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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

Workplace Diversity Training: How it Should be Done

Nowadays, workplace diversity has become a must to any company that wishes to expand its reach. Organisations now take part in an ever-growing worldwide economy, are they must acknowledge the fact that they need to adapt towards a multicultural workplace environment and the many benefits they can have from workplace diversity.

This issue is most often than not addressed through the organisation of training programmes. However, research done on the effectiveness of such programmes has brought up mixed results. Some studies have suggested that diversity training is efficient, while others have shown that it may as well lead to backlash between employees. All of these inconclusive results have led to widespread pessimism towards diversity training.

It is common knowledge that people/employees coming from various cultural backgrounds have distinctive ways in which they interpret languages, signs and formalities. To be more precise, these differences can be seen in the way in which culturally diverse people communicate, approach conflict and make decisions. In layman terms, having a diverse work environment is beneficial for the organisation, due to advantages in areas such as return on investment, productivity, teamwork and employee engagement. More often than not when we think about diversity, the first few things that pop into our heads is ethnicity, religion, age and gender. Nonetheless, people need to understand that diversity in itself encompasses so much more than that. Diversity can bring to light qualities different from our own, perceptions that we may have developed of others, how our initial approach to interactions differs and many other traits that separate us from everyone else.

It has become abundantly clear to that employees do not have to love or like each other at work, but co-existing is a must. It is imperative they cooperate and communicate efficiently, despite their differences and their contrary beliefs regarding sensitive issues that may be brought up during diversity training. Whether we are talking about a half-a-day diversity programme, or an 8-hour programme, or even a 40-hour diversity programme, won’t change an employee who doesn’t want or is not ready to open his mind and definitely longer is not better.

The effectiveness of diversity training depends on the methods that are being used – whether we are talking about quizzes, small-group discussions, instructor-led discussions or even role-playing exercises – the personalities of the people who are being trained and, of course, the way in which the outcomes are being measured.

In a recent training exercise which was analysed and shows a lot of promise is perspective-taking. Basically, this type of programme represents the process of mentally walking in a stranger’s shoes. By taking the perspective of members of LGBT or racial minorities, people were asked to write a few sentences on what type of challenges a minority may face. The first effects could be seen almost immediately, with a rise in pro-diversity attitudes. In a follow-up done 8 months after the initial training the same effects were even more present and even some crossover effects. The people who took on the perspective of LGBT members have shown more positive attitudes and behaviours towards racial minorities and the other way around.

Another type of exercise that was successful is goal setting. Even though this exercise is more commonly used when managers wish to motivate or improve someone’s job performance, this strategy can be implemented with great success by asking participants to set specific, realistic and challenging goals in relation to workplace diversity. For example, one trainee sets the goal of challenging inappropriate comments about racial minorities when hearing them in the future – while also offering the trainee all the necessary information on how to handle such situations. The goal setting exercise proves to be successful with pro-diversity behaviours being shown three months after receiving the initial training and improved attitudes nine months from initial training. The effects are noticeable and notable, given the fact that diversity training is done once maybe twice a year.

Of course, for these training programmes to be as effective as possible personality characteristics must be taken into account, due to the fact that one type of exercise may be more effective for some employees than others. For example, perspective-taking is going to be more effective for people who lack empathy. Individuals who have a high level of empathy are more than willing to engage in their very own perspective-taking. People with low empathy levels require this training programme to act as a jump-start cable.

In conclusion, ensuring effective communication in culturally diverse organisations involves a deep understanding of cultural biases and social assimilation dynamics. Other than the language barrier, there are cultural perceptions and differences that make us different from one another. Organisations that want to have a strong competitive edge in this ever-changing marketplace must carry out effective training programmes that will enable their employees to work as a collective.

