April 7th is World Health Day, and 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of its sponsor, The World Health Organization (WHO). This year’s theme is “Health for All.” Each year World Health Day brings us together to focus on global health issues and the rise of diseases caused by increased air pollution, lack of health care coverage, and chronic health issues like diabetes, mental illness, depression, and heart disease. It’s about spreading awareness for the right to equal medical treatment without discrimination and educating people on preventing diseases caused by poor lifestyle habits. Policymakers come together to focus on change for the health of their country’s citizens.
World Health Day is also a good day for business leaders to pause and consider what we can do to promote employee wellness — particularly mental health. Several surveys indicate that workplace stress and burnout continue to rise. A recent Deloitte survey showed that 77% of professionals have experienced burnout in their current job. Nearly half of millennials say they have left a job specifically because they felt burned out, compared to 42% of all the survey respondents. These are some powerful statistics indicating we need to do something about this.
First, let’s look at the differences between burnout and stress. Stress is common in work and life and usually has an end in sight, even if getting there may be difficult. Stress comes amid a difficult negotiation, a conflict with a coworker or, like me right now, pushed against a deadline to write a blog. In most circumstances, stress comes and goes; we even feel a sense of euphoria once we’ve gotten to the other side. However, burnout is chronic. It’s the cumulation of unchecked, built-up stress over time that has never gotten resolved. When a person begins experiencing burnout, they may no longer feel confident that they can get through the negotiation, they don’t care about working through the conflict with their coworker, and they have no energy or drive to meet the deadline. Burnout is a bone deep feeling of exhaustion mixed with feelings of depletion as well as declining confidence and overall drive. It’s like being in a constant state of the Sunday blues.
In 2019, the World Health Organization classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon resulting from workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
If you’re a service organization, your employees likely make up most of your company’s assets and the largest line item on your budget. Your people are your number one resource. Burnout can impact your bottom line. If you’ve got a burnout issue in your workplace, you’re likely experiencing loss in productivity and sales, increasing customer complaints, and employee turnover.
According to Gallup, employees who are burned out are 2 times more likely to be looking for another job. In another survey by Limeade, 40% of workers are leaving their jobs due to burnout — and many are doing so without having another job lined up.
A recent article published by Calm Business listed these as the top signs of burnout that you could be overlooking and behaviors to watch for as key signals.
It’s important to look at all these signs together. Look for trends rather than overreacting to individual incidents. Just because someone declines a happy hour, gets sick once or twice in a few months, or asks if they can leave their camera off on a Zoom call does not necessarily mean that they are burned out. The important thing is to keep your radar up and pay attention to the general and consistent behaviors of your staff. Be mindful of drastic, ongoing changes in a particular area or a combination of these.
While burnout is an organizational issue, we typically put it on the backs of the individual and prescribe self-care. Or we turn to employee wellness and benefits programs like yoga, wellness tech, or subsidized gym memberships and hope that works. Because this has become a workplace phenomenon, leaders need to take a more systematic, strategic approach to addressing root causes. We need to take a deep look at our company culture and what may be contributing to rising burnout in our own workplace.
According to research, burnout has six main causes:
Over the course of the past few years and the traumas we all faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely that many of you reading this have experienced some of these feelings and signals yourself. On an individual level, it is important that we recognize the signs in ourselves and take measures to prevent burnout from happening to avoid impacting our work and potential for career success. Learning to say no, setting boundaries, managing our own expectations, making time to retain and grow social connections, taking regular workday breaks, fitting in exercise, and using vacation time are all strategies that can help.
As a leader, if you see these signals in any of your team members, here are actions you can take to address these root causes and prevent escalating burnout.
Are the day-to-day work requirements of your teams realistic? Can your employees accomplish the scope of their work within a normal workday or workweek? Sure, there are times when we’re all going to have to put in some long days or weeks for a large client deliverable or seasonal business cycle. But is this the norm or an exception? It may be time to evaluate what you’re asking people to do and if your resources are keeping up with your company’s growth and client demand.
Make sure your employees understand what is expected of them in their role and what they are responsible for. Ask how they feel about their ability to perform, how they feel about the work, and where they may have challenges. Work with them to offer solutions and resources to address any issues. This could involve adjusting their workload, providing more autonomy in decision-making, or implementing changes to their work environment.
