A CykoMetrix Spotlight Production

Every week, the Spotlight shines on an amazing professional with a story to tell and lessons to teach. Welcome to the CykoMetrix Spotlight.

The following is an adapted transcript of the exchange between Sylvain Rochon, CMO at CykoMetrix as host, and Dr. Robert Laurie, Director at WMA Wellness Inc. 

Sylvain Rochon: Hello. Welcome to CykoMetrix Spotlight. My name is Sylvain Rochon, Chief Marketing Officer at CykoMetrix a SaaS-based psychometric platform that allows psychometric tests to be applied over time and benchmarked. We can also track data like values and cognition, EQ, and all sorts of metrics over a duration over many years. That’s what we do. But today we have a special guest. His name is Dr. Robert Laurie. He is the director of WMA Wellness Inc. He’s very interesting fellow. We were just talking about assessments earlier and all sorts of really interesting subjects that surround the validity of tests, the rigor in science and assessments as a type of science.

He’s currently at working at WMA wellness, where he’s responsible for developing and validating the assessment resources and analyzing collective data for research purposes. So, a lot of rigor.  He speaks at scientific conferences and facilitates workshops about the use of positive and scientifically valid psychology as services that enhance workplace wellbeing. Dr. Laurie has considerable experience ranging from teaching high school sciences, curriculum creation, and working in the psychometric assessments field for more than the generation. He’s been around for a bit. As you can tell, his experience is really about the science behind the psychometry and specifically, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, Robert, but you a focusing on, wellness. Welcome to the Spotlight.

Robert: Thank you very much, Sylvain. Glad to be here.

Sylvain: All right. So now let’s get back right into the meat of thing. We were talking about the reliability of results and the science behind it. So how important are measuring results in psychometrics in the workplace, and how does HR intervene and interact with that effectively?

Robert: Well, we see things happening in workplaces, oftentimes we’ll see a lot of interventions going on and bigger companies may have their own staff doing it. They may hire external consultants, but regardless, things happen that try to change either behaviors or organizational culture or engagement. There’s usually a specific reason why an intervention is warranted, and then the intervention is implemented. Now, I think it’s fair to ask, do all interventions work? And if they do, to what extent do they work? I think, in many places, it’s the missing link in the whole process, if you will.  Most people like to participate in interventions. They’re active, see things happening and are engaged with the intervention itself. But what are its short-,  medium- or long-term impacts?

We all like to go to a conference. We all like having a one-day workshop.  But does that change our workplace environment? And if so, to what extent? That’s really what motivates and stimulates me to work every day because I want to make a difference. More importantly, I want to be able to prove that I am making a difference. It’s one thing to say I am making a difference and another thing completely to say, yes, I am making a difference and here’s by how much.

So just to give an example, what we do at WMA Wellness, is to use interventions aligned with the Positive Workplace Framework. There are three main components to the Framework. The first focuses on mental fitness, the second focuses on team resiliency, and third focuses on positive leadership practices. So, we can have interventions in any these three main areas.

We can look at workplace practices and suggest that certain practices should be done more often compared to others, but do they work? So, like you mentioned in the introduction, not only do we like to promote interventions and change workplace culture, but my particular interest in all of this is to see if the changes in workplace practices are for the better and by how much. It is common for people to tell us they work but the important part is by how much? It’s one thing to ask a company or specific employees in a company if they see a difference after six months, a year, two years in their workplace? They’ll say, “yeah.” It feels different. It’s more fun. It’s kind of nice to come to work and be with our colleagues.

They’ll give you a lot of qualitative stories like that, which are good. They’re not to be neglected or pushed aside because they’re important. But if I go to three or four companies and get the same kind of answers, does that mean that the interventions are having the same impact in each of the companies? Are some more advanced than others? Did they change more than others? Who knows if you don’t measure it?

