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Is Praise The Best Way To Motivate Employees?

It is fair to say that society has reached a point in which excessive praise is being offered to the rich and powerful. The upper tiers of our present society have been showered with awards, honours and superstar status. Billionaires and philanthropists alike are massively applauded for their work and charities which turn out to have very little impact on the world. The effects of this practice of praising excessively are worth taking into account and raise some concerns. By praising people, even though they deserve it can have a negative impact on how they behave.

Numerous psychological studies have been done on this subject and they have demonstrated that people are highly responsive to moral compensation. In layman terms, this means that when people feel they have acted well, they also feel that it gives them permission to engage in negative behaviours in the future. The reverse works the same way. If more and more studies come out and prove the accuracy of the aforementioned studies then humanity can practically see the social consequences of praise and/or blame. Too much praise could lead people to act badly, whilst blaming them when they make mistakes could lead to positive behaviour. So how many influential, wealthy and powerful people does the world need to harm society irreversibly?

Every organisation knows that culture without revenue is not feasible or sustainable. If a company wouldn’t be growing financially, there would be a complete shift in culture. It is important to have fun, but it’s never in first place. In order to get the best out of employees it is recommended to explain your expectations from them since day one. If employees understand the culture and how success is determined, they will be off to a flying start.

However, giving feedback remains one of the most difficult things a manager has to do. In a survey which amounted 7,631 people, 44% of them agreed that giving their employees negative reviews is difficult and stressful. Some quotes from the managers interviewed have surfaced the negative impact it has on them: “I just wanted to get it over quickly”, “They don’t pay me enough to do this”, “I did not sleep the night before” and “My hands were sweating and I was nervous”. Given the anxiety managers are facing when they have to offer negative feedback, 21% admitted that they avoid giving the negative feedback altogether.

In a comparative study 328 managers’ self-assessments were correlated with results from 360-degree feedback surveys. Each leader was rated by an average of 13 respondents on a variety of behaviours, including “Gives honest feedback in a helpful way.” The ones who rated that thought a person was effective in giving feedback were most influenced by the leader’s comfort and willingness to give positive reinforcement. Whether the manager gave negative feedback did not make a big difference — unless the leader avoided giving positive feedback. This was also true when we looked only at the ratings of direct reports.

When the study looked into the managers’ self-assessments, however, there was a totally changed point of view. There was a strong correlation between people who believe they give “honest, straightforward” feedback and those who give negative feedback, regardless of whether they also give positive feedback.

Leaders obviously carry some incorrect beliefs about the value and benefits of different forms of feedback. They vastly underestimate the power and necessity of positive reinforcement. However, in reverse, they greatly overestimate the value and benefit of negative or corrective feedback. In all, they misjudge the impact negative feedback has on how they are perceived by their colleagues, bosses, and direct reports. Giving only negative feedback diminishes a leader’s effectiveness in the eyes of others and does not have the effect they believe it has.

Perhaps in an effort to provide employees with what they believe is direct, honest feedback, managers who prefer giving negative feedback may come across as only looking for what’s wrong. Some employees have described this as, “Quick to criticise and slow to praise.” While the findings do not directly reveal why managers are so hesitant to give positive feedback, the study that involved the leaders suggests that there could be a variety of reasons. Perhaps it starts with the perception that the really good managers are the tough graders who are not afraid to tell people what’s wrong. Possibly they believe that giving people positive feedback will encourage a subordinate to let up or coast. Maybe they are emulating their prior bosses who gave little praise, but who pointed out any mistake or weakness. Some may believe it a sign of weakness to praise subordinates. Maybe they just don’t know how to effectively deliver appreciation or praise. Or maybe they intend to give kudos, but feel so busy that the days slip by and they never quite remember to send out that note of praise for a job well done.

In conclusion, the findings suggest that if you want to be seen as a good feedback-giver, you should proactively develop the skill of giving praise as well as criticism. Giving positive feedback shows your direct reports that you are in their corner, and that you want them to win and to succeed. Once people know you are their advocate, it should also make giving criticism less stressful and more effective.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.inc.com/tom-gimbel/why-praising-your-staff-might-be-the-most-dangerous-thing-you-do-today.html

https://www.fastcompany.com/90394590/this-is-the-negative-effects-of-praise-that-youve-probably-never-thought-about

https://hbr.org/2017/05/why-do-so-many-managers-avoid-giving-praise

Cultural Conflict in the Workplace

Cultural conflict in the workplace is never healthy and may lead to significant drops in productivity and morale. Managing such conflicts leads to a more harmonious workplace and, more often than not, garnering more creative ideas through multiculturalism.

Nowadays, companies have culturally diverse teams and it guarantees them success in the long term. Besides common sense, scientific studies have also revealed the fact that people with distinctive points of view and personalities increases the creativity of a team in solving their tasks. This is an honest assumption if we consider that every team member is pulling in the same direction.

A few years ago, Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Roy Y. J. Chua started to think about the impact of various cultures when working on a case study about a Chinese luxury apparel company. From his observations he discovered that there was a lot of unresolved conflict, miscommunication and tension between people of different cultures. Even when asked about their issues people did not seem to think there is a problem between them.

