Author Archives: papeditor

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HR Challenges in a global workforce

This is a guest post from Sheetal Kamble, content analyst of the Technology Counter. Sheetal likes to simplify complex HR and payroll processes. Her forte is in employee engagement initiatives and how to choose the best HR software to suit your business.

Organizations today are a part of a global village with evolving technology. There is a vast paradigm shift in the way we work, interact, and perceive.  It pushes the HR department to expand its horizons to acquire the best talent.

It is a challenge to manage a global workforce. It is essential to have a strategic plan to manage talent, mobility, and cultural diversity. According to the world economic forum’s warning, we are entering an era of unparalleled talent scarcity.

Organizations today not only need to hire, sustain, and retain talent, but they need to be flexible enough to set up where the best talent is available with the best price. In this blog, we will study in-depth the HR challenges of this global village.

Top challenges with a global workforce

Effective Communication

It is a challenge to work closely within the team when your teams are across the globe. To handle the virtual workforce is quite a big task to accomplish. There is a big difference between physical office spaces and virtual office spaces. Teams have to put extra efforts to maintain a professional relation virtual and make sure the communication is effective.

Managing Talent Diversity

When your organization has a presence at different places, the cultures also differ. Due to globalization, the workforce has become more diverse. Human resource leaders face a challenge when dealing with a heterogeneous team. Having a diverse workforce will have implications for management.

Managers should understand the differences between in-office and remote resources and make decisions accordingly. HR managers should implement practices that unite the workforce to enhance creativity, productivity, and efficiency.

Managing the workforce effectively with HR software will help organizations have transparency, better communication, and positive work culture.

Abiding by Local Laws

Legal implications harm your organization’s brand image and also can incur high costs when ignored. Many labor laws change with state and country boundaries. The organization must ensure that they abide by the local laws and regulations. If the company breaks any rules, it may need to stop operations in that area.

Talent Gaps

One of the biggest challenges of the HR department is to attract, hire, develop, and retain employees that have the skillset to execute a skilled job. It is an additional challenge to find someone that is skilled who knows the local and international market.

The HR teams need to acquaint themselves with immigration laws to hire resources from other countries. HR software solutions reduce the gap between the talent and the talent system.

Conflicts of Interest

When your organization has a global presence, integration of different markets will be a challenge. The local market also changes and differs from state to state. When it comes to the world market, resources belonging to different nations will have their interest that impacts your business goals.

Challenges for HR Managers

1) Adapting to Change

Organizations are adapting to the transformation of the global village. The technology is also evolving, which comes out as a challenge to adapt and implement change. All your workforce must acquaint with the changes as well.

2) Work Culture and Environment

When your business is on the path of expansion, it will acquire and merge with different people, governments, and businesses. During all of this hustle and bustle, it is a challenge to concentrate on setting up a high work culture and sustain a positive work environment.

3) Setting up the Right Ethics and Values

Ethics and value play a fundamental role in business success. Having a diverse workforce gets people from different backgrounds together. It is a challenge to align your workforce with your organization’s goals. The best way they can achieve this is to set the best practices to increase longevity.

4) Maintaining a Low Attrition Rate

Any organization invests a lot of time and money to hire and train the right people that are fit for the job. Globalization has increased the number of opportunities in the market. Resources change for better opportunities or financial growth. The organization will have to start again from scratch to hire and train. It is a big challenge for HR managers to keep a low attrition rate.

5) Work-life Balance

Having a balance in professional and personal life is crucial for happiness and stability. HR managers have a huge responsibility to create a perfect balance between work and personal life. Perfect balance helps to boost productivity and retention rate.

6) Stress and Conflict

Globalization has fueled competitiveness and made things faster. It also has increased the number of working hours, higher targets, and competition. It is the responsibility of the HR department to reduce stress and solve conflicts if any arise. It is a challenge for them to keep the tension and conflicts between the teams minimum.

7) Needed Organization Restructures

The world is moving at high pace organizations need to adapt to the pace and restructure the workforce effectively. It is a challenge for managers to restructure their processes.

How to Overcome the HR Challenges of a Global Workforce

 Mentor Programs

Mentor programs are one of the most effective ways to manage a diverse workforce. Business leaders can choose managers from different departments for the mentor program to train and give feedback to employees from different backgrounds.

Strategic Deployment of Talent

More organizations are entering the global market. That increases the necessity of strategic deployment of diverse talents to analyze and succeed in niche markets. Be sure to allocate a good spread of talent across all your departments, so every pod has the experts they need to keep things running smoothly.

Analyze the Results

An HR manager needs to regularly assess issues like payroll, development, and work environment. It benefits to understand their longevity and growth. It also helps to understand the changes required in the work process.

Motivated Workforce

Workforce motivation is a critical key to success. It helps inspire your workforce to achieve business goals. If your team is content, that can motivate them to be overachievers.

Tip: Ensure motivated employees by making sure they’re placed in the right roles.

Monetary Benefits

Monetary benefits can motivate employees like nothing else. Organizations should appreciate the top performers and reward them gifts, incentives, vouchers, and travel internationally to other offices to learn more about them.

Wrapping it up

HR manager roles should evolve with the global expansion of the business. To manage a global workforce, they need to lead and strategize an effective action plan. HR departments are becoming more flexible and resilient to overcome challenges.

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How to Trim the Fat on Your Resume: 5 Common Inclusions You Can Cut

This is a guest post from Lee Anna Carrillo, a community manager at Resumoo. A resume writing service, and career resource database.

The number of job seekers in the world has grown dramatically in the past few months. If you’re one of them, you should know that the resume format preferred by employers has changed significantly over the years.

Nowadays, knowing what to leave out of your resume is just as crucial as knowing what to include. Some traditional resume inclusions have become redundant or altogether unappealing for those who need to read them. Leaving them out could make or break your success when it comes to applying for your next professional position.

Here are 5 common resume inclusions that your curriculum vitae no longer needs to impress prospective employers.

5 Things to edit from your resume

1: Your Photograph

Unless you live and work outside of the USA, you generally don’t need to add a photograph of yourself to your resume. This may seem counter-intuitive, as most job seekers think that prospective employers would want to know what they look like. If this is the case, they can easily view your photos on your LinkedIn profile or your social media pages. Just ensure that the pictures you do have on these platforms are of good quality and look professional!

