[Case study] Validation study of a safety test battery for management level employees within the mining sectorHofmeyr
JvR Psychometrics was approached by a mine to validate a safety test battery used to assess supervisor performance. At the time of the research, the safety test battery was used to select supervisors. The task at hand was therefore to determine whether these tests distinguish between good and poor performance and to create an ideal profile for the future selection of supervisors.
260 supervisor employees on management level were assessed using the Hogan Safety Report (measuring employee safety behaviour through personal competencies) and the Locus of Control Inventory (measuring Internal Locus of Control, External Locus of Control and Autonomy). In addition to the assessment information, data from a 360 degree evaluation (that rated each supervisor on communication skills, company values and connectivity) and a Safety Score (based on the number of safety incidents that miners under the supervisor’s supervision were involved in) were used.
We then determined if there was a relationship between psychometric test scores and employee performance data and whether any of the psychometric instrument scales could predict supervisor performance. Supervisor profiles were recommended based on the relationships found between the test data and the employee data.
The results show that there were several relevant relationships between the individual personality scores and the scores from the 360 degree evaluations for the sample. The relationships between the psychometric instruments and the 360 evaluation data suggest that the tool did indeed measure elements of safety behaviour. Alternatively, the psychometric assessment scores predicted none of the Safety Data scores, which suggest that this specific safety score that the client provided was not meaningful. This is probably due to the fact that the safety score was not related to the direct behaviour of the supervisors, but rather to the behaviour of mining operators under their supervision. Many of the other safety-related outcomes were predicted by the psychometric assessments.
Based on the relationships that were found between work outcomes and personality as well as locus of control respectively, the following combination of criteria can be used to flag safety concerns in managers.
This include individuals who:
- may find rules to be negotiable, are not interested in the further learning of new skills, may not have many interests that is not work-related, react slowly in case of emergency, and may disregard mistakes;
- are prone to stress and find it difficult to cope with stress;
- make mistakes while being distracted easily, or panic when they feel pressured;
- are prone to easily becoming irate, may overreact when frustrated and may thus have trouble expressing anger effectively;
- find it difficult to accept that own achievements result from working hard and being dedicated, consider the assistance of other people as imperative for achieving personal goals, believe that a person does not always have to earn rewards for accomplishment but rather has a fortuitous outlook dependent on fate;
- believe the influences in life to be mostly coincidental and events are out of their control, are seen by others as being quite ‘fatalistic’, often believe that negative past experiences unfavorably influenced existing achievements, and are also likely to attribute mistakes and successes to external causes.