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Keep the Dust From Settling on Your Corporate Values

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dusty booksIf a business leader wants a high performing, consistently profitable organization, then creating an environment where remarkable experiences for customers and employees are the norm has to go on the ‘must do’ list.

When it comes to successfully executing this, the challenges that we see companies wrestle with are they often don’t have the mindset, culture, skills, systems, and frameworks to pull it off. What makes it more difficult is that many leaders don’t recognize there is an issue at hand. Let’s expose the elephant here—you can reflect on whether your organization needs help in this area.

Consider this: let’s assume that your organization has a clear vision and mission. People across the entire company understand why the company exists, who you aspire to be, and what success looks like. That is a HUGE deal, and you get points for creating that level of clarity. Think of that as the top structure, the roof, of your organizational Parthenon.

Just as important, though, is the foundation. It supports the overall structure of your building—those are the organization’s values. Values are traits or qualities that represent the organization’s highest priorities and deeply held driving forces.

Value statements, or phrases, define how people want to behave with each other in the organization. They are statements about how the organization will value customers, suppliers, and the internal community. Value statements describe actions that are the living enactment of the fundamental values held by most individuals within the organization.

All makes sense, right? The challenge is that in most firms, the values statements are just words that live on a business card, or website, or in an employee handbook. In reality, they are NOT an expression of how the organization really thinks or behaves—and that creates CONFUSION, FRUSTRATION, and DISENGAGEMENT. All  this can lead to regrettable employee and customer attrition, and lost revenue and profits. I hate to be a skeptic, because I know how much you want to have a winning culture, but I’d place this bet: this is happening in your organization.

Here is how you can check—dust off your organization’s values, and consider this:

•  With each value, or value statement, do you also have a corresponding list of behaviors that connect to that value? (Are there ways to PROVE that people in the organization are living the values?)

•  Reflect on each value and the corresponding behaviors; do employees at all levels, across hierarchical boundaries, engage in regular dialogue about ways the individuals, and the organization as a whole, are living those values? For example, at eQ, when we see one of our team members living our values, we send a company-wide email citing the example, and give a shout out to the person(s) involved in the expression of the value(s). We will also leverage social media channels to share great news, when appropriate. TIP: want more great mindset and behavior? Shout it from the rooftops when it happens! We see all too often that people get too ‘busy’ working, and fail to reinforce these great things. This leads employees to wonder if it even matters. Other than intrinsic drive, which varies from person to person, nothing keeps inspiration levels high, so the mindset and behaviors start to slide in the wrong direction.

•  Conversely, when there are examples of when individuals or the organization do NOT appropriately live the values, that dialogue needs to happen. (One-on-One when appropriate, or if it’s an organization-wide issue, team meetings and other interventions may be needed.) We see this even more frequently. Integrity is a common organizational value—and a great one, I might add; IF, and only IF, you really mean it. Integrity is a BIG word. Companies often pick this as a value because it feels right. Customers want to do business with people who have integrity, and, of course, we aren’t going to steal from our customers, so integrity fits, right? Not so fast. Integrity is much, much deeper than that. It involves being really open and honest with co-workers, and not dodging tough topics. It is living up to our service commitments—always, and not making excuses when we mess up. It is being humble enough to admit faults and shortcomings to co-workers, which is super tough for some folks. And finally, it is managing UP—professionally and tactfully addressing senior leaders when they aren’t living the values. TOUGH STUFF.

Living the values, and expressing the brand of the organization takes deliberate and consistent effort. It is hard work, and is not for the faint of heart. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it comes with significant pain. However, the rewards are worth it. Your firm becomes a magnet for top talent and high performers; customers rave about your commitment, service, and attitude; internal politics, silos, and turf wars start to disappear (all because nobody has time for them), they’re too busy living the values!

Take an honest inventory of where your company is on this topic. I can’t overstate the importance of this area of your business, and how critical it is to your organization’s short and long term health. If you aren’t crushing it in this area, don’t put it off—GET TO IT, NOW. Every day you wait is another day your employees, co-workers, customers, prospects, and other stakeholders have  the right to call you out for being inauthentic and hypocritical—and they might be right. Tough words, I know; tough pill to swallow, I know.

Take the first step. Do the inventory. Then, do what is necessary.

Andrew Freedman, Principal at entreQuest, specializes in helping eQ’s clients grow by creating well aligned company cultures and strategies that result in remarkable client and employee experiences.

