When it comes to hybrid work environments, I’ve seen (and worked in) most all variations. When I first started at Omnia as an analyst, our team was able to earn telecommuting privileges, working from home for up to three days a week. Years later, I became a fully remote employee, working totally from home, while most of my colleagues worked in the office. After the impact of Covid, Omnia decided to adopt a fully remote business model, so now everyone at the company works from home.
The hybrid work experience that has been the “old normal” to me for years has become new terrain that many businesses are learning to traverse. The option to work remotely presents many benefits, including less time spent commuting and greater work-life balance for employees as well as decreased overhead costs and improved retention rates for employers. However, when coworkers aren’t in the same proximity consistently, it can present some challenges in cultivating feelings of connectedness to the organization and to each other. But it is those very challenges that make it even more important to prioritize building a unified, thriving culture.
Hybrid workplaces may present some unique challenges to building a company culture, but they are not insurmountable. Alexia Cambon, a research director at Gartner says, “Instead of viewing hybrid work as a disruption to the cultural experience, leaders should see it as an opportunity to build culture differently.” With that in mind, here are 5 ideas for growing your company culture in a hybrid environment.
Communication is a critical component for building any business culture. When all employees are made aware of the direction and values of the organization and kept updated on its happenings, their buy-in and commitment increases. Conversely, when people hear about important company information secondhand or long after the fact, it makes them feel left out and disengaged.
Regular, transparent communication becomes even more crucial within a hybrid workplace. You may not be able to get all employees together in a physical conference room to discuss the latest KPIs, but you can schedule monthly or quarterly virtual meetings to give everyone updates about the organization.
Employees may work not only in different locations but also in different time zones or have different work schedules, so asynchronous methods of communication like email and messaging apps can also help ensure that everyone stays current on the latest plans and initiatives.
One of the drawbacks of employees not working in the same office is the lack of unplanned meetings in the hallway and impromptu conversations around the coffee maker that often spark great ideas. While working in different places may not be as conducive to spontaneity, collaboration is still possible — and necessary — for colleagues who aren’t always in the office together.
The variety of tools and apps available to help people collaborate is abundant, so put technology to work for your employees and your business! Video meetings, even with the camera off, can be a helpful tool to brainstorm ideas and plan projects. Task/project-management tools, document sharing platforms, discussion boards, and other apps make it easier for colleagues to work together, even if they are physically apart.
And don’t forget the power of a good, old-fashioned phone call!
The above-mentioned hallway and watercooler conversations help grow camaraderie among colleagues, but that does not have to stop in a hybrid workplace. Set weekly or monthly virtual meetings where employees can voluntarily get together and catch up with each other — no discussions about work allowed! A small investment of company time can reap big dividends by making employees feel more connected to each other and, therefore, the organization at large.
Offer employees a few chances throughout the year to get together and see each other face to face. Consider designating a charity or community initiative to support, and set aside a day when employees can volunteer alongside one another. Or have everyone meet at a zipline course for a day of teambuilding. Whether through in-person all-company meetings or a communal day of recreation, providing opportunities for everyone to be together can facilitate bonding and rejuvenate feelings of togetherness.
There is no shortage of headlines about business leaders who are skeptical about how remote work impacts their companies, but adjusting to a hybrid work model can be a challenge for some employees too. While most people who are offered flexible work arrangements will take them, they may benefit from guidance on effective methods for working productively and staying engaged in a hybrid environment.
Not merely signing paperwork and setting up equipment, effective onboarding offers companies the chance to review their work processes, values, and mission while also providing the training that establishes the foundation for new hire success. And yes, it can be done successfully even remotely!
Remote mentoring can be a valuable way to give new and tenured employees both a connection to a fellow colleague and guidance for staying engaged and productive while working in a fully or partially remote job. Incorporating virtual coworking sessions can also provide opportunities for the mentee to ask questions as they come up and mimic the feel of working together in person.
