Author Archives: Jocelyn Pick

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5 Ways to utilize a DISC assessment of your employees

Using personality tests during the hiring process has become common practice for many organizations around the world. They’re a great way to assess job candidates, making sure you choose the best fitting candidate for the job. In fact, it’s reported that over 88% of Fortune 500 companies use the MBTI personality assessment in their recruitment process.

But the usage of personality tests shouldn’t stop at the hiring stage. Keeping your employees happy and engaged should be a top priority for your company. By understanding your employees personality traits you can find out what motivates them and learn how to retain top talent.

There are many different ways you can use employee personality tests within your workplace. The DISC personality assessment is a versatile tool for analyzing an employees personality traits, making it an ideal solution for use within your business.

What is the DISC personality assessment?

The DiSC Model Theory, which was developed in 1928 by Dr. William Moulton Marston, provides a basis for us to understand different personality types and, consequently, their favored method of work and communication.

No personality is inherently bad for the workplace. In fact, it’s often poor management and a lack of variety that are detrimental. 

By understanding and incorporating various personality types into your company, you’ll have people whose traits complement each other and thus work well together, you can better manage interpersonal conflicts, and you’ll understand how employees learn best for trainings. 

As a result, you’ll have a better motivated, more satisfied organization and stronger teams.

The DISC Model states there are four personality types: Dominant, Influential (or Inductive), Steady, and Conscientious (or Compliant).

Dominant personalities are generally direct and have an air of inner certainty. They may interrupt, ask focused questions, and have a “tell” style of communication.

Strengths: Confident, determined, loves challenges, focused, influences others. On his/her best day, a dominant personality can be competitive, demanding, determined, strong-willed, and purposeful.

Weaknesses: Poor listener, can come across as arrogant, may push too hard, and doesn’t wait for feedback. On his/her worst day, a dominant personality can be aggressive, controlling, driving, overbearing, and intolerant.

Influential personalities are generally sociable, enthusiastic, and fast-paced. They also smile and gesticulate more.

Strengths: Quick to build relationships, friendly and sociable, adaptable, imaginative, and a skillful presenter. On his/her best day, an influential personality can be dynamic, demonstrative, enthusiastic, and persuasive.

Weaknesses: May lack focus, too casual for some, poor planning, poor follow-up, and can lose interest. On his/her worst day, an influential personality can be excitable, frantic, indiscreet, flamboyant, and hasty.

Steady personalities are generally slow to approach others. They may show hesitation, pause before replying, are slower in speech, and have an “ask” style of communication.

Strengths: Builds deep, long-term relationships, a natural listener, sincere, warm, and present. On his/her best day, a steady personality can be caring, encouraging, sharing, patient, and relaxed.

Weaknesses: Slow to adapt, may lack enthusiasm in asking for a decision, avoids rejection, and takes difficulties personally. On his/her worst day, a steady personality can be docile, bland, plodding, reliant, and stubborn.

Conscientious personalities are generally reserved and business-focused. They show little facial expression, ask detailed questions, and give thoughtful answers.

Strengths: Knowledgeable and detailed, has an air of competence, asks probing questions, and is thorough in following up. On his/her best day, a conscientious personality can be cautious, precise, deliberate, questioning, and formal.

Weaknesses: Initial interactions may be difficult, his/her questions may seem critical and insensitive, overlooks others’ feelings, and focuses on inconsequential details. On his/her worst day, a conscientious personality can be stuffy, indecisive, suspicious, cold, and reserved.

The key to successful communication between these personalities can be summed up in one word: flex.

The leader who can situate him/herself within this framework and learns to flex (that is, adjust their style to the needs of their employees) will notice a drastic improvement in team dynamics.

So, when do you flex? Whenever you notice a breakdown in communication or cooperation among coworkers, change your communication style to fit theirs. You can generally do this by matching their tone of voice and volume, pace, and body language.

But how do you communicate with each personality type? DISC provides the following tip for each one:

  • Dominant – “Give them the bottom line, be brief, focus your discussions narrowly, avoid making generalizations, refrain from repeating yourself, and focus on solutions rather than problems.”
  • Influential – “Share your experiences, allow I-style people time to ask questions and talk, focus on the positives, avoid overloading them with details, and don’t interrupt them.”
  • Steady – “Be personal and amiable, express your interest in them and what you expect from them, take time to provide clarification, be polite, and avoid being confrontational, overly aggressive or rude.”
  • Conscientious – “Focus on facts and details; minimize ‘pep talk’ or emotional language; be patient, persistent and diplomatic.”

5 Ways to use DISC assessments of your employees

1) Use DISC for employee hiring and promotion processes

The DISC assessment is all about people and relationships: how they interact with one another, work together, lead people and sell to customers. Although the DISC profile is not recommended for use during pre-employment screening, it can be used to optimize your hiring and onboarding processes.

The hiring process can be unfair and biased. When hiring for a job vacancy, hiring managers will often suffer from unconscious biases, including biases that make them more drawn to candidates that are similar to themselves. You can overcome this personal bias by understanding your own DISC style.

If, as the hiring manager, you know your own DISC personality style then you will be able to identify when you might have a bias towards someone of the same style or a bias against someone of the opposing style.

By using DISC to understand your existing team, you can also ask questions that will determine how the job applicant would fit into the existing team structure, or to determine how they may interact with others on the team.

2) Use DISC personality profiles to tailor communication

Within your organization, you can also use the DISC personality assessment to tailor your communication with different employees. By developing an understanding of your DISC style and your team members DISC style, you can adapt your communication method to improve communications within your team. As a result, your team will feel valued. Employees who feel valued at work have been reported to perform better in their roles.

If one of your team members has a high Dominance personality type according to their DISC profile, being direct and concise may be the most effective communication style. Meanwhile, an employee with a high Influence score may prefer personable and conversational communication.

Different communication styles work for different people. If you understand your and your team’s personality type, you can improve communication within your company team by informing your team what communication style works best for you and adapting your communication style to suit what works best for them.

3) Improve team productivity and efficiency with DISC

Team productivity and efficiency is imperative for the success of your workplace teams. By understanding the DISC profiles of each individual team member, you can help your team to achieve better results for your business.

Grouping people with different temperaments together could cause issues in your team dynamic, which in turn could impact the work produced by that team. Using the DISC personality assessment will enable you to prevent misunderstandings, miscommunication and personality clashes within your team.

As you understand each team member’s personality and working style, you will be able to determine how well they will work with other team members.

The DISC assessment will also enable you to identify team members that may have clashing personality styles. You will then be able to advise these employees on the best method for working together as a team.

The DISC profile can also be useful when implementing a team structure. Although DISC cannot be used to select leaders, you could use it to find the most effective leadership development and training for your team leaders. The Everything DISC profile for leaders is an effective tool for helping leaders to understand their own leadership behaviors and how they impact the success of their department or team.

4) Use the DISC personality test for employee development

Employees value personal development in the workplace. According to the LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning.

You can use the DISC personality assessment to further your employees’ personal and professional development. The DISC personality test can be used to help employees’ understand themselves and their own personality profile. Once they understand their personality style, you can then help them learn strategies to improve their workplace interactions and performance.