So, what we’ve developed to accompany the Positive Workplace Framework are two questionnaires. One is called a mental fitness and resiliency inventory (MFRI). As its name indicates, it targets the first two components. The other questionnaire is the positive leadership inventory (PLI) which targets the positive leadership practices that we could see in a workplace environment. The questionnaires are very easy to administer, take about eight or nine minutes per questionnaire to complete online,  and are objective rather than subjective. What we get from these questionnaires is a snapshot, or a profile of the workplace practices. We do not evaluate or measure individual mental fitness or resiliency. We leave that to others. A lot of people like doing that, fine, that’s not our sandbox. That’s not what we deal with. What we do is look at the overall team or organization and determine the extent collective mental fitness practices are present? To what extent do we see mental fitness practices in the workplace?

The same goes for resiliency. Some teams, when they’re faced with challenges, come out stronger while others crumble. What’s the difference between teams that have the capacity, these assets, to get through challenges successfully whereas other teams crumble and fade away? So what we do is to look at team resiliency assets, and ask again, to what extent are these assets present in our workplace on a daily basis? We then follow the same approach with positive leadership practices.

So obviously, I think, it’s important to have an objective measure that we can use as a leading indicator rather than a trailing indicator and say, okay, this is our team or organizational profile. Here are our strengths. Here are some areas where we might want to work on, and now what? That’s where we’ve got validated resources that line up with the Positive Workplace Framework and what is measured so we can start making a difference in very targeted areas, depending on what teams need and where they’re at.

Sylvain: Right. So, my understanding is that there’s a before and after a training because, like you said, after let’s say a fun engagement intervention, people are always going to say this was great. I learned something. I feel great. I think it helped.  This are the typical comments because it’s based off of a feeling of the activity itself. So, your assessments can precede the training to determine what specific potential problems that need to be solved or reinforcements or whatever. It identifies what should be trained or developed over a training. So then after you get the training done or the intervention done, how do you assess afterwards in an objective manner, the changes that may have occurred within the team that validates also the development? What is the mechanism?

Robert: Yes, absolutely. You’re right that there’s a before and an after. In the assessment world, we would call that a pre- and post-assessment. So, when we start working with a team or a company or an organization, we would start by administering the questionnaires to obtain its initial profile. One of the main goals for doing that is not only to get the profile but also to be able to identify where the strengths are because no team, no matter how bad they think their workplace environment may be (some would call it terrible or toxic), there is no team that has no strengths.

All teams have something to build on and with our tools, the MFRI and the PLI, we can identify their strengths. So, we know exactly which areas of mental fitness needs and resiliency assets represent strengths and which ones would warrant maybe a bit more attention based on their profile. That’s where we can start intervening with each specific team and create interventions that are implemented on a gradual basis over a longer time. It could be, for example, that we would start by focussing on the mental fitness component of the Positive Workplace Framework. We can easily do that in about 10 to 12 months.

You may spend close to a year doing very short activities and other types of interventions that are rather quick, we’re talking about 15 to 20 minutes, rather than taking a half-day with all the staff which can be problematic. Through regular interventions, mental fitness practices can become embedded in your workplace which will gradually change your workplace environment. So, it’s not a one-and-done, it’s not a one-day workshop or a weekend or conference, or, and I like what you said, I mean, people enjoy those. They’re all fun. You can ask, “did you learn?” Yes. “Was it interesting?” Yes. They may complain about the food that was served and the temperature of the room, but other than that, they had a great time.

Sylvain: Yeah.

Robert: But go back to these same people three or four weeks later and ask how the one-and-done activity changed their work and how they work. If they’re anywhere honest, 95% of the time or more, they’ll say admit that there is no change and that they are still doing what they’ve always done in the same way. However, implementing short regular interventions are not seen as add-ons to what teams are already doing. Let’s say a team wants to dedicate 15 minutes during a regular monthly meeting and say, this will be our 15 minutes of wellness. Most teams can do that. Most teams, I would argue, would probably say that they’re already doing elements of that, because more and more we see places paying attention to workplace wellbeing, workplace culture, engagement, and all of the other things that are kind of mixed in that pot, even if they’re all different of course, but they say, they pay attention to those things.

So it’s not a question of, “do we want to work on our mental fitness or our interpersonal relationships?” The real question is “what kind of relationships do we want to have?”, because we’ve already got them. Whether we say we want to work on them or not, the question is, what kind of relationships do we want to have? And do we want to promote and foster interpersonal relationships that will ensure that everybody’s mental fitness needs are met and will also ensure that as a team, we can really be resilient and get through the tough challenges that we face collectively?

