Some people are natural team players. They are collaborative, they are easy to work with, they’re committed and helpful to their team mates. When companies invest in team building events, it’s these people who get even better. The same cannot be ...

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Anything HR by Ed - 5 new articles

Are Your Employees Equipped for Teamwork?

Some people are natural team players. They are collaborative, they are easy to work with, they’re committed and helpful to their team mates.  When companies invest in team building events, it’s these people who get even better. The same cannot be said of others. It seems to have no effect on them. They continue to  be difficult to work with and this makes it frustrating for those who have natural preference for teamwork. 

Working successfully in a team requires skill. Some people developed these skills early in their lives because they are naturally wired for collaboration, coordination and cooperation. Some people are more comfortable with being self-sufficient and getting things done with as little interaction with others as possible. There are types of work where people with these skill-sets can do well. However, a lot of organizations and business processes require interdependence where not being a team-player is a definite show-stopper.  

The big question now is, how do you prepare people who are not naturally inclined for teamwork to be team players? The answer is train them. What do they need to learn? Here are a few suggestions:

Assertiveness – Many of those who fail at teamwork have difficulty communicating assertively. Many are too passive, some are passive-aggressive while others, especially those with coercive influence are aggressive.  In the Philippines, there seems to be this idea that respecting one’s opinion means not questioning it. The speaker believes it and the listener believes it.  This kind of thinking messes up the opportunity for truly open team communication. When people go to team building events but don’t have the skill for assertive communication, team communication doesn’t improve, hence, teamwork doesn’t improve.

Trust building – Opening up to others is not easy for many people. A lot of us prefer to be careful than to be open. Team members need to paradigm-shift and learn how to expedite trust-building with others and use it to build their confidence for opening up, deciding to trust others and communicate and level expectations to make that trust mutual. 

Engaging in productive conflict – Very few people like conflict. They prefer others to agree with them. However, if a team is to succeed in utilizing the mental power of team members, there are bound to be conflict of ideas and opinions. Team members need to learn how to be comfortable with this and learn to capitalize on diverse ideas to find the best solutions.  To do this, they need to learn how conflict works and how they can facilitate productive conversations amidst conflict.

Team Learning and Working Tools – It helps to have some tools for team collaboration. There are several team problem solving tools that can be used. There are also tools like Six Thinking Hats, Team learning, brainstorming, open space conversation and some agile team methods that can be learned.

Leadership – one thing shared by high performing teams is leadership. In order to participate in shared leadership, team members need to learn about how that works. John Maxwell’s “The 360 Degree Leader” provides some great ideas on how to lead from the middle or the bottom.  I believe that learning this improves people’s inputs to teamwork

I’m pretty sure that there are more teamworking skills that can be learned to make individuals work better with their teams. 

I believe that leaders, the ones who are ultimately accountable for the team’s performance need to look into these skills and see which ones their team members need to learn so they can become better team players. 

Want to find out how ExeQserve Can help your team members become better team players? Call us at 8933199 or visit our website at www.exeqserve.com 

    



Building Your Recruitment Strategy

Great talents are hard to come by. Many companies are realizing how hard it is to lose good talents, That’s why they make an effort to hold on to them.  Those who fail to realize this, lose good people to competition.  Attracting and hiring the right people is not only hard because they are rare, it is hard because many organizations do not have a good recruitment strategy.  Specially for smaller organizations, recruitment seems to be trivialized that they end up hiring people who fail to deliver or contribute to their objectives.  I believe that organizations should start looking at building a good recruitment strategy and here are a few suggested starting points.

Cast a Wider Net
A lot of the desirable talents are gainfully and or happily employed somewhere.  You seldom find a combination of good and available talent. It helps to have a good sourcing strategy that go beyond the traditional job boards. It’s time to use technology, social media and all other creative means to find the talent you are looking for.  Partner with a good outsourced recruitment company who can serve your needs. (Disclosure: ExeQserveoffers recruitment services.)

 Develop a Customized Screening Process
For many organizations, the screening process seems to be one-size-fits-all. It’s time to look at competency-based recruitment. Identify the competencies for the positions you are filling and look for tools that will help you assess job fit and competency match. Have people learn behavior-based interviewing to determine if the person possesses the needed competencies. And most importantly, don’t scrimp on background investigation cost. It helps to do it, especially for delicate jobs.

Strengthen Your Employer Brand

Nothing will put all your sourcing and screening strategy to waste than having an unattractive organization. Be wary of your reputation, how current employees feel about their experience in the organization, and how they foresee themselves in the future. When people can’t imagine working longer than a year for your organization, you know, you got your work cut out for you. Aside from compensation (fixed and variable) people, especially the young ones are interested in the organizational culture. They want a place where they can be happy and successful.  How does your organization come across? Start asking people, start learning and start changing. 
    



Be a Part of ExeQserve's Growth

Hi, Regular readers. I apologize for posting an off-topic article. This does not happen often. My need is quite urgent, hence I decided to use this medium to convey my invitation for people to join my team.

It was an excellent 2014 for ExeQserve and 2015 is starting really, really well. It makes us, the
ExeQserve Team more ambitious about our goals for this and the coming years. In this regard, the need to beef up the team becomes apparent. Let me tell you about how it is like to be a member of our team depending on your role and what we have in store for you.

Freelance Training Consultants
We need people who are passionate about facilitating learning. If you design and deliver programs on leadership, customer service, sales, problem solving and decision making, project management and other courses, you are the one we are looking for. If you are fond of using various approaches to learning and development and are great at keeping the learners engaged and accountable for learning, you are the one we are looking for. If you believe that conducting training means partnering with the clients, understanding what they need and going beyond classroom delivery to ensure application of learning (willing to submit post training reports and conduct follow through sessions), you're the one we are looking for.

What is in store for you? We will use ExeQserve's marketing strength to  offer your expertise to our clients and assist you in delivering your programs. If you want to explore this avenue, email me at ecebreoATexeqQserveDOTcom

Junior HR Consultant
ExeQserve partners with our clients to develop, customize  and implement their human resource and organization development strategies. We also have clients who turnover the entire management of the HR Department to us. We need intelligent, passionate and high potential HR professionals with 2-3 years of experience in HR who want to fast-track their knowledge of technical HR and enter the world of consulting.  We need someone who is quick to learn, voracious researcher and confident to deal with managers of other companies. If you think you are this person, then we should talk.

What is in store for you? We offer basic salary, project allowances as you will be handling several, government mandated benefits, HMO, term insurance, de minimis benefits, training allowances, etc. Most importantly, you will fast-track your knowledge of HR Management and Organization Development, engage in multiple exciting projects.

Recruitment Associates
We closed some pretty exciting executive search projects this year and we need more team members who are passionate about recruitment and keen to develop themselves into kick-ass, rock star recruiters. No need for experience, just a burning desire to succeed and a truckload of resourcefulness and creativity!

What is in store for you? Basic salary, fat commission, mandated benefits, HMO, insurance, opportunity to learn how to facilitate training, get training allowance every time you are asked to assist in training among other things.

 visit our website for more information about ExeQserve : http://www.exeQserve.com 

    



Competencies that Build and Enhance Teamwork

I have been a Training Consultant and Team Building Facilitator in the Philippines for many years and in my experience, I have learned quite a few things that help strengthen teamwork. I must also say that failing to recognize if certain gaps are present in the team, will hinder your team building efforts. Here are my recommendations:

  •  Leadership skills in building and sustaining teamwork. Often, leaders approach me to help them fix their team. By it, they actually mean fix the attitude of their team members. What they often miss is that the behavior of the team members is often a reaction to their leader’s attitude and behavior.  Leaders need to recognize that they might be causing the dysfunction in the team and learn how to develop themselves to be better leaders. They need to appreciate what they bring to the team both in terms of  contribution due to their strengths and challenges due to their weaknesses. They need to learn how to facilitate the team’s growth from forming, storming, norming to performing. They need to learn to build trust, enhance collaboration, building commitment, make everyone accountable and get the team to focus on result.  These are an important set of skills that leaders must seriously consider enhancing so they can lead their team better.
          See how ExeQserve can help your leaders build and sustain teamwork
  • Assertive CommunicationI notice that as a people, we Filipinos are generally not assertive. We beat around the bush, avoid confrontation and conflicts. The funny thing is (Which is not at all funny), the more we avoid conflict the more we have them.  You see, what we avoid is productive conflict. When we do that, the easiest thing to do is to jump to conclusion about people’s abilities and motives. From them grows interpersonal conflict. A lot of the people I meet in training find it difficult to be assertive, even if they know that it is exactly what they need to be if they’re to clarify issues, address them, identify opportunities and work together to take advantage of them. My recommendation for addressing this gap in your organization is to attend a training as a team so that norms can be established and use the skills you've learned in the program to improve collaboration in your team
          Check out ExeQserve's Assertive Communication Workshop Outline
  • Team Collaboration tools – There’s Six Sigma, Six Thinking Hats, Problem Solving Decision Making methodologies, agile methods, etc. There are a number of tools out there. I notice that some teams have formed the habit of knowing about these tools but failing to infuse it in their day-to-day culture. I mean, what is the use of knowing without using?  I think the most important thing to do as far as this topic is concern is to adopt one or two methodologies that fit your culture and really make it part of your work processes.
          Equip your team for collaboration
    •  Workplace Savvy for team members – many team members are new, fresh out of college.  They go to the place of work with their college student mindsets and it takes them long to shed them.  I believe that there is a way to shorten their learning curve If they are properly introduced to their being part of this team, recognize how they are aligned (or not) with the organization’s direction and learn how to work successfully with themselves, their team mates, their bosses and their customers.  When members are more aware and have ownership of the work they are performing, it is easy to show them the line of sight between what they do and what the team is trying to achieve.
      When interventions are done well and completely, they become gifts that keep on giving. If you need help building yours and your team members team competencies, check out  ExeQserve’s program catalog below or call me for a meeting.

          


      Building a Powerful Coalition for Learning and Development

      Learning and Development is a means to an end. We introduce interventions because something needs to change in order to achieve the organization’s objectives. In John Kotter’s Book, Leading Change, he introduced the eight-step process for leading change, step 5 of which is “Enable Action by Removing Barriers”. A lot of these barriers can be removed by using learning and development interventions but only if people are committed to acquiring the needed competencies for change.  

      Commitment is the magic word here. In his book, the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni said that Commitment is achieved when there is buy-in and clarity. In the case of L&D we see buy-in as the stakeholders’ support for the intervention and clarity means being clear about what needs to be done to see results. We believe that to achieve success, L&D professionals must mind Kotter’s Step 2: Build a Guiding Coalition- a team of powerful individuals who will champion, follow through and make people accountable for making change happen.

      To make learning and development interventions work, stakeholders must want it. They must be motivated to effect it.  For that to happen, L&D managers must share ownership of it.  Here’s my recommendation; Form and L&D Council. Make someone with sufficient power and influence chair it. Make sure the organization is well represented so that the council can make informed decisions.  Have council members take ownership of follow through and give them scorecards for it. L&D manager’s role should be that of an internal consultant, a technical expert who can give them advice on concepts, techniques and methods and help the council in making policy L&D procedures decision. I propose that the council take the following roles:

      •  Participate in Human Resource Development Planning to ensure alignment with organizational objectives
      •  Develop Policies and guidelines for L&D implementation
      • Ensure follow through and application of learning in their work unit
      • Ensure that monitoring and evaluation system is in place to gauge impact of interventions
      How to start? Kotter said it in step 1 of the same book; “create a sense of urgency”.
          


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