From his previous studies, Chua has compared the cultural problems and discrimination to hostile work environments where sexual harassment or racial discrimination were the underlying troubles. In these instances as well, co-workers’ performance and morale dipped even when they were not the targets of the aforementioned abuses. This is what is called ‘indirect conflict’ and it happens more often than companies think. For example, children who observe tensions between their parents may grow sceptical of the idea of marriage and just as citizens of USA and Mexico may have a growing hatred for each other due to the bickering their leaders have. So isn’t it possible that it could happen in the workplace?

Further Analysis Requirements

In order to further his discoveries professor Chua had decided to test his hypothesis with a series of studies. In the first study, a group of online participants were asked to make a list of their most important people on their own social media profiles, making note of their cultural backgrounds and if they were in good relations with one another. In the second part of the study, professor Chua has asked the participants to do a word association exercise in order to test their ability to connect distinct ideas from various cultures – this being the precursor to creativity on a global scale. In the exercise, they have been given the words “great”, “street” and “Berlin” and their answers should have been “Great Wall”, “Wall Street” and “Berlin Wall”. The findings from this exercise revealed that participants who had a more diverse pool of people on social media and disliked each other did around 23% worse on the test.

In Chua’s second study, he had asked the participants to think about 2 or 3 people from the same or different cultural backgrounds who have a reputation for not getting along too well with other people. Furthermore, study participants were asked to read professor Chua’s Chinese fashion house case study and then make their own suggestions for the collection that was going to be launched next year which would blend Asian and Western fashion styles. After this, fashion experts were asked to judge the creativity of their ideas. They have determined that the people with the least creative side were the ones who recalled friends from various cultural backgrounds who had conflicting relationships (e.g. 23% lower creativity score than the rest). Another interesting point discovered by Chua was that participants who saw people from different cultures having a good relationship, that it did not promote creativity, leading professor Chua to the conclusion that “As human beings, we pay more attention to negative information because it is a signal of danger. Positive information tends to be given less weight.”

CULTURAL SHOWDOWN

The experiments performed by Chua have demonstrated that for people working in multicultural business environments, it may be a slight risk but at the same time it underlined the importance of creating an environment that reduces intercultural disharmony. He went on to say “It is inevitable to have conflict when you bring people from different cultural backgrounds together,” he says. “It’s about how you manage the conflict. A lot of times managers try to put together a multicultural workplace without trying to integrate people better.”

It is fair to assume that if you were to be exposed to different work environments and ethics which differ to the ones you have grown accustomed to. This will most likely lead to wrong assumptions regarding your colleagues or managers and not with you. For instance, there may be a problem for people who celebrate Ramadan or the Lunar New Year who are living in Europe, because most Europeans do not value the importance of these holidays.

The reason this usually happens is because people have a tendency to over-value their own culture. We tend to believe that the way we do things, we communicate, we make decisions or lead is the most natural, polite, civilised and effective. Due to the clash between 2 cultures, we under-value and disapprove the new culture due to the fact that we are so set in our own ways.

There isn’t a simple recipe to manage cultural friction in the workplace, but solving it does create a harmonious workplace and the company can use the creative force which brought on by multiculturalism.

In order to manage cultural conflict here are a few things companies can do:

  • Cultural background research on all employees.
  • Remember never to pass on judgement through you own cultural frame of reference.
  • Developing self-awareness in all employees in order to be more conscious in approaching another person
  • Reconciliation is key as a leadership skill
  • Becoming as culturally competent as possible and develop traits such as compassion, empathy, behavioural and thinking flexibility and emotional resilience.

In conclusion, it is fair to assume that this information does not mean the company’s cross-cultural conflict is completely and forever solved, but it definitely is a step in the right direction.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.londonschool.com/lsic/resources/blog/conflict-workplace-its-personal-even-when-its-cultural/

https://www.expatica.com/employment/employment-basics/dealing-with-cultural-conflicts-at-work-422715/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2013/12/09/how-cultural-conflict-undermines-workplace-creativity/#5cf7b03e214f

The Rise of Analytics in HR

Back in 2017, in Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends report, it has been revealed that people analytics was a top trend and a top priority for every respectable organisation. 71% of companies that were surveyed for the report have stated that people analytics is of great priority.

It has become more and more evident that data analytics in HR have become to matter more than ever before. Although people skills remain a top priority for every HR manager, there are numerous companies and non-profit organisations that are using data and are calculating everything from talent acquisition and productivity to retention and job structure. This shift towards data and analytics is saving businesses tremendous amounts of money.

Furthermore, the data which is being collected is being used by analytics experts and HR managers alike to study and learn more about employee behaviour, overtime patterns, how people relate with each other in the workplace, time management – all of this to better understand their workforce and how to boost the company’s performance and production.

Oracle is another company that has been doing its very own global survey in order to better grasp where HR is in terms of analytical functionality within an organisation. Their findings have revealed that HR departments are one of the most analytical in various companies, and it’s even pulling ahead a bit in relation to the Finance department. Some HR departments are actually using the latest technology in predictive and prescriptive models and, in some specific cases, artificial intelligence.