Once performance expectations have been set, establish specific metrics to track performance so you can recognize and celebrate achievements along the way. Be sure to set activity-based measures that are leading indicators to long-term success. Celebrate and highlight achievements that lead to a person making their annual sales goal (like number of new contacts, new centers of influence (COI’s), demos, referrals, testimonials, etc.). Everyone likes to know when they’re getting things right. Nobody wants to have to wait until the end of the quarter or the end of the year to find out if they were on or off track. It’s also important to note that not everyone is motivated by the same things. We each have unique preferences for how we want to be recognized based on our personality traits. Check out our blog on how to personalize employee recognition.
Every person wants to feel valued, respected and appreciated. It’s important that your workplace is open and supportive, and that collaboration and teamwork are encouraged and rewarded. Employees should feel comfortable taking risks and sharing ideas. Encourage honest and open feedback at all levels of the organization. This not only helps with employee engagement, but it also helps you identify areas for improvement in the business. When employees can collaborate and feel supported and heard, they are more likely to feel connected to their colleagues and have a stronger sense of pride in their work. A supportive culture promotes well-being, engagement, and productivity.
Imagine if you had to write with your opposite hand all day long. You could probably do it ok, and you may even get better at it over time, but it wouldn’t be easy, and you may even start growing resentful and irritated about it. That’s how it feels when your job requires you to do things at work that don’t align with your natural personality traits. When an employee’s personality traits are not well suited to the job requirements, they may experience stress and frustration, which leads to burnout and loss of productivity. Someone who is detail oriented is well-suited for a job that requires a high attention to detail and a focus on accuracy, while someone who is sociable and outgoing would love being out with customers or representing your company at tradeshows and networking events. Neither would prefer to do the job of the other. Take time to consider each role in your organization and what skills and traits align best with them. Then, assess your team to determine where people fit best and where some may be out of alignment so you can adjust.
We’re here to help! The Omnia behavioral assessment is quick, accurate, and user-friendly. In less than 10 minutes, you can have critical data at your fingertips that will arm you with the personal insight you need. We help you understand what makes an individual thrive and the steps you can take to coach, develop, and support them to be their very best.
Congratulations to the World Health Organization on the incredible work you have done over the past 75 years to promote health and well-being all over the world. WHO has played a critical role in advancing public health, from eradicating smallpox to fighting diseases like polio, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. We appreciate that the spotlight is expanding to mental health and addressing the workplace issues of burnout.
Empathy is an important element in growing and nurturing strong connections, in both our personal and professional lives. When someone takes the time to understand another person’s perspectives or emotions, it can cause a deeper relationship to bloom between the two. In a job setting, empathy can foster productive conversations and help resolve conflicts. A workplace that encourages empathy helps employees feel valued and appreciated, which can contribute to stronger engagement, loyalty, and productivity. It begins with understanding what empathy is.
Sympathy and empathy can both be important factors in helping promote that human connection in your organization, but they are not the same thing. Sympathy involves feeling concern for someone, such as “feeling bad” about another person’s misfortune or pain, but without really knowing what it is like to be in their specific situation. Your emotions about the matter come from your own perspective. Empathy takes it a step further; empathy accentuates the giver’s compassion by trying to understand what a person is going through based on that person’s unique experiences or views.
For example, sympathy means you feel sorry for your colleague Tom whose family member is dealing with a difficult illness. A sympathetic response can look like expressing your support to Tom, sending him a card, or making a donation to a charity that funds research for the illness — all of which are great things to do. Empathy, however, helps you dive deeper into what Tom is feeling and why. You may see how Tom’s close relationship with his family member makes the illness hard on him, that Tom feels stressed over large medical bills and the ability to pay them, and other issues unique to Tom’s situation. Empathy gives you a more well-rounded idea of what another person is going through.
And empathy is not only for problems or difficulties; it also helps drive understanding when teams are discussing ideas, developing plans, and trying to come to an agreement about how to move forward with projects and strategies. When people feel that their ideas and views are given true consideration and that their managers and co-workers are interested in understanding the reasons behind those views, then collaboration and compromise often come much easier.
