Season’s Greetings! Omnia’s second annual Talent Trends Survey closes on December 31st. We look forward to unraveling what’s happened in employee selection and development over the last 12 months. Moving on from 2022, I’m reflecting on the first stage of the employee lifecycle:  the selection process. I’m eager to explore what’s new in recruitment and hiring that we can take into 2023 and make it a fabulous year.

What did we learn and what do we have to look forward to?

Our first survey showed that the turnover rates across companies increased from the year prior for most respondents. This means it’s more critical than ever to hire right the first time as your first line of defense against unwanted turnover.

As the initial impacts of the pandemic become a distant memory, we are left with a new work-world order. It will be interesting to see what’s been happening with turnover over the last year when our new survey results emerge, especially amid continuing headlines about the great resignation, the great reshuffle, and the great reprioritization. And now that new trends have emerged, like quiet quitting, how will those numbers shift? If you haven’t already, please take a moment to share your experiences with us. Click Here.

Hot Selection Trend #1: Remote and hybrid work environments.

As we all know, this has become a major perk for job seekers and existing talent and, therefore, something many companies are using to recruit top talent and keep their best people. It’s simply a competitive advantage.

Luckily, this perk often has other benefits for the company, such as a healthier workforce. Employees with better work-life balance find themselves less stressed all the way around which leads to better productivity.

Also… cost savings. Many companies have been able to reduce office space overhead. Score!

Hot Selection Trend #2: Candidate engagement.

Candidate engagement looks at how responsive a candidate is during the selection process. It measures the communication and interest of your candidates as they move through your selection funnel. It also measures how well they feel they were treated by your company. A great candidate experience is an opportunity to set your company apart from the competition.

Of course, like most things in life, candidate engagement relies on having a focused plan that everyone is committed to. It’s an ongoing strategic process that involves your employer brand, communication, and technology.

How modern is your experience? You want it to be as quick and painless as possible without losing the ability to examine whether or not candidates have what you need to do the job. This can be accomplished with more modern approaches, like automation, virtual outreach, and making data-driven decisions.

Take a look at your candidate processes. Are your platforms mobile-friendly? Do you have language choices? Can candidates schedule their interviews?

The Omnia Assessment and Omnia Cognitive Assessment are great ways to add some objective decision points to your process. And because each one takes less than 15 minutes to complete, the candidate experience is a positive one.

Hot Selection Trend #3: Company values.

Make your core values clear from the very beginning. By being upfront about who you are as an organization, you will attract workers who share the same philosophies and that’s taking a step towards better retention.

Hot Selection Trend #4: Diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Companies with inclusive cultures and supporting policies attract top talent. It’s another way to stay competitive in the talent market, and it’s just the right thing to do. Even better, inclusive companies are seeing increases in innovation and buyer interest per the International Labour Organization.

Diversity is all about the ways people are different, such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, religious beliefs, marital status, where people live, job function, hair color, you name it. It’s basically anything that helps define our identity. A business that employs a diverse pool of people will benefit from those distinctive viewpoints.

Equity acknowledges differences in order to provide fair treatment and opportunities. Equality is providing the same treatment and opportunities to everyone, which isn’t always fair. For example, someone with a learning disability might need more time to take a written test. If you give everyone the same amount of time, that’s equality, but it doesn’t factor in the disability and puts that individual at a disadvantage. The difference is significant in that the tools and resources needed to succeed are not the same for everyone.

Inclusion focuses on making sure everyone has a voice and feels welcomed in the work environment. It’s kind of like putting your money where your mouth is. At the end of the day, does your organization practice what it preaches?

Hot Selection Trend #5: Salary transparency

This trend is about listing the position’s salary on job postings, and it largely exists to reduce pay equity issues. On the plus side of this, you can weed out people looking to make far more than a job pays right from the start. While there will certainly be pros and cons related to salary transparency, it is something companies will need to deal with, especially as some states enact pay transparency laws. Even without a law in your state, you should be ready to embrace this new reality; otherwise, your organization may be seen as having something to hide, especially as the number of companies with salary transparency rises.

That’s a brief look at five hot selection trends for 2023. Let’s make the year sizzle!

This week we're here to help you coach your team through conflict with a focus on cohesion.

It’s natural for humans to form teams, and it’s normal for those teams to develop specific dynamics. As a coach, a leader, it's important to influence those dynamics by setting clear goals, encouraging communication, and emphasizing ways to be productive and creative.  Without effective leadership, teams can become unproductive, apathetic, and even toxic.

While not every group will automatically become unified in their goals, these teams can be coached into cohesion with the right leadership. Cohesive teams are industrious and generally drama-free. Interactions among team members are respectful, disagreements are resolved peacefully, and agreement is a regularity.

How can you support your team to become more cohesive? We suggest the following:

Set High Expectations

The first step toward a top-performing, cohesive team is believing it exists. Set your expectations and your standards high. Offer support needed to meet these expectations and hold team members accountable to you and each other. Examples of ground rules include: Everybody shows up on time and ready to work, everyone participates, all ideas are respected, and commitments are kept.

Get to Know Who’s Who

We all learn differently, communicate differently, and handle conflict differently. These differences, combined with those based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, age, life experience, and so on, can be the driver for enhanced problem solving and innovation. Still, they also can be the source of stress and discord. Rather than assuming what people are likely to believe based on their outward characteristics and backgrounds, why not introduce some team-building exercises that reveal, more objectively, who’s who? Omnia’s professional development report helps employees understand their own personality traits and motivations. The report is ideal for reducing conflict and building collaboration.

Practice Real Inclusion

In every group, some members will be more vocal than others. These individuals might be the natural leaders worth following, or they might be those with the biggest egos who enjoy hearing themselves speak. In either case, don’t allow them to take over. The magic of diversity can’t work if true inclusion isn’t practiced. That means everyone gets a say, and each idea is given the consideration it deserves. This is not to say the team is obliged to spend hours hashing over every bad idea. However, dismissing an offering with a snort or off-handed comment is out of bounds and violates those ground rules mentioned earlier. Instead, anyone who cares to counter another’s idea should be required to defend her position with rational and clear principles. 

Get Out of the Way

As any sports fan knows, coaches encourage and enable others to do what they do. Coaches don’t do the work the players must do. So it is with good leadership. Getting out of the way is crucial. To bring your team to cohesion, be prepared to provide resources, inspiration, guidance, and wisdom, but don’t interfere where you’re neither needed nor wanted. At best, you’ll infantilize the team and teach dependence. At worst, you’ll create resentment and other ill feelings – all the while impeding work that would otherwise get done.

Praise Good Behavior

It’s common to complain that the same manager who is quick to criticize what employees do wrong is also slow to praise what employees do right. Don’t be that manager. Instead of catching your employees doing “bad,” catch them doing good – and let them know it.

Don’t Play Favorites

Nothing can tear a team apart faster than a leader who plays favorites. It’s okay to like some people more than you like others. It’s human nature and nothing to fret over. However, allowing your personal feelings to influence how you manage to the point of mistreating some employees is clearly to be avoided.

Highly functional teams are extremely valuable to the companies that support them. Coach your team into cohesion (or ensure it stays there) by following this article's advice.

Do you know what motivates your employees to come to work every day? If you don’t have an answer to that question, there’s a good chance that you don’t have the workplace strategies in place to ensure that your workforce remains engaged in their tasks. Without using employee assessments of some kind, it can be difficult to determine what’s most important to your employees.

The Benefits of Employee Motivation in the Workplace

Many organizations take employee motivation and employee engagement for granted, assuming that as long as no one is complaining openly or failing to complete their work, everything is going along just fine. But a lack of motivation can take its toll on a workforce over time, contributing to declining work quality, diminished productivity, and high levels of employee turnover. If employees are only motivated to show up each day to earn their paycheck or avoid getting fired, it will be difficult for the company to find sustainable success.

When employees are highly motivated and fully committed to the organization’s mission, they play a major role in reaching its full potential. Motivated employees are more efficient and productive in their work and are more likely to make innovative contributions that deliver positive results and create new opportunities. Engaged employees communicate more effectively and take a more proactive role in their own development.

Discovering What Motivates Employees with Assessments

Of course, not every employee is motivated by the same thing. Some people will be amped up by a pep talk from leadership, while others will roll their eyes if they’re expected to ring a bell to celebrate wins. One of the biggest mistakes an organization can make is imposing one motivational style upon every department and employee.

