What makes a good employee? How can you determine a good fit for your organization?
These are some of the questions Missouri State University’s Dr. Robert Jones has been trying to answer.
In his research, Jones found that satisfaction, performance, citizenship and other measures of success were all higher when people were better able to see themselves as part of a bigger picture.
One way that people gain this greater perspective, noted Jones, is through educational attainment.
“Level of education attainment in itself doesn’t predict job performance, but the study we’ve done now shows that this long-term perspective does correlate pretty highly with job performance,” said Jones, professor of psychology.
He developed a tool that captures this long-term perspective and has been conducting studies to see how well it relates with a number of factors.
“Developmental change is sort of this qualitative change in perspective,” he said. “Development is a long-term process: We’ll talk about it today. We’ll talk about it tomorrow. We’ll talk about it next year and two years from now, until you have an ‘a-ha’ experience.”
He and his students are now looking at what kinds of specific educational and life experiences may influence this important change. Some examples include: liberal arts and sciences education, studying abroad, urban semesters, learning a language and other experiences that may affect how people see themselves in context.
Jones sees a day that the measure he is testing could be administered to job candidates in addition to or instead of current personality and ability tests.