Personal Growth Using Soft Skills

It’s human nature to hit a ‘reset button’ when time gives us a new beginning. That’s why gyms are the busiest on Mondays¹ and personal motivation skyrockets around birthdays². I can’t be the only person who has put off a personal goal for a couple of weeks because it’s the middle of December and January 1st is just around the corner.

Having those reset points are great for helping people set certain milestones and goals for themselves! However, self-improvement and professional development should be ongoing and not dependent on the start of a week, month, or year. There are many ways to go about continuous development: reading books or articles, finding a mentor, or watching videos and webinars are a few great places to start. Although you can take a guess at what areas you should focus on, today we are going to use science to help determine your strengths and improvement areas!

First Thing’s First: Take MyPrint®

If you haven’t taken MyPrint® already then stop reading this and take that first — it’s FREE! All you have to do is go to talentoday.com to create your free account. The assessment itself will only take about 30 minutes to complete. If you are reading this and your MyPrint® is over 6 months old we would recommend spending 30 minutes on a retake.

If you have previously taken MyPrint®, compare your two results and see what you find. Look for the areas where there is the most difference and see if you can determine what the reasons for areas of growth have been. Maybe you have had a life change, a new position, or even relate it back to the global pandemic that took over 2020 — try to pinpoint why those scores have changed.

Discover Your Strengths

Now that you have taken MyPrint®, download your One Pager (soft-skills summary). We are going to be focusing on the personality and motivations section first and then we’ll look at the personality radar in the app later on.

Take a look at your top 3 strengths in the green Personality Summary section of your One Pager. Write down unique ways that those can be useful in your current position at work or in your personal life.

Next take a look at the Top Motivators on your One Pager. Your top three motivators are listed out in orange. Determine if those needs are currently being met in your work life and if they are not, then write down some examples of how you can incorporate those into your daily work environment.

Find Your Improvement Areas

Now that we’ve looked at your strengths from the One Pager a little bit more, we’re going to go back into the app to spend some time looking at the personality radar! If you aren’t sure how to read your radar you can get an in depth overview by clicking the ‘About personality’ button in your profile.

Essentially each of the bars in the radar represents a different personality dimension. You are either towards the inside of the radar, or the outside. Although your first impression might be that the areas towards the inside of the radar are the areas that you need to grow — that is not always the case! For example, someone who needs to be providing concrete solutions to a team might struggle if they are extremely high on the ‘Abstract-Thinking’ dimension.

After you have taken some time to read your radar for a little bit, find those areas that you want to move either up or down on that radar. For example, when I look at my radar I see that my Critical-Thinking scale is a little bit lower than I would like. I am a Conventional Thinker — which isn’t bad at all! However, there are a lot of aspects in my role where I am called upon as a subject matter expert, so I want to ensure that I am not going to just go along with things because that’s what the majority wants. So this year I am going to make a conscious effort to ask more questions about the things that are presented to me so that I can get into a more naturally critical mindset.

Now it’s your turn! I can find about 4 other improvement areas when I look at my radar, but they are all based on my current work situation. Again, this doesn’t mean that I think my current soft skills are bad, it just means that I am aware that in order to grow professionally, I need to be continuously working on my development!

Put Together A Plan

Now that you know your improvement areas, focus on them! Find some books, TED Talks, or articles that you can spend time on each week to help you grow and develop. The second step here is to put together some concrete examples of how you can grow. For example, if you are a Focused individual but want to be more Big Picture — the next time you are planning out a project make a note to specifically think of that Big Picture outcome as you plan and go about your work.

Make a note of people that you work with or know who you think have those traits you are looking for. Does your manager seem to have those Critical Thinking skills that you desire? Make a note to pay attention to how she gives feedback or responds to new ideas in meetings. Maybe your coworker seems to be the most relaxed person on the planet. Take note of how he handles those times of stress and busy times.

Watch Your Growth!

Take MyPrint® again in 6 months. See how much you have grown and developed in those areas, and think of some concrete examples of how your soft skill strengths have helped you succeed in your professional life. The goal here is not to be perfect or ever be done, it is to get yourself into the mindset of continuously growing and developing your strengths.

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!

Sources

¹ https://www.techtimes.com/articles/18867/20141028/monday-worst-day-go-gym.htm#:~:text=The%20report%20found%20that%20Monday,to%20grab%20a%20dreadmill%20treadmill

² https://everydaypsych.com/birthday-psychology/#:~:text=The%20researchers%20attest%20that%20birthdays,our%20future%20selves%20will%20have.


Better Assess Your Workforce Using Group DNA

Every living organism is made up of a unique genetic code of DNA. Although the same organic components are used the outcomes can be vastly different from one another. The same thing goes with teams. Think of your work team as a strand of DNA. Some team members might share certain common traits with one another, and those become a prominent part of your overall team behavior. Similarly, having variety in your strengths can also increase team synergy. Losing parts of your team, rearranging responsibilities, or adding more members to your group can all impact the outcomes, and being able to effectively measure and assess your workforce enables you to understand and guide your team to reach their full potential.

Assessing for hiring

There are multiple things to consider when assessing a new hire for your team. Having a thorough understanding of their background and skills, for example, are important for making sure that the individual has the ability to do the job. These things can be assessed using various methods such as Structured Interviews, reference checks, and based on education or previous experience.

Another important aspect to consider when hiring for your team are the soft skills that an individual possesses. Finding the strengths that they will bring to your team and seeing how they will fit in with your team’s current soft skill DNA are important to maximize each person’s potential and help your team to stay engaged and successful in their work.

When assessing individuals’ soft skills be sure to use a valid and reliable tool rather than going off a gut feeling. The MyPrint® is a scientifically backed tool that is both valid and reliable for use in the workplace. The 155 item questionnaire provides detailed insight into an individual’s personality traits and motivations as well as their professional behaviors. This information can be used when hiring a candidate to see if their strengths fit in with what the role requires, as well as to get a better understanding of environmental or culture fit.

Assessing your current workforce

Assessing your current workforce helps to ensure that employees are receiving the proper guidance and support they need to do their jobs well. This can be done through performance reviews, measuring key metrics, or frequent 1:1 check ins with your employees.

In addition to goals and performance, understanding your team from a soft-skill point of view is beneficial for working as a group and engaging your employees. Once your entire team has been assessed using the MyPrint®, you can view their results via their individual reports, or by using the new Group DNA feature that is coming soon to the Talentoday Manager platform. Being able to see where your team as a whole falls in terms of their soft skills can help you to ensure that your team is using their strengths as well as figuring out where the gaps are that you need to fill. In addition, being able to see the common motivators among your team helps to come up with ways to motivate and engage your workforce from a global perspective which is helpful in certain situations where you can’t tailor the work environment for each individual.

First look at the Group DNA feature

Below is a sneak peak of what the Group DNA feature looks like! This example was made using 10 members from our very own Talentoday family. You can see that our team is made up of individuals who are Extroverted and Positive, which is always fun when we have team celebrations! We are also Confident, meaning we are self-assured in our abilities (rightfully so, we have very talented people on our team!) and we are Big Picture thinkers, always keeping those long-term solutions in mind as we continue to innovate and create new features.

Group DNA sample of Talentoday team using MyPrint data: Green (left) displays Personality; Orange (right) displays Motivations.

When it comes to motivating our team, the most important things are that we have Personal Responsibility for our work, but still have a Need for Affiliation and to share common interests with our peers. We also like to be kept on our toes with a Need for Adventure and Diversity — we like to spice things up around here!

Why this is important

The purpose of the Group DNA feature, and assessing your team’s soft skills, is to help visualize the data. The information provided is not necessarily indicative of work performance, but it can be used to understand the work culture of a population.

By understanding this data and keeping up to date with the DNA of your team, you can work to create an ideal work environment by setting relevant goals and rewards, as well as by solving conflicts the right way!

Are you interested in learning more about the upcoming Group DNA feature, or are you looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!


Build Your Team Using Soft Skills

In the pandemic-impacted spring of 2020, puzzle sales were up 300% from the year prior¹. I have to admit that I contributed more than my share to that increase in sales; you can only watch so much Netflix before you need to find a new in-home activity!
What I’m trying to say is that I spent a lot of time in front of puzzles this year and I’ve learned one valuable lesson: teams are a lot like puzzles. That is our metaphor for today.

