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.

For many of us, the last few years have felt like a few decades. The world changed by the minute, and we did our best to keep up. But, while the coming year may be less volatile, we can still expect significant shifts in the business landscape. That means, as leaders, we need to be ready to pivot.

Let’s explore five of the biggest management and leadership trends you can expect to see in 2023. That way, you can be prepared to turn challenges into successes.

1. Employee Retention Tools are More Important Than Ever

Professionals are voting with their feet and leaving organizations that don’t help them achieve their goals or align with their values. Unfortunately, these departures can leave gaping holes in your team, slow productivity, and tank employee morale.

But, while you should partner with the human resources department to replace key players, you must simultaneously address the underlying cause of the turnover. Your primary focus has to shift from recruiting new employees to retaining the ones you already have. Otherwise, you’ll stay stuck in a reactive loop of solving short-term staffing problems instead of being able to take a proactive approach to maintain an engaged workforce built for the long haul.

As you develop your employee retention strategy, be sure to consider the following:

Then, be sure to revisit your strategy annually and revise it as needed.

2. Your Development Needs to be a Priority Too

You spend your day attending meetings and putting out fires. But how long has it been since you invested in your career growth? If you can’t remember the last time you read a book, participated in a training, or took a course, you’re due for some professional development. Start with learning the leadership personality types so you have a foundation for creating a plan that aligns with your preferences for learning, growing, and communicating. Leadership Personality Styles | Leadership Development

Keep your existing skills sharp and regularly learn new ones to become and remain an effective leader. That way, you can get the most from your workforce, effectively support your team members, and respond to ever-changing business demands.

3. Employees will Look to You for Support

While you may have always thought of supporting your employees as a natural part of being a leader, be prepared for that part of your role to expand. Many of your workers have endured and continue to endure significant hardship. As a result, they’ll look to you for empathy and guidance as they balance their professional responsibilities with their personal lives.

Ongoing training about communication, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and diversity, equity, and inclusion can help you provide better support to your team. It also helps to know the personality types on your team. A behavioral assessment for each team member gives you a clear roadmap for effectively supporting each person in a way that will resonate with them as individuals.

4. Your Values Matter

Sure, your employees want to earn a high salary, work from home, climb the corporate ladder, and enjoy other perks. But they also want to work for a leader and organization that operates ethically and in accordance with values similar to theirs.

That means you should get clear on your values and lead by them. You should also hold yourself to the highest ethical standards to model that behavior for your team.

5. Environmental and Social Consciousness is Non-Negotiable

All-star talent and consumers alike now demand that corporations make decisions through an environmentally and socially conscious lens. Companies that don’t will lose employees, customers, and market share faster than you can say, “What happened?”

As a leader, you can help every stakeholder view your firm in a favorable light by implementing sustainability practices, taking time to give back to your community, and treating your team members with respect.

Here are a few specific things you could do:

Of course, just like your employee retention strategy, your environmentally and socially conscious initiatives should get updated often.

How Omnia can Help

While the world changes rapidly, the core of doing business remains the same: helping people. You can help the people on your team by knowing them — and yourself — exceptionally well.

That’s where we come in. Our proven, easy, and fast behavioral assessment reveals practical insights about every test taker, including their communication style and work preferences. You can apply what you learn to develop as a leader and offer customized guidance and support to each worker.

The end result? A more engaged team committed to you and the organization for 2023 and beyond.

If you’re anything like me, the goals you set at the beginning of 2022 are the furthest thing from your mind at this point. For me, a new puppy, last-minute shopping, and the prospect of sixteen house guests has pushed any thoughts of my resolutions and goals way into the back of my consciousness. But the holidays are a time for celebration, and that makes it worthwhile to carve out some of our attention to review and appreciate how far we’ve all come.

Last January on our blog, we laid the groundwork for strong goal/resolution setting and follow through.

