The Productivity Pitfalls of Working from Home in the COVID-19 Era

By now, and almost 9 months into this global pandemic, your employees have probably gotten quite accustomed to the working from home set up. Whether they live alone, with a partner, or with kids, despite how unusual this has been, they’ve been working from home long enough to have developed some sort of work routine.  

Even though we can all attest to the benefits of a consistent work routine, can the same be said about productivity levels? Granted you’ve been doing all the right things with daily conference calls, proactive communication, and constantly checking on your team, how much has this global pandemic affected their productivity? And how can you as a leader accelerate your team’s productivity as the world is still navigating these uncharted territories?

Understanding your team’s environment

Before you start drafting leadership strategies to win over this productivity pitfall, know your people and their environment. What do we mean by that?

Your team who’s been working from home for months now is subject to different factors in their environment that may be causing this productivity halt. They’ve been deprived of their office space, have most likely converted a dining table into a working desk, and some of them are managing their kids at the same time.

In addition, you need to know your team members at a much deeper level. You may not be in control of their home working environment, but you have the ability to use and apply behavioral insights to get their productivity to climb again. You see, every person has a strong behavioral trait that can be leveraged to boost productivity, understanding is the key to success.

Consider a scientific approach

In-person collaboration is necessary for creativity and innovation. It also enables you as a leader to better understand your team, what drives them, what motivates them, and what kills their productivity.

When we first developed our DNA Behavior Natural Discovery services, our purpose has always been to guide people to make behaviorally SMART decisions based on our 500+ behavioral insights that we’ve accumulated over the years. However, in today’s COVID-19 era, you might think that investing in our natural discovery services will lack efficiency because we wouldn’t be able to physically be in your offices and interact with your team.

Well, let us start by clarifying that the accuracy of our behavioral natural discovery has less to do with in-person collaboration and more with scientifically based data gathering. Our natural behavior discovery process has been completed in 123+ countries and in 11 languages and maintains an overall 91% reliability. It is a proven method and has the potential to not only spike your team’s productivity but also transform your business.

What can you do today?

In a time of uncertainty, we can all at least agree that this will not last and that there will come a time where your team won’t have to work from home anymore. If productivity is a concern for you today, do not wait until that time comes to address it. You need to start right now.

You see, as a leader, your duties are quite similar to those of a matchmaker. You take a person with their scientifically discovered talents and behaviors and match them with the right tasks and responsibilities. The right match empowers the person and inspires them to work harder and achieve higher levels of productivity.

Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

If you are ready to invest in profiling the behavioral styles of your team members, schedule a consultation today Lisa and let us help you take the guess out of the equation and build your team up for success.

How Similar Are Our Behavioral Styles to Our Dogs’?

According to a research conducted at Michigan State University, dogs tend to take on the same personality traits and behavioral tendencies as their owners. The study also revealed that dogs are just like humans in terms of cognitive development and that their personalities are shaped over time.
These shifts in personality traits can even predict future behaviors that may surface in our dogs. While it is true that age, breed, and gender play a huge role in the shaping of their personalities and behavioral tendencies, the influence that we dog owners have plays a major role.

Here at DNA Behavior, we take it to heart to involve our 4 legged friends in everything we do and make them feel loved and appreciated, especially during these unprecedented times where we have been working mostly from home spending more time with our dogs than ever before.

While some may already worry about the potential separation anxiety the end of the WFH era might induce to our dogs, we at DNA Behavior decided to look a little bit more into it and see if we can uncover similarities between our very own DNA styles and our dogs’. After all, how ideal would it be to be able to understand your dog’s personality, interpret their behavior, and even predict how they may react to certain things.

Meet Our Paw-tastic Team

Gracie is a 6 months-year-old female Bernedoodle, which is a cross of a Poodle and Bernese mountain dog. She is a very outgoing and friendly dog who craves attention but goes with the flow at the very same time. She is extremely entertaining and would be fantastic at networking during conferences and various events. In general, Bernedoodles tend to be highly intelligent, hardworking, very loyal, and just a bit goofy. Based on our expertise, Gracie’s DNA Style is Engager, which fits the description perfectly!

