Your Job Is Not Your Whole Identity

Reducing yourself to any single characteristic, whether it be your title or your job performance, is a deeply damaging act. Thanks to major shifts in the labor market, workers are switching organisations, functions, and even industries much more frequently than past generations. But as our careers take these dramatic leaps, we ourselves are not wholly reinvented. We often bring pieces of our past work experiences with us, making our work selves more like a manuscript than a whiteboard that can be wiped clean with each new role. 

Are you a self-objectifier in your job or career? Ask yourself a few questions, and answer them honestly.

  • Is your job the biggest part of your identity? Is it the way you introduce yourself, or even understand yourself?
  • Do you find yourself sacrificing love relationships for work? Have you forgone romance, friendship, or starting a family because of your career?
  • Do you have trouble imagining being happy if you were to lose your job or career? Does the idea of losing it feel a little like death to you?

If you answered affirmatively to any or all of these, recognise that you will never be satisfied as long as you objectify yourself. Your career or job should be an extension of you, not vice versa. Two practices can help as you reassess your priorities.

1. Get some space

Maybe you have been in an unhealthy relationship or two in your life but only recognised this when you had a break from it, whether voluntary or involuntary. Indeed, this human tendency probably contributes to the fact that most trial separations lead to divorce, especially when they last more than a year. Space provides perspective.

Use this principle in your professional life. To begin with, it should be the main goal of your vacation—to get a break from work and spend time with people you love. As obvious as this may sound, that means taking your vacation, and not working during it at all. Your employer should thank you for doing so.

In religious traditions, rest isn’t just nice to have; it is central to understanding God and ourselves. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day,” the Book of Exodus reads. “Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” If God rests from work, maybe you should too.

Such a practice doesn’t have to be religious, and can be done in a lot of ways besides simply avoiding all work on Saturday or Sunday. For example, you can take a small Sabbath each evening by proscribing work and dedicating all your activity to relationships and leisure.

2. Make friends who don’t see you as a professional object

Many professional self-objectifiers seek out others who admire them solely for their work accomplishments. This is quite natural—it makes you feel good when a person you meet for the first time recognises you for your work. This type of relationship can easily become a barrier to the formation of healthy friendships, which we all need. By self-objectifying in your friendships, you can make it easier for your friends to objectify you.

This is why having friends outside your professional circles is so important. Striking up friendships with people who don’t have any connection to your professional life encourages you to develop out of work interests and virtues, and thus be a fuller person. The way to do this goes hand in hand with recommendation No. 1: Don’t just spend time away from work; spend it with people who have no connection to your work.

Perhaps challenging your own self-objectification makes you feel uneasy. It can freak you out. The reason is simple: We all want to stand out in some way, and working harder than others and being better at our jobs seems a straightforward way to do so. This is a normal human drive, but it can nonetheless lead to destructive ends. There are people that would rather be special than happy.

The great irony is that by trying to be special, we end up reducing ourselves to a single quality, and turning ourselves into cogs in a machine of our own making. Our work is our medium, and it becomes our message. We learn to love the image of our successful selves, not ourselves as we truly are in life. Don’t make this mistake. You are not your job. Take your eyes off the distorted reflection, and have the courage to experience your full life and true self.

Losing a Job That is Your Identity

If your job is your whole identity, losing it can be catastrophic. “But when your personal identity is heavily tied to your job, losing that job-even through no fault of your own, such as in an economic downturn or a restructuring- can seem catastrophic, causing an existential crisis or what the authors of the book Difficult Conversations call an ‘identity quake,’” says Rebecca Zucker of Harvard Business Review.

The Cell Phone in Our Pocket Prevents Work Separation

Like many of us, you may not be able to resist checking emails, chats, or texts, even on vacation. The 24-7 access is so tempting that most can never truly disconnect. Working from home further blurs the line. When our jobs are our identities, we think that we should be doing more of what we love.

But is it possible to be creative and connected to others with a constant work distraction in our pockets? When do we hit burnout? “When you’re overworked, you’re actually less productive,” says author Jeffrey Davis of Psychology Today.  “When you get more sleep, develop a healthier work/life balance, and actually learn how to separate yourself from your work, you will find that you’re capable of not just enjoying more meaningful (and productive) work, but also of creating a more meaningful and well-rounded life.”