There are a few exceptions to this rule that you should be aware of. If you work in a ‘visual career’ such as design, marketing or illustration, you might have a graphically designed resume that includes photographs of yourself. If you do a lot of public speaking, training or consulting work and wish to include a picture, you can add it to a one-page professional bio that you’ll submit alongside your original resume.

2: Your Objectives

Writing experts believe that profiles have just about replaced the objectives section in modern resumes. This section once informed readers about what the job seeker wanted out of their position.

An example would be someone who’s “Seeking a position with a progressive company who will utilize [their] talents as a public relations expert.”

Today, companies are instead seeking information about who you are, and what you can bring to their corporate table. Profiles are now written around your personal brand and value proposition to show off your professional expertise. They also include a couple of bulleted statements listing your major accomplishments. This will assist employers in determining if you’re the right fit for a given position.

3: The High School You Attended

It’s no longer necessary to mention your grade school in your CV. Most professionals have far more to show in terms of their education by way of university degrees, doctorates, masters, diplomas, and ongoing development certifications. Listing your high school, even if it was a prestigious institution, is redundant in most employers’ eyes.

4: The Salary You Are Aiming For

Most job candidates will ask about salaries at some point during their interviews. It’s natural to want to know about the remuneration you’ll receive for a position, and your employers should always be forthcoming with this information when it’s requested.

However, if you include the kind of salary you wish to receive in your resume, you might be screened out by recruiters and hiring managers, rather than being considered for a job. If your requested salary is at odds with what the company had in mind, they may deem you too expensive, or not experienced enough for the position.

If you include a salary on your resume, it compromises your ability to negotiate better wages later in the interviewing process.

5: ‘References Available on Request’

Older resume formats always included this phrase, but nowadays, it’s no longer necessary. In fact, there’s actually an unwritten rule among employers that if you’re a strong candidate for a position, you’ll provide references without being prompted.

The statement ‘references available on request’ is very dated, and using it may make your CV seem outdated or stuffy as a result. It also takes up valuable space on your resume that you could fill with information about your skills, expertise and accomplishments.

In most cases, if an employer is interested in checking on your references, they’ll ask for them. Ensure that you have at least two or three contactable references who will provide positive reviews of your past duties and roles.

Additional Tips for Trimming Your Resume

Your resume is a reflection of your personal and professional capabilities. It should be as perfect as possible if you wish to impress the companies and individuals you submit it to.

Here are a few additional tips for creating a streamlined and professional CV.

Check for and remove spelling errors and grammatical mistakes

Spell check and proofread your resume thoroughly before submitting it; typos and spelling errors can look very unprofessional! If you need assistance, hire an editor or resume writer to assist you.

Nix unnecessary information

Your CV should only span one or two pages, unless you are applying for a specific position that requires more detail. Remove redundant details and instead focus on highlights wherever you can.

Use formatting techniques like short paragraphs and bullet points

This makes your resume brief, concise, and easy for prospective employers to read and understand. Long and cluttered submissions will usually be screened out immediately, as most employers simply don’t have the time to read them.

Leave out your personal data

You don’t need to add any personal details other than your name and contact information. Remove or omit mentions of your social security number or identification number, age, date of birth, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliations, or the names and ages of your spouse and children. It’s unlawful for employers to make decisions based on this information.

Cut unrelated skills, hobbies and work experience

The purpose of your resume is to inform employers of whether or not you can effectively fill the position they are offering. Any information you offer that does not pertain to this role is unnecessary.

By cutting the clutter, you’ll become a far more attractive candidate to recruiters and potential employers. These tips are designed to help streamline your resume and make you stand out above other applicants seeking the same position.

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Microlearning: How to learn effectively during a global pandemic

This is a guest post from Hayley Biggs, marketing coordinator at Ocasta. Ocasta is an employee-focused technology agency and their mission is to transform how people work. They’ve helped the likes of Virgin Media, Next and Tesco Mobile with their employee knowledge platform.

Microlearning isn’t just a nice thing to have, it should be a crucial element of your eLearning strategy, especially during a pandemic. A global pandemic can put an incredible strain on your employee’s attention span, ability to concentrate and the amount of time that they actually have available to train and develop their knowledge.

Below, we are going to list the main benefits of using a microlearning platform during the pandemic and why it is so much more effective than other learning methods out there.

Easy access and flexible nature

The recent pandemic has tipped normal working and training routines on their head. In fact, a survey by Arlo found that 40% of people have deferred or cancelled face to face training sessions and 58% of employees are still working from home. With this in mind, it’s crucial that you offer training which is easy to access and easy to start and stop.

Microlearning has been so popular because employees can jump in and out of learning modules when they have time. Unlike traditional learning management systems, employees don’t have to completely finish a module before they can progress, they can complete half and then come back to it at a later time. Perfect for when urgent work comes up or home commitments get in the way of them moving to the end of their training playlist. These modules are short in length and are usually around 3-5 minutes long making them incredibly easy to fit around an employee’s busy work schedule. Flexibility is paramount during a global crisis because nobody knows what’s around the corner or what the next day may bring.

Improved knowledge retention during a time when concentration levels are low

During a global pandemic, people’s minds struggle to focus on single tasks. They are constantly being bombarded with new and scary information which makes it very difficult to concentrate. Dr Amy Arnsten – a professor of Neuroscience and psychology at Yale University explains that the pandemic has resulted in us cutting off the part of our brain that helps us think beyond the primitive – for extended periods of time. This has meant that our ability to focus is significantly affected which is why it’s essential to choose a learning method that doesn’t overload the brain.

Microlearning content is delivered in small bite-sized chunks which are targeted around highly-focused units of information. These bite-sized chunks are crucial for knowledge retention because the brain can only hold up to seven items at a time in the short-term memory space, microlearning helps the brain remember the information and then eventually transfer it to the long-term memory space. Because learning is only 3-5 minutes long it also means that employees can learn at the point of need. This makes learning much more focused and succinct making employees more likely to remember the knowledge which they have learnt.

Microlearning boosts morale during a global pandemic

During a global pandemic, moods can be low and self-esteem can be down due to lack of social contact, too much or too little work and a change in normal working routines. Traditional learning management systems work by taking employees through a long set of questions and then giving them their final score no matter how good or bad it is. If the score is low, it will deplete the employee’s self-confidence making them feel like they are no good at training and deterring them from wanting to do it again.

