Client Case Studies

Real Success From Real Clients



For more than 20 years, Assessments24x7 has provided corporate employers, industry coaches and consultants the analytical tools to benchmark their hiring processes, boost employee productivity and maximize performance. Sophisticated training tools and exceptional customer support have been hallmarks of the company's success-- insuring its place as a global leader and the preferred choice among assessment industry professionals.

 

Viatech Global, Albuquerque, NM

  • The Situation
  • The Solution
  • The Results
Founded in 1985 by Sylvana and Andrew Siegel, Payday Inc. has grown from two employees to 55 and is now the largest independently owned payroll company in New Mexico. Specializing in payroll processing, human resource management and employee benefits, Payday has offices in Arizona, New Mexico and Tennessee that serve both small and large businesses.

Although his company was growing and doing well, Siegel has been driven to find ways to rise to the level of "extraordinary" in customer service and efficiency. After much research, including participation in a three-day training at the Ritz-Carlton facility in Atlanta, Siegel created his own 12 rules for customer service. "What I found," says Siegel, "is that it does not work to simply demand that employees follow the rules."

"In the past, our selection and hiring process began with checking the facts on applicants' resumes. In interviews, we knew that people usually say what they think the employer wants to hear. So we'd make our best judgment and then operate on what I call 'the hope theory'," Siegel explains with a smile. "We would 'hope' we had hired the right person."
After meeting with Michael Bouton and learning about Viatech Global's objective assessments for selection and hiring - and the employee development processes built upon them - Siegel was convinced that he needed to explore this better way to "get the right people in the right seats" within his corporation.

Payday began the Viatech process by having every employee take a 12-question, anonymous survey. The questions measure employees' view of the company for the top reasons people leave their job. Payday employees gave the company a score of 3.57 on a 5-point scale. "Well, that wasn't bad," says Siegel, "but we wanted to be better than the average company so we began to systematically address the problems." First, they used Viatech's job benchmarking process to get clarity on the skills and the personality needed to get each job done in a superior fashion. "We spent a half-day on each position, using a small focus group of people who knew the job from various perspectives," says Siegel. Then, each employee took a quick series of online assessments that mathematically scored their attitudes, values, motivators, behaviors, and those traits sometimes referred to as "emotional intelligence." Each employee's scores were compared with those produced by the job benchmarking process.

Siegel changed his own work habits after looking at his report. "I learned that I'm terrible at organizing," says Siegel, "you almost can't get a lower score. I used to spend almost every Saturday at the office trying to get the paperwork I'd collected all week into the right files." He looked at his scientific assessment and made changes. He now has an assistant whose organizational skills are exemplary, and he is able to relax and recharge on weekends so that he can do what he does best: create new opportunities for the business to grow.

"We did lose some folks when it became clear that their personality and unique abilities did not fit their job," notes Siegel. "But, we soon began to see huge results in job satisfaction throughout the company." In just over a year, the company's score on that 12-question survey jumped to 4.5 on the 5-point scale.
In addition to reducing turnover and fostering more satisfied employees who are truly engaged in the corporate mission, Viatech's "Spontaneous Excellence" process at Payday has improved communication and employee development.

"We have a much better understanding of how each employee best accepts communication based on the assessments," says Siegel. "When we understand what motivates an employee and what he or she naturally loves to do, we all become better managers."

Managers can be flexible in providing work incentives. For example, they can take into account that some employees value time off more than a salary increase.

There are other company-wide motivators that make everyone feel good about their job and the company. "When we get a client to go paperless," says Siegel, "we all know that we are saving paper and saving fuel to deliver paperwork. We are helping the environment, and now we celebrate that."

Siegel has also invested time in making it clear for everyone exactly how the company makes its profits. Employees receive bonuses based on how the company as a whole performs. "We have team members who now step up to help someone who is overloaded," says Siegel, "because they know it cuts into company profitability when we have to pay overtime. And that makes a difference in their own bonus."

Siegel no longer has to worry about demanding good customer service from his employees. With detailed assessments for current staff and future hires, they know how to make sure their payroll processors have the delicate balance of people skills and task detail the job requires.

"We do not hire anyone without the assessments," Siegel says emphatically. "We are committed to the process. Once we hire new employees, we know how best to coach them - when to help and when to let them fly."

Siegel meets one-on-one with each of his managers at least once a month, and the managers also meet in groups. "As each person makes progress, we refine the goals," says Siegel. "We call it peeling back the onion."

"What we've done in only 18 months," he says, "is wonderful to experience."

