This article was prompted by questions from readers…
Many people within financial services are familiar with the Kolbe system of measuring ‘Action Modes’. An individual’s Kolbe profile is a good tool for coaching and team development and I’ve used it in these ways, before I started using Harrison Assessments (HA).
There are similarities between the two approaches (online, accessible to any sized organisation, multiple uses) and I won’t explore the theory behind them in this article. There are three differences that prompted my decision:
If I tell you my Kolbe is 8652 (Strategic Planner), experienced Kolbe users will know quite a lot about me. It will be a generalisation, of course, as each number is a score out of 10 for each of the four different modes (Fact Find, Follow Through, Quick Start and Implementor).
I admit I can’t give you a quick summary, in numbers or words, of my HA profile, although you’ll find some of the details on our website. This is because HA measures 156 different traits on a 1-10 scale, resulting in reports that are unique to the individual, rather than classifying them as an ‘Innovator’ or ‘Mediator’ for example. The 156 traits are made up of personality, task preferences, interests, work environment preferences and motivations.
The reports themselves provide detailed interpretation for the end user. For example, for a job candidate who has a low score on ‘Analyses Pitfalls’: “Joe usually does not enjoy analysing the potential difficulties of plans or strategies and may sometimes neglect to do so. Therefore, it would be best if he were to receive other input before making important strategic decisions. Joe’s lack of enjoyment of analysing potential problems will probably have a somewhat negative impact on job satisfaction and/or performance.” How good would it be to know this information before you appoint a new manager?
This is focussed, practical information you can use right away, either in a second interview or to coach the new employee.
One set of data from one 20-30 minute online questionnaire is used to produce all the reports below, listed by application:
To see samples of these reports, please visit our website.
Because HA is based on work performance research, there is the facility to compare employees and/or candidates to job templates for a specific role. There are over 200 generic templates in the system and each one can be customised to the requirements of the job and the employer. We’ve even adjusted templates to check for a good match with the manager.
For our clients in financial services, we have developed a set of templates which we then modify to their specific business requirements. For example, it they’re hiring a paraplannner and want them to have significant client contact, we would ensure traits such as ‘Outgoing’ and ‘Diplomatic’ are included in the template.
This flexibility can also be applied to staff and team development. If, for example, a broker is just not brining in the new business they were hire to achieve, we could assess their scores on a range of relevant traits, including traits such as ‘Persistent’ and ‘Optimistic’ and coach them to better performance by building on their areas of strength. Of course – ideally – you would have known these scores before you hired them!
The detailed reports, as you can imagine, are invaluable for both team and individual coaching. For teams, we are also able to plot all team members on the same chart, to give an easy to read overview of the team’s strengths and challenges.
The reason I chose to train and gain certification with Harrison Assessments: So I can provide my clients with the best available information for people management decisions and coaching.
*Kathy Kolbe and Dan Harrison
"Coaching with Ben gave me a great opportunity to reflect and explore strategies, tips, and tools to improve ways of working and to work through opportunities & challenges. I really valued the focused discussion on specific areas to support my growth and development. I highly recommend working with Ben."
- Manager, National NFP
"In a challenging role in a new organisation, coaching with Paula was the ideal time to reflect, problem-solve, brainstorm options and arm me with next steps in all areas - from staffing, internal politics and relationships to tackling key initiatives. The sessions were by video and face to face, both equally effective. Using video allowed for easy integration of sessions into my busy workdays without any hassle. Paula’s style of coaching quickly built trust so I felt safe being vulnerable, quickly getting to the heart of a number of issues and propelling me and my performance forward significantly!"
- Executive GM, People and Culture
"We used the Harrison Assessment tools followed by a debrief with Susan, for career development with staff, which then allowed us to work with Susan to create a customised 360 degree review process. Susan has a wealth of knowledge and is able to offer suggestions and solutions for our company. She is always ready to get involved and takes the time to show her clients the capability of Harrison Assessments. "
Jessica Hill - Head of People and Culture, Choice
"Balance at Work are the ideal external partners for us as they completely get what we are trying achieve in the People and Culture space. Their flexibility and responsiveness to our needs has seen the entire 360 approach being a complete success. The online tool and the follow up coaching sessions have been game changers for our business. The buzz in the organisation is outstanding. Love it! Thanks again for being such a great support crew on this key project."
Chris Bulmer - National GM Learning and Development, ISS Australia
"The leadership team at Insurance Advisernet engaged Susan from Balance at Work to run our leadership development survey and learning sessions. Susan was very professional in delivering the team and individual strengths and opportunities for growth. Susan's approach was very "non corporate" in style which was refreshing to see. I can't recommend Balance at Work more highly to lead employee and team development sessions."
Shaun Stanfield - Managing Director, Insurance Advisernet