What Makes HR Look Good in the Board Room – if indeed they even get there!
Its easy to see the results of the Sales Director, the Operations Director and to review the numbers of the Finance Director. These things are tangible and measurable and tend to receive the majority of the Board Room focus because of this very nature.
Most organisations will tell you that their people are the most important resource they have and that looking after them and developing them is paramount. So why is it that the person who is Head of HR is often not represented on the Board and if they are, they often have to shout loudly to be heard?
The answer may be contained in just one word: ‘evidence’. People are not machines; they cannot be counted as a stock number and additionally, unlike stock, they have a thing called choice!
There are no norms – all people are exceptions to a rule that doesn’t exist
Fernando Pessoa – Late 19th Century Portuguese Poet
Hence HR people are often left with unquantifiable results. Being experts in their own field they can see what strategic decisions have to be made in relation to developing a productive, engaged workforce but with no statistical evidence this can be hard to justify.
Dan Harrison’s 30+ years of research into what makes people successful in the workplace, in particular roles and working in particular teams now gives us the very analytics needed to:
Identify the success behaviours required to perform in a particular role
Produce profiles against which to recruit successful candidates
Assess for leadership, BCs, values-based behaviours, remote working EI and much more
Conduct progressive engagement surveys upon which to make strategic engagement decisions as well as individual ones
Armed with such analytics, the HR professional stands a much better chance of making effective business cases in the Board Room!
I was discussing Employee Engagement Expectations with a customer recently and he happened to mention that they had just completed an anonymous engagement survey. He was disgruntled because, although the survey suggested pockets of people who were likely to leave the organisation due to lack of recognition, as just one example, he didn’t know who or where they were and couldn’t therefore take action. In other words –
‘Someone somewhere in the organization is unhappy about something but we don’t know the details and can’t therefore have a progressive conversation’
So why do organisations involve themselves in the anonymity of such surveys? Frankly its due to a perception (not always reality) of a lack of trust.
In other words they believe that employees will be more open if they don’t have to put their name to something. Doesn’t this reflect on the very organisers of the survey who unconsciously believe the organisation can’t be trusted?
Engagement tools are really useful for retaining talented staff! But they have to be used properly. Dan Harrison believes that employee engagement is a two-way process – it’s as much the organisation’s responsibility to keep staff engaged as it is for them to be engaged. A survey should be the foundation for a conversation on an employee’s expectations. For example, if an employee wants recognition, in what format does he/she expect this, who from and how often? If an employee is looking for development – in what areas, when and what format? OK so it won’t always be possible to fulfil expectations but at least the employee receives the message that the organisation is interested in them and will consider them when opportunities arise.
Such an approach requires trust so pre-framing the exercise is crucial. Employees must understand that the tool is to be used for improving engagement and not for anything else.
If you would like to know how to assess groups of employees, individuals or even the whole organisation for engagement expectations quickly and effectively, and to see the results instantly on an easy-to-read visual dashboard so that you know with whom to have progressive conversations please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07768 922244 or find more information here. You can also read further about engagement analytics in this blog.
In the meantime ‘Stay Engaged!’
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As a trainer of, amongst other things, presentation skills I came across my notes from when I first attended NLP Trainer Training with Realisation at Stenhouse back in the day and found these principles which are oh so relevant still today ……
Click the image to view a larger version and download
The flipchart/Powerpoint is NOT the training (John Rogers)
There are no difficult groups only inflexible trainers
Excellent training comes from CAUSE not Effect
Feedback feeds learning
Every response is a training opportunity
You reap what you Say – If you always do what you’ve always done …. the delegates will fall asleep!
Trainers with high Flexibility will reach parts that other trainers don’t even know about
Learning to trust your own resources is the most powerful learning of all
The trainers choice: whether you believe something is possible or not you are right
Inside every delegate there is a real person
The key to training is NOT in your head
Everybody has something to learn. Everybody has something to teach
Unconsciously I have stuck with these principles during the 20+ years I have been training leaders and managers – they have served me well – thanks Realisation at Stenhouse!
Engaged employees who wholeheartedly give discretionary effort help the organisation succeed.
While employee engagement is now afforded greater focus, energy and resources by most organisations, traditional employee engagement surveys only measure group engagement issues, ignore the individual data that is crucial to engagement, and assumes only their managers are responsible for engagement.
To significantly increase employee engagement you need to understand the passions, motivations, and expectations of the individual, and use an approach which is based around engagement being a shared responsibility between the employee and the organisation.
Using objective data, we can map individual employee’s passions, motivations, expectations and the degree to which their expectations are perceived to be already being fulfilled, against eight essential Engagement metrics:
• Development • Remuneration • Authority • Social
• Appreciation • Communications • Personal • Work Life Balance
View of top 21 employees alphabetically sorted from a group of 81 employees in total
What does this tell us?
The graph above provides a clear picture of this group of individuals; overall fulfilment scores are predominantly high. This indicates that the majority of these employees feel that the employee expectations which are important to them as individuals are mostly being met.