That’s where employee assessments can make a huge difference. While pre-employment assessments are a useful tool for identifying whether or not a candidate possesses the core competencies needed to excel in a position, behavioral assessments also provide a more nuanced picture of how they think and what motivates them to come to work every day. Personality assessments are incredibly useful for their ability to identify career opportunities and learning tendencies.

Some of the questions an employee assessment can answer include:

Assessments provide actionable data on what makes employees tick. Rather than making broad generalizations or simply assuming that what motivates one person will work just as well for others, organizations can use assessment data to develop a strategy for motivating employees as unique individuals.

How to Motivate People Using Insights Gained From Employee Assessments

There are a few ways that the information gathered from assessments can be used to improve employee motivation.

Empower Them

Finding ways to empower employees to help them do their jobs more effectively is one of the best ways to motivate them. But to do that, organizations first need to know what “empowerment” means to those employees. Some people might work well in a low-information environment, where they’re free to make their own decisions and be more accountable for the outcomes. However, others will feel like they’re being set up for failure if they don’t get the right amount of support and guidance. Understanding how to strike the right balance for every employee is an essential leadership quality. Assessment data can provide a better picture of what each person feels like they need to do the best job they’re capable of doing.

Establish Expectations

It’s difficult for employees to feel motivated when they don’t have a firm idea of what they’re supposed to be doing. Unclear expectations leave employees wondering if they’re doing everything they need to do to succeed or producing work that contributes genuine value to the organization. Over time, lack of clarity can lead to frustration, disengagement, or even resentment. Employee assessments can provide organizations with a better idea of how people perceive their roles and responsibilities, making it easier to align them with reality. When people have better clarity about expectations, they’re more likely to be motivated to meet them.

Recognize Them

No one wants to feel like they’re toiling away all alone in a dark room. Employees want to know the work they’re doing is valued and appreciated. When people have a good sense of how their efforts contribute to the organization’s success, they’re more likely to be invested in achieving those goals. But not everyone wants to be recognized in the same way. Some people are motivated primarily by monetary compensation, while others want to see their role treated with the respect they believe it deserves. Understanding the proper way to recognize performance is critically important. For example, simply paying someone more money won’t be enough to keep them if they think they’re being treated like a replaceable cog in a machine.

Create the Right Culture

Building a healthy workplace culture is important for any organization, but many companies make the mistake of establishing a culture that doesn’t reflect the diversity of their workforce. An office that feels like a frat house might be a great place to work for some employees, but it probably isn’t the best environment for everyone. When people feel out of place at work, it can be difficult for them to be engaged in what they’re doing. Using employee assessments to better understand what kind of environment everyone wants to work in can help organizations build a work culture that reflects its employees' diverse needs.

Discover How to Motivate People With Omnia Assessments

For over 30 years, Omnia has helped organizations implement a data-driven approach to hiring and employee development. Our diverse array of employee assessments provide actionable information that can be used to shape development strategies that boost employee engagement and employee retention. From behavioral and cognitive assessments to custom reporting and workshops, the Omnia team has the resources to optimize your workforce fully. Contact us today to learn more about our hiring assessments and employee development solutions.

Many people have a lot to say about Millennials, especially as this generation begins to distinguish itself as the largest segment of the workforce.

If you’re like me, you likely once harbored the mistaken belief that Millennials, despite their size, could expect to be conformed by the workplace like everyone else. In other words, they’d learn to suck up the bureaucracy, the hierarchy, the authoritarianism, and so forth, just like the rest of us.

Well, maybe not.

Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace has this to say on the topic (bold mine):

“Most workers, many of whom are millennials, approach a role and a company with a highly defined set of expectations. They want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to use their talents and strengths to do what they do best every day. They want to learn and develop. They want their job to fit their life.”

So here’s my question – is your company Millennial ready?

Working to Live and Not the Other Way Around (With a Twist)

The Great Recession of 2008 put a hurting on many workers, including millions of Millennials entering the workforce at just the wrong time. Armed with their liberal arts degrees and their idealism, they found themselves smack dab in a highly competitive market where professional, good-paying jobs with benefits were few and far between. They became salespeople. They became nannies, baristas, and bartenders. They moved back home with their parents.

