You know how it is. Things are good with your team; everything’s clicking, spirits are high, and productivity is higher… until suddenly it isn’t. Suddenly, things feel off. You’re not sure what’s wrong; you just know something is.

Employee engagement is a measure of how committed and invested an employee is in their job and organization. And we all know that engaged employees are productive employees. They are also less likely to leave your company. So, it’s pretty darn important.

But if it starts to decline, it can be a slippery slope. By the time leadership starts to see and feel the impact, it could take a long time to regain traction and turn the problem around.

So, what do you do when employee engagement starts to dip?

Here are 8 things to do as soon as you see or feel the decline in employee engagement:

1. Figure out what caused the decline.

Like any problem, the best place to start is the root cause. Why is engagement declining? You can do this by conducting employee surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one meetings. Until you know the why behind the downward slide, it could be challenging or even impossible to fix. Plus, the last thing you want to do is waste time going down the wrong path.

2. Make sure communication hasn’t taken a back seat.

Most issues boil down to communication problems. Be sure you have not stopped keeping employees informed. Be clear on the organization’s goals, plans, and progress. As people, we want to be in the know; we need to know what’s going on around us. Open, honest transparency is a foundational requirement of fully engaged teams.

3. Lead by example.

If you want committed, engaged employees, be sure you are engaged and committed as well. Employees will be more inclined to happily follow a positive, engaged leader. Positive energy is infectious…in a good way!

4. Track it.

Be sure to keep your pulse on the engagement of the organization so you always know where it stands. Measure engagement levels using the same methods we discussed in number 1… focus groups, surveys, and one-on-one meetings. Doing this continuously means you’ll see issues before they become full-blown problems and hopefully before they negatively impact engagement.

5. Take action.

When you hear about issues from your employees, take action to resolve them. Knowing is only half the battle. Now, you need a plan to tackle the issue. Nothing happens without effort. When your team sees you take real steps to solve problems, it can’t help but start the rebuilding process.

6. Develop your employees.

Career development is often a high priority for employees. That means if you ignore development, engagement will surely decline. Always give your team opportunities to grow. If they can’t move forward with you, they could look to move forward elsewhere.

And forward motion doesn’t necessarily mean upward motion into leadership. Not everyone wants to lead, but they do want to grow, learn, and provide more value to the organization. It could be a lateral move to a new department. Or it could be adding new levels of expertise to the current role. Internal mobility is a great strategy for development.

7. Support work-life balance.

We might get tired of hearing this phrase, but it’s that important. A burnt-out team is not an effective or productive team. Be sure you are encouraging your staff to disconnect and take time off. Everyone needs to recharge their batteries.

8. Give recognition and rewards.

Look for ways to show appreciation for the contributions and achievements of your team. Motivation is the engine that powers the actions of your team.

That’s why knowing the inherent motivators of the individuals on your team is the key to keeping them engaged.

Most people are familiar with pre-employment personality assessments, but did you know that same tool can be used for talent retention and employee development? An informative, practical tool, like an Omnia behavioral assessment test, gives managers a clear, helpful guide to the personality traits and tendencies of each person on their team. It puts the power to motivate them from a place that is meaningful to them right into your hands.

For example, if you have a shy, detailed person on your team, they are motivated by concrete feedback. They like data and details and can feel disconcerted by public recognition, especially if they are put on the spot with no warning. These individuals can feel that general praise is disingenuous. When looking to recognize one of these team members, be detailed about the task or project. Talk specifically about what went well and why. Consider a private conversation or note. If a public announcement is necessary, let them know that you want to talk about their accomplishment at the meeting so they can fortify their naturally reserved nature. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness more than you know.

On the flip side, competitive social extroverts are extremely motivated by public recognition. They will thrive when called out in a public setting and could find surprises even more exhilarating. That’s not to say you wouldn’t provide details on what went right and why it was valuable — you definitely should — but putting a fun, social spin on the recognition will go a long way. The social aspect is what they will find inspirational.

