Blog (8)

Sustainable Cultures Built By Managing Differences

This article first appeared on HR Management.

We previously focused on How would employees describe your culture? That is, culture and the role leadership has in shaping it.

Now, let’s talk about implementing culture. How do you gain the insights to identify talents and behaviors to deliver a healthy culture that leads to the delivery of productive business strategies?

Well like most things, it begins with the people. If leadership has little or no insight and understanding into the workplace characteristics and differentiators of their employees, no attempt to introduce a healthy culture will succeed. As over-used as the phrase its all about the people, may be these days, there is no denying that building a culture based on understanding the unique talents and behaviors of individuals should be at the top of corporate agendas.

A company’s culture is its personality; it’s the bringing together of the uniqueness of the individuals into a group of like-minded individuals whose mantra is, our behavior determines how things are done around here.

But the degree to which the culture is good or bad is determined not by complex formal cultural-change programs, but by understanding and respecting the differences in every interaction of individuals, their behaviors, their motivations, their talents, and their decision-making styles. That is, applying validated insights into their core personality.

When leadership invests in knowing their people, culture (of the good kind) begins. It doesn’t happen overnight. But it does happen.

So how to do this? Use a scientifically validated data-gathering tool to understand individuals. Choose one that goes below the surface and reveals behaviors and talents not currently used. The right tool is one that cannot be manipulated; even those taking the discovery test will reveal innate characteristics even they may not know they have.

Empower champions to challenge anything working against a poor or toxic culture. From email wars to breakroom gossiping, challenge anything that doesn’t fit within the culture you want to eventually see.

As more and more is revealed through completing such a discovery process, leadership should regularly take the pulse of their organization to understand what is shaping their employees experience of working for the organization. Do they see changes? What more can be done to stamp out poor behavior, redirecting that energy into productivity? Are they remunerated and rewarded on a basis that motivates them? It is not all about money.

A key win that comes out of this exercise is the amount of personal insight leaders gain from the conversations taking place.

This approach to introducing a cultural shift not only reveals the range of talent, it also reveals what is not being used. It highlights individuals not a fit for their role. But with behavioral insight and tweaking, they can become fit for role and achieve an accelerated performance. Or be deployed in a better-suited role.

Without this people insight, leaders can’t know the personality and character of their people and, thus, of their business. That’s why so many culture programs fail. You can’t just determine the culture you want and force it, not knowing who the players implementing it are.

Employees want to have a good – no great – experience at work. This is especially true of millennials, who are a rapidly increasing part of the workforce. They want to be seen, they want to be valued, and they want to know they contribute in a meaningful way to the business.

But if leadership does not know them in terms of their life goals and individual talents, the workplace is always going to be chaotic, functioning below par and as a hot bed for toxic culture.

Every leader has a responsibility to accelerate their people’s performance through a deeper, more meaningful understanding of their employees’ characteristics, talents, and inherent behaviors.

So, dive deep and learn what makes your people “tick”. You’ll then be able to understand and influence not just how your company is ticking, but how you want it to do so differently.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior

 

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How To Build Trust In A Team: A Business DNA Product Upgrade

When we design feature improvements for Business DNA, we look at the hot topics that are raised in our training and coaching events. Last year, a hot topic was, “How to build trust in a team”. I am excited to announce that today, we released an update to the Trust scoring model for Natural Behavior that will answer that very question.

Trust Scoring Upgrade:

This upgrade was a culmination of 5 years of psychometric research and independent validation by our team of PhD’s and data scientists. The bar is now raised for DNA Behavior as having one of the only independently validated psychometric measurements of Trust in the behavioral profiling industry. In addition, this measurement provides our Business DNA Coaches, Consultants and Users with the following in-depth insights (in addition to the other 54 additional behavioral attributes we measure):

  • Trust and Skepticism
  • Delegation and Controlling
  • Openness and Suspicion
  • Approachable and Questioning
  • Relaxed and Exacting

If you want to know how to build trust in a team, you must first understand how your team builds trust. While asking questions and drilling in on details can build trust for some team members, that same activity may feel like a lack of trust to others. Trust building is not a one-time activity, but trust erosion can be. In order to build trust, you must consistently behave in ways that are seen to build trust with your team. Knowing how each member of your team responds naturally around trust can help you hit the right note with your team members and help you understand why something you do successfully with one person is failing with another.

