A revolution is on the horizon as workplace power shifts to the worker and individuals prioritize themselves and their professional and personal lives post COVID-19. As organizations reset and redefine their workplaces, “nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of Canadians are prioritizing self-improvement, looking to level up their work and life … and 68 percent are unafraid to make a move if something is not working for them, saying work-life balance needs to be upheld without compromise.”
The better organizations are seeking solutions on how to invest in their people (including new skills to lead change and stay resilient in this new working world), fortify their cultures, and help employees execute and create value for all their stakeholders. Organizations in Canada are also seeing and realizing the need to invest in employees. In a recent Gartner survey of 113 learning and development leaders, 71% said that more than 40% of their workforce has needed new skills due to changes to work brought on by COVID-19.
To adopt a more dynamic approach to managing this revolution, organizations should do some “shadow” work. Most of us have become rather comfortable with ourselves and our actions. The motivations behind our actions come from the right place, in our own minds, but are those actions perceived the way we intend for them to land on our team members? The whole concept of “sender-receiver” can fall short when we are unaware of how differently the other person may interpret our words and actions.
“When you’re looking in the mirror, you’re looking at the problem. But remember, you are also looking at the solution.” – Anonymous
Finding ways to tap into becoming self-aware and see the way you are truly perceived by others can be an invaluable growth opportunity—not to mention a powerful engagement tactic when you involve your team.
Start by honestly assessing your organization (everyone), from top to bottom. There are several assessment instruments, including The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment, as being helpful in facilitating self-reflection. The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment evaluates behavior using behavioral science. The personal insight gained will likely be validating and will provide an objective outside view that may be enlightening and thought-provoking. What makes the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment stand out from the rest is its ease of use and the common language that can be fostered and developed across your organization.
Watch yourself and learn.
Develop an action plan. Have managers do a 360 and have your employees participate in an engagement survey. Make it a safe environment for input. This is not a time to defend yourself. Just listen. Make it clear that this will be an ongoing process and your goal is to make it a healthy, encouraging, and productive environment for everyone. Reach out to team members and/or friends and family and have honest conversations. The goal is to thoroughly understand the different styles across your organization, how they are perceived, and ways in which you can develop individuals and teams. Do not rely only on those with who you connect or know well. Sometimes those people who do not fully understand can provide the most perspective.
Be aware of others.
Observing other people’s strengths will serve to inform the self-aware leader about what they do well and will help them appreciate and value the different approaches brought by others. Here, too, the insights from a quality behavioral assessment would provide a framework for observation and learning.
Pay attention to the PI of your receivers and adjust where necessary. If you feel comfortable enough to have people point out negatively perceived actions at the moment, do so! There is no better way to become aware than to have it presented as the action is happening. Be open. Allow growth and watch as your team becomes more engaged and more productive. After the month is up, gather the team and discuss!
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