Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment

Click here to find out more about how Strengths Selector can solve your recruitment challenges...

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:


 Subscribe in a reader

Categories

  • No categories
October 2012
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Monthly Archives: October 2012

Managing Older Employees? What Do They Want From You as Their Manager?

Posted by: Dr. Sue Harrington & Reena Jamnadas

 

In the UK, there are over 7 million workers aged between 50 and 64, and one million of these are over 65. A worker who is currently aged 50 is now likely to work another 15 to 20 years.

 

The future age demographics of the British workforce are influenced by factors such as improving health in older age, fewer younger people entering the job market, increases in the State Pension age and the removal of the default retirement age.

 

Using the data we obtained from older workers in Capp’s Ideal Manager Survey, we consider how strengths can be used to manage and motivate older workers to maximise their engagement and performance, and to ensure that organisations benefit from their skills and experience.

 

But first, let’s remove some of the myths regarding older workers:

 

  • No decline in productivity: Older worker productivity does not begin to decline until after age 70;
  • Better health and safety: Older workers tend to have lower sickness absence than younger employees, are more committed to their employer and are less likely to have accidents at work;
  • Comparable return on training investment: Older workers are just as likely to want to learn new and challenging skills as younger workers and will benefit as much as their younger counterparts from investment in their training and development. Furthermore, the risk of any employee leaving after training investment is the same for all age groups.

 

When it comes to managing older workers, Capp’s Ideal Manager Survey revealed that values and principles are important to this group of employees.

 

Three key strengths in managers emerged as particularly important for older workers:

 

  • Mission: Managers who work with a sense of meaning and purpose, and towards a long-term goal;
  • Moral Compass: Managers who are guided by a strong ethical code, and make decisions in accordance with what they believe is right;
  • Personal Responsibility: Managers who take ownership of their decisions and hold themselves accountable for their promises.

 

To make a difference for the older employees you manage, consider these five pointers:

 

1.   Manage authentically and transparently. Whilst managing with integrity applies to all age groups, it is particularly important for older workers.

 

2.   Continue to value, reward and invest in development – ensuring continued and equal opportunities for training and development.

 

3.   Identify what gives each individual a sense of meaning and purpose. Have a conversation about this and explore opportunities to align tasks, projects and goals to this purpose.

 

4.   Provide autonomy and don’t seek to micro-manage – responsibility alongside clear accountability drives personal responsibility.

 

5.   Encourage mentoring relationships and opportunities for the sharing of knowledge and experience.

 

While we recognise that every employee is different and we’re mindful of the dangers of stereotypes, our data do suggest that these three things are the stand-out criteria of things that really matter for older employees.

 

Try putting them into practice and let us know of your experiences on the Comment section below.

 

Download Capp’s Performance Manager White Paper to find out more about what people want from their managers.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

What Do Employees Want from Their Managers?

Posted by: Reena Jamnadas & Emma Trenier

 

Whatever our role or level in an organisation, we all have high expectations of our bosses. In particular, we want them to understand our strengths and preferences and tailor their approach to our needs – this came across loud and clear from the 1180 respondents in Capp’s recent Ideal Manager Survey.

 

We also place enormous value in this relationship working positively for us – a miserable, ineffective relationship with their line manager is the most common reason behind an employee’s decision to leave a company.

 

The results of Capp’s Ideal Manager Survey showed that 90% of employees disagreed that all managers should manage in the same way. This appreciation of diverse management styles was also shown in the breadth and range of strengths which employees thought were important for their managers.

 

Notwithstanding this, we see that employees most commonly want their managers to have the following strengths:

 

  • Mission: Providing a sense of meaning and purpose, always working towards a longer-term goal;

 

  • Enabler: Focused on creating the right conditions for people to grow and develop for themselves;

 

  • Personal Responsibility:  Taking ownership of their decisions and holding themselves accountable for what they do;

 

  • Humility: Happy for others to share the credit for their team’s successes;

 

  • Esteem Builder: Able to help people believe in themselves and see what they are capable of achieving.

 

Do any of these strengths surprise you? Perhaps not, as this simple profile paints a picture of a trusted individual who leads through a combination of clear vision, personal commitment and a focus on developing others.

 

How can you develop these characteristics within your management style? Here are our five top tips:

 

  • Create a sense of purpose: Understand what drives each of your team members and gives them a sense of meaning in their work. As you delegate work, help individuals to see how it relates to this wider sense of meaning. In practice: this means spending time talking about context before focusing on detail.

 

  • Role model responsibility:  If you want your team to develop their personal responsibility, choose a handful of areas in which you will actively demonstrate how you do this yourself. In practice: as well as taking responsibility yourself, take responsibility for training your team to do the same.

 

  • Share successes: Recognise the culture and climate that you want to build within your team.  If it is one of shared ownership and collaboration, then seek to share team successes in ways that credentialise others. In practice: share credit with others in a range of ways including public praise, copying senior managers into positive feedback emails, and thanking individuals one to one.

 

  • Give specific positive feedback: Think about providing positive feedback just as carefully as giving ‘constructive’ feedback. Let people know what they have done well and what you would like them to keep doing. In practice: give specific, targeted feedback, along with evidence, when you see great work.

 

  • Set your team up to succeed: Find opportunities to stretch each person in your team and provide the autonomy for them to take full ownership. In practice: identify each person’s strengths so that you align opportunities to these strengths and can be sure the opportunity will provide a positive stretch.

 

By managing in this way, you’ll be taking important to steps to delivering your employees what they want, in turn helping you to deliver the performance you need.