Everyone loves to be recognized and appreciated, just not in the same way. When leadership takes the time to know what works at an individualized level, it is more meaningful to the employee and a better long-term strategy for keeping the fires of employee engagement stoked.

Plus, the Omnia behavioral assessment is quick, accurate, and user-friendly. In less than 10 minutes, managers and employees have data at their fingertips for opening lines of communication, improving relationships, and understanding their teammates better than ever. A connected team is an engaged team!

It’s impossible not to think of great romances in February, the month dedicated to celebrating relationships. Jack and Rose…he made the ultimate sacrifice for true love (even though there was enough room on that enormous door); or Danny and Sandy…hopelessly devoted to one another before, quite literally, flying off in a 1948 Ford Deluxe convertible, as all couples should; and then there’s Westley and Buttercup… storming castles and cheating death…inconceivable!

What did you do to celebrate your relationship on Valentine’s Day?

Was it a sappy card, flowers, chocolate, or maybe reservations at the trendy new gastronomical experience? Those are great strategies for romantic relationships, and certainly less drastic than choosing who gets to avoid hypothermia, but what does it take to build or improve our work relationships?

I once had a male colleague give me flowers the day after we had a disagreement about a project. It felt…awkward. I mean it was sweet, sure, but crossing boundaries could quickly land both parties in HR. The next thing you know, everyone is sitting in an anti-harassment training.

That’s why strategy #1 is…

Know the difference between personal relationships and work relationships.

The relationships we form at work are important ones. Whether you work in an office or virtually, you likely spend a lot of time interacting with your colleagues and managers, so you want those interactions to be as smooth and productive as possible. At least I hope you do!

While many of us might form a close work friendship or two that extends beyond the office, work relationships shouldn’t cross boundaries. Of course, we live in the real world, so blurred lines exist. For work friendships that extend outside the office, it’s a good idea for both parties to regularly check themselves to maintain professionalism.

For example, talk about your strategy for those times when you may not agree with each other about something at work. Set appropriate boundaries. Like your parents always used to tell you, true friends like you for who you are, not for what you can do for them. A friendly colleague should not expect you to blindly agree with them, share information that you shouldn’t, or gossip negatively about others. Run from toxic relationships, which is really just great advice for all aspects of your life. 

Strategy #2: Be caring and empathetic.

Yes, work relationships are professional, not personal, but they shouldn’t be cold and devoid of all emotion. There just shouldn’t be an intense outpouring of personal thoughts and emotions. Don’t make it too heavy. But do be empathetic and caring. Make an effort to get to know people on a casually personal level. It’s okay to ask personal questions, just not deeply personal questions.

Need some help with that? Here are some examples:

It’s never okay to ask a coworker to help you identify a rash.

Strategy #3: Know your coworkers’ communication style and workplace preferences.

We all have a variety of personality traits that define our inherent strengths, challenges, and workplace preferences. With Omnia’s behavioral assessment, everyone fits into one of 4 broad categories — the Social and Analytical Drivers and the Social and Analytical Supporters — and further into 17 distinct personality groups. Understanding the unique personalities of your coworkers so you can communicate with each person in a way that works for them is a great way to improve work relationships. Knowing a colleague’s underlying motivators and communication style will help you avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary conflict.

For example, if you are a fast-paced, big-picture person who only hits the highlights when talking with others, but you’re talking to a methodical, detailed coworker, be sure to give more data than you normally would. Take some time to explain yourself and provide context.

If your company uses Omnia’s behavioral assessment for hiring or employee development, the information can be useful for everyone. We have personal development reports written to and for the employee as a way to increase self-awareness and awareness of others. It’s information you can use to nurture work relationships.

Strategy #4: Ask questions to understand the situation from the other person’s point of view.

As discussed above, we are all different, from our personality types to our deeply held values and beliefs. A workplace culture is made up of dynamic, complex people, so don’t assume that you know what a teammate is thinking about a project or task at work. Actively seek to understand the other person’s point of view. Not only will it improve the work relationship, but it could also make the project better. Be open and listen; it’s the exchange of information, thoughts, and ideas that could take your project from done to done spectacularly.