The ever-more-volatile state of our world means that plenty of leaps await us in the years ahead. Increasingly, our psychological health and career fulfillment will hinge on our ability to assess and execute transitions without betraying our authentic selves. The VME framework can help you predict how difficult it will be to dislodge incompatible aspects of your lingering identities, or what facets might be worth fighting to keep.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

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Your Job Is at Risk – What Do you Do?

Your job can be on the line for several reasons that might or might not have to do with you directly. Instead of launching into a frenzy when you realise that you might not have a job in the near future, you should instead take stock of the situation and deal with it in the most dignified way possible. In addition to securing your future finances, you’ll also have to be emotionally strong to overcome this situation with grace. Preparing for it in advance won’t only soften the process, but it will also help you create a rough roadmap of how you plan to move past this and get your career on track once again. Here are three things you can proactively do if your job is at risk.

Take heed of your financial situation As soon as you find out that your job is on the line, assess your financial situation to make sure that you have at least six months of savings to get you by. If you don’t, make a note of the expenses that aren’t necessary and cut them down. This way you’ll be able to save more money than you otherwise would. Once you are certain that your flow of income will stop soon, you can also sell the useless items in your house on the internet. Doing this will not only give you some extra cash in hand, but it will also help you get rid of the unnecessary items in your house once and for all.

If you start to feel that your job is on the line, you should behave proactively and prepare in advance. Preparing can help you a lot for softening the process and let you plan how you are going to deal with this both emotionally and financially.  Below you can find steps which will help you overcome this situation.

1. Shorter Conversations with the manager

Subtle personality changes can be extremely informative. Everyone experiences off days now and then, but pay attention if you notice a string of off days coming from your boss where you’re concerned. If you once enjoyed a friendly relationship with your supervisor but have noticed them growing increasingly distant, this may be a red flag. 

2. You aren’t receiving new assignments

After working at place for a while, you become familiar with the ebb and flow of your workload. When you start to notice that times that were once busy for you are now stagnant, you should be on high alert. Your manager may be reallocating your duties to others in the wake of your impending absence.

3. Employees ask you to train them

Being asked to teach other people how to perform tasks that only you are responsible for is usually a clear sign that you should be weary. When you’ve been solely responsible for tasks for a while and now you’re being asked to share your knowledge, this may be a bad sign. Maybe you’ve noticed coworkers who once showed little interest in how you complete tasks asking questions about your processes or your boss has directly asked you to train someone.

4. No invitation to staff meetings

Finding yourself not invited to meetings after you’ve typically been asked to attend is a major signal. This may be especially significant if you notice people in your department or who share your grade are being invited while you’re excluded — especially if they typically weren’t invited in the past. Being shut out never feels good, and sometimes it can be extremely telling.

5. Start being proactive

Be around your boss more often and offer to help him with his/her tasks. If your boss doesn’t want your help, then, ask other managers if they need help. Don’t sit on your corner all day long. Be visible and show that you are willing to help and perform the given tasks. Maybe another department manager sees your value and takes you to his/her own team.

The moment you find out that there is nothing you can do to save your current job, start hunting for a new job. You can attend networking and corporate events, talk to people in your own industry, and update your resume to apply for jobs. There are several online and offline recruitment agencies who can help you in your job hunt. Apply early and go for as many interviews as you can. This way you’ll know how many companies are hiring and you’ll have a better understanding of the market conditions. The most important thing, however, is to not panic, and believe that this too shall pass. See where you went wrong in your current job and make sure to not repeat the same mistakes in the future.

Is your job security at risk? Remember: There’s no point in panicking. Instead, take a deep breath, tidy up your resume, and brush up on your interview skills. Keep your head up and your movement forward.

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.

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Reducing Employee Turnover

In the majority of cases, a high employee turnover is not regarded as ideal for a company’s reputation, performance and goals. The costs themselves are high due to the fact that people are leaving, thus leading to numerous hirings and training programs for the constant flow of new employees. If your company has experienced high turnover in recent times, it might be time to think about effective retention strategies.

