To boost engagement, leaders must learn to behave better

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Thu, Mar 24, 2016

To engage employees effectively, businesses need to understand what makes them tick, and to boost leaders’ emotional intelligence, says Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic




Scientific data clearly indicate that employee engagement drives organisational profitability; nonetheless, only a minority of employees in most organizations are engaged. Indeed, the evidence suggests that disengagement is not just the norm, but a worldwide epidemic.

Global surveys show that many employees dislike their jobs (Pfeffer, 2016). LinkedIn and other recruitment firms estimate that 70% of the workforce consist of passive jobseekers – people who are not actively looking for jobs, yet still hopeful for better alternatives. In the realm of relationships this would equate to 70% of married people being open to replacing their spouse. Moreover, even in economies with low unemployment such as the UK, many people are ditching traditional employment to start their own business. And while an increase in entrepreneurial activity has collective benefits, most start-ups fail, and the majority of people who switch from traditional to self-employment end up working more to earn less.

Clearly, then, disengagement is a problem, but why are so many employees disengaged? Scientific studies highlight two main reasons. First, organizations don’t understand what people really want from work; second, a substantial proportion of existing managers are incompetent leaders.

What people want from work

David Sirota, a pioneer of engagement research, notes that employees hope to fulfil three major needs at work. The first is a need for achievement—satisfied when people are given important and challenging work, and their work is recognised. The second is a need for camaraderie—met when people are able to build relationships and bond with others. The third is a need for equity—fulfilled when people think they are treated fairly.

It follows that employees will be more engaged if their accomplishments are valued by the organisation, if they can form meaningful relationships with their colleagues, and if the rules of conduct are transparent and enforced fairly. Conversely, if they feel unappreciated, isolated, or treated unfairly, they will become disengaged, alienated, and burned out.

While these needs are universal, different people may value some more than others, and these individual differences have salient career implications. For example, when employees value camaraderie over achievement, they will prioritise getting along over getting ahead. And when they care more about achievement than equity, they will tolerate unfairness as long as they can attain status.

Furthermore, the same needs may be expressed in different terms. Indeed, some people may fulfil their need for achievement through financial rewards, while other may define it in terms of recognition (e.g., promotions, publicity, and fancy job titles). Likewise, some employees may fulfil their need for camaraderie by helping their colleagues (expressing an altruistic need), whereas others may do this by partying with them (expressing a need for hedonism). Clearly, one size does not fit all — to motivate employees, organisations must learn to decode their individual values and needs at a granular level.

Incompetent leadership

Although leaders own the job of creating engaged employees, they are generally ill-prepared for the task. One reason is that the wrong people are often promote into leadership positions. Among wrong people are: those who perform well as individual contributors (because of their technical expertise) but lack the necessary people-skills to manage teams; people who are politically savvy and good at managing upwards, but too greedy to attend to their subordinates’ wellbeing; and people who are good at faking competence (i.e., seeming confident and/or taking credit for others’ achievements), but are actually talentless.

A second reason many leaders are unable to create engagement is that leadership development programmes tend to help those who need it the least: humble and self-critical leaders typically sign up for training and coaching sessions, while arrogant and self-deceived bullies are prisoners of their own self-belief.

Leading organisational psychologists, such as Robert Hogan, estimate that the baseline for managerial incompetence is at least 50%, and that may be a conservative estimate. One needs only to google “my boss is…”, “my manager is…”, or “my supervisor is…” and read the most popular auto-completion options to understand how most people regard their leaders. Unsurprisingly, research shows that most people quit their jobs because of their bosses, and that around 35% of the variability in team engagement levels can be attributed to leaders.

In order to fix their engagement problems, organisations should start by selecting and developing better leaders. Contrary to popular belief, the most engaging leaders are not confident and flamboyant (think Donald Trump); they are modest, self-aware, and empathic, meaning they have emotional intelligence. They fly under the radar while helping their teams perform; they are trustworthy and understand their limitations. In other words, the most engaging leaders are rather boring – think Angela Merkel or Tim Cook rather than Tony Blair or Steve Jobs.