This is an enormous shift from ten years ago when studies began to arise in talent analytics. At that time, the only player that was using sophisticated HR analytics was Google. Back in those days, there was a ‘normal’ amount of reporting that was happening, but there wasn’t anyone designated to predict. A minority of HR organisations even had an analytics employee. To better put things into perspective, ‘HR analytics’ was typically understood as a conversation about the total number of employees the company had and how to better measure the employees’ level of engagement.

Even before the surveys from Deloitte or Oracle came out, there was a definite shift in trends in today’s modern organisation. Most multinational corporations have a few employees, specifically, to just analyse data. Nowadays, there are various conferences around the world tailored to this specific topic. Organisations now alter or adapt the way they do business in order to shape growth, engagement and other variables which are considered key.

The aforementioned Oracle survey involved 1,510 respondents from 5 continents and 23 countries. Through these respondents, there were senior managers, vice-presidents and directors from HR (61%), 28% from Finance and 10% from general management. It is also important to know that all executives that have participated were from businesses with at least 100 million dollars in revenue. The detailed statistics are as follows:

  • 51% of HR respondents could perform predictive or prescriptive analytics, by contrast only 37% of Finance respondents could tackle these advanced forms of analytics.
  • 89% were in agreement with the statement “My HR function is highly skilled at using data to determine future workforce plans currently (e.g. talent needed),” and only 1% disagreed.
  • 94% of respondents agreed that “We are able to predict the likelihood of turnover in critical roles with a high degree of confidence currently.”
  • 94% also concurred that “We have accurate, real-time insight into our employees’ career development goals currently.”
  • When respondents answered this question “Which of the following analytics are you using?” “artificial intelligence” had the highest response rate, 31%. When asked to further explain how they used AI, the most common answer was “identifying at-risk talent through attrition modelling,” “predicting high-performing recruits,” and “sourcing best-fit candidates with resume analysis.”

So why is it that HR departments have become more ‘natural’ in their use of advanced analytics than Finance, which is theoretically work based around numbers? In most cases, this is because Finance organisations and the respective CFOs that have lead them found it extremely difficult to move from reporting and descriptive analytics towards advanced analytics that are being used nowadays.

The reason why Oracle has chosen to survey both the HR and Finance executives and managers is due to the simple fact that there has been a serious increase in their need to cooperate. Given the fact that most often than not employee expenditures represent a company’s highest costs and because an organisation’s financial position will always guide the size of the business, there is a clear need for symbiosis.  Fortunately, the Oracle survey has found that high levels of collaboration are already in place. In the same survey, it has been discovered that 82% of respondents agreed and strongly agreed, with only 5% of them disagreeing, that “Integrating HR and Finance data is a top priority for us this year.” However, not everything is pitch perfect. Numerous interviews conducted post-survey have brought to light the fact that there are many more opportunities to be seized further than sharing of data and cooperating on analytics.

In conclusion, it would be stretch to think that analytics will solve HR’s every problem, but they can definitely provide a deeper understanding of every department within an organisation, help train HR specialists into developing projects that can enhance talent investments whilst also monitoring and developing recruitment, engagement, development, retention, productivity and many more workplace activities.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://bovardcollege.usc.edu/hr-analytics-are-a-driving-force-in-recruitment-retention-and-productivity/

https://hbr.org/2019/04/is-hr-the-most-analytics-driven-function?ab=hero-subleft-2

https://lesley.edu/article/how-hr-analytics-are-changing-business

Compartmentalisation and its Benefits

Compartmentalisation is an aspect which, whether we like it or not, applies to everything regarding our day to day lives. Given the fact that we are now connected to the whole wide world 24/7, it has become more important than ever to set boundaries and also respect them, which is, of course, no easy task. The obvious downside of not compartmentalizing and creating boundaries is that it inevitably leads to an ever-growing feeling of resentment over time. Sticking to your list is of the utmost importance.

Psychologically, compartmentalisation is seen as a defence or coping mechanism of the mind in order to protect itself which does not make it for a good read. In layman terms, our brains try to deal with various conflicting ideas at the same time. To put things into perspective, here a few examples: a person who lives the office in the evening and doesn’t want to think about work for the rest of the night because he wishes to enjoy some quality family time at game, a doctor who is religious and had to separate his or her beliefs in order to practice medicine at the highest standard or in even more extreme cases (because those exist too) soldiers who need to detach themselves from the traumatic events they have encountered in order for them to continue to operate in future battles.

In terms of coping strategies and exercises, they are mostly effective for a short period of time with both positive and negative aspects. It is beneficial for a person to compartmentalise, but you do not want to overdo it. To put things into perspective, the soldiers that have been mentioned above that are repressing their combat experiences, the moment they return to their normal lives back home, they experience numerous flashback episodes that are putting a huge strain on their mental health, especially in the cases of soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Shell Shock as it was once known right after World War I.

As with every existing idea or suggestion, there are arguments and counter-arguments for carrying through with something or not. There is sufficient scientific data that leads to the idea of the multiple benefits of de-compartmentalisation. The theory in which people leave their personal lives in front of the office door sounds pretty amazing, in any way you like at it. However, in real life this actually means not bringing our entire personality and mentality to work. To be honest, a clear-cut delimitation between personal and professional is almost impossible for our minds to execute. Furthermore, social media is not helping anyone remaining 100% professional given the fact that most of us are connected on Facebook and/or Instagram with our colleagues.

