"Worker Types" May Increase Success
Vision tests present people with two alternatives ("can you see better through slide A or slide B?"). Multiple-choice tests generally give four options (five, if the professor's interested in making life difficult). And although humans can be rather complicated beings, James Houran believes you may be able to separate them into just eight categories.
"New research assessment reveals that employees in the service hospitality industry fall into eight 'worker type' classifications," he states, and then suggests, "[Y]ou can increase the success of your recruitment, training and succession planning initiatives by thinking both of people and job positions in terms of these performance labels."
Houran outlines his labels in a piece called "Worker Types: A New Approach to Human Capital Management." Just to summarize his credentials, the man's abbreviated bio states that he "holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and is President of 20│20 Skills assessment."
Furthermore, "His award-winning work has been profiled by a myriad of media outlets and programs including the Discovery Channel, A&E, ABC News, BBC, CNN, NBC's Today Show, Wilson Quarterly, USA Today, New Scientist, Psychology Today, Forbes.com and Rolling Stone." Quite a spread, no?
So, back to the labels. Of Houran's eight possible "worker types," we'll just hit a handful; one of the more eye-catching ones was "Novice." There's no implied insult in the term, however, as Houran merely writes, "This individual is a prime candidate for ongoing coaching and training." Not great (for the individual), but it could be worse.
Another tag was "Soldier." This sort of person "focuses on high efficiency and productivity in accomplishing concrete goals." His (or her) opposite, according to Houran, is the "Visionary," who falls on the other end of the spectrum in terms of task orientation, social maintenance, and cognitive ability.
"Facilitators" and "Researchers" are also opposites. Facilitators rank low in terms of both task orientation and cognitive ability, and are "high" in terms of social maintenance; you can probably already guess where researchers lie in those three categories.
Still, this isn't labeling for the sake of labeling - it all comes back to the ways in which this can benefit an organization. Yet Houran warns, "[I]t is up to hiring and training professionals and managers to determine which 'Worker Types' are needed in certain positions, that classic concept of putting the right people in the right seats of an organization."
Tags: Worker Types, James Houran
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