Skill Assessment: Train Your People!

The PLI Essential of Skill Assessment is defined as the ability to act upon a clear understanding of your and your organization's core strengths and challenges. Basically, this means knowing and doing what you are great at. There are a few reasons why this simple dynamic of high performers does not happen regularly in most organizations...

  1. Most people have never identified their core strength.
  2. Most people don't really care or don't see why they should identify their core strength. Give me a job. Pay me. Let me go home.
  3. It is definitely an art form for organizations to be able to match up their talent pool, with qualified applications and their job openings. The companies who do this effectively have invested a large amount of time getting this one thing right - the hiring and placement and training of staff.

However, even when people are placed in positions where they can engage their core strength, they still must be trained on a regular basis - especially when something changes. Here are two examples that happened to me TODAY!

Wal-Mart - The local Wal-Mart has recently changed their store layout and it is hilarious watching the customers (like me) find things now. However, it is FRUSTRATING to no end to watch the Wal-Mart Associates walk around lost. What a great opportunity to exceed expectations by investing less than an hour (which is probably all it would take per group) and have your people up to speed on the new layout. Or at the least, print out a schematic that they could keep in their back pockets when asked a question. It reminds of the time last October when we walked into a brand new Target in Colorado one hour after it opened. The Target staffers were absolutely clueless. But the store did spend a fortune on a magician, a juggler, free food, a huge outdoor banner. Unfortunately, none of the staffers knew where I could purchase a magic kit, some balls, crackers or duct tape.

Dillards - My wife, daughters and I visited Dillards today to get some shoes for the little ones. The store installed new cash registers over the weekend and it literally took three associates, two customer service folks, two manuals and twenty minutes to figure out how to run my debit card as a credit card. Their excuses were plentiful, but none of them helpful. (Turns out the button they were told to push - the "slash" button - was supposed to be the backslash, not the forward slash button. What do you think the chances are none of those five people wrote that little gem down for the next shift?)

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