More importantly, whatever their own value orientation, leaders must understand what motivates their employees. In line, to develop leaders largely requires enhancing their emotional intelligence so they can improve their ability to understand people.

At Hogan Assessments, we create scientifically defensible personality assessments to profile leaders and their teams. Our assessments don’t just predict performance – they also explain it. When leaders and teams go through them, they receive valuable information about their style, values, and limitations; this information can help leaders create engagement, and in turn, be more effective at work.

Over the past 30 years, we have assessed more than five million leaders and employees in more than 400 jobs and 50 countries. Our tools are used by 2/3 of Fortune 500 companies, as well as thousands of small businesses, to select and develop employees and leaders. You can think of us as the arms manufacturers in the war for talent: we create the “weapons” that help organisations attract the right people and develop their full potential, particularly by teaching them how to behave better.

 

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is a Professor of Business Psychology at University College London, CEO of Hogan Assessments, and a Visiting Professor at Columbia University

Pfeffer, J. (2016). Leadership BS: Fixing workplaces and careers one truth at the time. Harper Business.

As originally seen in Talent Management published by Raconteur Media on March 10, 2016 in The Times.

Topics: employee engagement, engagement

The Engaging Leader: How Do You Become One?

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Wed, Feb 24, 2016

Written by guest blogger Nick Starritt
Managing Director of Sirota, Europe, Middle East, Africa

Isn’t it curious how peoples’ engagement varies inside an organisation? Why do some teams become evidently more committed and productive than others? The graph below shows the distribution of team engagement (how people feel, think and act towards the company), across 500 teams inside a very large FMCG corporation, as measured by a consistent set of questions. Remember – this is the same company, with the same policies and procedures; the same overarching business strategy and the same set of values. 

Sirota1.png

In some teams, engagement levels could hardly be higher: 90% saying they feel proud to work for this company; that they would recommend it to friends as a place to work and that they willingly commit discretionary effort to help it succeed. Yet other teams can barely muster half that level of enthusiasm and commitment. Why is that? Our research(1) suggests that the biggest cause of the variance is down to a single source: the team’s manager. And let’s remember – multiple research studies have shown the strong and enduring relationship between engagement and how the organisation performs. So, building an engaged and committed workforce is the best way to drive organisational performance – and immediate managers have the biggest influence on employee engagement.

Most HR people understand this link. Many managers intuitively ‘get it’, too. So why do we hear that it’s so difficult to improve survey results? In part, the answer may lie in systemic issues which need to be fixed by senior management. For example, maybe decision making is slow because authority levels or risk assessment procedures are skewed inside a company. But we often find that individual managers lack an understanding of the effect their behaviour has on the team: they see the consequence via their survey results, but don’t know how to fix the issue.

If you take the case that exceptional performance is a function of exceptional leadership, then the job of each manager is to provide context, direction and guidance. They need to provide leadership which creates trust and sparks engagement. Knowing how to do these things requires several insights. You need to understand who you are, in terms of your own values and personality. Equally, you need to understand how you occur to your team, as a manager. And finally, you need to see the evidence for how engaged/disengaged that makes them feel, and how effective they are as a result. Over the past year, Sirota and Hogan Assessment have been studying the manager: team dynamic and have found a compelling pattern of correlations between manager personality and outcomes like team turnover (via analysis of voluntary exit data.)

From that initial research, the two companies joined forces to produce a unique instrument: The Engaging Leader Assessment & Report (www.theengagingleader.com). The tool combines the acclaimed Hogan personality profile, with Sirota’s team effectiveness and engagement questionnaire, and presents the manager with a clear data set, linking who they are and how they behave, with how the team feels.

For the first time, we can easily link personality and behaviour to engagement – to move beyond a classical 360 assessment into a more insightful instrument. The online tool enables HR, or other qualified coaches, to quickly set-up data-driven interventions with the manager and their team. In the coming weeks, we’ll show how various personality types affect engagement, and what interventions may be practical.

