HR Certification Podcast Episode 14: Leadership Review for HRCI & SHRM Exams

Summary:In this episode of the HR Certification Podcast, we are reviewing the balanced scorecard as well as types of scorecards within HR.

HR Certification Podcast Episode 14: Leadership Review for HRCI & SHRM Exams

Summary:In this episode of the HR Certification Podcast, we are reviewing the balanced scorecard as well as types of scorecards within HR.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the HR Certification Podcast: a podcast for HR leaders working towards their human resources certification with HRCI and SHRM. Join host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of and HR certification prep program, Ace The HR Exam, as she shares study tips, exam insights, and topical review for HR exams, including the aPHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, and SHRM-SCP. Now, here’s Jessica with this episode of the HR Certification Podcast.

HR Certification Podcast Episode 14: Leadership Review for HRCI & SHRM Exams

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:37.25] Hey there and welcome to the HR Certification Podcast. I’m your host, Jessica Miller-Merrell, and I’m so excited to have you here. My mission, purpose, and passion is elevating the human resources industry. And in the HR Certification Podcast, I help HR leaders in their personal and professional development solely focused on HR certification for SHRM and HRCI. This podcast is powered by Workology’s HR certification prep courses and resources. You can learn more about our courses and prep resources by visiting Now, before I dive into today’s podcast, I do want to hear from you. Give me a follow over on Instagram or TikTok@WorkologyBlog, where I’m happy to answer your HR certification questions. That’s @WorkologyBlog, and maybe I’ll feature a question in an upcoming episode of the HR Certification Podcast. In every single episode, we cover information and resources to help you with your HR certification exams. This, this podcast is short and to the point, so you can get in your review and move on. The HR Certification Podcast is divided into different segments, and in each episode we’ll address a common question or HR topical area. To assist you in your review, we’ll review an HR glossary term, and then going to walk you through an exam question in every single episode. Again, this podcast is designed for the SHRM and HRCI exams. That includes the aPHR, the PHR, the SPHR, the SHRM-CP and the SHRM-SCP exams. You can review the podcast notes in the episode of this transcript to get more information to help you in your review, and head on over to to do just that.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:02:30.59] Over the last handful of years, both SHRM and HRCI have focused heavily on leadership and management frameworks. And those theories, in fact, as the BoCK or BASK expands, and it is, I’m finding that there are more and more of these parts of the HR knowledge base in theory, leadership theories and management theories that we need to become more familiar with. And they’re getting complex. So in this review session, I want to chat about a couple leadership theories that you need to be familiar with. This is an excerpt of a past video I did on McClelland’s Motivational Theory, which I’m including here now. Let’s go ahead and get started.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:03:08.09] We’re diving into today McClelland’s Motivational Theory in more detail. Now. McClelland’s theories were developed also in the 1960s, and he found that regardless of age, sex, or race, people’s life experiences shaped them in one or all of these motivators, making them more dominant than the other. The three motivators included power. The need to be in charge and be the leader. You’re driven by a need to be the boss, lady, or man. Next is achievement driven by a need to meet a goal, to accomplish a task, or to meet your own personal or group expectations. These individuals focused on achievement were not necessarily leaders, but they were good in completing tasks and projects, often on their own. And three is affiliation. These are individuals who are great as part of a team, but they are often secondary players. They can support a team or organization or a group of individuals, but they often aren’t the best leader or the person in charge for a specific group of individuals. Work Motivation Theory is one of the more common concepts and topics in leadership, and especially in human resources. McClelland’s theory really focuses on the evolution of the individual and how their experience shapes their unique leadership profile when you factor in the three different motivation types. Experts analyze which one fits and which is highest and lowest by conducting a Thematic Apperception Test. This test looks at or asks the individual to view images. It’s a common personality test, and it gives them ambiguous scenes or pictures and ask them to tell the individual what happened before the picture was taken. What’s happening now? How are people feeling and thinking, and then what’s going to happen? What’s the story after the fact?

