The evaluation of a helping skills training programme for psychometrists
Psychometrists have to be capable of stimulating growth and of assisting employees during psychometric assessments, seeing that the content of the instruments used might bring about psychological trauma. Graduate psychometrists often lack the interpersonal skills and knowledge, as well as the intrapersonal awareness, to sufficiently fulfil a helping role in the workplace. The objectives of this research were to conceptualise helping and the competencies associated with helping from the literature, to investigate what the content and methodology of a helping skills training programme should include, and to evaluate the effects of a helping skills training programme for psychometrists. The participants were Industrial Psychology Honours students from the School of Human Resource Sciences at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. The entire population comprising 22 (N = 22) students were utilised. The stratified random sampling technique was used to divide the participants into the experimental and comparison groups. Three measuring instruments (Carkhuff scales, Personal Growth Initiative Scale and the Scales of Psychological Well-being) were administered before and after the training programme. The training programme in helping skills was administered to the experimental group first, where after their interpersonal skills and intrapersonal awareness were assessed during the post-tests. Descriptive statistics, Cronbach alpha coefficients, correlations and an Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were used to analyse the data. The ANCOVA analysis confirmed the statistical and practical significance of three core dimensions of helping, namely empathy, respect and genuineness among the members of the experimental group, as well as the improvement in the helping skills of Responding to content and Personalising meaning. However, the dimension of concreteness did not show significant improvement. There was also no statistical or practical significant differences between the experimental and comparison group for personal growth or psychological well-being. However, one dimension of psychological well-being, namely purpose in life, improved in the experimental group.