Growth Mind-Set

By DevelopmentNo Comments

“Substitute feelings of insecurity with the excitement of skill acquisition.”

Tom Bilyeu  (Growth Mind-Set Expert). 

The work on Growth Mind-Set was first carried out by world-famous psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck.

According to Dweck there are two kinds of people, those with a ‘growth mind-set’ and those with a ‘fixed mind-set’. The former is underpinned by the belief that your abilities are fixed by your upbringing, genetics or intelligence.

In a ‘growth mind-set’ people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, brains and talent are just the starting point.

“This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment” writes Dweck.

Our belief at Human-ByDesign is that ‘results in organisations flow through people’.

When we apply the principles of ‘Growth Mind-Set’ to organisational culture and to support our employees stretch their cognitive skills and emotional intelligence to new horizons, this in turn supports the organisation to turn ‘crisis’ into an ‘opportunity’ and thus stretch  beyond its current capabilities to adapt, innovate and grow.

When we juxtapose Dr. Dweck’s Research with Dr. Dan Harrisons 30 years of research on enjoyment performance theory, we can see that cultivating a growth mind-set as part of organisational culture is not as straight forward as we might initially think.

According to Dr. Dan Harrison’s research into human potential, studies found that:

“Employees who are 75% or more aligned with tasks of the job that they find intrinsically rewarding, tend to be three times more productive in their role than those who are not fulfilled by their job”.  

His central thesis is human beings are designed to enjoy their work. 

Even when there is career progression in the organisation with ample opportunity for growth offered by the company, his research found that it is human nature is to feel restless and seek to move on when we don’t experience ‘job satisfaction’. This, by the way, has serious implications for Remote Working.

The research on this suggests there is a balance to be struck between creating environments which push our employees to stretch and grow (growth mind-set) and being mindful to align our employees with work that allows them to be their authentic-self and engage in work they are passionate about and find ‘intrinsically’ rewarding (enjoyment performance theory).

By aligning individuals with work that will simultaneously stretch them, while at the same time engage and energise them, only then will employers be able to tap into a much larger reservoir of creativity, energy and productivity from their employees.

In the case of Remote Working, for example, failing to align employees with work that they are intrinsically motivated to do (without supervision), may over the long term lead to burnout and a performance management nightmare for line managers!

Here at Human-ByDesign we are interested in supporting employers to harness the natural laws of human nature and science to support their employees move beyond current challenges, develop a growth mind-set and working practices that are effective.

So, what does it mean to have a Growth Mind-Set? 

In our research to date, one of the major challenges we found is that it is really difficult to determine whether someone has a growth mind-set or not.

This is key, because:

“You can’t improve what you can’t measure.”
Drucker (Management Guru).
So a critical question to ask is:

How do you know if your employees’ have a ‘Growth-Mindset’ or not, 

How do you measure Growth Mind-Set?  

You can get a really strong indication of growth mind-set by examining three areas:

  1. Results: the actual consistent results the employee achieves, measured against (KPI’s).
  2. Skills: Learning to acquire and apply a skill that has utility. High level of technical competence, skill-set or expertise.
  3. Behaviour:  Do they score between 75% or above on Growth Mind-set behavioural traits, that are critical for success, i.e. If they don’t have these traits they are unlikley to have a growth mind-set).

One strong indicator of a growth mindset is the consistent results the individual or team achieves and that requires the right type of attitude or behaviour consistently applied.

So, what are ‘Growth Mind-set’ Behaviours, what do they look like and how can we measure them? 

Dr. Dan Harrisons’ work on measuring behavioural DNA goes a long way towards helping us get a lens into this. See sample growth mind-set behavioural traits here.

Let’s take a closer look at one of the typical growth mind-set behavioural traits:

‘Being Persistent’. 

“The tendency to be tenacious towards ones goals despite encountering significant obstacles.” (Dr. Dan Harrisson).

Let’s imagine we have an employee that scores a 2 out of 10 on the behaviour

‘Being Persistent’.

This is not a positive indicator of growth-mindset, but at least now we have uncovered a behaviour which may be de-railing their efforts and we can start to put in place a development plan for the individual to develop that specific behavioural muscle.

Without proper diagnosis and visibility as to the behaviours that are strong and those that are weak, we lack insight and can default into ‘guessing’.