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.trainingindustry.com/blog/blog-entries/multicultural-organizations-why-diversity-training-is-important-for-the-workplace.aspx

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-act-violence/201701/why-diversity-training-usually-fails-in-the-workplace

https://hbr.org/2017/07/two-types-of-diversity-training-that-really-work

Generational Diversity at the Workplace

In the last couple of years, the workforce has begun changing dramatically due to the entrance of more and more millennials. Numerous companies are struggling to understand their needs and requirements. This struggle comes from a lack of communication and comments range from:

  • “Millennials don’t care about work or the company. We would train them and after a week they quit for a job with better pay.”
  • “The meaning of work doesn’t exist to them – they are always after rewards even though they do not work to properly earn them.”
  • “Their interests revolve around time off for vacation. It’s the only thing that matters to them.”

These complaints do not seem to match your average millennial student who is about the enter the workforce full-time. Most of them are very hard-working, doing internships and working after classes. They value the work that they put in. Although discovering something meaningful in work can be a bit of a challenge, interestingly enough, millennials’ answers do not revolve around time and money. This statement can change perceptions and make people see and understand what the underlying problem is. Due to the fact that they are a different generation altogether, millennials define meaningful work differently in comparison to past generations.

This merging of generations is happening amid an economic climate that has changed plans and altered expectations. In a recent research, employees from each generation were interviewed on a number of topics such as: the importance of meaningful work, what is meaningful at the job they currently have, ideal job and if they observed any generational differences in how people perceived meaningful work. In this research, generations are being defined in relation to their year of birth and their historical experiences that defined their formative years. From the following quotes, meaningful work will be explained through the eyes of each generation:

  • Traditionalists (1922-1945): “I can’t imagine going to a job that I didn’t think it had any value.”
  • Baby Boomers (1946-1964): “If there is no personal fulfilment in what I am doing well, I would be miserable putting so much time and effort into something.”
  • Generation X (1965-1983): “If my job has no meaning, why would I get out of bed?”
  • Millennials (1984-2002): “I would prefer doing nothing and enjoy going to work rather than making buckets of money and hate going to work on a daily basis.”

These results do not offer any new insight, given the fact that these comments are generally known. However, when people were put on the spot, each generation attributed different definitions to the term ‘meaningful work’. Traditionalists responded that meaning comes from work that challenges people and gives them the possibility of growth whilst also helping others. Baby boomers are known for their tendency of being goal-orientated, thus it comes as no surprise that the most common answer was “success at achieving my own personal goals, and if you’re working with other people, helping them to achieve their goals.”

Interestingly enough, even though generation X believes that accomplishing personal career goals is vital in achieving meaningful work, their focus shifted towards work-life balance. Last but not least, millennials’ desire revolves around having nice colleagues, helping others and the community they are part of “The most meaningful job is one of service – if you are doing something that benefits someone directly or indirectly, it can be extremely rewarding.”

Given all the data gathered, it can be concluded that, in general, generations mostly agree on what meaningful work is, so why is it that so many organisations struggle to reach a common denominator with millennials? One answer to this question can be extracted from the second part of the interview process and that is negative stereotypes. The research that had been conducted discovered that each generation thought that the others are in it just for the money, that they are lazy, their work is superficial and that they do not care about meaning altogether.

So it comes as no surprise that if every generation has this system of beliefs, automatically they treat each other differently. A change in mentality can be the solution in this case. If generations realise that they are all searching for a deep-seated meaning at work, the social and business climate would benefit greatly. Unfortunately, stereotypes at the workplace can lead to low performance, low engagement, low job satisfaction everything culminating into a high employee turnover rate. A lack of understanding across generations can have detrimental effects on communication and working relationships and undermine effective services.

But what can managers do to avoid these generational conflicts. Firstly, a better internal communication process through which employees can understand how their work influences the organisational mission and why every role is important. This is where the HR department can offer a lending hand by creating safe space areas in order to discuss these matters, workshops which sole purpose is to bring different generations together and share their experiences, thus leading to recognising the generational commonalities.

Although it’s always beneficial to gain awareness on workplace trends from generational research, but at the end of the day all management is individual, and effective managers understand that. The one-on-one employee-manager relationship represents the difference maker. Regardless of generation what matters most is how well you understand your employees as individuals and what drives their attitudes and engagement.

