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Prodigious. (A blog) LAUNCH

Prodigious. adjective 1: causing amazement or wonder. 2: remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or degree.

Welcome to Prodigious, a blog.

Our posts will provide suggestions on how organizations can be remarkable, or applaud real-world examples. Discussions will revolve around Talent Strategy, Leadership, Hiring, and/or Employee Engagement.

Our overall objective is to find the most remarkable, and prodigious business examples currently in existence.

We hope you find the following posts enjoyable, and look forward to interacting regularly.

Join us on the following adventure!

To learn more, go to: https://emineo-hr.com/what-is-talent-optimization/

4 Steps to make better hires…

Making the right hire can boost productivity and profitability. Making the wrong hire, can be a costly mistake.

Follow these steps to make sure you’re hiring the right person for the role:


STEP 1: DEFINE & COMMUNICATE JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • Solicit stakeholder input.
    • Make sure to include ALL of those whom the position will interact with or service (Supervisors, Colleagues, & Subordinates).
  • Define the job.
    • Make sure that you have a firm foundation and understanding of what you want for the incumbent in the position to be able to do. Don’t underestimate how slight differences in personality needed to perform the job well, can make a BIG impact.
  • Create a compelling job advertisement.
    • Ensure to not just give lip service to the job posting (candidates have seen way to much of that lately), but provide as realistic of a job preview as possible. If your organization’s employer brand is solid, it will shine through.

STEP 2: EQUIP YOUR LEADERS TO LAND TOP TALENT.

  • Assemble the interview team.
    • If avoidable, don’t have them all interview the candidate at the same time in a panel format. Three of four at max isn’t too overbearing.
  • Collect objective data about candidates.
    • Offset any subjective, knee jerk reactions by having additional data available to interviewers BEFORE the 1st interview. These could include Personality Assessments, Job-task assessments, or Culture fit indexes.
  • Prioritize which candidates to interview based on behavioral (and cognitive) fit.
    • Utilize the additional objective data above to ensure the interviewers are presented with a well-rounded candidate view, not just one based upon previous skills and abilities (which alone may not be good enough predictors of future job success).
  • Conduct candidate interviews (these days, event Zoom interviews count).

STEP 3: DETERMINE CANDIDATE CULTURAL FIT.

  • Ensure candidates embody both your team’s as well as organizational core values.
    • Some “morning” between interviewers may be necessary so that all stakeholders are presented with the best candidate to perform the work within the organization.
  • Set candidate expectations about company culture.
    • A realistic outline, not just a review of policies and procedures could be the edge – and make the difference to a candidate who has multiple offers on the table.

STEP 4: PREDICT NEW TEAM DYNAMICS

  • Understand how a candidate compares to existing team members.
    • Many prospective clients that I talk with are surprised at how much the addition of just one single personality can affect the overall balance/dynamic on a team. Making sure that you aren’t “stacking the deck” with one skill set/communication style/decision-making approach is important if you want the team to be able to tackle multiple future challenges.
  • Predict changes to current team dynamics.
    • If possible, looking in-depth at the shift of the team by adding potential candidates allows for multiple business vantage points to be applied BEFORE actually making an offer. Opening up options for your team could make your overall organization more agile and able to address future business challenges a bit easier.
  • Make an informed decision.
    • Interviewing can be an enjoyable art rather than a mundane task . Art is subjective in nature, however adding objective data to a hiring decision can help to balance the decision making process for interviewers, reduce personal bias, and allow teams to become stronger.

For further conversation about making better hires, we suggest checking out: https://emineo-hr.com/talent-optimization-kansas-city/solutions/hire/

ABILITY vs. AVAILABILITY: What matters more in leadership.

There is no question – change has been all around us recently. For some, change has become a part of their daily work lives for the last couple of months. For others, it has been driven by fear of loss. For even others still, it is currently driving areas of long-standing need, as they call attention to the necessary changes & shifts that can positively move all of us as a society forward. ALL of this has been hard on us as humans.

