Window On Winslow

The Barbados Light & Power Company

Developed in 1968 by William J. Winslow of the Winslow Research Institute, the Winslow Profile has been used extensively throughout the United States.

On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the introduction of the Winslow Development Programme (Winslow) in the Customer Services Department, we reflect on its use and impact on the lives of eight employees who have undergone the process.

The Company is looking into opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the training it provides for its employees. The effects and behavioural changes resulting from some of the various training programmes are short-term and staff’s commitment to the requisite change is limited. In addition, training requirements are not clearly identified and certain programmes do not target the specific areas of need. In order for the Company to meet the future challenges it is likely to face, it will have to develop a cadre of self-managed employees who are able to respond to the growing needs of its customers, sometimes independent of their supervisor. The Winslow Assessment and Development Profile is seen as a programme which is likely to address some of the concerns in the areas of individual/group development, training and profiling.

Profiling is a method of determining whether prospective recruits possess the kind of personality which is consistent with the overall requirements of the job for which they are being hired and the culture of the organization. The Winslow Profile is expected to provide an opportunity to develop employees to be more effective in their current positions. Among other things, it would be expected to prepare them for future promotional opportunities, identify persons who are potential team players and project leaders, and be an effective tool to assist with the recruitment of the best candidate for a particular job.

It has been suggested that an individual’s attitudes, feelings and behaviours are governed by his/her personality, which is often difficult to change. However, change is possible if individuals commit themselves to it. Consequently, the Winslow process measures these traits rather than behavioural patterns, which can be altered temporarily as circumstances demand. The process of re-profiling, also offered by Winslow, seeks to measure the extent to which the individual has actually changed to cope better with his/her responsibilities and attempts to identify further opportunities for improvement.

To date, 109 persons have been exposed to the programme, with twenty-three employees having volunteered to be trained as coaches. In addition, twelve special projects dealing with peak customer traffic, delivery of bills, surge suppressor education, service standards and the improvement of computer service to employees via the “Help Desk” have been introduced as part of the program.

Nigel Harris: “The Winslow experience has strengthened my faith in my ability to achieve – to free myself from the shackles of limitations. My philosophy is: what someone thinks about me does not define who I am.”

Arlette Sisnett: “The Winslow Programme helped me to improve my assertiveness and gave me greater self-confidence.”

Margaret Griffith: “The Winslow Programme has been a tremendous benefit to me, both personally and on the job. It has helped me to develop a more positive attitude to life in general. As a Coach in the Winslow Programme, I have been able to benefit more as I interact with my protege I would recommend Winslow to anyone who is willing to work towards a goal.”

Rodney Doffin: “The Winslow Programme helped me to identify those traits that are most likely to restrain me from reaching my goals and those that are most likely to help me achieve them. It provided a mechanism for me to recognize opportunities for im provement and guided me through the stages of personal change and development. I have grown as a result of the Winslow Assessment Profile and the coaching sessions. That growth is reflected in my personal and work relationships, (so my friends and colleagues tell me). I feel a sense of achievement as I reflect on the progress I have made. My goal is to be ‘Unconsciously Competent’ (permanent personality change – high performance by reflex).”

Hal Hunte: “As a Winslow participant I have learned about the personality traits which I have that can assist me in working to my personal potential in my job. I have also learned about those that could hold me back from achieving my goals. As a coach I have learned How to communicate more effectively and have acquired those skills which could assist me in motivating my proteges to set and achieve realistic goals for themselves.”

Pamela Blackman: “Winslow is an objective assessment tool, and through the Personality Trait Groups, I have come to understand how these traits relate to each other, and to realize that one has the ability to change the weaker characteristics. It has highlighted those areas where I am both strong and weak. This provided the opportunity for me to conduct a self-examination and build my determination to develop those weaker areas.”

Curtis Smith: “Winslow has helped me to identify my weaknesses and to work continuously on improving them. As a result, I am better equipped to speak about myself with greater confidence. As a coach, I have the opportunity and tools to assist others in developing and improving upon their weaker traits and also, the opportunity to get to know people better.”

Peter Williams: “It is very difficult to look at yourself objectively and see your own faults. Seeing faults in others is by far the easier task, Through Winslow I have been able to look at myself with an objective eye. I admit that I was a little anxious about what it would say. I am working on those aspects of my personality which need improving and, while I still have my faults, I have changed and will continue to change and be able to contribute more to my family, my friends and to this Company.”