Empathetic leadership can have a trickle-down effect that impacts everyone in the organization. When employees know that management genuinely prioritizes understanding and relating to personnel, it inspires them to do the same for their colleagues. In addition to discussing the importance of an empathetic workplace to your staff, show empathy in tangible ways by asking questions, considering different points of view, and offering to help with problems or conflicts.
Institute an open-door policy for your team, and make sure they know you are available and willing to discuss any issues they may be dealing with, without judgment. Emphasize this idea by having regular meetings, in person or virtual, with your staff, and encourage open, respectful dialogue.
Knowing the communication styles of your employees is helpful when conducting these meetings. You can use a personality or behavioral assessment to show you who on your staff is expressive, outgoing, and prefers to talk through their ideas or problems and who are more reserved and need time to flesh out their thoughts internally before conveying them to others. Some people, especially in the reserved group, may prefer putting their ideas in writing more than verbalizing them in front of the group. Recognizing these differences and allowing employees to voice their perspectives or ideas in their own style can help facilitate richer discussions and stronger understanding within the team.
Employees might not be comfortable bringing certain topics up to management or in a public meeting, which is why having an empathetic peer group on the job is crucial. Leadership should encourage colleagues to set aside time to talk and share with each other in a low-stress way.
Empathy involves a genuine desire to understand someone else, and you cannot accomplish that if you do most of the talking yourself. Whether you are a manager interacting with your staff or working peer to peer, listen attentively to what the person is saying rather than thinking of how you should respond.
Pay attention to their non-verbal cues, like tone, facial expressions, and gestures, which can be easily missed if you are not focused on the other person. Additionally, make sure your own body language conveys that you are fully present and not distracted. Only after taking in all of what the other person has said should you consider how to respond.
Start out by repeating what the other person has said but in your own words to be sure you are not misunderstanding anything. Try starting with the phrase, “What I’m hearing you say is…” and rephrase the main points of the conversation. This gives the other person a chance to correct or clarify what they are trying to convey.
It can be tempting to say, “I know exactly how you feel. I had the same experience when…” but resist this impulse. You may intend to use this to build a connection, showing how you understand what the person is going through, but doing so can make it feel like you are making the conversation about yourself. When trying to show an empathetic response, recognize that the person’s experience is unique to them; you are trying to understand them and their perspectives, not merely trying to draw parallels to your own life.
Remember, empathy isn’t about fixing someone’s problems; it’s about building a connection through understanding. It’s fine to offer your thoughts or ideas if the person asks for them, but sometimes being there to listen without judgment can provide exactly what the person needs while growing a sense of trust and appreciation.
Omnia has helped organizations recognize and understand their employees’ unique attributes, strengths, and motivators for nearly 40 years. Our dedicated Client Success Managers act as trusted advisors for our clients, helping them learn how to take this valuable knowledge and use it to enhance their workforce. Let us partner with you to put the power of insight to work in your business.
Business is constantly evolving. Sometimes that evolution is gradual and at other times it is faster than we can wrap our heads around. The pandemic catapulted many businesses into a new era; it created new challenges and new opportunities. Some companies took the opportunity to reduce rent overhead and embrace a new hybrid or even fully remote workforce.
This “relocation” of people meant we lost the face-to-face, water cooler connection with both peers and leaders. As a result, we desperately needed to rethink how to recognize and reward employees. The last thing you want are shrugs and eye rolls when you hand over (or ship) that crystal paperweight.
Having to master the art of employee recognition, motivation, engagement, and ultimately retention is nothing new. We know that relating to your employees goes a long way in maintaining harmony and increasing productivity. Once you understand people, you can more successfully motivate them and improve the overall climate of their work environment, even at home. Being able to tap into the intrinsic motivators of your staff can be your greatest secret weapon as a manager.
In order to hire and keep the best, organizations offer different things to entice and continually engage their people. Benefits are often government-mandated; they are considered non-wage compensation, like health insurance and PTO. Incentives are used to entice action and results out of employees, like bonuses and sales contests. Rewards are used to show appreciation to an employee for doing great work, accomplishing a major goal or going out of their way to benefit the organization. In this blog, we’re talking about incentives and rewards.
Not too long ago, awards were standardized versus personal. An employee might get a coffee mug with the company’s logo from the swag closet whether or not they even drink coffee. Or, the dreaded paperweight… because papers blowing away in the wind is a big problem? We all want to be treated as individuals and to feel some form of personalization especially when we do something extraordinary. That’s not to say employees don’t like company swag, just that the key is to keep recognition strategies fresh and varied. Keep it surprising.