How to measure trust in a team using Business DNA:

The Business DNA Natural Behavior assessment is an online questionnaire process that takes 10-minutes to complete. You and each one of your coworkers can spend just 10-minutes to complete their own assessment and compare your results. Each individual’s Trust score will be available in each individual’s 1-page factor Report, Workplace Operations Report and the Coaching Report.

How to build trust in a team:

Ready to build trust in your team? Our experience tells us that the first step to build trust in a team is to help each person understand each other’s unique style. The self-guided Team Report profiles an experiential walkthrough of the behavioral patterns for each of your team members and is intended to build trust by opening the lines of communication for each person’s unique style.

Are you Naturally Trusting or Skeptical?

Are you naturally more trusting or skeptical? Find out in just 10-minutes with our free trial. Experience Business DNA with this free trial and see how business leaders, coaches, and consultants discover the talents, communication styles, and personality profiles of employees and customers.

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Uncover Employee’s Life, Moral And Core Principles To Inform Responsible Investing

This article first appeared on Nasdaq.

Lets go deeper on last months theme: Employee wellness and the role financial advisors should play in encouraging their corporate clients to establish employee wellness programs.

Advisors can enable their corporate clients to accelerate employee performance by introducing well-thought-out financial wellness programs. In doing so, employee productivity typically increases exponentially.

In fact, employee performance can be derailed when they are facing challenges or uncertainty in their lives. For instance, they see financial industry chaos, which can result in doubt and hesitation regarding their investments and other financial decisions. This uncertainty affects other areas of their lives, including work performance.

Aon Hewitt found that most employers (85 percent) say they are creating and adding financial well-being programs because it is the “right thing to do”. Another 80 percent of employers report that their programs are designed to improve employee engagement.

According to Aon Hewitt’s Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Well-Being, “workers say they want their employer to provide them with the resources to help them obtain a more secure financial future, and it seems that employers are stepping up to this request.”

As financial advisors engage with their corporate clients and discuss the most effective wellness programs to introduce, focus should be on programs that ensure their employees gain confidence in understanding the role financial advisors have in delivering investment advice that lines up with life, moral and core principles.

Keep in mind that employees under financial pressure can cause significant issues to the business in terms of sickness, distraction, and more worryingly, potential rogue behavior. A more targeted approach to employees financial wellness – that includes going deeper into understanding their life goals – will undoubtedly reveal the most effective wellness program to introduce.

Working with corporate clients to introduce a financial wellness program that stands up to scrutiny and is based in integrity helps ensure and bolster an advisers reputation.

So, how should financial advisors advise their corporate clients on how to dig deep enough to reveal their employees financial and life goals?

Bearing in mind that many people do not have financial courage or awareness of their behavior around financial topics, leaders who, as a first step, avail their employees of a scientifically based discovery to reveal their life drivers and financial personality, will be ahead of the game in providing their employees with strong financial wellness programs.

Financial advisors should talk about implementing a financial wellness program that is more effective when leaders have a greater insight into their employees life goals, financial challenges and core principles. Armed with this information, leaders can more effectively evaluate the kind of financial wellness program to introduce. It also goes to the core of designing and implementing a rewards program.

Financial advisors who determine to engage their corporate clients in the financial wellness realm should themselves complete a natural discovery process to get a firsthand look at the deep information that will be revealed.

Financial wellness programs introduced in partnership with a quality behavioral insight tool helps employees ask the right questions of their advisors. They become aware of their tolerance for risk, how and what drives their financial decision making and where, if any, they need to manage their behavior in relation to their finances.

Further, within the business, employee conversations become more transparent around their finances. They will be more likely to seek help and support if they find themselves in a struggle. Better for the employer to know this and mediate a solution.

Financial advisors should ensure their corporate clients understand that when employees have a deeper awareness of themselves and their finances, it drives more appropriate behavior in the workplace as employees learn to line up their business performance with their financial well-being… that in turn aligns with their life plans. That is what delivers an empowered workforce.

 

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior

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How To Build Client Trust: A Financial DNA Product Upgrade

When we design feature improvements for Financial DNA, we look at the hot topics that are raised in our Wealth Mentor training and Advisor Community events. Last year, a hot topic was, how to build client trust.