Payday Plus services from Payday Inc. now include "Employer Advantage," a range of tools and training for the selection, hiring and development of high-performing employees.
Anne Miner, President & Founder, The Dunvegan Group

  • The Situation
  • The Solution
  • The Results
The Dunvegan Group's telephone interviewers have less than 10 seconds to make a connection with our clients' customers when we call to set up an appointment to complete their Customer Satisfaction Evaluation by telephone. And, it may not be the same person who completes the interview due to scheduling to suit the customer's convenience. We received complaints from some customers that indicated our "one size fits all" approach to setting the appointments was not working.
The Dunvegan Group provided specific training in how to apply The Platinum Rule® when setting up appointments with clients' customers and when conducting the interviews. The interviewer who makes the call to set up the appointment assesses the customer's profile using the external, observable clues (speed of speech, tone of voice) and then a) adapts their own behavior to mirror the customer's and b) notes the profile so that the next interviewers who call can prepare themselves for the interview more effectively.
The success rate, or response rate, achieved for all of our projects improved during the first three months following this training. The increase in response rate varied from 1% to 12%; which means we can provide our client with even greater coverage of their customer base. And, the Interviewers approached the calls with greater confidence and felt greater satisfaction in their work. Everyone wins!
Bonnie Burn, DISCProvider.com

  • The Situation
  • The Solution
  • The Results
It's a well known fact that TTI (Target Training International) and Dr. Alessandra's DISC Online Reports are industry leaders in producing highly accurate and reliable DISC results. TTI was where I first discovered the power of DISC. (and, I am honored to say, I was a member of TTI's President's Club for several years...reserved for those selected by the truly brilliant TTI founder, Bill Bonnstetter.) However, with 20 years in the Training Profession and an author, I kept thinking how a more user-friendly DISC would spur increased learning and results for organizations.
It was actually a new client, six years ago, that introduced me to Dr. Tony Alessandra's DISC Report. I took it once and was sold! His DISC Report was structured for maximum learning in a minimum amount of time. It included: Prework, Table of Contents, Graphs positioned in the front of the Report, DISC Application was half of the Report, and a Learning Activity so facilitators could provide real time feedback to the learners.
After working with Dr. Alessandra's user-friendly DISC reports, I quickly found myself incorporating the DISC to help organizations address; change management, increased sales, leadership development, smarter hiring, teambuilding and so much more. After much success, I developed a nationally acclaimed DISC Certification Program for Trainers and HR Professionals. The key objective is to show how to easily use Dr. Alessandra's DISC Reports to quickly increase learning and productivity. The Program, five years later, continues to generate DISC success story upon success story. Thank you Dr. Tony Alessandra for caring enough to design a DISC Report that is such a winner!
Viatech Global, Albuquerque, NM

  • The Situation
  • The Solution
  • The Results
A mega-company with 20,000 U.S. employees (operating in 57 countries and pulling in $8 billion each year in revenue) was experiencing severe problems with turnover in a high-tech testing division. (Note: Because of confidentiality requests, the actual company name cannot be used.)

The company had been hiring people with specific technical qualifications to join their two- person field teams. Because of the high-tech nature of the job and the equipment, each new hire went through a seven-week training period at a cost to the company of approximately $30,000.

Once through training, each new employee was assigned to one of two positions on a mobile team. Assignments were based on management observation of each employee's abilities and temperament.

Every time a team member left the company, valuable training time and investment were lost. Management and human resource personnel were kept busy trying to keep these key positions filled. And turnover among mobile team members had reached 80 percent!
Business development manager David Rabb had learned of Viatech Global's objective assessments for selection and hiring through personal connections. He knew it had become critical to get the right people into his company's mobile team positions, so he introduced Michael Bouton to those overseeing testing team hires.

Through its job benchmarking process, Viatech showed management that two distinct job profiles were needed for each team.

They learned that one job required a lot of analytical ability and critical attention to detail. The other job required someone production- minded who works at a faster pace. Using the tools supplied by Viatech allowed Rabb's team to identify employees to their task before beginning their training. Training time was significantly reduced, and quality was increased by focusing the training program that matched the individual. Overall the employees became more successful, enjoying their career.

Through online selection assessments provided by Viatech, management could make more accurate hiring decisions and assign individuals to the team position that best suited their work style and abilities.

"Not only did Viatech help us sort out the reality of two job descriptions instead of one," says Rabb. "but the longer-term by-product of the Viatech process was that it became much easier after the training to match up team members properly. One team might work together for six weeks and then each member could be matched up with another team-mate for the next assignment."
Viatech consultants also helped management build a new paradigm for hiring by locality as well as technical skills. This allowed team members to work closer to their residences, so they were away from home less often.

Teams became more balanced and more efficient, with management being able to mix and match team members as the schedule demanded.

