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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

You may think you know what you are doing, but…

Cognisco, a developer of specialist measurement tools that test employees’ knowledge, understanding, and confidence, has released disturbing figures that suggest the vast majority of skilled workers possess levels of understanding well below what their employers expect. Results reveal that only 18% of employees reached or exceeded the benchmark of reasonable understanding that their employers had set for them.

45% of those surveyed fell below the benchmark set by employers but, reports Cognisco, they were not placing their companies at severe risk because they did not specifically misunderstand key aspects of their job. This group was merely working at low levels of productivity.

Much more worrying were the remaining 37% who actually misunderstood at least one crucial aspect of their job. This group ironically displayed remarkably high confidence in their level of understanding. The research revealed that their average level of confidence was 63% (where 0% represents no confidence and 100% complete confidence in their own understanding.)

‘It is these confident mistake-makers that should give employers the most cause for concern’, states Scott Sharp, CEO of Cognisco. ‘These are the people who will without doubt mis-sell insurance policies, incur fines or penalties for their companies, misinform customers, or in the worst cases put lives at risk through incorrect decisions. Most CEOs and senior managers are unaware that these employees are either dramatically underperforming or are exposing their organisations to severe and unnecessary operational risk through a lack of understanding combined with unjustified confidence.

To find out about managing these risks, visit www.cognisco.co.uk.