Meantime, if your organisation is looking for valid ways to help low-scoring managers move out of the bottom quartile of engagement, take a look at how this tool enables it.

Sirota2.png

In some teams, engagement levels could hardly be higher: 90% saying they feel proud to work for this company; that they would recommend it to friends as a place to work and that they willingly commit discretionary effort to help it succeed. Yet other teams can barely muster half that level of enthusiasm and commitment. Why is that? Our research1 suggests that the biggest cause of the variance is down to a single source: the team’s manager. And let’s remember – multiple research studies have shown the strong and enduring relationship between engagement and how the organisation performs. So, building an engaged and committed workforce is the best way to drive organisational performance – and immediate managers have the biggest influence on employee engagement.

Most HR people understand this link. Many managers intuitively ‘get it’, too. So why do we hear that it’s so difficult to improve survey results? In part, the answer may lie in systemic issues which need to be fixed by senior management. For example, maybe decision making is slow because authority levels or risk assessment procedures are skewed inside a company. But we often find that individual managers lack an understanding of the effect their behaviour has on the team: they see the consequence via their survey results, but don’t know how to fix the issue.

If you take the case that exceptional performance is a function of exceptional leadership, then the job of each manager is to provide context, direction and guidance. They need to provide leadership which creates trust and sparks engagement. Knowing how to do these things requires several insights. You need to understand who you are, in terms of your own values and personality. Equally, you need to understand how you occur to your team, as a manager. And finally, you need to see the evidence for how engaged/disengaged that makes them feel, and how effective they are as a result. Over the past year, Sirota and Hogan Assessment have been studying the manager: team dynamic and have found a compelling pattern of correlations between manager personality and outcomes like team turnover (via analysis of voluntary exit data.)

From that initial research, the two companies joined forces to produce a unique instrument: The Engaging Leader Assessment & Report (www.theengagingleader.com). The tool combines the acclaimed Hogan personality profile, with Sirota’s team effectiveness and engagement questionnaire, and presents the manager with a clear data set, linking who they are and how they behave, with how the team feels.

For the first time, we can easily link personality and behaviour to engagement – to move beyond a classical 360 assessment into a more insightful instrument. The online tool enables HR, or other qualified coaches, to quickly set-up data-driven interventions with the manager and their team. In the coming weeks, we’ll show how various personality types affect engagement, and what interventions may be practical.

Meantime, if your organisation is looking for valid ways to help low-scoring managers move out of the bottom quartile of engagement, take a look at how this tool enables it.

- See more at: http://www.sirota.com/blog/engaging-leader-how-do-you-become-one#sthash.OGYogDKR.dpuf

For further information, go to: www.theengagingleader.com

 

1)  Three Factor Theory of Human Motivation in the Workplace, or ACE Model (Sirota, Mischkind, & Meltzer, 2005). The Enthusiastic Employee – How companies profit by giving workers what they want  (Sirota and Klein, Pearson Business 2013)

 


 

Topics: employee engagement, engagement, engaging leader

The 4 Personality Traits Of Engaging Leaders

Posted by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic on Tue, Dec 15, 2015

Most people think of leadership as a vocation, but it's really a psychological process—namely, the process of influencing others to put aside their self-serving agendas and cooperate for the common good of a group. Companies are just bigger, more organized groups than those groups where our earliest ancestors first developed the psychological patterns we still live with today.

One reason leadership is so fundamental is because it transforms a collection of talented individuals into a coordinated team—but only if it's done in a way that actually helps the team perform well together. And since the secret to performance is engagement, it takes an engaging leader to make that happen.

Why Being Engaging Matters
Extensive psychological research shows that engagement is the key driver of individual performance—in other words, the degree to which employees think, feel, and act in ways that show their commitment to the organization. Engaged employees are energized, proud, enthusiastic, and have positive attitudes at work. Organizations whose employees are engaged show higher returns on assets, are more profitable, and yield nearly twice the value of their shareholders compared to companies characterized by low employee engagement.

