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Team leaders all want their teams to perform better. Yet, in our swiftly changing work environment, traditional methods such as goal setting, feedback, and consistent employee and team check-ins often fail to meet performance improvement aspirations. Research from recent decades has shown that team leaders can dramatically improve performance, employee engagement, and wellbeing by emphasizing positive aspects and capitalizing on team members’ strengths—a finding corroborated by my own experiences with leaders across various levels, industries, and geographies. However, a significant challenge remains – determining the most effective strategies to cultivate a positive team environment. Here are five proven strategies that can fundamentally transform team performance and engagement:

Share successes

Start team meetings by inviting members to share their recent successes and the insights they’ve gained from progress toward their goals. This sets a positive tone and establishes a norm of celebrating progress and learning. When team members hear about the accomplishments of their peers and see them celebrated, it motivates them to strive harder for their own successes. Celebrating achievements can also enhance morale, confidence, and a strong sense of team unity. It creates moments of joy and pride that reinforce a sense of progress and a virtuous cycle of shared learning, motivation, and success. This enhances overall productivity, positivity and problem-solving in the workplace.

Amplify strengths

The best leaders excel at unlocking people’s potential, often helping them achieve what seemed impossible. This begins with fostering self-awareness of their natural talents and exploring ways to enhance and utilize these talents to meet their goals. Research, alongside our extensive experience, reveals that many individuals are unaware of their full potential, largely due to an emphasis on deficits and weaknesses in education, workplaces, and society. By employing a scientifically validated tool like TalentPredix, leaders can assist employees in identifying and maximizing their strengths. When leaders consistently highlight and nurture these talents, and empower individuals to leverage them, increases in productivity, retention, and motivation inevitably follow.

Promote deeper connections

Leaders can foster positive emotions such as happiness, fulfilment, fun, and a sense of belonging by promoting deeper connections and a strong team identity. This can be achieved by encouraging team members to collaborate on projects and tasks, allowing them to build trust and get to know each other better. Additionally, there are other straightforward yet impactful methods to enhance connections and foster positive emotions, including:

Acknowledge and recognize good work  

Workplace recognition is one of the most underutilized performance tools among team leaders. Tailored recognition not only motivates employees and fosters positive progress, but also makes them feel appreciated for their contributions. According to Gallup, employees who feel underappreciated are twice as likely to consider quitting within the next year. Recognizing employees’ efforts and achievements doesn’t have to be expensive. Cost-effective methods include verbal praise, emails, or handwritten “thank you” cards; vouchers for meals, events, or online shopping; public acknowledgment through awards, certificates, or commendations; offering extra days off, like a long weekend; or assigning special projects that align with their interests.

Empower people and establish safe communication channels

Enabling people to make decisions about their work, ways of working and opportunities for improvement promotes a sense of ownership, creativity problem-solving and stronger morale. This leads to higher employee engagement, effort, and performance. However, to produce these positive results, empowerment must be accompanied by an open and safe environment, where people feel they can speak up, express concerns, and offer suggestions in a positive atmosphere without fear of negative repercussions or blowback.

When leaders commit to strategies that foster happiness and positive emotions, they significantly enhance commitment, collaboration, and productivity. Leaders who focus on positivity are more likely to develop highly motivated, peak-performing teams and attract and retain top talent. This creates a virtuous cycle of success, propelling teams to continually reach higher levels of performance. In today’s dynamic and challenging environment, positive leadership offers a substantial and lasting competitive advantage.

To find out more about our award-winning strengths-based leadership assessment, training, and development solutions, including our innovative Leading Strong Teams program, contact us at info@talentpredix.com.

In the dynamic world of technology, leaders are often admired for their sharp intellect and commercial acumen, navigating the complexities of products, markets, and emerging technologies with great skill. Yet, amidst this cerebral landscape, there’s a critical dimension that’s often overlooked: the importance of emotional and social intelligence.

