The recruitment maze: Adding objectivity to reduce risk to identify top talent

Many of us can agree that recruitment is a risky business. Finding perfect candidates for all roles in your business who will meet the job requirements and excel within your company’s culture is akin to solving a complex puzzle. A recruitment maze. According to industry statistics, only 25% of the selected individuals are top performers. The question is, why does this happen?

How do you reduce risk to identify top talent to join your organisation?

The main challenge in identifying top talent is the need for more objective data available when making hiring decisions. Using more objective data for candidates on an individual basis and applying a human approach in the recruitment maze is discussed in this article.

Without a crystal ball, hiring managers often rely on a limited information set: resumes, reference checks, and gut feeling. While these elements are paramount, they provide only a fraction of the information required to make a well-informed decision.

A solid argument to reduce risk to identify top talent

John and Ronda Hunter’s research in “Validity & Utility of Alternative Predictors of Job Performance”, points out that interviews and background checks provide just 26% of the information required to make a successful hiring decision.

Recruitment maze

This stage is where most selection processes typically end.

How can we gather more valuable objective data to simply the recruitment maze?

The answer lies in measuring cognitive ability, behaviours, occupational interests, and overall “fit”. By incorporating these aspects into the hiring process, you can gather a powerful additional 49% of valuable objective data for candidates at an individual level. In essence, this approach slashes your recruitment risk by almost 50% and enables a greater tapping into the potential of candidates for longer employee engagement.

Making selections for our personal purchases

Think about the last important purchase you made: a new car, a smart TV, or a laptop. Chances are, you didn’t base your decision solely on how it looked. You likely considered various aspects such as performance, features, and how well it suited your needs and wants.

A need to improve the recruitment process

So why do we rely on just 26% of the available information with interviews and background checks when it comes to hiring?

Unsurprisingly, we get it right 25% of the time. It’s like betting on the roulette table or the slot machines. But there’s a better way.

A range of available assessments to help with the recruitment maze

With the advent of next-gen evaluations, you can substantially improve your hiring process. We’ve seen significant results working with clients.

Assessments are available off the shelf for a range of roles, including:

  • Managers
  • Salespeople
  • Customer service representatives
  • Blue collar workers

Moreover, you have the flexibility to choose specific dimensions critical to your business. Dimensions could relate to strategy, managing generations, or promoting a culture of respect, for example.

What’s more, these assessments are easy to use, cost-effective and validated. There’s no need for expensive certification courses. The GR8PI next-gen technology handles interpretation and provides reports in plain language that are easy to understand.

So why not give an assessment a try and see for yourself?

It’s time to break free from the old, ineffective methods and embrace a more data-driven, reliable and informed approach to hiring tomorrow’s talent.

As Einstein famously said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

It’s time to change and significantly reduce your recruitment risk while identifying top talent essential for your organisation to thrive. Trial an assessment for free today.

Behind every stay: How helpful is the influence of managers on employee retention

Let’s state the obvious. The world of work has undergone a massive transformation globally in recent years. Traditional office-based work models are no longer the standard norm As businesses transition to hybrid work models, the influence of managers on employee retention is even more critical.

Before delving into more detail on the importance of direct managers, let’s first define what we mean by this term. A direct manager is responsible for supervising and managing a group of employees. They are often the main point of contact for employees when issues arise and play a crucial role in ensuring each employee they are managing is working to their full potential.

What are the factors behind the influence of managers on employee retention?

Bridging the gap: One of the key reasons these managers are so crucial is their ability to bridge the gap between employees and the organisation. This role becomes even more essential in a hybrid work environment where maintaining effective communication is vital. They ensure that employees understand the organisation’s goals and objectives, and role and purpose within the company. Regular feedback and support from these managers help employees feel engaged and connected to their work.

Well-being: Direct managers also play a vital role in supporting employee well-being. New ways of working do not remove the legal responsibilities of employers to pay attention to workplace health and safety. Managers are well-positioned to identify when employees are struggling with their workload or experiencing increased stress. They can offer support and guidance, such as providing access to mental health resources or adjusting an employee’s workload.