I am excited to announce that today, we released an update to the Trust scoring model for Natural Behavior that will answer that very question. Just as Peter Drucker said, If You Cant Measure It, You Cant Improve It Financial DNA is now arming financial advisors with the measurement of trust and the tools to build a trusting relationship with clients.

Trust Scoring Upgrade:

This upgrade was a culmination of 5 years of psychometric research and independent validation by our team of PhDs and data scientists. The bar is now raised for DNA Behavior as having one of the only independently validated psychometric measurements of Trust in the behavioral profiling industry. In addition, this measurement provides our Financial DNA Wealth Mentors, and Users with the following in-depth insights (in addition to the other 54 additional behavioral attributes we measure):

  • Trust and Skepticism
  • Delegation and Controlling
  • Openness and Suspicion
  • Approachable and Questioning
  • Relaxed and Exacting

The Importance of Trust:

“Knowing how to build client trust is key when handling a financial portfolio. When you can understand a client’s approach to building trust, you can take actions to help them build trust with you in a way that is natural to them and helps them feel comfortable working with you. This requires you to know yourself and work to be transparent and flexible when working to match your clients preferred style.” Said Nikki Evans, DNA Behaviors Chief Learning Accelerator.

How to measure client trust:

The Financial DNA Natural Behavior assessment is an online questionnaire process that takes 10-minutes to complete. You, your clients, and the rest of your advice team spend just 10-minutes to complete their own assessment and compare the results. Each individuals Trust score will be available in each individuals 1-page factor Report, Financial Planning Reporting, Wealth Mentoring Reports, via data export as well as our Personality API.

How to build client trust:

Building trust with skeptical clients is a process. In our training programs, we cover a wide variety of strategies and scenarios to build trust with clients. Through a series of role-playing exercises, facilitated discussions, and case studies financial advisors are led through the client journey where they learn how to engage with clients on their own terms. This engagement helps investors get more comfortable to begin the process of building trust with you, their advisor.

Are you Naturally Trusting or Skeptical?

Are you naturally more trusting or skeptical? Find out in just 10-minutes with our free trial. Experience Financial DNA with this free trial and see how financial advisors use the behavioral finance platform to discover the communication styles, behavioral biases, and risk profiles of clients.

DNA Accredited Financial Advisor Training

DNA-Accredited Financial Advisor Training Provides Edge

We are excited to be hosting DNA Accredited Financial Advisor Training for two days, April 24-25, in Atlanta. Space is limited, so please register soon.

The comprehensive workshop is for financial advisors and wealth managers already familiar with the Financial DNA Discovery Processes, which advisors use to learn the communication styles, financial habits (including setting goals, spending and saving) behavioral biases and risk profiles of clients.

As many of our readers know, Financial DNA provides real-time behavioral insights that enable customized delivery of meaningful advisor and client experiences, with improved outcomes on both sides of the relationship. The workshop builds on the foundation of Financial DNA-savvy advisors, helping them become what we call Human Performance Accelerators, learning unique financial personality insights to further help clients achieve greater self-empowerment- and wealth accumulation.

The training also is recommended for any organization considering implementing a DNA financial personality management API solution.

The six pillars of DNA Financial Planning Performance will be explored in-depth using the company’s proprietary behavioral insights tech platform. (The only validated behavioral insights fintech of its kind.) Attendees should then be able to not only deliver better client outcomes, but also be able to increase and sustain profitability.

The practical and experiential training program addresses Natural (inherent) Behavior and How to Deploy the Financial DNA Discovery Process to meet the behavioral challenges of every client on their own unique terms.

  • (Advisors) discovering their own strengths and struggles;
  • Learning how to use behavioral insights in relating to different clients more effectively; and
  • Identifying ideal clients and keeping them engaged.

Also covered: Learned Behavior and Additional Behavioral Finance Insights, including:

  • Techniques for improving client meeting facilitation with powerful questions across multiple communications channels; and
  • Building behaviorally smart portfolios which align client risk-taking, decision biases, goals, spending and financial capacity.

Attendees also will benefit from a very special new offering: An interactive dinner, Thought Accelerators: Future Fintech, at which training participants ranging from beginners to experts will discuss behavioral insight challenges and solutions, further activating what they have learned toward practical, powerful outcomes.

