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Engaging Your Employees

Mary Lorenz of? CareerBuilder.com recently published an article focusing on management of employees, “How not to motivate employees: 10 management habits to break now“.

The ten habits that are pointed out in the article are great and include – Don’t assume people understand your reasoning behind decisions; Don’t forget that praise is about them, not you; and, Don’t speak negatively about other team members, their peers or senior management and leaders.

It is important to remember that everybody wants to be recognized for their strengths and in an environment where they can use them. This means leaders need to manage people based on their unique strengths. Further, they need to be emotionally engaged with communication customized to who they are. In the end this will build confidence which is the key to performance and realizing human potential.

Click here to read the article.

What are your thoughts?

A Behavioral Driven Performance Model

While it is a trend to create a diverse team in a workplace, I have found that companies are still using a standard performance model across the board to measure their behaviorally diverse teams performance.

Several months ago I started evaluating consulting company’s performance evaluations. With much dismay I have found that most are using a similar model to the one I was critiqued on, 20+ years ago as an accountant.

A recent development in the DNA line is a behavioral driven performance model. There are two aspects to addressing workplace performance The DNA Way. First: is the natural behavior of an individual. This establishes the natural strengths, struggles and development keys of this an employee. The second element is the Workplace Engagement 360 Report. The 360 Report is generated on an evaluation process where the employee first critiques them self on 75 workplace engagement items, the results are then compared to the perception that others have on his or her engagement, through a confidential data collection process.

Ask yourself this: Would you like your performance measured on your own strengths, struggles and development keys or someone elses?

Managers need to realize that some of their employees will be better at sales, networking or better at analytics than others. Understanding your employees natural behavior first, and then comparing it to their yearly progress with a Workplace Engagement 360 Report is the fair, honest and simple way of measuring your teams success and enhancing your business performance.

Advisors Can Differentiate By Integrating Behavioral Finance Strategies

Recently, Merrill Lynch and Capgemini have issued a very important research study which demonstrates how much investors confidence has been eroded by the turbulent markets. Investors are still very wary of the future.? Click Here to read the article.
The article points out that the following:

  1. Investors want a more active relationship with their advisors, including a deeper understanding of their investments and how they are aligned to their goals, based on their actual risk profile.
  2. Many investors are being driven by their emotions when making investment decisions which is increasing the need for advisors to engage in greater dialogue with their clients.
  3. Clients are now demanding fundamental changes in how they are served, and are favoring firms which can understand both their emotional and intellectual needs. This is increasing the need for advisors to incorporate a behavioral finance approach towards portfolio management. Advisors need to be able to incorporate the emotional factors into stronger portfolio management and risk management capabilities. A behavioral finance approach of this nature can be a big differentiator among firms.

This research is very consistent with other research, such as from Gallup, which demonstrates the need to emotionally engage with clients at a much deeper level. This is the new “behavioral economy”.

Dream Bigger Than You Can Think

In recent times I have done a lot of talking about your “success impediments”. What is getting in your way to success? A lot of the time it is our own mind. We allow negative thinking to get in the way. This will be true at any time particularly when times are tough and we are fearful. Or it will happen because we have limited experience or a lack of confidence. However, we should never let the big thoughts go away. These big ideas could be a genuine opportunity that is being thrown your way. To start growing you need to firstly not throw the idea away. At least write it down in a journal or talk to a friend or associate about it. You never know what they too have been thinking or how they will provide you with another thought or idea which will liberate your thinking.

To grow you must think big. In my own case, whenever I have taken a big step or pursued a big idea it is because I have taken that dream and not allowed myself to get in the way. I am doing something right now in our DNA business with an idea which I would never have thought possible. Interestingly, the idea came to me on how we could use technology differently and within weeks I have seen futurists talk about this as the future and industry specialists talk about these types of delivery concepts. While I have the vision, I can also see from those around me who have the talents to implement it. So, I will not be the barrier.

Sure, thinking big takes courage but we can all do it if we want to. What dreams or big ideas do you have that could change your life? Would you be a fool to let them go?

The Big Question

Last week I participated in a learning program for fast growth businesses conducted by Verne Harnish (founder of Gazelles, Inc) who is world renowned as “The Growth Guy”. Verne has run training workshops for and coached many great entrepreneurs all over the world. He has a very straightforward approach to helping an entrepreneur stay focused.

After listening to Verne for a while, and I have been in his workshops before, it became very clear to me that the Big Question we need to ask ourselves is: What is your success impediment? That is, what is getting in the way of your success? I believe we can continuously ask ourselves this question in every area of our life, at whatever stage we are at. In many instances, it is “you”. So, the question becomes what are you going to do to get out of your own way? Are you self-aware of what is in the way? A lot of this is about your DNA. A lot of the time, we are not aware of what our natural blind spots are which are a core part of our behavior. Ultimately, people succeed or fail because of their behavior. Taking this further into a business or a family, the behaviors of the team or family member will also be important.

This is why coaching is very important. If you are an entrepreneur, Verne will certainly endorse that a coach is critical to your success in business. The same is true in life generally – a good life coach can really help your quality of life. If the coach starts by asking the big question every time then your feet will truly be held to the fire and the right focus will come.

Uncovering Human Behavior Risks

Generally in business, and particularly in financial services, people associate risk with the markets or economy. What we fail to drill down into are the risks caused by human behavior. Another way of looking at this is to consider how people handle the market risks. What decisions do they make? What solutions do they come up with? How do they manage their emotions? How do they communicate?

In essence, the market risks can be managed or exacerbated by human behavior. So, what needs to be better understood is how your people are going to handle market and economic risks that may be impacting your business. This will be particularly important when they are under pressure. What are their blind spots? What are your blind spots? Then, how will you manage your people so the risks are better managed?

Through our Financial DNA profiles we are able to reliably predict how people will behave and therefore the risks they may cause. Will they take too many chances? Will they be too impatient? Are they too independent and not accountable? We have found that the profiles are able to provide great insights into the true behavior of people when they are under pressure. Having this information can help you put in place the right management controls and also to provide the individuals with more self-awareness of how they will make decisions which could cause or exacerbate market risks. There is no doubt a large part of the success or failure of businesses in the long term comes down to being aware of and managing human behavior. You only have to look at some of the major corporate and banking disasters to see this.

So how aware are you of the risks that your people could be causing to the future of your business?