Although we have worked globally with tech companies of various sizes with outstanding leaders and work cultures such as Salesforce, Samsara and Xpedition, and SoftwareOne, too many tech companies and leaders still often fall short in cultivating a human-centric work environment conducive to unleashing the full potential of their teams. The repercussions of such neglect can be significant, from heightened turnover rates and diminished morale to tarnished reputations. Recent years have witnessed a slew of tech companies grappling with allegations of toxic work cultures and practices, highlighting the pressing need for their leaders to embrace emotional and social intelligence.

At its core, emotional intelligence encompasses the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, a skill set championed by experts like Daniel Goleman. It encompasses self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, social skills, and empathy — pillars essential for fostering trust, navigating complex social dynamics, and fostering an inclusive environment.

While cognitive abilities have long been prioritized in talent acquisition and development, research underscores the vital importance of emotional and social intelligence in predicting long-term success. Thus, the imperative for tech leaders to recalibrate their approach and integrate these dimensions into their leadership ethos is undeniable.

So, how can tech leaders cultivate and amplify their emotional and social intelligence to propel their companies towards success?

Foster Self-Awareness: Cultivating self-awareness among leaders and managers forms the bedrock of emotional intelligence. Instituting mechanisms for regular feedback loops, such as 360-degree leadership surveys, learning reviews/retrospectives and workforce surveys, cultivates a culture of self-improvement and continuous growth.

Prioritize Emotional and Social Intelligence in Hiring: Beyond technical acumen and experience, recruitment processes should scrutinize candidates’ emotional and social intelligence. Incorporating personality and strengths assessments together with behavioural interviews offers deeper insights into candidates’ talent and agility for navigating complex emotional and social situations.

Empower Through Vision: Empowerment transcends mere rhetoric when leaders articulate a compelling vision while granting autonomy in execution. Clear direction coupled with freedom in approach fosters a sense of ownership, fuelling better engagement, collaboration, and self-mastery.

Embrace Constructive Challenge: Effective decision-making thrives on dissenting voices and robust debate. Leaders must cultivate an inclusive culture where every perspective is valued, fostering an environment conducive to innovation and problem-solving.

Amplify the Positives: By focusing on people’s strengths, fostering a culture of empowerment and solutions, and consistently recognizing successes and progress, leaders can enhance morale, performance, and employees’ well-being. This approach enables everyone to contribute their best selves to the workplace.

Invest in Workforce Wellbeing: Recognizing that resilience is nurtured, not innate, leaders must prioritize the holistic wellbeing of their workforce. Demonstrating empathy and offering support during challenging times fosters a culture of trust and resilience, integral to sustained performance.

In a landscape defined by rapid change and relentless competition, the true mark of leadership lies not only in technological prowess but in the cultivation of emotional and social acumen. By embracing these dimensions, tech leaders can foster environments where innovation thrives, teams flourish, and businesses achieve excellence.

For decades, knowledge and expertise have been revered as the cornerstone of success in business and society at large. Knowledgeable leaders and skilled knowledge workers were heralded as the architects of progress, with educational credentials and learned experience serving as badges of honour. Yet, as we navigate the landscape of the digital era, the traditional notion of knowledge as power is undergoing a seismic shift, with profound implications for leaders across industries.

While expertise remains a formidable source of influence, its dominance is being challenged by several emerging trends, each reshaping the complexion of leadership in the digital age:

Ubiquitous Access to Knowledge: The democratisation of knowledge is well underway, fuelled by the proliferation of digital platforms and the vast reservoir of information available online. Younger generations rely more on peer-to-peer networks and readily accessible online sources than on traditional authority figures for insights and information. The sharp rise in AI-enabled machines will only expedite the pace of this change.

Erosion of Trust in Established Wisdom: A growing scepticism towards established wisdom and expert opinion is pervasive, evidenced by the declining trust in expert advice and leaders in business and society. The declining influence of experts during the Brexit referendum and more recently, in the growing global climate emergency, are striking examples of this. Trust in authority figures and traditional sources of knowledge is waning, as individuals seek alternative sources of information and insight.

The Ascendancy of Insight: In the digital age, insight supplants knowledge as the currency of influence. Unlike knowledge, which is static and transactional, insight embodies a deeper understanding of dynamic contexts and the ability to extract meaning from data and collective wisdom. Powered by big data, social networks, and machine learning, insight transcends individual expertise, heralding a new era of collective intelligence.

