Author Archives: papeditor

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How to Eliminate Bias in The Workplace

This is a guest post from Johanna Cider. Johanna is a freelance writer from Wellington, New Zealand with a special interest in business, travel and lifestyle topics, as well as experience producing written content for various sites and blogs. Visit Johanna’s Tumblr page to see more of her published work.

With issues of racial discrimination and unequal pay hot topics in the corporate world, the question of how to eliminate bias in the workplace is on every HR professional’s lips.

Discrimination can be overt, but more often, it’s underhand or even unconscious in nature. The human impulse, after all, is to categorize – but when that impulse encroaches into unjust classification according to gender, race, age, or ability, problems arise. Here’s what you can do to help curb bias in your place of work.

Catalogue all possible biases

It’s impossible to prevent biases on the office floor if you haven’t yet identified the many forms that workplace prejudice can take. From affinity bias (the tendency to like another person because they’re similar to you) to the halo effect (the tendency to base your entire opinion of a person on just one of their traits), the first step is to know exactly what bias struggles you are dealing with.

After you’ve done that, undertake a sweep-review of the current employee group. What are the statistical breakdowns for the number of women employed versus men? What’s the racial split? Where are problems likely to arise regarding discrimination? Asking your employees for their feedback directly is the most sure-fire way to flag manifest or latent workplace bias issues, and ensures that communication lines are kept open.

Broaden your candidate criteria

Interviewer bias is a major cause for concern when it comes to work-related discrimination. For example, top-quality candidates may be turned away because they don’t fit with the “culture” of the office – an assumption that may stem from ageism, classism, and aesthetic biases.

For example, if you’re recruiting someone new for an office filled with keen runners, and you decide that the candidate – although suited perfectly for the job – doesn’t quite fit that character bill, then it’s not them that’s the problem, but you. The most assured route to a diverse workforce is broad interviewing criteria, so if your workplace is falling short of this criterion, it may be time to review your policy.

Image Source: Unsplash

Review the office setup

Workplace dynamics can be shaped by things as seemingly insignificant as the feng shui of the office. If particular workers are distanced from others because of their desk placement, they may feel lonely or left out socially, too.

Don’t be afraid of criticism or suggestions for improvement from your own team – create an office or HQ environment amenable to interpersonal communication. If you can’t arrange an open-plan office, ensure there are collaborative spaces on the office floor which allow employees to engage in open dialogue with each other during break time.

Have a check-and-balance system in place

If you’re in charge of final decisions regarding employee appointment and issues of workplace bias, the best thing you can do is realize your own limitations. If you don’t already, always check your practices and policies with an objective party.


So, you’ve educated yourself and other HR personnel around the topic of workplace bias; now it’s time to truly bring about change on the office floor.

Lead an annual or biennial training day around bias best practices for the whole office (including CEOs and other execs). Don’t shy away from showing the relevance of such programs. Bring in as many global examples as you need – especially to prove to employees who are stubbornly set in their ways – that addressing unconscious discrimination begins at work.

Image Source: Unsplash

Encourage connection

Successful team-building efforts contribute immensely to the elimination of bias in the workplace. Often employees just need to break past the initial barrier with their fellow workers to abolish the stereotypical moulds they may have been fitting others into. Cultivate a sense of togetherness by establishing regular happy-hour drinks for staff each week, or perhaps by setting up a biweekly skill-swapping session between departments.

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Emotional Intelligence Summit Asia: The First in the Philippines

Please join us on September 1, 2018 for the first ever Emotional Intelligence Summit Asia in the Philippines with an array of international and formidable local speakers to talk about what will remain to be one of the most important competencies in the future of jobs: Emotional Intelligence.

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Disruption is everywhere. The advent of change is fast, swift, and engulfing every aspect of our lives. However, one thing will remain constant—the need to elevate our soft skills in relation to how we do things. It is no longer an advantage just to know Emotional Intelligence—you need to feel and translate it to a competency that will be the determining and crucial factor in making a successful difference!