Microlearning breaks this negative cycle by giving the learner instant scoring, they’ll be able to see what answers they have gotten correct as they go. It will also reinforce knowledge through repetition so the learner won’t be able to complete the training module until they have got all the questions right. This helps to keep them motivated and makes them feel more knowledgeable and confident about the topic at hand. They will be sent encouraging messages and nudges after every short module which sends their motivation levels soaring.

Tip: Create your own microlearning courses with LearnED, which comes with pre-made courses and assessments.

Microlearning is agile and moves with the speed of the pandemic

The global pandemic has been a steep learning curve for everyone, especially businesses. The constantly changing rules and regulations have been a nightmare for business owners who need to try and keep their staff knowledgeable and informed about the new regulations. This can be exceptionally hard to do when your employees are already busy trying to get on with their day to day tasks.

Microlearning has been so well received during the global pandemic because of its ability to speed up learning. If you have a new cleaning procedure which you need staff to follow you can simply send out a learning playlists under five minutes long and you know that it will be completed on the day or in the same week.

Most importantly, you know that the key information will be embedded in your employee’s mind so the chances of them forgetting your new procedure will be highly unlikely. The other benefit is that a microlearning platform is exceptionally quick to deploy. The pandemic has resulted in 94% of L&D professionals having to change their L&D strategy with their being a major and urgent swing to digital learning. Because of this quick turnaround, it’s been crucial to deploy a learning platform which is quick and easy to use. Microlearning requires minimal training because it is usually mobile-friendly and thus has to be exceptionally simple in it’s design. It’s quick, easy and prides itself on being effortless to pick up and use immediately.

If you are serious about strengthening employee knowledge and are struggling to build up a consistent training routine in these uncertain times then microlearning could be the answer to your prayers.

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How to use emotional and social intelligence coaching to become a great leader

Leadership development has increasingly become a priority as organizations look internally for new leaders, as organizations turn to flatter hierarchies and more people must step up to be leaders, and quality leadership is increasingly linked to improved team performance. Good leaders have to manage teams, regulate emotions, communicate with different types of people, and motivate others through quality and tactful leadership.

Emotional and social intelligence are not the only skills leaders must have, but businesses have recognized their importance since Daniel Goleman coined the term in the 90s. Understanding what emotional intelligence is, how to coach it, and where it impacts business results will help your organization to recognize and develop better leaders.

This article utilizes the Emotional and Social Intelligence Leadership Competency Model developed by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis. This model defines emotional and social intelligence based on their abilities to recognize, understand, and use social and emotional information.


Most people would say they are self-aware. Most people would be wrong. In fact 95% of people answer surveys claiming to be self-aware. Yet, only 10-15% can answer questions in ways that show they actually are. Research by psychologist Tascha Eurich shows that lack of self-awareness in team members and leaders decreases motivation, increases stress, and reduces work productivity.

Fostering self-awareness is difficult, largely because it depends on the ego (sense of self), humility, and the ability to step away from idealizing the self or self-delusion. This means recognizing strengths and weaknesses, recognize how your emotions and actions impact team productivity, and gain real insight into what you are doing and why.

Coaching this behavior typically involves asking leaders to journal, use emotional journaling, to schedule sessions for reflection, and to discuss responses and behavior with their peers.

A good leader should be able to:

  • Step back and acknowledge they took the wrong action (and correct it)
  • Admit they are wrong to their team
  • Acknowledge their weaknesses and make plans to improve or correct them
  • Acknowledge learning is an ongoing process and they will never be done

When a leader practices self-awareness, they make themselves vulnerable to their team, show they are willing to learn, and build trust with their team.


Self-regulation is a critical skill for any leader because it will affect how they are respected, team motivation, team happiness, and culture. Self-regulation is about staying in control of emotions, so that they do not respond with anger, verbally abuse others, stereotype others, make emotional decisions, make decisions out of stress, or otherwise lose emotional control in professional settings.

Some people link self-regulation with maintaining a positive outlook, but it’s more often about remaining calm and waiting to react until they’ve had time to think and review options and information.

Many people will simply respond to things. This can result in very bad reactions and responses. A few angry words can completely demoralize a team, cause someone to quit, end a project. A few well considered words can achieve the opposite.

Coaching leaders into self-regulation can pay off in more ways than once. While this can be difficult because it depends on where the individual is starting from good coaching often incorporates:

  • Considering Values – What are the individual’s values? Why do they value them? How do they uphold them? What’s important and why not? Asking people to actively think about their values and their code of ethics will get them to think about how their behavior aligns with their values, which can help a coach to teach skills they need.
  • Accountability – Good leaders have to take accountability for their own actions. If they can’t control a quick outburst, it’s important to immediately recognize this was problematic and to apologize for it. Taking responsibility for lack of self-regulation is a critical skill, and it is one that can be taught.
  • Calming Down – Skills like mindfulness are increasingly linked to emotional regulation, because it entails staying calm and living in the moment. Breathing exercises, meditation, and exercises centered on learning to let go of stress and stressful situations can be helpful. In most cases, the most important step is to coach individuals to a point where their first reaction to a stressful situation is to step back and take a deep breath and then respond after thinking about the situation.

Having leaders who can intelligently step back and make good and emotionally regulated decisions, even in situations that might normally result in anger, will increase team trust, team motivation, and the team’s ability to have conversations.

Social Awareness

Social awareness, or empathy, is critical for any leader who wants to navigate the emotional and social needs of her team. Social awareness is the simple ability to understand what another is going through or likely going through, to make decisions based on that person’s likely emotional state, and to consider the emotional repercussions of actions when making decisions.

Leaders who strive to understand the emotions of their team are better able to build trust, motivate others, respond in ways that encourage loyalty, and in ways that drive engagement. Building these skills is about constantly working to understand how other people work and why, which often means understanding different personalities, understanding how emotions impact people, and being able to empathize with others. Studies by DDI show that empathy is the number one skill needed by leaders.

Coaching empathy is often about recognizing where and how individuals struggle to connect to others. It can mean asking questions about how another person might be feeling, about what their life at home might be like, and about what factors are being influenced in someone’s lives. It typically often involves teaching hard skills like perspective, body language, and responding to feelings.

