Tag Archive: communication

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 5 Tips For Improving Your Communication

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    Communication is one of the most important skills a successful leader can develop. Effective communication is the tool to inspire, align a team around common goals, build trust and negotiate delicate situations.

    Ineffective communication can leave teams feeling out of the loop and lacking in confidence and motivation. It can even result in a complete breakdown in trust between leader and employee/team. This in turn has a huge impact on productivity and can result in absenteeism, raised levels of sickness and staff churn.  If you happen to work for a visionary company who recognize the importance of effective communication you will have been on the receiving end as well as seen the benefits of training in such skills.

    Here are 5 areas you could consider if you want to do a bit of work on your own communication skills and style.

    What do you feel you do well? Where could you do a bit better? And what could you put in place to help with that?

    Infographic explaining 5 ways of improving your communication skills

    5 tips to improve your communication skills

    How our communication is received will depend on the perception and viewpoint of the person receiving it. This means that it can be open to interpretation.  However, the intention and the interpretation can often be miles apart. It is important to remember that it is the interpretation and not the intention that triggers action.  So, if we want that action to be positive and progressive, we must take the utmost care with our communication.

    You can read more on what effective communication can look like in this blog.

    Are you interested in how we can help with developing this and other leadership skills for yourself or your team? Please get in touch at [email protected] or on 07768 922244

  5. What does effective communication look like?

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    Communication is one of the most important skills a successful leader can develop. Effective communication is the tool to inspire, align a team around common goals, build trust and negotiate delicate situations.  How our communication is received will depend on the perception and viewpoint of the person receiving it and is open to interpretation.  The intention and the interpretation can often be miles apart and it is important to remember that it is the interpretation not the intention that triggers action.  If we want that action to be positive and progressive, we must take the utmost care with our communication.

    Ineffective communication can leave teams feeling out of the loop, lacking in confidence and motivation, or even result in a complete breakdown in trust between leader and employee/team. This in turn has a huge impact on productivity and can result in absenteeism, raised levels of sickness and staff churn.  If you happen to work for a visionary company who recognize the importance of effective communication you will have been on the receiving end as well as seen the benefits of training in such skills. A good place to start is by considering the foundations of effective communication.

    The Paradox of Respectful Candour – or Communication

    Harrison Assessments Paradox Theory suggests the idea that every behavioural trait can be a strength or a derailer depending on the circumstances.  Unfortunately, behavioural traits are often unconscious behaviours or habits and we can often fail to notice the consequences of ineffective behaviour.  Balancing seemingly opposite (paradoxical) traits can give us the maximum flexibility and, therefore, effectiveness within each paradox.

    The two paradoxical traits of the Respectful Candour paradox are FRANK and DIPLOMATIC and this is just one of 12 sets of paradoxical traits that give us an overview of our approach to work.

    • FRANK: the tendency to be straightforward, direct, to the point and forthright
    • DIPLOMATIC: the tendency to state things in a tactful manner

    Communication imbalances can cause limitations in communication style

    Flexibility is the name of the game and a high score in both diplomacy and frankness will give us such flexibility. So let’s take a look at the imbalances and the consequences of each.

    1. LOW FRANKNESS + LOW DIPLOMACY = AVOIDS COMMUNICATION

    What this can look like: The manager who disappears down the corridor at the first hint of a confrontation or spends the day hiding behind a closed office door. Often prefers to communicate by email rather than in person or even on the phone.

    A leader who avoids communication may be unable to communicate with a team effectively on a day to day basis, manage conflicts or to provide clear strategic direction, often leaving the team feeling ‘rudderless’. The team may feel this manager is too busy, or doesn’t care about their input.

    2. LOW FRANKNESS + HIGH DIPLOMACY = EVASIVE

    What this can look like: The manager who never gets to the point because they’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings or allows bad behaviour from team members to go unchecked for risk of upsetting them. Avoids being the bearer of bad news and passes the buck onto others: “Head Office said we need to work extra hours to make this deadline”.

    A leader who is evasive tends to be tactful without being sufficiently direct. This can leave the team feeling they are not being given the whole story, or even not being told the truth which isn’t necessarily the case.  There may be gaps in the communication which could be filled with inappropriate actions.

    3. HIGH FRANKNESS + LOW DIPLOMACY = BLUNT

    What this can look like: The manager who steps on others without even realising it. Often prides themself on being ‘honest’, thinks there is nothing wrong with their own style, and does not know when they hurt others’ feelings. Has a tendency to say the wrong thing at wrong time.

    A leader who is blunt may tend to be frank or direct and often use the phrase ‘telling it as it is’ without sufficient tact, often making themself appear rude. Those around may hold back from sharing ideas for fear of being shot down.

    Any and all of the above can lead to problems with performance, disengagement and a poor culture.

    Of course, there will be instances where these extremes are useful – frankness is probably preferable if the building is on fire.  Equally two people with the same frank trait will demonstrate excellent rapport – I have seen whole organizational cultures built on one style of communication as people who feel uncomfortable leave the organization. The question here is ‘what is the organization missing in terms of creativity and ideas?’

    Likewise there will be situations where extreme diplomacy and tact are required –negotiation of any sort or delivering unpleasant news for example.

    Balance brings versatility

    Effective communication encourages innovation, helps with the early identification of problems, creates individual and team engagement with business goals and objectives and creates a culture of openness and trust in the team and the wider organisation. Operating within the fourth pattern encourages and allows for greater versatility for the needs of the situation.

    4. HIGH FRANKNESS + HIGH DIPLOMACY = FORTHRIGHT DIPLOMACY

    What this can look like: The manager who maintains a good balance of being to the point while being sensitive to the way in which they communicate with their audience.

    A leader who displays forthright diplomacy tends to be both forthright and diplomatic at the same time, communicating clearly and respectfully with the team to create an open and engaged team culture.

    As previously stated, flexibility is the name of the game – being able to switch styles according to the person on the receiving end and the requirements of the situation.  The first step in developing such versatility is awareness – The Harrison Assessment Paradox report will give you this and the opportunity to practice exercises to develop potentially deficient traits.

     

    5 tips to help improve communication

    • Keep communicating! Information, thoughts, feedback, ideas should be communicated frequently – ‘nature abhors a vacuum’… don’t leave a gap which can be filled with inaccurate information from other sources. Keep communication open and transparent, remove any barriers and take the time to talk and listen to people.
    • Keep it simple and direct – Make sure communications are clear without hiding behind extraneous information. Take into account how your message will be received by others. Use that diplomacy… Direct does not mean blunt!
    • Listen and encourage contributions – Encourage ideas and solutions from others. Do 80% of the listening and 20% of the talking. Showing interest and respecting colleagues will help make the emotional connection that’s so important for effective leadership.
    • Show empathy and create trust – Walk in the other person’s shoes, see things from other perspectives to avoid being judgmental and biased. Employees want to feel heard and valued.
    • Walk the talk – Integrity is key and judgement is invariably based upon behaviour. Credibility and engagement will emanate from consistent communication and behaviour.

     

    Paradoxical Leadership Technology

    You can find out more about balancing Paradoxical traits, like FRANK and DIPLOMATIChere,  or you can get in touch at [email protected] or on 07768 922244