Employee Engagement Essential in Professional Services Firms

employee engagementThe importance of employee engagement has been discussed in previous posts. Recent research indicates that nowhere is employee engagement more important than in professional services firms. While these firms are necessarily primarily client focused, ultimately the success of professional services firms relies on the success of their employees’ work. And the most successful employees are engaged employees.

In fact, in professional services firms employee engagement is a strategic business initiative.

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Identifying your strongest and weakest leaders

The idea of a 360 degree performance appraisal is to survey those around an employee to gather information about their performance from the perspective of different individuals they interact with at work. Feedback is typically provided by subordinates, peers and supervisors, the individuals themselves (self-assessment), and may include feedback from customers or clients. “360” refers to the 360 degrees in a circle, with an employee figuratively in the middle of the circle.

360 degree performance appraisals provide comprehensive, balanced information, i.e. they reveal how the individual operates in a range of roles and with a range of individuals; as a manager, as a member of a team, as a subordinate and, if applicable, with their clients. Reviewers typically remain anonymous, thereby reducing the likelihood of inaccuracies such as the ‘halo’ effect.

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THE UNSKILLED NEED NOT APPLY

Finding amply qualified candidates to fulfill a specific job description and skill set is not always the simple task. When you ask whether or not a candidate is proficient in a particular skill, you will most likely receive the answer you are looking for: yes. However, surveys have implicated that 1/3 of job candidates tell little white lies during the recruitment process. How do you know who has the best skills without testing them?

Decrease the Chances of “Bad Hires”
Skills testing plays a major role in hiring the perfect people for jobs which require proficiency in specific domains. It provides an objective, fair, and efficient method of comparison. A candidate can say that they are proficient in Microsoft Word, for instance, but once you have hired them, you may find out that they are not as skilled as they stated in the interview. By then, you have already hired them and, like anyone that does the hiring and firing in a company knows, it is extremely difficult to get rid of a bad hire.

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