Recent research has revealed a fact that always seemed as an added bonus at the office and that is to have workplace friendships, due to the simple fact that it leads to a significant increase in engagement, satisfaction and productivity. In 2014 survey where 716 working Americans were part of it, 71% of them loved their job given the fact that they had friends in the workforce, whilst only 24% of people surveyed enjoyed their job without having any friends.

To strengthen this point, in the New York Times bestseller ‘Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements’ the author has said the following after analysing data gathered from Gallup studies from 150 countries: “Those who [have a best friend at work] are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs, are better at engaging customers, produce higher-quality work, have higher well-being, and are less likely to get injured on the job.”

Somehow, unsurprisingly, women have the ‘upper-hand’ in this matter, with 63% of office friendship being female-female. Furthermore, men also have fewer close friends outside of the office than women.

Learning to Compartmentalise

As stated above, compartmentalising requires isolating separate tasks in order for you to focus on each one exclusively.

The process of keeping work responsibilities and your personal life separate is definitely challenging, simply because this separation includes thoughts as well as actions. If, for example, you’re reading a bedtime story to your children in bed whilst also mentally composing an email for a client, you are creating a tremendous amount of stress and you will fail to offer your family the attention they deserve.
Compartmentalisation skills can be strengthened through the establishment of a time period that acts as a buffer between home and work life. If you commute, try to switch off by rewinding everything you did that day, plan ahead for the next day and realise that the work day is over. If home and family issues are the ones interfering with your work, use the same technique during the morning commute.

Prevent Multitasking

Even after you’ve established a strong mental separation between home and work, you can easily get distracted by the mere temptation of multitasking.

As compelling as multitasking is, it isn’t always the most effective way of operating. Some studies even have suggested that productivity falls up to 40% just by switching tasks.

If you’ve always been used to juggle numerous tasks at once, it can be fairly difficult to break that habit all of the sudden and change the way you work. Due to the fact that modern technology is one of the main factors of wanting to multitask, simply start by avoiding any type of screens you have while away from work.

One of the major distracting factors are social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. It would be wise to either turn off their notifications or installing apps that automatically block their activity during working hours.

Know and Understand Your Work

As vital as compartmentalisation is, there will be times when you will have to accept that you will need to multitask or that you cannot ignore external distractions. Usually, this is the case when there are major developments either positive or negative in one aspect of life or another.  If you manage to compartmentalise even 25% of your time, there will be a noticeable improvement in your work-life balance.

Just as the saying goes: ‘One thing at a time’, can be extremely useful even though it’s an old as time cliché.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.lifehack.org/789803/how-to-compartmentalize-time

https://www.inc.com/marissa-levin/focusing-on-whats-in-front-of-you-how-to-become-an-expert-at-compartmentalization.html

https://www.bustle.com/p/11-successful-women-on-how-they-compartmentalize-8380044

Employee Loneliness and its Impact on Organisations

Loneliness is a painful and complex emotion. Loneliness has more to do with a person’s quality of social relationships rather than their quantity.

Loneliness has been studied for decades in psychological literature when it comes to social or personal lives. But how much research is there on being lonely in the workplace? Not a lot, which comes as no surprise.  As awareness about loneliness increases — British Prime Minister Teresa May appointed a minister for loneliness earlier this year, it’s important to understand exactly how people experience loneliness in their jobs. How does it affect their work? How does it shape their relationships with their colleagues? And what can employers or HR departments do to help a lonely employee?

In general, it was discovered that lonely employees tend to isolate themselves, they begin to feel less connected to their organisation’s values, and can be seen by colleagues as more distant and less inclined in discussing both work-related and personal matters.  These findings add to the voluminous research literature showing that the behaviour of lonely people has the effect of increasing their own loneliness. Even though the person may desperately wish to connect or re-connect with others, they see their environment has become threatening. Thus perpetuating a vicious cycle where loneliness leads to greater social vigilance. As a result, lonelier people are more likely to pull away.

In a research study conducted by California State University and the Wharton School of Business which has surveyed 672 employees and their 114 supervisors from 143 work team units have found that “an employee’s work loneliness triggers emotional withdrawal from their organization, as reflected their increased surface acting and reduced affective commitment.” and “The results also show that co-workers can recognize this loneliness and see it hindering team member effectiveness.”  Researchers have concluded that”…management should not treat work loneliness as a private problem that needs to be individually resolved by employees who experience this emotion; but rather should consider it as an organizational problem that needs to be addressed both for the employees’ sake and that of the organization.”

The company’s culture plays a crucial role in expressing the values and norms about the emotions that are allowed to be expressed at work. In our study, we found that a stronger versus a weaker emotional culture of sharing love (e.g. expressions of affection and compassion among employees) diminishes the negative relationship between workplace loneliness and affective commitment to the organisation.

Look for reasons to show your appreciation

Global research shows that people who feel appreciated are most likely to produce the best work. Let people know their value to the organisation, the culture, the team, and to you, as a manager or employer.

If you think workplace loneliness isn’t an issue you need to be concerned about then think again. Healthy workplace relationships are beneficial for employees in many ways. They help people to deal with work-related frustrations and stress, whilst simultaneously encouraging bonding through sharing successes and positive experiences.