Leaders must feel they have the freedom to respect emotions if they are to make decisions based on the emotional needs of their teams. So, if you want leaders to respond emotionally to their team, you need policies enabling flex work, loose deadlines, and structures built around personal freedom and creativity rather than rigid hierarchy and task lists.

Relationship Management

Team leaders manage teams. A large part of that means managing interpersonal relationships inside that team, between the leader and individuals and between individuals. Good leaders listen empathetically, are open to hearing bad news, know how to get a team to support ideas, can resolve conflicts diplomatically, strive for improvement, and work to ensure everyone speaks up and is heard.

Good relationship management will build trust inside the team, but can also actively impact productivity through reducing wasted time on conflicts, increase job satisfaction, and reduce churn rate.

Coaching for positive relationship management includes teaching conflict resolution, helping leaders to review how they resolved conflicts and improve those reactions, improve communication skills, and learn to offer positive and negative criticism. Leaders must be able to recognize emotions in others and discuss them, which does start with doing so in themselves.

Good leadership means building a solid understanding of empathy and how social and emotional factors affect decisions, health, and productivity. People who understand how others interact and feel are able to make good decisions around those people, incorporating those aspects into decisions, and taking everyone into account. This will have a positive impact on team trust, team satisfaction, and productivity.

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4 Essential Personality Tests for Strategic Recruitment

It’s likely your company will already have screening measures in place when hiring new candidates.

Screening for factors such as work history, educational background, drug use and criminal background are routine recruitment practice across many organizations.

But what about personality? How does your company ensure the candidate your hiring is the best fit the role, your business and the wider company team? By using personality tests during recruitment, you can strategically ensure that you are hiring the best possible candidate for the role.

Benefits of using personality tests for recruitment

There can be many advantages to using personality tests during your hiring process. In today’s competitive market, personality tests can help you narrow down the candidate pool before they even reach the in-person interview stage.

At the interview stage, personality tests can help the interviewer ask questions that delve deeper into the skills and behaviors demonstrated in the personality assessment results. This allows the interview to gauge a deeper understanding of the applicant and whether they would be a suitable fit for the team, role and organization.

When interviewing candidates, it’s important to ensure you don’t get blindsided by their charm or the initial impression they’ve made. Although a candidate may make a great first impression in the interview, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right person for the job. Using personality tests alongside your existing recruitment strategy offers a more rounded and accurate representation of the candidates personality, competencies and working style. All of which will help eliminate any biases created by those first impressions upon meeting the candidate.

Personality tests you need to use in recruitment

There’s an array of personality tests available to choose from. So many in fact that it can be hard knowing which personality test is the right one to use in your recruitment process. To help you get the most out of personality tests for hiring, we’ve evaluated the most popular personality tests for recruitment and devised this list of the four essential personality tests for strategic recruitment. Measuring a variety of candidate metrics, these personality tests can be used together or in isolation to ensure you choose the most suitable candidate. By using these tests to understand the personality and emotional intelligence of your chosen candidate you can help set them up for success in their new career.

Myers Briggs

One of the most widely known and used personality tests is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment. This personality assessment has helped millions of people worldwide gain insights about themselves and how they interact with others. Used by over 88% of Fortune 500 companies, the MBTI assessment can be described as the go-to framework for people development across the world.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator assessment comprises 16 different personality types based upon Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type. The MBTI assessment is a great indicator of cultural fit. Understandings from this personality test can help HR employees to manage personal development, support team and leadership training, diffuse workplace conflicts and evaluate career change, and transitions.

It’s important to note that the Myers Briggs personality test shouldn’t be used as an indicator of performance. Instead, it should be used to inform decisions about whether or not the applicant would be a good cultural fit for the company and the team.

DISC profile

The DISC profile has far fewer personality traits that the Myers Briggs personality test; four to be precise. These 4 personality traits are reflected in the name of the personality test which is an acronym for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. The Everything DISC profile is a shorter and more user friendly version of the DISC personality assessment making it great for use during the interview stage of the hiring process.

The DISC personality test is great for measuring a job applicant’s temperament. However, DISC is ipsative which means it isn’t possible to compare candidate results to one-another. Without the ability to compare test takers’ scores, the test can’t be used to predict future behavior. Instead, DISC should be used to review the potential strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

Profile XT®

If you’re looking for a pre-employment screening test that is multi-purpose, the Profile XT assessment is exactly what you need. Covering pre-employment screening, selection, development, training, managing, and succession planning, this personality test is an all-encompassing assessment for evaluating the suitability of job candidates.

This employee assessment measures how well an individual fits specific jobs in your organization, and the results can be used during the training or succession planning stages. The Profile XT is customizable allowing you to alter the test to suit your company requirements.

Thanks to its extensive nature, including 20 performance indicators, behavioural traits, interests, aptitude, thinking and reasoning, the Profile XT assessment can be used for candidate matching. As a result, you are able to compare candidates, deduce how well suited each of them are to the role, and find the best-matched candidate for that specific job.

California Psychological Inventory

During the hiring process, it can be difficult to determine how a candidate will handle workplace challenges, relationships and tasks. Understanding a candidate’s competencies and, in particular, how they may react under certain circumstances is crucial for confidently evaluating whether they’ll be successful in the role they’re applying for.

The California Psychological Inventory (CPI) can help remove the guesswork around candidate competencies. This personality assessment offers feedback on work-related characteristics such as sociability, conceptual understanding, and independence. By assessing these characteristics, the CPI can forecast how candidates may react under specific circumstances.

Role-specific personality tests

When hiring for a specific role, you may find that there are role-specific personality tests that you can use to determine candidate suitability.

The Profiles Sales Assessment can be used to measure how well an applicant fits a Sales role so that you can optimize your company sales performance. For customer service roles, you can use the Customer Service Profile to see whether an applicant has the right behavioral characteristics to provide outstanding customer service. Moreover, when hiring for a managerial role it’s important that they will fit the company and team dynamic. By using the Profiles Managerial Fit assessment you can evaluate whether an applicant has the correct managerial style to suit the required supervisor-subordinate relationship.

Personality assessments for improving future performance

It’s important to continue with personality assessments after the hiring process. By testing employees frequently throughout their career, you can evaluate performance and help candidates further themselves with their career.