Since subjective opinion is limited to perception, then our ‘opinion’ of the employee is not always a valid or reliable measure in and of itself.

Foundational to supporting our employees develop a ‘growth mind-set’ is to identify and measure the specific behaviours the individual has that support growth mind-set and those behaviours that are likely to sabotage or de-rail their efforts.

“The gap between where you want to go and where you are now is a gap in skill.” H-BD. 

Transitioning to a brave new world of work will involve not only developing the skill-sets necessary to adapt, grow and evolve, but will also require us to purposefully cultivate a growth mind-set in our organisational culture, our leaders and our employees.

Here at Human-ByDesign, we offer programmes to help your line-managers embed and develop a growth mind-set culture as part of our career transitioning and succession planning programmes:

In conclusion, I’ll end with a famous quote from the esteemed Dweck herself: 

“In growth mind-set challenges are exciting rather than threatening so rather than thinking oh, I’m going to reveal my weakness, you say: Wow, here’s a chance to grow.”

5 steps to a Strategic Workforce Plan

By COVID-19 Special Edition, Strategic Workforce PlanningNo Comments

Your roadmap to bounce back strong and mitigate risk!



While the recent ‘phased return to work’ government announcements have provided some indication of a time frame for returning to work, the length, severity and impact of the economic downturn are yet to be fully understood.

So, as an HR professional, what does that mean in terms of how you are going to manage risk going forward?

One thing for sure is that if businesses are to not only survive, but also thrive in the ‘new normal’ then putting in place business continuity systems, structures and strategic workforce planning will be vital.

Strategic Workforce Plan provides a framework to mitigate risk by aligning business strategy to workforce and operations.

As businesses assess their options in terms of not only how to retain current customers but also pivot into new markets, they will need support from HR, in order to decide what is most important not only for business continuity but for the workforce at large.

In this article, we will focus on how you can get the basics right by putting in place a strategic workforce plan that will not only help to stabilise your business but also ensure you have the right people in the right positions at the right time.

In order to ensure your strategic workforce plan is in place and ready to be rolled out by the time you return to work, here are the five steps you will need to take action on:

    Step1: Review your new business strategy, identify the corresponding operations that are most critical to continuity.

While you may have done much of this already, make sure you double-check your thinking with customers and employees as often their perspectives can be different. Once this 360 view is garnered, this determines what the new organisational structure looks like. Click here for a sample organisational structure chart.

It’s a really good idea to map that out, so that, you have a visual of what the new job roles look like and others also have that same understanding, so that all stakeholders are on the same page. Click here for sample job description essentials.

This will not only give you visibility on the type of roles that you need. It will also help you to design a plan that is resilient and agile, which will enable you to adjust quickly to change.

    Step2: Once you have identified the organisational structure, next, map out the roles within the critical operations, make sure you can answer the following:

  • Do you have up to date job descriptions for those roles?
  • What roles/tasks are you keeping and what roles/tasks can be removed or parked temporarily?
  • Can adjustments be made in the current teams to support the critical operations, what are the internal resources that you already have that can be re-deployed into these positions?

    Step 3: The next step is to measure ‘suitability’ for the roles. This is a critical step as the company cannot afford to have the ‘wrong people in the wrong positions’, as this may cause performance issues and slow the organisation down.

In order to avoid ‘square peg, round hole’ syndrome, (not to mention a performance management nightmare as many will be remote working) you will want to develop a JSF (Job Success Formula) for each role in the new structure. Click here to view sample job success formula.

A JSF will tell you exactly the type of skills required for each role, so that you can make the proper assessment when the time comes to re-deploy people or in some cases where employees are invited to re-apply for their old positions.

    Step 4: Conduct a skills audit across the organisation – because the gap between where you are now and where you want to go is a gap in skill.

This is a vital step because you can’t develop a proper plan, until you first know where the skills gaps are in the organisation. In other words, you need to understand the current state of play in your organisation before you can develop a plan to move forward.

Once you have completed the JSF for each role – a skills audit can be carried out in as little as 30 minutes (per employee) using our award-winning technology. Go to our Human-ByDesign contact page you can book a complimentary session with us where we will walk you through this.

Once the data comes back on the employee, you will then be crystal clear on where the skills gaps lie, both on an individual level and organisation wide. Click here for sample skills gap analysis.