Gracie is a member of Hugh Massie’s family, who is our CEO and Behavioral Strategist. Hugh is an Initiator. Initiators are strong-minded, decisive, and goal-driven individuals who are typically fast-paced and rational. Some personality traits that Hugh and Gracie have in common are that they are both optimistic and dynamic in their way of doing things. As Gracie grows older and her personality unravels, we are eager to see how much of Hugh’s DNA Style characteristics might influence her own!

Skylar is a female Shiba Inu with an eagerness to learn and an undeniable sense of style. She can be extroverted as dogs can be but also needs her alone time to charge. Her unique personality shows especially when she meets other dogs. While she enjoys it a great deal, she would ignore them and move on if they do not engage back. She is an undeniable leader, not a follower, and perfectly capable of entertaining herself if she needs exercise.   

By nature, Shiba Inu dogs are known to be independent, energetic, and exceptionally smart, and based on our expertise, Skylar’s DNA Style is Stylish Thinker.

Skylar is a member of Ryan Scott’s family, who is our CTO, Digital Experience Innovator. Ryan is a Reflective Thinker. He is a serious, focused, and analytical individual who values accuracy and precision in everything he does. The similarities between Ryan and Skylar’s unique styles are that they’re both creative and innovative. However, Ryan’s rational and thought-out approach does enable him to navigate Skylar’s strong personality without any issues. (Did somebody say stubborn?)  

Ari is a 10-year-old male English Setter. He is a very friendly, patient, and playful dog, but very sensitive and feelings oriented. While he likes interacting with his surroundings, he appreciates his own quiet time. English Setters are known to be some of the most friendly and gentle dogs. They are extremely loyal and crave affection. Based on our expertise, Ari’s DNA Style is Relationship Builder, which couldn’t be more accurate. He welcomes interactions with other people and other dogs, but is independent enough that he does not need to be constantly entertained. While Ari and Gracie are both part of Hugh’s family, they couldn’t be more different, and so are their interactions with Hugh who is an Initiator. We would go to the extent of saying that they are polar opposites, but we sure are eager to see how Ari’s personality traits develop over time.

For all our dog lovers out there, remember, dogs are complex creatures that share a unique bond with their owners. Understanding their behavioral traits starts by understanding your own.

To learn more about DNA Behavior and how our insights can help you capitalize on your strengths and manage your struggles, start our free trial. Don’t take our word for it, try it for yourself.

How to Spend $20 million in 3 Years

Whether you are leading an innovative tech company or managing the digital division of an organization, there is one dilemma that you surely have come across at least once: when needing a software solution, should you invest in a market-ready product or should you build it yourself using your IT resources? This is also equally true when it comes to behavioral science work. Should companies seek out thoroughly developed software solutions by subject matter experts? Or should they build their own?  

The dilemma you, along-side numerous organizations around the world are faced with is also known as Build vs Buy.

Identifying the Need

As you weigh in on the decision of buying a software solution vs building it, you need to start by assessing your need, identifying the issue you are trying to address, and do an inventory of your resources. Opting for “Build” or “Buy” can only make sense if it is a well thought out decision that takes into consideration all variables involved.

What is the problem you are seeking a software solution for? What purpose does it have? Is it meant to improve your business process, or optimize your operations? Does your in-house IT team have the knowledge and the capabilities of building such a solution? Do you even have IT resources, to begin with? If not, can your company afford to outsource such task?

These are all the questions you need to ask yourself when faced with the Build vs Buy dilemma.

Weighing Your Options

Opting for Build or Buy can only make sense if it is a well thought out decision that takes into consideration all variables involved. What is the problem you are seeking a software solution for? What purpose does it have? Is it meant to improve your business process, or optimize your operations? Does your in-house IT team have the knowledge and the capabilities of building such a solution? Do you even have IT resources, to begin with? If not, can your company afford to outsource such task?

From a behavioral tools perspective, the ramifications of building a solution from scratch are often costly. There are so many companies that have created new FinTech, HRTech, and MarketingTech behavioral solutions, and have failed after the first year. With a behavioral tool, you are only as good as the insights you provide. Generating accurate insights, quickly, and reliably takes a lot of research, finetuning, and time. Companies who do not operate in this field, are typically ill-equipped and unable to access the resources in order to create solutions from scratch.