Course Outline


Emotional Intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is a set of skills that help us better perceive, understand and manage emotions in ourselves and in others. Learn more about Emotional Intelligence and the science behind it.


Emotional intelligence has a long history, and it’s steadily gaining importance, not just for the workplace, but for various aspects of our lives. Get to know emotional intelligence through experience.


Technology gets more and more advanced and is surpassing human intelligence quickly in various fields and activities. Artificial intelligence is also getting more and more complex. In fact, a lot of jobs that we imagined could be done only by people are now under the threat of being replaced by AI. So, what could we do? The answer: Emotional Intelligence.

V. THE RESILIENT LEADER: The Age of Disruption’s Call for a New Breed of Leaders

Resiliency: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Life is littered with roadblocks, whether you expect it or not. One of the most important qualities of a leader is resilience. With the barrage of obstacles ahead, it’s important that you, as a leader, be resilient. For a resilient leader, failures are temporary setbacks that they can recover from. And with changes happening left and right, a new breed of leaders—resilient leaders—are needed.

VI. MINDFULNESS: Journey to Awareness and Clarity

Bill George of Harvard Business Review says that when you are mindful, “you’re able to both observe and participate in each moment while recognizing the implications of your actions for the longer term. And that prevents you from slipping into a life that pulls you away from your values.” Mindfulness will start your journey to awareness and clarity.


Among the 7.6 billion people in the world, half are women, who are steadily progressing and making noise with their success in various aspects—sports, entertainment, science, business, motherhood, etc. Yet, as a woman, there are still some limitations the society imposes on you. It’s time to empower your stance. Be an emotionally intelligent woman.


When emotional intelligence first surfaced as a concept, it served as an explanation to the curious finding that about 70% of the people with an average IQ have a better performance than those with the highest IQ. This changed the way we perceive success and where its source is. Research has shown that emotional intelligence is an essential factor that makes some entrepreneurs stand out from others.

IX. WHY EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE Is the Enabling Competency for Excellent Customer Service

Emotions are an essential part of our mind that helps us to develop, motivate us to take action and, in a case of danger, help us avoid the hazard and survive. That’s why it’s important that we are emotionally intelligent. But how does it look like in customer service?

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The investment for this course is P7995 plus VAT.

About the Facilitators

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GENOS Emotional Intelligence Certification

Join us September 19 to 20 for our GENOS Emotional Intelligence Certification. The Genos EI Certification Program is designed for learning and organizational development professionals, human resource consultants or managers, executive coaches, and organizational psychologists.

Becoming a Genos-Certified Practitioner comes with multiple benefits to help you succeed professionally:

  • Association with the most well-recognized and respected organization for applying emotional intelligence in the workplace
  • Access to an international network of over a thousand certified learning, organizational development, human resources and executive coaching professionals
  • Access to our members-only resource portal, containing all of our latest presentations, workshops, proposals, marketing material, case studies, and research
  • Support from leading experts in the field including academics and highly-experienced practitioners
  • A full Genos Emotional Intelligence Self-Assessment report

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What does the program involve?

Phase 1: Completion of your Self-Assessment EI Workplace Behavior Feedback Report

Before the course, you will be invited to complete your own Genos Self-Assessment Emotionally Intelligent Workplace Behaviour Feedback Assessment. After the course, one of the Genos Master Trainers will debrief you, providing you with your personalized Self-Assessment Workplace Behaviour Feedback Report and Development Tips Workbook.