5) Motivate employees based on their DISC profile

Employee engagement should be a priority for your organization. Companies whose employees are truly motivated and engaged in their role are the most likely to succeed. There are more ways to motivate employees than simply through monetary rewards. By understanding each of your employee’s DISC styles, you can customize your motivation processes to help increase employee engagement and job satisfaction levels.

You can use the DISC personality profile to learn the dominant personality traits of your employees. Once you know their dominant trait, you will be able to customize your motivation processes to tap into their specific strengths.

For instance, employees with a dominant Conscientious personality style will be eager to maintain quality and accuracy in their work. Therefore, it may be beneficial to set them goals that they want to achieve based on their personality type.

Employees with a high Influence score may be more likely to be motivated by social recognition, group activities and relationships. These employees, therefore, may react positively to receiving recognition and praise, or being chosen to organize a social event for other team members.

No one motivation campaign will work for all of your employees. That’s why it can be beneficial to develop a deeper understanding of your employees and run motivation campaigns that suit each of the different personality styles identified by the DISC personality profile.

To summarize, the DISC personality assessment can help you nurture your employees and workplace teams, further their development and increase their performance levels. By developing an understanding of your employees personality styles, you will be able to optimize your workplace in numerous ways.


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4 Crucial personality traits for cross-functional teams

While the functions of each of your departments may be inherently distinct, their ultimate goal should be the same. If your company departments do not have consistent goals, you may find your organization struggling to stay afloat as it’s stretched thin across various resources with conflicting aims. The solution? Implement cross-functional teams within your organization.

Cross-functional teams are groups consisting of people with different functional expertise (for example: marketing, sales, supply-chain and finance) working together to achieve the same goal. By bringing people from different departments together your organization can pursue your company goals more effectively. 

In order for you to get the best results out of your cross-functional teams, it is worthwhile considering the impact personality has on team performance. By understanding which personality traits are crucial for the success of cross-functional teams you can set your organization up for a future of success.

What are the advantages of a cross-functional team?

Building a cross-functional team may seem daunting at first. However, the potential advantages make it worthwhile. 

One advantage is that cross-functional teams can result in increased innovation for your business. As individuals with different perspectives and expertise are brought together as one team, their shared knowledge and insights bring new levels of innovation.

Further to this, cross-functional teams can help to improve team relationships which in turn can positively influence employee engagement and job satisfaction levels.The process of cross-functional teamwork will also give your employees the chance to learn new skills from their teammates, build positive team spirit, benefit from diversity and to develop effective leadership skills.

What are crucial personality traits for a cross-functional team?

Good team players will often be described by their personality traits. To help you get the most out of your cross-functional teams, we’ve devised this list of 4 of the most important personality traits needed in order for your cross-functional team to be successful.

Using the Big Five personality model, various researchers have identified key personality traits that are imperative for cross-functional team performance.

The Big Five personality framework consists of 5 overarching personality traits: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience.

When developing a cross-functional team, you should look to include individuals who hold various traits within these personality factors.

Building a group of individuals with different yet complementing personality traits will allow you to create a well-rounded team.

Openness to experience

Within your cross-functional team, it is beneficial to have an individual who scores highly on the “Openness to Experience” factor within the Big Five personality framework. This individual that has a high level of openness to experience could be considered to be the analytic person within your team. 

Team members with high levels of openness to experience are likely to be solutions-oriented, multi-directional and explorative. These factors are beneficial for encouraging team members to be willing to learn and try new things in order to achieve your company goals.

Further to this, research states that teams that are diverse in openness to experience are most likely to have high levels of creativity.  This highlights the importance of having a mix of individuals who have low and moderate levels of openness. 

Agreeableness

An agreeable team is going to be far more successful at working together than a team who doesn’t cooperate with each other. An individual with agreeableness can be described as cooperative, unselfish, reliable and friendly.

The person in your team who is agreeable will likely be the one who helps bring your cross-functional team together by encouraging others to contribute and supporting the unique perspectives of other members in the group.

Research has found that agreeableness is one of the strongest personality predictors of team performance with high agreeableness being indicative of increased team performance.

When building a cross-functional team it would be beneficial to choose individuals who have similar levels of agreeableness. Studies have shown that diversity in agreeableness among teams can increase task and relationship conflict. As a result, this increased conflict could negatively impact team performance and satisfaction levels.

Conscientiousness

When bringing individuals from different departments together, it’s important to be organized. Having someone with high levels of conscientiousness in your cross-functional team could help bring order and organization to the group.

Having high levels of conscientiousness implies an individual is committed to doing a task well. Conscientious people take their responsibilities seriously. Moreover, conscientious people tend to be efficient and organized. 

When compared to the other Big Five personality factors, conscientious employees tend to have higher reported levels of job satisfaction. Therefore, if you want to create a cross-functional team that is happy, it would be advantageous to make sure your team features conscientious individuals.

Extroversion

High levels of extroversion may not be suitable for all departments within your organization. For instance, Sales employees may need a high level of extroversion as their job means they will spend a lot of time in social situations. Meanwhile, your finance employees may not necessarily need to have high levels of extroversion as their job performance doesn’t rely on them being sociable.  

However, having an extroverted individual within your cross-functional team is important for raising team spirit and encouraging the team to achieve their goals. Extroversion can be characterized as being ambitious, sociable, outgoing, high energy, talkative and loud-spoken.

If all of your cross-functional team members are extroverts, it could cause conflicts within the team. On the other hand, research has also found that cross functional team members with low levels of extroversion were less likely to perceive themselves as having a distinctive skill or uniqueness. With this in mind, it may be beneficial for all of your team members to hold a moderate level of extroversion to ensure they are aware of the skills they bring to the team whilst also making sure that they are able to cooperate without conflict.

Other important personality traits for cross-functional teams

These Big Five personality factors were initially developed to understand the relationship between personality dimensions and performance on the job making them a useful metric for analyzing your employee performance.

However, the Big Five personality framework isn’t the only model used to identify different personality types. Outside of the Big Five personality model, there are many other personality frameworks which can be used to identify personality traits that are harmonious with team performance and effectiveness. 

If your team consists of highly-motivated individuals with strong communication and listening skills your team will be far more likely to achieve their goals than a team without these traits. Furthermore, engaging team members who are supportive of one another and do not have conflicting personal goals will also be beneficial to your team performance.


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How to navigate LinkedIn for Business to boost your HR efforts

Social media is everywhere. It’s ingrained in our daily life. In just one minute, 87,500 tweets are sent and 1 million people log into Facebook. But social media isn’t only about connecting with friends and sharing your latest photographs. Social media can also be a valuable resource for businesses. 

With over 675 million active monthly users, LinkedIn can be a powerful platform for both organizations and individuals looking to stand out within their industry. As a HR professional, LinkedIn can play an essential role in many of your daily tasks. In this article, we’ll be exploring all the ways LinkedIn Business can help you boost your HR efforts.

What are the business benefits of using LinkedIn?

LinkedIn offers many benefits for HR professionals, outside of social networking with other professionals. LinkedIn’s standard features can be used to conduct job candidate profile checks, to build your own personal brand, show off your company culture, or expand your network through LinkedIn Groups. 