A POTENTIAL REASON

The way we approach leadership *may* have a lot to with our current frustrations.

As a construct of our society, leaders have relied on their innate personal strengths to lead groups or teams of people. These innate strengths (otherwise known as an ability to lead) under normal operations are great – they help the leader and/or team to execute and excel while delivering on their tasks, goals, and objectives.

As long as the leader’s ability adequately meet the needs of the group/team for having a leader, team members were able to “do” what they are both good at and at the same time be rewarded for task accomplishment.

ABILITY

A leader’s ability is what probably got them into their position in the first place. But even more, it is what keeps them and very possibly their teams accomplishing a remarkable amount of goals/objectives during normal circumstances – year-after-year.

In times of stress or sudden change however, this use and reliance on innate strengths – better known as a leader’s ability to lead can quickly turn into overuse. The reason for this is simple and the judgment made by the leader to deploy it is kinda sound.

Think about it. If a leader has been rewarded for relying on their ability to lead, then doing more of that should result in an even larger accomplishment & reward, right?

But during such a transition, what was once a motivation on the road toward accomplishment, can easily give way to burn out and show-up as team members who are unmotivated. First, it affects those on a team that don’t share the leader’s specific set of strengths (which is pretty much most of the rest of us, since we all have our own “ability fingerprint”).

Over an extended period of time, the results of repetitive leadership strength overuse worsens. Left in a state of overdrive, the leader’s strengths becomes a demotivator and may eventually be resisted by some of the team to the point of being a deterrant.

Now knowing all of this, should we be relying upon our ability / innate strengths during the current COVID work life? That depends.

Recent studies suggest that work teams are not as productive as they once were pre-COVID. Some articles I have read suggest the reason for this is the fact that a majority of organizations are still working from home. Though this may have some impact on productivity (trust me, I have two boys – my wife & I have had to do the almost daily work/life shuffle), I would contend that more than likely the impact of the manager’s leadership style & team culture surrounding that have had a lot to do with it as well.

Overuse and burnout are a real thing. The higher the threshold of stress, the greater that capability for it happening in our workplaces. Being faced with literally trying to stay alive due to a COVID-type threat could be a very good motivator for humans to unintentionally inject this level of stress into our workplaces.

Taking all of this into consideration, I submit a thought to consider: Is relying completely on one’s own ability to lead (think technical knowledge & expertise) working right now?…or at the very least, is it working as optimally as it could be?

Could the ability to listen more often to someone else, rather than believe “our way” of doing something was the absolute best way actually help us and our teams to operate more optimially during COVID, and beyond?

To be successful in the coming months, leaders and organizations will have to shift (or pivot) not just their business, but their overall approach to leadership. This shift will require us to re-focus from someone’s ability to lead, motivate & inspire toward their availability. Their availability with & toward their team members, their availability in being not just collaborative but approachable, and their practice of open-mindedness.

AVAILABILITY

People are going through some stuff right now, some of it really deep. In a state of stress like this, where they are continually being forced to use their “reptilian brain”, they may not be able to think correctly.

As humans, leaders are no different. Stress could easily diminish a leader’s ability to lead. With this mind, why not approach being a leader a little differently by:

1.) See your team as humans first. They are not resources.

I am not sure if you have experienced a zoom, webex, or google teams presentation lately, but the ones that are seemingly the most effective to me (from both from a presenter & audience member perspective) are the ones that meet people where they currently are. This means providing social interaction/contact, not just presenter-to-audience, but between the audience members themselves. Being social animals (even the most introverted of us), this makes TONS of sense.

You can apply this “social animal” thought to your own leadership style by in-part: getting out of your own way, asking inquiry (not accusatory) questions, taking more frequent breaks, encouraging team members to virtually “go to lunch” with each other,

2.) Being AVAILABLE. Meet your team where they are.