On the flip side, disengaged employees underperform, get bored, and show counterproductive work behaviors, like wasting time online, not showing up, and burning out. It's been estimated that disengaged employees cost U.S. companies more than $450 billion each year.

Four Traits of Engaging Leaders
Clearly, engagement matters. But what do we know about engaging leaders? Although their style and expertise might vary, they tend to display some consistent personality characteristics. On average, they're more emotionally stable, ambitious, sociable, and interpersonally sensitive than others.

Emotional stability helps leaders stay cool under pressure so they can calm down their subordinates and keep everyone on track when things get tough.

Ambition helps leaders set challenging goals their teams need to reach for. That's especially important considering the reciprocal effects between engagement and performance. In other words, engaged employees perform better, but high-performing individuals will also be more engaged. It's either a virtuous circle or a vicious cycle depending on how well a leader leads.

Sociability helps leaders communicate with their teams, develop good networks, and put in the time it takes to nurture those relationships.

Interpersonal sensitivity causes leaders to focus more on others than on themselves. They're more altruistic and better attuned to their subordinates’ feelings.

Five Traits of Disengaging Leaders
Less effective leaders share traits that inspire disengagement in others. Being too excitable, cautious, leisurely, mischievous and attention-seeking can reduce your team's performance.

Excitability can cause disorder among employees due to a leader's erratic and unpredictable moods.

Caution is sometimes the prudent approach in certain situations, but overly cautious leaders can be frustrating because their risk-aversion makes them perpetuate the status quo even when things need to change.

Leisureliness causes leaders to be superficially polite and avoid conflict, but it can hold them back from offering constructive criticism. That, in turn, can create a passive-aggressive approach to management.

Mischievousness can occasionally be an asset as well. Clever leaders sometimes see opportunities others can't. In many cases, though, mischievous leaders appear charming to some, yet manipulative and dishonest to others. Their mixed reputations make them hard to trust.

Attention-seeking isn't usually the best trait in a leader, either. Those who want to focus more on themselves than their team members aren't likely to keep them engaged for long.

Beyond Personality
Of course, your personality doesn't determine your leadership style—only your leadership potential. The more traits you share with potentially disengaging leaders, the more effort it takes to overcome those tendencies. But you can still turn out to be a really effective leader.

As some studies have shown, it isn't just through their own behaviors that leaders impact team engagement. They can also do that by shaping their employees’ roles. When employees are starved for variety and autonomy, or when their tasks are trivial and seemingly purposeless, their engagement and performance can sink. It's up to leaders to offer regular feedback and guidance to counteract those things.

But it's a two-way street. Employees' own personalities determine how well they cope with lackluster work situations. The more conscientious and optimistic employees themselves can be, the better they'll tolerate both uninspiring jobs and bosses.

Getting More Engagement
Ultimately, every leader can make a deliberate effort to become more engaging through their own actions and dispositions. It starts simply with being aware of your tendencies so you can understand their impact on others.

Most leaders fail because they don't perceive well enough how others perceive their behaviors. That's why the bulk of executive coaching interventions try to reduce the negative effects of leaders’ personalities and dial up the behaviors that actually do engage their teams.

It's also important to craft meaningful and rewarding jobs for your teams, assigning everybody to the right role and ensuring the teammates know what you want them to achieve and why. If that doesn't work, your next best bet is simply to hire people who are happy by temperament. That might not sound like much of a leadership technique, but it still takes a savvy leader to understand how attitude can make a real difference. Happy employees are actually likely to stay engaged for longer, even if their productivity stays the same.

This article originally appeared in Fast Company.

Topics: leadership, employee engagement, engagement

The Engagement Epidemic: Why It Begins and Ends with Leadership

Posted by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic on Tue, Nov 10, 2015

The topic of employee engagement is ubiquitous in HR conversations from independent professionals to the C-suite. It’s no wonder that companies are taking note. Studies consistently show that employees work more efficiently, are less likely to leave their jobs, and more likely to take pride in their work and that of their company, when they are engaged. Engagement has also been linked to a number of important business outcomes, including higher levels of customer service, customer satisfaction, an environment of better collaboration and creativity, and fewer workplace accidents. Thus engagement is the best single diagnostic measure of an organization’s wellbeing and potential: engaged organizations are happy and likely to be productive; disengaged organizations need help.