Omnia is big on self-reflection, so we opened the year by offering tips on how to use the power of self-reflection to shape goals and goal-achievement strategies that are perfectly tailored to the individual. The Power of Self-Reflection

Next, we talked about how to set SMART goals and plans for achieving them. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.3 Simple Rules for Reaching Your Goals

Then we took self-reflection a step further by explaining how to create a personal learning strategy by:

  1. Identifying your gaps
  2. Setting learning goals
  3. Getting going
  4. Learning and adjusting, and
  5. Celebrating!

Creating a Personal Learning Plan

Finally, we discussed ways of working around obstacles by taking tiny steps, reprioritizing, focusing on progress rather than perfection, paying yourself first (in time), and giving yourself grace. New Year's Resolutions - How's it going?

As 2022 comes to a close, it’s time to review your progress. Did you achieve your goals? Did you come close?

If so, congratulations!

Take time now to feel that well-earned sense of accomplishment. Give yourself the reward you promised yourself. Reflect on how your successes have improved your situation. Did you expand your skills? Did you move closer to your larger long-range goals? Did you establish new habits that will contribute to your overall well-being? That is amazing!

If you didn’t quite get there, congratulations, too! Any objective you set to improve your situation is going to yield positive results. You’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. You’ve possibly shifted your focus to something that’s more meaningful. You’ve taken steps and laid the groundwork for the future.

For the moment, forget your goals entirely. Don’t try to match what you did to what you said you’d do. Instead, just make a list of everything you have accomplished. This is something I had to do this year. I had set a couple of solid resolutions at the beginning of the year and created a realistic plan for achieving them. I was right on track, and then *WHAM* life forcefully (but happily) shoved me right onto a different track.

In the spring, our family was suddenly given an opportunity to relocate to my home state. This was something we had wanted for a while but hadn’t been able to find a clear path to it. Then, in the blink of an eye, everything lined up just so, and we were able to make it happen. I forgot all about those beginning-of-the-year goals and focused on a whole new set of objectives: selling our house, moving our belongings and four cats (I KNOW!), and resettling over a thousand miles away. We did it!  Now, at the end of the year, I have not achieved a single one of my resolutions, but wow… my family and I accomplished a LOT!

The point is: If you’re kicking yourself for not achieving your goals, now is a good time to look at what you did accomplish! You worked hard, cared for your family, dealt with the trials life sent your way. I have no doubt you succeeded in a hundred ways, even if those successes weren’t the same ones you were aiming for in January. Congratulate yourself. Give yourself a present – even if it is just a really long nap!

Speaking of celebrating goals, we have a few to celebrate here at Omnia:

We just concluded our third-party independent validation study! Because language evolves, the study identified a short list of adjectives from our checklist that needed to be “modernized.” Once those changes were made, we saw an increase in overall reliability of the tool to .93 for Part 1 and .94 for Part 2, meaning the assessment continues to be well above the .80 standard for reliability. Simply put, it means the tool continues to be a reliable measure of our 5 scales: assertiveness, sociability, pace, structure, and perspective. We also got some great data connecting our assertiveness scale to sales performance! Are we surprised? Not at all! But we are proud and pleased to continue to offer such a powerful yet simple tool to our customers.

We’re also preparing to launch our new 3-part, mobile-friendly assessment, which will make the assessment experience simpler and quicker for all candidates and participants, but just as powerful!

Finally, we’re wrapping up our 2nd Annual Talent Trends survey. With the information we gather, we’ll provide a realistic glimpse of changes in the talent landscape and provide actionable direction to address those changes and optimize your talent strategies. You still have time to add your voice — the survey closes on December 31.  Click here.

Happy New Year to you all! We look forward to 2023 and all it has to offer!

Each year, The Omnia Group surveys leaders in small and mid-sized businesses across all industries to identify top talent trends and the strategies organizations are using to address them. Our current survey closes on December 31st, and we’re excited to publish the results in early 2023. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to share your experiences with us. It will take less than 10 minutes of your time.

Last year’s survey results highlighted the battle organizations were confronting attracting and retaining the right talent through trying times. All of us were facing the challenges of what will forever be known now as The Great Resignation. You can read about this in last year’s report.