Now instead of using ‘best guess’ you can make your decisions against an evidence base that tells you exactly where the skills gaps are across the organisation.

  • What is the data telling you about the ‘readiness’ of your workforce to deliver against the new strategic plan?
  • How can that data be used to course correct as new information becomes available?
  • Does the current workforce have the right skills or do we need to implement training or possibly bring in new talent?

Now you have the data you need to make intelligent, informed people decisions you can move on to the next step. It’s vital that you don’t move to the implementation stage until you are clear on the above.

Employee legislation is very much on the side of the employee (GDPR states that all employees have the right to see the criteria being used to make decisions about them).

If you mobilise employees into roles that they are not suitable for you may be exposing the organisation to legal challenge down the line, that’s why it is vital you have an objective evidence base to inform your people decisions.

     Step 5The implementation of your plan.

Once all of the above is completed, then map out the steps involved in the process as well as how you are going to communicate the process to all employees across the organisation.

Now you are clear on the new organisational structure, the priority roles and where the skills gaps are, the next step is to invite employees to apply for the roles in the new structure.

You will need to appoint an officer to lead the project. We recommend you appoint an individual who has high emotional intelligence as there can be many sensitivities involved in rolling out a project of this nature. You can run a complimentary EI overview report by contacting us at This will give you an overview of the Emotional Intelligence suitability of your project lead. Click here for sample Emotional Intelligence Report.

Depending on your strategy you may invite employees to apply for their own jobs, or you may decide that you are content to keep the employee base as it is and that you just need to do some job re-design.  In any case, the on-boarding process into the new structure will need to be carefully communicated to the employees.

Again, what data is available to support this process? How can that data be used to decide which employees are suitable for which jobs? It will be important to use an evidence base and objective data, not just ‘subjective opinion’ to make your re-deployment decisions.

This will not only give you the optimum chance of placing the right people in the right jobs, but it will also keep you compliant and on the right side of employment legislation.

The key to rolling out a successful strategic workforce plan is to keep it simple. Remember adjustments and course corrections can be made along the way. Communication at each step in the process will be important to let employees know what is expected from them as well as the outcomes they can expect from the company.

Lastly, remember a strategic workforce plan provides a framework for dealing with uncertainty. Having a plan builds resilience and agility into your organisation, because having visibility as to who has the right skills in your organisation, will enable the organisation to pivot and adapt to change quicker.

If you don’t understand the skills of your employees, you will not be able to respond quickly and may end up relying on ‘knee jerk’ responses which will slow progress and may affect employee moral.

To bring order to the chaos, you will be in a much stronger position if you map all of this out in advance of returning to work, as it will provide you with a road-map and an anchor when the going gets tough!

Download your employee road map here; the A – Z you need to be aware of to support your employees transition back to work.


The above outlined 5 steps can help to leverage and align your resources as little as a week!


You may be able to receive funding for strategic workforce planning, through your local enterprise office…click here for further information.

By the way, did you know that we do this?

Human-ByDesign is a people analytics consulting firm focused on delivering services that optimise the workforce. If any of the above resonates with where your business is at right now, you can contact us for a 40-minute free consultation, where we listen to your needs and if appropriate can walk you through examples of where we have supported other businesses with this process, you can reach us via our website or call us direct on00353015599888.

Workforce Triage

By COVID-19 Special Edition, Strategic Workforce PlanningNo Comments

Are you about to go through a Business Restructure or Talent Re-Deployment Process?


Sometimes in crisis situations, workforce triage is what is required, which in medical terms means:

“The process of prioritising and acting in accordance with what is the highest priority for the greatest good of all”.

While we may not be able to save everyone involved, in some cases business re-structure is the only option left after all other options have been carefully weighed up and evaluated. HR’s job is to ensure that triage actions will stabilise the situation now and secure success for all in the future.

Here are our ten tips on how to effectively manage a restructure process while keeping on the right side of employment legislation and GDPR:

1. Plan the process carefully and identify all the stakeholders that need to be involved.

2. Identify who will be project lead with the authority to manage the restructuring process.

3. Consult properly with those employees in the internal talent pool, explain to them the options i.e. ‘voluntary redundancy’ or ‘internal application’ for the job roles that are on offer in the new structure.


4. Develop a genuine fair and transparent consultation process: Be open to amending proposals based on that consultation with employees.