Considering these transformative forces, leaders must adapt their approach to remain relevant and influential:

Champion Learning and Insight: Leaders often fall into the trap of overlying on their knowledge and expertise, the so-called “illusion of expertise” bias. This is very common among leaders and managers, especially those who are less experienced and have been promoted largely because of their technical expertise and skills. Rather, leaders must cultivate a culture of continuous learning and insight within and beyond their teams. By creating a “let’s figure this out together” collaborative problem-solving approach to complex challenges and problems and empowering teams to access diverse sources of information and creativity, leaders can accelerate the generation of actionable insights.

Embrace Digital Technologies: Embracing digital technologies and AI is imperative for leaders seeking to harness the power of intelligent insights. By leveraging breakthroughs in computing power and automation, organizations can unlock new avenues for collaboration, innovation, and delivery of new value to customers and society.

Cultivate Debate and Diversity of Thought: Effective decision-making hinges on diverse perspectives and open debate. Leaders must foster an environment where dissent is welcomed, and internal insights are valued as highly as established expertise. By nurturing a culture of openness and inclusivity, leaders can elevate problem-solving, innovation, and overall organizational performance.

In an era defined by rapid technological advancement and unprecedented access to information, leadership is no longer synonymous with expertise alone. By embracing human and digital insights and cultivating a culture of empowerment and continuous learning, leaders can navigate the complexities of the digital age with confidence and foresight.

A positive mindset paves the way for success and peak performance. It will also leave you feeling happier and more satisfied with your life. This has been well established through decades of research which shows that when people work with a positive mindset, performance on key metrics like productivity, creativity and engagement improves. Neuropsychologists have also found that a positive mindset enables better problem-solving through enabling better use of the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher level, complex thinking tasks.  

There are also countless testimonials from many of the most successful business leaders like Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Peter Jones, Warren Buffet and Jeff Weiner about the power of building and maintaining a positive mindset.  

A positive mindset involves a lot more than simply being upbeat and optimistic, a ‘glass half full’ type of person. There are 5 main elements: 

  1. A clear, inspiring purpose – a personal ‘true north’ to guide how you will bring value to others and your organization. Without this, it is extremely difficult to remain positive and motivated. 
  1. A high level of self-efficacy – an inner confidence in your abilities and strengths. You must believe you have what it takes to achieve your goals.  
  1. A solutions-focused problem-solving approach – a tendency to look for solutions and opportunities rather than seeing problems as threats and getting consumed by pessimism and anxiety. 
  1. A positive view of others – trusting co-workers and others around you, including valuing different perspectives and believing those you work with have positive intent and strengths that can help you succeed. 
  1. A growth mindset – being curious and open-minded about learning opportunities and willing to overcome limiting fears to test to upper limits of your potential.    

So, here are some of the ways you can strengthen your mindset and become someone who thinks like a winner: 

  1. Take responsibility for your mindset 

 Don’t allow yourself to become a victim to negative thinking and adverse circumstances otherwise you’ll enter a vicious cycle of low self-confidence, pessimism, helplessness and eventually depression. We can all learn from Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, who pointed out in his bestselling book, Man’s Search for Meaning

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  

  1. Build your career around your strengths 

Your personal strengths are those underlying qualities that naturally energize you, not just skills you have learned or competencies you’re good at. What do you love to do that you could do every day without getting bored? For example, some managers are energized by being strategic and creative while others are more organized and detail oriented. The areas where your strengths and skills overlap are what we call your “sweet spots”, they are areas where you have opportunity to make the greatest contribution and impact at work. Studies show that when people discover their strengths and find ways to use these more fully in their day-to-day work, they are more likely to enjoy work, perform better and achieve success in their careers. 

  1. Challenge your limiting beliefs and self-doubt  

Recognise and write down the negative, limiting things you say to yourself. Treat these as if they were being said by an external person who wants to make you miserable. Dispute or argue against these points as if you were disputing something someone has said which is unfair or unjustified. Try reframing these negative statements as positive, empowering ones. Write these down and look at them every morning before work and whenever you are experiencing episodes of self-doubt or anxiety. Over time, your negative narratives will be replaced with more positive ones.  