Do Darvin and Esmerelda appear engaged in their day to day role? Their scores would indicate otherwise, and this will probably be apparent in some way in their behaviours and productivity levels.
Why may Darvin feel like his opinions are not being valued? What may be behind Esmerelda’s apparent lack of fulfilment in her advancement and desire to lead?
Amanda, Antoine and Britt look like it wouldn’t take much for their engagement levels to drop either, and there are some areas where various individuals have rated factors as very important (10’s) which are not being fulfilled and could cause some issues.
The key is to find out what is behind the data
Each of these people – and everyone else in the group – could all benefit from a positive 1-2-1 discussion with their manager to firstly to explore may be behind these scores and to see why they feel their individual expectations are not being fulfilled, and what could be done by their manager, the organisation and they themselves to improve this, and their engagement in their role.
We can also see from the number of high scores afforded across the first 5 expectations – the desire for Development, Advancement, a Capable Leader, To Lead, and to have Opinions Valued, that these seem to be the most often identified as being important to the majority, whereas Quick Pay Increases and Personal Help do not appear to be deemed as important to the individuals in the group.
Room for improvement
The yellow and red areas indicate those expectations that are not necessarily being fulfilled, and can provide a great basis for 2-way conversation firstly to explore may be behind these scores and then to discuss how both parties can improve the situation and benefit from greater engagement. There may be some personal circumstances which are influencing the scores. There could be some simple local solutions in the team which could be implemented, and individual’s feedback could also be useful in feeding into developing wider organisational plans and strategies.
This granular level of in-depth engagement analytics can develop your leaders’ capability to engage their teams and retain top talent. Being able to see how individuals’ values align with your organisation’s business objectives and goals can promote open and engaging discussions and make performance reviews comfortable and productive for everybody.
Understand individual employee’s expectations and the degree to which there are met.
Provide effective engagement intervention for each individual employee by targeting the factors that are important to each employee.
Place employees in roles that are engaging.
Identify how the organisation can help fulfil the employee’s expectations as well as what the employee needs to do.
Understand engagement and fulfilment levels across the business
As well as individual data, an Organisational view enables you to understand collective engagement and fulfilment levels across the business.
View of employee engagement expectations data from a group of 81 employees in total
Again, we can see clearly that whereas the overall fulfilment of the group of 81 employees is around 2/3rds satisfied, there remains 1 third of expectations unmet.
We can also see that ‘Wants Development’ is the highest placed expectation, and ‘Wants Opinions Valued’ is the most unmet of them all. The grey areas show where those expectations have not been ranked highly, and indicates that flexible work time, quick pay increases and personal help are of little value to this group of individuals.
Explore your data in many different ways
Interactive dashboards allow you to select groups to analyse by department, team, or manager using customisable tags and easily generate reports. A traffic light colour scheme easily identifies any hot spot areas to focus on.
Using advanced organisational analytics such as these for PEOPLE means you can measure, identify, develop, and improve across individuals, groups, teams, business areas and behaviours using global and individual data to support people plans, drive action, and to create a culture of engagement and high performance.
Visualise your Group Data
This is a snapshot of the high-level Organisational Analytics data available just across Employee Engagement Expectations. You can also get data for your people and your organisation on:
Senior and emerging leadership competency
Culture of your organisation
Collaboration and Team competencies
Emotional Intelligence competencies
Remote Working competencies
How helpful would this data be for informing your people development plans, culture and engagement programmes and succession plans?
You can find out more about Organisational Analytics here. leaders skills and competencies
If you would like to discuss how Organisational Analytics can help support your business objectives and people plans please contact Pat Hutchinson: email@example.com or on 07768 922244
You’ve just completed a great project, met the deadlines and brought it in on budget. You are feeling good but nobody says a word? As days go by nothing comes back and you start to doubt your success. The internal dialogue ramps up to a point where you become totally focused on whether or not you did indeed complete a successful project. You venture to ask a couple of questions of the people from whom you may have expected some positive feedback but the bemused looks set you back even further so what’s going on?
Unconscious behaviour patterns are playing out here. You may have a high need for recognition and appreciation because your external reference system means you value other peoples opinions, external qualifications etc in order to measure your own success. Internally referenced people, on the other hand, measure their success against their own internal measures. They include the word ‘I’ to a large degree in their conversation and don’t need others to tell them they have done a good job. They will be bemused when externally referenced people ask for feedback and unconsciously view it as ‘needy’.
No feedback needed, thanks
Internally referenced people don’t take kindly to feedback because unconsciously they have a high degree of certainty that they are right (they are not always of course!). The unconscious thinking is that ‘if I don’t need feedback then nor does anyone else’. Consequently they don’t give it out and if they do it can sounds contrived and awkward. This type of behaviour can often come across as ‘confidence’ and will invariably help the internally reference person up the promotion ladder. They can also be very hard to give feedback to so here is a tip for you –
If you want to give feedback to an internally referenced person start with ‘Of course you probably already know this ……..’