5. Bring in an outside consulting firm, this will reduce mistakes and bring objectivity into the process.

6. Conduct an objective skills assessment: The purpose of the skills assessment is to determine which out of the pool of employees remaining are the best match to the skills required in the ‘future roles’ in the organisation. Click here for access to the PDF on ‘How to Conduct a Skills Audit.”

7. Use a matrix of objective, measurable criteria to select people, that way you are compliant with GDPR.

8. Use ‘an evidence base’ i.e objective data as part of the process, otherwise, you may be exposed to legal challenge if decisions (particularly redundancies) are seen to be made solely on ‘subjective opinion’.


9. If employees are having to apply for their own jobs, combine hard data with an interview, while data is important, ultimately the final decisions should be made by people.

10. Career coaching and compassionate support: Offer career coaching and support to those who are planning to take up voluntary redundancy or as a result of the process have to involuntarily exit the organisation and transition to a new role or new career.

As always here at Human-ByDesign, we hope you enjoyed this article, and we hope you found the tips helpful. Do you have any thoughts? We would love to hear them.

You can reach us by Clicking here.

How to Create ‘Certainty’ in ‘Uncertain’ Times.

By COVID-19 Special Edition, Strategic Workforce PlanningNo Comments
As William Arthur Ward said…


The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change, the realist adjusts the sails.

COVID-19 is causing many businesses to ‘press pause’ and re-think their strategy and positioning in the marketplace. The strategic plan for 2020 is no longer relevant, the focus is now on either survival or pivoting to take advantage of new opportunities and new markets.

Here at Human-By Design, we have been talking to HR leaders for some time now about the importance of preparing your business for VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity). Click here for a PDF presentation.


Here are our top tips for HR on how to create greater certainty in
‘uncertain times’:


  1. Act decisively to preserve the business
The government has put in place a number of measures to support employers and employees through these turbulent times, make sure you are plugged into the resources available. Visit: Enterprise Ireland or for SME’s: Local Enterprise Ireland.


  1. Conduct Scenario Planning.

What are the possible scenarios that might play out for your business and what do the impacts look like for each one? I.e. if sales declined by 20% what does it mean for the business and your people versus if sales declined by 60%?

Which of the scenarios do you need to prepare your business for?

We suggest you have a plan for a minimum of 3 scenarios that are most likely to play out, from best case to worst case.

In uncertainty, having a plan in place can really help ease stress, because you and your employees will feel safer in the knowledge that your business has a ‘plan of action’ in place, regardless of what scenario plays out.


  1. Communicate clearly with compassion and empathy.

Give your employees regular ‘up to date’ information on how the situation is unfolding and is being managed. Be transparent and honest with employees. Are you scaling back and decreasing expenditure or are you going to invest aggressively in new opportunities emerging from the market?

Clear communication that sticks to the facts will help to balance emotions and prevent the fear rumours from propagating. Remember, you can’t control what is going on in the outside world, but you absolutely can control how you and your team respond to the changes, focus on what you can control.


  1. Demonstrate Leadership.

This is a time now where the characteristics of true leaders need to shine through. In times of great uncertainty, the rules of the game have changed. Dr. Dan Harrison’s 30 years of research concludes that the best leaders are those who have cognitive agility and a balanced mindset, they have what’s called ‘paradoxical leadership’ traits.

While leaders must be certain of their opinions, at the same time they must also be open to alternative opinions and be willing to reflect and adjust their viewpoint. The best leaders acknowledge solutions can come from anywhere in the organisation.


  1. Revisit your ’Why’.

Use this time as an opportunity to reflect on why the business was started in the first place. How does it serve the greater good? How will your product or service help people during this difficult time?

Encourage your employees to remember their ‘why’. What was it about the organisation that inspired them to join the company?


  1. ‘Respond’ rather than ‘React’ to change.

It’s really key during this time to not have ‘knee jerk’ reactions that you may regret later!

Companies who focus solely on the ‘top line’ figures and reduce the workforce to cut expenditure, may be making a grave mistake in the long term. It’s important to remember that its’ not just about preserving financial capital, it’s also about preserving ‘human capital’.

Research shows that when these periods occur, companies that react by laying off staff, underperform in the future.

This is a big lesson learned from the crash of 2008; many organisations that ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’, end up losing valuable skills, intellectual property and customer relationships. This can take decades to re-build.