Turnover for the benchmarked positions dropped dramatically from 80 percent to 15 percent within a year. Rabb attributes at least half of that drop directly to Viatech's job benchmarking and the selection assessments.

"I won a lot of points for bringing in the Viatech system," says Rabb.

Now Rabb is co-owner and vice president of business development of Leak Detection Technologies in Tucson, Arizona. He and his partners were believers in the power of Viatech's job benchmarking process and their scientific assessments.

"I won't hire new employees without having them go through the assessment process. Everyone currently in the company has been evaluated," says Rabb.

Brandy Japheth, Bethel School District, Payroll Manager

  • The Situation
  • The Solution
  • The Results
I manage the Payroll Department for a school district in WA. The department has had little turn over in the department over the past several years, with the exception of the Manager. The multiple changes in the manager position created an atmosphere that encouraged bickering and in fighting. When I came on just over a year ago, my style was drastically different than that of my predecessors. I spent my first year establishing clear expectations and changing job duties to suit my staff's individual strengths. To my surprise the bickering and in fighting decreased but did not stop. It is a great distraction and sometimes I feel much more like a Mom than a Manager.
A co-worker suggested The Platinum Rule as a great tool to encourage my staff members to really look at and learn about each other. I hoped that getting to know each other better would help us celebrate our differences instead of picking at each other because of them. The Platinum Rule appealed to me as a manager because the assessment portion of the program is fairly quick and easy compared to others I have done over the years. It allows for more time to discuss what we learned about ourselves and others instead of spending so much time just identifying ourselves. We used The Platinum Rule as one of our Annual Retreat activities and really enjoyed it.
Identifying ourselves and each other and watching Dr. Tony's online video prompted some really in-depth conversations within my department. We suddenly understood some of the behaviors and reactions that we observed in ourselves and others. We had many "ah-ha" moments as each type was described and laughed together over things that usually would have started an argument. It also provides a platform for ongoing conversations at our staff meetings that allows staff to identify and articulate problems in a non-personal and non-threatening manner. This effectively decreases defensiveness and allows conversations to be more productive. We are problem solving and creating better processes much more efficiently.

It has already made an incredible difference in the atmosphere within the department and I have even had other administrators ask me what I did to turn the department around! I cannot adequately express my appreciation for this tool and the experience it afforded me to have with my department. Thank you Dr Tony and Brandon - you have truly made a difference!
Talmetrics, Atlanta, GA

  • The Situation
  • The Solution
  • The Results
A leading company, that develops and sells timeshares, was experiencing very high turnover in their Sales Counselor position in five sales centers. In all, the company employs approximately 400 Sales Counselors. Turnover on an annual basis at the various locations ranged from 70% to 180%. Due to the high turnover, the company was constantly recruiting and conducting training classes to ensure that there were enough trained employees to support the tour flow in the sales centers.
In March of 2005, a pilot project was approved for one of the sales center to address Sales Counselor turnover. The project focused on using assessments as a basis for developing a comprehensive system to identify high potential candidates.

To begin the project, approximately 40 of the 110 Sales Counselors were profiled using the Thinking, Behavioral and Motivational Style assessments. The management team selected the 40 Sales Counselors who were profiled. The management team was directed to include counselors with a wide range of performance to ensure that the system would effectively differentiate the talent patterns of both high and low performers. After the 40 Sales Counselors completed the profiles, we met with the management team to review the profile results and rate the 40 employees on a one through four scale.

Over the following several months we began the process of developing a quantitative "benchmarking" approach for differentiating the high performers from the low performers using the quantitative measures from the three assessments. After completing the initial analysis and developing a benchmark pattern which differentiated the high and low performers, we launched the screening project by screening candidates for the next two training classes, with the goal of identifying 15 candidates for each class.
Midway through the training class for the first group of new hires, the trainer and management team reported a noticeable difference in the quality of the new hires. Based on these initial results, the management team requested that we begin screening all new hires using the profiling system.

In succeeding months, as it became clear that the system was working, the management team requested some type of information in addition to the overall one through four rating. Along with the additional information, we initiated multi-day, on site workshops with the recruiter and the management team to teach them how to interpret the additional information and use it in the interview process.

Over the following eighteen months, the turnover for the Sales Counselor position went from 155% to 50%. Turnover stayed at 50% for the following nine months. The reduction in turnover and the impact on sales was estimated to have an overall impact on annual sales for the location of $5-$7 million.
Hermitage Wealth Management, Richmond, VA

  • The Situation
  • The Solution
  • The Results
The client is a five person financial services practice which consisted of the owner, a very savvy and technically competent financial advisor, his wife who handled the bookkeeping, an administrative assistant, a Junior Advisor and a 401(k) specialist. The two most expensive salaried employees were the Junior Advisor and the 401(k) specialist. As part of my coaching process I use the combination behavior & values assessment to get quick understanding of my clients environment and the roles of each employee. I assessed the entire team.