Phase 2: An engaging Two-Day Course with a Genos Master Trainer

Day 1 – The following topics will be covered:

  • The Science of Emotions
  • Emotional Intelligence and the 6 Skills
  • The Business Case
  • Assessment Overview
  • Best Approaches to Assessment and Debriefing
  • Assessment Options
  • Interpreting Results
  • Debriefing Results

Day 2 – The following topics will be covered:

  • Emotionally Intelligent Leadership and the 6 Skills
  • Features of the Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Feedback Report
  • Leadership Assessment Options
  • Best Approaches to Assessment and Debriefing
  • Group Debriefs
  • Alternative Measures
  • Successful Project Execution
  • Certification Next Steps

Phase 3: Debrief Case Study Session with another Master Trainer

Finally, to complete your Certification, you will be given the opportunity to debrief the results of a sample Self-Assessment Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Feedback Report with another Genos Master Trainer who will act out the character in the scenario. You will be provided with feedback on the debrief session, with the ultimate goal of ensuring you are able to apply the Genos Emotional Intelligence Assessment tools effectively and confidently.

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Upon Completion…

Your journey begins as a business partner with Genos and it was the best decision you could have made for yourself, your business and your clients. A step-by-step guide is provided to you to map your entire journey as a Genos EI practitioner along with access to the free Member Only Resource Portal to further assist you in learning about, selling and utilizing the Emotional Intelligence Assessments, Enhancement Programs and supporting resources.

Upon successful completion of the program you will be able to:

  • Explain the Genos model of emotional intelligence
  • Discuss the Genos emotional intelligence assessments and their unique features, including developing emotional intelligence in comparison to other measures
  • Discuss the business case for emotional intelligence
  • Design effective emotional intelligence development solutions
  • Facilitate an interpretation of assessment results
  • Facilitate a development plan
  • Execute an emotional intelligence assessment project
  • Facilitate an introductory emotional intelligence session

The investment for this certification is P29,500 plus VAT. The two-day course is inclusive of manuals, lunch, and AM/PM snacks.

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About the Facilitator

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Change Management: Gearing Towards a More Responsive Organization

Please join us on September 13 to 14 for a 2-day public workshop on change management, and learn how an organization should manage change. Change Management: Gearing Towards a More Responsive Organization will prepare participants for change and provide a venue to share their reactions and response strategies.

There are no normal or abnormal ways to react to change, we must start from where we are. Adapting to change isn’t technical, but attitudinal. But ultimately, change isn’t something that needs to be feared–in fact, it’s often an opportunity for improvement.

This workshop will help teach participants how to identify strategies (individual and organizational) on how to deal with changes and for helping change be accepted and implemented in the workplace.

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Course Outline

  1. Overview of Change and Change Management
    1. What is Change?
    2. What is Organizational Change?
    3. Factors that Drive Change
    4. Significant Changes in the Workplace
    5. What is Change Management? Why Do We Have To Manage Change?
  2. The Change Cycle and Reactions/Responses to Change
    1. The Change Cycle (William Bridges)
    2. Patterns of Accepting Change
    3. Human Reaction/Response to Change: Daryll Conner’s Interpretation
    4. The Emotional Journey of Change
    5. Claes Janssen’s Four-Room Apartment Model
  3. Practical Strategies and Tools to Manage Change
    1. ProSci’s ADKAR Model to Change Management
      1. Individual Change Management
      2. Organization Change Management
      3. Change Competency
    2. Kotter’s Change Process
  4. Action Plans

The investment fee for this 2-day seminar is P8,500 plus VAT.

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About the Facilitator

Dr. Rosario Alzona, or Dr. Cherry, holds a Master’s Degree in Statistics and Ph.D. in Organizational Development. She is an accomplished Organizational Development professional with almost 20 years of experience in diverse work environments.  She has varied experiences in organizational assessment, OD intervention design and implementation, learning and development and process/procedure design and development.Dr. Alzona has taken various Information Technology and OD Consultancy projects with several Consulting firms and has taught for ten years in the Graduate School of several universities and colleges in diverse topics of management and leadership. She is a frequent speaker at various seminars and workshops with topics on Leadership, Team Building, Organizational Assessment, Strategic Planning, Change Management and Appreciative Inquiry. She is a High-energy Trainer and Creative Facilitator, skilled in guiding learners through engaging breakthrough learning opportunities.

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Change Management: How to Redefine Job Roles for Existing Employees

Any organization will change as new technology redefines products and customers and changes how jobs are performed, and as teams and roles merge or split.