Let’s talk about some more contemporary ways to show appreciation to those who go above and beyond. First, think about the person and their role. For example, your support staff and customer service reps are naturally helpful and team-oriented. They can be outgoing or reserved, but their one commonality is likely their strong desire to be seen by upper management as effective, efficient contributors to their company's goals. Your sales staff are naturally assertive and focused on individual achievement. They can also be outgoing or reserved, but they all want to set themselves apart and work towards a win.
Of course, there are some motivators that appeal to everyone. Who doesn't want extra paid time off? You might consider offering a long weekend or an abbreviated workday to a top performer. However, an incentive like this might soon be seen as an entitlement. A half day off on Friday when they are going above and beyond could change to something that employees come to expect. Look for other ways to motivate that are more individualized and still much appreciated.
Consider motivators from any or all of these sources:
Rewards. Different people respond to different rewards. Most often, a person's dominant traits steer them toward one incentive or another. For example, independently-minded workers like leeway to make their own decisions or come and go as they please. They see freedom as a desirable reward for a stellar performance.
Risk takers may like the opportunity to earn commissions or bonuses tied to beating out others; they're competitive, assertive, and win-driven. They're often your future leaders. They might seem aggressive to less assertive peers, but they have a sense of determination, drive, and purpose that is impossible to ignore.
Conversely, your passive personalities may find performance-based pay more intimidating than motivating.
Gamify. If your staff is composed mainly of extroverted, bubbly individuals, they'll probably respond well to team games and fun social activities. These people want to enjoy their work! Gamify your service activities; team members can earn badges for achieving various service levels. Along with bragging rights, they can earn both individual and team awards for achieving new badges. Such as:
Organized games or events backed by the company can appeal to gregarious individuals. They enjoy working in exciting, upbeat environments and will appreciate a manager who finds ways to instill a sense of team in a social, light-hearted way. If your team is fully remote, consider Zoom happy hours or an afternoon “coffee break” where the team is encouraged to talk about anything except work.
Acknowledgment and appreciation. Everyone wants to be acknowledged and appreciated for their achievements, but only those who like being the center of attention will have any desire to be recognized in a public forum. Introverted employees might feel uncomfortable in large group settings, especially if they are—or might possibly be—the focus of attention. You'll notice these people sitting quietly at meetings, trying to avoid making eye contact with anyone who might call them out. Because they shun the limelight, these individuals need more subdued forms of acknowledgment to stay motivated.
Challenge. Some individuals are self-motivated and simply like to challenge themselves. These are people who enjoy learning new skills, looking for new opportunities, and climbing the next mountain. They are goal-oriented, like to stretch their limits, and explore previously untapped potential. It can be more difficult to motivate them, but here are a couple of suggestions:
When trying to determine the best ways to recognize your employees, it helps to know their personalities, interests and current life events so you can use that information to personalize recognition rewards.
Here are 8 modern ways to say thank you for a job well done while factoring in the individual:
There's more to it, of course. One of your goals as a manager is assembling a team that scores wins and brings about the desired results. Remember, though, that while there are distinct ways to increase a person's motivation, someone who is totally wrong for a job or totally wrong for an environment may never be happy enough to produce at the level you want. The desire to perform well starts from within.
I’ve always had a strong work ethic. I blame (and thank) my mom for that. On my 15th birthday, she dropped me off at Kroger (a grocery store chain, in case you don’t have them in your neck of the woods) and told me not to call home until I had a job. She had a job through high school, her parents had jobs through high school, and I was going to join the generations-old tradition of having a job through high school. And I took immense pride in my work. I still do.
The problem was I was already starting a burnout process that would take 12 years for the bubble to burst. Through high school, I worked as much as I could. The summer before my senior year I had worked my way up to an Assistant Manager position at a Hollywood Video, often closing the store at 1 am on school nights. The building still sits empty a mere 2-minute walk from my house, glaring at me. In my 20s, I worked for a business process outlining firm and traveled the world. I would spend 36 hours flying to the Philippines to spend 12 hours working, crashing at the hotel for a few hours and moving on to the next site.