Posted in Employee Experience, Grow Regardless, Motivation, Success | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Things You Never Want to Say During the Interview Process

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DO NOTBeing in the world of talent acquisition for more than six years, you learn a lot from people you interview. As talent consultants one of the things we do is coach people how to interview, which means giving feedback on what to say, and not to say. Below are a few things that we suggest NOT to say before or during an interview.

1.  “I’ll do anything”: This response typically comes after a question is asked about what someone wants to do in regards to a role. This ambiguous response leads me to believe that you have either not thought about your career goals, you haven’t discovered your strengths, you are desperate for a job, or that you are over confident that you will be successful in any role. There are few people that we have met in an organization that can truly do any position. Even if you are at a crossroads in your career, and aren’t sure which direction to take, do some research and come prepared to an interview. If you don’t know what type of position you are looking for how do you expect an employer to hire you?

2.  “I’m flexible with money”: People are often fearful that if they put a dollar figure on what they are looking for, they will be disqualified for a job. If you truly are open to taking less money than what you made in the past, reveal what you have made and why you are OK with taking less. There are also people out there who simply do not want to say what they have made, and by doing this you run the risk of wasting everyone’s time. If you get to the finish line and an offer is presented, you could be very disappointed when an offer doesn’t come close to what you were expecting. It’s fair to say that most people can be flexible depending on the opportunity, but everyone’s definition of “flexible” varies. My advice is to be transparent, and truly understand where you need be financially before you advance in the hiring process.

3.  “Should I bring a resume?”: The answer is always yes, and bring extra copies. The person interviewing you may or may not print them, and you don’t want to run the risk of not having one. Your first impression needs to be remarkable! Not appearing to be prepared doesn’t make you stand out from the other 10 people they met last week.

4.  “What does your company do?”: This is a sure way to embarrass yourself! Especially when the internet makes it easy to learn about businesses. If a website doesn’t really help paint a story for you acknowledge what you did research, and ask questions that show you did some homework before coming to the interview. Employers want to hire people who are passionate about their company, not someone who is just looking for a paycheck.

5.  “I understand what you are going through”: You may have a similar experience as the person you are interviewing with, but until you walk in their shoes you can’t really say that you truly understand. You may come off as arrogant even though you are trying to communicate your similar experience. Instead, tell them you appreciate what they have done because you have had something similar happen to you.

The main lesson of it all is simply to be transparent, prepared, and confident. A lot of people let nerves take over, which can lead to fast talking and saying things you don’t mean. Take a breath, slow down, and think before you speak. You will do great!

 

As Talent Acquisition Manager, Jessica focuses on finding the right candidates to fit our clients’ needs. She works with our clients to understand the exact skills and attributes that would fit with the cultural climate and their environment.

Posted in Employee Experience, Motivation, Success, Talent Acquisition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Ways to Create the BEST Performance Reviews Ever!

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Performance ReportMost employees dread performance reviews. Why?

•  They are usually annual conversations, only, with very little preparation or follow up.

•  Input and feedback from supervisors is typically not valuable from the employee’s perspective, and so the employee doesn’t learn how to get better.

•  Setting goals is a rote exercise, not really tied to organizational goals or the individual’s passions, so employees aren’t inspired to achieve.

Sound familiar? There is a better way – try these 5 tips for creating the best performance reviews:

•  Goal setting should have clear connections to the broader organizational goals, as well as the employee’s personal passions and goals. Making this link ratchets up inspiration 1000%

•  The actual review is only one conversation in a series of ongoing discussions through the year. Monthly discussions about how the employee is performing, what is working, and what help is needed keeps the conversation fresh and the employee consistently inspired to achieve.

•  Prepare in advance – who needs to bring what? What are the topics of discussion? Clarity and alignment = mutual success.

•  Have the employee do a self-evaluation, and the supervisor do an evaluation too. Engage in a dialogue about any gaps that are found.

Seek outside input. Whether an official 360 degree review is done or not, getting input from co-workers, partners, and others in the organization with whom the employee has close contact makes a HUGE difference.

Performance reviews should serve as a critical input to your system of management and create an inspired, high performance organization. Mix these ingredients into your recipe, and you will love the new flavor of your reviews.

Andrew Freedman, Principal at entreQuest, specializes in helping eQ’s clients grow by creating well aligned company cultures and strategies that result in remarkable client and employee experiences.