Strategy #5: Know your stuff and do your job.

No one wants to have a relationship with a slacker who is not pulling their own weight, no matter how nice that person might be otherwise. Work relationships, like all other relationships, are based on trust, teamwork, and getting stuff done. We all want to hit our goals and succeed, so nothing will spoil a work relationship faster than someone who is not doing their fair share. It’s like how you feel when a member of your family walks by that full trash can or tosses their clothes outside of the hamper.

Work relationships are an important part of our lives and can mean the difference between being engaged and productive at work or feeling a sense of dread at the thought of that next meeting. Use these 5 strategies to make work relationships work!

You may cringe when you hear the term “codependent relationship” because the phrase has negative connotations. But, while codependency may cause poor team dynamics and productivity disruptions, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, codependent employees can be incredible assets to your company with a bit of attention and guidance from you. Let’s explore how.

Defining Codependency

Before we get into management strategies, let’s set a working definition of codependency. For our purposes, codependency is the deeply ingrained compulsion to do anything possible to maintain a positive relationship with another party — even at the expense of one’s own needs. Therefore, a codependent employee is someone who prioritizes people-pleasing over all else.

Unfortunately, this craving to be validated and needed by others can be problematic. The tendency may annoy or alienate coworkers. It can also tank the codependent employee’s career. At its worst, it may result in the employee completely losing their sense of self, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and workplace outbursts.

Codependents thrive on feeling like they are being helpful. But, the truth is, they often inadvertently sabotage the person they’re intertwined with, themselves, or both.

What Codependency Looks Like in the Workplace

Not sure if you’ve seen codependency in the office? Here’s what it might look like:

Codependent on a Coworker

When your employee is codependent on a coworker, they may:

Codependent on a Manager

When your employee is codependent on a manager (perhaps you!), they may:

Codependent employees may also take on the role of office mom or dad by organizing celebrations or bringing in treats for everyone.

Helping Codependent Employees

Left unchecked, a codependent employee can do a lot of damage in the workplace. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help them thrive:

1. Validate When Appropriate

Codependents need to feel like they’re useful, helpful, and competent. So, when they do well in their role, you should take the time to praise and thank them for their efforts. Often, codependents perceive that they’re not doing enough or that their work is subpar, so they’ll appreciate the recognition.

2. Reciprocate Kindness

Codependents spend much of their time thinking about and tending to the needs of others, often ignoring their own wants. You can show them they are worthy of caring and consideration by reciprocating their good deeds. That could look like throwing them a birthday party, sending them flowers after a significant event, or bringing them one of their favorite treats.

Caution: Be sure to show the same kindness towards all of your team members to avoid the perception of favoritism.

3. Expand Responsibilities

Your codependent employee could have self-esteem issues and may not trust their abilities. You can help them move past their comfort zone by slowly expanding their responsibilities. Give them clear instructions on how to complete each new duty and be available to answer their questions.

When they complete the task correctly, praise them. When they miss the mark, offer support and additional guidance to help them succeed in their next attempt.

4. Enforce Policies

Your role as a manager is multi-faceted. Yes, you want to support and encourage your employees. But you also have to enforce company policies. Start by reminding your codependent employee about rules pertaining to break times, office gossip, and other expected behaviors. They may just need a refresher. But, if they don’t take the hint, utilize your company’s progressive discipline process as you would with any other team member.

5. Offer Resources

As a company leader, you can only do so much. You’re not a therapist. So, if your employee’s behavior becomes more disruptive or they’ve indicated that they may be having a mental health crisis, it’s appropriate to refer them to the firm’s employee assistance program (EAP) for professional guidance.

Where Omnia Comes In

We’ve developed an effective behavioral assessment to help you get to know your employees on a deeper level. Our fast, accurate personality inventory will yield insights into each team member’s work preferences, motivations, communication style, and more. With this data, you can feel more confident managing your workforce.