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:28.16] Well, that’s McClellan’s theory. I hope this short review helped you understand the theory and why it’s one of my favorites and all my psychology and sociology classes. I lived for theories like this in college. My degree’s in anthropology. I feel like that’s what we talked a lot about. We’re going to move on to the next quick review, which is a review of McGregor’s X and Y theory.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:50.78] McGregor’s X and Y theory is such a great topic for us to be talking about in this new work from home world, because it is more challenging to control every situation and scenario, which is the goal of X theory. Employees must be motivated towards goals directed. The belief is that they dislike work and they need to be in control in order to obtain those leadership and business objectives. In the new post coronavirus work from home virtual world. It can be a challenge when you aspire or follow the management theory of McGregor’s X. Now, in theory Y, the belief is that employees are self-directed. They are intrinsically motivated to get work done because they love what they do. But if a manager isn’t in line with that belief, especially when you are working remote, it can be extremely challenging to control every person’s waking moment. Which is why right now I see a lot of work-from-home leaders wanting their employees to sit on zoom calls. They want to log in to this software that monitors your activities and if you step away from the computer for more than five minutes. Now to back up a little bit. McGregor’s X and Y theory was developed by Douglas McGregor in 1960, and this work-from-home world plays out and shows you theory X, which is that controlling manager that doesn’t believe that people innately want to do good work, they need to be motivated, they need to be controlled, they need to be directed and micromanaged in order to be able to accomplish tasks, to do their job. Versus theory Y, which is employees are self-directed. They are good. They want to be motivated, but they like to work on their own. And the belief is with that manager that these people will get the job done. Now for a second, I want you to think about which manager at your organization is theory X and which aspires to theory Y. Using this new research from Harvard Business Review, I am thinking about my own life as it applies to the McGregor’s X and Y theory. For me, there are some things that I just love doing in my job. I want you to think about those things that you love doing. If you get up in the morning, you start your day at 8 am. What are those things when faced with your to-do list that you get done, and you don’t have to be held accountable? For me, that’s strategy. I love the creation. I don’t like doing things like expense reports and invoicing and submitting things on deadline. That falls into theory X versus those things that I love doing, the creative and the strategy part, that’s theory Y. So the new movement, post McGregor’s X and Y theory is that you can have both, and it really depends on the individual as well as the culture of the organization.

Break: [00:08:49.69] I know that was a Fast and Furious review, but it’s time to take a reset while we move into our next segment here at the HR Certification Podcast, powered by Workology, I’m your host, Jessica Miller-Merrell. Just a reminder, Workology offers HR certification prep courses, and resources, and you can learn more about those by visiting our podcast website, or head over to workology, where there’s a variety of prep resources, including physical products like flashcards and study guides, along with courses for all different types of learners. Most importantly, these are accessible for you whenever and wherever you are. Our digital courses are on demand and are also accessible on our very own Workology app for Android or Apple iOS. I do want to hear from you. Send me your HR certification questions on TikTok and Insta@WorkologyBlog. I’m happy to answer questions here, connect there, or talk more about HR certification prep.

HR Glossary Term(s) – Balanced Scorecard

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:48.25] We are now moving into a special segment on the HR Certification Podcast, where we review an HR glossary term, and we do this for every single episode. These are all HR terms and definitions that cover the knowledge base for both SHRM and HRCI. Today’s HR glossary topic is a complex one, and that is becoming more complex as the business of HR expands. And we’re talking about terms that are not just HR but business terms. And the term today we’re talking about is a balanced scorecard. So let’s dive into the glossary term today which is balanced scorecard.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:10:25.87] Balanced scorecard is a strategic performance management tool used by organizations to translate their vision and strategy into actionable objectives and key performance indicators or KPIs across multiple perspectives. This provides a balanced view of organizational performance by considering things like financial and non-financial metrics in really four key perspectives. The first is the financial perspective. This perspective focuses on financial goals and measurements such as revenue growth, profitability, and return on investment or ROI. This helps assess the financial health and sustainability of the organization. The next section is customers perspective. This perspective focuses on customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty. It measures aspects of customer satisfaction scores, market share, and customer acquisition rates to ensure that the organization is meeting the needs and expectations of its customers. The third way to use balanced scorecards is an internal business process perspective. This perspective examines the internal processes and activities that drive organizational performance. They identify processes and measure efficiency, quality, and innovation to assure operational excellence and continuous improvement. The fourth way of a balanced scorecard use in work organizations is learning and growth perspective. This focuses on an organization’s ability to innovate, learn, and develop its people and capabilities. This includes the ability to measure employee training, maybe skills development, employee engagement, and organizational culture, all designed to foster a culture of learning and innovation. The balanced scorecard helps organizations align their strategic objectives with operational activities, monitor performance against targets, and communicate strategic priorities across the organization. By incorporating measures from multiple perspectives, this provides a more comprehensive view of organizational performance and enables informed decision-making, which we all want. It’s designed to help drive sustainable growth and success.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:12:35.41] Other types of scorecards within HR. Let’s run through a list. We have diversity, risk, talent acquisition, and even an HR scorecard. There are so many different scorecards outside of HR, customer success and even a sales scorecard. There is literally a scorecard for every aspect of the business, and I think these are a great way to provide a quick overview. Review and review and insights into target areas inside or outside of HR. Without going into the weeds of it. That is a review of balanced scorecard.