By implementing these possible solutions, managers will actually allow various definitions of meaning to rise rather than impose what is deemed to be meaningful. Hence, overcoming generational stereotypes would be easier if they grant people the possibility to develop their careers on their own terms. At the end of the day, every generation is searching for meaning, so why not do it together?

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:

http://www.hermanmiller.com/research/research-summaries/generations-at-work.html

http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun05/generational.aspx

https://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2017/01/25/how-to-manage-generational-differences-in-the-workplace/#3093a9634cc4

https://hbr.org/2017/07/every-generation-wants-meaningful-work-but-thinks-other-age-groups-are-in-it-for-the-money

Unemployment: Blessing or Burden for HR?

Normally, when the economy is growing in a constant manner, unemployment extensions should disappear. However, a study done in 2016 by the National Bureau of Economic Research has discovered that even though the economy has been progressing, high unemployment rates remained persistent due to these extensions. Long-term benefits offer workers the option of either to seek employment or to extend their benefit period. Due to these choices, HR departments may end up being forced to raise wages to encourage people to start working again. Consequently, business profits drop and job creation is proactively discouraged. The obvious conclusion here is that unemployment benefits extensions have a long-term unfavourable impact on the workforce market and it also helps to develop an unending cycle of reduced demand for workers.  Inherently, Americans take pride in their work and they generally prefer to have a job rather than collecting benefits. But this issue should not be considered insignificant, because HR recruitment has become one of the most important activities in most companies.

Long-Term Unemployment Stigma

To be perfectly clear, there are people who desire to work but cannot find anything near their area. In this type of scenario, the extensions do serve their purpose. But as the economy continues to grow and the recruitment process has started to generate some speed, long-term unemployed people find it difficult to get a job. If a person is out of work for more than 26 weeks, then their chances of employment drop considerably due to the fact that organisations are more and more reluctant on hiring such individuals. This is another issue that the HR department has to address. In general, recruiters or hiring managers follow their instinct and have somewhat fixed ideas of what makes a good candidate. Most of them believe that if the candidate is good at what they do, they should not be dealing with unemployment and thus stigma instils. HR needs to recognise this issue and solve it as soon as possible. Given the fact that numerous long-term unemployed candidates have a strong will and desire to work and succeed, they could represent a perfect fit for many companies.

Unemployment Compensation Costs

Organisations with a high employee turnover have to pay annual compensation costs to the employees they lose. Many of these companies believe it is the price of doing business, but they could not be any more wrong. The unemployment tax varies due to the number of claims an organisation receives. In layman’s terms, fewer claims mean a lower tax rate. HR managers can make sure these claims are handled with care or even reduce these unemployment costs. If the unemployment extension continues, it can become a serious burden to companies in the future as they will struggle to reduce costs and make ends meet. Unfortunately, as long as the debate is still held up in Congress, many Americans will continue to fight hard in order to get a job.

Downside of Low Unemployment
On a national level, the Department of Labor has discovered that unemployment levels have reached a 9-year low of only 4.6%, but given America’s population the number is continuously problematic. As the US economy has grown, more jobs have become available, but, at the same time, many unemployed workers have opted to stop looking for work. Interestingly enough, this will only make the rates go even further down given the fact the unemployment rate is only taking into consideration people who are actively searching for a job. Historically, low unemployment levels have impacted companies in various ways. As mentioned earlier, low rates of unemployment are associated with a strong growing economy, but there are plenty of downsides to all of this.

1. Reduced loyalty when problems arise – even with short-term problems this may affect your company. When unemployment is low, people feel that they can find a new place to work almost instantly. This leads to a high turnover and to many employees leaving giving shorter notices as they feel pressured to hit the ground running at the new workplace.

2. Harder to find replacements – Given the fact that there are fewer applicants for your empty position, this means it will take your organisation a longer period of time to find the right person who meets all the requirements.

3. The inability to fill available roles leads to customer dissatisfaction – Organisations may end up losing valuable business if proper solutions cannot be found in the necessary time frame. Consequently, companies may eventually have to turn down new business opportunities because they won’t be able to keep up with the rising demands.