Unfortunately, engagement is far from the work place norm. Surveys indicate that no less than 70% of the global workforce is either not engaged or actively disengaged. Although these data are often contested – it classifies people as “engaged” only if they agree with every statement of an engagement survey – it is based on organizations who actually bother asking their employees how they feel at work. Most companies in the world still don’t, so there is arguably a significant amount of selective sampling here: the most miserable employees in the world are probably not even included in these data!

In addition, it is estimated that 70% of the employed workforce in most developed economies consists of passive job seekers; that is, people who are not actively looking for a job but passively waiting for an offer or opportunities. For example, LinkedIn estimates that 2/3 of its 350 million members are passive job seekers. And, self-employment and start-up activity rates have been increasing for over a decade. In the US alone, by 2020, 40% of the workforce will be self-employed. Although people enter self-employment and launch their own business for many different reasons, there is a common cause that determines most of these decisions over and over again: the desire to be your own boss, or, rather, the desire to avoid working for someone else. Bad leadership, then, is the most common cause for the disengagement epidemic.

Where’s the disconnect?
Engagement is not merely about making employees happier at work; it is about bringing out the best in people and tapping their full potential on a day-to-day basis. As managers, we are often unaware of our disengaging behaviors. A leader’s personality and values have tremendous impact on an individual’s ability to meet three basic psychological needs:

  • The need to have good relationships with others. Good leaders foster teamwork, friendship, and collaboration through modeling healthy conflict and good relationships; inept leaders tend to divide and isolate employees through manipulation, micromanaging, or command-and-control leadership.
  • The desire to be successful. Good leaders promote employee contributions and champion their successes; they are seen as fair and clearly set out the rules of the game for every team member. In contrast, bad leaders blame their employees for their own failures and compete with them, often by taking credit for others’ accomplishments.
  • The desire to find meaning, both in work and life. Good leaders provide their subordinates with a clear sense of purpose and a meaningful mission. Through a clear mission, they explain to subordinates why their work and the long-term strategy of the organization matter. Conversely, bad leaders alienate employees by depriving them from meaning.

Take a look in the mirror
While the overall strategy to drive employee engagement may vary by organization, the discussion must always begin and end with leadership. HR departments rely on annual survey results while looking for exciting ways to enhance employee happiness. Lavish amenities are thrown at employees. But these efforts are moot without an understanding of one of the best ways to improve employee engagement: by taking a look in the mirror.

Leadership and effective management are crucial to employee engagement. Indeed, our data indicates that around 20-30% of the variance in employee engagement can be attributed to factors directly related to leadership, particularly employees’ direct line manager. Great leaders engage followers and harness their energy to perform to their highest ability. They create synergies and turn average individual players into an A-team. Who you are (your personality), determines how you behave, the decisions you make, and the culture you instill, and these three consequences of your character will have a substantial impact on your team’s performance and morale.

If you are a leader, ask yourself the following questions: Do you set goals and establish clarity? Do you create effective team processes? What sort of climate are you creating? Is there a clear alignment between what you say and what you do? Do you provide employees with critical, but constructive, feedback? Do you push your team to perform to the highest possible level? Finally, do you know what your team’s mindset is right now?

The extra mile
When people are engaged, they find meaning at work and are proud of what they do; they are willing to go the extra mile and work beyond their formal roles or responsibilities. The bottom line is that leadership creates engagement, higher employee engagement equals better organizational performance, and lower employee engagement equals worse organizational performance. Thus, engagement is the ultimate metric for evaluating leadership effectiveness.

This article originally appeared in HR Examiner.