  1. Avoid comparing yourself with others 

Always comparing yourself to others (especially those you consider as highly successfully) is counterproductive and will probably only make you miserable in the long run. Happiness and success are highly subjective and often very private so unless you can see inside the person’s brain, you will never know how happy and successfully they really feel.  

Spend time undertaking work and leisure activities that make you feel more fulfilled and genuinely happy rather than activities and interests you see others you admire doing.   

  1. Build high-trust, positive relationships  

People are seen as likeable when they are kind and trustworthy, have a good sense of humour, offer unsolicited support and help, practice regular gratitude and don’t take themselves too seriously. Displaying these behaviours will enable you to initiate and build relationships with co-workers and other people around you who impact your happiness and success. Even if you are by nature a more negative, suspicious or pessimistic person, spending regular time with people who are happy, resilient and optimistic will eventually result in a positive shift in your mindset, energy and effectiveness.    

  1. Treat failure as a learning opportunity  

If something doesn’t work the first time, try it again and do it differently. Rather than allowing failure to undermine your energy and confidence, treat it as one of your most respected teachers. Remember that almost every successful business person fails on multiple occasions. The best often stand out because of their ability to dust themselves down and move beyond these setbacks, rather than allowing themselves to be defined by them.   

  1. Notice the good things  

Many people keep themselves so busy at work and home that they don’t take time to slow down and notice the good moments and things in life. For example, we often fail to spot our co-workers doing great work or a friend or partner making a special effort on our behalf. Many even fail to notice and celebrate their own learning, progress and professional achievements. They simply move on to the next thing and lose a valuable opportunity to enjoy the viewing points in their overhasty quest to climb the ‘mountain’. By taking time to notice and appreciate these moments, however small, we will enhance our positive thinking as well as the joy and satisfaction of those around us. 

  1. Don’t try to be positive all the time 

Negative thoughts (I’ve never liked this misleading label) are perfectly normal and healthy so don’t push these thoughts and feelings aside when they arise. Emotions like being sad when you are grieving or being angry or disappointed when someone lets you down are usually helpful responses that motivate us to action to improve our work, lives and relationships. So don’t suppress or deny these feelings without first acknowledging and understanding them. Asking yourself whether they will improve your work, life and relationships is a simple test to decide on how you wish to deal with them.  

TalentPredix offers bespoke consulting and coaching solutions to help you and your team build the right mindset for success in today’s ever-changing world of work. Contact us to learn more at info@talentpredix.com or visit our website to learn more.  

Many leaders I meet have mixed feelings when they get to the top. Initially they feel excited, energized and confident about the challenges ahead. However, within weeks or months they end up feeling isolated, lonely and anxious in their new role. These feelings are sometimes compounded by what psychologists call the “impostor syndrome” which arises when people experience self-doubt and feelings of not being up to the demands of the job.  

Leaders need to acknowledge and tackle these feelings before they undermine their effectiveness, but many don’t know where to start. Here are 4 steps leaders can take to combat doubts and fears arising from a move into a more senior role.  

  1. Talk about it 

The biggest mistake leaders make is to think they’re the only ones who feel self-doubt or that it is associated with a flawed or weak character. This causes leaders to clam up and keep it a secret, hoping it will go away. However, openly discussing these feelings with others is the first step in combatting its effects on you and winning back control over these negative emotions. Although it is typically unwise to generalize behaviours across genders, my experience suggests that men are often less likely to open up easily about feelings they associate with weakness or vulnerability as this runs contrary to the “tough guy” mental model they’ve learned during their formative years. 

  1. Build support  

The most effective leaders seek out assistance from a coach, mentor, trusted colleague and/or family member they can open up and be honest with. A good development partner will listen and provide non-judgemental support and advice, enabling you to boost your inner voice of possibility and silence your voices of self-doubt and criticism. It makes sense to have several of these champions and partners as they often play different and complementary roles and can contribute different insights and skills to help you.      