However, it seems that employees are getting lonelier and lonelier. Despite the rise in popularity of open-plan offices specially designed to foster interaction and good communication, a recent UK-based study done by Totaljobs found that more than one-third of employees report having no strong relationships at work. As people spend close to a quarter of their lives at work, job isolation can have serious and very complex implications.

The case of cultural fit

If most people in an organisation or team share similar attitudes and personality traits, a person who differs in these respects may start to feel isolated and will struggle to bond with colleagues or even have a sense of belonging.

Another aspect of organisational culture that can prevent employees from forming relationships is represented by the lack of ‘psychological safety’; a quintessential element for effective teamwork. In companies or teams that do not meet the necessary psychological safe requirements, team members do not feel swayed to take social risks, such as revealing emotions, for fear of disapproval by colleagues.

In teams or organisations where a ‘openness’  isn’t promoted or associated with psychological safety, the potential for building relationships tends to be limited; employees are likely to keep to themselves, restricting how much they reveal about themselves to their colleagues.

What can be done to prevent workplace loneliness?

So, knowing what we do about workplace loneliness, what can be done to prevent and reduce it? There are numerous steps that can be taken by employers and employees.

A key approach is for employers to focus on hiring for culture fit. By assessing the fit between candidates’ personality characteristics and the organisational culture, employers can minimise the risk of hiring those who are going to struggle to fit within the company.

Finally, employers can also help to promote workplace relationships through various teambuilding exercises or adopting a transformational leadership style that is based on interpersonal trust. Of course, employees themselves can have a huge impact on loneliness through day-to-day interactions with one another. Unfortunately, is often difficult for employees to open up to colleagues about loneliness, for fear of the admission being met with ridicule and isolation. It is therefore important for employees to help identify any colleagues that may be struggling at building lasting relationships with other members of the team.

Finally, employees should contact their employers or managers if they have any suggestions for improving relationship-building, which in turn will lead to a tremendous increase in employee well-being and productivity.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://good.co/understanding-workplace-loneliness/

https://www.inc.com/todd-nordstrom/feeling-lonely-at-work-it-could-be-destroying-your-potential-heres-what-to-do-about-it.html

https://hbr.org/2018/04/the-painful-cycle-of-employee-loneliness-and-how-it-hurts-companies/

 

Why Are Employees Leaving their Jobs

Retaining your top talent is every bit as important as attracting new top performers due to the simple fact that a high employee turnover is very costly to every organisation. Hence, managers should always be open and communicative with their employees and do their best to understand why their employees stay and what do they stay for. In the case of those who leave, they should find out why they quit.

A company can ‘achieve’ a high employee turnover for numerous reasons such as following their loved ones to their new job, or they stay at home with their newborn children, they seek a better position in another organisation, they wish to further their studies or they simply change their career field.  These types of events in an employee’s life are difficult to predict by the organisation because they revolve around events that occur in everyone’s life at one moment or another.

However, the majority of reasons why companies have a high employee turnover rate can be managed by the employers. To be more specific, organisational aspects such as workplace environment, culture and the perception an employee creates in relation to his job and responsibilities represent elements that factor in how an employee is affected.

As mentioned earlier, the best way in which to retain your top employees is to keep a close eye on what they think and what they want out of their professional life. Do they believe their work matters? Do they feel they need more of a challenge because their work right now seems dull to them? Is the communication style in the office suited to their needs? All of these questions should help out managers determine how happy and engaged their employees are.

In order to determine if your employees are happy with how things are going one solution is to simply ask them. Take the necessary course of action and carry out stay interviews in order to evaluate why employees stay with your organisation. Pay close attention to the factors that determine them to keep working for the company and then enhance them if possible. No employee leaves because they have it too good, everyone wants to leave for a reason. Discover those motives before it’s too late.

Offer your employees the best possible opportunities for them to do their job within the organisation and your retention levels will soar.

Firstly, let’s talk about salary. Let us not kid ourselves; salary is important, of course, but it does not represent the number one why employees leave. In a recent Gallup study, it has been revealed that salary cannot buy employee loyalty. In their findings, only 22% of respondents have even mentioned salary as the number one reason for their departure from a company. The rest of the respondents have stated reasons that are within a manager’s reach to change or influence for the better.

As a manager, there are a few things you can do in order to reverse the decision of employees who wish to leave.

1. No Opportunity for Advancement

From an evolutionary standpoint, the human race has always been looking for new ways in which to better itself. Being humans themselves, employees are always on the lookout for opportunities to advance their skills in order to advance their careers. In particular, employees from Generation Y and Z wish for their employers to provide them with the necessary tools and training programmes so that they can improve themselves. Consequently, if they start to feel that their job has become routine or their managers show little to no interest in their progress, their natural reaction will be to leave. This represents one of the best predictors of high employee turnover rates. Employees want to have opportunities through which they learn and hone their skills. In Gallup’s Q12 engagement survey, employees who agree with the following statements are more likely to say they feel they have the required opportunities to move up the ladder.

  • “In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.”
  • “My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.”
  • “At work, my opinions seem to count.”
  • “There is someone at work who encourages my development.”

It comes to no surprise that 92% of these respondents have stated that they see themselves working in the same company one year later.

