Tag Archive: engagement and retention

  1. The Missing Key!

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    Have you got the right sales people in place and is your reward scheme set up properly?

    A colleague of mine bought a new car through a well-known and, to all intents and purposes, reputable dealership in Liverpool.  On completing the deal the sales person agreed to supply the missing spare key saying that it would take about a week…  6 weeks and endless calls later, my colleague still hasn’t received the key.  Excuses have ranged from ‘getting caught up in a heavy sales period’ to the ‘key supplier being on holiday’!

    So imagine her surprise when she received a call from the sales person asking her why she hadn’t completed the customer feedback form because it affected his ‘scores’.

    My colleague has vowed never to buy a car from this dealer again and has told just about everyone she meets what terrible service she has received and all because of a key!


    So what’s going on here? 

    Two things strike me.  Firstly we have a sales person who is more interested in his own personal success represented by the scoring system than he is in fulfilling his promises to the customer.  He seems to think that people will give him good marks regardless of poor service.  Admittedly his scores may reflect his pay packet at the end of the month but surely points have to be earned?

    Selecting sales people who are interested in customer satisfaction first and their own scores afterwards will satisfy both needs.  Note to management – make sure your talent acquisition strategy includes something like Harrison Assessments to engage sales people with an approach that will result in customer satisfaction, repeat sales and ultimately high scores – win/win for all!

    Secondly, is your reward system for sales people set up correctly?  Is it rewarding successful, productive behaviour with the types of rewards the sales people want?  The only way to find out is to ask them with an objective (not subjective) retention and engagement survey.  Here again Harrison Assessments can help with a highly cost effective, easy to complete, objective survey measuring 8 employee engagement factors, ensuring your reward system is aligned not only to the business’ expectations, but also to your employees expectations.

    If you would like to know more about how we can help you, select, engage and retain your sales people do get in touch:

    pat@quadrant1.com  – 07768 922244.

  2. Employee remuneration expectations – frequency or value?

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    Employee Remuneration Expectations – managing for engagement

    In the last article of this series on employee expectations we look at ‘remuneration expectations’ and how they impact employee engagement.

    We all want to be paid a fair wage for a fair day’s work and remuneration is certainly near the top of employee expectations. It is not, however, the primary motivator for a good many of us and vies for position with the quality of the workplace environment, being appreciated and having a competent, responsive manager.

    Employee Expectations

    The organisational view

    Most employees understand that a company has different pay grades and that they cannot expect to earn more than someone else who does the same job. Having said that, the increasing problem of those being paid below the living wage can create tensions for many companies.

    If you want to earn a higher salary, the excepted way of doing it is to take on more responsibility and possibly undertake further training.

    For those who want higher pay, this can often be the sticking point, particularly if they are not self-motivated enough to develop their own careers.

    The individual’s remuneration expectations

    Asking the right questions, and analysing each individual employee’s real engagement factors ensures managers and the wider organisation provide an environment that retains their best talent.

    individual remuneration expecttions

    Remuneration Expectations

    Employee remuneration expectations can vary depending on the amount of pressure they are under, the type of work they have to do and the environment they work in. Even individuals in a particular office might have different views about whether they are paid enough or not.

    Wants High Pay

    • The desire to earn greater remuneration
    • A competitive and career minded individual will more likely see their worth in the amount that they are paid, or have the potential of earning, compared to someone who just wants to come in and get their allotted work done.
    • Wanting higher pay can be a signifier of personal ambition which could mean that a top performing team member may look elsewhere if they don’t achieve what they hope for. It can also be a pipe dream where an individual wants more pay but is not prepared to get the work and study done to reach their target.

    Wants Quick Pay Increases

    • The desire to have an employer who offers relatively frequent pay increases
    • Linked to the desire for higher pay, is the need for them to be delivered quickly. Most businesses have a yearly incremental increase in salary but that might not be enough for some employees. This could be a sign that they are moving quickly up the ladder or it could be that their ambitions are outstripping their actual ability.
    • Impatience can be a virtue but it can also signify that an employee is more likely to look round at other companies rather than stay put and contribute to the development of an organisation.

    Self-Motivated

    • The drive to achieve including taking initiative, wanting challenge, and being enthusiastic about goals
    • Those who want to develop their own careers necessarily have to be self-motivated. This can be a difficult one to gauge particularly if the employee is deluding themselves about just how much they have in the tank for climbing the corporate ladder.
    • There may well be good signs for self-motivated behaviour such as learning new key skills and being open to challenges and these can mark out an employee as someone who needs to be handled sympathetically and nurtured if they are to stay with the company.