Sylvain: Right.

Robert: Then with the questionnaires, we have the initial profile and after about a year or so, we re-administer the questionnaires and we can spot the differences.

Sylvain: Do you find that like after a post, after you’re providing data, did we move the needle? Right, that’s kind of the idea for the decision maker to say, “needle was moved and therefore, maybe we should continue,” continually do more development. Because the one-shot deal for us in the biz doesn’t really do anything long term because it’s a one-day workshop. Like it, people feel great, like you said, right. Then they go back to the exact same environments they were into previously. So, it takes more than one shot in the arm to actually, over time, change actual behaviors.

How do you go from the post and move into, here’s our next engagement or how do you make it recommendation inside a company? Because talking to companies’ HR staff, especially as part of this series, they’re having a hard time sometimes convincing the executives after one workshop that it’s not a done deal and there is a need for more, spending more money from the training budget. Let’s do more of that because good HR people understand that a one-shot deal is not enough either. It has to be continuous, and you have to have a program and a process and sometimes a regular service provider that understands the dynamics and that kind of moves with you. So how do you guys carry on after that first post engagement into hopefully a multi-year agreement for development?

Robert: It’s very interesting point, an important point that you signal here because even if it was just six or seven months, in some cases there’s a risk of saying, oh, even on the post, if they had great results, “Hey super, we’ve got a great workplace environment. So, game over, we’re done.” But I mean, as we know, in a workplace, things change and there are many factors that impact workplace, some of them are external, for example, COVID. It’s an obvious example, but it’s a good one, and some of them internal like we’ve got staff turnover, we have people leaving for maternity leave. Do they come back or not? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. The important thing is that, when we take that post- profile of the team, sometime down the road, it could be six months, a year, whatever, the conditions have changed.  We may not have the same team, therefore different interpersonal relationships and different team or group dynamics we’ll have different external pressure coming in on us.

Sometimes it’s a company thing that’s caused the change. They may be downsizing or in some cases they be maybe growing so fast that, employees must get adjusted to all the changes. So, it’s not necessarily always bad news, but it’s things that must be considered. There are different stressors that the team must adapt to. So, when we look at the Positive Workplace Framework, the three main components of mental fitness, resiliency, and positive leadership are key. We deal with them in order. So, we would start with a company and say, well, for the first 10 or 12 months, we need to work on mental fitness. That really is the foundation for everything else. It’s like when you’re building a house, we all can’t wait to see the house go up and paint the walls and look at the aesthetics. But if we don’t have a strong foundation, then eventually things are going to crumble.

So we need to start with mental fitness, which is what we do. Then in the second year to continue growing and embedding even more of these practices we shift the interventions to increasingly focus on resiliency. After that, we emphasize positive leadership. Now, overall, when we look at implementing the complete Positive Workplace Framework with that approach, even though it’s extremely flexible it absolutely not a one size fits all approach. It’s adaptable to any workplace and is guided by their questionnaire results and can take about three years or so to cover the basics but not surprisingly in three years internal conditions will have changed. So, the new employees that are coming on board may not have been there the first year. So how do you onboard them with this approach and these practices that we’d like to see because they haven’t participated in the mental fitness interventions? That’s where we have to work and build capacity with our clients to say, okay, we need to make sure that everyone has the essentials, so that not only can they join a strong team, but they’ll know why it’s strong and be able to strengthen it even more and contribute to that team.

Sylvain: I think that’s a great answer. You touched on something that is very important, especially the time period, let’s say two, three years or more. Companies want to survive and last and grow over a long period of time. So, you have your existing staff that have been, let’s say around for those three years. They’ve been through all those trainings over the time. So they’ve gotten to a bit of a training or continuous development culture. Right. With WMA or with other providers perhaps they got regular measurements. They got into that habit. They can see from the data from the report outcomes and so on and so forth. Yes, external conditions changed: COVID economic collapse, frustrations in the market or political changes, whatever.