Maintenance and Support

It is undeniable that having an IT department in your company is a substantial asset when it comes to running your operations smoothly. Having an on-call team that can proactively maintain your software solutions and provides unlimited support is the main appeal in investing in IT resources, to begin with. When opting for building your own software, your in-house IT team has full control over the process and is able to provide unlimited support. Whereas when you buy a market-ready product, your software vendor may not have as much of a proactive maintenance team, and it might take longer to have your support ticket processed. However, the perks of buying a software solution reside in the market reach of the vendor that grows exponentially which entices him to use his client’s feedback to develop his software, anticipate any bugs that may occur, and continuously expand his product features. Your IT team, however, unless an issue has risen they may not be as proactive in developing your software solution.

Return on Investment

No matter what industry you operate in, the concept of ROI is pretty straightforward and applicable to all: as an organization, you strive to generate high returns on your investment. This means that ROI is not only a metric to evaluate the success of your business decisions, it also dictates funding and resource allocation. That is a key element to take into consideration when faced with the Build vs Buy dilemma. Let’s look at it this way: if a firm needed an accounting software, they would rarely build their own. They would simply license software from Oracle, Quickbooks, or any of the other providers who have solutions, off the shelf. The truth of the matter is, companies such as Oracle have put thousands (millions?) of hours and have recruited top-notch experts to build their platform. To put things even more into perspective, our very own DNA Behavior solutions are available for as little as $75 per month but we have invested hundreds of man-years developing the insights with PhDs and experts from high-ranking government, private sector, and military positions. For you to replicate one of our products, it will cost your company $20 Million over 3 years.

Could your company commit to such investment? Does your ROI justify and support such expense? At this point, if you are still hesitant or unsure about which direction to go and whether you should Build or Buy, looking at it from your ROI perspective should tip the balance. 

VERDICT: Build

Did you know that even the most brilliant and resourceful tech companies around the world purchase software solutions from other vendors? That’s right, when needing a software solution for business processing or operation structure, they may have the capabilities and resources to build them, but their resources are much better invested in their field of expertise rather than gaging a foreign technology landscape that they know nothing about. So why would you try to build your own behavioral software where companies such as DNA Behavior exist? We have spent the past 19 years generating 575 behavioral insights that have been tested, improved, and are ready to use. You can now leverage our Financial and Business DNA retail packages as well as our Financial DNA API, with the possibility of co-branding or white labeling our solutions. The fact of the matter is, your resources are better used to help your company grow rather than investing in building a software solution you lack expertise in. 

If you’re still not sure, schedule your 15 min consultation with Leon Morales, our Managing Director to further discuss our products and solutions.

Top 10 DNA Behavior Guides for 2020

Whether to help our financial advisors or our business coaches, consultants, and trainers, we at DNA Behavior have dedicated the year 2020 to provide an unlimited amount of resources and behavioral insights. Our weekly Guides, in particular, have known a tremendous success and today we are sharing with you our Top 10 DNA Behavior Guides for 2020.

#1 Goals-Based Planning Guide

Clients and advisors collaborating to build a goals-based, behaviorally focused plan is the new norm. But how to get there? Download our Goals-Based Planning Guide to understand how to map out deeper client conversations that unearth client financial goals and life plans.

#2 2020 Behavioral Finance Guide (RIA)

In today’s day and age, it is undeniable that Behavioral Finance is key to predicting investors’ patterns and help them invest smarter. While most financial advisors are interested in using Behavioral Finance tools, they have not yet found the right resources to provide them with the capabilities they are seeking. Until today! Download our 2020 Behavioral Finance Guide for RIAs and learn how to leverage our expertise and gain a substantial competitive advantage.

#3 The Ultimate Guide to Coaching Extroverts

Extroverts feel empowered by being around other people. They prefer working in groups where the conversation flows and is stimulating. It’s important for extroverts to understand how and in what circumstances to dial down their behavior. Download The Ultimate Guide to Coaching Extroverts and see how leaders, coaches and mentors can help clients & team members thrive while leveraging their strengths.

