Great Leaders Understand Why Small Gestures Matter – From Harvard Business Review, January 2020

An excellent read on how a genuine, personal touch and the human factor can really elevate your business:

 

https://hbr.org/2020/01/great-leaders-understand-why-small-gestures-matter

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The Unexpected Benefits of Pursuing a Passion Outside of Work

The Unexpected Benefits of Pursuing a Passion Outside of Work

HBR – November, 2019

Christmas Opening Hours and Our New Address

 

Davitt Corporate Partners would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We are excited to start the new year at our new office in 10 Herbert Street, D02 EF99!

Please note that our offices will be closed from Monday the 23rd of December 2019, reopening on Thursday the 2nd of January 2020. We will have very limited access to email during this period. Should you need to contact us urgently, you can reach Adrienne Davitt on 087 242 9120.

This year we supported Dogs for the Blind, Front Line Defenders, Focus, 4Ocean, Uplift and St. Vincent de Paul.

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A slightly belated Happy 83rd Birthday (December 16th) to the inspiration that is Heather Birkett Cattell; an American Clinical Psychologist by training, however, she is much better known for her work in Organisational Psychology, along with her husband, Raymond Cattell. Raymond is, without a doubt, the most influential and important Psychologist in the history of Psychometric Testing and, in particular personality assessment.

For those of us who use, appreciate and understand that not all personality tests are created equally and that so called “expert systems” may produce a “report” – actually, it’s an insult to call them reports – they may produce documents describing the results, they are hopelessly limited in terms of how they explain the interaction of different factors. If the personality profile produces a very unusual interaction, or even just a score, they will, of course, have a stock phrase to explain this highly unusual interaction. Stop!!! This is supposed to be a birthday wish.

Apart from her extensive work on the 16PF, Heather wrote the seminal work, in my opinion, on the 16PF: The 16PF Personality in Depth by Heather Birkett Cattell,  1989 

It is also worth mentioning Essentials of 16PF® Assessment by Heather E. P. Cattell and John Schuerger, 2003 (yes, it’s a different Heather Cattell. This Heather is the daughter of Raymond and Heather Birkett).

While we’re on the subject of personality tests, please do not ever use the DiSC. I will ask Dr. Steve Blinkhorn to put together a few words on the DiSC. If you don’t already know about it’s origins, you will be utterly amazed!

  

What is a Culture Survey and Why Does My Organisation Need One?

The culture of an organisation directly affects its performance and the bottom line. Improved performance is a direct result of increased employee engagement. Data from Queens University Centre for Business Venturing shows that an organisation with an engaged culture reaps many benefits, including:

 

  • 20% less absenteeism
  • 26% less employee turnover
  • 15% greater employee productivity
  • 30% greater customer satisfaction levels
  • 100% more unsolicited employment applications

 

Therefore, if your organisation is looking to increase its performance, it needs to improve on its employee engagement. Culture surveys provide you with tangible objectives for change. By repeating your survey regularly, it is possible to measure progress and identify key areas which require additional focus, in turn, increasing both performance and profits.

A culture survey will enable you to focus on the most critical aspects of your companies’ culture which will drive results and enable you to make the behavioural changes which can have the most significant impact.

 

Considerations 

The creation and deployment of an employee engagement survey is a reasonably simple process.  More complex are the ways in which the survey is positioned with employees:

  • a statement of purpose
  • policy and procedure
  • respecting individual anonymity
  • how the results and outcomes will be communicated
  • commitment to action on the part of the organisation

In our experience the success of an intervention pivots on the extent to which the above matters have been anticipated, planned for and employee expectations set by the organisation.

 

Recommendation

 

We work with organisations to ensure that an appropriate policy and procedure is in place to facilitate the successful execution of your survey.  This initial stage would involve reviewing the way that the initiative was described. This would include:

  • why the survey was being conducted
  • what was being requested of each individual
  • how the opinions of each individual would be collected
  • how it would be processed and by whom
  • how the results of the survey would be used by the organisation
  • how the results and consequent actions/initiatives would be communicated to employees

 

The above points represent critical steps in ensuring that the survey has a net positive outcome for the organisation. The risk of not giving due consideration to these points is a profound and negative impact on attitudes and morale.

Questions used in the survey are tailored to the organisation, this is not a one size fits all approach, because of course no two organisations are the same and nor are their objectives, goals and priorities.

We would work with you to disseminate the survey and gather the results. We would analyse the results and report to key stakeholders on:

  • The whole organisation
  • Department by department
  • Job level

We present the report of the results in an readily understandable format, identifying implications and with suggestions on future actions.

Managing Your Personal Impact

First impressions are, undeniably important in terms of building your personal brand. Most of us are aware that others make decisions about us within the first few seconds of meeting us. However, if we are striving to make a positive impact on others, it is important to follow-up, with behaviours which support those impressions. Ways to improve and maintain your personal impact include:

 

Initial Impressions:

Demonstrate confidence – while this may not come naturally to everyone, practising until you do feel confident  will help. Push yourself to do things you do not feel confident doing, such as speaking publicly. After doing it a few times, it will become easier and you will be less inclined to shy away from such situations.

Personal grooming – ensure that you are always smartly turned out. This does not mean that you need to have the latest in terms of style, but ensure that your clothes are neatly ironed, shoes shined and heeled, and that hair and nails are neat – these points are equally important for men as they are for women. Also, ensure that you dress appropriately for the occasion and adhere to the dress code.

 

Body Language:

Pay attention to how you carry yourself, posture is important and is something which can seriously affect your personal impact, either in a negative or a positive way. Stand tall, sit up straight and carry yourself with confidence.

Make eye contact with the person to whom you are speaking. People who do not make eye contact can come across as suspicious or nervous, neither of which is a desirable impression to make. However, take care not to prolong it to the extent that it comes across as aggressive. Maintaining appropriate eye contact projects confidence and trustworthiness.

Control your facial expressions. If you are speaking with someone, try to appear interested and don’t allow your eyes to wander around the room. Your face can easily betray feelings of boredom, disinterest or anger.

 

In the Workplace:

Timing – don’t just be on time, be 5 minutes early to meetings. If you are running late, ring ahead to let the person know. If you are responsible for delivering a piece of work, make sure that this is delivered on time and if this becomes impossible, due to circumstances beyond your control, be sure to communicate what is happening to the relevant stakeholders as soon as possible. Try to offer some alternatives or solutions to the problem and apologise. Do not become known as unreliable.

Don’t be a gossip – if you have nothing positive to say, say nothing at all. Gossip in the workplace breeds resentment and mistrust – don’t be someone who contributes to this.

Listen to others – even those who are junior or less experienced. Don’t be known as the person who takes up all the airtime.