Category Archive: Blog

  1. Anonymous Engagement Surveys – why they don’t work!

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    Anonymous engagement surveys

    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 [email protected] 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!’

    Pat Hutchinson

     


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  2. 12 principles of effective training

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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

     

    1. The flipchart/Powerpoint is NOT the training (John Rogers)
    2. There are no difficult groups only inflexible trainers
    3. Excellent training comes from CAUSE not Effect
    4. Feedback feeds learning
    5. Every response is a training opportunity
    6. You reap what you Say – If you always do what you’ve always done …. the delegates will fall asleep!
    7. Trainers with high Flexibility will reach parts that other trainers don’t even know about
    8. Learning to trust your own resources is the most powerful learning of all
    9. The trainers choice: whether you believe something is possible or not you are right
    10. Inside every delegate there is a real person
    11. The key to training is NOT in your head
    12. 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!

    Are you interested in how we can help with developing these and other presentation and communication skills for yourself or your team? Check out our Advanced Presentation Skills wi th NLP course, or please get in touch at [email protected] or on 07768 922244

  3. Employee engagement is a personal matter for each individual.

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    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
    • Team Dynamics
    • 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 protected] or on 07768 922244

  4. Don’t expect feedback from internally referenced people

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    The feedback black hole

    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?

    What’s happening?

    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 ……..’

     

     

    Are you internally or externally referenced? Find out with this short free questionnaire

    If you would like to know more please get in touch with us 07768 92224 or  [email protected]. Sign up to our newsletter

  5. Where do your leaders need most support?

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    A common thread often found in organisations is where managers and leaders have been promoted after demonstrating skill and success in operational roles. Unfortunately, many then appear to struggle to get to grips with the new role, and seem to lack some of the necessary skills and competencies required to make the step to becoming a successful leader for their teams.

    The behaviours and resulting ramifications can often be seen and felt in the day to day workplace. Despite this, it can be difficult to pinpoint where to focus to help these people to develop more effective behaviours and strategies to improve these skills and bring better success in their role.

    What could that focus look like?

    This is a group overview of 40 managers, who have been objectively measured against 10 Leadership competencies.

    If you were to look at the 9 areas of leadership competency in the graph below… which areas in particular would you say need some focus?

    If you just look at the red areas then ‘Impact and Influence‘, ‘Leading People‘ and ‘Communication‘, in the first instance, perhaps? And then maybe ‘Achievement Orientation‘ and ‘Resilience and Perseverance‘. There doesn’t really seem to be any issues with ‘Problem Solving‘ skills or ‘Learning Agility‘. There’s a lot that could be improved across the amber areas as well to bring those skills up.

    What could that look like and feel like in this organisation?

    Perhaps a group of managers who are great at resolving issues, fighting fires, and taking learnings from experiences, success and mistakes and applying it to new situations.

    However, perhaps some of them may not be so great at taking the lead in achieving the company’s mission and objectives, influencing and engaging their teams to contribute towards the company’s goals or communicating effectively with their teams to let them know what is expected of them.

    Maybe a group of managers where some may have been promoted because they are good at their job – but haven’t yet been able to develop the leadership skills they need in their more strategic and influencing role.

    And so if you look at the individual list view of those 40 managers below, who would you say could really benefit from some development and support to be able to better succeed in their role? 

    Clearly, everyone can always benefit from development and support. In this case, it would probably be helpful to get a better understanding of what is going on with Tuan Nyugen. And it would be worth looking at what additional development would be helpful for Adela Olga, Annalisa Elba, Shelby May and Minerva Dixon to improve their leadership skills.

    It’s also quite easy to see who could make up a cohort for some skills development around ‘Impact and Influence‘ (last column), or Communications skills (2nd to last column).

    And maybe it is apparent which managers could be considered for a benchmarking success exercise to support succession planning and recruitment plans. leaders skills and competencies

    Visualise your Group Data

    This is just a snapshot of the high-level Organisational Analytics data available just across these 10 Leadership competencies. You can also get data for your people and your organisation on:

    • Culture of your organisation
    • Individual’s alignment with your organisation’s core values
    • Individual and collective engagement factors and fulfilment levels of those engagement factors
    • Collaboration and Team competencies
    • Team Dynamics
    • 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 protected] or on 07768 922244