Our employee behavioral assessment results enable you to effectively communicate with, motivate, recognize, teach, and lead everyone on your team — including your codependent employee. That way, you can help them mitigate the adverse effects of their codependency and excel in their careers.

Try a complimentary assessment to see the results for yourself!

It’s a new year, but many companies are facing familiar challenges when it comes to finding top talent. Some organizations are meeting these challenges head on with innovative hiring and onboarding practices.

Not surprisingly, the ball dropping on 2023 has not magically made all the “Help Wanted” signs disappear. Customers continue to experience long wait times, product fulfillment problems, and unpredictable business hours while companies try to fill open positions. Recruiters continue to experience candidate ghosting, low applicant response, and high turnover.

With talent pools drying up and candidates receiving (and rejecting) multiple offers, hiring managers and recruiters are feeling the pressure to constantly pivot to find the right people and bring them onboard.

According to a country-by-country analysis conducted by global organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, “…by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people...” The shortage seems mostly linked to demographic shifts. Some countries have been seeing declining birth rates. In the US, Baby Boomers are retiring before their replacements can acquire the experience needed to take over.

Here are some of the trends HR professionals are embracing to overcome these hurdles.

1. Recruitment marketing 

With a projected 6-million-person labor deficit in the US alone, job seekers have more options than ever, and employers need to find ways to stand out from the competition.

According to Page Up, the objective of recruitment marketing is not just to connect with more candidates but better candidates. To do this, more organizations are using the same strategies they use when attracting clients to attract candidates.

This includes developing an employer brand, tailoring campaigns to open positions, and creating warm leads (prospective recruits) which can be tapped as soon as positions open.

2. Simplifying the initial application process

Reducing barriers between applicants and employers is another popular tack recruiters are taking. It’s still important to vet candidates properly and gather the pertinent information, but the initial outreach doesn’t need to be overly complicated, especially with advances in technology. Some ways to make things simpler include:

3. Hiring for soft skills

While selecting candidates whose experience matches the position will always be the ideal, that’s not always possible. You can’t attract what doesn’t exist. As a result, there has been new focus on targeting candidates who have favorable soft skills with the plan to train them on the job.

Behavioral assessments like the Omnia Assessment (a quick and powerful word selection tool) can help you match candidates’ traits to the ones that best suit the position, like leadership, communication, problem solving, and flexibility. Preemployment assessments can also help you compare the personalities of your top performers with applicants.

4. Making the most of Preboarding

Preboarding is the time between the signing of the acceptance letter and the employee’s first day. This time has traditionally been used to do some additional paperwork or send a welcome letter. But due to an uptick in new hires ghosting before their start date, some companies are doing more with this time. The objective is to help new hires feel confident that they made the right choice when signing the offer letter. HR departments are ramping up their efforts to connect during the preboarding period by:

5. Instituting a Onboarding Buddy program

According to Charthop, an onboarding buddy is “an employee who is matched with a new hire to educate them about day-to-day processes, introduce them to the rest of the team, bridge social connections, and answer questions as they arise.”

Especially in remote settings, having an onboarding buddy can help new hires feel more connected to the company and increase engagement. Knowing there is one person specifically available to the new hire can improve productivity and reduce early turnover.

It’s great to have a trusted partner to help navigate the changing talent management landscape. Whatever your hiring and onboarding challenges, Omnia can help! Our skilled Customer Success team is available to provide guidance throughout the recruiting and hiring lifecycle. Our behavioral assessments are quick, powerful, and now mobile friendly.

While there are a lot of components that go into employee retention, one of the most intriguing finds from last year’s Talent Trends survey is how employees’ sense of belonging can impact retention and productivity. It seems like a no-brainer when you think about it – feeling connected to an organization and enjoying quality relationships on the job can make an employee feel like an integral part of the group, making them more likely to stay with your company. And our Talent Trends Survey results show leaders have started taking note of how employee belonging is vital for employee retention.