    Does everyone in the group have the same remuneration expectations?

    Finding out what employee’s remuneration expectations are can be highly enlightening; by using Harrison Assessments engagement and retention analytics we can explore them in detail.

    Team Distribution Remuneration Expectations

    What can we interpret for this group?

    • This group considers earning higher pay levels to be only moderately important and thus, it is only moderately important to carefully explain how higher pay can be achieved.
    • This group considers quick pay increases to be unimportant. Consequently, this group is probably not going to be too impatient about achieving higher pay.
    • This group has a strong tendency to be self-motivated independent of consideration about remuneration.

    Using Harrison Assessments Talent Solutions to understand remuneration expectations

    Managers can measure an number of key employee expectations, the intrinsic behaviours that drive individual and group engagement. This helps to understand any differences between an employee as well as looking at the overall group or team’s expectations. These insights facilitate the essential dialogue between employee and manager, fostering a shared responsibility for engagement to build a culture of employee engagement.

    Managers can use the Manage, Develop and Retain report as a guide to getting the best performance out of an individual member of their team, and shows how mis-matched communication and management styles could potentially demotivate a talented employee. Instead the report suggests how best to develop and engage the employee, what type of tasks to delegate and behaviours to watch out for that could impede performance.

    Employee Engagement White Paper

    • This employee engagement white paper will outline why this is the case and what is needed to achieve a greater impact on organisational performance.
    • It includes some key areas relating to engagement in the workplace and a crucial 3-step guide to assist with the application of engagement analytics.
    • Written by Dan Harrison, Ph.D. – Organisational Psychology, developer and CEO of Harrison Assessments, this white paper is a must read for anyone involved in employee engagement.  Request your copy here –
  3. Do high performers want, or need appreciation?

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    Appreciation Expectations – do high performers have them?

    Article number seven on employee expectations looks at ‘appreciation expectations’ at work and how they impact on employee engagement.

    Most employees have appreciation expectations and want their contributions to be valued and recognised. However high performing employees may not need external appreciation, relying more on their own assessment of their work, but definitely want recognition from their peers. So how does a manager discover each person’s expectations and meet them in the right way?

    Employee Expectations

    The organisational view

    Your organisation may well be able to attract top talent with a competitive salary but if their real retention and engagement factors are not met – they may soon be leaving for an environment where they can be met.

    Research by Monster.co.uk found that many of us don’t feel appreciated at work and employees even have put a value to it – they think compensation of £134 a month would cover the amount for not being thanked properly for their work.

    The individual’s authority expectations

    Asking the right questions, and analysing each individual employee’s real engagement factors ensures managers and the wider organisation provide an environment that retains the best talent.

    Appreciation Expectations

    Appreciation Expectations

    Employees who don’t feel appreciated, recognised or listened to are more likely to be unhappy at work than those that get a thank you and notice taken of their efforts once in a while.

    Wants Appreciation

    • The desire to have an employer who expresses appreciation for one’s work
    • We all want to get some appreciation at work and those that receive it feel better and more secure. The trouble is that many employers and management staff don’t do it enough. Taking time to thank a member of staff for their great work can raise morale and put a smile on people’s faces.
    • An employee who isn’t appreciated is going to care a little less about their job each day and bosses need to make sure that this basic social nicety is given more focus. If employee expectations in this area don’t match what the company provides then something will need to change.

    Wants Recognition

    • The desire for positive acknowledgement (from others) related to one’s abilities and strengths
    • If an employee does a good job they want some kind of recognition even if it’s just sending them an email to thank them for all their hard work. Of course, there are some tireless employees who don’t want to be thanked and get embarrassed at being singled out for praise but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be shown some form of appreciation.
    • It’s not just a simple thank you that employees may want. Recognition could mean the prospect of promotion or a wage increase, the chance to undertake some valuable training or not having those low grade jobs pushed onto them all the time.

    Wants Warmth/Empathy

    • The tendency to express positive feelings and affinity toward others
    • However busy the office is, there’s always time for some warmth, particularly as it helps create a better, kinder environment that improves productivity. During stressful times understanding and empathy can often go out the window but if your employee values this kind of interaction and expects it then there needs to be more effort made on these occasions.