Posted in Employee Experience, Grow Regardless, Motivation, Success | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Easily Navigate Basic Interview Questions

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QuestionsIf you find yourself interviewing with someone, and don’t have a personal connection, it’s important that you are prepared to differentiate yourself from the competition. Here are some basic interview questions that we often see candidates have a difficult time answering:

•  Tell me about yourself – This is the time to tell your story and make yourself stand out in less than 3 minutes. Find a way to give insight into your character, as well as your professional experience. People want to work with people they like, so give them an opportunity to see a glimpse of what you enjoy doing outside of the workspace. Do you volunteer, play sports, have a unique hobby, or did you maybe have a life changing experience which in-turn affected your professional life? This is the time to share.

•  Why did you leave – People want to understand your motivations for leaving a job. I’m sure you have read plenty of articles that tell you not to bash former employers, this is sound advice; but, it is OK to say that the culture was not in line with your values. Be prepared to have examples if this is your route. Maybe you left a position to care for someone, don’t be afraid to be transparent, it adds to your character. When you are telling your story it’s helpful to include these reasons. Plus, it makes it less repetitive for someone, so they don’t have to ask the same question for every position you discuss.

•  What did you do for said Company – Think of the STAR model when talking about your experience. The word STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. If you can use all four when explaining your experiences, you demonstrate an ability to identify a need, create strategy and, implement a plan to produce a result.

•  Why would you like to work here – This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you have researched the company and truly have a passion about their organization. Does the company partner with the community, have they been in the news for recent accomplishments, are there fantastic reviews on Glassdoor or LinkedIn? Anyone can go to the website and say they like the industry, or have heard good things, but if you can make a connection that resonates beyond the surface, you are sure to stand out.

Preparation is the key to having a successful interview. Come prepared with at least 6 questions, multiple copies of your resume, and a pad for taking notes. Craft out your answers to these common questions and you will have more confidence during the process. Good luck!

 

As Talent Acquisition Manager, Jessica focuses on finding the right candidates to fit our clients’ needs. She works with our clients to understand the exact skills and attributes that would fit with the cultural climate and their environment.

Posted in Grow Regardless, Motivation, Success, Talent Acquisition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Clues Your Boss is Phoning in Your Performance Review; and 3 Steps to Re-Engage Him

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The-Simpsons-s11e11-Faith-OffPerformance reviews are the perfect opportunities for magic to happen. They’re an occasion for employees to really reflect on their role and contribution to the organization. The review is also a time where employees have the chance to give feedback on what is working, what support they need, their interests, dreams, etc. Performance reviews can be a great time for people to reconnect and reset, allowing for an open opportunity to improve and course correct moving forward.

Very few things are worse than an employee all geared up and prepared for his performance review to find that the BOSS gave the performance review less than 3 minutes of thought. This happens all the time, bosses show up, check the box, do a little dance, and hope you don’t notice. If you are an employee…don’t let your boss get away with it. If you are a boss – step up.

Here are 5 clues that your boss isn’t prepared:

1.  You haven’t heard anything from your boss about your review since your last review…1 year ago. Chances are your boss hasn’t thought about your review since last year, and your score is going to be based on his mood. Good luck.

2.  He shows up late. This means that he didn’t prepare enough to get to the meeting on time.

3.  The review lasts less than 30 minutes. This happens regularly in corporate America. Reviews are a check the box exercise that need a good paper trail and that’s it.

4.  Your boss shows up empty handed and has no idea what your goals are.

5.  Your boss forces you to give all of the feedback and assessments on yourself without adding his opinion. This is a sure sign that he hasn’t developed an opinion, and is hopeful to build off of yours.

If your boss is guilty as charged and hits 3 or more of these, he isn’t prepared for your review. The bad news is that this means more work for you. The good news is, this is your opportunity to ENGAGE your boss. For whatever reason, he’s lost interest in you (probably not personal); but, in the grand scheme of things this review is last on his list in terms of importance. While we completely disagree with this mindset, and believe that performance reviews are one of the MOST important activities for a boss and employee to go through – we see it all the time.

If you fall into the “my boss isn’t prepared for my performance review” category, some of the responsibility rests on you. You have to engage your boss – and here’s how:

1.  Send him a self-evaluation about your performance seventy-two hours in advance. To receive a template for this, please email me at maaronson@entrequest.com.

2.  Twenty-four hours before the performance review send him your goals, so that he has the most recent copy. And don’t forget to communicate your anticipation and excitement for the opportunity to get his feedback.

3.  After the review, send a follow-up email recapping what you discussed.

Sometimes you have to manage up. Your career path is important – so take the reins. Don’t let a bad, unprepared, disengaged boss get in the way of your development (or bonus)!

