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Halloween is upon us, and with it comes a scary new term! We’ve gotten past the Great Resignation, the Great Reshuffle, the (not-so-great) trend of quiet quitting. Cue the scary music and cover your eyes because we’re now facing The Great Gloom.

The Great Gloom is a term coined by BambooHR to describe a growing trend of employee unhappiness.

According to BambooHR, employees are unhappier than ever with less volatility in the ups and downs, meaning they’re not just unhappy right now—they are consistently unhappy.

This conclusion is based on insights derived from BambooHR's extensive database of employee Net Promoter Scores® (eNPS). The eNPS itself is gauged through a comprehensive survey comprising two key components: a numerical rating that assesses employees' likelihood to recommend the organization as a workplace and an open-ended question that invites employees to articulate their rationale.

The survey has been used to measure employee happiness between January 2020 and June 2023, and the data shows a consistent decrease in overall happiness.

That’s not all. Gallup reports a drop in employee engagement from 36% in 2020 to 32% going into 2023, with 18% reporting themselves as “actively disengaged.”

In other words, employees are feeling gloomy, or at the very least, apathetic.

Bamboo HR attributes the plunge in employee happiness partially to lingering problems from the pandemic: health issues (long COVID), unprecedented inflation, staff shortages leading to overwork, and being forced to return to the office after having been allowed to work remotely.

Other factors that result in reduced job satisfaction include: feeling that one’s job lacks meaning, being in a toxic work environment, limited to no recognition or appreciation, limited growth opportunities, and lack of work/life balance.

What is the Impact?

Picture this: The days are getting shorter, and the air is getting cooler. Through the gray mist you see people who look like your employees; they’re shaped like your employees, but something is off. They shamble through the office, stumbling and grunting. Whatever made them a happy, productive part of the team is gone. All you’re left with is a zombie hoard.

Alright, that’s probably being too dramatic. But studies show that happiness has a positive impact on productivity (as much as 13% according to research by Oxford University's Saïd Business School). And, employee unhappiness/dissatisfaction can lead to costly turnover.

Also, like most (hopefully) fictional zombie strains, unhappiness can be contagious. It doesn’t take much for negativity to take hold and spread.

What can managers do to reverse this trend and bring employee sentiment back from the walking dead?

1. Identify the major source (or sources) of discontent. It’s unreasonable to expect that you can fix every problem today’s worker faces, especially since you might be facing some of them yourself. But if your team is struggling, the best thing you can do is ask why. Talk to them. Express your concerns. If people don’t want to talk, consider conducting anonymous surveys.

2. Once you’ve determined the primary problem, make your commitment to fixing it clear. And follow through. Empty statements, lackluster gestures, or unfulfilled promises will just make the problems worse. Ask for input here, as well. What would your employees like to see happen? List the steps you’ll take and send updates. Confirm you are on the right track and be prepared to make adjustments to plans if not.

3. Understand that employees are your biggest asset and treat them that way. Commit to fair pay and robust benefits. Recognize the world we live in and be prepared to adjust. Prices for food, medical care, and housing have skyrocketed since 2020. If people can’t pay for necessities with their salaries, they are very unlikely to give that job their all. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but it’s also a problem that will not fix itself without action from leadership.

4. Make employees’ work efforts worthwhile by investing in the tools, technology, and resources employees need to excel in their roles. Address any resource gaps (including staffing shortages) promptly, understanding that these gaps can quickly contribute to employee burnout.

5. Before you take an unpopular action (for example, revoking remote work, changing people’s work hours, or reducing schedule flexibility) make sure it will be worth the cost. There have been stories of companies bringing people back to the office with the intention of having staff quit and avoiding having to do layoffs. They may be successful at doing that, but the loss of trust, productivity and engagement are not likely to be worth it in the long run. And keep in mind, your top performers will have the easiest time finding new jobs.

6. Add purpose to work by connecting employees with responsibilities that suit their behavioral tendencies as well as aligning with the company's mission and values. Help them understand how their efforts contribute to the organization's success. Offer involvement in corporate giving, and support volunteerism by offering time off to contribute to an important cause.