4. Growth will slow down over time – There is a possibility that the unemployment levels are only artificially low due to the simple fact that many workers opted for jobs with fewer hours and less pay. This affects the natural growth of wages and it can also incapacitate the economic growth since employees are also customers and they spend less and less.

5. Bigger training budgets – The skill gap will certainly become a problem resulting from candidates who lack the prerequisite skills in order to do their jobs. Obviously, the profit margins will suffer.

The decrease in numbers in the labour market is also due to retired Baby Boomers. Plus, the changing times that we are all experiencing. In the past, young people have already begun work, but now they are focused on finishing their degrees. Which is not necessarily a bad thing given the fact that this translates into a highly skilled workforce for the future. All in all, the unemployment level is very peculiar and problematic. The short-term figures are at a historic low, whilst HR departments are facing major difficulties in recruiting which suggests the labour market is strained. In order for companies to progress, HR specialists have to innovate in terms of their respective recruitment processes in order for the labour market to stabilise.

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 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:

http://www.hraffiliates.com/unemployment-extensions-and-how-it-affects-hrs/

http://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2017/01/12/downsides-low-unemployments/

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/low-unemployment-rate-high-underemployment.aspxs

https://www.forbes.com/sites/louisefron/2014/08/20/tackling-the-real-unemployment-rate-12-6/#47b42c7e2473

How to Build a Strong Employee Value Proposition

Numerous managers, HR specialists and entrepreneurs struggle with the meaning of Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Most of them even confuse it with Employer Brand. Just to set the record straight EVP represents the salary, benefits and compensation that an employer gives to his employees in order to get the best out of their skills, productivity and experience, thus encouraging the continuous development of the company’s values, mission, purpose and business goals. An organisation’s Employee Value Proposition works alongside the Employer Brand and is a crucial factor when talking about attracting, retaining or losing talent within a company.

Whether they are aware of it or not, every existing organisation has an EVP and it may or may not thoroughly defined.

Traditionally, the Employer Value Proposition can be divided in 3 parts: salary, compensation and benefits. Things get even more interesting when talking about benefits. They can come in 3 forms as well:

  • Supplementary compensation – These benefits can consist of: health insurance, dental plan, company car, gym membership, flexible working hours, etc.
  • Values, mission and purpose – They definitely represent benefits for employees. If they can relate to them on a personal level, performance levels may go through the roof.
  • People and culture – Usually, it is an overlooked benefit. Great people want to work with great people. No one wants to be surrounded by incompetent colleagues. If the HR department is doing its job well, great people will definitely attract great people. Although the brand starts the culture, it can only be brought to life by its employees.

Due to a more and more tightening labour market, it has become extremely difficult to attract and retain top talent, thus the re-emergence of the Employee Value Proposition.

EVP puts pressure on the organisation, not the employee

 Due to its unique concept, EVP puts the company in the position of developing a ‘proposition of value’ to the people they want. Hence, the Employee Value Proposition may very well be the solution of fixing the problems revolving around employee engagement. The existing research done on engagement has revealed that most employees are “engageable” and very willing to cooperate.

People who have helpful managers, are well paid and their merits are being properly recognised, do not experience burnout due to exaggerated to-do lists, have the opportunity to advance professionally, they become devoted employees. If they are being deprived of these experiences, frustration instils and they leave at a moment’s notice.

Up until now, the term ‘employee engagement’ was used to criticise disgruntled employees, thus enabling the organisation to put the burden on their workers. They were expected to be ‘engaged’ and if that did not happen, instead of the company questioning itself, employees were deemed flawed.

EVP analyses the company through the eyes of possible and former employees

Current engagement programmes are tailored around surveys designed for current employees. Unfortunately, the results of these surveys do not help much because there is no outside perception from the people that might be hired or have left.

In the case of compensation, this topic tends to be terribly underestimated in the survey analysis. This happens due to the fact that the people who have chosen to remain within the organisation are being properly remunerated, whilst the top talent has left the company in search for higher wages and they do not partake in the surveys because they are former employees.