 

Misti Aaronson is the Executive Vice President and a partner at entreQuest. She utilizes her talents and expertise from working with countless organizations to help businesses grow through expert talent acquisition, growth methodology and development of their teams.

Posted in Employee Experience, Grow Regardless, Motivation, Success, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Ways to Become a Magnet for High Performers

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talent-magnet-600x400Regardless of when you read this blog, there has NEVER been a better time for your organization to attract high performers to your organization.

We are big believers that when you find individuals who can add massive value to your company and your clients, you need to find a place for them on your team.

The issue, though, is that you are working too darn hard to find, attract, hire, and retain these great performers. And, in many cases, when you think you’ve hired a top performer the results don’t match the intent. Your company should be a magnet for top talent. IMAGINE– the best of the best are knocking on your door, emailing you, coming to you via introductions, and all asking how they can be a part of what is happening and how they can contribute. They want to help you grow your enterprise, and although they could work anywhere they chose YOUR company as the only place that makes sense.

You can do this, and your company can be this. Here are 3 ways to help you turn your organization into a magnet for high performers:

•  Get clear on the organization’s vision, values, and behaviors. At an organizational level this clarity must exist. The entirety of the company must be aligned in bringing these elements to life. If we claim that one of our aspirations is to intimately know our customers so we can anticipate their needs and offer proactive service to them, yet we don’t think or behave in ways that are aligned to those outcomes, the entire system breaks down. When you do interview top performers they will see right through the façade. And  they will choose not to bring their skills and talents to your organization. When you get it right, they will be unbelievably inspired and grateful to join the team.

•  Define what great performance actually means. Study the folks who are the top performers in the company. They think differently, have a different mental model when it comes to performing their role, and they also have self-designed processes and ways of doing things that are invisible to the rest of the organization. The best way to understand these things is to study the way these folks do their work. Only then can you understand those elements and move towards replicating them.

•  Share the news! Inside and outside the organization. The culture must be one where folks live the brand, the vision, the mission and, the values – in everything they do. This includes sharing (not in an obtrusive or obnoxious way; but rather a consistent manner that aligns to the culture of the organization) thought leadership, company news, and educational information with the company’s and the employees’ communities – in person and on social media. This is part of the employee, client, and community experience. And it’s critical to attracting the right talent to the organization. If people can’t see an expression of the brand in regular practice, how are they supposed to ever find you or be attracted to you?

If you build it, they will come…

 

Andrew Freedman, Principal at entreQuest, specializes in helping eQ’s clients grow by creating well aligned company cultures and strategies that result in remarkable client and employee experiences.

 

Posted in Client Experiences, Employee Experience, Grow Regardless, Motivation, Success | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Success With Clarity

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Clarity2We often talk about the importance of clarity and alignment from an organizational standpoint. And we work to ensure that the entire organization knows ‘what is most important right now’, ‘what success looks like’, and ‘what is required of each business unit, department, and individual’ to achieve success.

That being said, there also needs to exist a direct alignment and link between an individual’s purpose, and that of the organization. Without this, here is what leaders of an organization and the customers of the organization get:

•  Bank tellers who come to work solely to complete transactions (and collect a paycheck)

•  Lenders who come to work solely to complete the lending transactions (and collect a paycheck)

•  Customer service reps who come to work solely to answer phones, return email, solve problems (and collect a paycheck)

•  Front line managers who drive compliance through the ranks; ensuring that systems and processes are adhered to

What is lost in the above equations is leverage and impact. These things are delivered when employees are fully engaged and show up every day, intent on achieving their personal and organizational mission and vision.

I’m not suggesting that bank tellers need to aspire to become bank CEOs, or that all lenders should aspire to be the Chief Lending Officer (you get the drift).  Although, what I do believe is that leaders should be INTENTIONAL about recruiting employees, at all levels of the organization, whose personal visions (WHY) aligns with the organization’s vision.

Example: Every day I wake up driven and inspired to make a positive difference in every interaction I have – EVERY interaction. I aspire to leave people, teams, and organizations better equipped, more inspired, more educated, and more connected than before our interaction. It is one of the reasons I love having a home at eQ. We work with a variety of leaders across a wide cross-section of industries; it allows me to live my passions while also fulfilling our organization’s vision.

As a bank teller, it makes perfect sense that the individual has a passion for serving others, a curiosity for learning about a customer’s goals and aspirations, and then connecting them with the right banking solutions. If the teller (or teller prospective employee) doesn’t have that mindset, that is NOT the right person for the job. It may seem so simple, but I can’t tell you how many times I have seen companies hire people because they have technical expertise, or seem smart, without the shared connection of passion or vision. Mistake, mistake, mistake.

