How do you think companies should approach candidates to effectively attract diversity to their organizations?

Here is my answer: I believe in treating all candidates equally.

And by that, I mean treating them all as human beings. We all want to be part of an organization that accepts us for who we are. My recommended strategy to attract new candidates is to appeal to their interests and values, but also to make sure that your company has implemented strategies to empower, engage, and sustain current employees, and I mean ALL employees.

I believe that we can achieve Talent Sustainability through a holistic approach that attends to all three aspects of the human being—mental, physical and emotional—ensuring the attraction of new candidates as well as the sustainment of current employees.

Start by not using the term “minority”. The term by itself creates separation.

As human beings, we all seek a feeling of belonging, to be part of a company whose purpose, values, goals and objectives are in alignment with ours. We also want to work for an organization that makes us feel valued, trusted, and respected. That is because as people , we seek to satisfy our basic human needs—physical, mental, and emotional.

In other words, we want to offer a working environment that is physically, mentally, and emotionally appealing and inviting for your employees. By “Physically“, I mean that your premises are adequate for the type of work performed in each function of your business and you offer the knowledge, tools and skills employees need to succeed in their roles. By “Mentally“, I mean that your employees’ goals and objectives are aligned with those of your business. And by “Emotionally“, I mean that our employees are emotionally connected to not only their co-workers, but also to their jobs and their organization—in other words, your employees love going to work every day because they believe in your purpose, they find joy, harmony and a sense of belonging in their place of work, and all people they work with feel the same way.

If you are a Recruiter, you are probably thinking, “Well, there is really not much I can do about all of this.” Right?

Wrong, as a recruiter you help create the first impression of the company. What  you want to do to attract new diverse candidates is to communicate your organization’s purpose, and how employees can be part of something big and meaningful; you want to tell them about your organization’s goals, and objectives and how your company can help them meet their own personal goals and objectives; you want to show them the great culture they can be part of if they join your company, one that not only welcomes and values diversity, but also offers employees a sense of belonging, well-being, and personal satisfaction.

Diverse candidates that have interests and objectives aligned with those of your organization and that are driven by the same values as those of your culture will instantly be attracted. I believe in this because after all, we are all simply human beings.

Empower Them! They and Your Business Will Become One…

Employee-Empowerment

You invest in the growth of your business to maintain its health. You provide your business everything it needs to keep growing and succeeding. Do you invest in growing your employees as well?  Think about it, if your employees play a critical role in the growth of your business, would it make sense that they grew together with your business?

Think Empowerment!

When you invest in developing and growing your employees, you empower them, you provide them the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to grow and succeed along with your company. Your talent sustainability is just as important as your business sustainability.

We achieve Talent Sustainability when we attend to our employees’ basic human needs—mental, physical, and emotional. Empowerment nurtures all aspects of the employee as a human being. It enriches the experiences our employees have within our organization. This boosts confidence, self-esteem, satisfaction, and appreciation in our employees. These great feelings influence what employees think about our company, which has a direct impact in their performance, and ultimately, the business’ bottom line.  We all want to see ourselves progress, it is human nature. Growth means progress, and progress means job satisfaction and drive.

Alignment Makes Two Become One.                           

Talent Sustainability is achieved when employees’ goals and objectives are aligned with those of the organization. When this happens, an interconnection between your employees and your business is created—they become one.

When your employees’ see the company’s efforts to help them grow, and that their efforts towards their personal growth directly impact the growth of your business, and vice versa, they feel empowered to succeed—they feel part of your business and feel accountable for its success. Your employees are motivated to go to work every day and give their best performance because they are working together with the company to achieve a common goal. The success of the company directly benefits the employee, and the success of the employee directly impacts the success of the business.

Now you see the importance of hiring employees who have goals and values that are aligned with those of our organization. We’ll cover this strategy in the next article.

Photo credit: shapecharge

Engage Them by Appreciating Their Values and Fueling Their Drives

Employee-Engagement

Employee engagement begins by determining what the current levels of engagement are at your company, and what is truly driving those results. This involves listening to employees’ opinions and suggestions and taking the adequate steps to make those improvements. When analyzing the results you may find that each employee has unique feelings about their job, and that is natural; we are all different.  However, the patterns that emerge indicate where significant improvements can be made to increase employee engagement.

For instance, based on recent survey results, you may find that your employees are not happy with the career advancement, promotional opportunity, management, and work environment you offer. From these results you may decide that improving management, employee growth and development, and working environment need to be the first goals in your employee engagement plan. So, what can you do to begin to make a difference in these areas?

If we follow a Holistic Approach, we want to begin by appreciating employees’ values and fueling their drives. Let’s use the survey results as a model to explain what we mean by this:

  • Appreciate their values. This means learning what employees’ values are and supporting their values. You already know what those values are by just looking at what your employees have told you in meetings and through survey results—they told you how they felt and what you can do to fix it. Employees that indicated management, opportunities for career advancement and promotion, and working environment as areas you need to improve to increase employee engagement communicated to you that what they value having a great manager, their professional growth and development, and having a comfortable and inviting working environment. What you do with this information is what shows whether you appreciate their values or not.
  • Fuel their drives. What you may not have realized is that your employees have also shared with you how you can begin to understand what drives them—they told you how they felt and what they need you to provide. Think about what makes you want to get up in the morning and go to work. Those employees who pointed out management as an area of improvement shared that being respected, trusted, and valued is a good reason to go to work—what drives them. Equally, those employees who indicated opportunities for career advancement and promotion as areas of discontent shared that what drives them is personal growth. Lastly, those who said you need to improve their working environment told you that they are driven by being part of a great culture.

So What Do You Do with Such Valuable Information?

Now that your employees have shared with you their thoughts and feelings, you know what they value and what drives them to go to work every day. Let’s look at what you can do to act upon the valuable information your employees shared with you. We will examine the three main causes of employee disengagement based on survey results:

Poor Management. If your employees are complaining about having poor managers and supervisors, this clearly says that you are lacking leadership and that you need to implement or strengthen your leadership development efforts. You may want to send your managers and supervisors to leadership workshops focused on employee engagement or offer up-to-date on-line learning opportunities. It is important that any new initiative in this area is well-communicated to all employees, so they are aware of your efforts.

Lack of Opportunity for Growth. If your employees are not happy with the opportunities for career advancement and promotion, it means that you are not investing enough in employee growth and development. Your managers and supervisors can find out what types of development opportunities to implement working together with the employees. It may be that you need to provide ways for your employees to work in a different function, so they can gain new skills. Or, it may be that you need to create a whole new learning culture; it all depends on where your company is in implementing Learning/Organizational Development strategies.

Unattractive Working Environment.  When employees say they are not content with their working environment, it simply means that you have not given priority to creating an attractive culture; a working environment that is physically, mentally, and emotionally comfortable and inviting for your employees. By Physically, I mean that your premises are adequate for the type of work performed in each function of your business. By Mentally, I mean that your employees’ goals and objectives are aligned with those of your business. And by Emotionally, I mean that our employees are emotionally connected to not only their co-workers, but also to their jobs and their organization—in other words, your employees love going to work every day because they believe in your purpose, and all people they work with feel the same way.

I hope what you take away from this perspective is that increasing employee engagement is really simple. All it takes is learning what is important to your employees and implementing strategies that show your appreciation for what they value. I believe in this because after all, we are simply human beings…

Photo credit: mediaphotos

Not Talent, Not Resources; Simply Human Beings.

human-beings

We used to refer to employees as “resources,” but then we realized that they really didn’t belong to the company. When we noticed an increasing demand for employees with the talents and skills our business required, and realized that we needed to hold on to those that had those skills, we decided to call employees “talent.” Why do we have a tendency to call employees by what we get from them? It is time that we treat employees as what they really are, human beings. Have you noticed the hundreds of online articles conveying the importance of humanization in all different industries? Marketing organizations are finding ways to connect emotionally with customers through electronic devices. Sales strategies that treated customers as living transactions are being replaced by strategies that treat customers as living hearts. And, many global consulting services firms are offering ways to help organizations connect with their employees on a more personal level.

In this age when the importance of human connectedness has surfaced, people are searching for an opportunity to have this experience, to feel humans, and as such, be able to coexist. We seek this experience everywhere we are— schools, churches, and yes… in our jobs.

Because it is human nature to belong, we seek to be part of a welcoming community in every place we interact with other people, including our place of work. “Human communities are only as healthy as our conceptions of human nature.” Talent management leaders, who not only understand this theory but also take action to change the way they approach talent, will succeed at attracting and sustaining people. As a result, their businesses will have what it takes to meet their customer demand. Those that don’t will lack the talented individuals, that make a business run.

This blog is an effort to change our conceptions of the criteria that we as human beings look to satisfy in the places we chose to work, and a guide to help organizations meet those criteria through a sustainable approach.

Photo credit: dcdebs

 

Achieve Talent Sustainability Through A Holistic Approach

Holitic-Talent-Sustainability

Their employees celebrate their company’s mission, their culture, and brag about their bocce courts, bowling alley, free eyebrow shaping in their own office, and 25 complimentary cafés. “Employees are never more than 150 feet away from a well-stocked pantry.” It’s no wonder why Google keeps ranking number one in the 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Survey results point out career advancement, promotional opportunity, management, and general work environment as the top reasons people leave their organizations, other than benefits and pay. What these survey results are telling us is that people’s decision to join a company and stay with it are not just based on the experiences they have with the organization, but also what they think about the company and most importantly, how the company makes them feel.

We achieve Talent Sustainability when we attend to all three aspects of our employees’ human beings—physical, mental and emotional. 

Advancing opportunities for growth and development allows our people to experience achieving their personal goals. Having great relationships and great bosses ensures feelings of appreciation, respect, equality, and compassion. Also, when we offer an inviting working environment, we provide feelings of joy, harmony and belonging. People have positive thoughts about the organization when they are part of a great culture.

When we create positive feelings, thoughts and experiences for our employees, we are attending to our employees’ basic human needs—physical, mental and emotional. This is about treating employees as “human beings” rather than “resources.”

Here is an example of what happens when we focus on only one aspect of the human being in our talent management strategies:

Helen was a self-starter, accountable, and passionate about her work. She was very excited about an on-line job posting describing just what she was looking for. She immediately proceeded to the company’s website to learn more. Helen was very impressed by the look of the site and how user-friendly it was. However, Helen felt disappointed when she tried to find information about the culture of the company and could not find any. She selected the “Careers” option in hopes to find something that said why people should work at that company, but she did not see anything. Helen got a funny feeling in her stomach and started to think lots of what ifs… “What if I don’t like the culture?” “What if I don’t fit in?” “What if they don’t value their employees?  “It didn’t seem so…” So in the end, Helen decided not to apply for the position.

In this case, the organization invested in providing a positive experience through the website, which attended to Helen’s physical aspect, but failed to attend to Helen’s emotional and mental aspects.  The company’s website did not gain Helen’s trust, as a result, failing to create positive thoughts in Helen’s mind about the organization as a place of work. Instead, Helen created her own assumptions about the company, leading her to decide not to apply for the position. The company missed an opportunity to hire a valuable candidate by failing to follow a Holistic Approach—attending to all three human aspects of a job applicant, physical, mental and emotional.

Photo credit: yuriz