Those employees ‘left behind’ may go into ‘survivor mode’ and worry if they are going to be ‘next’. This is not ideal as research shows employees are at their least productive in environments where they don’t feel safe.


  1. Ask how can your employees be part of the solution?

Instead of suffering job losses, would employees be willing to take a pay cut across the organisation, including the executive for a period of time?

Talk to your people, ask for ideas. This is a time not only for ‘Top-Down’ leadership, but it’s also a time for bottom-up leadership. When employees are empowered to ‘have a voice’, innovative solutions can come from anywhere in the organisation.


  1. Create CLARITY.

Now more than ever, it’s vital to understand the skills and strengths of your people.

What ‘hidden’ resources does your company have to draw on? How can you leverage the skills and strengths of your employees? Can you channel them in new directions and empower your employees to utilise their creativity and ingenuity to think of new approaches to overcome the challenges of the business?

When this is all in the rearview mirror…there is going to be a lot of reshuffling in the new structure.


  1. Conduct a SKILLS AUDIT.
As an HR professional, a helpful exercise right now is to conduct a skills audit of your employees so that you have ‘visibility’ of the collective skills and strengths of your organisation.  As a result, you’ll be ready to re-position people back into their old jobs or into new roles to make a strong comeback!


  1. WORKFORCE Triage.

Triage is defined in medical terms as “the process of prioritising and acting in accordance with what is the highest priority for the greatest good of all”.

In some cases, business re-structure is the only option left after all other options have been carefully weighed up and evaluated.

While we may not be able to save everyone involved, triage actions will stabilise the situation now and secure success for the workforce of the future.

We will provide our best tips on WorkForce Triage. So, you will know what to keep in mind when going through a restructure so that you bounce back strong…

As always here at Human-ByDesignwe hope you enjoyed this article, and I hope you found the tips helpful. Do you have any thoughts? We would love to hear them.You can reach us by Clicking here.

Brave New Work

By DevelopmentNo Comments

How People Analytics can help your organisation take ‘First Advantage’ and Thrive in the disruptive times ahead


A wave of transformation is about to hit Ireland in the next 5 -15 years… A.I. is not coming it’s already here!

Recently, I was invited to give a lecture to students that are seeking jobs in the manufacturing sector, my job was to uplift, inspire and give hope to these students, I  also had to tell them the truth, which is; that is that their career will have a life span of approximately ten years.

That is because it is estimated by 2030, the majority of their jobs will be replaced by automation.
Worldwide, the estimated figure for the number of jobs automation will replace in the manufacturing sector is twenty million.

According to an analysis by Oxford Economics People, they are also unlikely to find ‘Comparable roles’ as similar jobs in the services sector will also have been squeezed by automation.


Have you noticed how few tellers there are in the banks and cashiers in the supermarket?

The acceleration of technology and A.I. is like the sea, it will creep in slowly, you won’t notice it and then, one day you, your family and your co-workers will be surrounded by it.

When A.I. becomes ‘normalised’ in our workplace and communities, ‘ordinary’ jobs will disappear overnight, this is because the processing speed of A.I. is far superior to the human brain. Therefore, work can get done quicker and cheaper.

A.I.’s progression is not linear it’s exponential. Regardless of the debate as to the exact number of jobs A.I. will replace jobs or not, what it does mean is that most organisations will be facing… talent re-deployment.


There will come a time in the not too distant future when you will have to decide: Are you going sink or learn to surf the waves?

People Analytics
will no longer be a ‘nice to have’, it will be a ‘must-have’.

Change can happen super fast, therefore organisations will need to understand how to pivot, restructure and re-deploy people at speed (be agile and adapt to change) and this will be key to not only survive, but to thrive in the disruptive times ahead.

Leaderships’ ability to navigate and translate that disruption into ‘a positive’ for the teams they lead will be vital. As predictive analytics, in particular, will be seen by leadership as a way to predict future outcomes, gain control, execute at speed and make the right people choices in a fast-changing world, the organisation, in order to attract, select, engage and retain, the brightest and the best.

It’s not necessarily the ‘fittest’ of the species that will survive, it’s the one that is most ‘adaptive to change’.

Disruption will push organisations to become more attuned to the needs of the employee and for many, this will mean a shift to new paradigms and different models of working.