What can you do to ensure this alignment? It all starts with clarity – organizational clarity of mission and vision, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and also clarity of organizational values. So when hiring, it is easier to pick candidates who align with what the organization needs to achieve: their critical goals and aspirations.

Want a tool to help with this exercise? Visit our website, and download the 25 Reasons Why Document. Then have current employees and prospective candidates complete this exercise and discuss the results. It will give you, and the employee/candidate, great insights into the person’s WHY, and whether they do, or do not align with the organization’s vision and mission.

Andrew Freedman, Principal at entreQuest, specializes in helping eQ’s clients grow by creating well aligned company cultures and strategies that result in remarkable client and employee experiences.

Posted in Employee Experience, Grow Regardless, Motivation, Success | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Reasons You Should Not Accept a Counter Offer. Ever.

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Confident bar owner. Close-up of handsome young male bartender in white shirt leaning at the bar counter and writing something in note padYou decide to leave your company, and with your resignation letter in hand you tell your boss you are done and they respond in an uncharacteristic way – she/he asks you to stay and offers you a ton of money to do so.

It’s enticing, it’s flattering, and it will definitely give you a moment to pause and make the right decision.

At eQ, we like to guide people to what they should do versus giving them a right/wrong answer. In this case, I’m comfortable telling you that there is a RIGHT and a WRONG here. I’ve actually never seen an acceptance of a counteroffer play out long-term where it wasn’t pretty uncomfortable for the employee or the boss.

So back to the right decision: you tell your boss “no thank you.”

Yes, it’s difficult, it seems like you are leaving money on the table, and that you are potentially burning a bridge, but it’s the RIGHT decision and here are 3 reasons why:

1.  If your boss thought you were worth more money, she would’ve paid you more before you decided to quit.

2.  She’s not giving you a counter offer because she wants you on her team.  In fact, she doesn’t (look at bullet 3) and is just doing her best to minimize the disruption that will occur if you leave.

3.  You will have a target on your back…forever. Telling your boss that you aren’t “in it” anymore by quitting will never be forgotten. She will give you a counteroffer, and will immediately begin trying to replace you. Worse yet, she will tell the rest of the leadership team, and you will have a tribe of enemies all looking to replace you.

Lastly, your hearts not in it, or your heart is in to something else (your new opportunity). If you really wanted more responsibilities, you would’ve asked for them. If you thought there was a way to make it work you wouldn’t have been looking.

You have to be prepared to really search deep and be honest with yourself. Going along the path of least resistance is definitely easier, and what we gravitate to as humans. One of the exercises we recommend at eQ is the 25 Reasons Why. If you are stuck, take an hour and write down the 25 Reasons Why you are excited about your new opportunity. This can help ground you to what matters most to you, and get you focused again.

So next time you are faced with a counter offer, politely decline. Instead of spending emotional energy on what should be in your past, put all of your time, energy, and effort towards your next opportunity and future. You deserve it.

 

Misti Aaronson is the Executive Vice President and a partner at entreQuest. She utilizes her talents and expertise from working with countless organizations to help businesses grow through expert talent acquisition, growth methodology and development of their teams.

 

Posted in Employee Experience, Grow Regardless, Success, Talent Acquisition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growing Regardless is a Conscious Choice

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Your choiceI’ve had the opportunity to help leaders shape their businesses, create positive change, and impact the lives of employees, clients and communities. And because of this, I consider myself one of the more fortunate people on the planet. At the same time, I believe that I get to do these things because of a series of intentional choices I’ve made throughout my life. Part of what is so challenging for me (and many of the profiles and assessments I’ve taken also reflect what I’m about to say) is that I do not understand why sometimes people don’t adopt the same mindset that I have, and that is this:

Each of us is in complete control of our choices and path in this world.

Yes, circumstances beyond our control happen. Yes, unexpected events occur. Yes, in every instant, not everything goes exactly as we would prefer. Here’s the deal though: none of that defines a person, and each person, in every moment, has a choice about how to respond to any given circumstance. In my opinion, no matter what a person may say, none of us – EVER – is without choice. With the ability to choose we can make anything, and I mean anything, of any situation or circumstance. This actually reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from the movie “Say Anything” with Jon Cusack. His character, Lloyd Dobbler, just had his heart broken by the girl he loves in the movie, and he is getting counsel from a bunch of kids at the Gas n Sip. When he asks them why they are by themselves on a Friday night with no girls anywhere, they tell him it is by conscious choice. I love it. In the movie you can see that’s clearly not the case, as they seem like less than desirable matches, but the sentiment rings true.

