This type of information about aptitudes is appreciative and is often gathered only after an initial decision is made to make use of the skills or knowledge of an employee. An appreciative analysis can serve as a guide for those who must identify or create an environment in which this employee is likely to thrive. In what type of setting will this employee’s skills and knowledge be complimented and amplified by high levels of motivation and commitment? This is the key question to ask in identifying aptitudes.
As in the case of the other domains in which information is collected regarding an employee, it is essential that the employee review anything about aptitude prior to this information being placed in the HR Bank. In fact, the best source of information about aptitudes often comes from the employee himself. From an appreciative perspective, it is often most informative to ask the employee himself about what is inspiring for him and about how he is most likely to become committed to a project. When in doubt, as they say, try honesty! When in doubt about an employee’s motivation and work ethic, try asking her!
Using a Human Resource Bank
The assembled collection of information regarding the skills, knowledge and aptitudes held by employees in an organization can be used in many different ways. This information can be employed in the assignment of employees to short-term tasks or project groups, in the appointment of employees to new jobs, and in the selection of employees for teaching, consulting, coaching or mentoring assignments.
Information from the Human Resource Bank can meet yet another set of needs in the organization. That which is not found in the HR Bank may be just as revealing as that which is found in the Bank. The Bank can be used to identify the absence of skills and knowledge in the organization. This negative information provides guidance to members of the HR staff regarding new areas for training and education. The HR Bank also may reveal the absence of specific work-related aptitudes. This negative information points, in turn, to the need for organizational initiatives that increase employee motivation and improve organizational climate.
Short Term Assignments
The most obvious use of the information contained in the HR Bank is the identification of employees who have the skills, knowledge or aptitudes that are needed to complete a short-term task. The Alpha Corporation, for instance, might be looking for someone who is fluent in French as well as knowledgeable about strategic planning and partnerships. This employee would join a corporate team for a two-day meeting regarding the potential formation of an international consortium. Alternatively, the leaders at Alpha may be assembling a task force on improved management information systems. It needs someone on this team with background in marketing, as well as expertise in financial software programs. Alpha might need another person on the team who is not only knowledgeable about financial software programs, but also has some experience in working with computer-based simulations.