EIQ and the ‘Self-Aware’ Organisation will take Centre Stage. As the drive and need for specialist roles increases, the hunt and retention of talented individuals becomes more competitive.

HR will increasingly be focused on developing organisational culture and creating a ‘people experience’. Foundational to building ‘a positive people experience’ is to understand the humans in your organisation…                               

               “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

Albert Einstein.

In the same way as a doctor runs tests to understand an individual’s biological DNA, advances in behavioral science now enable us to use diagnostics to uncover the psychological DNA of our employees.

This makes it much easier to understand the unique design, passions and skillsets that lie in our employees and then create jobs that are designed to match that blueprint.

This recognition that we are all pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, we are all different and therefore have been given a unique design with a unique set of skills, competencies and purpose will take centre stage.

Here’s why People Analytics will be your best friend in the times ahead:

  • Data-driven decisions will enable interventions to be put in place quickly, increase leaders ‘self-awareness’, support and elevate them, to improve empathy, ability to collaborate, manage their teams better as well as optimise their cognitive ability to think through complex problems and lead through complexity.
  • People analytics provides a way to define, quantify and measure softer skills, in particular those that drive EIQ, in the organisation. Equally as important is the ability to predict and minimise behavioural traits that lower EIQ and have the potential to de-rail a team, department or organisation, if not kept in check!
  • Greater Talent Mobility: Having a broader overview of your workforce, their skills and ‘potential’ will enable you to plan better. You will be able to see who are the ‘right people’ which can be mobilised into the ‘right positions’, at the ‘right time’, either externally through a recruitment campaign or internally via an internal ‘grow your own’ program.
  • Builds Resilience: Organisations are operating against a backdrop of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity). Having visibility as to who has the right skills in your organisation, will enable the organisation to pivot and adjust quicker if/when disruption hits. If you don’t understand the skills of your employees you will not be able to respond quickly and may end up relying on ‘knee jerk’ responses which will slow progress.
  • Leverages the performance of your Human Capital. What got us here, won’t get us there’. Having visibility as to where the skills gaps lie in your organisation will enable you to identify training and development needs and better align employees with jobs they are more suitable for, i.e. ‘talent re-deployment. Better skilled and knowledgeable employees will contribute to higher performance. 

Change is coming, this is a given, the critical question now is: Are you going to be Proactive or Re-active?

The world is changing at a rapid rate and this presents a double edge sword for business. You can either take ‘first advantage’ of the opportunities that are on the horizon, or you can wake up one day and realize that not only your job, but also your industry as you know it, no longer exists.

The question for organisations now is not whether or not to introduce people analytics but when and how do we embed the structures, systems and mind-set in our companies to use data on our people in a way that values our humanity while simultaneously create the right eco-system and culture for organisations to ‘thrive’ in the disruptive times ahead.

I believe it’s now time when it’s not enough to know ‘why’, it’s time to know ‘how’…if the spirit moves you…discover how people analytics technologies and methods can support you on your transformation journey, connect with us here at:

Do you Think Doubling your Employees will Double your Profit?

By DevelopmentNo Comments

It Won’t!

And here is why:


Just because you double your workforce doesn’t mean you double your productivity. As bestselling author Jim Collins concluded in his book ‘GOOD to GREAT’ (why some companies make the leap and others don’t)…

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

There is little benefit in having two hundred people operating at 40% efficiency when you can have one hundred people operating at 80% efficiency. Adding more people also means increased costs, in terms of recruitment, training and management overheads.

The key to higher profit margins, is having a high performing workforce.


So, How do you Develop a High Performing Workforce?

There is a gap between what the research reveals and what organisations are actually doing. It turns out following your passion really does deliver R.O.I.

Peer reviewed research, published in leading business psychology journals (Dr Shubhakr Gujula, Prof. Beena Chintalapuri*) proves a direct correlation between the level of enjoyment in the task of the job and the results employees achieve for the organisation.

Thirty years of research by Dr.Dan Harrison, demonstrates that employees who are congruent with their jobs and enjoy at least 75% of the tasks of the job, perform three times better than employees who don’t enjoy their job.


Assuming a supportive environment and competent leadership an average performing sales person in a company generates €100,000 a year in sales for the company. By contrast a high performing sales person with high competence and high levels of enjoyment in the job, studies show will perform three times better, with the potential to contribute up to €300,000 to the bottom line.