As an employee of a firm, you have the ability to make a conscious choice about your circumstance – in every moment. Want to achieve more? Do it. Want to get a promotion? You, and only you, are responsible for the way you network through an organization, for your accomplishments that might warrant the promotion, and for the impact you have. Can others help? Sure. But YOU own the responsibility. When you soul search do you recognize that your personal mission doesn’t align with your company’s? You aren’t trapped, or being held hostage at your company. Go do something else! I get it; you have responsibilities to your family, and money is a critical factor. At the same time, people figure it out. I’ve seen it hundreds of times. People can learn how to fulfill their passions AND make money. Shouldn’t you? Darn right you should.

As a leader of an organization you have the ability to make conscious choices about the health, prosperity, and impact of the business. Do you have people on the team who are eating away at the culture and fabric of the firm? That is totally in your control. Do something about it! As opposed to focusing on the barriers and limitations, focus on the result. The long view of this is how those critical moves will move the organization forward (as opposed to the things holding you back). After all, isn’t your responsibility as a leader to model what it looks like to live the values and vision of the firm? If you don’t who will????

You have the ability and responsibility to choose – every day, in every moment. Choose wisely.

 

Andrew Freedman, Principal at entreQuest, specializes in helping eQ’s clients grow by creating well aligned company cultures and strategies that result in remarkable client and employee experiences.

 

Posted in Client Experiences, Employee Experience, Grow Regardless, Motivation, Success | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

eQHarmony – Making Organizational Matchmaking Easier

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cupidFinding the perfect career match is tough stuff! But it doesn’t have to be quite so hard.

If you have interviewed someone or have been on an interview recently, you know how challenging it can be to really get to know a candidate, or potential employer, during the interview process. Candidates are more schooled than ever in how to “ace” an interview. Employers are well-versed in how to effectively pitch their organization, making them more attractive to top talent.

While both parties are courting the other, what really matters is getting through the surface level mutual attractiveness to understand whether each party can fully help the other live into their vision, mission, and goals. Regardless of which “side” of the conversation you are on, here are some quick and effective tips to help you dig beneath the surface level sales and marketing pitch of the other party, and really determine if the potential career match is the right one.

•  Make it a values based discussion: Ask the potential employer about the firm’s core values (or ask the candidate about his/her values). More importantly, ask for evidence of how those things show up? What are the behaviors that they put into regular practice and serve as evidence of the values coming to life? It is also useful to ask about a time when the candidate/firm had to make a tough decision based on one of their values.

•  Culture, culture, culture: Ask the candidate about the best company culture she has experienced, why it was the best, and what she contributed to make that culture more vibrant. Ask her to talk about a time when a coworker’s actions or mentality wasn’t aligned with the culture or values – and, what she did in that situation. Ask the potential employer to describe the company culture, with examples of how the culture comes to life. Also, ask the potential employer to cite examples of times when the organization used the culture to make specific decisions (when an employee wasn’t fitting the culture, or a tough client decision that involved the culture).

•  Responsibility and Accountability: Ask the candidate how she defines each of these terms. Then ask for examples of how she embodies them. Also, ask for examples where she didn’t take responsibility or accountability when she should have. Ask the potential employer how responsibility and accountability come to life in the organization. Ask for examples of how employees hold each other accountable, and also how employees hold senior executives accountable. Especially, with regard to accountability, if there is no strong evidence of peer accountability, or upward accountability, that could be  an indicator of weak organizational alignment, transparency, or health.

In all the cases above, the goal is to really understand what it will be like working together. Hiring mistakes on either end of the equation are too costly. Profile tests and assessments can be very useful to help curb hiring mistakes. They can demonstrate a sense of what actually happens, how people think and behave in real life situations, and provide great insight and value into the quality of the potential relationship. In reality, the profile tests and assessments do a great job in allowing both parties to make fully informed decisions.

Be sure to put in the time and effort up front – after all, you deserve to work with only the highest performing people and organizations, right?

 

Andrew Freedman, Principal at entreQuest, specializes in helping eQ’s clients grow by creating well aligned company cultures and strategies that result in remarkable client and employee experiences.

Posted in Client Experiences, Employee Experience, Grow Regardless, Motivation, Success | Leave a comment

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