 

Download Capp’s Performance Manager White Paper to find out more about what people want from their managers.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Strengths Project, Kolkata, India – Update – September 2012

Posted by: Aviurpa Bhaduri & Alex Linley

 

In September’s update from Avirupa, she shares with us the success of the exhibition sale in which the Women’s Sewing Co-operative of Shiriti slum participated, together with their review of what went well and what lessons they can learn and apply for the future.

 

If you’re not familiar with the background of Capp’s work through The Strengths Project with the women of Shiriti slum in Kolkata, follow this link to read more of the history of what we have been doing.

 

Here is Avirupa’s update about the success of the exhibition sale, and what the Women’s Sewing Co-operative were working on in September:

 

“The month of September began with a flurry of activities. We were all gearing up for the exhibition which was due to be held for 3 days on 10th, 11th & 12th September. All days being weekdays we had to plan out a schedule which ensured that at least one member of the group was present at the venue from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

 

Predictably the most initiative was taken by the three most active members of our group, viz. Sharmila, Mousumi & Arpita. But while Mousumi & Sharmila said they could only manage half a shift per day, Arpita surprised us all by declaring that she will be present everyday from start to finish, and she was confident that in her absence, her husband, who is supportive of her work with TSP, will take care of house chores. We were busy putting tags and readying our assortment of clothes.

 

On 10th I got my car and we set off for the venue, the women wore their finest clothes and looked radiant and proud. Smiling faces rarely betrayed the underlying anticipation we all felt. Once in the venue, we quickly located our table. As mentioned earlier, due to budget constraint, we had to share a table with a cousin of mine. Nevertheless we were happy to set up shop and soon were ready to do business.

 

There were quite a number of enthusiastic visitors and shoppers. This is quite an intimate but well known exhibition organized by a reputed Govt. aided social welfare organization, held in the premises of one the oldest women empowerment organizations of Kolkata.

 

The publicity for the event is mainly by word of mouth and old loyalists look forward to this occasion to stock up on their Durga Puja shopping. The official ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by a local celebrity, Papiya Adhikari. She visited every stall paused to admire our display. Sharmila, Arpita & Mousumi were delighted to pose for a photo with her.

 

Our table was quite busy on all days. All our petticoats were sold out by Day 2. Sensing the popularity of our product, Arpita proposed that we hike our price by Rs.20. In fact we had the cheapest price among all the stalls.

 

Arpita lived up to her promise by coming on time on all 3 days and staying till closing time, taking care to keep track of our bills and neatly folding and rearranging the garments everyday. Sharmila & Mousumi gave her company on alternate days. Mousumi even got her daughter with her on Day 3. By the end of the exhibition we had sold products worth Rs. 1105. This was indeed a considerable achievement for us. On the last day we decided to take the next week off and assemble on 27th.

 

On 27th there was full house and we started discussing what went right and what could have improved. A lot of things we felt were working in our favour, like price, the quality of the fabric, handmade tag, etc. That fact that we competed with other more veteran stall owners and did brisk business spoke a lot about our collective spirit.

 

We were happy to receive such recognition in a somewhat open market without any advertisement, that too participating for the first time. The factors which could be improved included our lack of planning, we decided to tackle that with what we learnt from this experience.

 

Our untapped potential turned out to be Arpita, who was not a great contributor in terms of making clothes, but proved to be an excellent sales person. She was ready with a quick smile and her
customary quips which were very effective to catch the attention of a hurried customer and converting intent into a confirmed sell. We felt we needed to explore her talent and strength for this more in all future ventures.

 

Our weakness was the poor quality of finish, since most of the garments were made by novices. Also our lack of knowledge about the kind of products that would sell well, contributed to the weakness factor. This could easily be tackled since we knew now by designing small embroidered items like table covers, baby clothes, about which there was a clear demand, plus petticoats, our prized item needed to made in larger quantities.

 

All in all, by the end of the meeting we were indeed very happy and were already looking forward to the next exhibition.”

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Great Gender Debate

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

The weekend newspapers have again been full of the gender debate about how men and women are faring relative to each other, especially in the workplace but also in education, relationships, lifestyle and ambitions.

 

A lot of this commentary has been triggered by two books that showcase the evidence for why women’s development and progress is outpacing men’s, and then go on to suggest what this could mean for our future.

 

The main basis for the arguments in The Richer Sex (by Liza Mundy) and The End of Men (by Hanna Rosin) is that girls are doing better than boys in education, and then go on to enter higher-paying professions in greater numbers than men. In turn, this pattern means that women have increasing economic freedom, and with that, increasing choice over how they live their lives and who they live them with.

 

Increasing autonomy and choice are good for any human being, especially for people who have been in situations where combinations of circumstances have deprived them of this. But it’s a dangerous assumption to think that all women will want the same things as men are perceived to have traditionally wanted – such as a place on the board or a high-powered role with all the pressures and responsibilities – and sacrifices – that accompany it.

 

Through our Women at Work Survey, we’re striving to understand the real drivers for women in the modern age. What do you want from work as a woman? What are the things that have shaped your career and development to date? What do you want to achieve in the future? Who do you learn from and aspire to be like?

 

It’s our view that many women’s voices have not yet been heard, being drowned out by the clamour for putting more women on the board. Let me be clear – I support this – but I also support the right of any person to decide that this isn’t what they want, and to choose an alternative path instead.

 

We would love to hear about your experiences and aspirations as a woman at work, so please join us in completing the Capp Women at Work Survey. As a thank you to all our participants, we are offering a prize draw for an iPad 3 and three runner-up prizes of a Spa Day.

 

Please help us understand more about what women want from work by sharing the survey link with others.

 

You can also let us know your own thoughts on women at work and in leadership by posting your Comments on The Capp Blog below.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS