Why Infor’s Talent Science Solution Enhances Recruitment and Retention of Top-Performers: A Psychological and Neuroscience Evaluation Overview

Amalgam Insights recently attended Infor’s Innovation Summit in New York City. Senior executives outlined a number of innovations being incorporated into Infor’s suite of products, including ERP, Supply Chain, CRM, and others. In addition to the growing influence of the Cloud, Coleman AI and Birst analytics – an impressive array of broad-based solutions was described.

In my role as a Psychological and Neuroscience Analyst at Amalgam Insights, my focus is on Infor’s Human Capital Management (HCM) solution. I have followed the solution for quite some time, with a particular interest in Infor’s Talent Science product. Dr. Jill Strange, Vice President, HCM Science Applications, provided an update, and Tricia Engel, Director of Talent Acquisition at Wyndham Destinations, outlined a specific use case and customer success story.

Infor’s Talent Science Solution

Infor’s Talent Science solution uses talent assessment and analytics to address the recruiting needs of the modern workplace. A one-size-fits-all approaches to recruitment leads to weak employee performance and engagement, poor job satisfaction and high turnover rates. What is needed are approaches that blend psychology and data science to more accurately assess, place, and retain high-performing talent. Talent Science—that combination of psychology and data science–can achieve these aims, and when incorporated into HCM platforms, can offer insights that are actionable and can increase engagement, performance, satisfaction, and retention.

Infor’s Talent Science team works with the client to identify and quantify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) associated with success in a particular job. Incumbent employees are administered a single, standardized assessment tool that yields a custom performance profile that captures cognitive, behavioral, and cultural components of the employee in the workplace. Infor’s Talent Science team then builds models that predict the KPIs for incumbent employees from their custom performance profiles. New job applicants are administered the same talent assessment tool, a custom performance profile is constructed for each, and a measure of “fit” is derived that reflects the overlap between the candidate’s performance profile and the ideal profile for the relevant job. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, in many cases the applicant is found to be a better fit for a job that they did not apply for, but for which the company has a need.

The Psychology and Neuroscience of Workplace Performance

Workplace performance is directly affected by the psychological and brain processing of the employee. Thus, it is important to understand the nature of this processing. The brain is comprised of at least three learning and performance systems. These include the cognitive, behavioral and cultural/emotional systems in the brain (as outlined in the schematic below).

  • The cognitive system relies on the prefrontal cortex, is limited by working memory and attentional processes, and is the primary system in the brain that drives workplace performance centered around utilizing information and fact-based knowledge. These are often referred to as hard skills.
  • The behavioral system relies on the striatum and is the primary system in the brain that drives workplace behaviors. The detailed processing characteristics of this system are beyond the scope of this report, but suffice it to say that workplace behavior is distinct from cognition and information. It is one thing to know “what” to do or to have information and knowledge, it is another thing (and driven by a different system in the brain) to know “how” to do it and to act appropriately on information and knowledge. These behavioral skills are often referred to as “soft skills”, and they are difficult to assess.
  • The cultural/emotional system relies on the amygdala and other limbic structures and is the primary driver of what makes each of us unique. Social, emotional and personality characteristics are directly relevant here. The detailed processing characteristics of this system are less well understood than the cognitive and behavioral skills learning systems, but cultural and emotional processes strongly affect both cognitive and behavioral performance.

Figure: Cognitive, Behavioral and Cultural/Emotional Systems in the Brain

Infor’s Talent Science Performance Profiles Align with the Psychology and Neuroscience of Workplace Performance

Infor’s talent assessment tool yields a custom performance profile for each individual that characterizes and quantifies their performance along these three factors. Therefore, the solution quantifies hard and soft skills abilities, as well as cultural/emotional abilities, all of which directly affect workplace performance. This is advantageous from a Human Capital Management perspective because it means that Infor’s solution has the potential to provide actionable insights about all of the important aspects of an employee’s performance through the full employee lifecycle from hire to retire. These insights could provide employers with the information that they need to increase employee performance, engagement, satisfaction, and retention – the goal of HR departments everywhere.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Infor’s Talent Science solution uses talent assessment and analytics to drive change through behavioral analysis. It is grounded in the psychology and neuroscience of learning and performance. Thirty years of foundational research suggests that this is the optimal approach to net long-term gains.

By capturing and quantifying the talent profile associated with each workforce position, Infor provides its clients with the ability to make fast and accurate hiring decisions and increase the long term success of any new hire.

Todd Maddox Explains Why Extended Reality (xR) Technologies Will Disrupt Corporate L&D

Research Fellow Todd Maddox, Ph.D. has just published a new Analyst Insight: Leveraging Learning Science: Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development.

In this Analyst Insight, Todd Maddox, Ph.D. provides guidance on why Augmented and Virtual Reality are set to disrupt corporate learning. This report focuses on a learning science evaluation of the potential for extended reality (xR) technologies to disrupt corporate L&D and show how xR technologies have the potential to improve the quality and quantity of training, to accelerate learning and enhance retention in all aspects of corporate learning to provide the following benefits:

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Allego’s Point-in-Time Video Feedback Trains People Skills in the Sales Brain: A Market Milestone

 In a recently published Market Milestone, Todd Maddox, Ph.D., Learning Scientist and Research Fellow for Amalgam Insights, evaluated Allego’s Point-in-Time Video Feedback offering from a learning science perspective—the marriage of psychology and brain science. This involves evaluating the offering to determine whether it engages psychological processes and learning systems in the brain effectively. Amalgam’s overall evaluation is that Allego’s Point-in-Time Video Feedback offering is highly effective.

Allego’s Point-in-Time Video Feedback offering allows feedback to be inserted and embedded throughout the sales professionals’ videotaped pitch. This feedback can be targeted and specific to some aspect of the pitch at that point-in-time. From a learning science perspective, the sales professional can visualize themselves and “relive” the experience giving the pitch and can receive corrective feedback on the fly. This simulates real-time, interactive feedback and is much more effective at engaging the appropriate people skills brain regions than receiving feedback at the end of the pitch. It is also scalable, which is a serious challenge for truly interactive offerings.

For more information, read the full Market Milestone at https://www.allego.com/resources/amalgam-insights-market-milestone-video-feedback/.

 

The Scientific Case for Augmenting Learning Management Systems with Percipio Experience Services

Leveraging Brain Science to Build a Modern Learning Ecosystem

Key Stakeholders: Chief Learning Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers, Learning and Development Directors and Managers, Corporate Trainers, Content and Learning Product Managers.

Why It Matters: Many companies today aim to deliver a more modern learning experience to their employees, but they’ve already invested heavily in a Learning Management System (LMS) or other tools that may lack some of the learner engagement and content curation features that can be found in emerging Learning Experience Platforms. They need a hybrid solution that provides services associated with a modern Learning Experience Platform that can be integrated with their existing LMS.

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Qstream Leverages Science to Train Situational Awareness in the Sales Brain

Consider a sales managers all-too-common nightmare…

“I wake up in the middle of the night in a pool of sweat worried about my sales teams’ ability to “think on their feet” and to “read” the ever-changing sales landscape. They know the product in and out. I know I quiz them frequently. During role play they also perform well. However, to a person, when faced with an objection, time pressure, or a resistant client, they choke. It is as if they have forgotten everything that they know. I am at a loss for what to do.”

This is a problem in “situational awareness” and it is common in sales, and many other domains (e.g., healthcare). A sales professional with strong situational awareness has an almost intuitive feel for the current situation and has a very good idea of what is coming next. This individual always remains calm and can retrieve critical product information whether in a routine or non-routine situation (e.g., under time pressure). This individual knows how to act in any situation. They always put their best foot forward, and maximize the chances of a sale, regardless of the situation.

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Webinar On Demand: Optimizing Leadership Training and Development by Leveraging Learning Science

On September 6, 2018, Amalgam Insights Learning Scientist Research Fellow, Todd Maddox, Ph.D. presented a webinar focused on “The What, How, and Feel of Leadership Brain Training”.