7. Promote work-life balance by setting clear expectations around working hours, encouraging employees to use their vacation time, and supporting flexible work arrangements when possible. Being able to unplug and rest helps keep people from being zombies while they’re in the office.


Bonus step: Don’t be the source of your employees’ unhappiness. It is a leader’s duty to support and advocate for employees. The idea is to provide the tools, guidance and incentives to perform rather than having to use force or scare tactics. Avoid micromanaging employees or misleading them. And show meaningful gratitude when they go above and beyond.

Addressing employee disengagement and unhappiness (and avoiding creating your own zombie hoard) is an ongoing process. It requires commitment and effort from all levels of the organization. It's essential to continually monitor progress and make adjustments as needed to create a positive and engaging work environment.

We’re here to help! The Omnia Group’s behavioral assessments are unique in their ability to identify and offer solutions for stress in participants. Our development assessments provide advice for tapping into employees’ natural behavioral preferences to boost engagement. Download our free e-book, The Power of Insight, or contact us today for more information.




If you surveyed all business leaders, I believe most of them would say they want their employees to thrive and succeed. Aside from my optimistic view that most leaders want the best for their employees, there is also a practical side to employee achievement — successful employees equal successful businesses. Additionally, successful businesses create jobs, which means hiring more employees. It’s the occupational circle of life!

However, employee success doesn’t happen by accident. And not knowing how to help employees grow and develop — or not making it a priority — is where some companies stumble. Just like you have to plant flowers in good soil, ensure they get enough sun, and water them regularly, your employees need the right elements to help them grow, flourish, and reach their potential. If the thought of cultivating talent in your company feels daunting, here are 5 steps to help you get started.

1. Evaluate Your Company’s Needs

Understanding your organization’s needs can help target your efforts in developing your personnel. What are your strategic goals and priorities, both for the short term and the long term, and what is your game plan for achieving those goals? What kinds of employee talent are required to accomplish these business plans? Once you have this mapped out, you can determine the resources you currently have and the gaps that need to be filled.

2. Identify Your Talent Resources

Now that you know where you’re going, you must figure out who is going to get you there. Some people will immediately spring to mind in terms of their skills, knowledge, and experience, but don’t overlook the employees with great potential.

To uncover those hidden gems in your organization, consider conducting performance evaluations more frequently than once a year. According to Demetria Miles-McDonald, founder and CEO of Decide Diversity, “[Annual performance reviews are] very misleading as to who's going above and beyond…If you're doing performance reviews on a more regular basis, like quarterly or even monthly, and it doesn't even have to be something that's super formal, then the chances of you identifying someone who is a high potential employee definitely increases.”

These performance evaluations can also illuminate the career paths your employees might be well suited for as well as the opportunities for upskilling that will enable them to progress. Additionally, professional development assessments can help steer your performance conversations to make them more productive. Understanding an employee’s intrinsic behavioral traits and motivators can add depth to your discussions and specificity to the employee’s development trajectory.

3. Integrate Learning & Development Initiatives into Your Company Culture

Sporadic or one-off training sessions aren’t usually effective at facilitating ongoing talent growth within your organization. Employees often forget what they’ve been taught soon after the session, especially if they don’t have ways of practicing and honing what they’ve learned. And sending personnel to an occasional webinar or class does not send the message to them that your business is truly committed to their growth. To achieve effective and sustained employee development, you must weave continuous learning and development into the fabric of your company culture.

LinkedIn’s CEO Ryan Roslansky says, “I truly believe that your next top employee is most likely your current employee. And if you focus on skills and understand the skills of your existing workforce, and where you need to go as a company, there’s a huge opportunity to help your top talent find different roles inside of your company instead of learning and leaving.”

4. Experiential Learning

A great way to show leadership’s commitment to cultivating talent is through experiential learning — learning by doing. An example of this is delegating responsibilities and projects to personnel to give them opportunities to handle tasks that are new and different from their daily work. Rather than viewing it as simply getting work off a manager’s desk, delegation should involve discussing assignment parameters, clarifying expectations, being available for guidance, and providing feedback. While the tasks should not feel overwhelming, they should stretch employees and help personnel enhance their knowledge and capabilities.