A high employee turnover is bad for any organisation’s bottom line. It has been estimated that the cost of replacing an employee is nearly double their salary for a year. Morale can also go down if too many people come and go through the office doors.

There are a number of ways in which you can reduce employee turnover and they are not as difficult as you might think. When employees feel their work environment offers them the necessary support for them to achieve their goals that is when they thrive the most.

There are many ways in which you can make your employees feel that their work is appreciated enough so they don’t leave or you are not forced to fire them. Let’s go through these ideas step-by-step:

  1. Flexibility – Work flexibility is all about the possibility of working either from home, a café or even while on vacation, as long as employees have a good internet connection (and that is not hard to find nowadays). People are more motivated to produce great results when they have the opportunity to work in the environment they’re most productive. This idea works best on the new generation i.e. millennials.
  2. Honest job expectations – Many companies suffer from high employee turnover due to the fact that employees are assigned something different from what they have seen in the initial job description. When employees are given responsibilities that do not suit their interests and strengths, their drive to perform goes to ground.
  3. Promote a healthy work-life balance – The work-life balance has become extremely important to employees, but many managers fail to realise that. The managers should take care of their team in order for them to avoid employee burnout. Regular check-ups help, because if you observe something is not right with one of your staff you can give them a day off to decompress. It is key you do not bombard your employees with one too many projects at once.
  4. The possibility of professional growth – It is as clear as day that people are more interested in jobs where professional development is one of the advantages. In order to boost your company’s performance, (internal) growth has to be one of the core principles. Whether we are talking about a promotion or a simple salary raise, this will motivate your employees to achieve the organisation’s goals/objectives. Provide the opportunity for career and personal growth through training and education, challenging assignments and more responsibility. Welfare is important to people, undermining their value and pay would be a fatal mistake. Managers and CEOs should work hand in hand with the HR department in order to devise to most appropriate pay plan possible for their employees.
  5. Finding the best candidate from the beginning – It may seem like a pretty obvious idea, but many companies fail to realise the importance of the recruiting process. Besides the necessary skills any employee should have, try and find out if that person identifies with the company culture and gets along with the co-workers and managers.

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.


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The Effectiveness of High-Potential Employee Programs

High-potential (HIPO) employees find themselves in the top 5% within an organisation, based on their individual performances. They are considered the company’s most prized assets and are being tipped-off to go into leadership positions. But this is easier said than done. In most cases, organisations develop HIPO programs in order to train their best employees in becoming future leaders.

Although high-potential employee programs might seem like the perfect solution, over 40% of the people participating do not belong there, according to the data analysed by the Harvard Business Review (HBR). The information gathered by HBR consists of 1,964 high potential employees, from 3 distinct companies, who have measured their leadership abilities through 360° assessments. Feedback is immediate, with analysis reports being developed almost instantly. This type of assessment is done when organisations wish to measure capabilities such as low turnover, employee engagement and high productivity. Obviously, the better the score, the better the outcome.

When looking at the data gathered from the participants in the HIPO programs, the results were outlandish. 12% of them found themselves in the lowest quadrant in leadership effectiveness; resulting in an overall 42% below average. They’re not in the top 5% anymore, not by a mile.

What about the quality of the HIPO programs that are running in your company? There are a couple of mistakes that may come along the way in regards to these programs:

  1. Performance doesn’t equal potential: HIPO programs tend to focus too much on performance and that generally leads to problems in today’s ever changing business climate. First of all, most companies do not know how to measure performance given the fact that if subjective ratings are eliminated, there are very few metrics left to count on. Secondly, even if the right parameters are chosen to measure performance, most top performers cannot handle or are simply not prepared for the next level. The transition from being a simple employee to a manager, or from a manager to a leader, requires abilities most people haven’t been trained for before. Plus, there is always the possibility that HIPO employees focus on solving problems or an all-round team player. Unfortunately, this leads to people placed in jobs they are not able or do not want to perform. It is absolutely vital to understand that performance represents what you do and potential is simply what you COULD do. If you are really good at doing X this doesn’t mean you will be great at doing Y – X and Y here being two distinct activities.
  2. HIPO’s have their weaknesses: Here, the Pareto principle fits the bill quite perfectly. If you don’t know what the Pareto principle is, here is the explanation: 20% of employees make up for 80% of the company’s revenues and profits. Based on this idea, it is clear that 20% of employees cause 80% of the problems within an organisation. Coincidentally or not, they are most often than not, the same employees. HIPO personnel, who generally know their worth, are frequently more difficult to manage. Nevertheless, no matter how astute these people are, they tend to have a dark side as well. In this scenario, the HR department has to intervene. Unfortunately, when it does intervene, the focus is on improving their existing qualities which leaves out their other personality problems to roam free. Overworked strengths have a tendency to become weaknesses and that is not good news for any organisation.