    Wants Opinions Valued

    • The desire to have an employer who listens and gives importance to one’s views
    • Most career minded employees will expect to have their opinions valued. There may be those who don’t put it high up on their list of priorities but most of us like to think we have something important to say from time to time. A low score for expectations in this area could also be a sign that the person in charge is not someone who likes to listen to other opinions.

    Is Collaborative

    • The tendency to collaborate with others when making decisions
    • It’s all very well expecting to be appreciated but if you prefer to work alone and have less focus on effective collaboration then this could point to an imbalance between what is expected and what is actually the case.
    • Creating opportunities for better collaboration in an office environment can improve social cohesion and also allow everyone to work more effectively as a team.

    Does everyone in the group have the same appreciation expectations?

    Finding out what employee’s appreciation expectations are can be highly enlightening; by using Harrison Assessments engagement and retention analytics we can explore them in detail.

    Appreciation Expectations

    What can we interpret for this group?

    • This group considers receiving appreciation to be reasonably important. It is reasonably important for management to communicate sincere appreciation for work contributions. This is best fulfilled with an occasional one-on-one communication that establishes that their contributions are understood and appreciated.
    • This group considers receiving recognition to be moderately important. Consequently, it is moderately important to find ways to provide recognition. This type of recognition should be related to acknowledging their strengths and capabilities.
    • This group has a strong tendency to express warmth and empathy. Consequently, it is more likely others will reciprocate with appreciation and recognition.
    • This group considers it to be reasonably important for others to consider and value their opinions. Therefore, it is reasonably important that management listens to, acknowledges, and encourages their opinions. This group has a strong tendency to be collaborative with regards to making decisions. This is likely to cause others to reciprocate by being more receptive to and encouraging of their opinions.

    Using Harrison Assessments Talent Solutions to understand authority expectations

    Managers can measure an number of key employee expectations, the intrinsic behaviours that drive individual and group engagement. This helps to understand any differences between an employee as well as looking at the overall group or team’s expectations. These insights facilitate the essential dialogue between employee and manager, fostering a shared responsibility for engagement to build a culture of employee engagement.

    Managers can use the Manage, Develop and Retain report as a guide to getting the best performance out of an individual member of their team, and shows how mis-matched communication and management styles could potentially demotivate a talented employee. Instead the report suggests how best to develop and engage the employee, what type of tasks to delegate and behaviours to watch out for that could impede performance.

    Employee Engagement White Paper

    • This employee engagement white paper will outline why this is the case and what is needed to achieve a greater impact on organisational performance.
    • It includes some key areas relating to engagement in the workplace and a crucial 3-step guide to assist with the application of engagement analytics.
    • Written by Dan Harrison, Ph.D. – Organisational Psychology, developer and CEO of Harrison Assessments, this white paper is a must read for anyone involved in employee engagement.  Request your copy here –
  4. Identifying leaders based on their authority expectations

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    Identifying Leaders from their Authority Expectations

    This sixth article on employee expectations looks at authority expectations in the workplace and how they impact on employee engagement.

    Top of the list for high performing employees is their chance to act in a position of responsibility, making decisions and taking charge of people to achieve the organisation’s goals.

    As with most other desires, it’s one thing to want to be able to lead and another having the necessary traits to succeed. Employee Expectations

    The organisational view

    Discovering authority expectations can help organisations identify those people likely to succeed in a management position, those that still need further training and development, and those that aren’t cut out for it.

    It also helps to predict day-to-day work behaviours based on how an individual employee feels about management processes and how their performance is managed.

    Does everyone in the group have the same authority expectations?

    Finding out what employee’s authority expectations are can be highly enlightening; by using Harrison Assessments engagement and retention analytics we can explore them in detail.

    For instance, an individual might have the potential to take on a leadership role but needs to develop the motivation and soft skills for managing their team.

    identifying leaders

    What can we interpret for this group?

    • This group has a moderate desire to work autonomously. It is important to consider this desire related to the amount of autonomy required or given related to the job. It is also important to consider the tendency to take initiative related to the desire for autonomy.
    • This group has a strong tendency to take initiative and thus, the initiative is sufficient for the amount of autonomy desired. They will have greater motivation if given opportunities to take initiative. Assuming this group has the necessary experience and skills, give opportunities for initiative wherever possible and carefully explain the initiative that can and cannot be taken.
    • This group has only a moderate desire to take a leadership role. And, this group tends to be moderately willing to accept decision-making authority.
    • This group tends to be moderately willing to accept a great deal of structure placed on them by the organisation.