When recruiting new talent, you can use LinkedIn to perform a quick candidate profile check for job applicants. While we don’t advise basing your hiring decision off this, it can be a useful tool for gaining an insight into an applicant’s previous job history, achievements and current activity. 

LinkedIn can also be beneficial for developing your own personal brand. As a HR professional your online actions may be considered representative of the company you work for. However, it’s also a representation of you as an individual. By ensuring your profile is up to date and that you are sharing valuable information, you can use LinkedIn to showcase your expertise within the HR industry. 

The Human Resources department is usually responsible for ensuring a positive company culture exists within the organization. By working with your marketing department, you can use your company LinkedIn page to showcase your company story, share an insight into what it’s like working for your organization and show off your great company culture. Company pages are a great way to show people how your company goes above and beyond to ensure employee satisfaction.

LinkedIn is, of course, a social network and so it presents a great opportunity to build your professional network. By joining and being active in LinkedIn Groups you can build real-world relationships and connections with other professionals.

The HR benefits of LinkedIn don’t stop there. LinkedIn also has many additional features that can be used to further boost your HR efforts and, in turn, your business success. 

What are LinkedIn Business Solutions?

Business Solutions on LinkedIn provides a hub of different paid-for services offering additional features for LinkedIn. Comprising talent, marketing, sales, and learning solutions, these LinkedIn Business Solutions can be advantageous for HR professionals.

While the standard LinkedIn features can be used to elevate your HR efforts, the LinkedIn Business Solutions will help you gain a competitive advantage against competitors by ensuring you have access to even more insights and features to support your HR activity.

How can you use LinkedIn Business to boost HR efforts?

If you are looking to hire new talent for your organization, LinkedIn Business Solutions can help you further your recruitment efforts with their Talent Solutions. LinkedIn reports that over 90% of LinkedIn members are open to job opportunities. Providing access to such a great pool of candidates, LinkedIn can be invaluable for improving your recruitment process.

With LinkedIn Talent Solutions, you can source talent using the recruiter search platform. The Recruiter platform helps you find, connect with, and manage candidates for job opportunities. You can also speed up the hiring process by using saved searches and candidate alerts. You can also stay up to date when your top candidates update their profile, making sure you’re ready to reach out with a job opportunity at the right time.

Whilst recruiting top talent is an important part of your role as a HR professional, it’s also important that you provide support for your current employees. Research shows that 76% of employees who don’t feel valued at work will seek other job opportunities. Therefore, as a HR professional, it is your duty to ensure employees feel valued at work and, as a result, have higher job satisfaction levels. Further to this, a learning report conducted by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. Knowing employees value learning within the workplace, Learning Solutions by LinkedIn could be an ideal tool for your HR department.

LinkedIn’s Learning Solutions platform contains over 16,000 courses in seven languages so your employees can access the learning materials that are most suited to their career needs. Survey data by LinkedIn found that employees want access to self-directed, independent learning with 74% of employees wanting to learn during their spare time at work. By providing employees with a range of courses that they can undertake at their own pace, LinkedIn Learning Solutions can help you ensure your business is supporting employees by meeting their demand for self-directed learning opportunities.

Finally, you could work with your Marketing department to make sure that your marketing efforts on LinkedIn put your company in the spotlight. By teaming up with the Marketing department, you can use LinkedIn Marketing Solutions to create a variety of social media ads on LinkedIn that highlight your company culture, increase business awareness, and showcase employee engagement and satisfaction levels. Boosting employee engagement through your LinkedIn marketing is a great way to show prospective employees that you are a company that cares. You could create “Work With Us” ads that share existing employee testimonials and show prospective employees what it really means to work for your organization. Alternatively, you could use the Marketing Solutions platform to create ads that highlight your company values and strengthen your corporate reputation.

Final thoughts on boosting HR efforts through LinkedIn

There are many ways you can leverage LinkedIn for Business as a HR professional. Ultimately, you should plan to use LinkedIn as a tool for showcasing your company values, hiring new employees and building out your professional network of peers and partners. You will be able to boost your organization’s HR efforts by making use of LinkedIn’s various tools and features.

 Whilst LinkedIn’s recruitment tools are ideal for helping you connect with top candidates for job vacancies, the learning tools will allow you to nurture and support your existing employees. By considering how LinkedIn can be used to showcase your company values and culture, you will be able to create content on LinkedIn that boosts your HR efforts and reaches your business goals.


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Build Brand Ambassadors: How your team can be your best marketing

It’s no secret that word of mouth marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing you can come by. Satisfied customers sharing their positive experiences will always be viewed as the most genuine message consumers can receive. It’s for this reason almost exclusively that influencer marketing has taken the world by storm. But what about your team?

When your team is highly engaged, productive, and happy at work, they’re more likely to seek out products and services from your company, but they’re also more likely to tell those positive stories to their friends, family, and professional networks. By shifting your focus to recognize team members as your very own, built-in influencers, you can further grow your business by leveraging your team’s strongest suits.

Your employees are connected to ten times more people than your brand, and companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. Can you afford not to be focused on engagement?

Perhaps you’ve noticed the new trend of companies referring to employees as “owners.” In 2016, nearly 10,000 companies in the United States of America had become substantially or wholly employee-owned. This switch has been credited with decreasing employee turnover, increasing company growth, and boosting satisfaction among employees.

While it’s not necessary to offer stock options to employees to reap the benefits of ownership mindset, it is up to leaders to create positive change and a culture of empowerment by recognizing, fostering, and nurturing internal brand ambassadors.

What is a brand ambassador?

A brand ambassador is someone who speaks highly of your business. Today, most people associate brand ambassadors with highly paid celebrities acting as the face of a brand. But, brand ambassadors have traditionally been individuals who are hired by companies to help entrench the brand into the community by leveraging already established networks and market the brand through word-of-mouth tactics.

Since we’re not looking to hire someone as a specific brand ambassador, it’s time to identify your potential brand ambassadors.

Who are your internal brand ambassadors?

To identify potential internal brand ambassadors, look for team members who:

  • Ask questions aimed at discovering new ways they could be more effective or helpful
  • Talk about the brand and may engage with internal branding experts or managers to ensure they’re on the right path
  • Share their thoughts and ideas on how the company could improve
  • Think about your company and/or their role even while they’re not at work
  • Arrive at work each day inspired to do their work and share their thoughts
  • Advocate for the organization online such as by sharing content related to your brand initiatives on their personal social networks

Now that you know who to look for, it’s important to understand how to encourage these qualities in your team on a large scale. As you identify the employees already demonstrating their enthusiasm, curiosity, and engagement, it’s important to support them to help them flourish.

Start with proper on-boarding

From the moment you make a new hire, all efforts should be made to welcome your new team member and engage with them – from the time the offer letter is sent to the time s/he walks through the door on their first day.

  • Make a good first impression
  • Make an excited introduction to the team
  • Create a buddy system so new hires have support through the early days
  • Get feedback
  • Ask about their professional goals

Keep your team in the loop

Your employees can only be as engaged as you let them. For this reason, keeping your team close to the action and ensure they’re informed about the business, how it’s doing, and the ways their work ladders up to the strategic priorities and goals of the organization. One of the simplest ways to do this is to clearly communicate your vision.