Complete information and registration for DNA Accredited Financial Advisor Training can be found here. Location information – Dunwoody (North Atlanta), just outside the perimeter – is included at the information and registration link. Those completing the two-day training will receive DNA Accredited Financial Advisor certification.

Who should attend? Financial advisors, wealth managers and others who want to master validated behavioral finance insights that accelerate the results achieved by both advisors and their clients. And, again, the training also is recommended for any organization considering implementing a DNA financial personality management API solution.

See you in Atlanta April 24-25. (Can’t make it then, let us know so we can notify you of future trainings and Thought Accelerator dinners.)

Financial DNA offers:

  • Unparalleled depth and reliability of psychometric validation for 64 core natural behavior traits to identify a client’s unique financial personality;
  • Separate measurement of a client’s communication style, spending and goal-setting behaviors, risk profile and behavioral biases;
  • Unique process for matching advisors, clients, and solutions using our extensive behavioral finance data;
  • Comprehensive wealth mentoring system to help advisors guide their clients in making life and financial decisions; and
  • Digital solutions for practical and scalable delivery across a firm’s whole client base.

 

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How Would Employees Describe Your Culture?

This article first appeared on HR Management.

Culture is the personality and character of your company. How would employees describe your culture?

The culture is toxic. Leaders are the worst. Don’t worry about it, just do it. Culture, what culture? No one cares what I think. I don’t tell people where I work.

Or. Our leaders inspire me. We’re all about excellence. It’s the way we do things around here. It’s not the way we do things around here. I really feel valued and included. I get a buzz from telling people where I work.

Every organization or team – every group of people – has a culture. It’s their “personality”. Its core lies in the character, behavior, values and integrity of those unique individuals that make up the group. It is a potpourri of people coming together to deliver an outcome. Whether in business, sports, or any other gathering of people, its success lies, not only with the individual, but with the leader and the tone they set.

Developing a people culture that delivers productivity, loyalty and a can-do attitude requires investment; it takes time and can’t be tokenism. There needs to be a real commitment to understanding the individual. Identifying their talents is one important aspect, but so is getting below the surface to reveal behaviors, pressure points, and workplace environments that will build or break a person’s ability to contribute to the business.

If the environment of the organization is not founded in strong principles, values and purpose that are known by everyone, then integrating multiple personalities, experiences and cultures will not be productive.

Leaders have a responsibility to demonstrate the beliefs of the company and reinforce behaviors that reflect those values. It’s no good expecting your people to adhere to company values if leadership is seen to be saying one thing and acting differently.

Like most issues, culture begins at the top. Leadership that isolates themselves and makes no effort to set standards or to understand their people risk not just a bad reputation, but reduced results, high turnover and a toxic culture.

Leadership behavior can never be “do as I say, not as I do”. Leaders’ behaviors, both in and out of work – your communication style and how you handle the ups and downs of business – all affect company culture.

The key responsibility of leadership is to set the purpose, vision and direction of the organization and then connect the people to it. Behaviorally smart leaders know how to do this:

They model behaviors – people watch leaders and imitate what they see.

  • They get to know their people to understand how and where their vision for their lives can align with the vision of the company. In other words, we are all going to be successful in this endeavor.
  • They give every individual a purpose, a reason to come to work, an understanding of the value they bring to the vision.
  • They ensure the workforce is skilled up.
  • They set everyone up for success – building on strengths and managing limitations.
  • They give everyone a voice.
  • They spell out accountability, how it works, its benefits and its measurement.

Culture is a powerful differentiator in business. Reputations can be built and lost in a moment. Culture that is a product of people’s behaviors delivers growth to individuals and to the organization.

As a leader, if you want to know what your people think of your culture – head over to social media. No filters there in terms of people’s thoughts about your culture. And read a definition or two of “corporate culture”, on Wikipedia and elsewhere. It’s important to have that snapshot front of mind.

When both leaders and individuals can look at their group and say, “These are my people”. That’s when culture is healthy.

Next time we’ll talk about implementation: How do you gain the insights to identify talents and behaviors to deliver a healthy culture that leads to the delivery of productive business strategies? Hint: Human performance acceleration via validated behavioral insights applied from the top down.

 

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior