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

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September 2019
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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.


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Doing Less with Your Strengths: A Woman’s Secret

Posted by: Trudy Bailey


So, the pressure is on us women to ‘do it all’ and as we juggle demands to satisfy this, we find ourselves still continuing to add more ‘stuff’ into our day (ok, into the night as well).  Some days, you wonder how you got through it and, if you are anything like me, you feel like a day’s work has been done before arriving at the office. You look around to see if any of the other women are feeling as frazzled as you are. You apply another coat of concealer and gloss, feeling slightly inadequate as you sip your extra shot skinny cappuccino and wait for the effects.


But with this being the turn of the season as many women return from holiday and start to gear up for the final few months of the year, we have an opportunity to see – for once – about how we can do less, but more effectively.


In Capp’s Female Leaders Programme, Nicky gives some great strategic advice relating to how we can align our strengths as an emerging leader – I resonate with it all. I will share with you something practical tips about ‘doing less’ as you employ your strengths, as I confess to a little more practice at juggling! Here are some of my Realise2 strengths and top tips for real progression and ‘me time’.


Judgement – I make good decisions and accept this. Perhaps as a woman who wants it all, there was a time for prolonged guilt as a result of not ‘serving’ a particular individual or, the time I had made available for others.  There is no looking back, only pride in the decision to make a difference to those to whom I offered guidance.


Authenticity – I do what I feel is right for all concerned, and that even includes me! I know I can outperform my peers in the areas that energise me, so I recognise this and only look for praise and promotion in areas I wake up excited by. I become more resilient to challenges at work when I know that I am leading in a way which is right for me.


Persuasion & Counterpoint – Having been told when I was younger that I was always trying to get my own way, I know how to fully use these strengths to my advantage! I look for ways to make a difference to the organisation that have not been thought of before, and to be controversial. I love to challenge and to have passion in the process of winning people over to my ideas. This then gives me the autonomy to take ownership of the project and get noticed quicker than others.


Humour & Enabler – I know I want to have as much impact as I can with my two children in the relatively short time I spend with them. Being an Enabler with Humour means that I can not only support and encourage them at school, but also bring us closer together as we laugh about the challenges they have faced in their day. The homemade reward chart certainly enables the children to earn their pocket money, and cuts down my to-do list rather nicely! I can also create quicker ways to establish enduring memories with my Humour, as I challenge them to be as daft as me! Think about using the Enabler in you to create that ‘village of support’ that we all need.


Service – When I first completed Realise2, Service was in my top three and it now sits rather happily at number eight. Service has a tendency to be overplayed as we search for ways to be recognised. You will find climbing the success ladder far easier if you can engage more specifically and purposefully with your strengths, rather than being ‘well rounded’ in a more generalised sense.


Planful (a weakness of mine) – I have learned to adopt a strengths-based partnership philosophy at home. Once being slightly distracted by my partner’s strength in Detail, I now take full advantage as he enjoys some elements of housework!


Although, of course, you may not share all of the elements of my strengths profile, you can look to your own Realised and Unrealised Strengths in a different way.


From today, make the most of your post-holiday reflections to see how these final few months of the year can be different to those that preceded them, as you start to do less and enjoy more.


Follow the link to find out more about Capp’s Female Leaders Programme.

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