Remote work’s impact on employee connection

When Covid hit and turned the business world (and the world at large) on its head, many companies turned to a remote or hybrid work model, and like Omnia, many of them have continued with that model. WFH offers many advantages: less overhead and increased productivity for employers (Forbes) and less commuting and more flexibility for employees, among other benefits. But a big drawback can be the lack of human connection. Missing the sense of camaraderie from watercooler discussions, passing each other in the hall, and impromptu lunch outings among colleagues can feel demotivating for many employees. This can be especially challenging for employees who are socially driven and thrive when they are able to interact with others regularly. And even though more reserved people may have an easier time flying solo on the job, they often still appreciate hearing the buzz of chatter in the office and seeing a friendly face, and they can miss the sense of connection those aspects of in-person work offer.

Real-world examples

Cultivating a sense of belonging within your company doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it does have to be intentional, especially when employees are working remotely some or all of the time. At Omnia, we hold quarterly meetings in person to both update employees about everything happening in our company and to give opportunities for us to reconnect and catch up with each other, often in fun, different locations. In addition to these meetings, we have a holiday party at the end of the year, and we are excited to start participating in volunteer events where local employees can work together on projects that help our community.

Employee initiative

But building solidarity doesn’t just happen a few times a year. And while an organization’s leadership must set the groundwork for creating the sense of belonging that retains employees, planning activities doesn’t always have to come from the top. When leadership encourages connection, it inspires employees to take action themselves to grow internal relationships. Recently, an Omnia colleague began hosting a monthly 30-minute Teams meeting so whoever wants to join can catch up with their coworkers and discuss what’s going on in everyone’s lives. It’s a fun opportunity to see others during the workday like we would if we were in the office. Another colleague has created a book club that meets virtually every month after work. This is another chance for people to connect around a shared activity that grows the sense of belonging within the organization.

Know your employees

It's important to note that these meetings and events aren’t mandatory and growing employee connections can’t be forced. Some people need more time than others to build rapport and feel at ease interacting with their colleagues on a personal level. That’s why knowing your employees and how much – or how little – interaction motivates them is critical.

On the Omnia behavioral assessment, someone who is driven by having a great deal of interaction with others has a tall column 3, while those who prefer solitary work and do not need as much ongoing interaction display a tall column 4. Requiring an employee with a very tall column 4 to attend frequent social events – especially if they are a new employee who does not know many people within the organization yet – might be just as demoralizing as not allowing a column 3 employee to participate in any social opportunities at all. Instead, an introverted employee might feel more connection by having one-on-one conversations with a colleague or by meeting with just a few other people at a time. Feeling understood in and of itself can go a long way in making employees feel connected to your organization.

What trends do you see affecting employee retention in your organization or industry? Add your voice to the discussion by taking our 2nd Annual Talent Trends survey (Click Here) by December 31, 2022.

Motivation is defined as the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. That begs the question then, can you really motivate someone else to do something?

When it comes right down to it, motivation is a driving factor in personal achievement. Motivation is what gets you out of bed to go to the gym and lose those extra pounds or pushes you to achieve a sales quota or to get that promotion at work. In short, motivation causes you to act in a way that gets you closer to your goals. It’s a combination of emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate human behavior.

No doubt, an individual can be self-motivated to change their behavior and accomplish a goal. Yet there are also external factors that can also help support and boost that motivation. For me personally, I’m more inclined to skip the snooze bar and go to the morning workout if I’m meeting a friend. I’m more apt to complete an unwelcome task when I know others are depending on me for a deliverable. A salesperson may be more motivated to make those dreaded cold calls if they know their activity results are going to be posted on every Monday morning Sales Huddle.

It’s likely that all of us have had leaders try to motivate us with positive motivation and negative reinforcement. It can clearly work both ways. It can be used for good to drive productive behavior, and it can be used for bad to drive fear and resentment. Let’s focus on how to use it for good.

