You may cringe when you hear the term “codependent relationship” because the phrase has negative connotations. But, while codependency may cause poor team dynamics and productivity disruptions, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, codependent employees can be incredible assets to your company with a bit of attention and guidance from you. Let’s explore how.
Before we get into management strategies, let’s set a working definition of codependency. For our purposes, codependency is the deeply ingrained compulsion to do anything possible to maintain a positive relationship with another party — even at the expense of one’s own needs. Therefore, a codependent employee is someone who prioritizes people-pleasing over all else.
Unfortunately, this craving to be validated and needed by others can be problematic. The tendency may annoy or alienate coworkers. It can also tank the codependent employee’s career. At its worst, it may result in the employee completely losing their sense of self, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and workplace outbursts.
Codependents thrive on feeling like they are being helpful. But, the truth is, they often inadvertently sabotage the person they’re intertwined with, themselves, or both.
Not sure if you’ve seen codependency in the office? Here’s what it might look like:
When your employee is codependent on a coworker, they may:
When your employee is codependent on a manager (perhaps you!), they may:
Codependent employees may also take on the role of office mom or dad by organizing celebrations or bringing in treats for everyone.
Left unchecked, a codependent employee can do a lot of damage in the workplace. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help them thrive:
Codependents need to feel like they’re useful, helpful, and competent. So, when they do well in their role, you should take the time to praise and thank them for their efforts. Often, codependents perceive that they’re not doing enough or that their work is subpar, so they’ll appreciate the recognition.
Codependents spend much of their time thinking about and tending to the needs of others, often ignoring their own wants. You can show them they are worthy of caring and consideration by reciprocating their good deeds. That could look like throwing them a birthday party, sending them flowers after a significant event, or bringing them one of their favorite treats.
Caution: Be sure to show the same kindness towards all of your team members to avoid the perception of favoritism.
Your codependent employee could have self-esteem issues and may not trust their abilities. You can help them move past their comfort zone by slowly expanding their responsibilities. Give them clear instructions on how to complete each new duty and be available to answer their questions.
When they complete the task correctly, praise them. When they miss the mark, offer support and additional guidance to help them succeed in their next attempt.
Your role as a manager is multi-faceted. Yes, you want to support and encourage your employees. But you also have to enforce company policies. Start by reminding your codependent employee about rules pertaining to break times, office gossip, and other expected behaviors. They may just need a refresher. But, if they don’t take the hint, utilize your company’s progressive discipline process as you would with any other team member.
As a company leader, you can only do so much. You’re not a therapist. So, if your employee’s behavior becomes more disruptive or they’ve indicated that they may be having a mental health crisis, it’s appropriate to refer them to the firm’s employee assistance program (EAP) for professional guidance.
We’ve developed an effective behavioral assessment to help you get to know your employees on a deeper level. Our fast, accurate personality inventory will yield insights into each team member’s work preferences, motivations, communication style, and more. With this data, you can feel more confident managing your workforce.
Our employee behavioral assessment results enable you to effectively communicate with, motivate, recognize, teach, and lead everyone on your team — including your codependent employee. That way, you can help them mitigate the adverse effects of their codependency and excel in their careers.
Try a complimentary assessment to see the results for yourself!
With the high cost of employee turnover, there is never a good time to lose someone on your team. But with the Great Resignation or Great Reshuffle (depending on who you ask), it feels more critical than ever to hold onto your employees. This is especially true if you have directly felt the effects of this latest labor challenge, either by having staff leave or by struggling to find qualified (or any) applicants for a new position.
You may be so focused on holding on to employees that you hesitate to address performance problems or cringe when you have to introduce a new goal or procedure. What if that is the last straw for someone? Now is not the time to be tough – it’s the time to be everyone’s favorite manager, right?
It might be tempting to tiptoe around issues and put off difficult discussions in the hopes that things work themselves out. Here’s the problem with that strategy: things rarely work themselves out.
Not being transparent about what’s happening in the company and department can lead to confusion and disengagement.
Not dealing with performance shortfalls often has ripple effects. Other employees may see that standards are lax and follow suit. Or other, better, employees will have to pick up the slack, feel taken advantage of and leave; after all, there are a lot of other opportunities out there for them. Now you’ve lost a great employee to avoid losing one that’s underperforming. Or you will have to do double the work, which sort of defeats the purpose of having the employee in the first place.
So, what can you do to keep managing confidently when you feel anything but confident about the situation?