2. Professional Relationships

It becomes more and more evident that employees do not leave a company; they leave their teams and managers. If an employee has a conflict with the manager, then there is only a matter of time until he or she leaves. At the same time, it is also true that if an employee doesn’t manage to make any friends at the workplace or have someone for a quick chat during breaks, most likely his engagement and happiness levels are low and may be looking to relocate.

3. Flexibility

Given the unpredictability and the need for alertness in today’s society, the majority of employees struggle to juggle their jobs with their busy personal lives. As a result, people are actively looking to work from home or try to adjust their hours and schedules accordingly, obviously without jeopardising both their professional and personal lives.

53 % of respondents in the Gallup study mentioned earlier have said that for them a great work-life balance and wellbeing is very important, especially for female employees. Furthermore, 51% of employees said they would make the switch to a new job if they had the possibility of a more flexible schedule whilst 37% of them would relish the opportunity to work from home at least half the time. In these ever-changing times, managers must show their employees they matter and find solutions in which employees feel they have control and that it also makes sense business-wise.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/311292

https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/why-are-your-employees-quitting-a-study-says-it-comes-down-to-any-of-these-6-reasons.html

https://www.thebalance.com/top-reasons-why-employees-quit-their-job-1918985

Sleep Deprivation and How it Affects Performance

Right after managers and employees have their first interaction, the process of forging their working relationship begins, which is a crucial factor in how they both are going to experience work, how much trust there will be between one another, and how effectively they can carry out assignments.  A new and possibly forgotten predictor in the quality of these work relations is sleep. Sleep deprivation for either the manager or employee or both could make them experience an increase in negative emotions at the workplace. Usually, these emotions are represented by hostility. Everyone reading this can remember at least one time when fewer hours of sleep translated into a short temper at the office. This is a common experience for almost everyone in the workforce and, most of the times, it is directly linked to sleep deprivation due to the fact that fewer hours of sleep impairs the part of the brain that regulates emotions.

Hostility can be dangerous for a new professional relationship. Hostility leads to the feeling of threat and can easily deteriorate the psychological safety of people in every possible context. If managers happen to yell at an employee once, it may not be an issue, nevertheless, if this a common practice in the office, employees may feel that their manager is lacking respect and empathy, hence leading to a weak work relationship.

Unfortunately, today’s business world promotes sleep deprivation as the highest ranking achievement possible. If you’re always busy and cannot be bothered to sleep then you’re definitely on the way to the top. The problem here is that science says the exact opposite, so who do we believe? It may sound tempting to trade away some hours of sleep in order to finish a few tasks, but by doing you may sabotage your own success and health. Perhaps it is time to get some sleep, or else you may face numerous risks.

At Harvard Medical School the Division of Sleep Medicine revealed the fact that short-term productivity gains from skipping sleep are quickly downplayed by the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on a person’s mood, his or her ability to focus and access to higher-level brain functions. Interestingly enough, the negative effects of sleep deprivation are so considerable that even people who drink manage to outperform those without sleep.

Why We Need Acceptable Hours of Sleep

We all know that sleep is good for our brain and new found evidence from the research done by the University of Rochester has provided us with clear evidence on why your brain cells need you to rest. The study states that when people sleep the brain removes the toxic proteins from its neurons (by-products of neural activity while we’re awake). Unfortunately for us, the brain can only do while we’re asleep. Consequently, the toxic proteins remain in the brain cells, impairing our ability to think and no amount of coffee can solve that. These toxins slow our ability to process information and problem solving; it can also kill our creativity whilst catapulting our stress levels and emotional reactivity through the roof.

What Sleep Deprivation Does to Our Health

Sleep deprivation has been heavily linked to numerous serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and even obesity. The lack of sleep stresses us out because our body overproduces the stress hormone when its sleep deprived, also known as cortisol. Excess in cortisol levels has a host of negative effects that come from the damage it inflicts on our immune system. High cortisol in our body results in looking older, due to the fact that cortisol destroys skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.

Sleep deprivation also compromises our body’s ability to metabolise carbohydrates and control our food intake. Sleeping less and less results into eating more and more and also increasing the difficulty in burning the calories we consume. Due to the lack of sleep, our bodies get hungrier much faster and that is done through the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and it also makes it harder for us to get full because it reduces levels of the satiety-inducing hormone leptin. There is a 30% increase in the likelihood of becoming obese for people who sleep less than 6 hours a night rather than those who sleep between 7 to 9 hours a night.

Besides the fact that it may harm professional relationships, sleep deprivation can also deplete us of the very traits that make us good at our jobs. For example, workplace leaders are known for their charisma and which translates into making employees want to work for and with them. Sleep deprivation saps all of the outstanding personality traits and all we are left with is a robotic, difficult person in its place.

Sleep is a critical part of our wellbeing and without it, we get emotional, stressed-out, forgetful, disorganised people at work. We are more likely to feel helpless and be unable to perform even the most menial of tasks or change perspective when our plans go awry. It’s time we stop encouraging sleep deprivation at the workplace. It’s not doing our career or our bodies any favours.

We have an impressive assessment library with hundreds of dimensions that can be leveraged in creating a custom skills-based assessment that supports your organisation’s specific competencies and unique vision. Please contact us if you need to measure the engagement level in your company.