How employees can be your best marketing

study on employee activism revealed that, on average, 50% of employees share photos and videos on social media about their work, and a third of them do this with no encouragement from their employer. If your employees are already singing your company’s praises, how can you leverage their networks without being heavy-handed?

The answer is pretty simple: Provide them with the tools and resources that make it easier to promote your brand. Create a Brand Bible, if you will, that clearly explains the vision, mission, and history of your organization. Give your team training on the company’s “elevator pitch”. Make brand promotion part of your corporate culture.

Engaged employees are more likely to refer talent to your organization when openings arise, meaning Human Resources gains access to better talent pools with fewer resources spent. Simply leveraging an employee referral program can help you attract – and retain – the best possible talent!

At the end of the day, the effort to support your team will always be worth it

Fifty years ago, the expectation of working at one company until retirement wasn’t unrealistic but in today’s world, the likelihood of spending one’s career with a single company is low. But that doesn’t mean companies should sit back and watch as people come and go.

By engaging your employees and creating opportunities for them to flourish through Brand Ambassador programs, you can extend the longevity of your employee’s careers within your company along with the enjoyment they get from working with you. Although happy customers will always be your greatest brand ambassadors, happy employees will rapidly close that gap.


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How to nurture self-motivated employees who boost workplace productivity

A motivated workforce can result in a more productive workforce. If your employees aren’t motivated for the work in front of them, it’s likely that they won’t perform to their full potential. As a manager or employer, it is your duty to help nurture employee motivation.

There are two main types of motivation – extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsically motivated individuals will be motivated by external factors and rewards such as a pay rise, commission or paid time off. Meanwhile, intrinsic motivation comes from within. This type of motivation focuses on the personal desire to overcome challenges.

Intrinsic motivators include producing high quality work, building relationships with colleagues or feeling like an integral part of the organization. 

It has been argued that intrinsic motivation is the only type of motivation that leads to success. However, you cannot create self-motivated employees. You can only create an environment that allows self-motivated individuals to achieve their full potential. So, how can you help nurture self-motivated employees in order to boost workplace productivity?

Who are self-motivated employees?

Self-motivated employees look beyond extrinsic rewards of pay rises or bonuses. Instead, their motivators for career success are more psychological. Due to this internal focus, intrinsically motivated employees are focused on the company goals and strive to achieve those goals. Employees driven by intrinsic motivation are able to undertake work without the need for external input, micromanagement or extrinsic reward.

Self-motivated employees are a strategic asset for your organization. If you want to attract and retain highly productive and high-performing employees, you should focus on intrinsic motivators and nurturing self-motivated employees.

Why is motivation important?

There’s a vast number of benefits to having motivated employees from increased productivity to reduced business costs. By understanding the reasoning behind employees’ behavior and actions, and using those results to motivate them, you can improve business performance. 

According to Gallup, unmotivated employees can cost the U.S. between $450 – 550 billion in lost productivity each year. Therefore, learning how to motivate your employees can be fundamental to reducing your costs. Motivated employees will also be more engaged which will result in higher employee retention, productivity and company sales.

Knowing the importance of motivation in the workplace, here are some of the ways you can help nurture self-motivated employees.

How to nurture self-motivated employees

1) Let them have autonomy over their work

As we know, self-motivated employees are driven by internal factors rather than external rewards. A key way to nurture intrinsically motivated employees is to let them have autonomy over their own work.

Autonomy refers to having ownership or independent choice over your own actions. You can provide your employees with a sense of autonomy by letting them have responsibility over their workload, projects and upcoming tasks. If your employees are doing any company training, you may also want to consider self-led learning to let your self-motivated employees have control over their learning progress. 

In order to provide employees with autonomy over their work and nurture their intrinsic motivation, you should also consider allowing self-motivated employees to be involved in their goal-setting. Gallup found that employees whose managers involved them in goal setting were 3.6x more likely than other employees to be engaged in their work.

Providing employees with autonomy could also make them happier within their jobs and increase productivity. If you don’t already let your self-motivated employees have autonomy over their work, it may be time to hand them the reins and let them take control of their output. 

2) Recognize employee achievements

Although self-motivated employees may not be motivated by external rewards like bonuses, that doesn’t mean their achievements should go unnoticed. In fact, when employers recognize their employees achievements and contributions, engagement levels can increase by 60 percent. 

Recognizing an employee’s contributions to the team can provide them with an incentive to continue working hard to produce high quality results. Recognition has been highlighted as one of the main factors in attracting and maintaining talent within an organization.

3) Focus on communication

Communication is potentially one of the most overlooked ways of successfully motivating your work team. Through effective communication, you can nurture self-motivated employees and boost workplace productivity. 

Along with effective communication, it’s also important to have an honest and transparent communication line with your employees. Research suggests that withholding important information from staff could mean the difference between a motivated workforce and an unmotivated one. Whether the news is good or bad, employees will appreciate being kept in the loop as it will help them feel like a valued member of the company. Transparent communication could also improve business performance in terms of focus, engagement, and growing and recruiting talent.

4) Provide opportunities for success and development

As self-motivated individuals are driven by internal and psychological factors, it’s no surprise that offering the opportunity for further professional development can nurture these types of employees. 

Studies have shown that there is a link between self-motivation and professional development. Helping employees feel valued has been shown to have significant effects on their workplace performance. Employees that complete professional training will feel an increased sense of self-worth. This intrinsic motivator is sure to make self-motivated employees feel more engaged within their role and therefore can boost their productivity levels.

Providing employees with training opportunities will also show them that you are a company that cares about their personal development and may positively influence retention rates. A study by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.

How does your organization nurture self-motivated employees?

Now that you know some key ways to nurture self-motivated employees in order to boost workplace productivity and employee retention rates, take time to consider your own processes. Evaluate whether your company is currently nurturing self-motivated employees and think of new ways to support these employees in performing to the best of their ability.


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How to Build a Skills Framework for Your Organization

A skills framework comprises a matrix, mapping skill to roles and tasks inside your organization. Depending on your needs, the skills framework can be a standalone framework or part of a larger, competency framework. In either case, it represents a valuable asset that can guide your organization’s hiring, recruitment, and internal development strategy.

Building one is well worth the investment for most organizations, but if you’re going to do it, it’s important to take the time to do it well. Finally, any skills framework must map to the organization it’s for. While you can purchase a skills framework, you’d want to customize it to your organization’s needs and specific roles.

Defining skills needed across your organization allows you to hire and train for those skills, measure those skills, and determine which other competencies contribute to success in a role.

Start with a Standardized Framework

Most organizations will require the same basic skills or competencies as other organizations. Even if you require fairly heavy customization, buying a standardized framework will likely considerably reduce strain on budget. Most competency frameworks include skills frameworks and role mapping as a matter of course. You can also choose a skills-only framework that simply maps skills to roles, giving HR a good idea of what they need and what hiring managers across their industry are looking for.