We don’t always know what our missing pieces will look like

When you are looking for the perfect piece for your puzzle you might have the exact picture of what you are looking for in your head. You know what the surrounding pieces look like (what their strengths are) and you just need to find the piece that looks like those ones. The problem with putting too many constraints on what we want is that oftentimes as human beings we’re wrong. Although there might be certain characteristics that we know we need for a position, that doesn’t mean that we know all of the important aspects.

When interviewing candidates, it might seem like we know exactly what soft skills are needed for success. After all, why wouldn’t you just find someone who looks just like your top performers? To start, there are a lot of positions where two opposing traits can come in handy! Someone who is extroverted can be just as successful in a position as someone who is introverted. Same goes for people who are patient versus being eager, or imaginative versus practical. That brings us to our next point — similarities and differences.

Some pieces look similar, but the differences in pieces are what create the whole picture

When every person on your team thinks exactly the same way, you lose something very important in teamwork: Diversity of Thought². When hearing this term you might automatically think of gender, race, background, or age. While all of these things are important, another aspect of diversity can come in when looking at — that’s right — soft skills.

When teams are collaborating on a project there are aspects of their personality or motivations that can be helpful to have similarities in. However, if you have a team full of extroverted people, you might find it hard to get on track. If your team is full of big picture thinkers, you might find yourself with a lot of ideas and not a lot of action items. If everyone on the team is very precise, you might end up spending more time on the details than necessary. Find the gaps in your team and keep that in mind when you are looking for new people to join your organization.

Each piece is unique and has a place, even if it’s not where you originally thought

Let’s say you hire an individual who you thought was the perfect fit for a team and they’re not doing quite as well as you thought. Before giving up on that person take some time to get to know their soft skills. What are their personality strengths? Are you utilizing these strengths in their position? Do these strengths have a place in their current position in the team? What motivates this person? Are you fulfilling those motivations as a manager or teammate, or is their work fulfilling those motivations?

See if there is another place where that individual can thrive, even if there are some skill gaps to address. People are the most important asset to an organization³ so before getting rid of a good hire, see if they were just in the wrong position.

Once your pieces are where they belong, you can create something amazing!

Every person is unique. Even when there are shared qualities within a team nobody thinks, is motivated, or behaves in the exact same way. Those differences are what make a team stronger, more creative, and ready to tackle whatever challenges they might face!

Using MyPrint® to put together your team

For more ways to understand your team’s soft skills on an individual and group level, check out our MyPrint® assessment and keep reading to learn more about some of our features included in the Talentoday Manager platform!

One Pager: Use this one page summary of an individual’s results to see their top 3 personality strengths, top 3 motivators, and 3 most prominent professional behaviors.

Premium Report: This 20+ page report gives in depth information about every personality and motivation dimension that is measured in the MyPrint® assessment, including strengths and tips to working with that individual. Additional information about the 11 professional behaviors are included, along with suggested interview questions to help you go more in depth when getting to know someone!

Collaboration Report: View two individuals’ most similar and different personality traits, as well as top motivators and behavior synergies in a side-by-side comparison.

Collaboration Report Personality Similarities: Additional information includes strengths and risks of these similarities, as well as tips to work best together!

Collaboration Report Personality Differences: Additional information includes strengths and risks of these differences, as well as tips to work best together!

Target Profiles: Use pre-made templates or create your own target profile to see where your team has similarities. From there you can determine if these traits are beneficial to the position, or use this tool to determine the soft skill gaps in your team!

Stay tuned for some new, exciting features in 2021! Get more insights on your team as a whole on all personality and motivation dimensions, as well as understanding how individuals’ behaviors synergize with one another.

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!

Sources

¹https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/13/833346707/with-people-stuck-at-home-jigsaw-puzzle-sales-soar

²https://www.businessinsider.com/the-future-of-workplace-diversity-is-here-2013-9

³https://www.inc.com/james-kerr/your-people-are-your-most-important-asset.html#:~:text=Your%20people%20ARE%20your%20most%20important%20asset!,if%20it’s%20poor%20you%20lose.&text=The%20same%20can%20be%20said,you%20provide%20to%20your%20customers.