Personality tests can be advantageous for your organization. By integrating personality assessments into your candidate screening process and employee training program, you can leverage employee happiness and productivity and, in turn, boost the success of your organization.

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How to improve dysfunctional team performance with behavioral assessments

A dysfunctional team is one that consistently loses performance by failing to work and collaborate together in a professional or desirable way. Problems arising in teams and between team members are one of the major problems contributing to loss of performance but solving them can be difficult.

This is especially true because team dysfunction can stem from direct leadership (managers, Scrum leaders, etc.), leaders (business direction, business policy), and from individuals.

Stepping back to assess problems and recognize where things are going wrong is one of the first steps to solving those issues, and in many teams, it will often reveal issues with communication, emotional intelligence, and ego. This may be cultural or local to the team, but should be corrected, and quickly.

One study showed that negative behavior in teams is effective for most dysfunction, although negative behavior may stem from poor soft skills, lack of motivation from leadership, poor leadership, or other issues.

Understanding Teams and Their Leaders

Dysfunctional teams are reflections of a whole. It’s difficult to have healthy leaders or team members if either is unhealthy. But it’s critical to review both independently to look for the source of dysfunction. Chances are, you will find issues with both, but they might both be different and unrelated.

Personality Mapping

Understanding individual personalities that make up a team is important for ensuring teams align in terms of communication style, emotional intelligence, work ethic, work method, and social needs. MBTI shows there are 16 basic personality types and not all of them get along. Team conflicts may stem from simple issues relating to different methods of communication.

For example, a team lead might be communicating in strict, pragmatic instructions to a team made up of mostly creative people who need freedom to do things in their own way, resulting in stifled creativity and dropping morale. In some cases, direct personality clashes can also result in constant or regular conflict, sparking issues throughout the team.

In addition, understanding the personalities of the people on your teams can help with improving performance across the organization. Team composition based on personality is increasingly regarded as important to performance and individual happiness, because a mix of personalities functions better, is more creative, and can collaborate in ways that a silo of similar personalities will not.

Most team frameworks are based on personality assessments like MBTI or The Big 5 but will help you to see where different people complement or clash with each other.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, emotional quotient or EQ is increasingly seen as crucial to how people function together. Emotional intelligence can be defined as a measure of how people recognize their own emotions and those of others, use that information to guide behavior and thoughts, and manage or adjust emotions and thoughts to other people and to achieve goals. EQ dates back to the 1960s, but was popularized by David Goleman, who argues that 67% of leadership and team goals can be met with EQ rather than IQ.

Measuring EQ with assessments like EQ-I 2.0 can help you to understand how well people are communicating. This can be important, especially in instances where some people are emotionally intelligent and others are not.

People who are not emotionally intelligent can come off as rude, impolite, and hurtful. Leaders lacking emotional intelligence can deeply damage morale. Like other soft skills, EQ is a learnable skill and there are workshops, courses, and books on the market to help teams develop those behaviors.

Asking Questions

Sometimes, dysfunctional behavior builds up over time, typically in relation to a few incidents that slowly get worse. What started out as a single toxic person can result in an incredibly dysfunctional team, despite the team otherwise being functional. This type of behavior is difficult to assess without actually going in, asking questions, and seeing how the team works first-hand. Swapping leaders, implementing behavior coaches, and implementing workshops can be a good way to assess this behavior.

Solving Dysfunctional Behavior

It’s difficult to assess a team and immediately recognize where problems are from and why. In some cases, problems stem from processes and bureaucracy. In others, it’s simply teams not working together. And, in others, it’s poor leadership. It’s important to be open minded and unbiased, which potentially means having assessments completed by a third-party.

Problem: Disagreements are not addressed but are problematic

Team members frequently disagree but feel unable to discuss problems or resolve them. This can lead to unhealthy interpersonal conflict and dropping morale. This lack of trust will result in lack of team collaboration because individuals won’t ask for help or feedback, won’t utilize the skills or strengths of others, and, in short, won’t be part of a team.

Solution – Review why teams fail to discuss problems and implement solutions to fix those issues. For example, if teams feel they aren’t listened to, implementing EQ workshops may be a good solution.

Healthy debates should be encouraged, even if encouragement involves creating team-building exercises and working to solve negative behavior such as others calling out individuals in unhealthy ways. Getting over this type of issue may require acknowledging and working on specific instances in personal history.

Problem – People talk about each other behind their backs

This can lead to silos, “cliques” and “us versus them” behavior, and often ripples out from leadership.

Solution – Assess root problems, implement workplace ethics workshops, and stage workshops on having healthy upfront discussions where people feel free to share criticism to each other.

This may also stem from leaders feeling unable to offer criticism to someone who is “emotional”, which likely means the leader needs communication or emotional intelligence training. Feedback should always be given directly to the person, not to anyone else on the team.

Problem – Not everyone contributes

Healthy teams discuss things together. Dysfunctional teams typically rely on one or two people who take up all the time, space, and air. This can stem from people not being listened to, from the leader feeling like they have the only voice, and people simply not feeling as though they can speak up. In a worst-case scenario, people will either pretend to be on board with ideas they don’t agree with or will remain silent, but will end up working on solutions they don’t agree with or like.

Solution – Implement team-building exercises such as role-swapping, create mandatory speaking roles for everyone in the team, and have leaders specifically call out individuals to ensure everyone contributes. Discussion and debate lead to productive creativity and collaboration. Teams have to acknowledge that a certain amount of conflict is productive.

Problem – Teams work aimlessly

Often, this means that communication style doesn’t line up between how projects are communicated and how teams prefer to work. This can result in teams over analyzing and wasting energy or lacking confidence or feeling stifled by too much structure.

Solution – Assess how people communicate and work to match leadership, project, and team styles up as much as possible. Most organizations have space for every type of leader, assessing team types and matching leadership to that team is the best way to solve this issue.

Dysfunctional teams are everywhere, but the causes of dysfunction are often multifaceted. It’s important to assess the full culture including leadership, individual interaction, individuals, and company culture to determine what might be wrong and why. Only then can you implement the right solutions to create teams that stay healthy for the long-term.

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Choosing the Right Assessment for Your HR Needs

Personality and behavior assessments help organizations streamline screening and selection processes using validated and predictive data. This can give insight into not only what makes individuals successful in the organization and in their roles, but also into how people fit together, communicate, complement each other, and contradict each other. Highly effective assessments afford near-seamless options for HR to get a deeper look at candidates, driving better decisions and reducing turnover.