Once you have a framework, it’s important to customize it, to make adjustments to your organization’s specific roles, and to ensure that the framework is integrated into performance management, hiring, and training. Popular frameworks include SFIA, OECD, IAEA, and others. In most cases, it’s a good idea to go over options with your talent or assessment provider to ensure you have a good fit.

Measure Work and What is Performed

Chances are, your organization already conducts yearly or even quarterly performance reviews. In this case, you already collect the data you need to see who is doing work and where. Here, it’s important to look at actual production and output, as well as total team performance in terms of creativity, collaboration, etc.

If you don’t have performance review in place or only collect limited data, you likely have to start out by talking to team leads and managers to collect this data.

  • Identify key performers in each role
  • Identify the lowest performers

This step is more important if you’re working towards a competency framework but is valuable for skills as well. A simple DiSC performance analysis can help you fill gaps if you don’t have work data on hand.

Conduct Interviews Across Your Organization

The easiest way to see what people need to perform work is to ask them. For most organizations, this means:

  1. Grouping roles into types
  2. Identifying specific roles across the organization
  3. Prioritizing roles (where do you start, why) (some roles will serve as bases for others, some should be finished sooner for hiring purposes, etc.)

In most cases, the more people you interview for each role, the better your eventual framework will be. Different people see their roles in different lights, use different words to explain their role, and may even take on more aspects of a role than another person.

  • What skills does the person use in their daily work?
  • Which do they use occasionally?
  • How do they rank those skills?
  • How do managers and team leads rank those skills

You can also sit down with a team to discuss roles, including what they see as the most important aspects and skills for that role. Group perspectives can be just as valuable as input from the person actually doing the role, because you learn what others rely on that person to do and why.

You also want to look at:

  • What skills (if any) do people in roles think are missing?
  • What skills do people in leadership think are missing?
  • Are skills in place to meet changing role requirements? Even if those haven’t happened yet?
  • Are roles changing and if so, how much? What input do the people in those roles have?

Eventually you’ll end up with a general list of skills for the role, which you can prioritize based on importance. Prioritization allows you to improve using skills for hiring, because you know what’s necessary and what’s nice to have.

Map Skills to Productivity and Performance

It’s important to pay attention to people who perform well in performance reviews. It’s also important to interview people who perform badly. Why? It allows you to map out skills based on performance so you can see if skills gaps contribute towards performance gaps. In many cases, performance gaps will relate to stress, mental health, and competencies. It’s important to take all these factors into account.

  • What skills, or soft skills, are present in high performers that aren’t present in low performers?
  • What skills gaps exist in the company? Does this relate to performance?

Mapping skills to productivity and performance will help you to determine which skills are important, which aren’t important for the role, and which actively impede performance when they aren’t there.

Here, it’s very helpful to look at people who have been with the organization for a long time who might be in roles that have evolved over time and who might not have the skills needed for the role. You also want to look at people who might have been hired on without necessary skills who either learned (or didn’t) those skills while on the job.

This kind of research will give you a very clear picture of what is impactful on hiring, what needs to be taught to improve performance, and what your strategy should be.

Create Processes to Maintain Your Framework

Once you’ve created your framework, it’s important to establish processes to ensure ongoing maintenance and validation. Chances are, you’re hiring an external team to come in, handle interviews, create a framework, and customize results to your organization. It’s largely not feasible to do so internally, unless HR suddenly has a large amount of free time or you’re willing to bring in freelancers.

In either case, you’ll have to either establish an ongoing relationship with those teams to update work as your organization and technology changes or implement internal processes to ensure that work maintenance is ongoing.

  • Who is responsible for maintaining and updating roles and skills?
  • How does HR find out when technology used in teams changes? E.g., if the organization moves from Ruby on Rails to Python, job descriptions have to change with it.
  • How does HR validate skills? Can skills be mapped to performance during reviews? Can progress be mapped to validate teaching new recruits and existing employees’ skills?
  • Are programs in place to close skills gaps?

If you don’t have internal processes to maintain and validate your skills framework, it will quickly lose value. Most organizations change fairly rapidly with new tools, new roles, and new teams regularly introducing change. HR must be able to keep track, update the skills framework as needs change, and continue to hire for and train for the skills actually needed by the organization.


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The Top 10 Transferable Skills to Look for in Your Next Candidate

Transferable skills are something of a hype, but they can help new hires to navigate roles, to move between roles seamlessly, and to adapt as the organization changes.

Today’s digital organizations are dynamic, constantly changing, and often reorganizing. Not only are roles quickly made and then removed within a decade, but employees are asked to fit versatile roles inside organizations.

Communications teams are often no longer made up of a graphic designer, writer, and editor, but rather three people who do all three equally well, with a bit of specialization in one or the other.

This shift changes how people work. It also changes what they need to succeed in a role. 30 years ago, when most “standardized” job requirements were set, employees were still planning to work 40 years and retire with the gold watch from a single company.

Today, most organizations expect people to stay for shorter periods where individuals will move on or be asked to leave as technology, roles, and department change or the company asks new things that old people cannot provide.

The workaround, is, of course, to hire people who can make those changes with the company, taking on education and adapting to new technologies and new job roles. As long as the qualifications remain the same, the only thing your employees need are a core set of soft skills they can transfer between roles.

Communication

Communication is the most common requested skill on job posts. It helps teams work together, it ensures good listening and speaking skills, and it means people understand conflict resolution. Nearly everyone will say they’re good at communication on their resume. The thing is, most people have no real idea of what good communication is.

Communication is a vague idea encompassing a broad scope of soft skills, all of which are equally as important. You can ask for communication, but it’s important to test and assess for applicable skills. These include emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, verbal communication, and written communication.

Your organization will likely prioritize different aspects of communication depending on work methods, team size, hierarchy, and where people work. Therefore, it’s important to make your own list and assess based on your organization’s long-term needs.

Technological Literacy

It’s easy to look for someone who is certified in one technology or another. But tooling changes. Just because someone is competent at the tools you use now doesn’t mean they will be when you change to a different framework in 3 or 6 years.

Instead, you should look for people who can easily adapt to and learn new technology. This is relatively easy to look for because a) the person exhibits willingness to utilize new tooling as part of an interview, b) already lists multiple tools and types of tools on their resume, c) adapts to and navigates new digital interfaces (such as your digital assessment portal) with relative ease.

Individuals who can confidently approach and learn new software and digital tools will long-term be more cost-effective and more effective inside your organization. This is important whether you’re already planning to switch tooling, think your operating system might upgrade during their tenure, or think your role will change and might require adding on new tools and tasks.

Teamwork

Teamwork is another standard job requirement, and is, again, difficult to test for. Most hiring managers rely on asking about previous experience in teams. Yet, for many teams, teamwork should be about interaction, collaboration, making friends, and connecting with new people.

This is especially important in small, mobile teams, where people frequently have to collaborate with people outside their team, to engage and get to know others quickly, and to move between teams easily. Open office days, where candidates come into the office and you can see how they perform and work in new environments is one great way to test this.

Sharing Feedback

Criticism and feedback are difficult but crucial elements of navigating change, moving between teams, and learning and adapting to new things. Teams should be able to steer the direction of technology and the company by providing insight, feedback, and criticism. This also applies to a one-on-one level, where people need to be able to share feedback in constructive ways in order to build relationships and work together.