Over time, this can result in roles which are wildly different from previous iterations of the role, but often with the same employees working in those positions.

This creates risks by preventing leadership from effectively managing employee performance based on job needs now and can hold back a high-performing employee who is expected to perform tasks or skills they were not originally hired for.

Redefining roles will give you the opportunity to both understand and communicate what is expected of employees in their roles now, so both you and they can better manage performance.

Define What is Needed from the Role

Most organizations will have some form of job profiling in place to define what is needed from a role. However, these profiles are often generic, old, or might not even exist at all. Conducting interviews with key employees (including those in the role) will help you to determine actual skills and tasks required for the role now which will help you to see what hard skills are actually required.

For example, if technology has changed, a former requirement may have become completely unnecessary, someone who was highly relevant for the position may not be, and so on.

Use Team-Based Task Allocation to Assign Tasks Based on Individual Strengths

Many workplaces use teams to tackle projects which are often very much interlinked. When you have multiple individuals with similar skillsets working together, you have more freedom to allocate specific tasks based on individual strengths.

Creating team meetings to determine which tasks individuals don’t like to do or which they are bad at will often result in discovering that others enjoy or are good at those tasks. Reallocating (so long as its balanced) will help you to improve the efficiency and the morale of the entire team.

Create Job Profiles to Define Competencies for the Role

Good job profiling often requires third-party assessment or a strong HR component to do so internally, a competency framework to define soft skills which contribute to success, and the ability to correctly analyze what success (rather than simply producing to expectations) looks like in the role.

This will help you to recognize high performers who lack soft skills versus poor performers who lack hard skills or motivation and will help you to offer training or development for motivated employees who could perform better in their role.

Set Up One-on-One Meetings with Individuals

Creating buy-in for change is one of the most difficult aspects of redefining roles, simply because many employees will fear losing their jobs.

Creating one-on-one meetings with leadership to explain what’s happening and why will help many to better understand the process and what’s expected of them, so they are more comfortable and more likely to adapt. It also gives you more opportunities to assess individual strengths so that you know where and why an individual has to develop.

Use Self-Evaluation and Feedback to Solicit Change from Employees

Giving employees the opportunity to evaluate themselves according to new standards and requirements will give them the opportunity to see what they need to change.

You can achieve this by asking for monthly progress and achievement reports from employees, using third-party self-evaluation tools, or have employees draw out self-evaluations of performance goals and competencies.

Why? Self-evaluation gives many the opportunity to consider their performance from a personal perspective, which will create motivation.

Managing roles as they change is important for ensuring the continued productivity and value of the role. Working to create buy-in from employees with transparency and personal development, while using tools including competency frameworks and job profiling to better understand what is needed in a role will help you to manage both by ensuring you know what success looks like in the role and how to get there.

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5 Ways to Ensure Talent Retention During a Restructure

Restructuring is an often-necessary tool for organizations wishing to align with new or old goals by redefining their workforce. This can take the form of introducing new work methods such as agility, but also often involves merging and splitting teams to create a new and more dynamic company structure.

While it’s necessary that you will lose some employees during times of change, and some by choice, many organizations lose top talent during a restructure simply because restructure can be disheartening, demotivating, and can cause even good employees to leave.

Taking steps to ensure talent retention during a restructure will save your organization money and most importantly, your star performers.

Build Trust with Transparency Before the Restructure

While many organizations attempt to minimize foreknowledge of restructures to reduce speculation and talk, this often achieves the opposite effect. Employees will learn about restructure long before it hits, and many will begin to look for new roles as they fear moving, losing their role, or difficult change.

Being transparent and building trust with honest and authentic dialogue will help to prevent this. Consider scheduling town-hall meetings, one-on-one meetings with managers where appropriate, and regular updates for everyone involved.

Invest in Employee Development

Continuing to invest in employees during a restructure directly shows that you are continuing to maintain commitment to your workforce.

