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Noses out of joint

Written: Monday 16th December 2013 | Category: Comment

One of the great benefits of personality profiling is this: It gives managers an indication of vital areas in their staff such as behaviour under pressure and current stress levels. This case study shows it going further as an effective tool to get into normally difficult conversations about preferred ways of working and interaction with colleagues - which resulted in a more cohesive team, improved communications and eventually better customer care.

Sally-Anne is HR Director at a college in the south of England and became impressed with the accuracy of personality profiling after we demonstrated it on her and her assistant.

She rang us one day to say she wanted to profile the two other people in her department and needed the result in time for a team building away day - in two days’ time! Fortunately, the questionnaire can be done online so the staff completed the information we needed and returned their responses, enabling us to prepare their reports in plenty of time.

One of the staff showed significant levels of stress, which she was unable to explain - but helped Sally-Anne identify it as a particular project she was working on, and take suitable action to help relieve the stress.

The other individual was more interesting. Her report did not reveal anything that raised any particular alarm bells, but did expose two aspects that helped Sally-Anne enormously. The lady in question had a knack of putting everyone's nose out of joint, and it was a cause for concern. She demonstrated no understanding of why people might make mistakes when they are completing forms, etc. and expected everybody to do everything that she has to deal with, without error.

The report highlighted two aspects of her personality which, taken together, were the reasons why this was happening. She is a perfectionist and comes across as cold and unfeeling. The report was just what Sally-Anne needed to discuss with the staff member how she appears to other people, and to raise her awareness of the problems that she causes for other members of staff.

Sally-Anne said: "It was a good prompt to undertake difficult conversations about preferred ways of working and interaction with colleagues, which resulted in a more cohesive team and has already improved communication and, hopefully, long term will impact positively on customer care."

As a result of the profiles, the two team members were able to consider (with facilitation) how their different personalities impacted on team working, customer care, communication and understanding the corporate mission.

Personality profiling is highly effective as a personnel assessment tool for measuring essential work-related aspects of an individual's personality including:


10 top tips for time management

Written: Sunday 8th December 2013 | Category: Top Tips

1.   Create an action list

2.   Create a time map

3.   Stay flexible

4.   Take advantage of your prime time

5.   Do the worst job of the day first

6.   Fight fatigue by exercising at your desk

7.   Deadline every task

8.   Learn to focus and concentrate

9.   Learn to say NO

10.   Drop the 'drop-in' caller/visitor

Redundancy counselling service

Written: Sunday 8th December 2013 | Category: Workshop

Ringwood-based KJ Associates has launched a one-to-one redundancy counselling service. Director Katie Jones said: "If you have experienced redundancy, you know it can be a very stressful and traumatic experience. For some, it is a great relief - and the chance to open new doors.

Often your self-esteem is at rock bottom and the "Why me?" question kicks in. This is where you need some help to see the 'wood for the trees' and start to rebuild yourself by recognising what you have to offer.

We have worked in HR and career development issues for decades and the current crisis has produced a huge need for redundancy counselling."

KJ's service helps with this process by reviewing and analysing the person's career to date. Then, a variety of psychometric tools are used to give a greater understanding of character and ability, along with reviewing key skills and identifying likes and dislikes in the career so far.

Katie added: "During our one-to-one session, we can also help with exploiting career options and alternative ways of working so you can move forward by making informed decisions about your future career."

Other areas can include CVs, application forms, interviewing skills, presentations and networking.

The service can be purchased by individuals going through redundancy or by employers wanting to provide counselling for staff members. 

Stress at work

Written: Sunday 8th December 2013 | Category: Comment

Today's working environment is adding new forms of stress to employees – and their managers have a 'duty of care' to support them... or be open to claims under Health & Safety legislation.

Over the last few years there has been much research on stress at work. Conclusions show that employees who feel they have no control or autonomy over their job are likely to develop a stress-related illness. Add to that the sight of people around them being made redundant and, guess what, their thoughts are likely to be – am I next?

If employees can prove they are stressed as a result of what is happening around them, you could potentially have a claim on your hands. Managers have a duty of care, not only for physical safety, but also for mental safety at work. Managers need to be aware of their own stress levels and how to manage stress and changes in behaviour in their staff.

Blue collar workers have historically not had as much control over their jobs as their managers, but that's changing. As we are seeing on a daily basis, jobs are insecure - and it doesn't matter whether you are on the shop floor or on the top floor! The feelings of a lack of control over your job are moving up the organisational ladder.

Many people these days, irrespective of their position in an organisation, see jobs as being insecure - jobs are no longer for life. This is a major potential source of stress - and therefore of illness or reduced productivity.

If you have concerns about how any of your staff are handling the current economic climate or, if you are making redundancies, spare a thought for those left behind and the effect on them. Maybe a day out of the office learning how to manage this situation on a Stress Management programme would provide a much appreciated show of support - and reduce potential claims.

For more information on Stress Management courses, please contact us.