How to Build a Behavioral Blueprint for Employee Success

February 25, 2020 Mina Morris

First Published on LinkedIn


Your organization’s core values and beliefs don’t exist in a vacuum. They represent the behaviors you want your workforce to exhibit. However, employees often need help translating those values into behaviors. It’s time to dust off your old competency models and inject them with a behavioral blueprint.

Translating your organization’s core values into behaviors makes it easier to measure how those values are practiced in your workforce. And doing so gives your employees a clear understanding of the types of behaviors they should model. Embracing an organization’s core values is difficult to do in the abstract, but it becomes much easier when supplemented by concrete behavioral examples from across the employee life cycle.

Here are some of the stages where behaviors can make or break your organization.

Showcasing Desirable Behavior During the Candidate Experience

Beginning an employee relationship with integrity increases its value

A behavioral blueprint will have no effect without employee buy-in, and that starts with the candidate experience. As part of the candidate selection process, you can match desired behaviors to specific roles throughout your organization. Then, be honest with applicants about their day-to-day duties and the behaviors needed to succeed in their role.

You can use a realistic job preview to give a candidate insight into the work day for the job in question. Using a realistic job preview in the hiring stage is a great way to let applicants decide for themselves whether they want to behave in ways that align with the role. Beginning an employee relationship with integrity increases its value — both to the employee and your organization.

Identifying Behaviors Across the Employee Life Cycle

Certain behaviors are desired at different levels and phases of the employee life cycle. For example, you might want to see drive and ambition during the hiring process or from a new employee, while creativity and innovation would be valuable on a cross-functional team.

Meet with your managers and take a hard look at the positions in your organization. Determine how your organizational values can translate into actionable behaviors at different points in the company. Establishing a behavioral blueprint on the front end will help you down the line as you match employee behavioral profiles to the positions where they have the greatest chances of success.

Developing Succession Through Leadership Behaviors

Good leadership often comes from possessing certain behavioral qualities. These behaviors are linked to candidates’ motivations and values and can be measured through talent assessments. By setting up a “success profile” — a description of the behaviors that a successful job incumbent shows — you can begin recognizing the people who will be good at the job and successful in your organization.

This gives you an edge in succession planning, too. Once you know what “leadership” means to your organization, it’s easy to pinpoint the candidates who display those behaviors. This allows you to lay the groundwork for the future of your organization’s leadership.

To learn more about behavior in the workplace, read our Whitepaper: Why Behavior at Work Matters

About the Author

Mina Morris

Mina Morris is an Associate Partner with Aon’s Assessment Solution Practice. As an organizational psychologist, Mina works with clients to maximize the effectiveness of their talent selection processes, implement talent management systems and helps organizations manage change. Mina has extensive global experience partnering with clients in North America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East to deliver human capital solutions that help deliver business results.

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