Why is this important for navigating change? People need to be able to move into new things critically and with an eye for improvement, rather than simply taking on any new thing. This extends to people, tools, technology, and business products.

Leadership

Not everyone needs to be a creative, thought, or people leader. But most people should exhibit leadership in some way. Leadership, in the sense of being able to connect to and drive or motivate people is one of the most valuable skills in any organization. Many people reflect it in vastly different ways.

For example, some are good at strategy and numerical thinking, others are good at empathy and have a high emotional intelligence, and others are good at getting people onboard to new projects.

Actual team leads need to be good at all of them, but most people should exhibit some of these traits. Why? It helps them to be effective and productive in teams, even when moving between teams, changing roles, and working on their own. It means they can take charge of some aspect of their work and be responsible for it with little to no accountability and they can pass that on to others.

Time and Project Management

Time and project management are must-haves for most modern roles. Top-down management is fading into the past and people are more-often required to be accountable for what they do when and how. This means looking for people who know how to prioritize, who can organize projects, and who can properly manage their time to achieve the things they want in a day.

Good time and project management means that someone will be good at those skills, even when the job they are doing completely changes.

Personal Drive/ Motivation

Personal drive and motivation are essential for navigating changing roles. Someone who goes on autopilot and does the bare minimum every day is going to flounder when change takes place. That person will never actively learn the things they need to succeed in a dynamic work environment. And, they’ll adapt more slowly than motivated colleagues.

Personal drive and motivation usually show up in enthusiasm for the role and work completed, a history of personal development, willingness or eagerness to learn new skills, and someone who sees a new role as an adventure with a new company.

Commercial Awareness

While no employee has to have an in-depth knowledge of their industry, it’s extremely positive if they do. If your employee is moving into a new industry, it’s also difficult to expect them to have more than a basic knowledge of the industry.

However, they should have some knowledge of your company and what they do. People who aren’t interested enough to perform basic research will never be interested enough to follow the industry, to follow changes and trends, or to adapt to those changes and trends as they happen.

Commercial awareness is a positive thing in most roles, because it means the candidate can actively suggest and participate in the change that keeps the company alive.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking, or the ability to analyze concepts and ideas (typically against a standard of quality or rationality), helps employees in most roles. It can help individuals in changing roles because it means they can approach new things and new ideas critically and rationally.

So, when your candidate is shifted into a new team because the one he was onboarded to is downsizing, the new team can hand him an idea and he examines it and learns to understand it.

Critical thinking is a broad term that can be broken into concepts like analysis, asking questions, understanding new concepts, etc. You should define what it means to your organization when prioritizing testing for it in assessments.

Adaptability

How well does your candidate function without routines? How well do they function moving from one tool to another? Can they adapt to new technology, new people, new work methods, new workspaces, quickly? Some people cannot.

While these people won’t necessarily be bad for a role, you wouldn’t want to put them in a small team designed to tackle a 6-month project before dissolving and forming a new team to tackle another project. Adaptability is key to moving with digital changes.

Your organization’s needs, rate of change, and industry will determine how important employee adaptability is. This means transferable skills might be very important in the context of transferability or not at all important.

It’s crucial to assess internal needs and to create a matrix or other prioritization method before hiring. At the same time, many of these skills are transferable because they are, at least partially, learned through experience and training. If people have potential, they can develop those skills.

Once you have someone with these highly transferable skills, you have someone who can easily move to a new role inside your organization when theirs goes away, who can adapt to new tools and new people, and who can succeed in whatever environment they end up in.


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How Team Dynamics Change When You Don’t See Each Other Every Day

Organizations have resisted digitization and the move to flex and remote work for years. Many claim the need for personal contact for collaboration and teamwork. IBM is a clear example, with its 2017 reversal of a flex work policy, citing that employees needed to see each other to collaborate effectively. Others have embraced that change and adopted flex work policies as quickly as those options became available. Organizations like Google, Dell, Humana, and Sodexo all offer flex work. Today, most office-based organizations are forced into it in one way or another. Adapting to that change can be challenging, especially as you begin to notice changes in teams and dynamics.

Flex and remote work can be hugely beneficial to many companies. In fact, Dell reports saving over $34 million in costs since implementing flex work in 2014. Flex and remote work have noticeable and measurable benefits for businesses and their employees. People get more free time, spend less time on commute, and are better able to manage their home and work life together. Organizations see happier, more loyal, and often more productive employees. But, what happens to teams when they don’t see each other every day? And how can you work to improve team dynamics when most employees see each other a few times a week at most?

Distance Creates Isolation

Teams shifting away from working together in a single room and towards working from home face severe challenges with isolation. Here, the largest fear is that teams stop collaborating and talking to each other and instead shift to performing top-down tasks handed to them by managers. Without proper communication tooling in place, this is a valid concern. People need to see each other to communicate and collaborate.

If teams are working from home every day of the week, it’s important to establish standardized lines of communication. Most can benefit from tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams, with individual channels for teams to share and talk to each other. Others may want to use a less traditional approach with Discord or another voice-chat tool, so teams can join in on group calls and literally talk to each other “across the table” like they would when working normally.

Here, cloud tooling is also essential. Teams working together in the same documents, apps, and cloud folders see what the other is doing, can collaborate, and can engage. That’s a far cry from the lone developer coding in his office by himself used as the common picture of the remote worker.

Personal Differences are Less Important

Teams working together in person are much more likely to experience clashes related to personality and ethos. It’s harder to dislike the person who never shuts up in the morning when you’re getting coffee if he’s not there. This can, to some extent, improve how your teams work together.

At the same time, it becomes more important to ensure that teams have the opportunities to build and foster the trust and interdependency required to create strong teams. Some organizations rely on team building exercises to solve these issues. Others allow time and working together on large projects to foster these relationships. And, if teams are moving to remote work from working together in-office, the problem won’t be building trust but maintaining routines and communication.

Problematic Dynamics Become More Evident

Many teams face major issues relating to team dynamics. Leaders want too much control. Everyone wants top down leadership. Everyone follows group consensus. A few people don’t get along. Fostering good leadership and building balanced teams becomes even more critical when those teams lose the ability to collaborate in person.

Solving these issues may require restructuring your teams into smaller, more balanced units. A team analysis report can help you identify issues and move forward. It’s also important to look at leadership methods and their suitability for transitioning to flex work. Remote leaders need high levels of emotional intelligence, flexibility, and ability to delegate not just tasks, but goals.

Teamwork Relies on Standardized Processes, Not Hierarchy

Remote teams are completely reliant on their ability to adopt standardized processes across the team. Flex and remote work teams cannot rely on top down commands from a single team lead because that person may not be available when work is being completed and therefore becomes a bottleneck.

Instead, it’s critical to introduce processes for communication, collaboration, work creation, and work submission. This might mean shifting work to outcome roadmaps rather than feature roadmaps, introducing agile work methods, and organizing all work in a single tool. You need oversight, accountability, and group collaboration to prevent one person from becoming a bottleneck.