For example, by offering workshops and e-learning or courses to help employees develop needed skills, creating mentoring and coaching programs for those in need, and offering direct training for new processes and software, you will show employees that you are committed to keeping them.

This also means investing in employees who are being let go. Working to offer outplacement and proactive career services to move existing employees into new roles will show that you’re invested in ensuring everyone is taken care of – which will help to boost total employee morale during the restructure.

Directly Connect Restructure with Goals and Strategy

It’s important to directly connect changes to goals and strategy because doing so is motivational and inspirational.

For example, by sharing the fact that new approaches increase customer satisfaction or reduce costs or otherwise directly connect with company strategies, you show that making changes will have a direct return on investment. Similarly, you should share positive results from change as they happen to keep everyone motivated.

Clearly Communicate Expectations for Newly Defined Roles

Most restructuring means change at every level of the organization. This may mean redefining roles, changing software, and even new teams or merged teams who must achieve new things or achieve them in new ways. Clearly communicating and offering training and development for change is important. At the same time, it’s also important to offer recognition, opportunities to lead or develop, and direct praise for adapting and meeting or exceeding new expectations.

Hold Leadership Accountable for Change

No matter what change is happening during your restructure, it’s important that leadership exemplify it. Holding managers and leaders accountable for change and showing change first is crucial to ensuring adoption and high morale throughout the rest of the organization.

You can typically achieve this by bringing leadership into specific training courses and workshops first, which will give them time to adapt and learn what the restructure means for everyone before introducing it to the rest of the workforce. If you start with developing leaders, the rest of the teams will follow.

At the same time, you want to avoid making leadership change seem different from that of the rest of the workforce. Bringing training together and pairing leaders with workers at every level during later training will help to reduce uncertainties.

While restructure is often difficult for everyone involved, retaining top talent during the process is often about being transparent, showing appreciation for employees even when letting them go, and offering direct opportunities to develop and move forward with the new structure.

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How Important is Validation in HR Assessments and Tools?

Choosing and implementing an HR assessment tool is an important part of integrating any sort of competency framework or model, and an important step in improving your hiring process.

HR assessments also play valuable roles inside organizations, ensuring that employees are performing well, helping with role validation, and working to ensure that potential leaders are given the training and development to move them up.

If you’re looking for an assessment tool, you’ve likely heard about validation. This is typically criterion-related and content-related validation, showing that the methods, criterion, and algorithms used by the assessment tools have proven results.

At the same time, many tools either don’t offer validation or offer pre-validation, which means the tool isn’t validated for your environment. This can save you money, but you will be losing a great deal by skipping this important step.

Validation Connects Assessment to Performance

Validation is literally in place to use data to prove that criterion and content (such as a competency like agility) actually connect to performance.

Good validation studies the real connection between the factors your tool is looking for and real-world performance inside your organization.

For example, a validation study may review factors shown by top-performing roles and compare those traits to those the tool is looking for. Your validation study will also help you to predict ROI by connecting how well assessment scores correlate to increased performance.

Validation Enables You to Tailor Your Assessment

No assessment tool is ever perfectly suited to an organization. A good validation study will show you how and where to update or tweak assessment scoring, searched-for competencies, and methods to improve before integrating it.

For example, you can tweak test scores to highlight certain competencies or behaviors more, remove those that seem irrelevant, and shorten assessments to focus only on the points that have the most impact.

Validation Reduces Risk

While there are few risks in creating a selection procedure for employees, validating that procedure will reduce those risks and work to protect the company on a legal as well as performance basis.

For example, a validation study showing that selection criterion actually contribute to performance or other desired company traits gives you legal defensibility because it provides a rationale for not choosing certain candidates.

Validation also reduces the risk that searched for criterion do not contribute to performance. For example, if you were to choose a tool that fits poorly, it might have adverse impact.

Validating your process in advance ensures that you hire for the right reasons and can defend those reasons as legitimate and valuable.

Importantly, while some competency frameworks and HR assessment tools claim to be validated, that validation means nothing unless it is validated in your environment.