Approaching team members from their personal perspectives (or innate strengths) can show that you are available for them. This includes using their specific communication style (not your own) to communicate this availability. If you do, I am certain that you will see more motivated results.

WHY? Because you are lessening the psychological stress that is created when team members try to guess at and interpret (many times getting wrong) your thoughts, feelings, and reactions as the leader. Not to mention, it reduces the wasted time it takes for them to convert your desires of them into their own communication style and back again because nothing gets lost in translation. When you meet them where they are, you are already operating in a language that they are very fluent and extremely comfortable functioning within (thus increasing their psychological safety).

If you can understand them better, and reduce their stress (especially during COVID) they will more motivated to try harder and take more chances to achieve even greater results – for both you, the team or the organization.

3.) Show MORE Appreciation.

It is easy as a leader to think everyone is happy (or psychologically safe) when they don’t say anything to the otherwise, but if you take this stance you couldn’t be further from the truth. Showing how and why you appreciate the strengths of someone else changes the game completely. Modeling an appreciation process takes time, is awkward to start, and isn’t easy to maintain. BUT, to keep the psychological safety high, consistency is the key. It is amazing what you can find out about folks (both about their preferences and dislikes) when you implement a “What I appreciate in you” out loud session. What happens is we reflect our own value set because what many times we value is others are things that we ourselves value in our own lives. As an added plus, a process like this doesn’t require a lot of time to allow each individual to feel as if they are being heard, and can be utilized when the stress is highest.


We would love to hear the results of these pivots toward availability for you and your team in the coming days, weeks & months. Please feel free to leave your comments in the section below.

For further ideas and suggestions on how you can add to your ability to lead by being available for your team, we suggest checking out our post: 3 Ways to revitalize your leadership with Self-Awareness and our Resilience Series Workshop: Team Building through Change.

3 Ways to revitalize your leadership with Self-Awareness.

Though some would argue that an exercise now-and-again in ambiguity is a good thing, there is nothing worse than flying blind.

What I am talking about is the perilous situation in which we are not able to see. Whether you are proverbially talking about not “seeing” a vision, or literally referring to not being able to see three feet in front of your face, it doesn’t matter. The result is the same – ending in a major calamity or disaster.

The good news is that, when it comes to business – there is a way to remove this “blindness”. We just need to get out of our own way. This you may not be so comfortable with doing, so I wanted to share 3 ways that you can remove your personal blindness when it comes to being a remarkable leader.

1.) KNOW THYSELF

Back to my flying blind statement. How can someone know where they are going, if they don’t already know who they are (or where they “came” from while being themselves)? We all have stories. Most of us however don’t have a definition for the experiences that we have had – or even more, have a way to communicate our behavior in response to those experiences.

Becoming more self-aware gives us the chance to be objective. We can remove any “good” or “bad” inference monikers (that we as humans tend to place on things/events). We can be honest – and while not distracted by focusing on our emotion-driven behaviors, can more quickly identify (non-biasing) business objectives. From this more objective perspective, we can better understand our behaviors – and in some cases even try to take these behaviors into consideration when making future business decisions.

2.) KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS

Self-Awareness is a way of “taking out the garbage”, if you will. As a discipline, it can help us to learn how to change our responses to workplace stimuli (such as a boss, a co-worker, an insufferable client, or even Sue from accounting) by defining our natural behavioral tendencies. Once we know our strengths – we can more effectively gauge our approach to that stimuli. For example, I hate month-end accounting, but after some self-awareness understand: 1.) it will take me longer to complete than other tasks, and 2.) no matter how much I loath it, it is still a needed and useful business process – so I should respoect it.

Another way to look at self-awareness is like this – have you ever watched a movie and thought, “Gee, that actor was just meant for that role?” THEY PROBABLY WERE! It is because they are playing into their innate strengths. Through some self-awareness exercises, you as a leader can as well. In fact, by doing so you can give yourself the gift of understanding. This gift can illminate how your behavior is either positively or negatively influencing your team and those around you.