At 27 years old, I was living in Manhattan and taking pride in overworking. It had become glamorous. I posted social media selfies at 9 pm as the only one at the office. What I didn’t know was I was sacrificing my own health and wellbeing for a company that wasn’t paying me any extra money for the often 20 hours I worked over my salaried time.
I had a breakdown. I was exhausted. I was mentally, emotionally, and physically depleted. Finally, I’d had enough. I left my office job, left “the daily grind,” and started a new life finding peace in work/life balance.
Here’s my advice to business owners, managers, and those in the trenches experiencing burnout.
At first glance, work/life balance may seem like equalizing a seesaw, with work on one side and attending to personal needs on the other. In this view, one may mistake work/life balance as the attempt to maintain stability on the “seesaw.” To do so, many people attempt to find productivity hacks, software that promises a more hassle-free way of doing repetitive tasks, or even a job with a flexible schedule.
However, time management isn’t the solution, nor is the lack of time the reason why one fails to have work/life balance. Instead, a well-balanced work and personal life revolves around having healthy attitudes surrounding your job and personal life, including:
Given these attitudes, a work/life balance is basically feeling content in every decision that is made. It does not begin with someone managing their time to accommodate the task in front of them. Instead, it should start with how someone is going to approach such tasks.
When employees feel that they’re not in control of their time, burnout and various illnesses are inevitable. I felt this a lot. My hours were not my own. I was on someone else’s clock, even when I shouldn’t have been. One study shows that when employees no longer have time for themselves it will ultimately lead to absenteeism and stress, which can affect how they’ll function at work. Another study reveals that companies failing to help provide work/life balance will have more dissatisfied employees.
All people experience stress in their lives. However, just because it’s a common occurrence doesn’t mean that burnout or stress coming from the workplace shouldn’t be addressed. Burnout on the job is usually experienced when employees feel overwhelmed by their work responsibilities; it may be too much for them to handle.
With that said, since workplace stress is unavoidable, it’s in every business owners’ interest to exert any effort to make sure that their employees don’t feel unnecessary burnout due to their work. One solution you can take is to encourage team members to take some time off work or even incorporate a paid-leave program for your company. By doing so, you’re giving employees a chance to live their lives as they see fit without worrying about any penalties.
Giving employees the freedom to choose their work hours does more than enabling them to accommodate both job and personal responsibilities. Offering a flexible work schedule also allows staff members to work during their most productive hours.
Some people love working during the day, while others work best burning the midnight oil. Also, since children may be a distraction for many, some may find that they’re most productive if their children are in school. Essentially, work/life balance enhances productivity. Employee productivity translates to more profits for your business.
In addition to increasing productivity, promoting a healthy work/life balance will bring benefits when it comes to company profitability. For one, a balanced work and personal life boosts physical and mental health, which means fewer sick days. Secondly, attaining work/life balance implies having control of one’s finances, eliminating the need to take on more tasks than an employee can handle.
Lastly, when staff members are not drowning in their assignments, they will be more receptive to constructive feedback and additional training to foster personal growth. As a result, you’ll have staff members with varying skill sets and valuable industry experience, eliminating the costly need to hire more employees.
First things first, always encourage your employees to take care of their mental and emotional health. An employee who is overly stressed out will likely experience fatigue and sickness –– the brain’s muscles will go into “overdrive,” resulting in body aches and lethargy.
Let your employees know that if they are experiencing any of these signs, then they may already be struggling emotionally and mentally:
Once one or more of your employees have experienced any of the signs above, and it’s clearly work related, it’s part of your job to intervene. Not only is taking care of your employees’ mental health crucial, but doing so will allow your company to enjoy the following benefits:
One of the ways for an organization to have long-term success is by giving and receiving feedback. However, for your employees to have work/life balance, it’s not enough to give them a performance review, although this is an essential part. Encouraging feedback in all areas of life will be beneficial for them, which is why this mindset should be promoted in the workplace.
A close friend, family member, or trusted colleague has a front row seat concerning any changes in an employee’s demeanor. By asking them about any negative changes, an employee can reevaluate how their work has hindered them from attaining happiness. This way, employees can think of ways to avoid becoming consumed with their work, such as taking a lunch break or catching up with a friend or colleague.
An overstuffed workload can be detrimental to an employee’s health, regardless of how fast or efficiently they submittheir work. Hence, make sure to assess every employee’s workload.