Interestingly enough, people working in marketing do not have this type of mentality. They are continuously preoccupied with what consumers think and feel about a brand, why they shop at their competitors, etc. Due to the fact that EVP has its roots from the marketing concept of customer value proposition, the Employee Value Proposition pays special attention to the ‘employer brand’ in a way general employee engagement programmes never had. This idea is especially essential now that websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor offer people the possibility of getting information from former and current employees.

If done properly, EVP leads to a focused approach on employee happiness

According to the research conducted by BI Worldwide, what employees cherish the most is happiness. This is hardly a new concept in employee performance analysis, because if organisations take a closer look, they do not want to engage employees but to make them happy. EVP stands for a strategic framework in which the organisation creates experiences that will trigger happiness into their employees. In layman’s terms, happiness represents the ultimate EVP.

EVP ensures success due to its roots and the responsibility it places on companies. Furthermore, in many industries, the demand for workers is so high nowadays that businesses tend to ignore this concept. In light of the fact of people spend most of their time at their job and their egos get so tangled in their work, companies should take the necessary steps in adopting EVP. The target should be that when employees think fondly of their work, their contributions and breakthroughs, their wonderful colleagues, their reliable manager, their great leaders and all the other small perks that are being offered it should result in the perfect workplace. People do not like settling for second best and organisations need to become aware of this, otherwise, their demise will be swift.

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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Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/roddwagner/2017/01/23/an-employee-value-proposition-mindset-just-might-fix-employee-engagement/#4854e36f4c3d

https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en/insights/2016/09/employers-look-to-modernize-the-employee-value-proposition

https://www.socialtalent.co/blog/employee-value-proposition-what-does-it-all-means

The Basics of Nonverbal Communication (Part Two)

There are many recruiters who decide whether or not a candidate is worthy due to their body language while they waiting in the lobby or walking towards the conference room where the interview takes place.

It is common knowledge that the recruitment process and employee turnover represent challenges in today’s global environment. There are many cases when nonverbal communication is more revealing than what a candidate says their previous experience or their references. It is that vital. Recruiters will pay close attention to a candidate’s nonverbal communication.

As a recruiter, your focus points are the signals regarding the candidate’s attitude, interests, hobbies, outlook and approach. As actions speak louder than words, so do nonverbal signals during an interview, due to the fact that an employer can determine a candidate’s references in regards to: the necessary skills to perform well at the job, cultural fit in the organisation and behavioural characteristics that may determine how successful a candidate is for the job.

Here are a few examples in which recruiters are as observant as possible in terms of nonverbal communication:

First Impressions

The first minutes of an interview are very important so much so that almost nothing else matters. Recruiters take a look at the candidate and note all of the nonverbal messages they are exhibiting. They form impressions ranging from a candidate’s posture, handshake, outfit, attentiveness, facial expressions and eye contact.

Handshake

Notice whether the candidate displays a firm and solid handshake. A confident, comfortable person uses the handshake as a positive nonverbal interaction. The handshake should assure the employer of the candidate’s desire for a positive first interaction and impression. Consequently, a limp handshake reveals low confidence and self-esteem. Last but not least, an excessively strong handshake tells the recruiter the candidate is overly aggressive or even trying to steamroll him or her.

 Posture and Space Usage

If the candidate is sitting comfortably and upright in his chair that means he’s most likely confident and comfortable with whom he or she is.  If their posture is slouchy it may very well mean that they do sloppy work and have a low self-esteem.  In general, posture which allows the individual to use an appropriate amount of space in the room reveals the security the applicant holds in his or hers abilities.

Clothing and general appearance

No matter how formal or informal the work environment is, it is adamant for a job applicant to wear a suit to the meeting. The accessories that accompany the candidate are equally important. If they show up with a briefcase, shined shoes, a leather-bound portfolio and so on, demonstrates the professionalism that lies within that person. It also reveals the fact that they wanted to make a proper first impression.

If the candidate sought out to look professional for the interview and it did not happen chances are that is as good as it’s ever going to get. In this scenario, the recruiter has to decide whether that person is a good fit for the company and hope at a change for the better in the near future.

Facial Expressions and Body Language

Nothing says more about a candidate than their facial expressions and body language.