Another example of experiential learning is what LinkedIn calls “tours of duty.” These are rotational assignments given to employees, which in turn, fosters the growth of new skills, experiences, and the chance to explore different career paths.

As employees become more comfortable and confident taking on new assignments and responsibilities, it’s valuable to give them the chance to take calculated risks, try new methodologies, and even make some mistakes without feeling they will be penalized. While it’s important to establish the boundaries employees should work within from the start, offering reasonable autonomy can further develop their independent decision-making skills.

5. Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring employees is an essential component to cultivating your workforce’s talent. Providing personnel with opportunities to take on new responsibilities or assignments won’t get your staff (or your business) far if there is no one to offer meaningful feedback, provide necessary guidance, and give encouragement. An effective coaching and mentoring relationship is a partnership in which the coach or mentor is invested in the employee’s growth and success and the employee benefits from the coach/mentor’s experience and insight. It facilitates two-way communication: the employee freely discusses their aspirations and the setbacks they’ve encountered, and the coach or mentor guides the employee in working through challenges and celebrates their successes with them.


If you want to cultivate talent in your business, Omnia is here to help! Our independently validated behavioral assessment can give your business data-based insights on what drives, motivates, and challenges your staff. And understanding your employees is the key to unlocking their potential. Contact us to get started!

To succeed in the modern workplace, employee behavioral assessments can play a crucial role and enhance human resource strategies. Today, with a greater emphasis on teamwork and collaboration in work environments, as well as an increasing need for employees who align closely with major job responsibilities to decrease burnout, behavioral assessments are an important tool for organizations seeking to build a successful, engaged, and productive workforce.

Let’s explore the benefits of using personality assessments in the modern workplace and discuss why they have become an increasingly popular tool for employers.

What are the Advantages and Science Behind Using Behavioral Assessments?

One of the most significant advantages of using behavioral assessments in the workplace is the ability to gain insight into an individual's personality traits and behavioral tendencies. By understanding an employee's personality, employers can gain a deeper understanding of how they work, what motivates them, and how they are likely to react to different situations.

Omnia’s behavioral assessment is based on the theories of Carl Jung and William Marston. The Omnia Assessment is an ideal tool for helping employers understand their people and for individuals to understand their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as their natural communication and decision-making styles.

The Omnia Assessment has been independently validated on 3 separate occasions, the most recent in 2022/2023, resulting in data companies can rely on to complement their HR selection and development strategies.

The Omnia personality assessment measures an individual’s traits in 4 essential areas — assertiveness, sociability, pace, and need for structure. The Omnia Assessment is quick, easy, and accurate, providing leaders with valuable insights for employee selection, development, retention, engagement, and motivation, as well as giving employees insights for self-awareness and personal growth. It’s the perfect way to bridge communication gaps, assign project roles and build team cohesiveness.

How to Make Better Employee Selection Decisions with Personality Assessment?

One of the key uses of a personality assessment is hiring. Behavioral assessments provide a glimpse into an individual's natural strengths in comparison to specific job roles. For example, an individual with a high level of assertiveness and strong attention to detail is likely well-suited to a project management role, while an individual with a high level of assertiveness and sociability is often a great fit for sales.

It is important to note, however, that behavioral assessments are not crystal balls. While they can be valuable tools, they should always be used in conjunction with other sources of information, such as interviews, references, and work samples. It is also important to ensure that assessments are interpreted by qualified professionals who are trained in the use of these tools.

At Omnia, we offer customized and computer-generated reporting options, thorough training to new client users, and unlimited access to our customer success team who are all fully certified in the interpretation of the Omnia Assessment.

How do Behavioral Assessments Help in Identifying Leadership Potential?

Behavioral assessments can also be used to help identify potential candidates for leadership positions or succession planning. Personality tests can help identify specific traits that are most often associated with effective leadership, such as assertiveness, independence, and resilience. By assessing an individual's scores on these traits, personality assessments can help identify people who have the potential to be successful leaders.

