Business & Talent. Aligned.

How you manage talent spells the difference between success and failure. To gain a competitive edge, leaders must be prepared to address shifting economic, social and demographic trends that impact workforce performance. Stay informed with research, insights and advice from our leading industry experts. The world of work is changing. Is your company ready?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Do you know Pat Tangent?

I’d like to introduce you to Pat Tangent. You may already know Pat. Pat likely works just down the hall from you. Pat Tangent is a furious multitasker whose lack of focus on any single thing for any length of time sends Pat off in various directions at a constant and frenetic pace. The result: hard to know. Is Pat’s ability to multitask beneficial or detrimental to performance? The answer is vital for leaders to understand!!

As T+D reports, 75% of people believe they multitask at work. Further research cited in The New York Times found that the consumption of media (such as email and TV) has exploded – adding to the gravitation away from being able to focus on one task at a time. These days people consume three times as much information each day as they did 50 years ago. They are constantly shifting their attention. Computer users at work change windows or check email or other programs nearly 37 times an hour.

Being able to complete one task quickly and then move onto the next item is a result of heightened concentration, not superior intellect. (Play a game testing how well you switch between tasks.)

It takes a mix of skills to get it right. Some people have a natural tendency toward, high need for and find satisfaction in great task variety. While others are just the opposite. Knowing who has a preference for each condition can really help employers to hire and develop the right people for the roles that demand a lot of variety and for those that don’t. This is the value of using assessments. Placing a high task variety person in a low task variety role can have detrimental effects on productivity and performance. The reverse is also true. Either mismatch can result in frustration by the individual and low engagement.

Utilize assessments to hire for the right mix so the Pat Tangents of the world (and Pat’s polar opposites) can thrive and deliver.

No comments:

Post a Comment