But, with dozens of assessment options on the market, choosing one can be difficult. HR and recruitment professionals are left with the task of narrowing options with the need to show immediate results and return on value to finance. Doing so can be difficult. It can also be a mistake.

Good assessments are made up of multiple assessment tools, typically using frameworks built on multiple assessment types and combining personality, behavioral, competency, and other assessments. In many cases, the same assessments are not valuable across every role or for every individual. So, HR professionals are recommended to create selection criteria and use that to choose a range of tools that will create a better picture of the individual.

Set Goals for Recruitment

Recruitment goals should align with long-term business goals, short-term business changes, and meeting team and culture needs. Chances are, these goals are already defined inside your organization and you can simply adopt them.

Most recruitment professionals also have secondary goals such as:

  • Creating a better recruitment experience for candidates
  • Reducing the cost versus quality of hiring
  • Reducing turnover
  • Improving employee happiness and therefore reducing churn
  • Making unbiased but quality hires

Each of these goals can help you target which assessments you might need depending on selection criteria.

Set Goals for Assessments

What should your assessment do? In most cases, a good assessment will fulfill at least the following goals:

  • Deliver objective and legally defensible information into the hiring process
  • Create a cost-effective and efficient interview process by integrating behavioral and personality testing to highlight desirable or undesirable traits
  • Reduce the need to use hunches and impressions in the hiring process
  • Increase understanding of the candidate’s skills, behavior, preferences, and personality
  • Equip HR with the tools to develop employees and teams and make selections based on that goal

Most assessments fall into a few categories including:

  • Technical skills test (e.g., Excel test)
  • Cognitive ability test (OPM or Harver)
  • Situational judgment test
  • Communication skills test
  • Job simulation test
  • Competency assessment (typically soft skills rather than hard)
  • Behavioral assessment (may overlap with competency)
  • Personality assessment (MBTI)

You can then choose which of these are most relevant to your organization. Here, many organizations can drop technical skills tests (technical skills are easy to train, except where advancement in those skills is crucial to success), to focus on factors such as behavior that influence actual performance. For example, it’s a lot easier to teach a candidate Excel than it is to teach an affinity for numbers and pattern recognition, or a high sense of personal motivation.

Reliability and Validity

Reliability and validity are two incredibly important factors to consider when choosing HR assessments. Here, most are scored based on data on how often individuals score the same on a test.

However, most assessments are scored by their manufacturers or by companies selling those services, so you may want to invest in personal research if you doubt results.

For example, the MBTI foundation publishes that test-takers receive the same results on assessments 75-90% of the time.

Validity is also incredibly crucial. Validity refers to whether an assessment can be validated or not. Most HR assessments will have validity data published online. Most organizations should also continue to collect data to validate the assessment and its results inside their own organization.

This can be difficult and expensive but is necessary to ensure continued budget and the long-term use of an assessment, based on an understanding that it works. You cannot say, “Candidates who score high on X show higher performance, so we will prioritize these candidates in the hiring process”, without validating that data.

Reliable Results

It’s crucial that any test have anti-faking measures and have measures with which to measure that candidates are lying, giving the answers they think you want to hear, and quite simply, panicking. Any test that relies on questions like “I am a hard worker” without using alternative measures to test those results in more subtle ways to validate those answers probably won’t function very well.

Once you have a test, it’s important that any HR or recruitment professionals using it actually take the assessment themselves, and hopefully multiple times. Understanding the assessment, what answering it is like, and what candidates are likely to see in relation to their role is critical to assessing whether results are reliable or not.


Many HR assessments cannot be implemented off-the-shelf. While some out-of-the-box solutions exist, most behavioral and competency assessments will have to be tweaked and updated to meet individual organization’s and should align with a behavioral or competency framework, if one is in place.

For larger organizations, this may mean adjusting assessments, assessment type, and assessment questions based on role, development tract, and whether the intended candidate is intended for eventual leadership development or not. Therefore, it may be crucial that any HR assessment framework you adopt be customizable, or that the provider offers internal analysis and setup to ensure implemented solutions meet your organization’s needs.

No matter what your organization is intending to measure, it’s critical that your assessments be up for the job. This often means choosing assessments that are scientifically validated, reliable, resistant to gaming (cheating), customizable, and able to provide diverse needs based on the candidate, the role, and the hiring manager in question.

For many organizations, this does mean choosing multiple assessments, optimizing each for their own hiring process, and creating a process to improve and further optimize those assessment over time as you begin to collect your own data.

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When to Use Personality Tests in Hiring

Pre-Employment personality tests or assessments are used by some 13% of all organizations, including 89% of Fortune 100 companies. These assessments include MBTI, Caliper Profile, OPQ32, Hogan Personality Inventory, DiSC, and others, but all work to assess and define a candidate’s personality traits based on predetermined profiles.

While pre-employment personality testing is rampant, it’s also come under heavy criticism in recent years, with organizations using personality testing for very specific and sometimes unethical hiring goals (like looking for a specific MBTI type to fill a role). Unfortunately, most personality tests and assessments don’t actually fill those hyper-specific hiring profiles.

At the same time, personality testing can provide valuable insight into the pre-employment screening process. It can guide recruitment and HR professionals as they search for specific people to fill roles, can help to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate based on existing teams and company culture, and can make it easier for those professionals to create success tracts for those individuals after hire. The following guide outlines some of the occasions when personality testing aids hiring.

When Assessing Culture Fit

Culture-fit, or lack of it, is a key factor behind employee loyalty, employee happiness, and turnover. The high cost of replacing employees is one of the key reasons behind the high adoption of pre-employment personality tests, because it can help to reduce poor culture-fit issues. Personality tests can help you to determine how and where an individual fits into your current culture, where they came from, and whether they could add something or will simply clash with existing culture.

Here, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • Culture clashes may be a good thing if you want to “Shake things up”. But, the culture-clash employee needs to have enough power to drive change or they will simply be ostracized
  • Complementary does not mean the same. If personality testing shows compatible but different styles, this is likely an ideal candidate for the culture
  • Assessing personality aspects such as adaptability, learning style, etc., which can help when determining culture fit and when planning to integrate someone into a culture

To Better Understand the Candidate (And Their Answers)

Personality tests have historically been used in ways that are unsuitable to the personality test. For example, retail stores have long used personality and integrity tests to attempt to gauge the integrity of candidates.