Behavioral assessments offer another avenue for supporting your employees in a hybrid workplace. Understanding a person’s natural traits and characteristics gives leadership insights on how that individual may excel working in a hybrid role as well as where they might have difficulties. Omnia’s Professional Development assessment gives our clients the option of selecting a remote work environment, and the report discusses the employee’s strengths and challenges in navigating a remote position while also offering management and motivational strategies.
Our Professional Development report is just one of the ways Omnia helps our clients hire right the first time and retain productive, motivated employees. Whatever your business environment, Omnia wants to be your trusted partner to help your business and employees thrive!
You’re ready to stand out in the community and create strong member relationships, but what’s the best way to get there? First, you have to be ready to provide members with what they want, like incentives, digital engagement, and financial education. Along with meeting member needs in a modern way, you need to stay focused on the usual day-to-day needs of the organization. That starts with hiring the best people. The success of any credit union, or really any business, starts with its people. Your employees represent your core values. They turn vision into reality. They make it all happen. That’s why a strong selection process and a solid pre-employment assessment strategy that uses data-backed decision tools like behavioral assessments and cognitive ability tests will set your credit union up for success on all levels.
Myth: We have to just accept high turnover
A common misconception often accepted as fact is that frequent employee turnover is normal, so when the hiring gets tough, it almost doesn’t matter who is hired since the employee won’t stay long anyway. It’s tempting, when that open position is staring everyone in the face and making things harder on the rest of the team, to just quickly find anybody to fill it and hope they’ll stay long enough to alleviate even a little bit of the pressure. Unfortunately, this mindset often creates bigger problems, like inefficiency and expense, making the normal business problems your credit union faces even more challenging.
When working with the unknown, like job candidates you’ve never met before interview day, it’s best to collect as much information as possible to help you make solid hiring decisions. Using data-backed hiring tools is your first defense against making a wrong hire. Instinct and personal judgment can play a small part but should never be the only tools used to select people; too many things can easily cloud our judgment, and some candidates are very good at hiding their faults until it is too late.
When you are ready to start looking for your next great credit union employee, consider these 7 easy tips:
It’s easy to think a formal hiring system is unnecessary. After all, too many bureaucratic layers create unnecessary problems, while everyday business needs can get in the way of following the system perfectly. As a result, rigid selection practices can feel impractical or inefficient. And there is certainly some truth to that; strict processes can be as problematic as no process.
A formal, structured process is crucial, but you need one that works for your culture and is not weighed down by bureaucratic layers that unnecessarily burden the process. Find a balance between haphazard and inflexible. Extremes never work; find a balance that works for your credit union. Having a plan will go a long way toward avoiding long-term problems, like excess training time, performance problems, and unnecessary turnover.
The goal should always be to hire the best. You want talented, capable, dedicated employees. Never settle if you can help it. Of course, this is the real world and sometimes the candidate pool is shallow, but if you start with the mindset of wanting the best and you do the steps to uncover all you can, then you’ll have more hits than misses.
Listing out your needs and the reasons behind those needs will help you set priorities and see your expectations, strengths, and weaknesses in a brighter light. Think about the specifics of your work environment and credit union culture.
Is your credit union fast-paced and hectic with constant little fires to put out? If so, you should avoid hiring people who tell you they hate being rushed or interrupted or that they get overwhelmed easily. While patience and diligence are admirable qualities, they could be liabilities in a turbulent environment. Of course, certain roles might need those traits regardless of the overall culture, so consider all the factors, like the culture of the individual department, the manager’s leadership style, and the basic demands of the job itself. One-size-fits-all is another myth.
It's also a good idea to stay up to date on the latest hiring trends to stay competitive within your community’s job market.
The job post is the crucial first impression you make on a candidate. It’s also a great tool for instantly eliminating people who are not the right fit for the job or your credit union.
Start with being crystal clear about the job. Highlight exactly what the job is, what it entails day to day, and what personality traits are best suited to it. It’s amazing how many candidates are hired and later state they felt misled about the role. Honesty is your best employee retention tool during the selection process. It’s perfectly okay to scare people off from the job in your post. The whole process is about funneling down to the best candidates. The right candidates will want to put their hat in the ring, and the wrong candidates will turn away. If you aren’t honest though, you’ll hire the wrong candidates, and they will quickly feel resentful of the perceived betrayal and leave or perhaps stay but do the bare minimum, known today as quiet quitting. Scaring off the wrong type will help your retention efforts in the long run.