Topics: employee engagement, engagement

How To Grow Employee Engagement Using Personality

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Fri, Jul 31, 2015

Hogan and Sirota Asia Pacific teamed up in a panel discussion for an exclusive look at how leadership is killing employee engagement in Singapore on July 30. Speakers included Lewis Garrad, managing director of Sirota Asia Pacific; Ho Wan Leng, CEO & chief consulting officer of Optimal Consulting; and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Ph.D., CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems. Human Resources Online covered the event in the article 3 tips on how to avoid selecting bad leaders.

Group Tomas-5
Lewis Wan

Topics: personality, employee engagement

SIOP 2014 Symposium: From Leader's Personality to Employee Engagement

Posted by Hogan News on Tue, May 06, 2014

SIOP Hawaii
Extensive research highlights the importance of work engagement – employees’ morale and involvement with work – as determinant of individual and organizational performance. Large-scale studies show that engagement is positively correlated with a wide range of important business outcomes, such as organizational commitment, citizenship, innovation, and team performance, and negatively correlated with turnover intentions, strain, and burnout (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001; Seibert, Wang, & Courtright, 2011). Furthermore, meta-analytic evidence indicates that higher engagement levels are directly translated into higher business revenues and profits (Harter et al, 2009). These findings have prompted organizations to monitor engagement levels via regular employee surveys. According to Gallup, who surveys millions of employees every year, only 30% of Americans are engaged at work, and the most common reason for disengagement is employees’ direct boss or line manager. Thus leadership is a critical antecedent of engagement (Wollard & Shuck, 2011).

Leadership is typically defined as the ability to build and maintain high-performing teams (Hogan, 2007). As engagement is a key driver of individual-, team-, and unit-level performance, it has been argued that leaders influence organizational effectiveness by engaging employees, or failing to do so (Schaufeli & Salanova, 2007). Meta-analyses suggest that leadership effectiveness increases employees’ job satisfaction and commitment (Dumdum, Lowe, & Avolio, 2002; Fuller, Patterson, Hester, & Stringer, 1996; Lowe, Kroeck, & Sivasubramaniam, 1996), while independent studies report strong correlations between transformational leadership and employee engagement (Zhu, Avolio, & Walumbwa, 2009), where engagement mediates the relationship between transformational leadership and subordinates’ turnover intentions (Wefaltd et al, 2011). Although these findings support the idea that leadership is a major cause of employee engagement, an important unaddressed questions remains, namely what causes performance differences in leadership?  

To this end, this symposium includes four integrated presentations that highlight the role of leaders’ personality as determinant of subordinates’ engagement levels and discuss how this knowledge can be translated into actionable organizational recommendations.

First, SIOP Fellow Robert Hogan, who pioneered the use of personality assessments in organizational settings, presents a causal model for understanding the relationship between personality, leadership, and engagement. This model posits that personality characteristics drive individual differences in leadership effectiveness because they impact on employee engagement.

Then, Justin Black, Strategic Advisor at Sirota Survey Intelligence, puts Hogan’s model to the test by examining longitudinal effects of managers’ personality on their direct reports’ engagement in a multinational technology firm. Results highlight causal paths between managers’ reputation – how others’ evaluate them – and subordinates’ engagement: prudent and empathic managers engage; passive-aggressive and volatile managers disengage.

Next, Christine Fernandez, Director of Organizational Effectiveness at Starwood, discusses linkages between CEO’s competencies, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction in 398 worldwide hotels. Results show strong associations between CEOs interpersonal skills, multisource feedback, employee engagement, and guest loyalty, as well as providing a detailed account on the personality of successful hotel CEOs.

The final presentation, by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Professor of I-O Psychology at University College London and VP of Innovation at Hogan, examines the role of managers’ and employees’ emotional intelligence as determinant of employee engagement and job performance in a large retail chain, integrating both top-down and bottom-up perspectives on engagement.

This symposium will be held Thursday, May 15.