Validating for both content and criterion, with a sample size of 100 or more, is crucial to creating valuable data that is relevant and meaningful for your company. If an assessment is validated in another environment, that still means nothing for your organization.

A good validation process will ensure the efficacy of your selection procedure, will help you to determine how and where to update your selection procedure for your organization, and will help you to get and retain more value from the assessment.

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3 Examples of How Company Culture Affected Talent Retention

Company culture describes who a company is at its core, ranging from behaviors to attitude towards employees and how employees complete work. It’s a company’s personality, integrating work environment, company values, ethics, expectations, and leadership. While it’s often under-valued in organizations, who may not work to create a specific company culture at all, culture is increasingly recognized as a valuable factor in helping organizations to succeed.


In 2014, Microsoft was facing a failing market and a rapid loss of talent. With decreasing profits and an internal culture built around intense competition and infighting, top talent was leaving for competing companies. Satya Nadella stepped in as CEO with the intent of changing this, not by using the same heavy-handed tactics as his predecessors to force individuals into line, but by changing company culture. His approach centered around rebuilding Microsoft’s culture in a flat-hierarchal organization, inspiring 124,000+ employees to embrace learning and empathic collaboration rather than competition.

Today, Microsoft is at the height of its game, and its talent loss problems are gone. The organization thrives on creative collaboration, actively drawing in top talent and now has an average talent retention of 3+ years.

Hewlett Packard

HP, like Microsoft, was formerly at the top of its game and among one of the first companies to establish the importance of company culture with the HP Way. In 1978, when founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard handed over the reins to John Young, that began to change. By the 1990s, HP had become a fragmented, top-down culture in which hierarchy reigned supreme. The organization began to flounder, losing CEO after CEO, until Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay stepped in, splitting the company in 2015 in an attempt to solve internal issues. That split paid off, as HP was able to use the separation to reinvent sales and culture, creating a system focusing on behavior, activities, and performance and rewarding an intersection of all three. With a new investment in company culture and a commitment to innovation, HP Inc, headed by Dion Weisler, the company commits to trusting people first and intervening only when it’s necessary. As a result, the company has seen a 13% increase in total sales, with employee and talent retention up.


Most people don’t think of Cisco when they think of companies with good organizational culture, especially considering the company was once known for a hard top-down management style. But, with an average employee duration of 7.8 years, Cisco has one of the longest employee retention rates out there. Cisco’s Our People Deal focuses on connection, innovation, and mutual benefit, with a much flatter hierarchy and a massive breakdown of silos. Cisco’s shift away from simply working to giving talent a space to innovate, develop, and build themselves while working makes the company truly attractive to top talent, as exemplified by their long retention rate.

While there are a lot of ways to build a company culture, the companies with the best talent retention have structured theirs around people, innovation, and development, with flat or open rather than top-down hierarchy. While your own culture can include some of many of those elements, deliberately developing culture to include employee retention will pay off, and in a big way.

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Use Job Analysis During a Hire to Find Talent-Environment Fit

Hiring competent and qualified employees has never been easier than today, with the Internet, an increasing availability of assessment and competency frameworks or models, and more and more ways to validate what goes into good work.

However, while many companies are increasingly focusing on ensuring that employees display the behaviors and competencies contributing to producing quality work or high performance, fewer are using job analysis to match employees to company culture.

Employee turnover remains one of the costliest aspects of employee management but using job analysis during the hiring process to match employees to culture will greatly reduce it.

This starts with being able to articulate what your company culture and environment is, and validating that assessment. Then, your ability to hire based on environment and shared values will greatly increase long-term employee retention and therefore drive the costs of hiring and re-hiring down.

Defining Your Culture and Environment

Every organization has a company culture. It’s often a mix of values, ethics, work environment, expectations, and how people work. You often cannot deliberately choose your culture, but you can work to influence it and create a culture that better reflects organizational ideals and methods.

