Changing people processes are difficult, to say the least. If it’s to do with assessments & promotions, all the more complex, with many different organizational aspects coming into play. This case talks about implementing a virtual process as against an existing physical process, but it’s great learning in change management as well.
The brief from the client had interesting tonalities, and some expectations which required balancing different design aspects of the whole intervention, & deep sensitivity to existing culture and practices of the client by the Think Talent team.
1. ‘We want to do away with pen and paper assessments but our people may not be comfortable with online ones. How will you make it human enough?’
2. ‘There are lots of biases in our current promotion system. We want to eliminate these but still want to ensure the manager owns the decision.’
3. And of course, as expressed in different conversations – ‘We want cheaper, better, high touch, virtual, accurate, speedier, user friendly, and.and.and…’
The challenge for our team was very simply to build credibility for ourselves and the process and help manage the change process for many managers and employees who still were not really ‘with the planned change’. What helped was the senior management’s commitment to making the change, with a view to improved decision making at a lower outlay in financial & time/administration costs.
Our design team worked to the principle of co-creation with the client over 3 months, and then we ran the first integrated process. Assessment administration within a few hours (online + Web-ex/Skype or phone interface with as assessor for a series of exercises), reports within 30-45 minutes after that and where required, conversations with a coach within 24-48 hours, all integrated into a single smooth operation.
Our technology team worked to automate every single interface and administration process, keeping an eye on great participant experience. Our content team customized every single aspect of the assessments and our ops team made sure that the technology and hand-holding was immaculate.
While one could detail out what was done well in every single aspect of defining competencies, designing tools, scheduling, project managing the rollout, and customization of the reporting, what really worked was our desire to deeply understand the customer & an immersion of every member of the project team into their culture, ways of working & context of different layers of managers.
In a way, no rocket science but an eye for detail and focus on design principles focused on the user & customer leading to immaculate design, planning and execution.
The virtual assessment & development process has now got institutionalized and we continue to work with the client in constantly fine-tuning it, as we cover each subsequent batch. The seamless experience with this process has led to a similar process being introduced for the client’s recruitment & selection program across all levels of hires. Feedback continues to come in that there’s a strong value add through the candidates’ reports through this assessment with relevant insights and data points providing leads for the next steps in selection.