  1. Involve your team 

One of the biggest pitfalls of leaders is to try to do everything themselves and to overlook the talents and ideas of their team and broader workforce. Many leaders become highly controlling and rarely delegate genuine responsibility to others. This overstretches them and results in heightened anxiety and self-doubt, creating a vicious spiral of declining mental capacity, well-being and confidence.  

While leaders can often get away with using an autocratic style for a while, it is a poor choice to deal with most of today’s complex challenges as these benefit from open, honest conversations and participative problem-solving involving the full range of team members’ skills, ideas and experience.    

  1. Build positive beliefs 

The words that you use and beliefs you hold will influence the way you view the world and how you choose to interact with it. So, the more positive your beliefs and internal narrative, the more likely it is you will interact with people and problems more positively. 

To build a more positive mindset, it is crucial you leverage your strengths, values and goals, as well as deliberately seeking out and highlighting what’s working well in your company and team.  

By leveraging and accentuating these positive, enabling forces, you will be able to combat and silence some of the ‘gaps’ and negative forces, providing you with a greater sense of control and confidence over your environment.  However, it is important to remember that there is no quick fix. By remaining focused and patient, you will begin to see the smaller changes snowball into bigger achievements and your feelings of confidence and strength will grow.  

TalentPredix offers leadership transition and onboarding coaching solutions to help newly appointed executives adjust to the new role and responsibilities quickly so they can ramp up productivity and achieve excellent results. Contact us for more at info@talentpredix.com or visit our website 

Most of us have experienced times when we lose our mojo at work. We drag ourselves into work and battle through the day, waiting for the workday to end. Fortunately for most of us this doesn’t happen every day but some people stay in this motivational void for too long.  

Here are some steps to help you get out of this unhelpful place: 

  1. Clarify the source of your demotivation  

What’s causing you to be demotivated? It is something at work like your boss or growing boredom with the job? Does it stem from problems at home? Or are the underlying reasons something else like a poor diet and lack of exercise?  

  1. Identify whether you have the power to change things  

Can you change the source of your demotivation and if so, what action will help you change things? Most of the time, we have a lot more influence and control over events than we realise, especially if we call on the help of others when we are struggling. Think broadly and creatively how you can take back control of the situation.  

  1. Refocus your attention on the positives  

When we lose our mojo, we tend to generalise our dissatisfaction and forget all the positive stuff that’s happening. We get into a negative spiral of despair and unhappiness. Take time to remember what’s going well. What were your recent achievements and successes? What did you do well to achieve these results? 

  1. Find solutions and act 

Find solutions to take back control of your situation and regain your mojo. Be courageous and decisive, don’t live with the demotivation. Call on the help of people at work and your friends and family to recover your mojo. Remember that the longer that you stick with a broken mojo, the harder it is to fix as you’ll start becoming consumed by a sense of helplessness. So act now and always remember that it’s your choice to change things for the better. 

TalentPredix provides bespoke solutions to help you build a thriving place to work where your people show up motivated to succeed. Contact us for more: info@talentpredix.com 

We hear a great deal from HR and top management clients about the need for greater self-management among employees and we strongly agree, it is indeed crucial for peak performance. By self-management we mean the willingness and skill to proactively manage yourself and your own performance. Effective self-management includes: 

Self-awareness: building awareness of your aspirations, values, strengths and weaker areas/blockers through soliciting feedback, reflecting on progress and maintaining a growth mindset;   

Self-motivation: taking ownership of one’s performance and working out the best pathways to goal accomplishment, including accountability for achieving high standards;   

Self-regulation: understanding and managing your emotions effectively so they don’t become toxic and undermine relationships and your performance; and  

Self-improvement: engaging in continuous learning and adaptation, including learning from mistakes and successes and stretching yourself to move outside your comfort zone to learn new, better ways of doing things.  