Your job post needs to clearly show who you are as an employer and company. Emphasize your identity and brand. Be daring. Today, employees want to work for an organization that matches their personalities. If your credit union is playful, lighthearted, and full of laughs, make sure your post reflects that. Use humor. But if your credit union is buttoned up, formal, and serious, then be serious and formal in your post. Staying true to who you are will help you attract like-minded people, and people who are compatible with your identity are more likely to stay.
After posting the job, the resumes should start rolling in. Now you can discard the ones that clearly do not meet your needs and whittle down your candidates. Keep in mind that, as you dig deeper into each person’s background, you may uncover more than just a few unpleasant surprises. Research shows that up to 40 percent of resumes include some false or inflated facts!
A pre-employment personality assessment will give you an even closer look at a candidate’s potential. Do their traits coincide with the traits needed for the job? How will they interact with their peers and supervisor? To hold on to strong, productive employees, make sure the people you hire are a match for the demands of the position. Omnia helps to set the “job personality” which shows the traits of an ideal candidate; this way you can see how a candidate’s traits align with the best traits for the job.
The best part is that a behavioral assessment is not a test; there is no such thing as pass or fail. The Omnia behavioral assessment uses the candidate’s responses to a simple word association checklist. It’s a quick yet powerful tool that provides extensive insight into a person’s strengths, motivators, weaknesses, and fit to the role.
To minimize the risk of a bad hire, make sure the potential new hire has the skills they claim to have, especially the ones needed to do the most basic aspects of the job. Use hard skill proficiency tests that are job appropriate (this is important) and designed to demonstrate abilities. It might be a bookkeeping test, a Microsoft Excel or Word test, a cognitive ability evaluation, or a banking terminology quiz. Don’t assume that the person interviewing for your IT position knows how to turn the computer on. Sometimes, people say they know how to do something just to get their foot in the door.
A background check protects everyone: you, your employees, and your credit union. Crime and violence are, sadly, not uncommon in the workplace. Make sure there are no issues from your candidate’s past that make you leery. Negligent hiring can be alleged if an employer fails to exercise reasonable caution when hiring a new employee. Employers could be held liable for illegal or violent action taken by employees who were not subjected to reasonable pre-employment screening.
Self-awareness is a powerful leadership tool. Consider your own management style and encourage all other managers to do the same. To effectively motivate and inspire your employees, it helps if you have a great grasp on what makes you tick.
Do you prefer it when employees consistently ask for your guidance, or are you more in tune with those who regularly make their own decisions? Do you closely oversee every detail big and small, or do you expect your team to fill the gaps for themselves?
While it might sound nice to surround yourself with people who are completely in sync with your own work approach, that’s not always realistic or even wise. Different roles require different traits. The power is in knowing how to adjust your style to meet the individual needs of your employees. It’s one of the strongest employee retention tools you can use.
It might seem completely daunting, and maybe sometimes it will be, to hire and lead a productive, cohesive, and dedicated team, but it is possible. Know what you want, stay true to your non-negotiables, and seek out employees who align with those needs. Don’t settle. Employ people who have the potential to exceed your expectations.
Continuing Omnia’s month of mindfulness, this week’s blog focuses on mindful, thoughtful communication with introverts. Don’t try to adjust your screen; you read that correctly. “But introverts don’t like talking to people, right?”, you may think. Yet communicating with introverts isn’t an oxymoron. And since an estimated one third to one half of the population are introverts, to include your colleagues and employees, it’s important to understand effective ways of interacting and working with them. This first step is understanding them.
Psychiatrist Carl Jung coined the terms introversion and extroversion in the 1920s. Jung stated that extroverts feel invigorated through external means like contact with the outside world, while introverts are energized through internal avenues like reflection.
Contrary to some common beliefs, being an introvert isn’t the same thing as being shy, anti-social, anxious, or depressed. Rather, introverts have a lower tolerance for/higher sensitivity to stimulation, including social stimuli. Interacting with people at length can feel draining and depleting to introverts while having the opposite effect on extroverts. To refresh themselves, introverts often retreat into quieter pursuits, sometimes by themselves. This mode of energy recovery can be mistakenly confused with a dislike of being around people. Although making small talk with new people can feel fatiguing to introverts, they may enjoy deep, meaningful conversations with a small circle of confidants.
Introverts are also internal processors; they think through problems and ideas and verbalize them only after careful consideration. In contrast, extroverts are external processors who prefer talking through ideas and issues with other people to reach solutions.
Being an introvert myself, I have often heard, “You’re so quiet.” That statement has always felt both inaccurate and frustrating. I’ve never felt quiet; like most introverts, my brain is constantly taking things in and turning them over and over. If you could get inside an introvert’s mind, it’d probably seem more like a crowded nightclub of thoughts than a peaceful running stream. But introverts are selective about when and how those thoughts get expressed, which is why they often come across as quiet or reserved.
Everyone has some degree of both introversion and extroversion, but most people tend to lean one way or the other. You might be an introvert if:
Now that we’ve defined what an introvert is (and isn’t), let’s delve into some effective ways to communicate with them, especially on the job.
It may seem like overkill to schedule a phone call, especially to an extrovert, but phone calls or pop-in meetings can disrupt an introvert’s train of thought, which is jarring to them (remember, introverts are highly sensitive to stimuli). Introverts often prefer corresponding via emails and more indirect means, rather than through impromptu phone calls or face-to-face meetings, because it gives them a chance to think about exactly what they want to convey and how they want to say it. Which is also why it’s important to…
This gives introverts an opportunity to think through discussion points and formulate their responses, which means there is a better chance of them participating in meetings and verbalizing their ideas.
Similarly, sending out an email a day or two after a meeting can give an introvert the chance to offer their insights on the topics discussed after they have had an opportunity to think about them for a while.
Again, introverts formulate their ideas by mulling them over internally. They may need a moment to process and consider the statement that has just been made or the question that has been asked of them. If they are pausing, don’t assume they have bailed on the conversation; they are just thinking things through.
By letting introverts finish their thoughts and voice them when they are ready, this shows that you are interested in what they are saying, which is validating to an introvert (and everyone, really). Introverts don’t talk just for the sake of talking. When they say something, it’s because the idea is important to them, so for them to know that you find it important too is motivating.
It’s not always easy for introverts to speak up, especially in group meetings with more extroverted people who are quicker to voice their ideas. One-on-one meetings are a great way to give introverts the space to communicate their thoughts.
Years ago, I was training a group of new employees about different communication styles. One extroverted individual asked the question, “Do they (introverts) wish they were more like us (extroverts)?” When I later recounted that question to a group of introverts, the answer was an immediate and emphatic, “No!” The visceral response wasn’t because there is anything wrong or undesirable with being an extrovert. It was because there is also nothing wrong or undesirable with being an introvert.
My trainee’s question was a sincere one, a question many other extroverts may share. It can be a challenge to be a quiet person in a loud world; wouldn’t it be easier for introverts if we could adjust our vocal volume to be heard better? Easier, perhaps, but not as beneficial – for anyone. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking posits that when introverts try to force themselves to adopt traits counter to their natural characteristics, it is everyone’s loss. Just like our businesses and communities need the ideas, charisma, and enthusiasm extroverts offer, they also need the insights and perspectives that introverts bring to the table — insights often found through solitude and quiet reflection. When people work along the grain of their intrinsic traits, rather than against them, everyone benefits.
Being understood is inspiring to everyone, regardless of how they communicate or what energizes them. The Omnia Group’s mission is to help businesses engage in the mindful art of recognizing their employees’ unique talents and motivators. Through the Omnia behavioral assessment, leaders gain a deeper understanding of their personnel, and armed with those insights, they can develop their people to reach their highest potential. Let’s embark on that path of discovery together; contact Omnia to get started.
