First Look

Purposeful Alignment: Providing the key to sustainable success

CBS Ltd. | 2014-06-17 00:00:00

Aligning natural strengths, personality and characteristics to job choice can be the key to determining personal and business success, says Dr. Ainsley Deer, Jamaican Psychologist and International Management Consultant.

“When talent is not aligned with the right scholastic courses, school or job, it can sometimes manifest as: failure, consistently low grades, people who are disengaged from the learning/work process, maladaptive behaviour, poor on the job performance, increased sick-days/absenteeism, pressure on a nation’s healthcare system, low productivity levels and decreased company profits,” Dr. Deer explained. Trained in the UK, Dr. Deer is a leading trainer, motivational speaker, researcher and consultant with more than 20 years experience as an Employee Assistance/Staff Wellness Provider for multinational organizations including Johnson and Johnson, British Airways, and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Dr. Deer is also a key member of the Trevor Hamilton and Associates team that has designed a Jamaican-oriented, hybrid psychometric measurement tool to help students, individuals, companies and schools in career, curriculum decision-making and recruitment along pathways according to individuals’ talent/strengths. Aptly named Purposeful Alignment (PA), the programme utilises a strength-based approach aligning individuals’ characteristics and personalities to their life choices - this process being a critical success factor in achieving top performance.

“PA is aimed at making every employer successfully compete through the most effective aligning of talents to work environment to differentiate the company's products and services. Companies will now be able to achieve enhanced competitiveness, productivity and profitability by differentiation based on the quality of employee selection. This software will ensure that all companies are aligned with a pool of talent to ensure they achieve their strategic objectives. With PA we are able to help persons understand their natural talents/strengths and provide supporting techniques for individuals’ capacity building, which then influences realistic goal setting and expectations for self,” Dr. Deer explained.

Karl Mayson turned to management consultancy when his manufacturing company’s productivity fell from an annual growth rate average of 4.7 percent in 2009-2011 to 2.8% in 2011-2013. Suspecting his problem was a recruitment issue, all new employees were subjected to PA testing with selection done based on the applicant’s being described as a best-fit for the company based on what it was trying to achieve. They were then monitored for two months. The result, these new employees outperformed existing employees doing the same job with the same level of difficulty. Expanding PA testing to all employees, it was uncovered that their talents and interests did not always correspond with the job requirements. However, since insisting on Purposeful Alignment being a part of the selection process, Mayson experienced an increase in the productivity growth rate from 2.8 percent to 13.5 percent in 12 months.

According to (Clifton & Harter, 2003), at the individual level, strengths-based development involves three stages: Identification of talent, integration into how one views himself or herself, and behavioral change. This process involves many steps, including identifying things done at excellence, claiming them as strong points, naming them, sharing them with others, consciously thinking about how performance can be maximized if behaviours and talents are aligned, adding necessary knowledge and skills, and actively using the talents whenever possible. Were we to apply this strength-based approach at all levels, whether primary, secondary or tertiary we believe that our children would be performing better and as importantly, parents and teachers would be better able to support their children and pupils respectively, through this means of talent identification. Likewise, if this approach is applied to organizations, companies would experience productivity and ultimately, growth.

It is for this reason that PA exists. The programme combines globally tried and proven psychometric measurements, Jamaican behavioural norming, talent assessment technologies and Human Resource performance measurement technologies supported by a large database derived from socio-economic realities. PA will be delivered via software developed by a Software Company in India.

PA is administered by Dr. Deer, Dr. Fitz Russel a US Trained Educator, Psychometrician and former Assistant Chief Education Officer who is noted for coordinating and training resource teachers in Learning Assessment for the Ministry of Education in Jamaica and Dr. Trevor Hamilton, a US trained Social Scientist and renowned Management Consultant who has modernized several public and private sector organizations locally and internationally, including the European Union, Kaiser Aluminum, Neal and Massy Group, World Bank, CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Development Bank.

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