Eventually, the market got better, and Millennials did better. But the damage had been done. Traditional employers expecting to keep these workers inline using the old “command and control” style of management would find themselves, for the most part, disappointed. Millennials had learned their lessons. Employers aren’t loyal to them, and they won’t be loyal to employers. These young employees like paying their bills, and they definitely want to impact their communities, but if the working relationship doesn’t work for them, they’ll stop working for it.

Now here’s the twist. Although Millennials are working to live and not living to work, work is still vital. In fact, it’s so important that they’re prepared to keep switching jobs until they find one that fits. 

Never a Dull Moment

Most of us want our work to be intellectually stimulating. Being bored at work, as a matter of course, is … well, boring.

In fact, millennials are no different and may be even more prone than the rest of us to eschew boredom. After all, they came of age during a time when constant stimulation – via the Internet, hand-held electronic devices, and television – was the norm. (Actually, it still is the norm.)

And guess what? Gallup reports that Millennials are the most bored generation at work. This is particularly bad news for many employers, because (as previously mentioned) Millennials want their work to have meaning. If they’re bored, most likely, they aren’t long for your workplace and/or are merely “going through the motions” until “something better” comes along.

But there’s hope.

Getting Ready for Millennials – The Big Six

In that same report referenced immediately above, Gallup offers the following advice for getting your company “Millennial ready.” They call these the “Big Six:”

  1. Understand that Millennials aren’t driven by money. Paychecks matter, but they don’t matter more than meaningful work and work environments that treat people respectfully.
  2. Personal development is key. Perks like free coffee and casual dress codes are nice, but Millennials want to be learning and growing.
  3. Command and control management is out. Well, it’s not out just yet, but Millennials (and a bunch of Gen-Xer’s too, I might add) wish it would go away. Instead of authority figures, Millennials want coaches who offer support, guidance, and resources.
  4. Forget the annual review. Millennials want feedback in real-time. The traditional once-a-year-review won’t do.
  5. Focus on strengths. Rather than focusing on “fixing” weaknesses, Millennials want employers to develop their strengths.
  6. Work needs to enhance life. Again, Millennials want their jobs to fit their life. Work needs to provide purpose and be aligned with their personal values.

To be sure, this is a tall order and maybe impossible for some organizations for a variety of reasons. However, organizations willing to take on the challenge of meeting Millennials where they are will be rewarded with a team of decidedly un-bored and highly productive staff.

What are the true costs of bad employee turnover?

First, a definition: Bad turnover is when productive employees leave your workplace long before they’ve exhausted their value. These employees have more to contribute to your organization, but they've decided to take those potential contributions elsewhere.

Sure, no one is irreplaceable, and you’ll likely (eventually) find another great worker, but what will that cost? In cash? Morale? Lost productivity and training expenses?

According to SHRM’s 2016 Human Capital Benchmarking Report, the average cost per hire is $4,129. Other sources estimate that number to be much higher after factoring in the time it takes to craft and place job ads, screen resumes, conduct interviews, and orient the new employee. And while it’s hard to put a dollar to interrupted processes, unfinished projects, and “reinvention of the wheel” (when current employees unwittingly retrace the steps of past employees), for certain, there is a hard dollar cost.

All of this is to say – savvy employers understand that it’s smart to take steps to keep talent content. But how? Here are our top tips:

Support Learning

Every A-Player knows the importance of staying marketable by keeping up skills, knowledge, and abilities. Help your employees do just that by offering tuition reimbursement, monies toward continuing education, and access to workshops, webinars, and conferences. Whenever possible, allow employees to use work time to pursue learning. Employers who insist that all “extra-curricular” learning occurs off the clock may get a reputation among their staff for being stingy and not truly committed to their personal and professional growth.

Seek and Apply Staff Input

Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace declared: “Most workers, many of whom are millennials, approach a role and a company with a highly defined set of expectations.

They want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to use their talents and strengths to do what they do best every day. They want to learn and develop.” Put another way, your A-Players are not interested in being seen as “hired hands” – expected to do as they’re told when they’re told. Instead, they expect to be seen as experts in their fields, and they want to use that expertise to impact the business in significant ways. Employers who reject this idea in favor of traditional command and control management styles won’t be able to engage or retain the most sought after employees. 