Numerous books and research has been done on the science of facial expressions and body language. The key here is to discover whether a person’s facial expressions and body language match the words that are being said.

Facial expressions that do not match the spoken words clearly indicate discomfort or lying and these are not desired traits in any candidate. There are candidates who never make eye contact and stare at a spot behind the employer’s shoulder. This exhibits that they are uncomfortable and show a serious lack of confidence. Consistency between facial expressions and the words spoken is crucial.

Body language is similarly important. If the job applicant is leaning back in his seat and has his legs crossed, he’s too relaxed for an interview setting and may deal with costumers the same way. If they have occupied the entire table with their arms and various accessories, that displays aggressiveness and may turn out to be a difficult employee to manage after being hired.  Another good example is, if during a statement, the candidate looks away from the recruiter or is generally nervous, then he or she is probably not telling the truth. If candidates practically stare into the employer’s eyes as they’re talking that most likely means that what they are saying is 100% fabricated.

It is always going to be difficult to tell whether a candidate is being truthful or not, but the key here is “listen” carefully at what they are not saying.

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 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.thebalance.com/nonverbal-communication-in-the-workplace-1918470

https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-use-nonverbal-communication-in-hiring-1919137

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/nonverbal-communications-important-manager-17543.html

The Basics of Nonverbal Communication (Part One)

Peter F. Drucker once said that “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said” and the phrase couldn’t have been truer. In essence, nonverbal communication represents the information a person delivers besides verbal communication. But how exactly do people communicate in a nonverbal matter? Let’s explore the possibilities:

  • Body language: The manner in which a person moves either his hands, arms, legs, sits, stands and other slight movements.
  • Facial expressions: The human face is tremendously expressive, especially the mouth, eyebrows and eyes. As the research done by Dan Hill and other worldwide researchers; emotions such as disgust, confusion, pain, anger and happiness can be easily depicted on a person’s facial expressions or “micro-expressions” as they are known as.
  • Posture: The manner in which you present yourself in public can be used by others to determine your state of mind. For example, if you’re sitting rigidly in your chair, people will, consciously or not, determine that you’re anxious or afraid. On the other hand, if you lean back in a relaxed manner people will assume you’re confident.
  • Eye contact: The majority of people believe that, when eye contact is being made, that person is trustworthy. This is not always the case. Even though eye contact can be used to transmit emotions and to create a bond between speakers, it can also be used to simulate interest and mislead people.
  • Gestures: In particular, hand gestures are obvious communication carriers. The movement of one’s hands can help emphasise an idea or an argument.

If used effectively, nonverbal communication can be a powerful complementary agent to the spoken word and can help people get their message across language and cultural barriers, due to the fact that it’s pretty much universal. In other words, nonverbal communication creates a special bond with verbal communication and adds profound meaning to it.

However, this form of communication must be dealt with great care. Due to its subconscious level, you may express something verbally, but non-verbally you may pass on a totally different idea and that confuses the receiver of the message.

When Nonverbal and Verbal Communication Don’t Match

There are numerous circumstances when this type of situation can occur. For instance, when a manager asks his employee if everything is alright, he might get a positive response, but everything related to that employee’s posture, lack of smile, facial expression and tone will give out the exact opposite response.

Nonverbal communication represents a powerful tool in day-to-day activities such as meetings, hallway interactions and even outside business hours when people are gathering together for a meal. It can also be tremendously helpful when dealing with stakeholders, customers, associates, partners due to the fact that it adds gravitas and trust to the spoken words.

Although it may seem unlikely, nonverbal communication can be taught if carefully practiced and managed. Clear improvements can be observed when delivering your messages across to people. If this skill is not well-trained you may look sloppy and ineffective damaging office relations, thus resulting into low job performances all across your department or company.

A strong business education can take you so far, but without the necessary people and communication skills, there is a chance for mishaps to occur, stammering your professional growth along the way.

Try out our assessment in order to measure the level of wellbeing in your organisation and find out the best approach to improve it.