5 Questions to Consider for Motivating Individuals

As a leader, you are constantly working on inspiring your workforce. That happens at the team or company level with mass communications and long-term planning with visionary roadmaps. When it comes to motivation, that’s done at the individual level. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when you’re thinking about motivating individuals to perform at their very best.

1. Is the person in the right job?

People are most likely to be successful when their skill set, experience, and personality traits align with the requirements of the position. When you’re thinking about individuals on your team and how you can motivate them to accomplish specific results, begin with taking a step back to be sure each individual is in the right role.

Start with reviewing the job description and performance measures. Then take a good look at the individual and assess if they are cut out and wired for the job. This is where a behavioral assessment can be helpful. Understanding the individual’s natural traits and tendencies will provide you with powerful insights to tell you how well the person is aligned with the position’s expectations and if they are naturally equipped to achieve them. Omnia professional development reports provide deep insights into an individual’s strengths and traits and how closely they align with expectations of roles including sales and service positions.

2. Are their goals achievable?

There’s nothing worse or more demotivating than feeling like you can’t achieve success in your job. It’s great to set stretch goals for your teams and companies, but if a bar is set too high, it’s unlikely your employees are going to believe their efforts will even pay off, and it can make it hard for them to envision success. It’s also important to make sure the goals are clear and that there’s a mutual understanding of what success looks like. When you’re working with an individual to establish goals, make sure you follow the SMART approach. Create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

3. What matters to the individual?

Research indicates that goals that give an individual the most sustained energy have personal meaning and connect to a larger purpose. If there’s a monetary reward for their goal achievement, take time to find out how that windfall will be used. Is your employee trying to buy a new home or dreaming of a luxury vacation with their loved ones? Continue reminding them of the personal benefits they will get from their success and celebrating that success when achieved. It may sound hokey but sending them pictures of the beaches in Hawaii or getting them a subscription to a home design magazine demonstrates you care about them personally and how their achievement matters as much outside of work as it does to your bottom line.

4. What support do they need to be successful?

Another key to individual success is being sure the person has all the resources they need to perform the role. It’s critical to make sure you’ve provided the proper training and development needed for the role. If they’re running into new and difficult situations that are hard to overcome, such as pricing negotiations or competitive threats, are you offering them new skill development and professional courses to help develop their abilities to overcome these obstacles?

To succeed, an individual also needs to have systems that support them and don’t get in the way of getting the job done. It sounds basic, but is their computer reliable? Does their technology support their daily productivity? Are systems and processes set up to assist them vs. providing daily interruptions with unnecessary procedures that get in the way of doing the job? Before you establish that new requirement or process for your CRM, ask yourself if it’s truly going to support the success of your employee and be clear how it will be used.

It's also important that you are available (or make others available) to model, support, coach and develop individual success. Consider how often you need to observe the person performing their job tasks, and consistently offer 1x1 coaching that’s focused on positive reinforcement and developmental support. Leaders can be stretched pretty thin these days, so you can also consider teaming up senior people with newer people, and providing playbooks, videos and templates that visually show successful methods for performing the various aspects of the job.

5. What truly motivates or demotivates this individual?

Every individual is unique when it comes to what motivates and inspires them. If you have a clear picture of their personality traits and preferences, you can tap into the heart of their personal motivation. This is where a behavioral assessment can also be helpful. All Omnia reports include a section that outlines motivational strategies to use and demotivators to avoid for each personality style. For example, if you have an individual who is highly assertive (a tall column 1 on the Omnia Behavioral Assessment), they are going to be motivated by performance-based incentives like commission, bonuses, and sales contests. If the individual has a tall column 7, they are going to want the freedom to define their goals and achieve them in their own way. The individual with a tall column 8 will thrive with structured guidelines for work output, clear directions from management, and frequent reassurance from management when expectations are being met.

No two individuals are alike, and each of us are motivated by different things that matter individually to us. Taking the time to consider these key factors for every individual on your team and putting these practices into everyday actions will make all the difference in your business success.

Omnia is here to help. Contact our team to find out how you can use our professional development reports to discover the key traits of your employees and how best to motivate them.

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