The term "leader" often brings a charismatic and inspiring figure to mind, while "manager" might suggest a more structured, results-driven role. Leaders and managers are integral roles to the success of an organization, but striking the right balance between the two is a delicate task. The balance involves adjusting your leadership style accordingly and promoting high employee engagement while understanding your unique strengths and the dynamics of your team.
We sometimes create an artificial dichotomy between a leader and a manager in business settings. Leaders are perceived as visionaries who inspire and influence others, while managers are seen as those who organize, coordinate, and ensure tasks are accomplished. Ideally, we could have 2 different people in these roles, but that’s not the reality for most of us.
A truly effective leader must encapsulate both roles, exhibiting visionary guidance alongside a structured approach to meeting goals. This amalgamation is where the line between leadership and management blurs, forging a dynamic, versatile role that inspires while pushing for results.
Here are 7 strategies that can help you maintain the balance between being an inspiring leader and ensuring that results are achieved:
Your vision shapes the direction your team follows. It acts as the North Star, guiding the organization's desired future. A clear, compelling vision inspires employees to give their best and align their individual efforts with the company's strategic goals.
For your vision to inspire, it must not only resonate with your team, but it must also be effectively and consistently communicated. Encapsulate the vision in simple, relatable language and repeat it regularly in team meetings, emails, and one-on-one discussions.
Remember, effective communication is a two-way street. Encourage your team to ask questions and share their thoughts about the vision. This ensures everyone is on the same page and fully invested in achieving it.
Performance thrives where expectations are crystal clear. To achieve optimal performance from your team, each member needs to understand their roles, what they're expected to achieve, and how their contribution affects the overall goals.
As a leader, your responsibility is to communicate these expectations openly and regularly. Be specific about what needs to be done, when, and why it's important. Involve your team in setting these expectations where possible, as this promotes ownership and increases commitment.
As a leader, you're a role model to your team. Your actions, not just your words, set the tone for your team's behavior. When you 'walk the talk,' your team will likely follow suit.
Embody these traits if you aim for a diligent, accountable, and engaged team: meet your deadlines, own up to your mistakes, and consistently engage with your team and work. Show enthusiasm for your work and the organization's vision. Encourage a culture of learning and continuous improvement.
Participation breeds commitment. Employees who feel their opinions are valued and can contribute to decision-making will likely be more committed and motivated. As a leader, foster an environment where every idea is welcomed and considered.
Encourage brainstorming sessions, open forums, and regular team meetings where everyone can voice their opinions. This approach not only boosts morale but also enriches decision-making with diverse perspectives. Moreover, it cultivates a sense of ownership, as team members feel more invested in decisions made.
Constructive feedback is a powerful tool for individual and team growth. Regular feedback sessions ensure that good work is acknowledged and areas for improvement are addressed. However, delivering feedback is an art that requires tact and empathy.
Commend the positive aspects of an individual's work before addressing areas that need improvement. Construct your feedback to be supportive and growth oriented, not critical. This approach promotes a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
A positive and inclusive culture is the bedrock of high-performing teams. Such a culture enhances job satisfaction, fosters mutual respect, and drives employee engagement. As a leader, it's your responsibility to nurture an environment where everyone feels valued, included, and capable of reaching their full potential.
Celebrate diversity and promote collaboration and transparency. Ensure that recognition and rewards are fair and that everyone has equal opportunities for growth and development.
The ability to adapt is a hallmark of effective leadership. Different situations, challenges, and team dynamics require different leadership styles and approaches. A one-size-fits-all approach to leadership often needs to be revised.
Assess each situation and adapt your leadership style accordingly. Whether it's a crisis, a change in strategic direction, or a shift in team composition, being flexible allows you to navigate these changes successfully while keeping your team engaged and focused. Encourage feedback from your team regarding your leadership approach, and be open to evolving your style as needed.
Employee engagement plays a significant role in the balance between inspiration and results. Engaged employees are more productive and more likely to be motivated by their leaders. Employee engagement can be promoted through clear communication, regular feedback, recognition, and opportunities for professional development.
In practice, this means that leaders must maintain regular and open lines of communication with their team members. They should provide clear directions and expectations, listen to their team's ideas and concerns, and acknowledge their efforts and achievements.
