BTSA: Because It Teaches You How your Brain Works Best

Is there a macho in your team? A wallflower or a wannabe? Is there someone who cannot handle criticism, someone who should say “thank you” more often, someone who regularly organizes after-work hangouts, someone who brings a homemade cake on their birthday and someone who got married without telling anybody? You know that all your team members are unique and that they have different attitudes to their work. But do you know why? And do you know why this is important for your business?

The Benziger Thinking Style Assessment (BTSA) is a model that helps you to understand a lot about the human brain. It teaches you some crucial things about your own strengths and weaknesses – just as well as it makes you learn how to unleash the full potential of your team members. This is how it works: Our brain is divided into four quarters; frontal left, frontal right, basal left and basal right. Every quarter hosts certain strengths – preferences for certain thinking styles.

In other words, the different quarters host different activities such as analyzing (frontal left), strategizing (frontal right), organising (basal left) or socialising (basal right). Every human being has certain preference quarters. We get born with it. The activity field of our preference quarter is our natural strength. As the years pass and we start learning, we develop our brain. We acquire competencies. To summarize: A preference is what we naturally like to do, while a competency is what we’ve learnt to do well.


You love your job? Or do you feel like it kills you little by little?

If you work on activities with quarters of your brain you prefer, you might experience a “flow-state”: You’re efficient, time passes quickly and you deliver high quality work. However, if you do activities that mainly use quarters of your brain which are neither your natural preferences nor your learnt competencies, you may feel as if energy was literally sucked out of your body – even though maybe you were just handling some paperwork.

Why is this? If you push yourself to work with quarters of your brain that are not your preferred ones, your brain needs up to 100 times more energy than if you work within your natural preference quarter. In this case, your brain absorbs energy that otherwise would be flowing to your body.

Next time you feel exhausted after finally doing the job that you have been pushing away because you really don’t like doing it: Now you know why.


Some argue with numbers, other with intuition

So why is all of this important for you as an employer? Because you learn to understand certain behavior of your employees and additionally, you know who does which job most efficiently.

An example: People who have a natural preference in the basal right quarter of the brain usually have well developed social skills. They are team-players and they need to feel connected to their colleagues in order to feel balanced at their workplace and deliver high quality performance. They communicate their feelings and they understand if other people do so as well.

People who have a natural preference in the frontal-left quarter of the brain are just the opposite: They are analytical, logical and handle numbers well.

If those two people (the logical and the social) work side by side, they might have some communication problems: Whereas one argues with numbers, the other expresses his opinions with feelings and follows his or her intuition. Maybe together they’re not an easy to handle team – however, it is important for you to have both of them on board. Their competencies are complementary and in order to develop powerful, creative and smart solutions, you need to unite both profiles.


Build an atmosphere where your employees unleash their full potential

With the BTSA model, you learn what jobs are most efficiently done by which team member and you find out what profile you should hire next. By distributing jobs to people who have a natural preference for its execution, you will reach the optimal output of your business and a team atmosphere that is motivating, inspiring and constructive.

The BTSA won’t enable you to read anyone’s mind (except maybe your own) but you will be sensitized about how you should understand certain behavior of your team members. Find out what is important to whom and create an environment that boosts everybody to work in their most productive mode. Motivation is a key to a successful team and high performance. If implemented with care and far-sightedness, the BTSA will boost the productivity of your enterprise and accelerate your business.

5 Reasons for Outsourcing HR

The most critical question for business owners – especially of SMEs – is to decide to what extent they should run their firms. Should they focus on selling the company’s products and services and devote their attention on the strategic organization of the team to reach the corporate objectives? Or should business owners look at every detail related to the daily management of their human resources? According to a study held in the canton of Vaud, over 75% of the companies do not entirely handle their HR needs in-house[i]. This data shows that SMEs do not hesitate anymore to hire external service providers to manage their human resources. The expected goal is ensuring the sustainability of their business and therefore increasing their profits. Most common outsourced HR services are : first payroll and time management (about 35%), then recruitment and training services (17.3%), staff administration (10.8%) and finally expatriate management (8.7%)[i]. It is highly advisable for a company to handle some HR activities in-house, such as the most strategic ones : strategic design of HR policy, social relationships, selection of partners, etc. These activities require an arbitration or an internal decision which directly relates to the corporate identity[ii]. Whether SMEs decide to outsource the HR functions, five key advantages will help guarantee the sustainability of their activities :

  1. Human and technical expertise

HR outsourcing service providers offer a whole set of specific skills aiming at designing, developing and implementing practical and innovative methods and processes to address business challenges. Especially for small firms which don’t have exclusive in-house HR management skills, this external expertise will enable to better deploy their human resources : developing high-value HR activities, organizing HR in a more attractive way, providing specialized trainings for executive officers, using a more efficient skill transfer process, etc. It will free business owners to concentrate on their core competencies.

  1. Objectivity of analysis

Outsourcing allows the company to adapt to the continuous changes while avoiding to be limitated by daily administrative tasks. Business owners are provided with support to achieve their business approach in a way that they take the necessary step back to clearly identify and analyze the issues faced by the company. Thanks to the objectivity of the external consultant, it is possible to conduct a realistic analysis of the business potential, and assess its strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, the daily routine of managing a business can often prevent business owners to realize that their working habits might be the reasons why the business is going through a tough time.

  1. Transparency of information

Communication is a key point to ensure that your business is running well. Transparent communication enables a sound implementation of your business activities as well as tangible results. However employees are often reluctant to talk openly with their boss about issues happening in the company. It is also often difficult for a business owner to collect every fact related to the failures of the business or its team. Communication becomes much easier and more reliable whenever a third party is involved.

  1. Cost effectiveness

HR outsourcing helps better manage risks and provides customized improvement solutions which can be directly implemented in a company. Networking opportunities offered by HR consultants give access to a considerable pool of talents. It can increasingly reinforce the workforce and improve its performances. On the contrary, when assigning a team member to analyze and solve business management issues, you may risk to slowdown the activities and lose on profits. Employees may also be responsible for the failures of the company.

  1. Sustainable strategy planning

Business owners often fail in the market due to poor or even no strategic planning as they strive to focus on dealing with daily details of running their business. HR outsourcing enables them to address strategic issues while avoiding to deal with unuseful details in their scope of work. HR specialists help companies to improve their way of handling organizational changes on the long term and to overcome or even prevent future difficulties. Strategic vision is crucial to sustain your business. Many business owners tend to forget it because they don’t have enough time, expertise, motivation… However you can plan and achieve the success of your business only through strategic vision. An external consultant has to get a perfect grasp of the culture and specificities of your company to design a relevant approach and offer suitable solutions. Some businesses decide to recruit and train their own HR specialists in order to reach greater profitability. That requires a considerable financial investment at first. However it can enable to set-up a motivating working environment for the personnel who is trained to take on a challenging but dynamic job. Whatever you decide for your company, HR functions have to be unique and progressive in order to meet the constantly changing requirements of your business. Whether you decide to outsource, don’t forget to consider your own business parameters ensuring that the outsourcing services will suit your specific environment (geographic dimension, social climate, communication and business culture).

[i]  Survey in 666 companies with between 25 and 250 employees, directed by Frédéric Favre, in collaboration with the Chambre Vaudoise [Findings of the survey were published in “Le Temps” on 11/12/09]. [i]  Data generated by the survey EOA/Demos Outsourcing « Externalisation de la fonction RH » 23/11/2010 [ii]  “L’externalisation de la fonction RH : une organisation créatrice de valeur pour les DRH ?”, Convictions RH, 2011