It’s easy to understand why most companies place greater value, consciously or unconsciously, on higher-level positions, executive management and the C-suite. However, the reality is a company’s success depends primarily on the quality of work of those who perform the majority of the work – those employees who hold lower-level positions, typically found in customer service, administration, IT, and operations. Yet, few employers structure their career development program to optimize the skills and competencies of employees at the bottom of the corporate ladder.
But, they ought to. Several research initiatives have uncovered a cause-and-effect relationship between the welfare and development of lower-level workers, and an organization’s bottom line. In fact, a six year study by the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, found that investing in entry-level employees had increased their profitability, both in times of economic growth and recession. Other research found that companies that invested in entry or lower-level positions not only enjoyed quantifiable benefits such as, higher retention and reduced turnover costs, but a range of other dividends – from greater workplace diversity to enhanced customer loyalty and community reputation.
The ROI of Talent Assessments for the Front Line
As employers seek to optimize talent within mission-critical roles such as customer service agents, Executive assistants, IT programmers or entry-level operations managers, the likelihood is most of these workers are Millennials given they comprise the majority of the workforce today. Meanwhile, many Millennials are already in management roles (28% to be exact), but workplace leadership is expected to be two-thirds Millennial by 2024.
We’ve already spelled out the business case behind bolstering career development programs for employees at the bottom of the corporate ladder. But, what about what those workers actually expect or desire when it comes to their career development? A research study by Gallup found that Millennials place a greater emphasis on opportunities to learn and grow, and opportunities for advancement. In fact, “the opportunity to learn and grow” was the most important factor Millennials look for when applying for a job.
Best-in-class organizations are leveraging innovative and sophisticated talent assessments to both satisfy employees’ desire to learn and grow, and drive better quality and outcomes from their front-line talent. As the labor market continues to tighten, successful companies are investing in developing their younger, lower level and mid-management talent now, so that when the time comes to take on leadership roles, they will be well-equipped and prepared to do so.
XBInsight has developed customized talent development assessments, specifically designed to assess the competencies, behaviors, values and thinking styles required for workers in service/administrative roles, IT/operations positions, and mid-management. These objective, science-backed reports provide key insights into the strengths and development opportunities for each individual, and offers managers a tangible tool to use for developing the skill sets of talent within these functions and roles.