The next thing I did was sit down with the business owner and discuss his concerns about the productivity of his team. He was dissatisfied with both the Junior Advisor and the 401(k) specialist production and was about to dismiss both employees. He was also dissatisfied with the consistency of each individual and perplexed as to why they did not seem highly motivated. I interviewed each employee to get an understanding of what they considered to be the primary role and responsibilities and challenges. It was quickly apparent that there was significant misalignment between the individual employees behaviors and values and their current roles.
The solution was relatively simple. The Junior Advisor was being asked to do tasks which were contrary to his natural strengths and interests. These tasks included a great deal of research, technical analysis and follow-up. This particular employee had a very high I , a very low S, a low D, and a low C. The 401(k) expert was responsible for many marketing and client service tasks which required a great deal of change and client interaction. His DISC profile included a low D, a very low I, a high S and a very high C. He was technically very competent and detail oriented. The solution was to reallocate and realign tasks and responsibilities that matched each employees natural behavioral and values profile.
The business owner immediately took action. We met with the employees, reviewed their behavior and values profiles to share with them what we were able to see and to discuss alternatives to improving the team's performance. Each individual was highly appreciative that we wanted to improve their situations. (Each one was worried about being fired) We redistributed and aligned the tasks with the natural behavior and values of each employee. As a result, within weeks, productivity and team attitude made great strides. Now almost a year later the advisors practice has continued to grow at his desired rate with two happy and productive teammates saving enormous costs of rehiring and company disruption.
Apollo Education Group, Inc., Phoenix, AZ

  • The Situation
  • The Solution
  • The Results
After some restructuring of teams, there was a disconnect in understanding of one another, and how to effectively work together. Miscommunications were resulting in morale challenges, peer issues, and a general disjointed feeling among new team members.
Our company had been using the DISC assessment for years to bring about team cohesion and create stronger individual understanding. Through the use of the assessment and a team building course using The DISCstyles™ Online Report, the teams worked together to learn about their individual styles, their peers’ styles, and how to adapt their communication with one another for greater understanding.
Initially, the teams were able to embrace their own styles, and acknowledge the style of another quickly, resulting in an immediate shift in communication and interpersonal relationships. Miscommunications lessened, and even when a challenge arose, the team had new tools to embrace the discussion, rather than escalate the issue.

Ultimately, the teams are learning to adapt to one another to build stronger, connected peer relationships and team interconnection. Others have noticed, and we receive regular requests for the assessment and team building course.
Platinum Rule Training (UK) : John MacPhie LLB(Hons) MInstLM

  • The Situation
  • The Solution
  • The Results
The client is a five person financial services practice which consisted of the owner, a very savvy and technically competent financial advisor, his wife who handled the bookkeeping, an administrative assistant, a Junior Advisor and a 401(k) specialist. The two most expensive salaried employees were the Junior Advisor and the 401(k) specialist. As part of my coaching process I use the combination behavior & values assessment to get quick understanding of my clients environment and the roles of each employee. I assessed the entire team.

The next thing I did was sit down with the business owner and discuss his concerns about the productivity of his team. He was dissatisfied with both the Junior Advisor and the 401(k) specialist production and was about to dismiss both employees. He was also dissatisfied with the consistency of each individual and perplexed as to why they did not seem highly motivated. I interviewed each employee to get an understanding of what they considered to be the primary role and responsibilities and challenges. It was quickly apparent that there was significant misalignment between the individual employees behaviors and values and their current roles.
The solution was relatively simple. The Junior Advisor was being asked to do tasks which were contrary to his natural strengths and interests. These tasks included a great deal of research, technical analysis and follow-up. This particular employee had a very high I , a very low S, a low D, and a low C. The 401(k) expert was responsible for many marketing and client service tasks which required a great deal of change and client interaction. His DISC profile included a low D, a very low I, a high S and a very high C. He was technically very competent and detail oriented. The solution was to reallocate and realign tasks and responsibilities that matched each employees natural behavioral and values profile.
The business owner immediately took action. We met with the employees, reviewed their behavior and values profiles to share with them what we were able to see and to discuss alternatives to improving the team's performance. Each individual was highly appreciative that we wanted to improve their situations. (Each one was worried about being fired) We redistributed and aligned the tasks with the natural behavior and values of each employee. As a result, within weeks, productivity and team attitude made great strides. Now almost a year later the advisors practice has continued to grow at his desired rate with two happy and productive teammates saving enormous costs of rehiring and company disruption.