But also, at a more granular level and a more regular level, there are the people leaving and others being hired. So, you have people that are not part of that process that are new to that culture, to that continuous development culture. They are parachuted off into that whole system. They may not be used to this wherever they came from. They may not be of the same mindset of getting into that. So how do you deal with those more punctual or regular changes inside a company? Because you are measuring teams and you have these additional elements that are leaving or coming in, right?

How do you deal with those disruptions that could be cultural, injections.   Do those change the data or a profile?

Robert: Yeah, there’s a couple of interesting points that come from that question, Sylvain. One of them is the importance of having a very strong organizational culture. Based on our metrics, when practices conducive to meeting everyone’s mental fitness needs and those aligned with resiliency assets reach a certain point, teams reach a level where they’ve got a critical mass meaning that they don’t necessarily have to consciously think about doing these practices. They do them because that’s who they are. It becomes part of the corporate DNA, if you will. So, in that sense, if you have a new employee coming in, the new employee will be, to use your word, parachuted in an environment that is already very positive.

They will adapt and adjust because it’s a new work environment. They’ll say, that’s okay, this is how things are done here. Then they’ll do it that way. So, it’s easier to onboard or to introduce a new employee in a workplace that is already benefiting from a positive workplace because new employees will adapt quickly. That’s the importance of reaching a critical mass to say, yes, these practices they’re really here, and they’re solid and embedded. It doesn’t mean they’re there forever. That’s why we must continue working on them. However, right now, we’re pretty good at this. So, let’s keep doing it. That’s one thing, the other is companies now realize that this is an important factor as more and more studies show, it’s usually a negative approach, but they’ll show the impact of having negative workplace environments.

They’ll say it costs so many billions to the Canadian economy and absenteeism rates are through the roof and et cetera, so employee assistant programs are just exploding. They know the big impact, but then HR is really clueing into this very much so in the last few years that they also want to prevent bad things from happening. When they hire, the type of questions, now that they’ll be asking potential candidates in the interviews, I mean, I would argue they’ve significantly changed in the last 20 – 30 years. They’re hiring not only for the basic skills that we expect that new person to do in our workplace, but more and more they’re taking into account the affective component in terms of “how are they going to fit in our team?”

Sometimes they may have the skills. That’s usually pretty easy to prove. I mean, you’ve got your CV, you’ve got your diplomas on the wall and all that stuff, and if you’ve got years of experience, there’s that, and probably some testimonials or some recommendations. So, you’ll be supported that way, but to put it bluntly, if you’re a pain in the butt and you’re the team cancer, they don’t want to hire people like that. So, more and more HR people are trying to, I was going to say weed out, they’re not trying to weed out, they’re just trying to avoid hiring these people. So upfront you want to hire great people assuming that they are at least half-decent, then parachute them in a good workplace environment, you’ve got winning conditions on your side.

Sylvain: Your inventories can be used to assess different candidates for a position in a team, to be able to differentiate, soft skills and things like that before they are put into a specific team. How does that work? Also, the follow up question to that is, how important is that from your experience?

Robert: The first answer to that is no. The mental fitness and resiliency inventory or the MFRI and the positive leadership inventory, the PLI, provide a profile or a snapshot of the practices that happen on a regular basis in a workplace. So, the individual data that are collated from all the responses are aggregated and provide a group picture, if you will.

The questionnaires are not designed to measure individual mental fitness and resiliency. That’s not what we do and we’re very clear about that. That’s a very important point because oftentimes people have a good questionnaire. Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t, but they have a questionnaire, and they’ll want it to do too many things. If there’s no theoretical background to support why the questionnaire was developed and how it was developed or it was just haphazard, like somebody said, oh, it would be nice to ask this question and ask that question and if you do that often enough all of a sudden you’ve got a questionnaire.  

But what are you measuring? Who knows? You think you do, but I can almost guarantee, you don’t; that’s where the psychometric validation becomes important. Our (MFRI) questionnaire is based on the most recent research in positive psychology and organizational wellbeing. We look at what happens inside of teams and at the team culture environment. We do not measure individual wellbeing or resiliency. There are other questionnaires that do that. That’s why we compliment what’s out there, we don’t replace what’s out there. So, companies that may already be using those, they would like to approach us and say, “We’d like to work with WMA Wellness.”

