Print Improves Hiring Outcomes and Employee Accountability

Excerpts from an interview with the President of a Worldwide Software Product Company that uses PRINT extensively.

Bonz Hart“More than 80% of our costs are people related. People are our greatest asset. If we are not hiring the right people or not managing them in the best way possible, we don’t have an effective competitive differentiation. Our goal is to help our people work together to create something better than they could do themselves.

We are doing a significantly better job of hiring and retaining our employees since PRINT® was introduced to our company.

And that is because we are constantly making sure a person’s motivations are a good fit for a job, not just their abilities and interests – because those don’t tell the whole story. We thought knowing how people behaved, what they liked to do, what they seemed qualified to do, was a predictor of job success but we could not have been more wrong.

That kind of thinking is erred.

The reason, we understand now, is that people can have the same attributes, qualities and behaviors but have entirely different motivations and that makes the world of difference in being successful at a position. And motivations can only be known if a candidate takes the PRINT® survey.

Let me give you an example of how focusing on motivations helps us make good hiring decisions….

Tom is outgoing, friendly and a good communicator and is successful at a certain job. If we needed to hire someone else for the same job because we were expanding, before PRINT®, we would have looked for someone who was friendly, outgoing and a good communicator, to try to match Tom’s success factors. And then, if it didn’t work out, we would be perplexed and frustrated.

What we didn’t know, until we learned PRINT®, is that Tom is motivated by success and achievement but another person, who also is friendly, outgoing and a good communicator may be motivated by peace and harmony, and that motivation would translate into them handling situations in a very different, and maybe for this particular job, less effective manner, in spite of their personable nature. We realized we needed to dig deeper than just knowing personality, interests and skills.

We needed to know motivations because then we could predict how a person would behave in a variety of situations if we knew their motivations.

We also needed to know the potential Shadow behaviors that are associated with the different motivations and use that as a measure to help our hiring decisions.

Again, we would not know this without PRINT®. If a person’s motivations are NOT a good fit for the job, they could be in Shadow more than we would like and that would be a problem.

For example, they might be too excessively focused on success and achievement which could lead them to cover up mistakes or take credit for other people’s work. Now, with the knowledge we gain from PRINT,  we can discuss these potential pitfalls before we hire and set the expectations for the people we do hire accordingly. We know what the potential caveats are before we move forward and we put them on the table.

If I didn’t have this information I would not have a reliable system, language, or insight to address these issues. PRINT® gave me the tools to quantify this and the language to discuss it.

PRINT® has been instrumental in helping our team manage conflict.

Why do some things get certain people frustrated but they don’t bother others? We have learned to move beyond using “ourself” as the perfect yardstick, beyond measuring everything according to what I like or dislike.

PRINT® has taught people to care about each other more…to think before they act, to be more patient, to take responsibility for how they impact others and to have greater accountability for their own behaviors and reactions.

PRINT® helps my employees understand the motivations of other people, motivations that may not match theirs.

They have learned how to listen, communicate and act considering other’s motivations, not just their own. We are seeking the most successful outcomes and solutions to problems. We know that cultivating the richness and diversity of the team and taking advantage of the array of motivations is vital to our success.

It is a natural predisposition to prefer the whole world to think like “you”. When faced with a deadline, a project, you know how you would solve it, but you don’t understand how others will. In the absence of PRINT®, the most assertive or powerful will dominate…they will impose their way on the rest of the group. But different motivations solve problems in different ways and when this is lost, so are the best solutions.

PRINT® has taught my management team how to manage smarter.

This came about when they understood the motivations of the people on their team.

Before PRINT® it was too easy to become irritated and discouraged when things didn’t happen as planned. And we spent a lot of time doing damage control and not time enough preparing for outcomes that were completely predictable and avoidable. But we didn’t know that until we were taught PRINT®. Let me share an example…

If you understand PRINT®, you know that certain PRINTS may be inclined to procrastinate when given a task. Generally, this is not the result of being lazy or not caring. We have learned there is usually something else going on. And this something else is related to a person’s motivations, which need to be skillfully managed.

Because the reason for procrastinating differs among PRINTS, the remedy also needs to be different, otherwise we are missing the boat.

For example, one PRINT® might put things off because they need to do the task perfectly. If we are under a time crunch, then the manager needs to know this going in and make sure this qualified person knows that perfection is not expected and very good will be more than adequate, as it generally is.

But that same pep talk to another PRINT® who procrastinates to avoid anxiety would not have the same impact.

In fact it might fall on deaf ears.

With this PRINT®, scripting upcoming encounters and discussing where things can go wrong and how to anticipate and prevent them would do wonders in allaying their fear.

Finally, to continue with this example, still yet another PRINT® might put things off because the task, in their mind, appears complicated and overwhelming. In this case, breaking the task down into individual steps, with discussions and oversight built in along the way, would increase this PRINT’s comfort level and yield better results. My managers and I have learned that we can’t “will” people to always do things as we would.

We have learned not to complain or be puzzled, but rather to fix things by adapting to our team’s motivations.

Besides the company benefiting from where there is a good fit between a person’s motivations and job requirements, our employees benefit because we are better able to put people in positions that give them satisfaction.

And if we have to move people out of positions, or let someone go, we understand and can explain why it is not a good fit, in objective terms.

If the percentage of Shadow behavior an employee exhibits is beyond the norm, and they or we can’t correct it, then we know it is best if they move on to something else.

We can have an objective discussion which also involves asking ourselves, the company, if we did a good enough job communicating how destructive Shadow behavior is and how it undermines the true values of our company.

PRINT® has done something else.

It has allowed us to adjust our expectations of people so they are based in reality.

This eliminates so much frustration and capitalizes on the best that people have to offer. I expect a different outcome from one PRINT® than I do another and I value the contribution that each makes. But I don’t expect that both will be great at the same thing. When it comes to service, for example, one PRINT® might show customer care in a demonstrative way yet another PRINT® might do it through expert problem solving and research. Both are valuable.

And if one works better for a particular client, we have the ability to explain to the client why a person responded as they did to see what works and what doesn’t.

I recall explaining to a client who had a concern with response time that my employee was motivated by being knowledgeable and smart and consequently invests the time to work through a correct answer rather than just giving a quick answer. Having the language and framework to explain this allowed the client and me to determine if the style was a good fit.

Without PRINT®, it was too easy to jump to conclusions…often wrong ones and assign wrong intent.

PRINT® has improved our review process and introduced a great deal of objectivity into the equation.

Challenges are more easily articulated and usually focus on Shadow Behavior that needs to be reduced. Discussion of Shadow behaviors takes things out of the realm of personal attack and improves receptivity and how we dialogue about performance improvements that need to be made. It becomes an objective valuation of strengths and weaknesses based on PRINT® profile and motivations.

Like grading a wine…based on a scorecard of aroma, what it does to the pallet, etc, PRINT® allowed me to develop a scorecard for each person that came across truer to the participant.

Based on these motivations, the employee needs to work on this and this. They need to keep leaning against that wall every day. It resonates for them. It makes sense.

PRINT® has allowed my managers and me to avoid the cult of personality.

It is too easy to be attracted to a personality and then want everyone to be like that person. But like an orchestra where only the trombones are allowed to play, the richness is lost. We may not hear the harp all the time, that is true, but when it comes to play, it is beautiful. I believe there is an inherent unfairness of organizations that don’t value diversity of motivations.”