  • Where, how, and when does communication happen?  Designate a tool for communication and set times when it’s okay/not okay to message others.
  • How is work done? Does the entire team have a single process? Are processes integrated into tooling?
  • How do teams collaborate? What measures are in place to ensure people are talking and sharing ideas?
  • How is work kept visible across the team? Is everyone working in the cloud?
  • How are work goals and objectives set? Is responsibility and accountability defined?
  • Who’s responsible for each step of work? Are there bottlenecks? Is some work not assigned?

This normally means delivering training, new tooling, and group introductions to standardized processes when switching to remote work. In one 2017 study by Deloitte, only 47% of remote workers surveyed claimed they’d received any sort of training. Yet, 53% of people who did receive training for remote work suggest they’ve actually improved communication and innovation.

What can you do? Implement training sessions for new tools as a baseline. It’s also important for team leads or managers to implement positive feedback. Data shows that teams given several sessions of positive feedback, where they are asked to discuss positive outcomes of their team, new working conditions, and work completed, show increases in positivity, trust, and collaboration.

Setting up weekly sessions to discuss how remote or flex work went, focusing on praise and positive aspects of doing so, and setting positive goals for the next week can be an important part of establishing and reinforcing flex work as a means of improving work.

Remote Work Can Actually Improve Collaboration and Productivity

While modern office trends have pushed towards working together and large, open, creative spaces, these can actually hurt team collaboration and creativity. One study by Harvard shows that open offices decrease focus, overexpose individuals to the people they’re working with, and create feelings of a need for privacy and the ability to work alone.

Giving people time to themselves, such as when working in a remote or home office, reverses this trend. When people do see each other, either over a video call or in person, they’ll be much less over exposed and much more able to work together.

Dell, following a 6-year experiment with flex work, says that 80% of their employees believe they’re actually more productive when they work from home for some or all of the week.

Eventually, remote work can be beneficial for everyone involved. While it forces organizations to create structure with processes, flex work allows employees to take more control over their personal lives and their work. Remote work does require building teams that work together, follow strict processes, and maintain regular communication. However, it also offers freedom, reduced commute, and better work-life balance for many.


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The business guide to sponsored content

The first printed advertisement in the US was published in The Boston News-Letter in 1704. Since then, advertisements have undergone significant transformation. From television adverts to the rise of influencers ads on social media, the nature of advertising is changing as the world becomes growingly digital.

As a result of these changes, traditional advertising methods such as print adverts or website banner advertising are becoming less effective. Instead, people seem to be drawn more to sponsored content, where advertisements look less like a traditional ad and more like natural editorial content. Research has shown that sponsored content that is educational or informational results in increased brand trust when compared to traditional advertising methods.

In this article, we are taking a deep-dive into sponsored content to provide you with a detailed business guide to sponsored content covering everything from what is sponsored content, to where to find it, how to create sponsored content, and how to improve the performance of content.

What is sponsored content?

Sponsored content is a form of advertising where the advertiser pays a publisher to create and distribute promotional content for them. However, the format of sponsored content, or native advertising, differs greatly from traditional advertising methods. While traditional advertisements are easy to spot due to their format, sponsored content will blend in with the natural existing content on the publisher platform.

For example, sponsored content in a print magazine may appear as a sponsored article or editorial-style advertorial that is consistent style to other non-sponsored articles throughout the magazine. However, a traditional print magazine would be easily recognized as a quarter, half or full-page advert that is an image or text advert promoting the brand.

Sponsored content is a popular form of marketing. By integrating sponsored content into your marketing strategy, you can take positive steps towards increasing brand credibility and, in turn, improving consumer feelings of trust. Sponsored content can also add to the user experience by complementing other published content on the platform, rather than disrupting it. Furthermore, sponsored content isn’t restricted to just one format. This allows you to have more flexibility and creativity with your paid media efforts.

Where can sponsored content be featured?

Sponsored content isn’t just limited to print publications such as newspapers and magazines. In fact, sponsored content can be found on almost any type of content platform. Social media, podcasts, magazines, blogs, television shows, and the radio are all examples of platforms that frequently feature sponsored content.

An example of sponsored content on social media would be an Instagram post by a social media influencer that is promoting a particular brand or product. This type of sponsored content will either be part of a paid sponsorship or an agreement between the advertiser and influencer where the advertiser provides a “free” product in exchange for a post.

In podcasts, you may recognize sponsored content when the podcast host talks about a product they have recently been enjoying and shares a discount code for the listener to try the product for themselves. Whilst this is a more obvious example of sponsored content, some types of sponsored content are less easy to recognize. One example of this would be sponsored content on a blog. Sponsored content on blogs will normally be a guest post by the sponsor, or an article that includes links to the advertisers website, or features their products, services, quotes or infographics in their article.

However, it is worth noting that while all sponsored content will feature a brand, not all brand features are sponsored content. It is normal for natural, non-sponsored content to also contain brand or product recommendations, updates or information.

How to spot sponsored content

If you’ve read an article, listened to a podcast, or watched a YouTube video and seen or heard the words “sponsored by”, “paid post”, “affiliated with” or “promoted”, it’s likely that you’re already familiar with sponsored content. These phrases are clear indicators that the content you are consuming is sponsored content.

Newspaper, magazine or blog articles that are sponsored may also be prefaced with the tag of “advertorial” or “sponsored”. Meanwhile, in sponsored social media content by influencers, you may recognize sponsored content by the use of “ad” or “#ad” in the post caption or video title.

However, sometimes it isn’t that easy to tell if the content you’re consuming is part of a paid-for advertisement. Other things to look out for when trying to identify whether something is sponsored content include:

  • Author name – Check whether the article has been written by the company or an employee of the company
  • Links within digital content – Look for links within digital content that direct readers to the brand website or products
  • Product placement within content – Does a product feature in the article, television show or content you’re consuming? If so, this could be part of sponsored content
  • Brand mentions within content – Check if the content includes brand mentions, surveys by the brand, or quotes from the business employees

By being aware of the different elements of sponsored content, you will be more able to identify sponsored content when you’re next reading a magazine, catching up on a podcast, watching a television show or scrolling through social media. Although, it is important to note that organic content can also sometimes include brand mentions and links.

Advice for creating Sponsored Content for your business

Sponsored content can often be better received by consumers than traditional advertisement due to being less intrusive or obnoxious. Therefore, you may want to consider incorporating sponsored advertising into your wider marketing strategy. If you are thinking about creating sponsored content for your business, there are several steps you can take to make sure you get the most out of your paid media.

The first thing you want to do when planning sponsored content as part of your marketing strategy is to make sure that you align with publications, influencers and content platforms that are representative of your brand and target audience. By distributing your sponsored content on platforms that are in-line with your target audience and your brand values, you will be able to increase the authenticity and credibility of your sponsored content.

Although sponsored content may look more natural than traditional advertising, it is still a form of advertising. So, it is still important that you follow Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for online advertising and marketing. These guidelines include advice on how to effectively disclose native adverts so as to not deceive your audience.

You should also make sure that your sponsored content aligns with your wider marketing strategy and campaigns. Establishing a cross-platform marketing strategy is great for building brand awareness. By marketing a single message across several platforms you will also make sure that you are making contact with potential customers at every stage of their buyer journey, allowing you to stay fresh in their mind while strengthening trust and affinity.