The organization should define company culture, align it with the company’s vision and goals, and work to restructure or change it where necessary. Your culture should be aligned with company actions, strategy, decision-making, and communication, because work must support cultural beliefs, or your cultural beliefs don’t reflect your real culture.

You can also take the time to define why this is your culture. Sometimes the why is because it simply happened. Other times, you carefully nurture company culture to create a good work environment where people, productivity, and innovation are at the forefront.

Going Beyond Person-Job Fit

Most HR assessment tools are used to match a person to a role, matching their hard and soft skills as well as behavioral patterns to those mapped as essential in the role.

While this is very helpful in choosing someone, who can be competent and productive in the role, it says nothing about their ability to be happy and to contribute inside the organization.

Mapping HR assessment to company culture allows you to assess whether a person’s beliefs, values, and ethics align with that of the organization and whether you can contribute to each other.

This will tie in well with behaviors and beliefs already mapped by existing HR assessment tools, you primarily just have to map them to your organization as well as to the role.

In some cases, you can achieve this by using broad organizational-level competency frameworks defining the beliefs and behaviors everyone in your organization should share, in others, you can look for specific patterns of behavior indicating a good cultural fit.

Employees who can step into an organization that already shares their work values, moral and ethical concerns, and who mesh well with the existing structure are more satisfied with their job, more able to contribute and work productively, and more likely to stay with the organization for the long-term.

While any employee retention will naturally tie into development, growth opportunities, and long-term organizational growth and management, hiring for a good cultural and environmental fit gives you more opportunities to retain employees because individuals mesh with their environment, get along with employees, and are able to contribute in multiple ways to the company’s culture and output.

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5 Ways to Have More Effective, Better Meetings

Meetings are an important and often necessary element of working in teams, but in many workplaces, they are dreaded, inefficient, and often not able to achieve intended goals.

Creating structure and using tools like leadership and emotional intelligence to manage and improve meetings can improve team morale, boost total productivity, and improve communication cross teams – simply because meetings become a tool for communication and collaboration rather than an ineffective to-do item.

Here are 5 ways to have better meetings.

Create an Agenda

Every meeting should have an agenda to follow, whether it’s on a digital screen or a written board. Ideally, this would include a timetable of how much time to allocate to each topic. Anything that goes past the relevant timetable can be moved to a separate meeting with relevant parties (most subjects don’t require everyone) to keep meetings on topic.

Similarly, it’s crucial to ensure that key decision makers are present before tabling and discussing anything. Before the meeting starts, bring up the list of agenda points and encourage questions in advance.

Ask Everyone to Contribute

Most team members can and should be able to contribute in a meeting, even if it’s in a small way. Taking time to ask quiet team members for their opinions or setting aside moments to recognize and highlight team members as part of the meeting can help everyone to feel appreciated and valuable.

For example, you can give recognition to a team effort or individual team member, ask others to recognize their team members, or create a 10-minute session where you go around the table asking each member to discuss what they are doing on that day or week that may be relevant to the rest.

Use a wrap-up to close the meeting

If you’ve had a good meeting, you’ve created solutions or discussed outcomes and next steps. It’s important to wrap up by ensuring that tasks and deadlines are assigned, that all action items have a realistic deadline, and that each assignment is given to individuals who can achieve those tasks.

Focus on Others

It may be natural to focus on what you’re doing, but shifting attention to others and their emotional needs is important. Problems often arise because of difficulties in communicating, stress, and individuals focusing on giving input rather than listening to others.

Recognizing when people are struggling, how people respond to both criticism and reward, and what they are capable of will allow you to better delegate tasks, meeting-room communication, and make decisions based on capabilities.

Be Accountable for Your Results

Meetings are often time-sinks, where you can become caught up in anything. Recognizing when you’re going off-topic, when you aren’t delegating well, and when you need to practice emotional intelligence to help your team communicate will help you to have better meetings overall.

Good meetings require a combination or organization, emotional intelligence, and trust between team members or participants. Working to foster all three with emotional intelligence, good workplace tools and structure, and by building good habits will help you to improve the efficacy of your meetings.

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