But, data increasingly shows that employees with no integrity are very likely to simply lie on the test. In addition, many employees will simply fill out whatever they think the employer wants to hear, which can be intensely problematic for collecting the right data. Others can give wrong answers because they are panicking, which can also skew data.

What’s the best answer? Retesting, asking employees to take tests multiple times, and ensuring that a portion of any testing includes questions designed to assess the mental state (nervousness, anxiety) and honesty of the candidate. This often involves asking personalized questions which can be verified using other means, re-testing, and slipping the same questions in in multiple formats to assess continuity and intent behind answers.

Candidate answers can help you determine what the employee needs to fit into the organization, their potential development tract, what their onboarding should include, how they should be motivated (fiscally, with development opportunities, with perks, etc.) and much more.

Ensuring Team Fit

Team fit is as if not more important than culture fit. This pertains to how an individual’s personality fits into their team, how they communicate with that team, and what they bring to that team. Here, diversity and complementary personalities are often the best fit. More types of people result in more creativity, more options and solutions, and a broader perspective on problem solving. But, it can result in clashes when personality types don’t get along.

  • Where is your current team weak? What are their flaws? Can other personality traits compensate?
  • What personality types get along with but aren’t the same as existing personality types?
  • Will the individual get along with their new team without fitting into a silo or echo chamber?

In most cases, you get more value from personality tests when you use them to compare the candidate with the team they will fit into, because it allows you to look at long-term potential. It can also help you avoid adding someone who completely does not fit into a team simply because they have a “desirable” personality.

Of course, you always want to follow up with having the candidate actually meet the team, because personality tests can be faulty, but testing can be a good way to narrow candidates down based on potential fit.

Complementing Communication Styles

People communicate in different ways. The more you understand the communication styles of your managers and leaders, the easier it is to choose individuals who fit into those communication styles. Here, you don’t have to choose exact matches. MBTI suggests there are two major types of communicators, NF and SP.

NF communicators use abstraction and mostly want people under them to create their own solutions inside that. SP communicators share exacts and typically want to give or follow instructions. There is a place for both in most organizations, because both fill very valuable roles.

Understanding that upfront will help you to determine placement, so you don’t, for example, put a highly creative and independent person on a maintenance team, or someone who likes to complete tasks on an innovation team.

Assessing Behavior

Behavior is the number one cause of turnover, faulty C-suite hires and promotions, and poor team fit. Personality tests can be excellent assessors of behavior in the pre-hiring phase, because they allow you to assess not only what the individual is answering, but also how they behave in a high-stress environment, how they respond to questioning, and how answers might change across repeat testing. This can give you a significantly better picture of what the candidates real behavior is over simply assessing their prepared answers to questions.

Personality testing isn’t always valuable in hiring. For example, you should never use it to make hiring decisions. It can help you to make smarter decisions regarding placement, onboarding, development, and much more. And, you can use it to follow up on employees after the hire to ensure you continue to understand and support them in the workplace.

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Personality and People Development: Driving Development Programs with Personalized Coaching

Internal development is increasingly seen as a critical strategy for HR. Once, primarily used for internal leadership programs helmed by the likes of Ram Charan and his Leadership Pipeline, internal development has stepped up to fill roles in employee retention, change management, digitization, and employee engagement.

Development gives companies tools to prepare people for change, whether that means training them for new directions their roles will take, new software, new positions, or simply preparing them to stay in the organization as their roles become redundant.

As a result, millions of organizations are leveraging internal development for reasons ranging from workforce shifts to offering job perks.

Many of those programs heavily rely on helping individuals to recognize what they’re good at and why, giving them coaching and career advice to help them shift into development programs that offer fulfillment and value. Here, personality and aptitude testing can play a crucial role in helping HR to define, strategize, and formulate internal development programs.

What Personality Assessments Should You Use?

Most organizations benefit from using a range of assessments and tests, typically mapped to an internal performance framework, aptitude framework, or competency framework. Some of the most common personality assessments in use include:

Big Five – Big Five is a standard but simple personality assessment utilized in therapy as well as work assessments, mapping people to 5 personality traits.

Myers-Briggs – Myers-Briggs is loosely mapped to the Big Five, but maps people to 16 personality types based on 8 diametrically opposed traits. This is the most common personality assessment used by organizations.

Keirsey – Keirsey focuses on identifying different personalities and how they differ, and then training individuals in how those differences are strengths.

DiSC – DiSC maps behaviors at work with the aim of helping people to be more productive. DiSC is useful for helping individuals emphasize and work on strengths while accounting for weaknesses, in work-specific environments.

In most cases, your organization will end up with an assessment provider rather than licensing and delivering personality assessments completely in-house. This will mean you’ll have access to more than one assessment and may be able to use multiple to provide more information, different angles of personality, and validation of results.

Working with Communication Type

Different people communicate in different ways, but most people understand at least some forms of different communication, such as introversion vs extroversion. People communicate in very diverse ways, experiencing the world differently, and learning differently.

Personality and intelligence modelling can help you to understand how individuals learn and communicate, so that you can group them into classes, pair them with coaches, and put them into teams with leaders they can learn from.

Nearly everyone’s heard the quote attributed to Einstein, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid,” but that applies to communication as well. If someone communicates in actualities, they’ll rarely follow abstract coaching. If someone is very emotional, they’ll take offense at someone being pragmatic. And, if someone is very pragmatic, they’ll take very emotional coaching as silly.

Understanding how people communicate gives you the tools to communicate in their language, ensuring that information is fully understood.

Understanding Motivation

It’s less important to understand how a person works and more important to understand why they work. Understanding motivators helps you to understand what to offer, develop, or increase in a person’s workday to enhance productivity, ambition, and learning. Personality tests often help you to assess and even train motivation, looking at factors such as what individuals care about, why, and how much.

While people development often includes aspects of motivational training and motivational coaching, it’s important to understand what you’re working with.

Are people motivated by money? Success? Status? The ability to develop themselves? Things that make work less boring? Engagement? How much of each? You can use this to develop learning profiles including motivational tracts to ensure people stay engaged with what they are learning, stay on track with why they are learning, and are fully engaged with the program and their work.