By understanding an individual's personality traits, employers can get an early glimpse into incoming employees’ potential for leadership and their natural leadership style, communication style, and decision-making style to determine whether they are likely to be effective in any of the leadership roles available throughout the organization. This can be particularly valuable in fast-paced, dynamic workplaces where strong management, rapid decision-making, and comfort with risk are essential to success.

Why is the Omnia Behavioral Assessment an Effective Tool for Team Building?

The Omnia behavioral assessment is also effective for team building, as it helps individuals understand how they can work together more effectively and leverage their unique strengths and preferences. By understanding each team member's natural tendencies and work style, managers can develop strategies to build a more cohesive, productive team.

For example, cautious analytics want advance notice of what will be discussed in meetings, even brainstorming meetings. They like having time to organize their thoughts and ideas and can feel “put on the spot” otherwise. As a result, they might not participate fully if they are not given a heads-up, which can be frustrating for them, the manager, and the more social members of the team.

A behavioral assessment can also be used to identify potential areas of conflict within a team. An example of this is when two team members have significantly different work styles which can lead to communication gaps, misunderstandings, and conflict. By identifying these potential areas of conflict early on, managers can work with team members to develop strategies to improve communication and collaboration.

In addition, when team members are aware of how they naturally communicate and process information in comparison to others on the team, it creates an awareness and appreciation for those differences.

How to Leverage Behavioral Assessment for Employee Development?

Another benefit of the Omnia behavioral assessment is its ability to identify potential areas for employee development. The assessment provides managers and supervisors with a clear understanding of an individual's traits, preferences, strengths, and weaknesses, which can then be used to develop personalized training and development plans and provide opportunities for each team member to use their strengths to their fullest potential.

For example, if an employee has a tendency to be overly critical of themselves and their colleagues, the Omnia behavioral assessment might reveal a high level of perfectionism (tall column 8). Armed with this knowledge, employers can work with the employee to develop a plan of action for mitigating this tendency and improving relationships with others, as well as assign tasks that align well to that tendency. Perfectionism can be a positive trait in many roles, like financial positions, support roles, and customer service.

How to Use the Insight from Personality Assessments for Employee Motivation and Engagement?

Personality assessments can be a powerful tool for leaders seeking to motivate their employees and keep them actively engaged at work. Knowing what makes employees tick arms leaders with the baseline data they need to develop strategies and implement programs that will inspire their employees, ultimately leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

For example, individuals who score high in assertiveness (a tall column 1 on the Omnia Assessment) are naturally motivated by competitive incentives, a sense of personal challenge, and opportunities to take charge, while individuals who score low in assertiveness (tall column 2) are motivated by team-based incentives or incentives that do not require taking risks.

Leaders can use this information to develop targeted strategies to motivate each team member. For example, a leader may offer challenging assignments or opportunities to take charge to a team member who scores high in assertiveness while offering recognition and social events to a team member who scores high in sociability.

A manager might provide more solitary, detailed assignments to a team member who scores low in sociability and high in structure while providing opportunities for collaboration to an employee who scores high in sociability. By tailoring tasks and assignments to each team member's natural tendencies, leaders can create a more engaged workforce.

How to Use Personality Assessments to Create a Positive Workplace Culture?

In addition to providing targeted strategies for motivation, personality assessments can also be used to create a more positive workplace culture. By understanding the unique strengths and contributions of each team member, leaders can foster a sense of appreciation and respect for diversity within their team. They can use the information to create a more welcoming environment that supports different working styles and perspectives.


10 Benefits of Using Personality Assessment in the Workplace

Behavioral assessments have become an important tool for businesses seeking to enhance their human resource strategies. Let’s end with a list of 10 benefits of using personality assessment data.

  1. Improved hiring decisions: Personality tests can help employers make informed decisions when it comes to hiring candidates who are the best fit for the job. If you want to hire a strong sales candidate, you are likely looking for a high level of assertiveness and resilience. If you are looking for a bookkeeper, you need a high level of attention to detail and analytical aptitude.
  2. Better team dynamics: Understanding individual personalities can lead to better communication and collaboration between team members.
  3. Enhanced self-awareness: Personality tests can help employees better understand their own strengths, weaknesses, and working styles, leading to improved job satisfaction and performance.
  4. Career development: Personality tests can identify an individual's potential for growth and development, which can help guide career planning and advancement.
  5. Conflict resolution: Understanding personality differences can help managers and employees appreciate different perspectives and navigate conflict in a more effective way.
  6. Effective leadership: Personality tests can identify traits associated with effective leadership, which can help organizations cultivate strong leaders.
  7. Improved employee retention: When employees feel that their individual needs and strengths are valued, they are more likely to stay with the organization.
  8. Increased job satisfaction: When employees feel that their work aligns with their personality and strengths, they are more likely to experience job satisfaction.
  9. Reduced stress: When employees are able to work in a way that aligns with their personality and strengths, they may experience less stress and burnout.
  10. Higher productivity: When employees are in roles that fit their personality and strengths, they are more likely to be productive and engaged in their work.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I don’t think I can do (insert task here). I just don’t have the natural abilities for that”? I know I have. In fact, just recently I was lamenting to some colleagues about a challenging assignment I worked on and how I struggled because I just wasn’t “wired” to do it.

My fixed mindset added to the difficulty of the situation, and it made me feel defeated before I even started. Similarly, when leadership operates with a fixed mindset for their organization — working under the assumption that people’s intelligence and abilities are static and unlikely to change — it can cause management to overlook some job applicants for hiring or certain employees for projects simply because they do not already possess the hard skills or experience. This can cause a company to miss out on potentially stellar performance and outstanding contributors who just need the opportunity to shine.

Growth mindset to the rescue!

Growth mindset, a term coined by psychologist Carol Dweck, refers to believing that one is not constricted or limited by innate characteristics but that they can learn, improve, and (like the name says) grow. Leaders who foster a growth mindset within their company are apt to focus on people’s potential to grow rather than confining them to certain tasks or positions based on their current abilities.

Additionally, a growth mindset encourages managers to assess employee performance based on effort and creativity, not solely output. They allow individuals to come up with new ideas, give them the freedom to try them out, and don’t penalize them if the ideas do not work out.

When companies put a growth mindset into practice, they can see benefits like:

Transitioning from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset takes intentionality and commitment from top leadership. And you cannot force every employee to adopt a growth mindset about themselves, especially if they’ve been viewing their abilities with a fixed mindset for a long time. Because of the many benefits a business and its employees can experience, though, here are some tangible ways to start fostering a growth mindset within your organization and among your staff:

1. Focus on Internal Talent Before Hiring from the Outside

No, I’m not talking about quiet hiring but rather proactively looking for opportunities to coach and develop employees to move into new positions — either those roles that need to be filled immediately or looking ahead at career succession planning. Take notice of people who demonstrate a desire to learn or to take on new challenges and give them the chance to broaden their knowledge and skills. This brings us to…

2. Invest in Learning & Development and Employee Upskilling

With the lack of professional development being a major reason why employees leave their jobs, it’s vital for businesses to prioritize the development and advancement of their employees. People want to stay with companies who believe in their ability to take on new responsibilities or move up within the business and who offer the training necessary to do so. Recognizing the potential in your employees and offering them opportunities to live up to that potential increases employee engagement and retention.

3. Understand What Makes Your Employees Tick

It’s a great thing to show that you believe in your people by offering coaching, mentoring, and training. But giving opportunities that align with your employees’ natural behaviors is the icing on the cake. Sending a very low-key, conflict-avoidant person (tall column 2 on the Omnia Assessment) to sales training is not likely to result in that person becoming an aggressive, competitive, tall column 1 sales machine — no matter how much encouragement you give them. And in reality, it might backfire in a big way. (Speaking as a highly cautious, risk-adverse person myself, that scenario reads like the stuff of nightmares.)

Knowing how to target each employee’s growth is vital, and using employee development assessments, like Omnia’s Professional Development Report, can help you uncover the individual behaviors and motivators that drive each person on your staff. Coaching a cautious team player toward sales or other risky roles might not work but knowing that this person thrives when helping others can point you in the direction of growing their service skills, promoting them into a senior customer account manager position, and eventually advancing them into a team lead who mentors colleagues and helps them to grow their own skills.

Omnia is in the business of not just helping businesses hire right the first time but also helping them ensure their employees are engaged, productive, and continually developing (just look at our tagline!) Contact us today to find out all the ways we can help you grow your mindset — and your team.

I know you can hear me, but are you listening? 

People get my name wrong a lot. I’ve often remarked to friends that it’s like being part of a social experiment every day of my life. Admittedly, Keather is a unique name. I’ve never met another Keather, and I’ve never met anyone who has. I know there are other Keathers in the world because I’m human and I’ve googled it to find out. And while I understand that Keather is a unique name, it’s still amazing to me how many times my name is spelled and pronounced incorrectly. So when I set out to write a blog about listening I thought it would be fun to go back and look at the photos I have in an album of spelling mis-haps. To me these examples exemplify what a constant challenge it is for our brains to take in and fully process what we are hearing before we take action.

Here are some examples of misinterpretations I’ve experienced over the years:


Barriers to Listening: Internal and External Challenges

There are many things that get in the way of us fully listening to people. There are external barriers we face daily that are due to our physical environment. Most of the spelling mishaps I’ve experienced are either in coffee shops, airports or hotels. Often the person is frantically trying to take down my name while fighting the loud hums and whistles of the espresso machines, or the screeching of blenders and other baristas. Hotel operators or airline desk attendants are distracted by long queues, irritated travelers, or computer delays.

External barriers to listening are physical barriers that interfere with hearing more than listening, but they can certainly cause enough distraction to get in the way of someone being able to listen fully with concentration. In an office setting, these include things like the quality of sound on your phone, your computer speakers, the speaker’s settings and the all too famous issue of someone being on mute when they’re talking on a Zoom call. These are all things that a listener and a speaker can typically control. If not, the conversation should always be rescheduled.

Internal barriers to listening are more complex and difficult to work through. This is when the messenger is heard, but there are internal barriers that prevent the listener from fully understanding and comprehending the message. These internal barriers to listening can keep the message receiver from understanding the intent and feeling behind what’s being communicated and can result in taking incorrect action or giving an inappropriate response.

I’m certain we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve known that someone can hear us, but they aren’t fully listening. That experience leaves us frustrated and can lead to serious consequences of disengagement, work errors, and productivity loss to name a few. Being ready to fully listen means you’re committed to picking up all the sound in the message, and the meaning behind it. There are many things that can get in the way.

Here are 3 to consider and work on overcoming.

1. Brain Distraction

According to the Cleveland Clinic, our brains process about 70,000 facts a day. In addition to the information overload we’re experiencing, there are always competing distractions coming our way whenever we’re in a conversation. Rarely is our mobile phone out of our sight. Texts, IMs, and other interruptions are occurring constantly while we’re in conversations with others. To be a good listener we must manage these distractions to the best of our ability. Turn off notifications and sound alerts. Put your phone face down and keep it down throughout the conversation. Easier said than done, right? Just remember, multi-tasking is not doing multiple things at once – it’s screwing up multiple things at once, and the last thing we want to do is have a key employee feel discounted and unheard. So be all in.

2. Communication Style Differences

Each of us have a unique style and preference of communication. Some people prefer to paint the entire picture for you with every detail, and others prefer to only hit the highlights. Depending on your preference it can be difficult to be all in and fully listen to the person who’s got the opposite approach. Some would prefer to write or receive an email ahead of a conversation or even in place of a conversation. The Omnia behavioral assessment helps leaders and individuals understand their unique communication qualities and preferred approach. When you’re the listener, it’s important to honor the messenger’s style while keeping your own in check. Especially in difficult conversations when you know the individual is having a challenging time discussing a sensitive topic. Allow them to do it in their way and adapt your style.