The key to high performing employees is to have high levels of competency and congruency between the natural passion of the employee and the tasks of the job. This is a critical driver for increased employee engagement and high performance.


How to Develop Your Employees for High Performance?

Because it can take between six to twelve months for the organisation to determine if an employee is an “A” player.

It is critical to conduct an audit from the outset as to whether or not a potential new employee has the DNA to become a high performer in your organisational culture.

The latest advances in behavioural science enable an employer to establish (before making a hiring decision) whether or not an employee has the DNA of a high performer.

This empowers the organisation to match the right people to the right jobs with a high degree of accuracy. Validity studies by organisations who have used this methodology, show correlation coefficient of up to 0.7 (high predictive power). The methodology is called Performance Benchmarking.


Performance Benchmarking


Performance Benchmarking provides a quantitative evaluation that differentiate high performers from average and low performers for a specific job.

The method uses A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) to formulate and measure critical behavioural traits for a job and show the impact they have on performance.


The example below highlights the critical success factors necessary for a Sales Manager in a Global Organisation.

A benchmark study was carried out to establish the essential traits for successful Sales Managers in a global organisation. The study found that sales managers with the following traits were consistently high performing:


·         Authoritve Collaboration.

·         Frank.

·         Numerical.

·         Wants Autonomy.

·         Intuitive.

·         Forthright Diplomacy.

·         Analytical.

·         Collaborative.

·         Precise.

·         Tolerance of Structure.


Essential traits – These traits are considered “essential” in the Job and are given a rating according to the level of correlation to performance rating.


When choosing which candidates from a selection process to take forward from a shortlist of five potential job candidates (Candidate A, B, C, D, E). The hiring manager then compares the shortlisted candidates to the organisations benchmark for high performance in a Sales Manager Role.


Candidate A Scores:

The above diagram shows the distribution score of a candidate who applied for the job.

This particular candidate has a strong alignment with the essential traits for a sales manager in this organisation.


In conclusion, the benefits include:

  • Benchmarking matches critical job success factors with actual job performance, resulting in a highly scientific, objective and measurable outcome (up to 80% ability to predict success in a job).
  • For internal ‘grow your own’ programmes the method provides data to improve job performance, by highlighting ‘performance gaps’ which determine where improvement is needed, managers can introduce laser-focused interventions which support employee development.

The result: Better selection and targeted development that leads to higher performing employees.

For further information on how people analytics can help you develop high performing employees, contact us here:

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you its going to be a butterfly.” Buckminster Fuller.

By DevelopmentNo Comments

Thinking of expanding your business?

Then according to the latest research – your team may need to cultivate a ‘Growth Mindset’.


The work carried out by world-famous psychologist Dr. Carol Dwek on ‘Growth Mindset’ has gained much popularity in recent times.

According to Dweck there are two kinds of people, those with a ‘growth mindset’ and those with a ‘fixed mindset’. The former is underpinned by the belief that your abilities are fixed by your upbringing, genetics or intelligence.

“In a ‘growth mindset’ people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment” writes Dweck.

Our belief at Human-ByDesign is that results in organisations flow through people. When we apply the principles of ‘Growth Mind-Set’ to organisational culture and support our employees and teams to stretch their cognitive skills and emotional intelligence to new horizons, this, in turn, supports the organisation to also stretch beyond its capabilities to innovate, change and grow.

Here at Human-ByDesign we are interested in understanding how we can begin to harness the principles of growth mindset to build positive organisational culture. Our business is grounded in behavioural science and we are currently in the process of developing scientifically sound methodologies and tools to support organisations to develop a growth mindset.

In doing so, it will be important that our work is grounded not only in theory but also in the practical application of the methodologies.

We believe answering the following questions will help to provide clarity and shape a trajectory for that will have a beneficial outcome for the organisations that we will  serve:

  • Why is creating an environment for growth mindset important when developing organisational culture?
  • What behavioural attributes constitute a growth mindset?
  • How do we know if we have a growth mindset or not?
  • How can we measure growth mind-set, in our employees, teams and across organisational culture?
  • How can we develop a reliable diagnostic tool that provides a behavioural mirror so that we can have visibility on precisely were our employees need to focus on development interventions?
  • How can we develop a scientifically validated process, which provides us with a data – set that we can rely on and have confidence in to support us make the best decisions for recruitment and internal employee development programmes?


Before diving in to answer these questions, there is an additional piece of the puzzle that I believe is worth noting:

When we juxtapose Dr. Carol Dweck’s Research with Professor Dan Harrisons 30 years of research on *enjoyment theory, we can see that cultivating a growth mindset as part of organisational culture is not as straight forward as we might initially think.

According to Dr. Dan Harrison’s research, employees who are aligned with tasks of the job that they find intrinsically rewarding, tend to be three times more productive in their role.

His central thesis is human beings are designed to enjoy their work. Even when there is career progression in the organisation with ample opportunity for growth offered by the company, his research found that it is human nature to feel restless and seek to move on when we don’t experience ‘job satisfaction’.

The research on this suggests there is a balance to be struck between creating psychologically safe environments to support our employees stretch and grow, while at the same time being mindful to align our employees with work that allows them to be their authentic-self and engage in work they find meaningful, purposeful and intrinsically fulfilling.

Organisations can then tap into a much larger reservoir of creativity, energy and productivity from their employees, which will in turn lead to more mutually beneficial outcomes, for both the employee and the organisation.

To explore further how your organisation can cultivate a ‘Growth Mind-Set’ culture, get in touch with us by Clicking here.

Is Happiness the New Productivity?

By DevelopmentNo Comments

Happiness, ah that elusive feeling, one moment it’s there and next, it’s gone.

Happiness can range from an immediate gratifying experience to satisfying long term meaningful objectives, goals or dreams.

The latest research in neuroscience and psychology tells us that Human’s are goal-seeking mechanisms, we are built to achieve and thrive, the more meaningful the goal we achieve the greater the fulfillment.

Why is Happiness important in work?

Our brain operates at the highest levels of functionality when we believe we are involved in work, that is meaningful to us.

Therefore our most satisfying ‘happiness’ experiences happen at work when we are achieving goals that are authentically aligned to our true selves.

The most important findings in the research are that Human’s have internal self-governing systems and are most disciplined in areas of work that they find intrinsically satisfying.

This self-governing capacity is the key to enhanced productivity and higher levels of performance in individuals and teams.

This essentially means that if the organization hires and retains individuals who are intrinsically aligned with the work tasks they are performing on a daily basis, and they derive job satisfaction from those tasks, the company will require very little additional resources to keep the team motivated and on track.

All supervision systems that a company employs to either ‘micro-manage’ employees or attempt to get them to focus on the task are simply compensation for the lack of alignment between the individual’s intrinsic motivational drivers and the tasks they are working on.

Not only does an intrinsic alignment with work tasks help engage the brain, but science has also proven that our autonomic nervous system comes into balance when we are engaged in activities we enjoy.

Since our nervous system is the master controller governor of our bodies, this system is built to give us rewards when we are ‘on track’ with intrinsically what is important to us and give us feedback i.e. negative emotions when we are ‘off track’ with what is important to us.

We have all had experienced where we are so in tune, so ‘present’ with our work, that we lose track of time. Perhaps it was an important project we were working on or a piece of work that was very meaningful to us.

This is true happiness, this is what psychologists call flow states and this state of happiness enables us to achieve the highest levels of productivity. Science tells us that we are neurologically wired to achieve flow states.

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines the flow state as:

“An optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best“. Which means that the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement and success in the process of the activity. It is a state of supreme creativity.”

So how do we know when we are in the flow and how to get into more flow?  

The HATS’ tool developed by professor Harrison is an objective measure of where the individual is aligned with the work tasks of the job. The tool is underpinned by ‘enjoyment theory’, the measure of how much an individual enjoys or is ‘in flow with’ the tasks of the job.

The result of numerous studies and 20 years of validation research has proven that were individuals are 70% or more aligned with work tasks they enjoy, they are more likely to be ‘in flow’ and less likely to need outside supervision.

Independent research has proven that these individuals are three times more likely to be productive in their jobs than individuals who are not aligned with the work they are involved in.

The correct ‘fit’ with the job enables employees to live and work in accordance with what is truly valuable and meaningful to them. They are focused ‘on the job’ not just ‘in the job’, thus maximizing fulfillment, happiness and productivity.

Take the Free Test

If you want to know how to get into your ‘flow state’ at work, or how to help your team  – Take The Free Test at