Self-Management Competency for Working Remotely during COVID-19.

By Chris Tandridge

As we all face the COVID-19 pandemic, we now appreciate that this has unquestionably altered the current state of work. Most organisations are forced to have their personnel work remotely. For all intents and purposes, this is a change that will potentially be in effect for quite some time. It may well permanently change the future behaviours of many organisations.

It is important to remember that the impact of COVID-19 is just one example of change in the business environment and that change is a constant in the workplace.

Since change is inevitable, the question for Talent Management becomes: “What differentiates employees who are unphased by organisational change?”

The answer is Self-Management

There are several attributes inherent within self-management that make it the #1 competency associated with top performers. The focus of this article will be on the three attributes that most directly impact a self-manager’s ability to navigate periods of change and uncertainty.

  1. Strong self-managers are internally-oriented in a number of critical ways that insulate them from the external changes which cause so much disruption for others.
  2. Self-managers have an internal locus of control. This means self-managers focus on things within their direct control, while attributing both their successes and failures to controllable factors (e.g. effort, attitude, skill). This again negates the influence of changing environmental factors, as these external factors were never perceived to be influential to the self-manager’s success in the first place. Individuals who possess an external locus of control, heavily emphasise and rely on the external factors they perceive as critical to their success (e.g., structure, support, feedback), and as such are extremely negatively impacted when these factors are removed.
  3. Finally, self-managers are proactive as compared to responsive. These individuals are comfortable taking initiative and problem solving on their own. Self-managers are comfortable creating their own ways of doing things, and as a result are more effective in less structured and dynamic working environments. Self-managers don’t need to be told what to do or how to do it, they figure things out on their own or seek the necessary resources.

As we accept that change as it relates to the state of work is inevitable we must look to change the parameters of our selection processes. The current COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated not only the severity and abruptness that change can deliver, but also and probably more importantly the importance of having a workforce capable of excelling in this rapidly changing environment.

Self-management is currently the single most predictive attribute of top performers (as identified by over 3500 validation studies) and will only continue to grow in importance as the labour landscape continues to evolve.

How you accurately measure self-management is now of the utmost importance. Here at Validity Group we have the solutions that are ideal in this environment. Broadly applicable, easily engaged by all hiring managers, no certification road blocks and, very importantly, priced to support all organisations facing tight financial pressures.

For more information and to access FREE assessments, contact us today!

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