References available

Topics: personality, employee engagement, SIOP

Q&A with Robert Hogan: Engagement and Workaholics

Posted by Robert Hogan on Mon, Aug 19, 2013

QA quick search for the word engagement yields more than 6 million websites, thousands of books, and myriad articles. Yet, a Gallup poll showed that more than 71% of American employees are disengaged at their jobs, indicating that although most companies recognize employee engagement as important, many still struggle to understand it. Dr. Robert Hogan discusses the concept of engagement, work-life balance, and workaholics in this Q&A.

Q: What is engagement?
A: Engagement refers to how employees perceive their jobs and employers. It is an ideal state rarely fully achieved. It is the opposite of alienation. When employees are engaged, they like their jobs, they work hard at their jobs, they take initiative, and they show loyalty. When employees are alienated, they hate their jobs, they don’t work very hard, they never take initiative or show loyalty. The data are perfectly clear, when employees are engaged, their employers make more money. And engagement is easy to measure.

Q: What are some of the hallmarks of an engaged employee?
A: Positive attitudes, hard work, loyalty, low absenteeism, low turnover, high productivity, and high customer service ratings.

Q: Most people have 24/7 access to their phones and email accounts. Although that gives most people added freedom, it also comes with the expectation of constant availability. Do you think this blurring of the line between work life and family/home life makes people more engaged or less engaged at their job?
A: You have the question backwards. How people react to constant availability depends on how engaged they are. The more engaged an employee, the more he or she will be willing to bring work into their family/home life.

Q: How would you define a workaholic in the typical negative context? Are there certain characteristics or derailers that you would see in a typical workaholic?
A: A workaholic is someone who works constantly to defend him or herself against anxiety and the threat of being criticized or rejected. There is neurotic propulsion to their work efforts – they are driven, rigid, inflexible, and afraid of innovation or change.

Q: What is the difference between a workaholic and an engaged workaholic? What kind of characteristics are you likely to see in an engaged workaholic?
A: For a workaholic, engagement would be therapeutic. Engaged people find their work meaningful. A big problem for workaholics is that they are seeking meaning and purpose and can’t find it. An engaged workaholic would be a terrific employee.

Q: What are the different reasons these two types of people are likely to burn out?
A: A disengaged workaholic is already burnt out. They live in a state of psychological burn out. Workaholics are fragile by definition. An engaged workaholic will burn out by taking on too much work.

Q: How can companies build engagement in their workforce and prevent burnout?
A: First, assess the current level of engagement to identify pockets of alienation. Second, fire the managers who run the operations that are alienated. Third, train the remaining managers on how to be good managers. Fourth, follow up with successive assessments of employee engagement. Fifth, some employees are impossible to engage, so don’t hire any more of them.

Topics: employee engagement, workaholics

3 Ways to Brand for Engagement

Posted by Eva Manole on Tue, Jan 22, 2013

BrandingTalk of personal branding on social platforms is rampant. Rarely, however is there mention of how a personal brand can affect engagement at work.

Employee engagement refers to the rational and emotional commitment one has to various aspects associated with the organization where he or she works. An employee’s commitment level translates into discretionary effort and intent to stay, which both affect organizational performance. Additionally, employee engagement is associated with job commitment, lack of burnout and well being. As Dr. Robert Hogan attests, “when employees are engaged, they like their jobs, they work hard at their jobs, they take initiative, and they show loyalty.”

When you brand yourself effectively within a company culture, co-workers and supervisors will have a clearer and more concise understanding of what it takes for you to be successful. Accurately projecting who you are to others will give them the necessary information to help you along the way. Even if they're well-intentioned, peers and supervisors cannot contribute to your engagement or success if they do not have a clear picture of your personality traits and motives. 

How can one take control of one’s personal brand and intentionally portray it favorably every day? It all starts with self-knowledge, which is a basic necessity to building your personal brand. Managing your reputation within an organization can only arise from strategic self-awareness.

Here are 3 ways to accurately define and project your personal brand at work.

Define it Simply

Identify what your three core brand attributes are. You should be able to fit them on a Post-it. Start by collecting feedback on how co-workers describe you, your strengths, your development opportunities and some of your top drivers.

