WPS Research & Validity Report - Softskills Learning Resources

Workplace Productivity SkillMap™ — Validity, Reliability and Research References
The Workplace Productivity SkillMap is a self-assessment of specific skills, habits and attitudes,
not personality traits or styles. Because it is a self-reporting instrument that can be affected by
internal bias (a person having a higher or lower opinion of their own skill level than would be
warranted by objective observation) it SHOULD NOT be used to compare the relative strengths
of two or more employees.
SkillMap™ Assessments are NOT personality or behavioral profiles. They are self-assessments of
skills and habits (which are of course closely related to behavioral characteristics, but the
distinction is important) so the accepted methods of determining validity and reliability are distinct
from the requirements of psychological or behavioral profiles. The first stage of development for
a SkillMap is the creation of a competency model.
Competency Model Development
The 8 categories of the Workplace Productivity SkillMap were identified, refined and validated
through three avenues of research:
Behavioral Observation. The development group analyzed their observations of employees
in a broad range of work environments and job responsibilities. The skills, habits and attitudes
that were consistently present in very productive high-performers and absent in
low-performers were identified. Surveys of more than 500 managers and interviews with more
than 300 individual employees provided further insight into the characteristics of highly
productive individuals in the workplace. On this basis, 8 categories were defined and placed in
a theoretical model for measuring workplace productivity skills.
8 Competency Categories:
Individual Accountability – Taking responsibility for one’s actions, viewed as
dependable and reliable by others in the workplace. Willing to admit mistakes and
proactively correct them. Holding others equally accountable for their own actions.
Authentic Communication – Having the willingness and ability to address
difficult interpersonal issues directly and productively in workplace situations. Able
to accept critical feedback and react in a constructive manner. Able to
communicate clearly, verbally and in writing, and avoid misunderstandings.
Workplace Productivity SkillMap™ – Reliability, Validity and Research References
©2011 Frontline Learning LLC
Competency Model Development (continued)
Time and Task Management – Able to balance the time or capacity
requirements of competing priorities. Capable of prioritizing tasks and completing
projects in accordance with required quality standards and time requirements.
Meeting and Project Execution – Able to facilitate productive meetings and/or
make productive contributions to meetings. Able to manage projects with multiple
contributors. Is a productive contributor to projects as required.
Cooperative Teamwork – Works cooperatively and productively with a broad
range of personalities. Enthusiastic about helping others achieve their objectives
and successful gaining the support of others for his or her owns projects.
Email Efficiency – Utilizes efficient and effective workflow practices to manage a
high volume of business critical email traffic. Is dependable and responsive to the
email requests of others. Communicates clearly and professionally via email.
Energy and Stamina – The vigor and physiological resilience necessary to
maintain an energetic, enthusiastic demeanor throughout the work day..
Solving Problems – The commitment and creativity necessary to consistently
arrive at win/win solutions to seemingly unworkable situations or unsolvable
Review of Literature. An extensive review was conducted of published literature on
productivity skills and characteristics of productive workers. The research confirmed the initial
skill model, and provided further insights into specific skills, habits and workflow techniques
that were relevant to individual skill categories. (see bibliography)
Development and Delivery of Training. Through consulting relationships with a broad
range of client organizations, many productivity-related training programs have been
developed and delivered, and the efficacy of specific skills, techniques and strategies has been
continually assessed. This process has produced an ongoing refinement of the skill model over
the past 6 years, resulting in a thoroughly validated model which is applicable to practically any
common work environment.
Workplace Productivity SkillMap™ – Reliability, Validity and Research References
©2011 Frontline Learning LLC
Research Bibliography
The following informational resources contributed to the development, refinement and validation
of a consultative selling skills model upon which the Workplace Productivity SkillMap is based.
Attridge, M. (2009). Employee Work Engagement: Best Practices For Employers. Research
Works: Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, 1, 1-11.
Baldwin, J.R. and Sabourin, D., 2001, “Impact of the Adoption of Advanced Information and
Communication Technologies on Firm Performance in the Canadian Manufacturing Sector”,
Analytical Studies Branch-Research Paper Series, Statistics Canada, October 2001.
Bartel A., 1992, “Productivity Gains from the Implementation of Employee Training Programs”,
National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, MA) Working Paper No. 3893, 1992.
Black, S.E. and Lynch, L.M., 1996, “Human Capital Investments and Productivity”, The
American Economic Review, Vol. 86, No.2.
Borman, W. C., & Motowidlo, S. J. (1997). Task performance and contextual performance: The
meaning for personnel selection research. Human Performance, 10, 99-110.
Brooks, S. M., Wiley, J. W., & Hause, E. L. (2006). Using employee and customer perspectives to
improve organizational performance. In L. Fogli (Ed.), Customer service delivery: Research and
best practices (pp. 52 – 82). San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass.
Corporate Leadership Council (2004). Driving performance and retention through employee
engagement. Washington, DC: Corporate Executive Board.
Corvers, F., 1997, “The Impact of Human Capital on Labour Productivity in Manufacturing
Sectors of the EU”, Applied Economics, 1997, 29, pp 975-987.
Cuenca, J.S., 2006, “Productivity: Putting the use of Resources at their Best”, Economic Issue of
the Day, Philippine Institute of Development Studies, Vol VI, Number 7.
Georgopoulos, B. A., Mahoney, G. M., & Jones, M. W. (1957). A path-goal approach to
productivity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 41, 345-353.
Hackman, J. R., & Lawler, E. E. (1971). Employee reactions to job characteristics. Journal of
Applied Psychology Monograph, 55, 259-286.
Harrington, H.J, 1991, “Business Process Improvement: the Breakthrough Strategy for Total
Quality Productivity and Competitiveness”, McGraw Hill Professional.
Workplace Productivity SkillMap™ – Reliability, Validity and Research References
©2011 Frontline Learning LLC
Hausknecht, J. P., Day, D. V., & Thomas, S. C. (2004). Applicant reactions to selection
procedures: An updated model and meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 57, 639-683.
High Level Group on Manufacturing, 2008, “The Report of the High Level Group on
Hoffman, M.J. and Mehra, S., 1999, “Management Leadership and Productivity Improvement
Programs”, International Journal of Applied Quality Management, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 221-32.
Irish Benchmarking Forum, 2003, “Core Metric Benchmarks for Small and Medium Sized
Manufacturing Firms in Ireland”, February 2003.
Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at
Work. Academy of Management Journal, 33, 692-724.
Keegan, R. and O’Kelly, E., 2004, “Applied Benchmarking for Competitiveness: a guide for SME
owner/managers”, Oak Tree Press.
Kendrick, J.W., 1984, “Productivity – Where we Stand”, in Handbook for Productivity
Measurement and Improvement, W.F. Christopher and C.G. Thor (eds.), (1993) Productivity
Press Portland.
Koenig, M. E. D., “Business Process Redesign and the Productivity Paradox”, Rosary College.
Kutschker, Dr. M., 1994, “Re-engineering of Business Processes in Multinational Companies”,
paper presented at the Carnegie Bosch Institute’s International Research Conference, November
2, 1994.
Murillo-Zamorano, L.R., 2003, “The Role of Energy in Productivity Growth: A Controversial
Issue?”, The Energy Journal, 2005, vol 26, Issue 2, pp 69-88.
NCPP and The Equality Authority, 2008, “New Models of High Performance Work Systems: the
Business Case for Strategic HRM, Partnership and Diversity and Equality Systems”, January 2008.
Organ, D. W., & Ryan, K. (1995). A meta-analytic review of attitudinal and dispositional
predictors or organizational citizenship behavior. Personnel Psychology, 48, 775-802.
Paton, D. et al., 2004, “Productivity Measurement in a Service Industry: Plant-Level Evidence
from Gambling Establishments in the United Kingdom”, presented at the SSHRC International
Conference on “Index Number Theory and the Measurement of Prices and Productivity”,
Vancouver, June 30, 2004.
Pritchard, R.D. et al, 1987, “Feedback, Goal Setting, and Incentives Effects on Organizational
Productivity”, Education Resources Information Center.
Workplace Productivity SkillMap™ – Reliability, Validity and Research References
©2011 Frontline Learning LLC
Pulakos, E. D. (2004). Performance management: A roadmap for developing, implementing and
evaluating performance management systems. Alexandria, Va.: SHRM Foundation.
Pulakos, E. D. (2005). Selection assessment methods: A guide to implementing formal
assessments to build a high-quality workforce. Alexandria, Va.: SHRM Foundation.
Ramsay, C. S. (2006, May). Engagement at Intuit: It’s the people. In J. D. Kaufman (Chair),
Defining and measuring employee engagement: Old wine in new bottles? Symposium conducted
at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology 21st Annual Conference, Dallas,
Ramsay, C. S., & Finney, M. I. (2006). Employee engagement at Intuit. Mountain View, CA:
Intuit Inc.
Rao, S. et al, 2002, “The Importance of Skills for Innovation and Productivity” International
Productivity Monitor, Number 4, Spring 2002.
Roberts, D. R., & Davenport, T. O. (2002). Job Engagement: Why It’s Important and How To
Improve It. Wiley Periodicals, Inc, 21-29.
Robinson, D., Perryman, S., & Hayday, S. (2004). The drivers of employee engagement. IES
Report No. 408. Brighton, UK: Institute for Employment Studies.
Romm, J.J. and Browning, W.D, 1998, “Greening the Building and the Bottom Line”, Rocky
Mountain Institute.
Roper, S. and O’Malley, E., 2005, “Productivity, Profitability and the Cost Structure of
Manufacturing Firms in Ireland and Northern Ireland”, All-Island Business Model, Research
Ryan, A. M., Schmit, M. J., & Johnson, R. (1996). Attitudes and effectiveness: Examining relations
at an organizational level. Personnel Psychology, 49, 853-882.
Saari, 2006, “Productivity: Theory and Measurement in Business”, Satakunta University of
Applied Sciences.
Safety and Availability and the Engagement of the Human Spirit at Work. Journal of Occupational
and Organizational Psychology, 77, 11-37.
Sahay, 2004, “Multifactor measurement Model for Services Organisation”, October 2004.
Saks, A. M. (2006). Antecedents and Consequences of Employee Engagement. Journal of
Managerial Psychology, 21, 600-619
Workplace Productivity SkillMap™ – Reliability, Validity and Research References
©2011 Frontline Learning LLC
Schaufeli, W. B., Bakker, A.,& Salanova, M. (2006). The Measurement of Work Engagement with
a short questionnaire: A Cross-National Study. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 66,
Schneider, B., Hanges, P. J., Smith, B., & Salvaggio, A. N. (2003). Which comes first: Employee
attitudes or organizational financial and market performance? Journal of Applied Psychology, 88,
Schneider, B., Hanges, P. J., Smith, B., & Salvaggio, A. N. (2003). Which comes first: Employee
attitudes or organizational financial and market performance? Journal of Applied Psychology, 88,
Schneider, B., Parkington, J. J., & Buxton, V. M. (1980). Employee and customer perceptions of
service in banks. Administrative Science Quarterly, 25, 252 – 267.
Schreyer, P., 2001, “A Guide to the Measurement of Industry-Level and Aggregate Productivity”,
International Productivity Monitor, Number 2 Spring 2001.
Seijts, G. H., & Crim, D. (2006). What Engages Employees the Most, or the Ten C’s of Employee
Engagement. Ivey Business Journal, March/April, 1-5.
Skillnets, 2005, “Measuring the Impact of Training and Development in the Workplace”, Skillnets
Ltd 2005.
Stanfield, T., 2006, “The Effects of Goal Setting and Feedback on Manufacturing Productivity: a
Field Experiment”, International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 55,
No. 3/4, 2006, pp. 346-358.
Turcotte, J., 2004, “The Link between Technology Use, Human Capital, Productivity and Wages:
Firm-level Evidence” International Productivity monitor, Number 9, Fall 2004.
UNIDO, 2006, “Determinants of Productivity: Cross-Country analysis and Country Case
Studies”, Research and Statistics Branch, October 2006.
Vance, R. J. (2006). Organizing for customer service. In L. Fogli (Ed.), Customer service delivery:
Research and best practices (pp. 22 – 51). San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass.
Wiley, J. W. (1996). Linking survey results to customer satisfaction and business performance. In
A. I. Kraut (Ed.), Organizational surveys: Tools for assessment and change (pp. 330-359). San
Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Please note – the assessment accurately measures AN INDIVIDUAL’S relative strengths and
weakness in the 20 categories. Since internal bias will tend to be consistent across all skill
Workplace Productivity SkillMap™ – Reliability, Validity and Research References
©2011 Frontline Learning LLC
categories, even if an individual’s overall self-perception is overly positive or negative, the relative
relationship between strengths and weaknesses will still be valid.
For optimum results, the Workplace Productivity SkillMap should be administered in an
environment that minimizes distractions and anxiety. This will increase accuracy and the
likelihood that respondents will accept the results as valid.
Workplace Productivity SkillMap™ – Reliability, Validity and Research References
©2011 Frontline Learning LLC