Team morale: Maintaining team morale is also critical to retention. Direct managers can provide opportunities for team building and socialising. Regular team meetings, social events, and other initiatives help create a sense of community and belonging, boosting morale and productivity.

Development and growth: Encouraging employee development and growth is also essential. Only some people can work from home. Also, some recent studies tell us that those working away from the office can become less visible and may be overlooked for new projects or promotions. Direct managers can overcome the perils of “out of sight, out of mind” and provide:

  • tailored training and development opportunities,
  • guidance in identifying strengths and weaknesses,
  • and direction on advancing careers within the organisation.

This manager role ensures fairness and recognition of course growth for all team members regardless of WFH or not.

The need for organisations to back their managers

However, it’s crucial to recognise that not all direct managers are great managers. Some have been promoted based on tenure and previous success in different roles. Some are simply the last man standing in a team. Research shows that mediocre management is the number one reason people leave companies. Managing people is a complex task, and the complexity is further amplified in a hybrid work environment. Therefore, businesses must provide support and resources to direct managers.

Just as dentists require specialist tools to treat patients, managers need the right tools to lead and support their employees effectively. You may be curious about our range of practical, customised tools to help your managers succeed. As a first step, why not try the assessment yourself here to see what it looks and feels like?

Manager vs Leader – a balancing act for effective organisational performance

In the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of contemporary business, the imperative for balancing manager vs leader roles to enhance their effectiveness has grown considerably.

Gartner research has identified this as the foremost strategic priority for HR in 2023.

The strategic approach for Managers vs Leaders

There is a growing belief that in addition to being more effective, managers and leaders also need to model and epitomise a more humane approach, characterised by:

  • heightened empathy,
  • effective communication, and
  • a dedicated focus on fostering robust relationships with their employees.

The significance of this belief stems from the fact that embracing these aspects greatly facilitates cultivating a positive and productive workplace culture.  When there’s a balance between acting in a manager vs a leader role and connecting with their employees personally, it fosters a sense of mutual respect and trust. This, in turn, can lead to:

  • better morale
  • increased employee engagement
  • higher levels of job satisfaction

Most agree that when employees feel like their manager or leader genuinely cares about them and their success, they are more likely to be inspired to exert increased effort and achieve peak performance. Building strong relationships with employees through balancing managerial and leadership roles can also provide more targeted and personalised support to help employees overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

The problem, according to Gartner, is that even though:

“HR leaders try to build commitment, courage and confidence in leaders to help them answer the call, ‘human’ leaders remain few and far between. Critical obstacles to success include their own (very human) emotions of doubt, fear and uncertainty”.

What is needed?

Many successful managers are technically outstanding, but sadly, they lack behind when it comes to “softer” skills. They need all the help they can get. For example, help can include practical tools that facilitate the appropriate discussion and development initiatives.

With the recruitment market forecast to remain tight, the role of managers in retaining top talent becomes indispensable. It’s accepted that employees are more likely to stay with a company where they feel valued, respected, and supported. So, by prioritising empathy, communication, and relationship-building, managers can balance their roles,  create a more attractive workplace for top performers and foster a stronger sense of loyalty.

To explore our tailored and user-friendly tools designed for each team member, contact us.

Employee retention – how critical is the role of the direct manager?

As we traverse this new world of work, one key area that needs attention is the role of the Direct Manager.

There’s been a seismic shift in how people work in the last few years. Indeed, the pandemic has driven millions worldwide to recognise that the traditional office-based work model is no longer the standard norm.

Direct managers have always been necessary for the workplace. Still, their influence is even more critical now as many businesses have moved to a hybrid work model.

In this blog, we’ll explore why a direct manager is essential in this new world of work. And we’ll look at their impact on employee satisfaction, productivity and retention.

What does direct manager mean?

Before we explore the importance of direct managers, let’s define what we mean by this term.

A direct manager is responsible for supervising and managing a group of employees.

Direct managers are often the main point of contact for employees when issues arise and play a crucial role in ensuring employees are working to their full potential.


The Critical Importance of the Direct Manager in Employee Retention

Clear communication is vital for effective direct management

One main reason direct managers are so crucial is that they act as a bridge between employees and the organisation. Effective communication is vital in any workplace, even more so when working remotely.