Convey it Clearly

Project yourself in a concise manner. Mixed messages will confuse others. Focus on sending out a clear message of how you like to get things done, what makes you get those things done and why you do the things you do in a compact way.

Project it Confidently

Establish yourself as an expert in a relevant field. Once you show competence, you can more easily create a confident presence and build credibility. Become a good source of knowledge for others in a specific area and take control of disseminating that information. By sharing your expertise others will become more aware of what engages you.

If you are not feeling engaged at work, consider what image you are projecting to others.  Sharply defining your personal brand could be a step in the right direction.

 

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Topics: employee engagement, engagement, culture

Hot HR Issues of 2012

Posted by Jennifer Lowe on Thu, Dec 20, 2012

2012Over the past 12 months, Hogan has discussed a number of hot topics in the talent management arena. We’ve introduced you to an interesting, entertaining, and derailing cast of characters with howdoyouderail.com, and we’ve provided insight about engagement, team building, and organizational culture with our series on The Rocket Model. After reviewing the blog entries for this year, I compiled a list of Hogan’s Hottest, Hot Topics in 2012. 

1. The Dark Side: Derailment and the Hogan Development Survey
This topic makes the top of the list because it is a real phenomenon. It is estimated that at least half of the individuals who are currently in leadership roles are failing or nearly derailing. The Dark Side (i.e. behaviors that emerge when we are under stress, pressure, or simply not self-monitoring) can rear its ugly head in a number of ways. We’ve all met the Loose Cannon, worked with the Show Off, or tried to deliver feedback to the Skeptic. These derailing behaviors can be career killers…literally. So it’s important that we focus on our reputation and self-awareness.

2. Self-Awareness: The value of understanding one’s reputation
One of the largest debates in the area of personality is that of identity and reputation. Identity relates to our values, goals, hopes, and dreams while reputation represents the behaviors that other people see that can either help or impede goal attainment. Reputation is what matters. It is what helps you climb the corporate ladder or go down the chute of derailment. We cannot modify our reputations without understanding why we do the things we do. Self-Awareness is the key to reconciling the differences between identity and reputation. Self-Awareness is the key to leadership success. 

3. The Talent Management Gap: Building a high potential pipeline in a Millennial world
If you have doubts about the generational differences in the reliance on technology or the importance of social networking just ask any 10-year-old who wants an iPhone for Christmas, or consult the children’s toy aisle at your local big box store and you will find an assortment of Kindles, Nooks, and even iPad look-a-likes for babies. I can personally attest to this because my five-month-old received one from our friends for Christmas. There are differences in the way Millenials and eventually Generation Z will approach the work world. These groups have a significant reliance on technology, are highly affiliative, and require immediate and regular feedback. Jackie VanBroekhoven’s blog, The Generational Workforce of the Future, is a great illustration of the need to understand each of the generations representing the workforce in order to build the talent bench of the future.

4. Engagement: Focusing on the employee and the team
Employee engagement has been a hot topic for a number of years and it will likely become increasingly important as we see a shift in the make-up of the workforce. Engaged employees tend to be more satisfied and more productive, and productivity ties directly to the financial bottom line. The moral to the story is that morale and engagement matter and an employee’s engagement is largely driven by his/her boss. That being said, we need to focus on developing leaders who can empower and foster engagement in their staff.

What’s in store for 2013? We have a number of new and interesting topics to address next year, so stay tuned for more information from The Science of Personality. Until then, Happy Holidays from all of us at Hogan!

Topics: Millennials, employee engagement, derailment, self awareness

Good Managers

Posted by Hogan News on Thu, Sep 20, 2012

Good Managers

Ever heard the phrase, “employees leave their bosses, not their jobs”? Bad managers are easy to spot, but good managers are more difficult to identify. Because staff engagement is most strongly linked to the behavior of leaders, it is paramount that we recognize what makes a good manager good and a bad manager bad.

Download Good Managers and learn the tipping point that distinguishes a good leader from a bad leader.

Topics: leadership, employee engagement

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