By attending this talk, you can bring back to your organization a better understanding of how psychology and brain science can be leveraged to provide a roadmap for successfully training leaders and managers at all levels. In this era of digital transformation, where organizations rely increasingly on cross-functional and deeply collaborative teams, leadership is becoming more distributed and employees are taking on leadership roles much earlier in their careers.

Combine this with some of the recent corporate crises (#metoo, unconscious bias, discrimination) and effective leadership training becomes even more important. The overriding aim of this talk is to examine leadership training and development from a learning science perspective—the marriage of psychology and brain science—and to identify procedures that optimize leadership training.

To watch this webinar, view below on the embedded viewer or click through to watch “The What, How, and Feel of Leadership Brain Training

Area9: Leveraging Brain and Computer Science to Build an Effective Adaptive Learning Platform

I recently received an analyst briefing from Nick Howe, the Chief Learning Officer at Area9 Learning who offer an adaptive learning solution. Although Area9 Learning was founded in 2006, I have known about area 9 since the 1980s and it was first “discovered” in 1909. How is that possible?

In 1909, the German anatomist Korbinian Brodmann developed a numbering system for mapping the cerebral cortex based on the organization of cells (called cytoarchitecture). Brodmann area 9, or BA9, includes the prefrontal cortex (a region of brain right behind the forehead) which is a critical structure in the cognitive skills learning system in the brain and functionally serves working memory and attention.

The cognitive skills learning system, prefrontal cortex (BA9), working memory and attention are critical for many aspects of learning, especially hard skills learning.

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The Learning Science of Situational Awareness and Patient Safety

An Interactive Webinar with Qstream CEO, Rich Lanchantin On Wednesday, July 17, 2018, Amalgam’s Learning Scientist and Research Fellow, Todd Maddox, Ph.D. and Qstream’s CEO, Rich Lanchantin conducted a live, interactive webinar focused on the critically important topic of situational awareness and patient safety. Achieving the highest quality in patient care requires a careful balance…

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The Adoption Gap in Learning and Development: Brandon Hall Hosts A Podcast with Amalgam Insights’ Todd Maddox

On Thursday July 19, 2018, Brandon Hall Group released a podcast discussion between Amalgam Insights’ Learning Scientist and Research Fellow, Todd Maddox, Ph.D. and Brandon Hall’s COO, Rachel Cooke. The podcast focused on the “adoption gap” in Learning & Development that results when users are presented with a large number of tools and technologies, but little if any guidance on what tool to use when.

Todd and Rachel discuss the importance of leveraging learning science—the marriage of psychology and brain science—to provide best practices for mapping tools onto learning problems in the most effective manner. Todd and Rachel discuss the challenges faced in optimally training hard and people (aka soft) skills.

A replay of the podcast is available for all interested parties at the following link.

If you would be interested in retaining Todd Maddox, the most-cited researcher in corporate learning, for a podcast, webinar, speaking engagement, or workshop, please contact us at sales@amalgaminsights.com

Optimizing Sales Enablement and Sales Training by Leveraging Learning Science: A Brief Primer

Key Stakeholders: Chief Sales Officer, Sales Directors and Managers, Sales Operations Directors and Managers, Training Officers, Learning and Development Professionals

Top Takeaways: If you want an efficient sales team you need to provide them with the right tools and train them effectively. If you want sales enablement and training tools that are highly effective they need to be grounded in learning science – the marriage of psychology and brain science. Many sales teams and sales focused vendors have access to these tools. What is needed is an effective way to leverage these tools to maximum advantage. This is where learning science comes in. In this report, I briefly outline the learning science behind sales enablement, people skills training and situational awareness.

(Note: This report represents the first step in an ongoing research initiative focused on critically evaluating the effectiveness of sales enablement and sales training solutions on the market. My goal in this research is to critically evaluate and accurately reflect the current state of the sales enablement and sales training sector from the perspective of learning science.)

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