Business managers who regularly communicate with their teams will be aware of who’s stressed out or unnecessarily busy and who has the capacity to efficiently work on a task. By catching up with employees, managers can determine if an employee is:
A team member who is uncomfortable with their job means they can’t handle it in the first place. To avoid giving assignments to the wrong employee, be open to any possible concerns employees may have with their tasks. It’s best to always remind employees that they can speak up about any difficulties or problems they’re currently working on.
An employee who is considered the “go-to person” in the office is usually the one who’s juggling different tasks and assignments, especially if they’re already expected to back up or correct the output of less productive co-workers.
The solution, then, is to review how your company assigns tasks. This means that you must make sure that the daily assignments every employee receives are achievable. You can even add some padding hours to make room for contingencies.
Moreover, employers should encourage employees to avoid taking on extra work if they’re already feeling stressed and overwhelmed. This is especially true if adding to their workload will intrude on their ability to handle non-negotiable personal responsibilities, like spending time with their children.
Of course, having work/life balance isn’t possible if employees spend the majority of their time working. So, make sure that you always encourage employees to take some time to devote to their hobbies, take vacations, and have good quality sleep.
Furthermore, giving employees time for themselves is beneficial for a company, too. In fact, one piece of research shows that employees who are still in touch with their hobbies are more satisfied with their jobs and have a lower chance of burning out.
Not everyone you hire will excel in the job they’re in. If you have an employee who is really struggling with their role, it’s time to have a difficult conversation with the employee concerning what comes next –– whether you terminate them or assign them a different role.
The whole hiring and recruitment process can be expensive. In fact, it’s estimated that the whole process can cost around $240,000. To make sure your company only hires the right people –– those who are fit for and passionate about the roles they’re about to take –– have a reliable pre-employment assessment. Doing so will increase your company’s chance of finding the right employees and even increase employee retention.
The main purpose of a flexible work environment is to remove stressors, boost job satisfaction, and even urge employees to incorporate healthy habits into their lives, like exercising and eating the right types of food.
Here are some aspects of a flexible work environment you can apply:
Just because an employee loves their job doesn’t mean they’ll no longer feel drained by their work. Hence, in addition to giving team members a flexible work environment, also ensure that you’re giving them a non-draining atmosphere.
A non-draining work environment is crucial to the point that 94% of executives and 88% of employees agree that it’s an essential part of a successful company. A positive corporate culture can:
I’m very fortunate. I got out of the grind and found a company I love that promotes work/life balance and associate well-being. If you’re looking to improve employee retention, use The Omnia Assessment to find out what motivates people in order to create more effective teams and build stronger relationships. The Omnia Assessment is the best tool in any company’s playbook.
One of the many cool things about personality assessments is that they are a springboard for any human resource initiative, problem, or interaction. Filling an open position? Assess your top performers to build a job benchmark. Having conflict on a team? Use the Omnia assessment to understand the communication style of the parties involved. Getting ready to facilitate a training class? Start with the assessment to determine the learning preferences of the participants. Ready to promote employee well-being? Our assessment can even help with that.
Certain kinds of stress can be good, like the stress that accompanies reaching for goals or going through positive life changes, even the stress we feel exercising. But when we think of stress normally, especially at work, it’s not in a good way. Bad stress can be quite insidious and unhealthy.
A manager, we’ll call her Joan, sends an email first thing Monday morning to her employee; we’ll call her Maeve. Joan writes, “I’d like to see you in my office at 2 pm” and immediately sends out a calendar invite. Location: Joan’s office. Joan just wants to check in, see how Maeve is doing, and thank her for always doing such a great job. Joan respects Maeve, enjoys working with her, and feels confident Maeve’s assignments will get done right without any intervention from her… she wishes more employees were just like her. She also wants to ask for Maeve’s opinion on a project that the product team will be working on. She knows Maeve is an expert with terrific insights. Joan just has to draw those insights out sometimes.
Sounds great, right?
Not so much. At least not for Maeve.
That email created a high-anxiety, stressful, worry-filled day.