Self-management is important for effective performance, however, is by itself insufficient to drive enduring peak performance. Great, self-managing people don’t just become great on their own; there are two other vital performance ingredients that need to be in place that are often overlooked by organizations: 

Supportive team leadership  

Team leaders who are supportive are encouragers and coaches who enable people to be at their best by believing in them and removing blockers and barriers to effective performance. Rather than managing by fear, they make people feel important and valued by listening to and empathizing with them, taking their opinions and any concerns into account. They also challenge them to set stretching goals and provide encouragement and recognition to help them progress. However, they also support them when inevitable mistakes and setbacks arise, helping them overcome and learn from these.    

A great company culture 

Even with highly self-managing people and great first line managers, companies can still lose their best people and fail to create a motivating performance culture if top management and the environment are toxic and drain people’s energy and motivation. Top management in the best performing companies sets an inspiring and meaningful purpose people can easily identify with, ideally one that goes beyond profits and products and inspires people to work hard to make a difference by positively impacting their customers and society.  

Leaders in these companies invest in building a great company culture characterized by open communication and candour (including constructive criticism of top management), learning from mistakes, appreciation of diverse styles and opinions, regular updates on progress and recognition of outstanding accomplishments. Thriving cultures are human-centred, compassionate, and energizing. They create conditions for employees to build strong connections within and outside the team, collaborate regularly, develop their skills, progress their career and improve their overall sense of wellbeing.       

If you want peak performance from people, don’t simply encourage them to self-manage and leave them to it. Ensure your team leaders are trained, equipped, and rewarded for providing excellent support and building a thriving, motivating culture that inspires and unlocks excellence. 

Lead strong teams that have the motivation and capability to achieve sustainable success and thrive in their careers with TalentPredix coaching solutions. Contact us to learn more: info@talentpredix.com  

Major changes like Covid, digital transformation and the growing environmental emergency are disrupting traditional business models and creating huge impetus for transformation and innovation. To succeed, today’s organizations need to be highly adaptive and constantly innovate to keep pace with disruptive forces and changing customer preferences. 

Yet too many companies still stifle the ideas and creativity of their employees. They straitjacket people with directive leadership and rigid policies, processes, and procedures, smothering the voice and imagination of their people. The results are predictable. Motivation, teamwork, and innovation nosedive, followed by declines in customer loyalty and financial results. 

To succeed and compete in this new era of disruption and innovation, organizations need to learn how to harness employees’ incredible creative potential, as innovation is a distinctly human endeavour. The world’s most innovative companies systematically devise ways to promote a culture of collaboration, creativity, and innovation. Here’s how you can do the same by putting these principles at the heart of your organization’s people strategy: 

Develop creative thinking capabilities  

Creative and imaginative thinking involves intentionally expanding our thinking to find new and useful ideas and solutions to overcome problems, accelerate innovation and enable the organization to achieve its goals. Studies show that it is one of the most important competencies for leaders and teams to possess to be effective. In future, it is likely to become even more important because of growing rates of change and disruptive innovation. Just like emotional intelligence, it is also extremely difficult for AI and intelligent machines to perform creative problem-solving as effectively as humans.   

But creative thinking is not natural for most employees, as it is not taught at school or even by most universities. Organizations seeking higher rates of innovation should therefore invest in training their staff in creative and collaborative thinking methods, ensuring people have the skills, tools, and techniques to unlock the power of cognitive diversity and people’s collective ideas. Through developing creative thinking skills like learner mindset, powerful questioning, reframing, divergent thinking and cognitive diversity, organizations will promote a culture that encourages curiosity, experimentation, and innovation.   

Build teams comprised of diverse strengths and styles 

At innovative companies like Google, LVMH, Apple, Unilever and Salesforce, employees are encouraged to express their individuality and apply their unique strengths, imagination, and know-how to achieve their own goals and those of the wider business. Employees in these companies are not expected to be well-rounded. They are empowered to optimize their strengths and work with diverse team members that complement them.  By building highly inclusive and cognitively diverse teams, these companies unlock ideas, creative problem-solving and improved rates of innovation. They also become ‘talent magnets’ for the most talented people who seek organizations that provide opportunities for them to shape decisions and the future of the business.   