Most of our respondents said they were shifting focus to internal mobility as a natural response, yet our findings showed that many lacked a formal process for the career development of their employees. In other words, most organizations were relying on informal or random processes or no process at all.

Internal mobility is the movement of employees within an organization, either vertically or laterally, for career transitions or career development. Offering employees the opportunity to change roles is beneficial to both the employee and the organization. According to a LinkedIn study, companies that excel at internal mobility retain employees an average of 5.4 years longer — nearly 2x as long as the average retention span of 2.9 years.

So how do you get started on formalizing your approach?

Let’s face it, in smaller organizations we all wear many hats and often lack organizational support and resources for formal learning and development programs. We’re lucky if we can get a new employee onboarding program to run consistently without flaws and even better if we can offer formal leadership development, sales, and customer service skills courses for our teams. Often, we’re outsourcing these programs to experts who wrote the latest trending book or promised the silver bullet to solve our workforce issues. But strategic career development and talent mobility really can’t be outsourced. It’s something each of us as leaders need to adapt based on the long-term growth strategies for our business and how our existing employees align (or don’t) with those plans.

Let’s begin with the growth plan. As a business leader heading into a new year, it’s the perfect time to not only be thinking about your immediate goals for 2023 but also your long-term vision for your company. This year, we adopted a new operating system based on the bestselling book, Traction, by Gino Wickman. We followed the tenets of the Enterprise Operating System to establish both a vision for the growth of our company as well as a discipline for setting and meeting more short-term goals and objectives. This process has really helped us develop more cohesion across our leadership team and methods to help us keep our focus. I highly recommend it.

Once you have your long-term vision crystallized and your shorter-term goals and objectives in place, it’s time to look at your talent. When we’re thinking about growth strategies, we often think we need to go outside to find new talent. The EOS process recommends starting from within. And there’s a business case for doing so. According to data from Josh Bersin, it can cost up to six times as much to hire externally rather than build talent from within an organization.

In addition, a study found that internal hires outperform external hires during the first two years of a promotion. So, the business case is clear. Let’s get started.

Here are some things to consider when developing an Internal Mobility and Employee Development Program.

Internal Mobility Opportunities Come in All Shapes and Sizes

First, don’t worry about making it overly formalized or getting stalled before you even get started by the idea that you must start promoting everyone. That’s costly and not necessary. There are many ways you can begin by considering the various types of internal transitions to make. These can include temporary job rotations, job shadowing opportunities, mentoring programs and offering cross-team project assignments.

Communicate Your Plans to Staff

When you make a commitment to focus on internal mobility it’s important to let the staff know. Help them understand how the process will work and what their role is. Career development is really a two-way street — the employee has accountability for taking charge of their future, and the organization should be there to support them. Make sure everyone knows what kind of opportunities are available, how to apply, and who to go to for questions. Keep everybody informed of activities and programs underway and highlighted successes.

Educate Managers

Many managers are reluctant to offer up talent to other functions, especially if they see this as a loss rather than a win. Involve your leaders in the strategy from the beginning and help them understand their role in fostering a transparent culture of growth and support.  Managers who support their employees’ movement across functions or involvement in cross-team projects should be recognized and celebrated.

Get Data

The key to a successful internal mobility and employee development program begins with truly understanding your talent pool. We recommend using employee development assessments. Personality assessments provide powerful data into the unique traits, strengths, and motivational factors of every person on your team. When armed with this data, you can easily assess if you’ve got the right people in the right seats. You can also see who has the aptitude or possible motivation to do other roles in the company. For example, you may identify that you have customer service advisors with a high degree of assertiveness who could be developed into your next sales superstars. Or you may have someone with a knack for diving into and analyzing deep data who could help with future product development or marketing.

Get going!

Starting the path to creating a process for developing your talent and providing internal mobility doesn’t have to be daunting. These are some simple steps you can take to get moving. Omnia is here to help. Contact us anytime to get started with professional development reports for your team and how you can use that data to develop and retain your staff while achieving your business goals.

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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