Direct managers ensure employees understand both:

  • the organisation’s goals and objectives and their role and
  • purpose within the company.

They also provide regular feedback and support. Therefore, assisting employees in feeling engaged and connected to their work.

Supporting employee well-being is a crucial aspect of direct management

Direct management is also crucial in ensuring employees’ well-being, even when working from home. With a blur between work and personal life, employers must pay attention to their workplace health and safety responsibilities. Employees should feel valued and supported by their employer. A remote work environment highlights this. Employees may experience feelings of isolation and disconnection from their team and organisation.

Further, being well-positioned, direct line managers more quickly identify when employees struggle with their workload or face increased stress. They offer support and guidance, such as providing access to mental health resources or adjusting an employee’s workload.

Maintaining team morale is the responsibility of the direct manager

Working from home can sometimes be isolating. Ensuring that team morale remains high is paramount. Direct line managers play a vital role in this area. Examples are providing opportunities for team building and socialising, even if done virtually. Regular team meetings, social events, and other initiatives promote a sense of community and belonging among employees. All this boosts morale and productivity.

Encouraging development and growth is another important responsibility of the direct manager

Finally, direct managers are essential in helping employees to develop and grow within their roles. This responsibility needs more emphasis in a hybrid working world where employees may interact less with colleagues and managers.

Direct managers provide:

  • training and development opportunities
  • guidance to employees in identifying their strengths and weaknesses and
  • direction on advancing their careers within the organisation.

The significant impact of Mediocre Managers

Research from SEEK tells us that mediocre management is the number one reason people leave companies. Let’s face it, managing people is complex. Add to it the complexity of hybrid working – and the degree of difficulty goes up a few levels.

How to support Direct Managers?

In summary, direct line managers need all the help they can get.

Dentists need specialist tools to treat patients.

So too, managers need the right tools to lead and support their people in each of their roles.


At, Great People Inside we offer a fantastic, cost-effective range of customised online tools for each individual. Our tools include development suggestions and guidance.

Reach out for help to be in the presence of more Magnificent Managers in your organisation.


How to measure values alignment to strengthen your organisation

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small family business or a large multinational; values alignment is at the heart of an organisation’s culture. A strong set of values can help build a positive work environment and foster:

  • trust,
  • integrity, and
  • accountability.

Values provide a sense of purpose and direction to clients, stakeholders and employees. Both are vital to you as a business, identifying business identity and as an individual. Values represent your inner voice reflecting your morals, scruples, and integrity. They are what you stand for. They are the personality of your business, which in turn affects your decisions. So, what you do and how you do it; your culture.

Importance of values alignment

Most business owners and leaders proudly feature the organisational values:

  • on their websites,
  • in job advertisements, and
  • during company presentations to stakeholders.

While your company’s values define your culture, how can you be sure that everyone in your team is on the same page? Think back to when you experienced a situation where you were required to compromise your values. How did you feel about it?

For most people, it makes them uncomfortable, and they struggle to reconcile the differences.

But why should we be bothered if not all employees align with corporate values?

Aren’t values just a guide?

After all, it’s not like they are a government regulation!

Values and company culture are important because they significantly impact the success and longevity of a corporation.

Leaders should be concerned. Your culture, the heart of your business, can quickly become a liability if the core organisational values are not accepted, embraced, and practised by every team member in your company. A lack of alignment by team members with your values can interfere with the ability of your business to deliver its strategic goals. As a result, this position can negatively impact the overall productivity and success of the organisation.

Team members must align with organisation values to avoid misunderstandings, miscommunication, and a lack of trust among team members. Without solid values, alignment can lead to:

  • reduced morale,
  • decreased motivation, and
  • lower levels of job satisfaction.

It can negatively impact the overall performance of the team and the organisation as a whole.

Current methods used to measure alignment at interview

Discussions about values often come up during the interview process. And most hiring managers have their own approach to checking alignment. This approach may include:

  • articulating the organisation’s values and their link to operations,
  • asking the candidate about their decision-making process, or
  • inviting them to state their interpretation of the organisation’s values.

No matter what questions you ask, it’s not an objective measure. Especially given that research for SEEK shows that almost half the candidates say they haven’t been sincere in their interview.