Encourage and Reward Collaboration

Rare is the workplace in which employees can get anything done by acting alone. Instead, most of us regularly rely on each other to meet our goals. That said, it’s all too easy to ignore your coworkers’ contribution to your success when your company encourages competition and ignores backbiting, backstabbing, and other forms of aggression, all in the name of getting things done. True, we need to get things done, but A-Players (especially those who have embraced the more modern workplace values of teamwork, collaboration, and diversity) are likely to shy away from toxic, everyone-for-himself/herself work environments that don’t feel very good. Behavioral assessments are one way to test each team member’s tendency to enjoy working in teams and/or collaborative and accommodating by nature.

Give ‘Em Room

Nobody, least of all A Players, want to work under someone else’s thumb. Micromanagement, constricting rules (both written and unwritten), and policies that run counter to common sense are all a turn off to top talent.

It’s like Lee Iacocca said – hire smart people and then get out of their way.

Low unemployment means competition for talent is tough, yet too many employers do everything possible to drive their most productive employees out the door. The rest, however, are learning the New Rules of Employee Retention and encouraging their best and brightest to stick around for a while.

If you’re tired of hearing about Generation Y (i.e., Millennials) and what they like, don’t like, and want from work, you’re in luck! Generation Z (or whatever they’ll eventually be called) is in high school, which means they’ll be entering the workforce in just a few short years. Time to get ready!

Who is Generation Z?

A report by Knoll Workplace Research characterizes Generation Z (born after 1998 and counting) as:

Why Does It Matter?

While it may seem premature to be thinking about this stuff now (after all, Gen Z is composed of teens, pre-teens, and those not even born yet), when Gen Z first enters the workforce, they’ll be joining Gen X, Gen Y, and Boomers. That’s a big deal.

The author of "Baby Boomers Still Got Game; Where Does That Leave Gen X, Gen Y?" put it this way:

“This unprecedented generational smorgasbord is enough to turn even a Millennial's hair gray. From attitudes about work and career to vacation schedules to training and development, each generation has different needs and wants. Breaking down barriers and bridging gaps is no task for the faint of the heart, naïve, or unprepared.”

Getting Ready for Gen Z

If your workplace is like most, it’s already multi-generational. That means you already have some first-hand knowledge of the various wants, needs, and expectations of the different generations. Hopefully, you’ve been paying attention and adjusting your work policies and procedures accordingly. If not, perhaps now is your chance to get a second bite of that apple.

Here then, are a few ways employers can start getting ready for Gen Z.

Develop a succession plan. People move on, and no one lives forever, so a succession plan makes sense no matter who’s coming of age. Still, many companies continue to struggle with succession planning despite the direct and indirect benefits of having one.

A 2015 study by Software Advice, an HR and recruiting technology research company, found that 62% of employees would be “significantly more engaged” if their company had a succession plan, and more than 90% of workers aged 18 to 34 said a succession plan would “improve” their level of engagement.

Now combine those stats with these findings in a recent report by Robert Half International titled “Get Ready for Generation Z” — 32% of Gen Z expects to be managing people 5 years out of college, and another 20% expect to be making their way up the corporate ladder. The bottom line? Gen Z will come into the workforce expecting to move on up or move on out. Smart employers will begin creating those career paths now.

Review your total compensation. Cash compensation has always been important, but cash is not the end all be all. Affordable medical and generous retirement benefits may be especially important to this generation that craves stability, and employers shouldn’t overlook the lure of flexibility and short commutes, either.

Ramp up employee development efforts. According to that Robert Half study mentioned earlier, Generation Z is comprised of learners who are “used to being taught.” Employers should take note of this depiction for two reasons: (1) by all reports, these workers will come to the job with a shortage of writing and “soft” skills (so they’re going to need learning, but employers can take comfort knowing they’re at least receptive to it) and (2) much like the Millennials, Generation Z will be more likely to stick with a job that provides continuous learning opportunities.

There are plenty of people who think “generational differences” are a bunch of bunk. We disagree. It’s true that not every-one born in a certain year will think and act a specific way, but there are enough commonalities to make a discussion worthwhile.

Is your company getting ready for Gen Z? Why or why not?

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