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Members of the Cloud Customer Insights & Alignment team attended the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychologists (SIOP) annual conference in May. This conference brings together top researchers and practitioners from all over the world to share cutting-edge findings and best practices in the world of talent management. This blog series provides a quick summary of some of the interesting things we learned.

Designing collaborative training initiatives to meet the needs of employees of all ages

Collaborative training methods are more effective for all employees, regardless of age. Organizations may hesitate to invest in the training of older adults, particularly because of the pervasive belief that older adults will be less effective than younger adults in a training context. However, recent research indicates that this may not always be the case. A study looking at internet-based training outcomes for older and younger adults found that training that was designed to be collaborative rather than individually-focused led to similarly positive training outcomes for all participants, regardless of age. Lesson learned: designing collaborative training initiatives will boost the training performance of older adults and may eliminate age differences in learning. (based on: “The Effect of Technology-Based Collaboration on Learning across Age Groups”, a study submitted by Drs. Natalie Wolfson and Kurt Kraiger, Colorado State University)

Relationships matter: Designing jobs to attract and retain Millennial employees

If you want to keep your Millennial workforce, ensure they are building relationships at work. Organizations worldwide are struggling to attract and keep highly skilled Millennials. Recent research suggests that Millennials as a group are particularly focused on the social elements of work, desiring positions that allow them to develop relationships with their managers, coworkers, and mentors. These findings suggest that organizations that design jobs with attention to social and relational aspects will be more successful in engaging Millennials. (based on: “Taking Stock of Generation Differences: What’s Next?”, a symposium submitted by Dr. Ia Ko, Denison Consulting)

Ensuring managers accurately rate the performance of their employees

Left unchecked, managers’ performance ratings may not always reflect true employee performance. Researchers have long known that supervisors may approach employee performance ratings with bias, or rate employees based on things unrelated to actual job performance. A study examining when and why this happens found that manager personality actually predicts the way they will rate their employees. However, this effect disappeared when managers were held accountable for the ratings they gave. Lesson learned: hold managers accountable, and extraneous things like manager personality won’t get in the way of accurate performance ratings. (based on: “A Meta-Analysis of Individual Differences-Rating Level Relationships”, a poster submitted by Doctoral Candidate Michael Harari, Florida International University)

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