It seems kind of nice. It’s important. We don’t have that because it’s extremely rare out there that people focus on that level, then that’s fine. We would never suggest , “okay, whatever you’re doing now, clear the table, we’re starting from scratch.” We just don’t do that. Again, we build on the strengths, if they’re complementary questionnaires, if you want to keep using those then absolutely. Importantly, we would eventually suggest correlating the data to see what do we learn out of this in your organization? That’d be kind of interesting too.

Sylvain: Since WMA proper does not do individual assessment, like for example, a hiring or a hiring agency, for example, for placement. Do you in those cases, do you use another company’s assessments to combine with your knowledge of the target company where the person’s going to get some idea and be able to consult with your client on the…

Robert: Yeah, because that’s not what we do. We wouldn’t pretend that we are doing it or even can do it. I mean, I imagine if we turn our attention to it, we could do it, but it’s just not what we do.

What we do is look at the team environment and work at the team level. So, if a company says, “well, we need something at the individual level,” great. Go out and get it, there’s no qualms. There’d be no competition from us, because again, that’s not what we do.

Sylvain: There are a lot of individual assessments out there. So, there’s always, like you said, like they can use them with a training company. Yeah. Use whatever assessment you’d like.

Robert: Yes.  And the danger for companies, exactly, because there are a lot of things out there, assessments, questionnaires, and also individual people that claim they are gurus and whatever, there’s this danger that’s going on that I see across the country and in North America. I’d like to say the world, but I can’t extend myself that much. I don’t know what’s going on everywhere.

Companies more and more now realize the importance of wellbeing and everything else. I mean, in the last decade, there’s less stigmatization and there’s more importance on the metrics. People get it now more and more. However, even though that’s a very important step, not many companies have the skills and tools to do something about it, hence the need for external help. Even though there’s a willingness to do something, they may not have enough knowledge to be able to discern what’s good and what’s bad out there.

So, if it looks good and you come in with a glossy brochure and a fancy website, you’ve got a contract, but what are these interventions and these promotions talking about? Are they supported by science? If so, which one and what’s the scientific rigor behind that. That’s where things start falling apart. If the companies want to do something at the individual level, sure. But it’s scary in the sense that there’s so much out there. It’s hard to discern the good from the bad, and unfortunately there’s a lot of both.

Sylvain: Yeah. It’s a bit of the wild west out there. Like you, we notice things and it’s kind of wild. It brings me to the question of, do you think there should be some kind of certification group that would validate assessments on a national or international level or to force consultants and training companies and whoever using secondary assessments to properly be educated on how to use them, the outcomes, you know what I mean? It would control a little bit more this space so that companies don’t get just fuzzy feelings and really no value from or no direct correlation between training and assessment. Do you think there should be a value to that, or it should be kind of left more to people to pick and choose. What are your thoughts around that?

Robert: Yeah. I think that in this sense, what I would prefer is to have potential clients ask the good questions and the good questions can simply be “okay, you want to promote this questionnaire? You want me to do this questionnaire with my employees, prove to me that it’s a good questionnaire. What are the psychometrics behind it?  Have validation studies been done on it? If so, what are the results of that study?” For example, we’re proud to say that for the mental fitness and resiliency inventory, we’ve published a peer reviewed scientific paper in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management that shows how we validated it. It shows the psychometric properties in terms of its reliability and construct validity. It’s got all sorts of data that quite frankly, not many people would understand.

However, if they ask the question, there’s the answer, and we have no problem showing that we’re proud of it because it’s a good tool. Then the question becomes, “well, let’s use it properly and move on.” But if somebody tries to promote a questionnaire and they say, well, “we haven’t validated yet,” or “we’re not sure” or better yet, they kind of skirt the question and just change the topic don’t go there. It’s too much of a risk because you don’t know if the questionnaire is good, which means you don’t know if the results you’re going to get are valid. If that’s not bad enough, then the interventions that are based on those results will be questionable, it’ll be a crapshoot. It’s hit and miss. So, do you really want to promote something like that in your company where you invest time, energy, human and financial resources on something that is hit and miss?  Mind you, if you’ve got so much money in your company, go ahead. But I haven’t seen any yet.