It is a well-known fact that a top performer may start having difficulties at his job when he is placed in a leadership role. It is clear he may perform well in one company but he cannot have the same impact and results in another organisation. It all depends on his vision and leadership, and these qualities are not easy to find.

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.

We help you find the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation. 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. The GR8 360° tool is excellent at developing managerial competencies, skills and behaviours. When using this assessment, you will find over 50 dimensions that come along with suggestions for future improvement and development. 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.




Algorithm vs. Human Instinct

Everyone wants to have the best people in the right positions. But how exactly can you accomplish this?

This is where HR steps in. Most people underestimate its importance, but studies have shown the great hidden impact that great HR can have on any organisation.

Watson Wyatt surveyed 405 publicly traded companies of all types, posing 72 wide-ranging questions on everything from training to workplace culture to communications. In order to come up with a so-called Human Capital Index (HCI) score for each company, a statistical formula was applied (HCI measures how well an organisation makes use of the ability of an individual to perform. A higher human capital index indicates better management of human capital by the organisation. It is measured on a scale of 100). Then the subject companies were sorted into three HCI-rating categories: low, medium, and high. The companies in the high-HCI group delivered a 103 percent total return to shareholders over a five-year period, compared to 53 percent for low-HCI and 88% for medium-HCI companies.

While psychometric testing and performance prediction have evolved considerably over the past 100 years, their value is often under appreciated. In this article from,  two critical lessons from this broad field of research are highlighted. Namely, research on performance prediction has taught us the importance of choosing the right people and using the right tools to do so.

As it is mentioned in the article, selecting the right candidates is an important goal, but we must not forget about the one with equal importance – screening out undesirable candidates. The consequences of choosing the wrong people can be extremely detrimental for the company, as they lead to increased turnover rates, higher recruitment costs, and training expenses, along with lost productivity and decreases in morale among all employees. The high costs associated with replacing poorly performing individuals make it all the more important to identify and select the best performers in the first place.

This is where you have to ask yourselves: on what should I base my decision when selecting a new candidate? Human instinct or a pre-employment assessment system? The thing is – people are very good at identifying what exactly it’s needed for a certain position in their company and at extracting information from the candidates, but they are doing poor at interpreting the results. The analysis made by Harvard Business Review (HBR) on 17 studies of applicant evaluations shows that a simple equation outperforms human decisions by at least 25%. This is valid for any situation with a large number of candidates – no matter if the job is on the front line, middle management, or in the C-suite.

There are also several other benefits to the company that an employment evaluation system can bring. It provides leaders with valuable information not only about their candidates, but also about their existing employees. This helps you identify their development needs and their strongest abilities, which you can improve, based on the given feedback.

This doesn’t mean that you should completely remove the human judgment from the equation.

A great way to make the best decisions would be to use exclusively the assessment systems in order to narrow down the number of possible candidates to only a few before you involve any human judgment. Afterwards, you can make the final decision by consulting with the managers that you trust the most.

In order for the assessments to be successful, there are certain rules that must be respected:

  • Understanding the importance of the assessment process and it’s role in identifying the performance levels can lead to the success or failure of the process
  • Respecting the methodology suggested and agreed upon by the company leads to maintaining the objectivity, regardless of who is being assessed
  • Encouraging employees to get involved in a permanent self assessment process and ask for feedback. This leads to self-motivation and engagement.
  • Follow up the assessment. The assessed employee and the assessor will meet for a follow up session to analyse and discuss results, certain situations and evaluate the potential solutions for the identified problems, which leads to mid-term and long-term development.

 If you need more information about how the assessment system works, get in touch with a consultant now!