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Sources:

https://hbr.org/2017/08/research-sleep-deprivation-can-make-it-harder-to-stay-calm-at-work

https://medium.com/the-mission/sleep-deprivation-is-killing-you-and-your-career-fd33e16ccf7f

https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/16762-drunk-on-the-job-if-you-re-sleep-deprived-you-might-as-well-be

 

Being a Great Leader: the fine line between Confidence and Skepticism

You’ve probably heard, over and over again, about the importance of self-confidence for a leader. Confidence gives you charisma. It makes people follow you. It makes friends trust you and enemies fear you.

It’s pretty hard to imagine Caesar or Napoleon telling their people “Well, we could try this, but I don’t guarantee that it’ll work.” So why should you, if you aspire to become a great leader?

But let’s leave confidence aside for a minute. There’s another element which most leaders of today are lacking. Have you ever had a boss who thought he knew all the answers to every question? Who never admitted he was wrong or, even more, that idea didn’t even cross his mind? Of course you did. In one word, do you know what that guy was missing? It was skepticism. Will all the praise of confidence and self-esteem, almost everyone forgot the importance of a certain dose of self-doubt.

Being a little skeptical about your own opinions is such an important factor these days. While everyone has an opinion (and everyone thinks that their opinion is the right one), those who can be skeptical about their own beliefs have a great advantage: when a problem arises they won’t take anything as given, but they will try to make up their mind, starting from zero, about what would be the best solution. That includes asking every employee’s opinion on the subject matter, because the skeptic knows that he is just a human being, fallible like any other. From this type of behaviour, two big advantages emerge: the employees will appreciate their leader for respecting them and the final solution to the problem will have a much, much higher chance of being the right one.

Well, but it seems pretty impossible to be skeptical and confident at the same time, right? Indeed, but that might not be needed. Here’s my piece of advice: whenever a problem arises, adopt this two-step approach in solving it:

Step 1– Total skepticism.
Do not take anything for granted. Search the internet for similar problems that other companies had and look at how they’ve handled them. Take notes. Now take what you’ve learned about it and present the information to your employees. If possible, ask each and every one of them how would they handle this. Finally, make a decision based on all of their insight.

Step 2 – Total confidence.

Once you’ve made that decision, stick with it until the end. At this point, you know you’ve done your best, so there’s no reason to be insecure. Your people also have to feel they they are going in the right path, so make sure you radiate confidence. Act like nothing can stop you and your people anymore from reaching your objectives.

Doesn’t look so hard anymore, does it? And while this two-step approach is meant specifically for leaders, it can be a great idea to use the same pattern in making any kinds of decisions, the results will be great nevertheless.

Great People Inside provides easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, onboard, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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How to keep your Employees energised

Top organisations around the world are starting to manage employee energy like a highly important strategic asset. They know that the ever-increasing pace of advancements requires more and more human energy. Any entrepreneur will tell you that it takes a tonne of energy to grow and build a business. The key is to manage it; sometimes you have to exert energy, other times you need to conserve it to go the extra mile, and after a sprint you need to replenish it. When teams are energised, they feel like they can achieve almost anything. But when there’s an energy gap among employees, it’s up to you the leader to bring back the necessary level of energy. You have to show the kind of energy you want to see. At the beginning it’s important to assess where your employees stand. Think about when they were at their highest energy levels, when they had a perfect day, what does the average day look like. These things will help you take things forward. Here are some of the best hacks in order to maximise human energy:

1Spend time engaging with people.

Say hello in the morning and goodbye at night. Be approachable. Ask about their families and show them you care about other things besides work. When they miss work because their baby is sick, ask how the child is doing when they come back. Also, enable your teams to enjoy and get to know each other. One great and very simple way to do this is through team lunches and dinners.

2Honor special occasions.

Celebrate every new hire. Acknowledge special occasions and make people feel special. For example, IBM used to give a gold watch to celebrate 25 years with the company, but most people don’t stay that long anymore. Don’t wait 25 years! You can celebrate every year and every other milestones in small ways by recognizing employees’ achievements in meetings or writing them personal thank you notes.

3. Careful with work hours

In the U.S. employees who are earning a salary of less than $47,476 must track hours and be paid for overtime. It’s wise to start enforcing this rule and discourage employees from doing work off the clock. Try and explain to your people that work-life balance can and should be achieved. Talk to each and every one of them individually to show them that you really care and you may see shifts in attitude towards themselves. It is also recommended that they take regular breaks during office hours in order to unwind. Encourage them to leave their desks, go out for a walk, stretch or even find a quiet space where they can relax.


Read also: Preventing Burnout in 5 Easy Steps


4. Allow creativity

Employees need to be reminded that there is no such thing as a bad idea. Even when an idea is not pursued, it can shift ideas into new territories.

From how employees decorate their desks to how they complete assignments, allow creative freedom, as long as standards of work are met. Encourage employee input, and, however possible, provide time and resources for meaningful, work-related smaller projects.  Nowadays, companies now set aside time each week when employees can work on their own projects, as long as those efforts further the company’s goals.

Employers can’t remove all the stress of their employees’ lives, but they can make the workplace a source of purpose, focus and togetherness that can help prevent employee burnout.