    The individual’s authority expectations

    Asking the right questions, and analysing each individual employee’s real engagement factors ensures managers and the wider organisation provide an environment that retains the best talent.

    identifying leaders

    Authority Expectations: Leaders vs. Followers

    Authority expectations are key to understanding how individuals relate to the whole structure of a company and where they see the role within it.

    They are also a key indicator of how responsive individuals will be to coaching and further development, and what form this should take if the organisation wants to nurture their potential.

    Wants Autonomy

    • The desire to have freedom or independence from authority
    • Wanting autonomy can be a sign that someone, of course, doesn’t like being told what to do, or it could be an indication that an employee wants to except the challenge of leading within the company.
    • The idea working towards being ‘your own boss’ is appealing because you don’t have anyone telling you what to do but it also means you are personally responsible when things go wrong. An employee who wants to have greater autonomy will need to handle the pressure and work within the structure of the company and that invariably involves developing new skills.

    Takes Initiative

    • The tendency to perceive what is necessary to be accomplished and to proceed on one’s own
    • More and more businesses are now looking for employers who have an ingrained sense of entrepreneurship and who are better able to take the initiative when needed. They don’t simply want people who get on with their day job but those that will come up with new ideas and new directions.
    • Taking the initiative is one thing but can come with consequences if your employee gets it wrong and acts without telling someone. Taking the initiative can have a wider framework than just for those looking to take charge – spotting evidence of good initiative in employees can help mark them as candidates for future development and promotion.

    Wants to Lead

    • The desire to be in a position to direct or guide others
    • Despite popular opinion, leaders are made, not born. Someone needs to make a conscious decision to do it and they have to learn the skill sets and undertake the training to achieve their goals and have a clear awareness of where their weaknesses are and how these can be addressed.
    • Just because someone wants to lead a team doesn’t mean that they are likely to be good at it. The urge to be in charge needs to be balanced with the work that has to be done to achieve success and other signs such as lack of self-motivation may be more pertinent indicators of a particular individual’s worth in this area.

    Is Authoritative

    • The desire for decision-making authority and the willingness to accept decision-making responsibility
    • Being authoritative is not the same as being a leader. You need to have the capacity or the potential to take a number of staff with you and that only comes from being secure and confident in your communication skills as well as other abilities.

    Is Tolerant of Structure

    • The tolerance of following rules, schedules, and procedures created by someone else
    • All businesses have a structure and rules of conduct, hierarchies and the like that apply to staff whether they are working on reception or in the boardroom. A potential top performer who is not tolerant of structure and something of a loose cannon may well have to be given the appropriate advice and training to help bring them into synch with the company ethos.

    Using Harrison Assessments Talent Solutions to understand authority expectations

    Managers can measure an number of key employee expectations, the intrinsic behaviours that drive individual and group engagement. This helps to understand any differences between an employee as well as looking at the overall group or team’s expectations. These insights facilitate the essential dialogue between employee and manager, fostering a shared responsibility for engagement to build a culture of employee engagement.

    Managers can use the Manage, Develop and Retain report as a guide to getting the best performance out of an individual member of their team, and shows how mis-matched communication and management styles could potentially demotivate a talented employee. Instead the report suggests how best to develop and engage the employee, what type of tasks to delegate and behaviours to watch out for that could impede performance.

    Employee Engagement White Paper

    • This employee engagement white paper will outline why this is the case and what is needed to achieve a greater impact on organisational performance.
    • It includes some key areas relating to engagement in the workplace and a crucial 3-step guide to assist with the application of engagement analytics.
    • Written by Dan Harrison, Ph.D. – Organisational Psychology, developer and CEO of Harrison Assessments, this white paper is a must read for anyone involved in employee engagement.  Request your copy here –
  5. Communication Expectations – are your people engaged?

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    Communication Expectations in the Workplace

    This fifth article on employee expectations looks at communication expectations in the workplace and the impact on employee engagement.

    Employee ExpectationsIf the cost of poor communication is: mistakes, wasted time, wasted money, bad recruitment, missed sales, dysfunctional teams, poor morale and slow innovation – so what is the value of good communication?

    Good communication is a key indicator of how your employee engagement strategies are working.

    Rather than assuming what communication expectations may be, managers can now explore each team member’s personality and communication expectations in ways not previously possible.

    The organisational view

    Understanding how employees and teams deal with different styles of communication, and which ones they prefer,  is the cornerstone of organisational effectiveness.