Well, not if you understand Maeve’s personality type. Maeve is a supporter. She’s naturally cautious, reserved, and analytical. It’s what makes her so great at her client service job. She falls into the Administrator personality group (one of Omnia’s 17 personality groups). She is naturally accommodating and always wants to be counted on to get things right. She has natural attention to detail and works hard to avoid criticism. She is conscious of people’s feelings; she never wants to be perceived as pushy or demanding though she demands excellence from herself. Individuals in this personality group can dwell on mistakes, analyze conversations a bit unproductively, and operate within a fairly constant state of tension…and that’s on a regular, stress-free day!
As a result, Maeve worried about the conversation with Joan. Did she do something wrong? Did she make a mistake in her documentation? Did she say the wrong thing to a customer or to Joan? Maybe she forgot to log off her computer and run the required updates? Was Joan upset that she needed to leave a little early last Tuesday? Was the company downsizing? Was she going to get fired? She’s seen people get terminated in that office -- why does it have to be in Joan’s office?! And as she spiraled just a little bit more and more between Joan’s email and the meeting at 2 pm, the stress in her was, of course, building.
That kind of stress is, simply put, bad for our health and our emotional well-being. The last thing you want is for your employees to get heart palpitations from a meeting request or feel any unnecessary stress at work. We all have plenty of stress as it is without, however unintentionally, creating more.
So, what could Joan have done?
It was all so simple really. Reading Maeve’s Omnia report, Joan would have had the answers. Most analytical supporters, like Maeve, need information and time to process their thoughts. The meeting request simply needed details or at the very least a reassuring word that the meeting was going to be a positive one.
Here is an example of various ways to avoid the stress-spiral day.
Email 2 (we know how email 1 turned out): Good morning, Maeve. I’d like to meet with you at 2 pm. All good stuff, need to talk about a project. Invite to follow.
Maeve has an okay day, though she worries that she should have something prepared for the meeting. What project? Her hands are so full right now, what if she can’t do the project. At least she’s not getting fired.
Email 3: Good morning, Maeve. I’d like to meet with you at 2 pm. All good stuff, you’re doing a great job. Would also like to talk about a project that the product team is working on. Invite to follow.
Maeve feels good, but insecure because she hates being put on the spot. She wishes she knew more about the product project so she can think it over and come to the meeting prepared. Being put on the spot is the worst!
Email 4: Good morning, Maeve. You’re doing such a great job! I’d like to meet with you at 2 pm and just touch base on how things are going for you. We haven’t connected one on one in a while. Is there anything you need? Also, the product team is working on a new usage-trend report for clients and is looking for some advice on what should be included. Since you talk to our clients every day, I’d really like to hear your thoughts.
Eureka! Maeve is excited. How nice to hear that Joan thinks she is doing a great job and just wants to see how she’s doing. That’s so thoughtful. And, YES, she does have ideas about usage trend reports. A client was just asking about something like that the other day. She’s glad she has most of the day to get her speaking points together. Joan is the best manager ever!
Joan, feeling confident now, sends a similarly detailed message to Jared, a top sales rep and a member of Omnia’s Visionary personality group. He’s assertive, talkative, fast-paced, and big-picture-focused. Jared doesn’t read the whole email, wishes Joan would just send a calendar invite and save the info for the meeting. Jared is briefly annoyed he had to open an email in the first place. “It’s such a waste of my time, I need to be selling!”
Joan decides to take a nice, long vacation.
Want to know the communication preferences of your team? Omnia can help. Our quick, accurate personality assessment is ideal for selection, retention, engagement, and yes, even employee well-being. Stop the stress spirals today!
Turn on the evening news, read the latest AP wire, or open your Apple News notification and you’re likely to come across someone talking about The Great Resignation. Most likely, as a leader, you’ve had it happen to you and are desperately trying to fill empty seats while struggling to serve your clients with a reduced staff. Finding talent is a challenge; keeping them doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to be sure that, once you fill those seats, you bring out the best in your employees and prevent them from walking out the door.
In the years ahead, there will be plenty of analysis and reporting on these times and what caused The Great Resignation. For now, studies are already pointing to how people gained clearer insight during the pandemic of what type of work environment they prefer and switched jobs if their current position didn’t support their well-being. Studies also show that fewer people are willing to work for a company that does not align with their values. Getting to know your people and investing in a supportive culture where unique qualities are valued goes a long way in helping retain and get the most out of your team. Begin by showing every member of your team that you care.