10x in the Press

Predicting performance — how people decisions are both an art and a science

20th May 2019

The Telegraph, Nick Shaw, MD, 10x Psychology

To future-proof their talent strategy, organisations need to use their people data to predict issues and proactively solve challenges.

Have you ever played a computer simulation where decisions about people are at the centre of the game? Perhaps one of the management games centred on football, rugby or cricket, where you take on the role of managing a team to victory? In these scenarios, the “manager” has at hand a wealth of stats relating to the players’ performance on key attributes, their potential once they are fully trained, and the impact that each of the players will have on overall team performance. Or perhaps you have participated in a fantasy league team, and seen the passion that can arise when trying to get the perfect team formation and selection. One of the things that fascinates us at 10x Psychology is that most of the time, people managing their own fantasy football team or playing one of the computer simulation games have more useful performance and potential data to hand than a typical manager in a large corporate!

“In blending psychometrics with data-science, we can provide managers with the insights needed to predict issues and proactively solve challenges”

Within a wider industry context, here at 10x we have observed how behavioural patterns are being predicted using far more advanced analytics than we have been applying to decisions about people in a selection or development context. For instance, a lot more focus has been on predicting a consumer’s buying patterns or an employee’s likelihood of following safety procedures, than whether they will perform well in their job. Given the significant impact that aligned, motivated, engaged employees who fit role requirements can have on organisational performance, we think that it is time that this changed!

At 10x Psychology, we know psychology has a critical role in solving the issues impacting the workplace today, particularly in improving productivity, creating positive team cultures and improving emotional wellbeing and stress. However, we often see psychologists and HR professionals approach these problems in a singular way, and/or applying singular techniques to these issues.

We believe that organisations that future-proof their talent strategy will be the ones that most effectively collect and use their people data to predict issues and proactively solve challenges that arise, and that combine leading thinking in data analytics and psychometric science. We know that measurement tools such as psychometrics are the most predictive tools for understanding work performance. However, in blending these with data-science methods, we can use them to provide the insight that line managers need — answering questions about how long the person will stay in a role, how likely they are to be promoted, whether they will raise the bar and how they will impact the wider team dynamics.

“We share all our data in real time in a world-leading dashboard interface that helps all users to benefit from our insights”

By combining measurement approaches and looking at the interaction between these, we can also provide better answers to organisational issues — for instance, using the data insights we have collected at 10x we can make predictions about an individual’s wellbeing or level of resilience through our evaluation of their personality traits and their key motivators. Making psychology accessible is one of our fundamental principles — all our data insights are shared in real time in a world-leading dashboard interface, with intuitive guidance and tool tips that help all users to benefit from our insights.

Now, we also know that gut instinct remains the natural instinct for most managers and is the basis for people decisions more often than not. And these natural human instincts are also so important in getting a sense for how the individual will communicate and align with the ways in which work gets done in your organisation. So there is, of course, a key role for the line manager to play when it comes to the “art” of selecting people and developing teams. However, by bringing a holistic, real-time scientific view on talent, we believe that the science can be made accessible and will therefore help organisations to manage their talent in the intuitive, instinctive way that individuals would expect to do in a computer game.

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