3. Misaligned Expectations

Have you ever just wanted to vent to someone about a challenging situation and they jump in immediately telling you how to fix it? You weren’t looking for advice, but all of a sudden you’re getting told what to do. This is a common barrier and occurrence, unfortunately. Most of us want to be helpful and can’t help but jump into problem-solving mode. We can overcome this barrier by clarifying expectations at the beginning of a conversation and adapting our listening Ask what the individual wants from you during the conversation. As one of my favorite leaders used to clarify in meetings - are we information sharing or information processing? Are they looking to just provide a brief status update with no judgement or input from you? Are they coming to you for advice and discernment to help them get unstuck with something and to consider alternative approaches? Or do they merely want a supportive confidant or cheerleader to share a challenge or victory. Knowing what the individual expects from you as the listener right up front can set the conversation up for success.

Tips for Becoming a Better Listener

Keeping these barriers in mind, here are some things you can do during conversations to fully listen and not just hear.

1. Make Time

Focus on being effective in the conversation, not efficient. Steven Covey, author of my all-time favorite book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said “you simply can’t think efficiency with people. You think effectiveness with people and efficiency with things.” Once you’ve clarified up front what the person wants from the conversation be sure you have enough time to get through the content. We’re all pressed for time and usually jammed with back to back meetings. Make sure before you dig into a conversation that there’s enough time to get to the expected result.

2. Don’t Interrupt

This is hard! But keep yourself in check and let the individual complete their sentences. Be sure that full thoughts have been expressed and that the person is finished before you jump in with any response or questions. A good practice is to count to 5 before you step in. This may seem like a lifetime, but you’ll be surprised at how often the person has more to say and they will if you give them that time and space.

3. Take Notes

Writing down what you’re hearing is a great way to stay focused and capture details you will want to clarify later in the conversation. It also gives those of us with a propensity to interrupt something to do. If you’re taking notes on your computer or phone be sure to let the other person know you’re doing so. They may incorrectly assume you’re responding to emails or texting a friend.

4. Ask Questions

After you’re certain the speaker has finished their thoughts and is ready for a response begin with asking questions. Asking questions assures there is clarity before action. It also shows your intent to fully understand what the other person is saying and experiencing, and shows you are interested; committed. Clarify what you heard and ask for supporting details, or feelings behind the message. Repeat back an important fact they shared or a specific detail to confirm you have a complete understanding of what was said and what they meant. Using phrases like –  Do you mean? Are you saying? Would it be important for you?... go a long way in not only helping expand the conversation to get more clarity but also being sure the messenger feels heard.

5. Respond Appropriately

Circle back to the beginning of the conversation and what the expected outcome was. Did the individual get what they wanted out of the conversation? Did you leave them feeling heard? Did you mirror the emotion expressed? Agree on next steps, specific actions, and the timing for follow-up. And remember - listening isn’t just a one-time event. Effective communication between a manager and their employees is fundamental to the operation of any business and it’s a continual process. Make a commitment to follow these steps in team meetings and 1x1’s and you’ll go a long way in demonstrating you are not only hearing your colleagues, but you’re listening intently.


We are here to help! One of the most powerful management tools is simple self and team awareness. Knowing your natural communication style along with the styles of your team members is a great way to start. These insights help you effectively recognize the differences within your team and manage to those dynamics. When you commit to authentic communication, it’s easier to build employee trust and lay the foundation for sustained employee engagement and productivity.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employers added 223,000 new jobs in December 2022. And despite high-profile corporate layoffs dominating recent headlines, Monster reports that 92% of employers surveyed are looking to bring new people on board in 2023.

Between backfilling roles that have been vacated or adding to the roster to accommodate business growth, employers must ask how they can effectively retain their employees — both new hires and tenured staff — and develop them successfully. Really, this is an age-old question, but with today’s dynamic employment landscape, the answer has to continually change and adjust to meet new business and employee needs. To stay current, here are 6 retention and development strategies leaders are focusing on in 2023.

