Building a resilient workforce: What the LPGA has learned can apply to all businesses and organizations

Aon is helping organizations, like the Ladies Professional Golf Association, exceed their recruitment and retention goals by using analytics to identify and develop the best talent.

The past two years of disruption have caused a fundamental shift in the way employees work. To meet evolving needs, it’s become critical that organizations improve the agility and resilience of their workforces if they want to succeed—especially in the face of economic downturns and talent shortages. In fact, 92% of companies say they have now made attracting and retaining staff a top priority. 

“In today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world of work, it is critical to develop the right skills across your workforce to ensure your organization can face change and uncertainty,” says Michael Burke, chief executive officer of human capital solutions at Aon, a leading global professional services firm. “Making better recruitment and promotion decisions has a compounding impact on business results.”

While employers are tasked with building an agile and high-performing workforce, many lack the insight needed to make informed decisions about their employees. Aon’s state-of-the-art assessments and analytics help leaders make these decisions by delivering insights and advice that help minimize risk and maximize performance. For example, Aon’s Adaptive Employee Personality Test (ADEPT-15®) is an award-winning tool that takes a scientific, trait-led approach to measure the core behaviors required for success across all roles within an organization. It uncovers the unique aspects of an individual’s personality to help hire, promote, and develop the very best talent. 

“Our assessments are multifaceted and include measure of work-related interests, motivations, preferred working methods, skills, and knowledge,” says Burke. “We believe that everyone has potential. It’s important for employers to understand the strengths of employees and external applicants to set them up for success.”

The power of insights

Most business leaders believe that high-quality talent can impact business performance, but the challenge is often knowing how to choose employees with the behaviors that drive success. Companies can measure these traits with pre- and post-hire assessment tools, like Aon’s assessments, which include the ADEPT-15, as well as cognitive ability, situational judgment, and job knowledge evaluations. This ensures companies can then attract, select, and manage the required talent.

“Our comprehensive assessment portfolio enables us to best align individual strengths, capabilities, and interests to roles within an organization. The outcomes of this rigorous approach are high employee performance, engagement, job satisfaction, well-being, and resilience,” says Burke. “We have seen a shift from relying solely on past experience for filling a role to assessing an individual’s skills and potential for reskilling to enable workforce agility and resilience.” 

Burke stresses that employees want transparency, especially when it comes to professional development and promotions. Through ADEPT-15®, employers can use insights to create a simple, tangible path of talent development and training programs for their workforces, allowing employees of all backgrounds to understand and visualize their own career paths. In turn, this transparency ultimately builds trust in the organization, which enhances recruitment and retention. Companies with a history of developing new skills, meeting high-intensity challenges, and providing employees with fresh opportunities will have a major advantage in acquiring talent who want to join their already resilient workforce. 

“The cost of making poor recruitment and promotion decisions stretches far beyond the material cost of replacing the hires,” says Burke. “A data-driven approach to understanding and developing your workforce is essential for improving performance and making better decisions.”

Better decision-making

Since 2019, Aon and the LPGA have collaborated on a season-long competition across the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour called the Aon Risk Reward Challenge which tracks the performance of players on the most strategically challenging holes on each tour. 

To further assess player performance and potential, Aon and the LPGA utilized data from ADEPT-15® to create “Success Profiles” that identify high performers on the Epson (official developmental golf tour of the LPGA) and LPGA Tours. With this insight, they’ve identified the players with the highest potential for improvement and have enabled a more tailored approach to existing athlete development programs and services. 

“Prior to receiving the results of the study, our team was uncertain how off-course factors impacted on-course results, but Aon’s Success Profiles for top female professional golfers helped confirm many of the thoughts and ideas we hold true,” says Blake Henderson, director of athlete policy and development, LPGA. “Behaviors, emotions, and cognitive skills play a vital role in driving performance.”

As soon as golfers reach the Tour, they complete an Aon assessment. Players then meet with the Athlete Development team to review a personalized report comparing their results against top performers and receive suggestions on desired improvements with existing resources within the LPGA.

“All players now have the ability to have a personal athlete development plan customized to help them reach their true potential,” says Henderson. “Aon has assisted players with identifying their strengths and areas for improvement, which will ultimately expedite the transition process to the LPGA and allow players to capitalize on peak earning years.” 

According to the initial Aon and LPGA 2022 study, the traits of top-performing female golfers include ambition, consistency, self-awareness, and independence, in addition to being composed and positive, and seeing the big picture.

“While some personality traits that predict performance in professional golfers like independence might seem counter to what predicts performance in traditional workforce settings, the same discrepancy is true even within organizations due to the need for different skill sets and behaviors required to perform in different contexts,” says Burke. “That’s why these insights are essential for making the right decisions for each employee—and ultimately setting the company up for success.”

Head here to learn more about how Aon can help you attract, select, and retain the best talent.