Sylvain: Usually money is limited.

Robert: Well, it is. Absolutely. In some cases, and I came across a situation like this last week, somebody who was introduced to me, a vice president of very big company. I mean, obviously, I’ll keep it nameless here. We were having the conversation we had a couple of minutes ago about bigger companies and senior management becoming more and more aware of the importance of workplace, environment and wellness and everything else. They were saying, the bigger companies now have budgets for this because they know it’s important. They still don’t know what to do, but they have budgets. So, to use your term, it’s really the wild west, because now money is there. They’re not quite sure how to hire the right people. Still, they’ll pay and say, “we did something.”

If they have shareholders they’ll say, “yes, we did something”, and check the box. But are they making a difference? Are the results that they’re getting really what they want to get? Are they using the proper metrics? Take for example, the results that we would provide them with the mental fitness and resiliency inventory. How do these results line up with your current metrics in terms of absenteeism, or if you have already an engagement survey or job satisfaction survey, how do they line up with those or your EAP costs? Let’s compare that and work together because ultimately the bottom line is that companies want to be more productive and lower their costs.

When they do that they often focus on the symptoms of a bad workplace environment. Things like low engagement and absenteeism, and they’ll say, “oh, well, if we’re not engaged, then we’ll hire somebody to boost our engagement or we’ll create a committee and we’ll lower our absenteeism rates.”, thinking that those things will impact directly the productivity and the costs. What we say is that you have to go back one step because metrics such as engagement, absenteeism, et cetera, are not the causes for low productivity and higher costs, they are symptoms of something else.

They are symptoms of what’s going on in your workplace environment on a daily basis. So that’s what you have to work on, and that’s what we work on and measure. So when I talk about us having a leading indicator, if we know where the strengths are and where some of the areas that are not so strong, we know even before starting to work on, that some of the other metrics that they’re already collecting, what those will look like because we’re working upstream, not downstream.

Sylvain: Well, I think that’s excellent and it’s extremely logical as good science tends to be logical. The executives are exclusively concerned about return on investment. That’s the nature of business in general. That’s not new, but you’re right. In recent years there’s been more research and attention on the value of having excellent culture, a purpose driven culture, or an approach to business and soft skills development and so on. It’s for a lot of companies, they seem to be buzzwords, right? Like we know from the executive point of view, we know we need to have a budget to develop those things. There’s a correlation between that and return on investment, which we care about. Then they kind of sit, like, I don’t have the survey in front of me, but there are surveys that said, there’s a high percentage of executives that do believe this is important, but then the devil’s in the details.

Like, okay. How to execute on that plan with all the buzzwords? Is it just like Myers-Briggs and DISC. What is the actual technique? That’s where you come in. That’s also where we are intervening as a platform for excellent psychometric assessments as well. So well, how do you generate the outcomes and the continuous development that makes sense where budgets are spent intelligently targeting the right things to generate that additional predictivity and in the market, it seems like, to your point, to still be very much in the air, in the wild west. People don’t know where to go and how to actually achieve the goal. So, for anybody listening to this, I would encourage you if it were your objective to check those boxes.

Do you do want to increase effectiveness and productivity and wellness inside your business? Well, the link to WMA Wellness is in description of this video, it’s on the blog. I would encourage you to contact Dr. Robert Laurie and Associates at WMA Wellness. They will help you correctly put together a plan and a process to evolve your business in the right direction. That’ll do the job and they’ll support you as a process. So, I hope that’s a good enough sales pitch, because this is very impressive.  I’m impressed as a scientist myself of your rigor and your thought process and being thoughtful in how you can deliver value inside the business instead of just fluff. I think that’s very valuable. So, you go and contact them. Our reach is international, so hopefully you’ll get some calls after this comes out. Thank you so much Dr. Laurie for explaining this to us and exposing the pitfalls, the advantages and the opportunities in the space.

Robert: Well, thank you very much for having me, Sylvain. I really appreciate the opportunity. Just a final word, when you mentioned international reach everything we do is available in English, en français y en español.

