Many actions have unintended consequences.  Assessment programs are no exception.  When conducting assessments for development, most companies are looking to provide useful feedback to employees and to get them on the road to performance improvement.  But other things have been known to occur, including:

Positive Internal Movement.  After providing feedback, people may come back and say, “Now that I know what’s really expected in this job, maybe I belong somewhere else.”  Besides requiring a lot of guts, this type of statement also reflects tremendous insight and is an opportunity for the company to retain a potentially valuable employee who is not being properly utilized.

Resolution of Employee Conflict.  A client recently indicated that he thought an assessment program was a particular success.  Was it because they had made better hires?  Or that the supervisors had improved so much?  No.  Rather, there was one supervisor who thought that his negative performance reviews were due to his race, not his actual performance.  Having a third party evaluate his skills and abilities apparently convinced him that he wasn’t being picked on, but really needed to improve.  The client indicated that the problems and conflicts with this supervisor were drastically reduced.

Improved Morale.  A frequent finding with employee engagement surveys is that people want more training and development.  Putting people through an assessment program for development (and following-through with the development) shows them that the company is investing in them.  Clients indicate that this leads to increase commitment and loyalty.

Fortunately, we are not always as smart as we think we are when anticipating the outcomes of programs we implement.  While it is important to consider potential negative consequences (e.g., what happens when there is assessment for development but no resources to back it up), be open to other good things that may come from evaluating the skills and abilities of your employees.

For more information on pre-employment testing, skills assessment, employee engagement, and talent management, please contact Warren at 310 670-4175 or