1. Quiet Hiring

While quiet hiring can mean bringing short-term contractors on board instead of hiring full-time employees, it can also involve having existing employees temporarily move into new positions or take on different functions to meet immediate or critical business needs. It may be necessary to offer staff additional training when switching up their roles or responsibilities. Whether it’s upskilling, reskilling, or new skilling, it’s all about closing any gaps between an employee and their new (or current) job duties.

With a redistribution of responsibilities, ensuring your employees have the necessary talents and skills to handle them successfully is critical. Employee development assessments can help companies understand their employees’ natural traits, strengths, and challenge areas. This is invaluable information to make sure the right tasks are assigned to the right people.

2. Flexible Work Arrangements

Though this isn’t a new trend, flexible work arrangements remain a popular topic as employees continue to look for ways to balance both career and personal obligations. Employees are seeking not only location flexibility but also schedule flexibility, and as the Great Resignation has taught us, they are willing to leave their current jobs to find them.

In an effort to meet those needs and keep high-performing employees in the process, many companies are instituting a remote work model, using either a hybrid schedule (working part of the week from home and part of the week in the office) or making jobs fully remote. Benefits include, for employees, saving the time they would spend commuting to an office and, for employers, reduced overhead costs. Another advantage is increased productivity, which benefits everyone.

Additionally, businesses are implementing a compressed workweek as a means of alternative scheduling. This enables employees to work their typical hours in fewer days, such as four 10-hour workdays or working 80 hours in nine days with a day off every other week. Flextime, which gives employees more leeway in choosing when they work, is another way organizations are enabling their personnel to arrange their workdays in a way that meets both business needs and employees’ life demands.

3. Recognition Programs

Whether your workforce is onsite or remote, celebrating employee successes is important. People want to know their contributions are valuable to the organization and valued by their colleagues. To show appreciation, businesses are starting employee reward and recognition programs.

It can be as simple as holding in-person or virtual meetings to applaud successes and celebrate milestones. Companies are also recognizing employee accomplishments on their social media platforms. Of course, rewards like gift cards or extra time off are always favorites, but employers do not have to spend a lot of money to make their staff feel appreciated.

Knowing how each employee prefers to have their accomplishments acknowledged is important to consider when recognizing an individual’s work. Do they like to be singled out in a company meeting, or would a group email that highlights their specific achievements make them feel more valued? Behavioral assessments can provide important insights into each person’s unique motivators and preferences so you can offer the type of praise that speaks best to them. Making employees feel appreciated and understood is a strong retention tool!

4. Learning and Development

With professional growth — or the lack thereof — being a significant reason people cite for leaving their current employers, companies are putting a bigger emphasis on learning and development. When workers feel that their employer is invested in their individual growth and future, they are more likely to stay. Additionally, technologies and methodologies are constantly changing, and L&D benefits businesses by ensuring employees’ knowledge and competencies are current, enabling them to meet your company’s evolving business requirements.

The way organizations deliver learning opportunities has to remain current too, so businesses are using the following to help their employees grow and develop:

5. Microlearning

Microlearning is a method of delivering information in short bursts specifically when it’s needed. Think of watching an instructional YouTube video or taking in content via a social media or news feed. Microlearning can be delivered via visual aids, text, and videos (usually 3-5 minutes long) among other ways.

Condensing a large amount of content into smaller, more easily digested pieces fosters stronger employee engagement and knowledge retention while also offering businesses time- and cost-savings benefits. These mini trainings can easily fit into employees’ workdays without taking up a lot of time and can be revisited as needed.

6. Gamification

Gamification refers to including competitive, game-based features within the learning experience in order to add fun and bolster engagement. Gamification is often conducted via an online platform, which is especially helpful if people are not working in the same space. Employees can earn points, badges, or move to the top of a leaderboard based on their results.

The interactive elements of L&D gamification can help employees retain the information they have learned as well as give them opportunities to practice and use the skills they’ve learned in a real-world way. Gamification can offer instant feedback as participants master competencies, such as by taking quizzes or unlocking the next level of training.

Effective employee retention and development is about more than just trends — it’s setting your people up for success. Let Omnia partner with you to understand your employees and help them reach (or exceed!) their potential for your business.


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