Sylvain: Thank you so much. Amazing. Well, you know what to do guys. Thank you so much.

Robert: Thank you.

About Dr Robert Laurie – www.positiveworkplaceframework.com

Robert Laurie is a partner at WMA Wellness, a company providing positive psychology products and services to enhance workplace well-being, engagement and performance. His responsibilities include developing and validating resources and questionnaires, analyzing collected data for research purposes, facilitating training workshops and speaking at scientific conferences. He is also responsible for the international development of WMA Wellness, especially in Latin America.

Prior to joining WMA Wellness, Robert was Project Manager on The Learning Bar team responsible for the development of the contextual questionnaires for the OECD’s PISA for Development (PISA-D) project. PISA-D  aims to increase developing countries’ use of PISA assessments for monitoring progress towards nationally-set targets for improvement, for the analysis of factors associated with student learning outcomes, particularly for poor and marginalised populations, for institutional capacity-building and for tracking international educational targets in the post-2015 framework being developed within the UN’s thematic consultations (OECD, 2015).

Dr. Laurie has considerable experience in education ranging from teaching high school science and mathematics, being provincial science consultant, assistant director of curriculum and director of assessment and evaluation. He has pan-Canadian experience as a member of the first School Achievement Indicators Program (SAIP) Science Development Team for the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC). He was also a member of the pan-Canadian group that authored the Common Framework of Science Learning Outcomes, K-12, a document intended for curriculum developers across Canada. Dr. Laurie coauthored the first version of the pan-Canadian Assessment Program’s (PCAP) Science assessment framework. Internationally, Dr. Laurie represented Canada at the OECD Science Forum leading up to the administration of the 2006 PISA assessment and was a member of the PISA 2006 Science Expert Group.

In addition to his training and experience in science, science education, and assessment and evaluation, Dr. Laurie is well versed in statistics and early childhood development. He obtained his PhD in the area of identifying at-risk children in kindergarten by validating targeted screening questionnaires. He has made important contributions in the development of a universal screening model followed by targeted interventions for kindergarten children. He is an energetic and passionate speaker in English, French and Spanish. Robert is Adjunct Professor at the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Education as well as President and founder of REL Consultants Inc.

About CykoMetrix – www.CykoMetrix.com

CykoMetrix is a leading edge combinatorial psychometric and human data analytics company that brings the employee assessment industry to the cloud, with instant assessments, in-depth analysis, trait measurements, and team-based reporting features that simplify informed decision-making around recruiting, training, and managing today’s modern workplace.

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Dr. Shaneka Parham – Working to Ensure Fairness in Employment Practices

Dr. Shaneka Parham – Working to Ensure Fairness in Employment Practices

Dr. Shaneka Parham is an industrial and organizational psychologist. She taught me what that meant recently, which is great. She is in Baltimore, Maryland. She has over 10 years of experience in the field, working primarily in pre-employment assessments. Her passion is in helping to ensure person-to-organization fit by use of procedures rooted in and backed by science. I really like that. Being a scientist, I really like when there’s scientific backing.

Dr. Tommy Thomas – Maximizing Your Personal Success Using Opposite Strengths

Dr. Tommy Thomas – Maximizing Your Personal Success Using Opposite Strengths

Dr. Tommy Thomas is the CEO of Opposite Strengths Incorporated. Thomas is a standard bearer of the Opposite Strength system, a way of understanding people and relationships through strengths. He currently serves as CEO of Thomas Concept, the leader in healthcare culture transformation. Over the past forty years, Thomas’s concept clients have included organizations from a variety of industries.

Scott Filgo – Selecting the Right Psychometric Assessment

Scott Filgo – Selecting the Right Psychometric Assessment

Scott Filgo has 20 years of assessment development experience with many product families from several test publishers. Consulting in both agile, entrepreneurial and methodical academic test publishing organizations, big and small. Past experiences are as a consultant, specialized in psychometric assessment, includes contracts with Deloitte and Pearson’s Talent Assessment Group. Some of the big boys in the field. Nice to see you here in the spotlight Scott.