Leaders who strike the right balance between being a motivating figure and a results-oriented manager will likely see improved team morale, productivity, and business success. It is not a process that occurs overnight. Still, the balance can be achieved with understanding, application of personality traits, behavioral assessments, adaptable leadership styles, and a focus on employee engagement.
Strive to incorporate these strategies into your leadership approach. You'll become a more effective leader, capable of inspiring your team and driving them toward outstanding performance. Start with an open mind and willingness to learn and adapt; the rest will follow. And remember, the journey toward becoming a great leader is one of constant learning and growth, so never stop seeking ways to improve and evolve.
Ready to unlock the full potential of your leadership style? Take our comprehensive leadership personality styles assessment and discover your unique traits and strengths as a leader. Gain valuable insights into your communication preferences, decision-making tendencies, and motivational techniques that can help you inspire your team while driving tangible results.
Understanding personality traits is fundamental to effective leadership. Leaders' personalities influence their behaviors, decisions, and team relationships. For example, extroverted leaders may excel in public speaking and networking, while introverted leaders might shine in one-on-one conversations or strategic thinking.
Empathy is another essential trait that allows leaders to understand their team members' perspectives and needs. Empathetic leaders tend to be more effective in motivating their teams because they create an environment of mutual respect and trust.
Conscientiousness, another valuable trait, promotes responsibility, organization, and diligence. Conscientious leaders are generally better at planning, setting realistic targets, and ensuring their teams meet them.
However, one must note that there is no 'one-size-fits-all' set of personality traits for leaders. Different circumstances and team dynamics may require different leadership styles and approaches.
Utilizing behavioral assessments can be an excellent way to understand your own leadership style and the dynamics of your team. These assessments help leaders identify their strengths and areas for improvement. They also provide insight into how your behaviors may affect others and how your team members will likely respond to different situations.
With knowledge from these assessments, leaders can adapt their style to better motivate their team and achieve results. For example, a leader with a primarily dominant style might need to dial back their assertiveness when dealing with a team member who responds better to a supportive and patient approach.
Embrace the power of self-awareness and leverage your personality traits to become a more effective, mindful leader. By understanding your leadership style, you'll be better equipped to adapt your approach and create a positive, empowering work environment where your team thrives.
Don't miss this opportunity to embark on a journey of self-discovery and transform your leadership capabilities. Click the link below to take the assessment and gain access to personalized insights that will elevate your leadership to new heights!
Remember, a mindful and adaptable leader is the key to a successful and harmonious team. Take the first step today and unleash your leadership potential!
The Leader's Playbook: A Comprehensive Guide from Onboarding to Offboarding
Redefining Leadership: Embracing the Power of Servant Leadership in the Modern Workplace
5 Leadership Traits of the Founding Fathers to Reflect on This Fourth of July
The Visionary Personality Type
A Call for Revolutionary Leadership in Today's Context
Leading a team in today's technologically advanced and socially conscious world demands exceptional skills and techniques. However, with the right tools, it can also be an incredibly fulfilling experience. While we began this leadership series with humor by exploring the personality traits of the Founding Fathers, it's important to delve into the realities of leadership in the present day. Technology, including social media and its ever-changing trends, continues to disrupt and transform the workplace. As a result, leaders must understand how these changes impact their role.
Personality assessments are an indispensable tool that can aid leaders in their quest for leadership bliss, even though they can't help you learn the latest TikTok dance. With the Omnia Group, leaders can uncover essential factors such as tenacity, expressiveness, flexibility, and need for structure in not only the people they are bringing on, but also in themselves. By understanding these insights, leaders can adjust their approach to their employees' superpowers and kryptonite. It's like having x-ray vision for their team, minus the cape and phone booth!
When navigating modern-day employee-focused leadership, it's imperative to recognize that the employee life cycle is an ongoing process that presents unique challenges and opportunities. However, when handled correctly, it can lead to higher retention scores. Understanding this cycle and addressing each stage with intention and care is crucial to building a successful team.
Leaders can use behavioral assessments to help new team members understand their strengths and develop action plans to get and keep them on the right path. This can guide the training process and ensure that new hires are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge.
As team members grow and take on new challenges, behavioral assessments can be used to identify areas for improvement and potential roadblocks to success. Leaders can provide targeted coaching plans and mentoring sessions based on these assessments, as well as offer training programs tailored to each team member's learning style and personality.
Personality assessments identify what motivates and engages each individual. Armed with these insights, you can create a positive work environment where team members feel valued and appreciated, which will help to keep top talent. They can also identify potential retention risks and give tips to take proactive steps to address them.
When team members leave their current jobs, whether through resignation, termination, transfer, or promotion, leaders must handle the offboarding process with care. This includes providing feedback, conducting exit interviews, and ensuring a smooth transition. It's vital to note that when team members transfer or get promoted, they may go back through the cycle in the new department and new role.
By understanding and effectively managing each stage of the employee life cycle, leaders can cultivate a team that is engaged, motivated, and committed to achieving shared goals. This, in turn, can lead to a culture of development and innovation.
When they concentrate on strategies that foster a positive and productive work culture, leaders can create an environment where their team members feel supported, motivated, and engaged. This can result in higher levels of productivity, job satisfaction, and retention rates, which can benefit the organization in the long term. Additionally, highlighting these strategies can also help leaders build a strong employer brand and attract top talent to the organization.
Encouraging the team to constantly learn and grow will not only benefit them but also the organization as a whole. Providing opportunities for training and development will help employees build new skills and gain confidence.
Building a diverse team can lead to better problem-solving, increased creativity, and a wider range of perspectives. It's essential to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels respected.
Clear and consistent communication is key to any successful team. Leaders should be transparent and communicate openly with their team and ask them to do the same.
In today's fast-paced work environment, it's essential to prioritize work-life balance. Encouraging employees to take breaks and focus on their mental health can lead to a more productive and engaged team.
As a leader, actions speak louder than words. Modeling the behavior you want to see in your organization can help create a culture of success and accountability.
Effective leadership involves guiding team members through a lifecycle of onboarding, development, retention, and offboarding while utilizing tools, such as Omnia’s personality assessments, to better understand and work with each individual. By fostering a positive culture of continuous learning, embracing diversity, communicating effectively, prioritizing work-life balance, and leading by example, leaders can create a motivated and engaged team that produces exceptional results. An added bonus of using personality assessments is they can help to put team members in roles that align with their strengths and work preferences, making everyone happier and more productive. After all, who doesn't want to be the best version of themselves, both personally and professionally, and in a role that highlights them? Let's lead with intentionality and personality and watch our teams thrive as a result.
What do you do when a team is just not working? We see it happen all the time: people are thrown together because their expertise is needed on a project, and even though everyone knows what to do, they just can’t seem to get it done together. Meetings go nowhere, and everyone leaves frustrated. Or meetings go everywhere but where they’re supposed to go, and everyone realizes afterward that they made no headway.
Let’s say your company wants to build a website that can figure out what a customer needs before they need it, (who wouldn’t want that?!) and you can’t outsource any of it. But that’s ok! Because your company already happens to have a web designer, a copywriter, a programmer, a marketing expert, and a psychic. You put them all on a team together and explain what you want. You give them a budget and a timeline and tell them to make it happen. Six months later, the only thing they’ve done is decide on a name for the website, and two people are no longer speaking to each other.
You’ve made the mistake everyone makes when they have a great idea: you’ve forgotten to factor in how complicated people are! People are more than the sum of their knowledge or skills. You may have a contributor who knows every step that needs to be taken to complete a project, but they don’t want to seem too pushy by making suggestions. Or they get talked over. You may have an idea person who sees opportunities others don’t, but another person is intent on sticking with a plan that may not be working anymore. Someone wants something done yesterday, even if it’s wrong. Someone else wants another month to think about things.
Sometimes the person who has the most knowledge or the most applicable knowledge is not the ideal person to lead the team. Let’s take the example above: the most critical component of the idea is the ability to predict a customer’s needs, so it would make sense to make the psychic the team leader, right? Except, no. Because of his psychic abilities, he is often influenced by everyone’s opinions, and that makes him a terrible decision maker. Plus, he doesn’t want to lead!
