recklessness.

DiSC does not tell you anything about a person’s cognitive skills and could be quite misleading in trying to predict their interests. And don’t underestimate the importance of “interests” even though they only predict 20% of a person’s success in the job.

Let me give you an example about our Financial Controller, Jacky. Her DiSC profile is a Si style – very friendly, warm, great sense of humour and loves being part of the team. Doesn’t sound like your typical accountant, does it? Jacky’s resume showed years of experience as an accountant including running her own accounting practice, but her DiSC profile was quite low in the C dimension.

Fortunately, about the time we were recruiting for that position we had just been given access to PXT Select and Jacky was a very good fit for the Finance Manager position. What was most interesting was that Jacky’s number one interest was Finance and Admin, which of course it should be, but is not typical of someone with her Si style. Jacky has been with us for almost 3 years now and is by far the best finance person we have ever had.

The Importance of the Performance Model

Having an accurate description of the skills, abilities and interests necessary for success in the role is a valuable starting point. When reading through this description, the hiring manager can confirm that yes, this is what we want this person to do, or may realise that it needs to be tweaked a little to make it more accurate.

To see the information that the performance model provides read an example of the report for the role of a Manager.

Once you know what the job requires, the individual assessment of potential candidates provides a Comprehensive Selection Report which shows how each candidate has scored on each of the cognitive skills, behavioural traits and interests measured in the Performance Model for that role. This report also shows the degree of Job Fit which shows a percentage for each of the three areas measured, and the job as a whole.

How do these Tools Overlap?

There is however some overlap in that both DiSC and PXT Select can play a valuable part in hiring, onboarding and further development. DiSC helps a new team member better understand the styles of behaviour of their teammates and learn how to adapt to communicate with each person more effectively.

PXT Select can help the new team member better understand the skills and abilities needed of them by their role. Being aware of how they compare to those requirements, they are better able to adapt in situations where they may need to stretch themselves.

Both Everything DiSC and PXT Select have multiple reports that can aid in further conversations with both at the individual level and team level. For example, the PXT Select Coaching Report can help the team leader to work closely with the new team member to help them effectively utilise their skills and coach them in how to adapt where the role requires them to stretch a little.

The Everything DiSC Facilitator Report gives the team information about where everyone is in the Everything DiSC Map and what the team culture is. This is very valuable information to assist in creating a healthy culture with a high level of trust and collaboration.

The PXT Select Team Report also provides valuable information for members of the team. It shows where each team member sits on each of the nine behavioural traits, and because this profile is measuring behavioural skills, not personality, it is quite likely that a team member might be strong in a skill that doesn’t correlate with their DiSC Style. Both reports are helpful for team members who may need to stretch themselves to use one of these traits, to know who else on the team is strong in this area and could possibly mentor them.

Bringing it together

In summary, Everything DiSC is designed to improve interpersonal skills and relationships. It is most effective when used in a group debrief, especially in teams who work together. The Workplace Profile when used in combination with additional profiles such as the Agile EQ and Productive Conflict Profile, DiSC provides continued development of emotional and social skills in the team for the long-term.

On the other hand, PXT Select is typically debriefed in a one-on-one situation as each person needs to focus on their own skills as identified in the Comprehensive Selection Report and their fit with the job identified by the Performance Model. Although the main focus appears to be on selection, the assessment can also be used with people currently in a role who could potentially improve their performance by developing some skills they may not be aware of the need for.

PXT Select is also very effective for choosing the best candidate to be promoted internally to a position that has become vacant. The additional PXT reports – Coaching Report, Leadership Report, Manager – Employee Report – provide the opportunity to continue to develop the employee’s skills over a long period of time.

Complimentary Performance Model Report

Do you have a position that you are currently looking to fill? A great way to test out PXT Select is to start with producing a Performance Model Report. This report outlines the skills, abilities and interests required by the position. When you read the report, you will know straight away if that is what you are expecting from the person who will take on that role.

It doesn’t matter whether you are looking to recruit a new employee or to fill the position with an existing employee we are happy to offer you a complimentary Performance Model Report – it is a great way to confirm what you are looking for.

Written by Keith Ayers

If you would like to test it out, please contact us at pxt@integro.com.au or call on 1800 222 902.