Build a connected, team-based organization where ideas and knowledge flow freely   

Innovative organizations create opportunities for people from different parts of the business to connect and work together in mixed teams that span diverse functions and business areas. A growing number of innovative and dynamic businesses are organized into natural teams that assemble to deliver specific projects or products then disband once the project outcome or product is delivered. This way of organizing work is a natural evolution of the popular matrix structures found in many innovative organizations.

However, the big difference is that functional lines of reporting are looser or even non-existent. Work is organised by team leaders and highly empowered teams and people are assigned to teams based on their experience, performance track record, and strengths. Innovative organizations also promote informal and frequent connections among employees by enabling people to socialise and have fun together, both in physical and online environments. Enabling employees to spend such time together builds trust, improves collaboration, and accelerates knowledge flows. This provides more opportunities for employees to discuss and refine ideas, as well as a chance to share insights, and better practices.      

Promote psychologically safe workplaces  

Many organizations are now promoting psychological safety as a fundamental pillar or their people strategy. This is crucial as people need to feel they are in a safe and supportive environment that appreciates them and values their input and contribution.  

However, there is another compelling business reason to pursue a culture where psychological safety becomes the norm. To succeed in today’s ever-changing environment, organizations are going to need to accelerate creative thinking and innovation. The only way to do this is to ensure everyone feels they can openly and honestly voice their ideas and opinions, no matter how controversial or challenging these are.  

Encourage ideas and experimentation 

Employers often unintentionally cultivate risk averse and conservative cultures through centralising decision-making and stifling the creativity of people at lower levels in the organization. They create a fear culture by discouraging risk-taking, initiative, and direct challenge of top management. In innovative organizations like Gore, Meta and 3M, employees are actively encouraged to engage in creative problem-solving, hackathons and experiments to improve products, processes, and practices. Leaders in these companies recognise that tolerating mistakes is required to accelerate progress and achieve breakthrough innovation. They encourage and reward employees for coming up with great ideas to improve the business and its products, creating greater value for customers and other stakeholders. They also empower people to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone and embrace curiosity, agility, and continuous learning.      

Today’s organizations need to be able to adapt quickly and innovate in the face of fast-changing conditions. Leaders and teams who can anticipate, innovate, and adapt faster will enable the business to gain a clear competitive advantage over rivals. They will also be able to attract and retain the best talent, as the most talented people look for employers that value and leverage their ideas and full potential. By implementing these five principles organizations can accelerate creative thinking and unlock the extraordinary creative potential of their people.  

We offer design thinking and creative problem-solving workshops for leaders and teams. Contact us at info@talentpredix.com for more information.

Understanding Others is crucial at every level of the organization, particularly for leaders and managers seeking to enhance their own and their teams’ performance. When being used optimally (what we refer to as “In the Zone”), behaviours associated with this strength include taking the time to listen to colleagues to understand things from their point of view, giving emotional space to understand how your people are feeling and stepping in to help others when they are upset, overwhelmed or emotionally low.  

However, when used too much or in the wrong way (what we refer to as “Overuse or In-excess”) excess, Understanding Others may result in some of the following behaviours: 

 
However, there are a variety of techniques that highly empathetic leaders and employees can apply to avoid these risks, such as: 

Separating emotions and personal life from work  

This is not to say that leaders should embody indifference at work. Instead, they should take care to boundary their personal time and mental energy so that they do not get overinvolved in others’ problems. If they don’t do this, their tendency to identify too much with others’ emotions and provide support to others when they are in distress or experiencing challenges at work or in their personal life may end up being detrimental to their own work, mental health and personal happiness. In extreme cases, it can also result in an unhealthy relationship of dependency that can prevent people from becoming more self-sufficient, confident, and resilient.  

Set clear guidelines and expectations – and enforce them 

As mentioned earlier, some may take advantage of the leader’s/person’s warm and compassionate nature and inclination to help. This may result in them find opportunities to offload unwanted work inappropriately or abusing the leader’s warm-hearted and understanding nature. To avoid this, leaders should clearly communicate role responsibilities and ensure people are held accountable to what has been agreed and subsequently delegated. If it is apparent that a team member is struggling with their workload, the leader should show empathy and understanding in helping the person to improve, particularly where these challenges are caused by genuine personal challenges outside work (e.g., major illness in the family). However, while reasonable allowances can be made, the leader needs to remain firm about what needs to be delivered and offer only reasonable assistance to address any shortfalls.  