#4 Unlocking Sales Team Behavior

When was the last time you reviewed your organization’s sales approach strategy? If you are unable to answer this question, this guide is for you! People’s approach to buying is changing. Today, your clients are much more informed and they expect to have a conversation with a knowledgeable person who can either confirm their need for your product or persuade them of it. Download our guide, and learn how to leverage your salespeople’s communication styles and level up your sales approach.

#5 The Guide for Managing Back-Seat-Driver Clients

Is your client overriding most of your conversation time? Constantly interrupting you as you deliver your advice? Always needing to have the “last word”? Well, you are faced with what we call a back-seat-driver client. Though the challenge of managing such clients is quite common amongst financial advisors, the smart thing to do here is to invest in understanding your clients’ behaviors to better communicate with them. To learn more, download our guide.

#6 Loving Our Differences

In business & your personal life, building relationships with people whose innate behavior is different than yours is crucial to achieving success. Just in time for Valentine’s Day – but valuable any time of year – download the Loving Our Differences Guide to build lasting business and personal relationships.

#7 How to Coach Team Members to Achieve Great Success

Knowing how to use the talents and behaviors of individuals to uniquely grow each person and consequently the team requires an investment, not just in leadership time. An investment also must be made in a scientifically validated talent discovery process. Download How to Coach Team Members to Achieve Great Success and see how leaders, coaches & mentors can ensure individuals, teams and organizations thrive by leveraging their strengths.

#8 Developing Rising Leaders, An E-book Guide

“The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” -John Maxwell. Download our guide, and learn how to develop rising leaders in your organization.

#9 The Money Is Moving. Are You Prepared

When it comes to wealth transfer, there is no doubt that financial advisors who have had an in-depth relationship with the entire family will be best placed to retain the family business, when the money moves. The question is, are you prepared? Download our guide to learn more.

#10 How to Balance Quality of Life and Financial Goals

A quality life can be defined as “Successfully integrating finances into a balanced life, and in so doing having the courage to live your unique design, in harmony and without regret.” All financial advisors need to abide by this rule to ensure a healthy life balance for their clients. Download our guide to learn more.

Why Should You Invest in Continuous Learning?

As we celebrate National Online Learning Day, we recognize the advantage and vast potential of online learning and continuous learning in general. In the wake of COVID-19 and the WFH era, those of us who’ve been working from home these past months have the ability to use the additional time they’ve been given at home to invest in continuous learning. Whether you pick up a course online, listen to an educational podcast, catch up on your book reading or attend online webinars, learning new skills and polishing old ones can only happen if you commit to investing in yourself.

Benefits of Continuous Learning

Regardless of your career stage, your future aspirations, or your education level, continuous learning is essential to every individual. Whether you seek it on your own or through your organization, it is necessary for you to foster a motivated persistence to learn and acquire new skills that can expand your future opportunities. Personal and professional development might seem different at times, but neither of them can be furthered without continuous learning.
The many benefits of persistently seeking new knowledge range from career advancement to financial attribution, creativity, confidence, team management skills, and many more. The question you should be asking yourself is not “How does continuous learning benefit me?”, but “How can I ensure being consistent at it?” because those benefits are undeniable.

Where to Seek Continuous Learning 

There are many resources available to you to seek continuous learning. Obviously, the most convenient ones are online, and the good thing is, there are many online resources available to you that are convenient, accurate, relevant, and some of them at low or no cost at all. The key here is to diversify your learning resources in order to get the best out of the learning process. Finding resources for your continuous learning quest depends on the subject matter or the skills you would like to acquire. Online publications, e-books, podcasts, and webinars are a good place to start. Other things to take into consideration are your learning style, how much time you are willing to dedicate to your learning process, and whether or not you have a particular goal in mind. The key here is to find the right pace that serves you and ensure the longevity of your continuous learning quest.