3.) START TO THINK MORE OBJECTIVELY

You can’t smell the stew, if your head is in the pot.” This is the perfect description of the relationship between leadership and self-awareness. Many times, leaders forget that “my way” isn’t the only way to achieve success. In some instances, the best thing that a leader (without a specific skill) can do is step back. By doing so, in the long run they may be able to achieve the same, or more positive results by understanding their own (and others’) strengths. Self-awareness could play a BIG role in team development! Remarkable leaders are secure enough about their skills to allow someone else on their team to take the lead, and use their strengths to resolve an issue.

The often-overlooked secret weapon of self-awareness lies in “getting objective” about our own leadership behavioral tendencies. When looking at these facts and figures honestly (and without emotion), we can finally see that otherwise confrontational or misinterpreted work relationship can more easily be seen for what it is – a simple misunderstandings of perspectives.

Ultimately, the objectivity of self-awareness can help leaders zero in on the task at hand more quickly, thus resulting in future positive business results occurring faster.

Take a FREE Behavioral Assessment & experience the benefits of being more self-aware yourself, click here .

Begin 2020: Talent Optimization (Revisit)

Insights from 2020 State of Talent Optimization.

The following is an update from an original post in January 2020…looking back five months ago, and it feels like a lifetime ago. Still funny and honest at the same time, the updates will hopefully improve the reader’s enjoyment.   

Jan 2020 – I have to be honest; I was a total skeptic in my very first encounter/conversation about Talent Optimization back in October. I initially thought that I would able to “use” Talent Optimization as a way to “upsell” my already burgeoning Talent Acquisition line of services. BOY WAS I WRONG!

From the beginning, I realized how narrow of a focus that “old” thinking was…and that I had been working for years to only address a small portion of a more significant overall business issue. Talent Optimization opened my eyes to focus on resolving more than just HR needs. It has helped me personally, and in-turn, my ability to help others. 

A Talent Strategy, Talent Optimization focuses on improving/re-tooling an entire organizational structure from the ground up (think individual contributor) – which has such an incredible and positive impact that it even affects a client’s ability to deliver results to their customer base.

MY (Updated) STARTING LINE: A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE 

Taking a closer look and exploring this new industry, Talent Optimization has turned out to be much more than I initially thought. WHY? I believe that it has had a lot to do with what the initial behavioral assessment was able to help me realize about myself. 

The self-awareness it has brought me has helped me to look back over my career and make some harsh realizations. Beyond having a tough heart-to-heart with myself, my understanding of the motivations behind my actions have encouraged me to take retro-active responsibility for them. Primarily, my (re-)actions grew out of not using my strengths. The positions I have tried to fulfill have all asked me to flex outside of my natural skills and abilities. As a result, what I was asking myself to do wasn’t really who I am at heart.   

From this epiphany until now (Oct to Jan), I have been able to be more honest with myself about a lot more than before. Life, in retrospect, is making a lot more sense and seems more logical. I can understand previous logic a lot more quickly than before “the awareness.” 

As a result, I have quickly realized confidence in the choices I am making, and my entire life has begun to change. Want to see if an awareness can 

MY STARTING LINE: TO HELP CLIENTS

As I work with clients, I have found that Talent Optimization has a lot of misconceptions. One of the largest is the results you see in the image above, which comes from the 2019 State of Talent Optimization. In the survey, 600 CEOs got asked about several talent-related business topics. 

The specific insights in this image revolve around the positive effects of Talent Optimization on employee performance & retention. First, I have to applaud these executives for implementing Talent Optimization in their organizations (in the survey, it was a relatively low number). However, look at what Talent Optimization was given credit for doing – increasing performance, retaining top performers, and spending less time on people problems. As a leader, who doesn’t want to hear that? 

The tools used in creating such results are magical only in the sense that they can bring order to our chaos and provide managers/leaders with a bias for action. 

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