A manager’s most challenging job is being a liaison between top leadership and employees. The leadership team may have ideas about processes/policy changes that should be made or targets that should be reached. Ideally, a company’s goals and plans will always be growth oriented and ambitious. Change is a necessary part of success, but the leadership team does not always have an exact picture of day-to-day operations. It’s the manager’s job to provide realistic information about what’s possible, not only in terms of what the employees are capable of, but in terms of what would turn an engaging, fulfilling career into pure drudgery and despair.
A manager should also be an advocate for pay, incentives and rewards for the team. You are the one who knows firsthand what your employees are worth, and you are the one who can help make sure that is what they are receiving.
No matter the hiring climate, there shouldn’t be a situation where your department will be sunk by one person leaving. Make sure every person has sufficient knowledge and training to cover an opening if needed. This has the benefit of increasing engagement by giving an avenue for growth to those who want one. Note: Maximizing talent does not mean doubling someone’s workload. This is about being ready to address a temporary situation.
Make sure your job postings, job descriptions, and training materials are up to date. Research the market and confirm your proposed salary ranges and benefits are competitive. As amazing a manager as you are, you can’t control everything. People retire, relocate, develop new interests, or encounter new opportunities. Also, if you’re not currently hiring but just barely keeping your head above water staffing wise, it might be time to start hunting for candidates now.
If you have communicated expectations and they are not being met by someone on your team, there is no alternative but to deal with it. Discuss the concern, explore the reasons for it, and come up with an improvement plan. Make sure you are following up and holding the performer accountable. This could absolutely lead to the loss of an employee, either via resignation or termination. And of course, this is a terrible time for that to happen. But it is a necessary part of leadership, no matter what the latest labor-related challenge is.
So, how should you be managing during the Great Resignation, Reshuffling or Re-whatever this is? Well, really, no differently than any other time. Your goals as a manager should always be to keep employees engaged, do what you can to reduce turnover, be fair, and communicate effectively. There are situations you can’t control, for example *gestures vaguely everywhere*. The one thing you or any of us can control is our own response. Be that favorite manager all the time, not by being a pushover but by being fair and dependable. And if you need help preparing to hire, assessing candidates, or tackling leadership issues, your Omnia Success team is here for you! Reach out any time for help navigating these or any other management challenges. We have tools to help you!
Your employees need guidance, encouragement, and feedback to perform at a high level. And as a leader, it’s your job to make sure your team members get those things consistently. One way you can deliver those essentials is through a mid-year review. Done well, the mid-year review is a low-stress meeting that provides clarity, renews motivation, and promotes employee wellness. Here’s how.
Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of mid-year reviews, let’s examine the importance of employee wellness. Employee wellness is the degree to which employees succeed in various areas of their lives, such as health, career, relationships, and finances. It encompasses both personal and professional well-being.
When employees are well, everyone wins. Workers will be happier, more engaged, more productive, and more likely to stay with the organization. As a result, the company will enjoy less turnover, fewer recruiting expenses, greater output, and a healthier bottom line. It’s therefore in a firm’s best interest to make employee wellness a priority.
A mid-year review is an informal meeting to check in with workers, track progress on goals, reestablish expectations, and offer guidance. The discussion shouldn't take on a disciplinary tone but rather provide encouragement and assistance to increase each team member’s chance of success. It can also help to support employee wellness if it’s used to:
Pro Tip: Think about what your boss could include in a mid-year review to make you better at what you do and happier at work. Then, be sure you feature those elements in the meetings you conduct with your team.
Follow these steps to conduct an effective mid-year review:
Bonus step: Ask each team member how you can improve the mid-year review experience and incorporate their feedback when you conduct the next meeting.
Implement these best practices to ensure your mid-year reviews are successful:
Bonus tip: Provide ways for your employees to connect with each other to enhance camaraderie and teamwork.
We know we just spent an entire article discussing mid-year reviews. But the truth is that annual performance reviews and mid-year reviews don't provide enough feedback and support for your employees to thrive. You need to have frequent, casual check-ins with each member of your team in addition to those more official meetings.
Doing so will help you keep your finger on the pulse of how your workforce is doing. Plus, it will help you:
These check-ins don’t have to be fancy — they just have to happen. Make it a point to stop by each employee’s desk (or inbox if they’re working remotely) weekly and ask how things are going and how you can help.
Coaching your employees to achieve their full potential is essential for their well-being — and your company’s success. But, connecting with them on a deep enough level to do that can often seem daunting. That’s where we come in.
Our fast and easy behavioral assessment provides insights into each team member’s approach to work, communication style, preferences, and more. You’ll walk away with information you can use to personalize mid-year reviews and casual check-in conversations to each employee. Then, your chance of truly reaching them will skyrocket.
Plus, you can take the assessment yourself to better understand your leadership style. That way, you can ensure how you manage your team is in line with promoting their wellness — and peak performance.
When you prioritize employee wellness, your entire company will benefit. Conducting effective mid-year reviews and casual check-ins can help your firm promote both personal and professional well-being within your workplace.
Curious to see how Omnia can enhance your mid-year reviews, check-ins, and overall employee wellness? Try a complimentary assessment!
The turkey is carved, and you’re about to take your first decadent bite of apple sausage stuffing when your uncle asks, “So, how’s the job going?” All of a sudden, fork in midair, you feel a pit in your stomach and forget about the 4 glorious days off ahead of you. You inform Uncle Dale that you’ll have a new boss starting Monday. On the other side of town, another family is sitting down to their meal talking about how hard it was getting out of bed for the Turkey Trot again this year and dreaming of the day the Detroit Lions will finally shift the trajectory of their Thanksgiving game-day record. But one person at the table is oddly silent this year. All she can think about is starting that new leadership position on Monday.
Getting a new leader and taking over a new team is hard for everyone involved. The team members are worried about changes in their compensation, their responsibilities, their territories, and having to prove themselves all over again. The new leader is worried about whether they made the right decision and how quickly they can make an impact and prove it was the right choice for all concerned.
I’ve been in both seats of that holiday dinner over the years - thinking about a new boss starting or about taking on a new team. Having been on both sides of the equation many times, I’ve experienced what works well and what doesn’t. In this blog, I’ll share 6 strategies for engaging your new team members quickly and easing the concerns of all parties.
Priority #1 as a new leader is to get to know everyone on your team. Make this the first thing you do before spending too much time with your own boss and other leaders. Everyone will have opinions and share advice on what you need to do. There will be plenty of time for that, but you need to understand your team quickly and key in on what matters to them. Set up 1x1’s with everyone on your team asking them to share:
These personal 1x1’s will go a long way in engaging your team and setting the tone for the culture you intend to build. Data shows that employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work.
Take copious notes in these interviews; don’t lose them. I reference these meeting notes for annual goal setting, performance reviews, and any difficult conversations that might follow.
Let’s face it, it’s lonely at the top; it can also be very competitive. In between 1x1’s with your team, it’s important to get to know your peers. In these early days, it’s critical to uncover what’s top of mind to them, what problems they’re hoping you’re going to help solve, and what’s gotten in the way of getting things done in the past. During the first 90 days, you learn quickly who is going to be your confidant and who you may need to look out for. Who you may need to look out for, you ask? I know it sounds ugly, but it’s the truth and it only takes being burned once or twice to figure that out. Making peer connections will help you build trusting relationships, guard yourself from potential landmines, and determine how to get on a path to quick success collaboratively.
No matter what function you run, you need to know how money gets made, how you win business, and how you lose it. This takes time, but make it a priority along with getting to know your team and peers. Take this course of action for client insights:
Establishing early wins comes up in every book ever written for new leaders. It may sound cliché at this point, but the power of it can’t be overstated. What you get done and how soon you get to it has a real impact, especially if you’re taking action on something that people have wanted fixed for a long time. Is there some low hanging fruit – like relaxing the office dress code? (Yes! That’s still a thing in some places). What about adding a holiday or an extended long weekend to the summer schedule, moving someone from part-time to full-time, or allowing for job sharing models? These little steps go a long way in showing your commitment to a better culture.
Other wins should focus on impacting productivity and employee engagement – consider what processes need immediate streamlining and what kind of data people want. All these ideas should come directly from your 1x1 meetings and client analysis, and credit should be given to the person who raised the idea (if they are OK with that). We’ve all experienced new leaders who come in talking about how awesome it was at their last company, pointing fingers at things they think are broken in your organization without fully understanding why the process was put in place to begin with. You will have plenty of opportunities to make an impact and drive results. Early wins should come from what you’ve heard is most important to the team.
It won’t take long before people start asking what you plan to change. Communicating your vision and establishing short- and long-term goals is the last step of engaging as a new leader. Don’t do this too soon; it should come after the first 3 steps of getting to know your team, your peers, and your clients. This builds your short- and long-term goals. Your vision for the team, the function, or the company (depending on your level) should incorporate all the information you’ve gathered. You may be building a case for change or what some may consider disruption, so showing where the data came from makes the goals easier to buy into.
Include the following in your communications:
Following the vision and goal setting, immediately start putting things into action and productively engaging everyone on the team. Begin regular team meetings and 1x1 check-ins with your team. At monthly team meetings or town halls, review the goals and progress with updates on key objectives. Include visuals and dashboards so that everyone can see the progress you’re making as well as help spot trends and potential issues that need to be addressed.
As a leader, you are likely to outlast most of your team members. A recent report by The Bridge Group shows average sales rep tenure sits at 1.5 years. It’s likely your team is churning as quickly as you’re getting into objective setting, and that has a constant effect on your team dynamics and your ability to reach your goals. Conducting the same 1x1 type interviews you did when you were new works just as well at mid-year check points with just a slight adjustment to your questions.
Putting each of these strategies in place throughout your tenure will help you successfully engage your team and make a continual impact at work. Imagine how good it will feel knowing that, next Thanksgiving, Uncle Dale is going to hear how much your team member respects and appreciates their new boss. So sit back, take that bite of apple sausage stuffing, and enjoy the holidays because you have a plan for your new role. As for me, I’m going back to dreaming of a Lions win.
The easiest time I’ve ever had taking on a new leadership role was when I joined The Omnia Group. Given that we specialize in behavioral insight, I had immediate, powerful data into the make-up of my team. The Omnia Professional Development report provides details on the traits of each team member, such as level of assertiveness, communication preferences, pace and need for structure. I keep my team dynamics report handy so I can quickly reference the personal motivators and demotivators of each member of my team. Please contact me if you’re interested in learning more about how these resources can help you engage your new team and get off to the right start.
When you hire someone, you want to be sure that they'll do well in their new role. You invest too much time and money to end up with someone who can’t fulfill their responsibilities. But you can’t rely on first impressions or feelings of rapport to identify A-players. Instead, you should use several data points to support your hiring decisions. That’s where cognitive reports and behavioral assessments come in. We’ll share why and how you should use them in tandem when you evaluate candidates.
Before we go any further, let’s define cognitive ability. Cognitive ability is what your brain is capable of doing. It’s the taking in, organizing, processing, and applying of information. You see it in action when you:
While this ability gets partially determined by genetics and can be influenced by outside circumstances, like injury or illness, it can be developed and refined over time. You can improve your cognitive functioning by practicing self-care, reducing stress, and doing activities that exercise your brain, like reading or completing puzzles.
Cognitive ability plays a significant role in determining whether someone will succeed or fail in their position. If the capacity is there, the employee can complete their work effectively and make valuable contributions to the company. It’s also an indication of the candidate’s ability to learn, adapt, and grow. But, if the cognitive ability isn’t high, they may struggle, feel overwhelmed, and likely will not be as productive nor pick up new concepts quickly.
The good news? You can prevent that unfortunate scenario by incorporating a cognitive assessment into your hiring and promotions process for necessary roles.
A cognitive report will tell you if a potential candidate has the cognitive ability to fulfill the responsibilities of a given position. The report should describe their capacity to:
Once you have the assessment results, you can decide if the candidate can handle the position as advertised.
Behavioral assessments also take a deep dive into each candidate’s brain. But, instead of illustrating their aptitude, they reveal their tendencies, preferences, traits, and motivations. The assessment should answer whether a candidate:
With the results in hand, you can determine if their personality would be an asset or a hindrance to them in the target role.
You understandably want to make your hiring process as simple (and cost-conscious) as possible, so including multiple assessments might seem counter-intuitive. But, we invite you to think a little longer-term. Matching the right candidate with the right position will have major benefits, including reducing costs related to turnover, hiring, and unmotivated staff.
Putting the insight from these assessments together gives you a complete picture of the potential team member. You’ll know what their brain is capable of — and how they tend to work. That knowledge can help you make the right hiring decision the first time and manage the new hire effectively once they’re on board, saving you untold dollars, hours, and aggravation.
While you may be convinced that you should give these assessments to job candidates, you likely have no idea where to start. That’s where we come in. We’ve developed a cognitive assessment and a behavioral assessment that are proven to provide the information you need to make wise hiring and management decisions.
Our assessments are simple, and candidates can complete both of them in less than 30 minutes. You’ll receive instant results, so you don’t have to delay your hiring process. If you’d like additional insights, our analysts are available to provide verbal consultations as well.
Want to learn more? Contact us today!
Your hiring process is the gatekeeper for your organization. It lets in top talent and blocks out less-than-ideal candidates. But, you must have the right components in place for it to work properly. Scientific and objective measures like cognitive and behavioral assessments can strengthen your hiring process so that only the best-suited professionals make it into your organization.
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Continuing our series on performance management, we turn our spotlight to The Advisor. Like the Analytic (and all other personality groups), Advisors have specific behavioral traits and preferences that are the most comfortable for them. While they can show any behavior necessary to do a job for a short time, the core traits of the Advisor personality group require the least stretch. This is where the similarities between the Analytic and the Advisor end. In almost every other way, these two personality groups are polar opposites.
The Advisor has tall Omnia columns 2, 3, 6 and 7. Translated into English, this means members of this group tend to be risk avoidant, outgoing, systematic and autonomous. They love to be around people, and they can almost always make time to interact with coworkers, customers, management, vendors and most people they see. As extroverts, they get their energy from these interactions, and they want to help pretty much everyone they meet, which is where the title Advisor comes from. This personality type solves problems by talking things through, thinking outside the box and using creativity. They are more focused on the big picture than details. They make excellent coaches, trainers, counselors and, you guessed it, advisors.
Advisors are one of the few groups with some built-in conflict among their own columns. Unless addressed through specific training and management techniques, this conflict can create some interference regarding their own contentment in a role as well as posing some performance challenges.
Conflict: Advisors are people pleasers (column 2) who want freedom (column 7). Advisors don’t like to make waves, but they can bristle at having their every move orchestrated. What happens when a manager gives them specific, step-by-step instructions to follow? Advisors could feel contradicting needs to be trusted to innovate and to avoid a confrontation. Depending on whether the need to please or the need for autonomy is stronger, this problem could play out in a couple of ways.
Possibility 1. The Advisor does things as told, feels stifled and unhappy, and eventually becomes disengaged.
Possibility 2. The Advisor says she will do things as told, but then does what she wants and hopes it’s not that big of a deal in the long run. This person’s mantra may be “Ask forgiveness not permission.”
Another potential challenge area involves the combination of persistence (column 6) and independence (column 7). Once Advisors figure out how they’re going to do something, they can and will do it just that way forever. People with a combo of columns 6 and 7 are dogged in their attachment to their systems and routines. You could even call them stubborn. They need time. Time to plan and prepare and time to get used to new ideas. But they also need to understand when pivoting to new processes is nonnegotiable.
Now for the good news: These conflicts are manageable using the following steps, and they are worth managing, because with a contented Advisor who uses effective routines, you are likely to have a loyal, empathetic, diligent employee who can patiently develop beneficial relationships for your company and put customers, coworkers and outside contacts at ease.
The best training for Advisors is informal and interactive with a schedule they can review in advance. When possible, make sure there is extra time in each training segment in case it runs long due to expanded discussions of topics. Advisors are comfortable shadowing people so they can see duties in action and ask questions.
During training, make any critical procedures clear and reiterate the need to follow them. But consider allowing opportunities for innovation and creativity. For example: the format of a client call may be set in stone but the way the Advisor delivers the information has some wiggle room.
Highlight standards for accuracy, compliance and timeliness during training, and make sure the Advisor knows he will be accountable for meeting those standards.
Above all, Advisors need people contact. Make sure whatever position they are undertaking has some regular and appropriate interactive elements to it. If the work itself tends to be solitary and isolating, consider offering the Advisor a chance to take part in meetings, group projects, networking events or phone calls. Being able to factor in “people breaks” during the day will help with overall motivation.
Meet with them to devise plans for limiting distractions and mitigating errors in their results. Working in solitude and focusing on details are not strengths for Advisors but solving problems creatively and building work systems are. By collaborating on quality assurance strategies, you can engage them in planning for their own successes.
Whenever possible, ease them into changes. If you need them to do things differently, provide advance warning and regular reminders of an upcoming change. Offer reassurance, since change can be upsetting, and encourage them to verbalize concerns as well as a plan for incorporating the new process or responsibility.
Check in periodically to make sure everything is being done as expected. Compliment efforts and successes publicly and frequently. Advisors are motivated by praise and like knowing they are appreciated and helping the team.
Personality data is a great way to facilitate performance discussions. Here are some general tips for management to consider when reviewing the performance of an Advisor: Set performance reviews at regular, predictable intervals. Seeing a performance review on the calendar helps the Advisor plan and prepare and offers a reminder to be as conscientious as possible. If you need the Advisor to do something differently, be highly specific about what and how; make sure there is no room for misinterpretation. Also outline the consequences of not following through. Set follow up meetings to verify improvements are being made, and make sure consequences are carried out if necessary. But praise improvements whenever you see them.