Let’s Get Social!

Take a minute to think of as many social media platforms as you can. How many of those do you have an account with? How many do you visit on a daily or weekly basis? What type of interactions do you hope for when you log on, and are they different from what you experience?

Social media is pretty wild when you think about it. My grandma grew up during the Great Depression and now she has four Facebook accounts. Not because she has capped out on the friend limit for each one, but because she has forgotten her password that many times.

We can connect with our childhood friends that we haven’t seen in decades, catch up on world news and events, see all the cute dog videos and join groups of people who share our interests, all with just a few clicks! There are obviously unavoidable negative aspects to social media as well, but my positive personality is going to focus on how we can add some sunshine to our timelines!

Our social media campaign

We want to get connected with YOU! Our Talentoday family spans the entire globe. To feel more connected as a global community, we like to showcase our unique traits by inviting our members to share their MyPrint radars to their social media networks. You’ll see us doing this periodically throughout the year because, let’s face it — we can’t get enough of you!

How to get started

First order of business is to take a MyPrint assessment (if you haven’t done that yet, you can do so here). This takes an average of about 25 to 35 minutes to complete, and it’s best to try to take it with minimal distractions around. You can learn more about MyPrint and the science behind the assessment in this blog post!

Immediately after you complete the questionnaire, you will see your results in your profile. Take some time to check those out, learn more about your strengths and what makes you unique! In your profile you will be able to view your personality radar, motivations and behaviors, as well as download your free One Pager report to view your top three traits for each section!

YAWP!

As the late, great Robin Williams says as he plays Mr. Keating in Dead Poets Society, we all have something inside of us that is worth a great deal.

“I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world”

-Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

We all have unique traits that make us who we are and those should be celebrated and proudly proclaimed to the world! So to sound those MyPrint yawps over the metaphorical rooftops of the world, we have put in buttons so you can easily share what makes you special to your social media networks! When you share your radar, include our hashtags so that we can connect as a global community.

Let’s work together to add some sunshine to our timelines and show the world what makes us unique!

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!


Closing the Skill Gap & Optimizing Your Workforce

We can all agree that the only constant is change, right? For example, look at your life 6 months ago and compare it to now. Pretty different, isn’t it? Okay, maybe that’s not a fair example because of the whole “global pandemic thing”; but pandemic aside, things are constantly evolving in all aspects of our lives. Your phone software is continuously being updated even if you have the same phone. Fast food restaurants are using touch screens to place orders. Every new model of car has a button that does something our cars didn’t do before. We wear masks to go to the grocery store and we are all finally getting the personal space we desire (let’s be honest, we can’t really push the whole pandemic thing aside).

It might seem like technology is taking over the world, but remember that behind every new technology are the humans that created it. We shouldn’t be competing with technology but rather learning how to coexist with it. Using technology to improve our processes and harnessing our human power in more efficient and effective ways is how we will beat the robots! (…and stay ahead of the skill gaps!)

Internal Mobility

Before we get too far into this blog post, I want to make sure we’re all on the same page about Internal Mobility. This is when an organization is recruiting for positions within their current workforce¹. For example, if there is a need for a new position within an organization or if someone leaves their role then the candidate pool would come from individuals already working at that organization. There are so many benefits to Internal Mobility, both economical and cultural. I suggest you check out the webinar recording for that!

“But what if the new role requires skills that nobody else in the organization possesses?”

That’s what our blog post is really about today: closing those skill gaps!

Upskilling and Reskilling

Upskilling is used when you are taking the skills that a person already has and improving on those skills². A great example of this is technology. Although someone might be proficient in Microsoft Excel, for example, they could go through courses that help them utilize more tools and functions in Excel that they did not know about before. When upskilling an individual within an organization, the goal is to keep them in their same position while improving their performance and adapting to changes within their environment.

Reskilling on the other hand deals with teaching an individual completely new skills². These can be hard or soft skills, and the goal is to provide an employee with the tools needed to move into a brand new position.

How do soft skills play a role in this?

