Industrial/Organizational Psychologist Joins Turknett Leadership Group

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Dr. Lauren Harris represents a growing field that combines business and psychology to understand and measure human behavior, help companies select and promote the best people, improve employee engagement, and create measurable business impact. Psychometric assessments have proven to add substantial value to companies via increased sales (+24%), reduced training time (-50%), and increased retention (+84%). Dr. Harris joins Turknett Leadership Group, known for the best in character-based leadership and organization development as well as human resource solutions such as competency modeling, assessment centers, selection and performance management, and succession planning.

Lauren Harris, Ph.D. has joined Turknett Leadership Group, a corporate psychology and management consulting firm based in Atlanta. Lauren is an Industrial Organization (I/O) Psychologist who applies a deep understanding of human behavior and development in a business setting. She is one of a growing field that combines business and psychology to understand and measure human behavior, help companies select and promote the best people, improve employee engagement, and create measurable business impact.

Turknett Leadership Group has assessed and developed high level leaders and their organizations throughout the U.S. for more than 20 years, offering the best in character-based leadership and organization development as well as human resource solutions such as competency modeling, assessment centers, selection and performance management, and succession planning.

According to Dr. Harris, high unemployment rates have forced companies to become more serious about finding the right people for open positions and retaining their best performers. Using psychometric assessments has proven to add substantial value via increased sales (+24%), reduced training time (-50%), and increased retention (+84%). I/O psychologists trained in using these assessments play a major role in helping companies select, develop, engage, and retain top performers to create a strong bench of future leaders, something vital in today's competitive marketplace.

Lauren Harris moved to Atlanta from Houston to study at Emory University and complete her graduate work at the University of Georgia. Her dissertation on Managing Generational Differences is one of the first empirical studies on this very important topic. Highly data driven, her research was derived from a broad spectrum of over 700 respondents across the country and put forth a construct for how leadership development should be tailored to each generational cohort: Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Dr. Harris presented her work to a meeting of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and is creating a program for leaders to share her findings, which differ in surprising ways from the popular press.

The Emerald Literati Network gave Dr. Harris its 2009 Award for her highly commended paper published in its Leadership and Organizational Development Journal. Data for the paper was gathered from Turknett Leadership Group assessments and examined the relationship of an executive's developmental maturity and his/her leadership effectiveness.

We are delighted to have Dr. Harris join our firm, said Dr. Robert Turknett, CEO. Her work on generational leadership and also in helping companies define competencies is outstanding. Her presence enriches what we can offer clients who are looking for every edge to improve productivity.

In her work for UPS Dr. Harris developed competencies for hundreds of jobs performed by over 300,000 employees. Behaviors needed for each job were defined so that performance could be objectively measured in the organization. Her work also helped identify learning and development as well as career development needs in the organization.

Identifying behaviors for each job allowed us to align all the other HR systems for the organization, i.e. selection, career development, and performance management, said Dr. Harris. Recognizing how valuable this work is for companies who are focused on improving performance, I'm pleased to join a firm with a sterling reputation for tailoring assessments that identify needs and support organizations to take effective action.

In addition to her professional work Dr. Harris is also a metal smith, and has been a jewelry artisan for about five years. She volunteers weekly with Jewish Family & Career Services as a creative consultant in the Jewish Tower Open Studio in support of creative arts for seniors.

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Susan Hitchcock
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