Continuous Learning in Organizations 

As an organization, fostering a culture that promotes continuous learning has a huge impact on your employees. Providing your teams with numerous training and learning opportunities throughout the year provides them with a sense of trust and empowerment. They will feel extremely valued by their organization and inspire them to produce the highest quality work they possibly can. However, bear in mind that it all starts with the leaders. Unless your team whiteness your full engagement and support to creating a perpetual learning atmosphere, they will not be as engaged in it as you would want them to be. You need to commit to creating a learning plan for your team, as well as providing them with the resources and time needed for their training. It has been proven many times over that continuous learning in an organization leads to increased productivity, increase engagement, and impact the company’s performance and profit. Do not see it as a cost for your organization, consider it as an investment that you will surely get a return on.

Continuous Learning with DNA Behavior

Here at DNA Behavior, we fervently believe in the importance of continuous learning and have committed to hosting weekly webinars to educate our audience on the importance of implementing behavioral insights in the management of their teams and businesses. Join us for our webinar tomorrow, Wednesday, September 16 at 3 PM ET as we will be announcing the launch of our new Consultant Packages starting at $99/mo only. Whether you are seeking to launch your consulting business or solidify your professional expertise using DNA Behavior’s unlimited resources, register today to save your spot.

Best Practices for Conducting Virtual Interviews

In the wake of COVID-19, many companies around the world have shifted their hiring process. While virtual interviews used to be a preliminary step to sort through the numerous candidates you might have for a position, in order to move on to the next step which is an in-person meeting, today, everything that has to do with acquiring talents for your company has moved to be remote and virtual. Your responsibility as a hiring manager is to set up a solid process that serves you and your potential candidates. It is not only a matter of identifying the right fit for your company but more importantly having a perfect understanding of their personalities, behaviors, and communication styles.

To help you develop a reliable and sustainable process, here are our top recommendations for conducting successful virtual interviews.

Preparation Is Key

The key to conducting successful virtual interviews is preparation. You need to familiarize yourself with the position you are hiring for, its requirements but more importantly, the key characteristics and personality traits that this position needs. As the interviewer, you are to not only judge the candidate’s skills and ability to do the job, but also assess their personality, and how well they will fit within your organization. Are you looking to fill a leadership position or a support one? Should the right fit for this job be a born leader and initiator, or a detailed reflective thinker?
Unless you understand your own behavior, your candidate’s behavior, and that of the manager they will be reporting to, your interview process will be lacking pertinence and effectiveness.

Define Your Interview Strategy

We all know how bad it looks when a candidate comes to an interview completely unprepared. It sends the wrong message, gives a bad first impression, and seriously diminishes their chances of getting the job. However, did you know that it also works the other way around? An interviewer who is unprepared and lacks a clear strategy can miss an opportunity to make a positive first impression and have their lack of preparedness reflect on the company’s image as a whole.
Define your strategy. Define the inherent behaviors you are looking for in a candidate as well as their skills. Prepare your questions accordingly and make sure that by the end of the interview session, you have a perfect understanding of their capabilities and behaviors. Or else, how would you be able to assess whether or not they’re right for the job?

Discuss Your Company Culture and Values 

To this day, many interviewers still miss the opportunity to talk about their company culture and values during the first interview. The truth of the matter is, an organization is an eco-system that functions in perfect harmony thanks to its components, AKA, employees. Even if you find a potential candidate with the right skills and experience, if their culture and values do not align with those of your company, your partnership with them is bound to fail. An effective way for you to assess their alignment with your company culture and values is to understand their behavior and DNA style.

Develop Your Rating System

When conducting virtual interviews, one thing you might notice is how fast the process will go compared to in-person interviews. Shifting everything to a virtual format saves a lot of time and enables you to have multiple candidates to consider pretty quickly. When that happened, your responsibility is to develop a standardized rating system by which you assess your options for the position. When developing your rating system make sure that you take into consideration not only the qualifications of your candidates but also their character traits and behaviors. An easy and accurate way for you to run a team report and project how well certain personalities will fit within your team is our DNA Behavior tool.

Provide Information on the Next Steps

As a final step and good practice for conducting your virtual interview, make sure to inform your candidates of the next step and what they can expect going forward. Whether you intend to make a decision on the spot or have built a multiple steps interview process, communication is key.