Maximize Team Productivity With Relatability

Friday, October 2, 2015
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The workforce is shifting from individual knowledge workers to teams, making team-based productivity increasingly important. For HR professionals, this means an increased emphasis on hiring the right people, fostering a climate where people understand themselves and each other, and helping employees adapt their communication styles to best relate to others. When people understand each other, teams are able to work with greater trust, improved communication and better productivity.

Understanding Relatability

Employee relatability -- the balance of communication styles and core convictions on a team -- directly impacts a team's ability to produce. Every employee possesses a fundamental communication style, characterized by how they interact with others. There are four essential types, each with key themes:

* Director (authority, control). Says what he or she believes is relevant and directly to the point. Directors sometimes hear only what they want, and prefer interactions to be factual, not emotional.

* Encourager (excitement, fun). Speaks often, sometimes exaggerating to make a point. Encouragers generally hear conversations in broad strokes, and prefer people to share their emotional enthusiasm.

* Facilitator (harmony, security). Reserved and friendly, speaking in gentle tones. Facilitators listen patiently, and like to be appreciated for listening.

* Tracker (understanding, details). Describes everything in detail. Will often press for additional information. Trackers strive to be understood with clarity.

In a team comprised of only directors, for example, leadership conflict may occur. Conversely, on a team made up of only encouragers, the team may struggle to work effectively.

Every individual has a set of core convictions comprised of ambition, belief, compassion and discipline. These convictions are combined in different strengths. They are hard-wired into our personality, and rarely change dramatically. Alignment of core convictions is an important factor in creating a feeling of engagement. Although perfect alignment is not required, generally the more closely an employee's values align with the company and the team, the more likely he or she will be to engage. Engaged, collaborative teams are able to inspire innovation and drive greater results and productivity. They're also more likely to have fun while working, which is equally important for engagement and retention.

Improved Performance Through the Entire Employee Life Cycle

With HR technology, employers have the opportunity to infuse relatability and engagement into every critical process and event in the employee life cycle. "When relatability is made fundamental to human capital management, HR is able to have an immediate impact on the business," says David Ossip, CEO of Ceridian HCM Inc. "Beginning with the recruiting process, organizations can measure candidate compatibility with their team and hiring manager. Teams can be built and balanced to take advantage of employees' complementary strengths and styles to improve team performance."

The Seven Elements of an Engaged Workplace

Relatable, engaged and enthusiastic employees are far more willing to contribute discretionary effort in their work. That is, they are willing to put the time and effort in to exceed the minimum requirements for any task at hand. It follows naturally that employers that are able to capture this discretionary effort by engaging their employees have an advantage in the market. Sara Hill, chief human resources officer of Ceridian HCM Inc., has identified the seven key elements required to bring employee engagement to the next level.

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Strong leadership. Leaders who drive active engagement by being accessible, approachable and willing to help people improve are behind the strength of a workforce.

Active communication. Formal communication, from large meetings to comprehensive memos and informal daily communication employees engage in are vital to an organization's success. Ensuring employees receive timely, transparent communications and feel empowered to ask questions is key.

A vibrant culture. Developing strong values guiding the way an organization works is the first step to creating a vibrant culture. Ethical standards guiding employees, a strong commitment to openness and work/life balance are vital elements in building a vibrant culture.

Rewards and recognition. Offering rewards and recognition to high-performing employees that are tied with the organization's corporate values to high-performing employees fosters a culture of excellence and engagement.

Professional and personal growth. Workplaces that actively work with employees to develop their personal and professional skills have the most engaged employees.

Accountability and performance. Employees who are truly engaged with their work and achieving at a high level are able to prove it. The best workplaces strive for organizational excellence, measuring employee progress and being held accountable for all new developments, both positive and negative.

Vision and values. Individual employees' goals should ultimately tie back to overall organizational goals. This connection leads to the understanding that each person's achievements contribute to organizational success.

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