Coaching Weaknesses

Most personality assessments include some form of weakness assessment, where they will highlight what a person is or is not good at. This remains true whether you’re utilizing Myers-Briggs, a competency framework, or something like DiSC While it’s important not to use weaknesses to keep people out of jobs or to stereotype them, you can utilize them to drive training and coaching to help people develop beyond those weaknesses.

  • How do people’s personalities hinder their performance in their role? How can you coach that to adapt those behaviors to the role?
  • How do people’s personalities hinder their performance in their team?
  • How do personality traits influence communication?
  • How do personality traits negatively influence learning?

A good coach or trainer can utilize personalities to develop programs that help people to function better in their roles, to work on traits that might prevent them from moving into a desired role, or that might impede productivity or workplace happiness.

Growing Strengths

Coaching and personal development is often about recognizing strengths and helping individuals to grow those. Personality assessments are an ideal tool for doing so, because they recognize not just skills and performance, but also the underlying traits that led to those factors.

Understanding if someone is charismatic and outgoing which makes them well-liked as a leader or quiet and reserved but good at people management can also help you to make better judgement calls based on capability rather than simple results, because results are always complex and based on multiple factors.

People are different, nearly infinitely varied, and come with thousands of cultures, conceptions, and biases. Each of these will impact their performance, ability to learn, and development. But, personality type, even if narrowed down to as few as 16 types, can help organizations to identify what a person does well and why, how they learn and communicate, and how they see the world and people around them.

Understanding personality will help your organization to make better calls when designing personal development, to better fit the program to the individual, and to help individuals make better decisions regarding their own direction and learning.

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Behavioral approaches to improving net promoter score

Net Promoter Score or NPS has become the gold standard by which companies judge their interactions with customers. NPS was first designed by Fred Reichheld in 2003 and published in an article in the Harvard Business Review. It uses a single question, “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague” with a 1-10 scale. Most importantly, that number gives organizations a simple way to track customer loyalty and behavior.

While the NPS system has come under criticism, it remains true that customers who are willing to recommend your organization to others will grow your business. An NPS score increase of 7% typically tracks to a business growth of 1%. At the same time, initiatives to improve NPS only work if you actually understand what impacts NPS.

In most cases, a high NPS score tracks to high customer satisfaction, quality customer service, accessibility of information, and ease of service or product use. A surprisingly large number of these factors are impacted by internal company culture, or employee behavior. Why? Behavior impacts how people treat employees, how the product or service is created and delivered, and how the organization presents itself.

Encouraging Empathy (EQ)

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quota, is important in changing how people react and respond to each other. A highly emotionally intelligent person is able to recognize their own and the emotions of others, respond to those emotions, and keep those emotions in mind when making decisions that relate to other people. Encouraging EQ normally means testing for it and then implementing workshops and training to develop EQ where it’s lacking.

For most teams, customer service and customer assistance are the most important for this behavior. However, emotional intelligence improves productivity and collaboration across the organization, which will eventually improve performance and results, which also impact customer satisfaction and NPS.

How much does emotional intelligence impact NPS? Cowry Consulting worked with Aegon B.V. to improve NPS through customer contact center interactions. Cowry identified issues relating to lack of human depth, lack of advisor understanding of how and why customers make decisions.

Cowry implemented training to help assistants understand why people make decisions, rewrote scripts to make them more human, and redesigned how information was presented to ensure it appealed on an emotional level.

Aegon also shifted internal policy to assigning a lifetime contact to a customer, so they always connected with the same person when calling. The result was an over 36-point increase in NPS, with a 68.5% increase in sales conversions.

Build Teams that Work Together

Your teams ultimately impact everything the customer is able to get out of your organization. Building smoothly functional, productive, and collaborative teams is essential to providing a good experience and a good product.

Healthy teams communicate, work together, aren’t afraid of disagreement, let each other be heard, and consistently work to improve. Achieving this can involve a set of behavioral training, matching personalities, and changing policies to allow people to work in efficient and healthy ways. Let’s look at some examples:

Marketing and Sales

Are teams setting the right expectations during lead generation or are they simply generating as many leads as possible? Is marketing following up with sales? Is sales closing with information connected to development? Are customers pushed through the sales process as quickly as possible to raise sales numbers? Most of these problems relate to expectations set around maximum sales and maximum lead generation. They don’t result in happy customers. It’s often a result of:

  • Poor performance and compensation systems (linked to quotas, not behavior and score)
  • Competition
  • Lack of empathy or concern for the customer

Product and Design

Are people focused on how the product or service offers value? Or simply on putting out new features? Is UX a concern? Are problems checked for and removed before they reach the customer? Is quality assurance involved in every stage of the process>

  • Assess how teams are connected to customers
  • Assess how teams are put together and how communication, management, and interpersonal styles line up

Customer Service and Support

Does customer service put the customer first? Are they looking at how and why customers are making decisions? Are hold times long? How does customer service treat customers? Does support make customers happy or just fix issues and move on? What are responses when there’s no clear solution?

  • Create policies that ensure teams have room to make empathetic decisions
  • Train support professionals in communication styles, EQ, and recognizing different types of personalities
  • Implement customer personas to help support professionals learn to recognize different communication styles and needs

You also want to look at how personalities link together in each team, ensure that teams actually collaborate, and that communication styles line up.

Building Internal Motivation and Buy-In

It’s difficult or even impossible to improve Net Promoter Score without encouraging employee buy-in. This broad term encapsulates motivating employees to engage with their work as well as with the customer, because, eventually, they mean the same thing. Teams have to fully engage with their work and believe in what they are doing. While many issues here are operational (management, work processes, lack of communication relating to short and long-term goals), many also relate to behavior.

Here, it’s important to understand employees. Using personality tests, EQ assessments, and behavioral frameworks can help you to map how individuals communicate, how leadership communicates, and how you can best fit that together or improve what you have through training and communication. Healthy teams engage with work, communicate better, and eventually produce better work – resulting in happier customers and a higher Net Promoter Score.

While there are many aspects to improving NPS, behavior and behavior management is important. The more you understand how people work and work together, the more you can ensure internal and external teams behave and collaborate in ways that add value for the customer.

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