    If an employee wants or expects a good deal of frankness when speaking with other team members and is not getting it, they may well alter their behaviour so that they too are less open and even given to being undiplomatic on occasion.

    Similarly, if an employee is looking for more informative levels of communication and this is not being offered by their line manager or team members, then changes to communication styles can help bring a better understanding and an increase in productivity.

    Does everyone in the group have the same communication expectations?

    Finding out what employee’s communication expectations are can be highly enlightening; by using Harrison Assessments engagement and retention analytics we can explore them in detail.

    Team Communication Expectations

    What can we interpret for this group?

    • This group has a moderate desire for others to communicate in a frank and straightforward manner, including when giving feedback.
    • This group has a moderate tendency to be frank when communicating – which could be a cause of poor productivity when the pressure is on.
    • This group has little desire for others to be diplomatic during discussions and when giving feedback.
    • This group has a moderate tendency to be diplomatic when communicating – so neither a strong tendency to be frank or diplomatic; is there any real communication going on?

    The individual’s communication expectations

    Of course, there may be employees who don’t want to be burdened with overly frank conversations that make them feel under pressure. Likewise, someone may want honesty and forthright speaking but is unwilling to give it back in return.

    Asking the right questions, and analysing each individual employee’s real engagement factors ensures managers and the wider organisation provide an environment that retains the best talent.

    communication expectations for individuals and groups

    Communication Expectations: Frankness and Diplomacy

    Getting the communication mix right both for an individual and groups of staff can be hard work, especially if views on its importance are divergent within a department.

    A line manager may wish to be more frank with his staff but is being held back by those higher up, or they may not want to upset someone who is naturally introverted.

    It’s a fine balance to achieve and knowing what communication expectations individuals have can help develop the engagement strategy that has more chance of working, tailoring it to specific needs and behaviours within the workplace.

    Wants Frankness

    • The desire for others to be direct, straightforward, and to the point
    • For many people, being able to have a frank conversation where they can speak their mind is important, particularly in difficult situations such as department reorganisations where things can naturally get a little fraught.
    • In return they expect to receive honest feedback so that they know what the true situation is and can organise their working life in respect of this information. That could be about the future of their department, the quality of their work or their prospects of getting that new promotion.

    Is Frank

    • The tendency to be straightforward, direct, to the point, and forthright
    • Whilst we all expect some honesty in the office, it’s not always the case that we give it back in return. This is seen by most businesses as a two-way street and employees have to be prepared to be honest and have the confidence to express their opinion.
    • It’s not easy for some employees to always speak their mind and enter into a frank discussion. They may be worried what their boss or colleagues are going to think or they might not want to damage their chances of moving up in the company by raising an important but negative issue or making a complaint.

    Wants Diplomacy

    • The desire for others to be tactful
    • You can, of course, be too frank and, especially in the work place everything needs to be balanced by a healthy dose of diplomacy. This can be a difficult equation to get right even for the most talented of supervisors or employers.
    • Most employees want their fellow workers, including bosses, to be polite and present themselves in a respectful way.  Others prefer to hear it straight with no waffle, and find staff who are overly diplomatic as evasive or time wasting.

    Is Diplomatic

    • The tendency to state things in a tactful manner
    • Again, wanting diplomacy in the workplace is a different thing from being diplomatic yourself. This can be affected by many factors including how secure an individual feels in work and how they view other members of staff.

    Using Harrison Assessments Talent Solutions to understand communication expectations

    Managers can measure an number of key employee expectations, the intrinsic behaviours that drive individual and group engagement. This helps to understand any differences between an employee as well as looking at the overall group or team’s expectations. These insights facilitate the essential dialogue between employee and manager, fostering a shared responsibility for engagement to build a culture of employee engagement.

    Managers can use the Manage, Develop and Retain report as a guide to getting the best performance out of an individual member of their team, and shows how mis-matched communication and management styles could potentially demotivate a talented employee. Instead the report suggests how best to develop and engage the employee, what type of tasks to delegate and behaviours to watch out for that could impede performance.

    Employee Engagement White Paper

    • This employee engagement white paper will outline why this is the case and what is needed to achieve a greater impact on organisational performance.
    • It includes some key areas relating to engagement in the workplace and a crucial 3-step guide to assist with the application of engagement analytics.
    • Written by Dan Harrison, Ph.D. – Organisational Psychology, developer and CEO of Harrison Assessments, this white paper is a must read for anyone involved in employee engagement.  Request your copy here –