You could flip a coin as you have a 50/50 chance of getting it right. If you fail to verify alignment, the issues arise months after the employee joins the team when it’s too late.

Therefore, it is critical to understand which values align with your vision of the company.

Values alignment and cultural measuring tools are essential for organisations to assess the potential candidates’ values and cultural fit. By using these tools, organisations can identify candidates who share the same values and beliefs as the company, leading to:

  • increased job satisfaction,
  • higher levels of employee engagement, and
  • better overall performance.

Additionally, values alignment and cultural measuring tools can help to reduce turnover and increase the likelihood of a successful long-term employment relationship.

Objective information will inform your decision

Our flexible values alignment assessment solution scientifically measures more than 13 different values, so you can choose which ones to include for your organisation. We start by benchmarking values alignment in your business. Then you compare potential candidates to determine a “fit” for your company.

Typically feedback we receive from our clients says:

“The flexibility of the tool is impressive. It has helped us hire people who fit as we can develop custom benchmarks and assessments that measure our precise role requirements and ensure alignment with our values.”


“GR8PI has improved our hiring success and reduced employee turnover by 76%.”

When values align, employees are motivated, engaged, and committed to the company’s success.

To learn more about our values assessments, email with “values” as the subject, and we will be in touch shortly.



Looking to hire? First build a positive Workplace Culture

As workplace culture continues to evolve while we slowly resurface, it’s easy to blame the pandemic for this disruption. Add the “great resignation” or whatever it’s called now, and we have plenty of excuses.

If you’re a business that has tried to recruit someone over the past several months, you are undoubtedly familiar with how difficult it is to find top talent.

According to the ABS, in May 2020, 6.5% of businesses reported at least one vacancy. By February 2022, this was the case for 23.5% of businesses. Unemployment is at 4%, the lowest rate since 2008. So it’s a challenge to find top talent in a tightly competitive market.

survey by Glassdoor tells us that 77% of respondents said they would consider an organisation’s culture before applying for a job, and 70% said they wouldn’t bother applying for a position if they felt the company’s values didn’t align with their own.

Given this, perhaps it’s a good time for organisations to critically look at their workplace culture and make sure their house is in order first. And ensure company culture is not contributing to their hiring and retention woes and costs.

So, what is the culture in a workplace? 

Great question. There are many definitions varying from the look and feel of the work environment to whether the business provides ping pong tables and fresh fruit for staff every day.

Workplace culture examples in action might be, should we speak up and tell the boss that the latest sales strategy will result in a train wreck. Or should we keep our mouths shut in fear of being “decapitated” for suggesting such a thing? If we make a mistake, is it considered the “end of the world” or a learning opportunity?

A fish rots from the head down, and so it is with workplace culture. When your workplace culture isn’t prioritised by leadership, it’s reflected in each employee’s:

  • performance,
  • productivity, and
  • retention.

 Are you playing to win or playing not to lose?

Many businesses tend to look only at the monthly profit and loss as indicators of success. But it’s equally important to focus on your employees and how they experience working in your company.

Caring about your customers and their experience with your business is a waste of time if you don’t care about your employee’s experience. Employee experience is directly linked to customer experience.

A well-designed employee journey allows your people to understand their value to your organisation. Your employees feel cared for and are set up for success during their employment.

If your company hasn’t conducted a culture audit in the last two years, it’s a good exercise to undertake. Culture audits can vary, although they can be as simple as asking employees what’s going well and what’s not. An audit can involve using some of the great software tools in the market that help analyse this.

Sounds expensive! How much does organisation culture change ‘cost’?

Organisation culture doesn’t usually have a line item in the P&L, so it’s not tracked or measured. Any activities that lead to a positive workplace culture tend to pay for themselves.

The benefits of a workplace culture that supports its employees can mean:

  • a higher rate of retention,
  • lower recruitment and re-recruitment costs,
  • diversity happens more organically, and
  • productivity goes up.

Any increase in productivity goes straight to your bottom line.

No time like the present

A business is more likely to benefit when its culture focuses on the way employees view the company. And with significant change more recently in employee views and preferences, workplace culture may need to change.

There isn’t any “one-size-fits-all” culture that makes every employee happy and productive. But paying attention to what is achievable will pay off “bigly” for your employees and business.

Risky recruitment

Attracting the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation’s unique culture can be very risky. There’s lots to consider. For example, you need to determine whether your potential new hires, managers, and team can work together. And work together from various locations.

To do this requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work styles, competencies, and abilities. Our next-gen technology and solutions will do this work for you.

Why not make contact and learn more about our psychometric assessments so you can make an informed decision?

Motivation – how to measure this attribute in a reliable way

Motivation is the key to performance and success. The past two years have caused many workers around the globe to re-evaluate what’s really important to them. 

Maintaining productivity while working flexibly from home has prompted a massive shift in employees’ thinking. The Great Resignation is evidence of this reset.

Organisations have quickly adapted to the increased complexity of almost half of all workers now working remotely in some capacity. Employees have reported challenges with not being able to “unplug”, communicate, and generally stay motivated.

While organisations have implemented guidelines to manage boundaries and new apps to address communication, motivating employees from a distance is a different kettle of fish!

Motivation, engagement, or drive?

Ask anyone who set and achieved a personal goal what helped them achieve it, and they will usually say something such as I just “wanted” it. This situation describes motivation.

It doesn’t matter what you call it – engagement, drive, motivation, dedication or enthusiasm. The challenge for businesses has always been maintaining motivation in their team.

Studies tell us that motivated and engaged employees are more productive, innovative and creative than disengaged team members.

One Emerald Group study concluded that “motivation is the main force through which individuals allocate effort to generate and implement innovative ideas”.  

Two main types of Motivation

Intrinsic and extrinsic (think internal and external) are the two main types of motivation. Rochester University describes them as follows:


Intrinsic motivation involves performing a task because it’s personally rewarding to you.

Extrinsic motivation involves completing a task or exhibiting a behaviour because of external causes such as avoiding punishment or receiving a reward.



Examples of extrinsic motivation are increased salary, a bonus, a company car, or a promotion. These rewards are external and separate from the job itself.

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation refers to factors that come from within a person. Intrinsic motivation is about behaviours driven by sheer enjoyment and wanting to do well at your job. 

Of course, sometimes intrinsic and extrinsic motivation go hand in hand to help you complete a project or task.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation at work

Giving positive feedback at work is highly motivational. We all like to know we are doing well. And that our contribution is appreciated by others. However, it’s vital that your positive feedback should be specific. And in addition, it helps your team members understand your standards and expectations.

You may also wish to use extrinsic motivation as a manager or leader. In this case, it’s important to offer rewards strategically. For example, giving a reward to your sales team to increase the ranging of a product with their clients may focus your team’s efforts solely on ranging. Perhaps with a result to the detriment of sales.

Business benefits

The 2021 Employee Experience Survey, conducted by Willis Towers Watson, discovered that 92% of employers worldwide said the employee experience would be a priority over the next three years.

Gallup researchers studied the differences in performance between engaged and actively disengaged work units. They found that those scoring in the top half on employee engagement nearly doubled their odds of success compared with those in the bottom half.

In fact, across a range of areas, work units in the top quartile in employee engagement outperformed bottom-quartile work units by:

  • 10% on customer ratings,
  • 22% in profitability,
  • 21% in productivity.

How do you quantify Motivation?

These numbers speak for themselves- and most CEOs and CPOs would be delighted to achieve these levels in their business. But given the complexity that HR teams and leaders are navigating, how can they quantify and qualify a diverse group of employees to understand their motivational drivers truly?

Quantifying and qualifying motivational drivers is where we come in. Great People Inside has released six new dimensions in its psychometric assessments, two of which are:

  • Internal Motivation
  • External motivation

You can easily make sense of the data, and benchmarking key motivational drivers for your business can also be performed.  

This scientific information helps organisations pinpoint the relevant motivational approaches in their psychometric testing across the board – for Individuals, business units, and teams in any department anywhere in the world.

Like some more information?

We’d be happy to help your organisation better understand its employees through internal and external motivation evaluations. Reach out by email or phone on +61 2 8850 6520 to find out more.

Remote Work – What are seen effects of further shifts in this competitive market?

After two years of disruption further shifts in remote work and our lives have emerged. There’s been:

  • the rise of individualism and independence bringing out new confidence to show up as themselves at work. (Fjord Trends 2022)
  • hybrid employment arrangements placing more emphasis on staff being able to work remotely and maintain productivity and service delivery
  • continued challenges to organisations due to Omicron leading to staff shortages resulting in increased costs of hiring more or temporary staff
  • increased pressures on both existing and new staff in the present climate

Moving forward, employers need to relook at balancing the flexibility they offer to individuals with the needs of the team and the greater good of the organisation. (Fjord Trends 2022)

Obtaining the right information for remote hires

How can you increase your success rate and hire the right people the first time for roles in the current labour market? And what about remote work? How can you more easily identify those who will thrive and be productive in a work from home environment?

The traditional recruitment process leaves a lot up to chance. You’ll sift through a stack of resumes and cover letters trying to narrow down the people with the right experience and qualifications and get a sense of other relevant aspects.

You’ll then perform a round of interviews to gauge which candidate sounds and acts right for the role.

You might ask yourself:

  •  “does this person have the right skills to perform the job?..
  • the right credentials?..
  • enough experience?..
  • will they fit in with the workplace culture?..
  • can they bring anything to the table to benefit the business?”

While some of these questions can easily be answered with a CV and interview, others are trickier.

And let’s face it most employees, when asked if they would like to work from home, will answer ‘yes’. This is simply because they are only looking at the positive aspects of doing so.

But this is the homeworking equivalent of asking someone ‘How are you?’. And accepting the answer ‘Fine.’ As confirmation that all is well.

Some key questions are difficult to answer through the traditional hiring process such as:

  • “Will this person be engaged in their work and great in this role?”
  • “Is this person likely to be capable and productive in this remote work role?”
  • “In the long term, will this person be able to handle hybrid working?”

Engagement is critical

Great managers and business owners know that higher employee engagement levels in the workplace translate to higher productivity and better company performance. So especially in this current environment, how can hiring managers improve the likelihood of selecting highly engaged remote work top performers?

It all starts with thinking about how potential employees will “fit”, rather than experience and qualifications. Or even age and gender. Studies have shown that ‘fit’ is what counts if you want a high performer.

‘Fit’ refers to how well a person is suited to their job role, the environment, and the workplace culture. Whether or not a person ‘fits’ in a particular position depends on a few factors, for example,

  • their attitude,
  • personality, and
  • enthusiasm for the work at hand.

To find out which candidate is the right fit for the job and culture, hiring managers must check their biases at the door and use objective information to make their decision. Making this type of decision can be trickier than it sounds, but it is possible.

How does it work?

Hire someone who is objectively the right fit

Choosing the right person for a role can influence how long they stay in the job and how engaged they are with their role working remotely or onsite.

According to Gallup, employee engagement is defined as “the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace”.

According to studies they conducted, businesses are 21% more profitable with engaged employees; I am sure most CEO’s would take this profit increase as a Christmas present!

Instead of solely relying on opinions or a hunch, validated benchmarkable assessments provide you with tools using objective data to determine whether your candidate is right for the role. Recent shifts have meant employee preferences don’t necessarily match what’s best for a business.

 Use your top performers as a benchmark for new talent

When a top performer walks out the door, it often feels like you’re back at square one; scrambling to build your team from the ground up again. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Companies, teams and hiring managers can make the process of replacing top performers easier while improving their hiring process each time.

Not all candidates are suited to homeworking published an annual global survey on homeworking and discovered in 2020 (like in previous years) that the top 3 difficulties people experience with homeworking, worldwide, are not necessarily related to the pandemic and lockdown:

  • collaboration and communication,
  • loneliness, and
  • not being able to unplug.

This survey suggests that many individuals will either need help to overcome these problems or even that remote work is not a long-term viable option for some people.


Remote working


To learn more about the Great People Inside assessments specifically designed for work from home employees and teams contact us


People strategy for now and the future – how to close gaps

Planning for a best People Strategy is essential. Your business strategy amounts to no more than words on a page if you don’t have “the right people in the rights seats on the bus”.

All elements of your employee life cycle must be linked: 

  • from attraction through to talent management, 
  • leadership development, and 
  • ongoing performance management. 

There is a great reward too in doing this. Studies tell us that organisations that prioritise their employee experience are four times more profitable than those who do not.

People Strategy v HR Strategy – what’s the difference?

HR Strategy tends to focus more on the planning side of people such as structures for hiring, onboarding, developing, and retaining. 

People Strategy is more about helping employees to grow, by creating an environment that nurtures and enables high performance. People Strategy usually focuses on: 

  • values, 
  • fostering diversity, 
  • inclusion and employee wellbeing, and 
  • predicting and reacting to workforce needs. 

In essence, creating a culture where employees share equal billing with shareholders and business goals.

According to the world-renowned Boston Consulting Group, the three pillars for developing a people strategy are leadership and culture, talent and skills, and HR


In these challenging times, organisations must elevate the most important asset they have: their people. By focusing on the fundamentals of people strategy—leadership, culture, talent, reskilling, and HR—companies can emerge stronger, more agile, more innovative, and better able to respond to an ever-changing environment.”


I’d like to explore two of these pillars.

Leadership Culture and Strategy

There are many levers at a leader’s disposal to drive their organisations success and effectiveness.  Strategy and Culture are the most important. 

Strategy provides clarity of the company’s goals and helps to align people around them. Culture tends to express goals through organisational values and beliefs. Culture also guides tactics, activity, and implementation.

One thing is sure and that is culture and leadership are linked. Poor leadership and resultant toxic culture usually determine the fate of a business. Studies tell us up to 30% of employees say they left because of poor leadership. These findings highlight the need for every organisation to address this factor.

Culture in more detail

Culture is a more puzzling lever to activate. The reason for this is mainly because Culture can be ambiguous and embedded in unspoken behaviours, people’s mindsets, and social expectations.

Many leaders don’t always appreciate the power of culture. 


A recent Gartner Survey revealed that 75% of leadership believe that they run a culture of flexibility. Unfortunately, only 57% of employees agreed. 


This lack of appreciation can cause many leaders to either let culture go unmanaged or delegate it to HR, where it can slip to a secondary focus for the business. 

Successful leaders embrace the ambiguity of culture. In my experience many leaders I have met avail of the valuable culture diagnostic tools to understand where their orgnaisations culture is right now. These tools help them to answer questions such as: 

  • Is it more of a creative culture or a reactive culture? 
  • How do the culture snapshot of the board and senior leadership vary from the operational managers’ perspectives? 
  • How “real” is the conversation in the business?

Gaining clarity around culture can be as confronting as it is enlightening – but well worth the investment of time and focus. We partner with many specialists in this area, so reach out if you’d like to explore further.

Talent and skills

Sixty-four per cent of the world’s most admired companies say they have a good understanding of workforce needs two or more years into the future compared to 54% of their peers. 


That same recent Gartner Survey I referred to earlier also revealed the same 75% of leadership also felt that they did a good job incorporating employee voice in decision making. Unfortunately, in this case only 47% of employees agreed. 


The forced extreme disruption, which was the last two years, has meant that most businesses naturally thought more about survival than future talent and skills needs. Now is the time to think about your future talent and skills requirements. Some steps to take include:

  • Ensure Employee Pulse Surveys acknowledge and act on the feedback provided
  • Use customised psychometric assessments to identify traits and skills gaps
  • Incorporate customised 360° surveys as part of your development programs
  • Facilitate regular check-ins between individuals’ teams and managers

Lastly, lockdown work from home is different from long-term working remotely. Most organisation psychologists accept that loneliness, communication, and isolation can trigger depression. 

So, if there is a disconnect in your business between HR policies, the leadership strategies propelling them, and employee sentiment on the ground, greater emphasis must be placed on the needs this new work approach demands. 

For example, consider what capabilities and skills (soft and hard) are essential to be future-ready? Do all employees possess the discipline, conscientiousness, and results orientation to deliver in a hybrid environment? What might this mean for remote work and the flexibility we can offer? 

Through our business offering, we have many people analytics resources and tools to assist with both these pillars. Reach out if you’d like to discuss how we can help with the future of your people.

People Development – how to handle an employee who thinks they are better than they are

People development is key to a successful people strategy in all organisations.

Many managers out there have likely experienced the unsavoury situation of managing someone who believes their performance is terrific when it’s just mediocre at best. Recent studies in performance management have identified that the “underperformer” is a frequent and draining problem.

But what contributes to the perception an individual has about their performance? 

There are several reasons forming the perception of an individual employee at work. It may be that the: 

  • crystal-clear feedback they need to develop and improve is lacking, 
  • manager is choosing not to address the issues for fear of some type of conflict, or 
  • employee is doing ”a good enough job” and flying below the radar. 

In some cases, the individual may be unable to recognise that they’re struggling. 

But whatever the reason, if managers fail to address the situation, there is one thing for sure and that is that it will fester. Not only will the substandard employee’s work not improve, but also the organisation will experience: 

  • hidden costs, 
  • poor productivity, and 
  • the value of a team member who would likely thrive if given the appropriate support and feedback. 

These five approaches will help you correct the problem behaviours. Or at least gain clarity as to whether it’s even possible.

  • Clear definition of work

It doesn’t matter whether we are delegating or providing feedback, we need to be clear and unambiguous about what needs to be done. There are lots of great feedback models out there. 

My go-to has been the STAR/AR feedback model. The STAR/AR model provides a great framework and helps the receiver understand exactly why what they did worked. And if they made a mistake, working through the model, they’ll learn what steps to take to improve. 

  • Provide support for people development

Most managers would agree that employees need ongoing support. Significantly, how we approach providing that support is important. Moreover, the build-up of frustration in these situations can lead to exasperation which can undermine our approach. 

 The late Sir John Whitmore, a pioneer of the executive coaching industry and creator of the GROW model wrote “whether we coach, advise, counsel, facilitate, or mentor, the effectiveness of what we do depends in large measure on our beliefs about human potential”.


The expressions “to get the best out of someone” and “your hidden potential” imply that more lies within the person waiting to be released”. 

Coaching your people supports performers across all levels, not just underperformers, to achieve their full potential. The result will be higher levels of employee engagement and profitability. 

  • Check your Relationship of Competence

There is no one size fits all or “sheep dip” approach to developing your people that works. Everyone learns differently, has unique development needs and motivations. It’s important to point out performing an objective data-driven gap analysis first to ensure the people you are looking to develop have the ability, motivation, and desire to grow. 

Caution: a little self-promotion here. As a coach myself, I find that the unique flexibility of our Great People Inside platform is outstanding. Both an assessment with dimensions (EG Strategy, Leadership, Creativity etc.) that measures precisely what you want to understand, and a customised performance model or benchmark against which you can compare results is created. The outcome is a one-pager graph that allows you to identify any gaps. This provides clarity before you invest in people development on the areas that need focus for each individual. And also highlights those who may not have what it takes to succeed.

  • Determine “Coachability”

Not everyone is coachable. In contrast to imposter syndrome, many ultra-confident employees fall victim to the Dunning-Krueger effect, a cognitive bias in which “people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area”. Many employers will have encountered an employee that resented the suggestion that their skills needed to improve and ignored the coaching support that was offered to them. 

If left unchecked, this usually results in the employee blaming others, setting up their colleagues to fail, undercutting them, and misrepresenting their contributions and concerns. The outcome is a total train wreck. 

  • Praise with care

When an employee with an inflated sense of their own performance delivers a piece of high-quality work or conducts an interaction well, it’s important to praise them. But letting the praise stand-alone can reinforce for them that they’re genius! That everything they do is outstanding. 

Connect your positive comments to other things you want them to address. For example, you could say, “Now that you’ve done so well with the presentation to Client X, for the next one, I’d like you to also {insert the next thing they need to improve}. 

Articulating both the required new behaviour and why it’s needed as part of satisfactory job performance will ensure you improve your chances of getting the critical behaviours you need.

You may be finding it a little tougher in the current climate to find the right people for the jobs combined with the best fit for your organisation over the longer term. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you to inform your people development approach and recruitment decisions.

If you’d like an easier method of handling people development and recruitment, contact Great People Inside.