5. Celebrate wins

Do fun things with and for your team. Take a break and take the team to a movie, or do some charity or volunteering work together. This can be achieved very easily and here are some examples:

  • LiveOps have random Nerf arrow attacks and paper airplane contests.
  • At AdMob and Everwise, the sales teams ring a gong when a big deal is done.

It’s especially important to do this even when times are hard. At eBay, there was a day in which they started to do a free listing day. Users were thrilled about it—they stayed up all night posting listings. The increase in volume was immense – a year ahead on volume projections. Although a great marketing ploy for the company, it was a nightmare for the people running the system. They worked tirelessly to make it through capacity problems, and when they finished they had a parade and turned the relief into positive energy.

It is essential that employees understand the long-term winning strategy you are trying to implement. Run the positives and negatives by them in order for them to analyse and understand why there is a change in policies.

We have an impressive assessment library with hundreds of dimensions that can be leveraged in creating a custom skills-based assessment that supports your organisation’s specific competencies and unique vision. Please contact us if you need to measure the engagement level in your company.

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Sources:

https://www.inc.com/alison-eyring/these-5-strategies-will-keep-your-employees-energized.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/maynardwebb/2016/08/23/7-ways-to-re-energize-your-team/#5aad4d267349

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/9711-prevent-employee-burnout.html

Organisational Knowledge and Learning

Organisational learning in companies nowadays is simply seen as sharing existing knowledge. But this should not take us by surprise given the fact that the primary focus of universities and MBAs is just that. This type of approach can be seen in training programmes and leadership development seminars as well. The modus operandi is straight forward: an expert passes on what he or she knows with people who do not possess that information already. This technique is supposed to be feasible in numerous and various situations and social contexts.

Due to this learning approach, the 1990’s have seen quite a boom in ‘knowledge management systems’. The obvious focus of these systems is clear: efficiency at scale – i.e. making existent knowledge more accessible to people who need it. In the case of employees, it could help them discover the relevant know-how in order to improve their performance.

In today’s culture of knowledge sharing, people often tend to forget about how enriching creating ‘new knowledge’ can be. Companies are struggling to cope with the increasing number of unexpected situations that obviously cannot be found in manuals or textbooks, thus compelling leaders to act on the spot, to improvise with approaches that haven’t been tested. Thankfully, due to this process, new knowledge is being developed regarding how things should or should not work in ‘clear-cut situations’.

Explicit knowledge vs. Tacit knowledge

Today’s business world everything revolves around efficiency and how can it be measured and scaled properly. Given this specific need, the documentation regarding this matter was created in great detail so that every known situation was handled by specific actions. The best example in this scenario is the idea that all employees supposed to follow.

Nowadays, information moves at the speed of light and everything is changing constantly. Basically, the new knowledge that could be acquired comes as tacit knowledge. In layman’s terms, tacit knowledge is the information that people already have but find it difficult to articulate to themselves much less to other individuals. This type of knowledge derives from our first-hand experiences when confronted with new situations and is exceptionally valuable. If organisations can create environments in which tacit knowledge can be created and developed, workers could confront and learn enormously from the new situations created.

Workgroups vs. Individuals

The best way in which to ensure the success of tacit knowledge is to create small workgroups. In this scenario, people from diverse backgrounds and with distinct skills and perspectives can create a powerful bond, based on trust in order for them to be comfortable to try out new things, to easily accept constructive criticism and collaboratively work towards the common good. The potential within small workgroups is tremendous. If two or more workgroups are connected through a network or project with other workgroups, seeking advice and confronting new circumstances can go beyond the experience offered by an individual workgroup.

Organisations may have an overwhelming proportion of smart people within their ranks, but managers should always take into account the fact that there are a lot of smart people out there, that do not work for them. It is imperative that employees gather experience through their own perception.

Learning and Unlearning

The general act of learning is seen as the accumulation of information over time. Basically, you are just pouring information over the pre-existing knowledge you already have acquired. But things are not that simple. In the ever-changing global market, it has become mandatory for people to be willing to unlearn and even develop such an ability. Our principles and ideas are being challenged on a daily basis so it is imperative that we understand that what may have worked in the past may no longer be relevant today. If we try to hold on strongly to these beliefs without questioning their relevance from time to time, then we will never be open to new ideas, approaches that may be more feasible for the foreseeable future.

Skills vs. Capabilities

Usually, when we start working at a new job we focus a lot on acquiring the necessary set of skills needed in order to perform at the desired level. The moment we are certain those skills have been integrated, productivity and success is just around the corner. However, everything around us sometimes feels like it is passing on fast-forward, thus skills have a shorter lifespan. While skills are important in order to progress and assure your professional success, it is recommended that the focus shifts towards acquiring capabilities that could accelerate the learning process. These capabilities range from willingness, imagination and creativity to curiosity, critical thinking and emotional intelligence. If organisations worldwide understand that new forms of learning are required to adapt. Re-thinking strategies and operations will be a must.

This is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://hbr.org/1993/07/building-a-learning-organization

http://www.participatorymethods.org/method/organisational-learning

http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/35-ways-to-cultivate-innovation-and-organizational-learning/

https://hbr.org/2017/08/help-employees-create-knowledge-not-just-share-it