Technology to boost team blend and performance
Advances in technology are enabling employers to select teams with a complementary blend of skills, experience and personality – vital when it comes to improving business performance.
Research by Gallup shows that highly engaged business units achieve a 10% increase in customer metrics and a 20% increase in sales. But this balance can be difficult to achieve.
A poorly blended team will usually consist of too many people of the same profile. A team of marathon runners, for example, will naturally be able to tackle long distances, but they wouldn’t be that great in a 100 metre race against sprinters and vice versa.
Tracking the skills and personality profiles of all employees, new-joiners or applicants at the speed and scale required is almost impossible.
The route to business effectiveness is neither a sprint or marathon, but rather an obstacle course. You need a team that can tackle any barrier and that excels not only at the hard skills, but soft ones too, to ensure a business can take on the biggest challenges and opportunities.
But the ability of HR and people management teams to do this at scale (or pace) is made harder if done manually. Tracking the skills and personality profiles of all employees, new-joiners or applicants at the speed and scale required is almost impossible. And as businesses increase in size, this task gets even harder. That’s why technology-enabled solutions that can track this information are becoming increasingly valuable.
Thankfully, there are many tech-based solutions out there that can assist HR teams to do this at scale. By tracking skills and using machine learning, you can match personality traits, or spot gaps in team abilities and hire staff to optimise and improve performance. This is a level of recruitment that, up until recently, hasn’t been readily available.
In the future software will also be able to make suggestions on where teams could be improved.
HR and those responsible for recruitment are now able to go beyond the CV, which only gives a 2D representation of someone, and build a 4D profile of any new recruit or current employee. This can be achieved by combining video interviews with online personality and skills assessment tools.
Together these paint a much more detailed profile of a person by tracking and listing their strengths and personality traits against each role profile. Software and technology can be used to centralise all of this and provide an easily searchable system for any future team blend-based issues. In the future software will also be able to make suggestions on where teams could be improved.
The perfect blend
Getting this right blend of complementary skills and personalities is particularly important because business outputs are usually a mix of synchronised and asynchronous work. Things are split and joined back together. It’s a non-linear process.
Having a team of similar skill sets can be effective if you’re trying to do just one thing, but this limits your ability to tackle complex situations or business issues. Tilt the balance too far one way, and you risk upsetting the scales elsewhere, which can ultimately lead to reduced business performance.
For example, you may have a team of software specialists who excel at programming, but they lack strong communication skills, which means other work teams find it difficult to work with them. This can be solved by adding a programmer who’s also a better communicator, balancing the team out, and addressing the weakness that may be holding them back in terms of integrating and working with other departments.
Getting it right
Clearly it’s important that you have a team of employees with traits that balance each other out. HR departments therefore should make it one of their objectives to address team blend issues, to ensure you get the right balance of talent and personality that will lead to better business efficiencies.
The right balance of talent and personality will lead to better business efficiencies.
Technology is at the heart of this. Businesses and those responsible for managing and hiring staff need a platform in place that can analyse, identify and match skills to create the perfect blend, at scale. Because the right blend boosts productivity and means you can get the maximum bang for your buck. In a world where the finest margins can separate success and failure, is increasingly important.
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After travelling the globe and working as a bus driver, Dean achieved a PhD in computing then joined a startup called Plusnet. He wrote the billing and CRM platform, became CIO and helped grow the business from a handful of employees to over 700, through IPO then exiting via a sale to BT. Pondering life after Plusnet, Dean was looking for a...