Don’t constantly try to rescue others  

Whilst compassionate and understand leaders typically have good intentions by stepping in to try and help others, they often end up doing more harm than good. Check in with your direct reports and colleagues whether they need help before stepping in to rescue them. If they do need help, provide advice and guidance of where to find the best support (e.g., through the HR function, GP practice, professional counselling services) rather than always trying to provide this yourself.   

Understanding others is essential for leaders and managers to enhance performance and build strong, positive relationships at work. However, it should be balanced to avoid emotional exhaustion, dependency, and interference. By setting boundaries, establishing clear expectations, and providing support when truly needed, empathetic leaders can create a thriving work environment that fosters self-sufficiency, self-confidence, and success. 

To find out how we can help your organization avoid using overused talents to help your employees to thrive in their career, contact us at info@talentpredix.com.  

A manager has many responsibilities, one of which is keeping their team engaged and motivated at work. Unfortunately, the economic slowdown and threat of a recession make this harder on managers, while also negatively impacting employee morale, leading to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates. This has been amplified by The Great Resignation, where employees are willingly leaving their jobs to pursue other opportunities because in the past few years, the demand for talent has grown and now exceeds supply in many occupational areas like software development, B2B sales and leadership. Current data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) predicts that one in five of UK workers will seek other employment options this year. More recent research from Unum UK, an employee benefits provider, found that 19% of workers plan to look for a new position in 2023.  

However, the outlook for employers is not all bleak as recent trends show the rise of Boomerang Employees. The World Economic Forum defines this phenomenon as “staff who leave their jobs but choose to return at a later point when the stress passes or priorities shift”. Data shows that 1 in 5 people who have quit their jobs during the pandemic have gone back to the job that they have left. This suggests that employees are realizing that the grass is not always greener on the other side, and the demotivating factor/s that caused them to leave in the first place are being tackled more swiftly by employers who are keen to war for the best talent. For example, many companies that previously had no flexible work policies are implementing these to remain competitive in an increasingly ‘hot’ talent market.  

There are a number of steps managers can take to keep employee engagement and morale up during times of uncertainty, and create a culture that employees will not want to leave, but also are more inclined to return to if they do resign: 

  1. Be transparent and communicate frequently – During times of uncertainty, employees want regular updates and transparency from their managers. Make sure you communicate openly and honestly with your team about the state of the company, any upcoming changes, and how they may be affected. This can help alleviate anxiety and prevent rumors from spreading. 
  1. Show empathy and support – Layoffs and the threat of recession can take a toll on employees’ mental health and wellbeing. As a manager, it’s essential to show empathy and support to your team during this time. Listen to their concerns, offer resources, and support, and encourage them to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. 
  1. Provide opportunities for development and growth – Even in challenging times, employees want to feel like they are progressing in their careers. Provide opportunities for learning and development, such as training sessions, coaching or mentorship programs. This can help employees feel more engaged and invested in their work, especiallyduring tough times. 
  1. Recognize and reward accomplishments – During a time of layoffs and recession, it’s easy for employees to feel like their work doesn’t matter and isn’t appreciated. As a manager, try to recognize and reward accomplishments and effort, no matter how small This can help boost morale and reinforce the value of your employees’ contributions. 
  1. Foster a positive culture and team spirit – Finally, it’s essential to foster a positive culture and team spirit during tough times. Encourage teamwork, celebrate wins together, and prioritize team-building activities. Promote strengths-based work practices so people can spend more time at work doing activities that really energize them and align with their career goals. This can help create a sense of unity and support within your team, even when times are tough. 

Implementing simple, actionable ways to keep employees engaged during the economic slowdown will not only improve performance, motivation and retention, but former employees may even boomerang back onto your team.  

As a leader in strengths-based assessment, development and coaching, TalentPredix can help you boost employee engagement, performance and retention. Contact us to learn more.