When it comes to creating your sponsored content, make sure you create engaging content that captures the audiences’ attention. While you don’t want your content to look like “clickbait” or be intrusive, you don’t want it to stand out enough that people stop to read or watch your content. Take time to think about what headline, visuals or topics your target audience will be interested in and use these insights to drive your sponsored content creation.

Sponsored content isn’t just sponsored articles or in-feed native advertisements. If you are looking to deliver maximum impact with your sponsored advertising, then go beyond written content. As mentioned earlier, sponsored content can be delivered in a wide range of formats and across multiple platforms, such as videos, podcasts, radio and social media. Research states that 78% of podcast listeners approve of podcast sponsorships due to the understanding that those sponsorships fund the content they value. Further to this, many listeners also report finding podcast adverts memorable and motivating.

So, if you are looking to deliver sponsored content for your business, you should first develop a sponsored content strategy. Doing so will ensure you get the best results out of your sponsored content.

How to evaluate Sponsored Content performance

Analyzing the performance of sponsored content can be difficult if you don’t know what to focus on. The performance metrics for sponsored content will vary depending on the method and platform used. For instance, the metrics used to analyze the success of sponsored content in a magazine will differ from the metrics used when analyzing the performance of sponsored content on social media.

Therefore, when delivering sponsored content campaigns, you should first determine what metrics you need to analyze to determine campaign success. If your sponsored content campaign includes distributing content on online publications or blogs, your performance analysis may include a report of the number of backlinks gained and the Domain Authority of those linking sites.

For sponsored content that provides a link through to your website, you may also want to analyze your site traffic and conversions during this period. Using UTM tags for your campaign URLs, unique URLs or discount codes can be a good way to determine which site traffic and conversions have come directly from your sponsored content.

Other metrics that can be important when determining the success of sponsored content, especially across social media platforms, include brand sentiment, likes, engagement rate, follower count and reach.

We’re sure that the popularity of sponsored content will continue to grow. So, if you are looking to build trust and authenticity through your advertisements, you may want to consider using sponsored content within your marketing strategy. However, it is important to make sure you are following FTC guidelines and ensuring that your sponsored content provides value to your target audience.


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5 Most Valuable HR Assessments in 2021

HR assessments are designed to automate and optimize skills, competency, performance, and leadership reviews against existing frameworks and databases. HR is increasingly taking on roles including hiring, employee management, leadership training, employee development, talent retention, talent training, and organizational behavior.

Providing human resources teams with assessments gives those teams the tools they need to perform those roles well, highlighting and choosing the best candidates, making decisions based on a wider pool of available data, and using information to guide decision-making. 

Human resources is the pivotal point between your organization and its people, capable of guiding your organization to a better, brighter future. Good assessments aid in that decision-making, providing insight, answers to questions, and automatic type matches that would be difficult to achieve through human intuition alone.

Today, the HR assessment market is mature enough that you can typically find multiple choices for the same types of assessments, with options to custom-build a solution for your organization. The best also offer customization, with talent and assessment firms delivering personalization based on your organization’s employees and specific needs. This allows nearly any HR assessment to fit your business and provide value. At the same time, it’s important to review options, highlight which have the most added value in your organization, and move forward from there. The following include 5 of the most valuable HR assessments for 2021.

360 Feedback 

Checkpoint and other providers deliver thorough employee assessment, not just from people in charge, but also from peers and employees. 360-Feedback or 360-Degree Feedback assessments typically incorporate self-assessment as well as feedback from everyone who works with an individual to deliver a complete picture of the person’s work environment to HR.

360-Degree assessments are most valuable for organizations with a large number of employees who have worked in a company for 1-5 years. Statistically, accuracy drops when individuals are very new or when other employees might have a bias and be motivated to rate their colleagues very well because they know them very well.

How does it deliver value? 360-Degree feedback scores give HR insight into how someone is doing from every perspective. This can aid in personal and development opportunities, team-matching, and in aligning scoring with competencies such as emotional intelligence and self-awareness. The largest benefit is that it helps you to understand what an employee needs to do more in their team, whether that’s new skills, better communication, or nothing at all.

DiSC

DiSC Profiles assess personality and behavior, aligning individuals with 4 major types (D, I, S, or C). These personalities include:

Dominant – People who emphasize results and tend to achieve them in a confident way 

Influence – Individuals who are communicative and good at relationships and influencing or persuading others 

Steadiness – Dependable individuals who value cooperation and sincerity 

Conscientiousness – Those who value quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency over other goals 

DiSC delivers a range of profile assessments inside this framework, helping HR to match employees to roles, to positions inside a team, and to each other. For example, DiSC personalities allow HR to build teams that are able to get others on board, are able to work in a dependable way, value quality and accuracy, and who still have a leader. DiSC is an essential assessment for good teambuilding. 

Many organizations also see value in improving conflict management by helping individuals to better understand their colleagues, in training and personal development (by delivering goals and training the person’s values), and delivering insight to leadership. This can greatly improve how teams function together by helping you streamline communication and team makeup.

EQ-i 2.0

EQ-i 2.0 is an assessment designed to gauge emotional intelligence and how that person’s emotional intelligence interacts in the workplace. Assessing emotional intelligence can be critical to improving it, which in turn adds value to leadership, communication, teamwork, and learning.

Helping individuals to understand how well they control and understand their own emotions can also motivate them to work on and improve that control. Similarly, helping someone see that they aren’t acting or behaving in an emotionally intelligent way is often strong motivation to boost people into improving.

Emotional intelligence is often considered to be one of the most valuable workplace skills. It contributes to communication, interpersonal relationships, and collaboration. Understanding how people score, where they can improve and what they can improve will only help.

Profile XT

Profile XT assessments integrate into nearly every aspect of hiring, pre-screening, work management, role management, and leadership management. XT assessments essentially function as a minimal compliance framework, gauging behavior, skills, thinking, aptitude, and reasoning with over 20 performance indicators. This assessment eventually allows HR to align hiring, to assess individuals for specific roles, and to match candidates to roles and teams. 

This comes into play long-term for teambuilding, as part of performance management, for personal development, and for leadership and succession planning. Essentially, it’s an easy way to integrate a complete compliance assessment into the organization, providing much of the value of looking at competencies, while remaining very accessible.

ESkill

ESkill is one of the largest pre-employment screening and assessment companies in the world. The organization delivers hundreds of role and subject-based assessments, with modular programs designed to adjust to match the needs of multifaceted roles. ESkill also integrates video and computer assessments, so prospective candidates can take assessments in formats that suit the needs of the provider. 

Skills assessments are a hugely important part of hiring, of long-term development, and in role-matching. They ensure that individuals, even in remote and external roles, can immediately step in and take on roles, can perform to the requirements of the role, and can perform despite or to the qualifications listed on resumes. 

HR assessments offer value for hiring managers, to recruiters, and to teams looking to match ideal candidates. They play a role in team building, conflict resolution, communication, and collaboration. And, they integrate into personal development and succession planning, giving HR insight into their people, what they need, and how to deliver those changes. Hopefully these assessment options give you some idea of where to start when selecting your solutions. 


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