Predicting Performance and Risk
The Judgement Index is a value-based analysis of judgement capacity, behaviour and stability; it is very abstract in its methodology yet highly accurate. Judgement Index UK has adapted the system, using 40 years of clinical experience, to aid recruitment in security and defence among other sectors. Here, Judgement Index UK Managing Director Rob Coulthard gives Circuit readers further insight into the system.
The problem with most organisations’ selection and review system is that they do not look deeply enough at the candidate, so can’t really know who they are hiring or who is a risk. At selection, most organisations look backwards at a candidate’s history, such as their CV, CRB check, interview and references. These alone are never enough to predict future risk or performance potential.
Identifying risk by analysing a person or team’s value-based judgement, stress and wellness has synergy across any environment where there is risk, and this includes the security of assets and people.
The security sector is just one environment where risk is increased if individuals and teams are under pressure and stress and their coping ability is weak or inhibited. It is critical to identify individuals and collective groups that represent a higher risk by highlighting key performance indicators and factors about a person’s judgement, such as decision-making capacity, noticing ability and focus.
Regardless of someone’s performance ability, stress and wellness issues will significantly decrease performance and increase risk and this is why it is critical to look at underlying factors that hinder performance.
Some defence and security organisations are taking a proactive stance by using psychometric screening to try and uncover more about their candidates. The problem with most psychometrics is that they are personality-based; although they will give you some insight into the character traits of an individual they will rarely give you capability strength or identify wellness issues and risk. The other problem that comes with most tools of this nature is that they are easy to cheat, particularly when they are self-reporting.
These factors are also evident with the various stress evaluation tools on the market using typical questions like ‘rate out of 5 how well you sleep at night’. These types of assessments are unlikely to uncover an unwell candidate if they are desperate for a job.
Alternatively, assess values and judgement capacity. A unique but obvious approach would be to take a discreet look forward to gain foresight into an employee’s potential performance and risk. This can be done in an abstract way, resulting in very deep understanding of the value-based judgement capacity of a person, their wellness and stability.
Reviewing the wellness of an individual is essential because regardless of their CV and past performance an unwell person will often fail to realise their potential, and in the extreme may become a danger or risk. Obtaining an accurate understanding of a prospective employee, manager or leader’s capacity for good judgement, decision-making and problem-solving has shown to be a critical element in making correct personnel decisions. For that matter, gaining understanding and knowledge of all employees’ capacity for good judgement allows greater opportunity for developing and sustaining a high-performing team.
While the focus on skills and technical knowledge is important, failing to understand a candidate’s capacity to deliver the desired skills and expertise makes the employee selection process a high-stakes gamble. Information without understanding simply represents random words with little to no value. Too often a manager hires a candidate based upon their respective rapport and connection – effectively a ‘minime’ – and so does not get the candidate who best fits the role.
Through our research and work over the past five years we have assessed hundreds of Servicemen and women transitioning into civilian employment, both in the UK and US, using the Judgement Index. A large proportion of this work has been focused upon assessing an individual’s capacity to progress smoothly (transition wellness) and then supporting them with appropriate interventions through the process of transition. From work and research carried out supporting their transition and through assisting in the recovery of injured personnel, we have adapted our material to assess transition through both social environments and work situations.
We have found that approximately 25 per cent of Service leavers have displayed inflated levels of stress and anxiety, running at approximately 15 per cent above data taken from civilian organisations. We have also found that around six per cent are in a position of concern, with some having been diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), either pre or post our assessment. These figures are similar to statistics published by a number of military-related charities and organisations. The subtle difference in many cases is that we have identified them at the point of job hire and/or transition and not just at a point where they have either asked or been referred for help. It follows that there may well be a significant number who leave military service unnoticed but in need of help. Unfortunately there appears to be a high degree of complacency within the security and defence sectors; this is evident from a number of sad headlines recently featuring ‘blue on blue’ incidents or other accidents where people and assets have been affected as a result of an individual suffering stress, who should not have been in that situation. In short, some organisations are merely assuming all is well.
All interested parties have a moral and legal duty to push the standard of care as high as possible. Aside from doing what is right, failure to act will result in more incidents which will have a potentially destructive impact on the business concerned and increase scrutiny upon the industry in general. Even the increased threat of prosecution for company directors who are found to be complacent about basic duty of care seems to have made little difference. It will be interesting to see how attitudes and actions change over the next few years as cases are actually brought to court.
The positive news is that several organisations are taking measurable steps to reduce risk and incidents of this nature; this includes specialist insurance syndicates at Lloyds of London. New Century (www.newcentcorp.com), a capacity-building and specialist training company owned by Colonel Tim Collins, has partnered with Judgement Index and others to offer advice and support to the security and defence sector.
By Rob Coulthard
Rob Coulthard and his colleagues are available to speak, present, share and involve interested parties in their cutting-edge research and work. For more information, email: Info@judgementindex.co.uk