HR Test Question Review for SHRM and HRCI Certification Exams

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:13:07.23] So we’re now moving into a special section of the HR Certification podcast where we review and HR test question. This is one of my favorites. This test question will cover both knowledge bases for SHRM and HRCI. Before I share our test question for today, I do want to walk you through a quick review of our HR test question framework. More information is about this. You can run it through. You need to have a strategy on your test questions. I’ll link to my video over on the Workology YouTube channel that will walk through this. But briefly, there are five steps to the HR test question framework. Step one, read each question slowly and concisely. Step two, identify the competency within HR. Three, eliminate the wrong answers. Step four, is what would SHRM or HRCI do? You want to think about the test question written from somebody at SHRM or HRCI and think about what they would answer the question. And then step five is to go with your gut. Let’s go ahead and get started to our featured podcast episode practice test question.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:14:09.84] Now, according to which of the following models does having a say in goal setting and action plans encourage participation and commitment among employees as well as aligning objectives across the organization? Is it A) The Addie model? B) Management by objectives or MBO. C) Six Sigma or D) a balanced scorecard? Let me walk through that question for you a second time.

According to which of the following models does having a say in goal setting and action plans encourage participation and commitment among employees, as well as aligning objectives across the organization? Is it…

A) Addie

B) Management by objectives

C) Six sigma or…

D) Balanced scorecard.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:14:58.50] And the answer is,  drum roll please. The answer is B) Management by objectives or MBO, is a strategic management model aimed at improving organizational performance by setting clearly defined objectives that are agreed upon by both management and employees. For just a minute, let’s think about how you might be able to use this in your own role right now. How can you do? How can you use management by objectives? So let’s walk through an example here. Our objective is going to be increase attendance and reduce absenteeism by 15% within the next quarter. So some key activities we could do by MBO would be maybe conducting an analysis of attendance records to look at trends or patterns. We could also implement a recognition program to reward employees with great attendance or minimal absences. Three, we could provide training for managers on how to effectively manage attendance issues and support employees with attendance challenges. When we love that, and four, we could communicate the importance of attendance and its impact on productivity and team morale. Lastly, one of the other options could be to offer flexible scheduling options for remote work where it’s feasible to accommodate employee needs.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:16:11.70] As far as the measurement piece of this, we need to try to track attendance regularly, monitor changes in absenteeism rates. We could also conduct an employee survey or maybe feedback sessions to get perceptions on maybe attendance improvement initiatives that we’re rolling out. We could also review productivity metrics and team performance. If we can tie increased productivity to attendance. It’s going to help us encourage certain business outcomes. Now, this is an example of how MBO can be used to set a specific objective, outline key activities, and achieve those objectives while establishing maybe measurement or a way to track progress. So just walking you through this one. Management by objectives. If you got it wrong, do not worry. Make a note for yourself. Review this topic, listen to this podcast again and add this MBO topic to your daily review. I do have more test questions. We have some free ones you can head on over to our 25 free test question bank at

Closing: [00:17:14.85] Closing things out here. HR certification is such an important step in your career. Whether you’re looking to increase your HR knowledge base, maybe gain credibility at the office, increase your earning potential, or prove to yourself that you deserve it. You deserve all these things you really do. Together, let’s elevate the HR profession. Thank you for joining me in this episode of the HR Certification Podcast. My name is Jessica Miller-Merrell. I help HR leaders ace their HR certification exams. Let me do the same for you with our courses and resources designed to help you ace your HR certification exam. Visit to learn more about we help, how we help prep for the aPHR, the PHR, the SPHR, the CP with SHRM and the SHRM-SCP exams. If you have a suggestion for an upcoming podcast episode, we want to hear it. Send me a note over on Instagram or TikTok@WorkologyBlog. Make a suggestion. Ask a question. Let me know what kind of support you need. Thank you for joining me on this episode of the HR Certification Podcast. Until next time, we’ll see you again. Bye! Have a great day.

– HR Certification Quiz 

– HR Certification: SHRM and HRCI 

– Workology on Youtube | HR Test Question Framework

– Workology on Youtube | What is a Passing Score on the SHRM and HRCI Exams 

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 10: Total Rewards Review for HRCI & SHRM

 – HR Certification Podcast Episode 11: Reviewing Business Acumen For HRCI & SHRM Exams

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 12: Answering Your SHRM & HRCI Exam Questions

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 13: HR Metrics & Formula Review For HRCI & SHRM

– Workology Podcast | Ep 161 – The Value of HR Certification: #HRCI or #SHRM?

– Workology Podcast | Episode 262: Test-Taking Strategies for HRCI and SHRM Certification

How to Subscribe to the HR Certification Podcast

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