Being a team leader is a little bit of a balancing act. The best ones can be assertive without being too forceful, willing to speak up but also willing to listen, able to delegate but also prepared to contribute. How do you determine who that person is? By using behavioral cues:
Note: Team leader roles give people who don’t usually want to manage the opportunity to build some experience in the leadership arena. They also give people who may want a chance to step out of the background opportunities to prove themselves. Naturally cautious people can be comfortable leading teams for projects with lower stakes, fewer people, or where relationships are highly functional and well established. More ambitious people tend to be willing to tackle bigger projects with larger groups and higher stakes.
To work on a team together, everyone needs to communicate. The highest performing teams are the ones where everyone communicates the same way, right? Wrong! (Sorry, that was a trick question). The highest performing teams are the ones where everyone communicates effectively. You could have a group of extroverts who are all about brainstorming, but they let conversations get away from them at meetings. You could have a team of introverts who keep putting off meeting altogether. You could have a mix, with three people doing all the talking and three people never saying a word.
A high-performing team is the one that gives everyone a voice, even if it means sharing ideas in different ways and in different venues. If everyone in the group loves to talk and can’t get enough of meetings, make sure there are limits to the number and length of the meetings. Set an agenda and stick to it so the meetings are productive.
If everyone in the group are introverts, they should never have meetings at all. Just kidding. Some meetings really are necessary, but planning is critical. Give plenty of warning and provide a clear agenda in advance. Tell people what they will be expected to share, and encourage follow-up emails. Sometimes more reserved communicators keep things to themselves because they don’t want to interrupt anyone.
When you have a mix of communication styles, make sure everyone gets (and takes advantage of) chances to both talk and listen. Be prepared to curtail conversations that run too long. Watch out for people being talked over. Touch base outside of a group meeting with people who didn’t do much speaking. Some people communicate best one on one or in writing.
Disagreements will arise in a team. Some are a normal part of working within a group: everyone’s points of view and stakes are different. Some are a little more complicated, maybe caused by one person who just likes to argue or always needs to win no matter the cost. The team leader should be prepared to arbitrate contentious matters and help the team move forward. If every meeting or team interaction leads to a fight, more intervention would be needed by leadership outside of the team arena.
Sometimes too much agreement is as ineffective as too much conflict. Watch for team members who are overly willing to acquiesce to others or take on more than their fair share of work. Which leads us to…
There are some behavioral characteristics that lead to people taking on too much work and some that lead to delegating too much work.
Big-picture people may want to leave details to those who are more meticulous. Meticulous workers may not want to leave tasks to people who aren’t. A match made in heaven, right? Sometimes, but not always. Even people who don’t love details can be careful when necessary. And people who LOVE taking care of details to ensure precise results can overextend themselves (and still make mistakes). They can each deprive each other of important team experiences: chances to innovate, to learn, and to overcome personal challenges.
Team members who want to be very helpful might agree to do work that is outside of their abilities or areas of expertise (or time availability). And individuals who want to be in charge may push project components on others that they should be doing personally.
If everyone is bringing different skills to the table, there will need to be times when some contribute more than others. But the rest of the time, work should be distributed as evenly as possible.
Timelines are tricky things. Ideally, every important project should be completed yesterday — or sooner. (Does that psychic have a time-traveling friend?) Someone’s preferred pace is another behavioral trait that can impact team effectiveness. You have your speed demons and your slow-and-steady people, and they must work together to make sure a project moves forward without skidding out of control.
To find that balance of urgency and patience in team performance:
Harnessing the power of behavioral cues can be a game-changer when it comes to improving team effectiveness. By paying attention to nonverbal signals, communication patterns, and individual preferences, teams can identify the best ways to work together and achieve goals. And you don’t even need to be a psychic to do it!
If you want more help keying into your team members behavioral characteristics, contact the Omnia Group to try our quick and powerful behavioral assessment. Contact us today, and get your team on track.
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