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 Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/nonverbal-communication-in-the-workplace-1918470

https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-use-nonverbal-communication-in-hiring-1919137

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/nonverbal-communications-important-manager-17543.html

Workplace Harassment

Workplace harassment is something people experience on a daily basis, but are too afraid to speak out about it… By law, harassment is described as any unwanted verbal or physical behaviour which are based on ideas such as colour, race, sex, religion, nationality, age, either physical or mental disabilities, and last but not least, gender identity. A harassing behaviour can take many forms which include: slurs, offensive jokes, intimidation, ridicule, insults, name calling, physical threats or assaults, offensive pictures and many more.

Many people encounter harassment even during interviews. It is important to know what rules apply to the employers and what they can and cannot ask you. Moreover, recruiters cannot ask you about your religion, race, marital status, disabilities, ethnic background, country of origin, age or sexual preferences. Next time you’re going into an interview, pay attention at what and how they ask about information regarding yourself.

Unfortunately, anyone can be in a situation where he or she is the harasser or the person being harassed. The harasser can range from being your boss, a co-worker, a supervisor from a different department, or even a non-employee, whilst the victim of the harassment doesn’t necessarily have to be the one directly harassed, but it can be any person in the office who feels affected by the harassing behaviour.

How to Deal with Harassment at the Workplace

Usually, people who are dealing with workplace harassment have the intention of solving the incident internally. The first option would be to approach the offender personally and explain how his behaviour and language have offended you. If you feel uncomfortable with the direct approach, the other option would be to contact your manager or supervisor and ask him to handle the situation before it develops into something more problematic.

Of course, there are cases in which the offender is your manager or supervisor and your only course of action is to contact the HR department or your manager’s boss and request an analysis of the situation.

Types of Harassment

There are numerous ways in which harassment takes place in the workplace. Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to be one of the primary courses of harassment, although that does not mean that non-sexual harassment must be treated lightly. It is essential that people understand that harassment at the office can affect them, whether they are victims or not. One way or another it could impact people’s state of mind and even their careers.

As mentioned above, harassment can take many forms at the office. It could vary from being both physical and sexual and ending up with it being based on religion or race.

In the United States, the definition of harassment ranges from state to state. For example, in Florida a court decided that ‘fat jokes’ are offensive, while in Wisconsin and New York harassing people based on their criminal record is against the law. It is obvious that this issue represents a tricky subject everywhere around the world.

Sexual Harassment

This type of harassment does not limit itself to just physical contact or words and just between co-workers of the opposite sex. All of the following examples classify as sexual harassment:

  • Staring in a provocative manner, or whistling.
  • Emails, letters or notes with provocative messages.
  • Obscene videos and images shared with colleagues during a break or at lunch.
  • Expose posters of inappropriate sexual imagery.
  • Sharing sexual anecdotes or lewd jokes with the co-workers.
  • Making offensive remarks about a person’s gender identity.

Non-Sexual Harassment

This type of harassment includes remarks ranging from a person’s physical appearance to his mental disabilities or cultural values. A co-worker can create a hostile work environment by continuously commenting that a person is too old, too stupid or too fat.

If you someone in the workplace is making either racist or negative comments regarding another person in the office is definitely harassment. In this category can also fall drawings, clothing or gestures that hurt or transform someone in a victim at the office. The following examples fall into the category of non-sexual harassment:

  • Making jokes and negative remarks about a co-worker’s religious beliefs, or enforcing one’s own religious views on a person.
  • Racist nicknames, slangs and phrases are all prohibited.
  • ‘Distinguishing’ people at the office by the colour of their skin or ethnic characteristics.
  • Talking about cultural or religious stereotypes in an offensive manner.

So, having read all this, next time you are a victim of sexual harassment or notice a colleague in this situation, you will know how to recognise it and take action.

The Great People Inside employee assessment solutions and technology can be tailored to your company’s specific needs and organisational culture and can help you to boost the levels of job-fit and skill-use in your employees, generating job satisfaction, improved motivation, health and happiness, and boost employee retention.

Try out our assessment in order to measure the level of wellbeing in your organisation and find out the best approach to improve it.

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Sources:
https://www.thebalance.com/types-of-harassment-in-the-workplace-2060886
https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-handle-harassment-at-work-2060887