As you know we are all about soft skills here at Talentoday! If you thought we were going to have a blog post that didn’t mention soft skills then you, my friend, were very wrong. Did you know that 94% of employers consider soft skills to be a key element of success in the workplace?³. This isn’t to say that hard skills are not important — just that we’re going to focus on our soft skills today.

Think about your current position. What was it that got you that role? It might be your education, your knowledge of a specific technology or product, or maybe your prior years of experience. Now think about what makes you successful in your role. These are probably going to be your soft skills: your ability to communicate, think critically, pay attention to details, or make decisions. This is why soft skills are so important; they play a huge role in one’s success in the workplace, and they sometimes go unnoticed!

Target Profiles

Assessing your workforce is the best way to keep up to date with the skills that you currently possess and also the skills that you need growth in. Our MyPrint assessment and Talentoday Manager platform are a great way to assess and visualize your workforce’s soft skills.
Within the Talentoday Manager platform we have a Target Profile feature to help visualize the 8 most distinct personality and motivation traits for a group of individuals. This can be a custom group of people or based around a single job title or function. Below is what the Target Profile for Sales looks like, which is one of the Target Profiles that is built into the Talentoday platform.

According to this Sales Target Profile, an ideal sales candidate would be highly motivated by Reward but would not expect to be very Autonomous in his or her role.

 

Now let’s put this to use — let’s say that I wanted to move into a Sales role. We could then match up my MyPrint results on top of the Target Profile for Sales to see the areas where I have the biggest gaps.

Right away we can see that I am a 47% match for a Sales profile. Does this mean that you should lose all hope in my ability to be a sales person? Not at all! This Target Profile should be screaming opportunity at you! One area of concern would be that I am very high on Optimism (shocker, I know). Knowing this, I would probably need some training on when, where, and how to use my positivity. I wouldn’t make any sales if I responded to clients’ concerns with “It’s fine, everyone experiences bumps in the road! You are still profiting though so you are doing great!” (Sorry to all of the sales people out there who just panicked a little bit).

When an employee is moving into a new role it is key to understand what skills they possess, as well as the talent gaps they need to fill, in order to set them up for success. Just because someone isn’t a 100% match for a new position does not mean that they are a lost cause. People are capable of learning and growing not only with their hard skills, but with soft skills as well!

In conclusion…

Technology is taking over the world. Okay, maybe not completely. Technology is constantly changing though, and with that comes a change in our workforce. By understanding the skills that your workforce currently possesses you can stay on top of the skill gaps that are sure to come your way. By investing in your people, you will be able to optimize your workforce to be the most successful that they can be!

If you’d like to view our webinar on Upskilling and Optimizing Your Workforce, or if you’d like more information about Talentoday, please visit www.talentoday.com or contact our experts at contact@talentoday.com.

Sources

1 Whelan, P. (2019). Why internal mobility is key to building the workforce of the future. HR Technologist. https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/recruitment-onboarding/why-internal-mobility-is-key-to-building-the-workforce-of-the-future/

2Agrawal, S., Poplawski, P., Reich, A., & De Smet, A. (2020). Beyond hiring: How companies are reskilling to address talent gaps. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/beyond-hiring-how-companies-are-reskilling-to-address-talent-gaps

3Chelovechkov, A., Lefkowitz, R., Spar, B., & Van Nuys, A (2019). 2019 Workplace Learning Report. LinkedIn Learning.


Introducing the MyPrint® Assessment

Think about your first cell phone. What features did it have? What technology has remained consistent, and what has evolved over time? Would you prefer to be using that same technology today?

Just as our cell phones change over time, other things in our lives evolve as we grow in our abilities and develop as a society. Among those is our soft-skills assessment here at Talentoday!

mYti© to MyPrint®

If you have been a member of our Talentoday community, then you’ve probably experienced the mYti© assessment, our original personality and motivations questionnaire. If you visit our website today, you will see the latest innovation in Talentoday’s science, MyPrint®, our brand new soft skills assessment. MyPrint® still measures personality and motivations but in an even more accurate way than before!

Theoretical Background

The theoretical background of the MyPrint® assessment is based on long-standing theories of personality and motivations within the psychology community. The personality dimensions are based on the Five-Factor Model of personality, which is considered the standard in personality trait measurement across cultures and has been proven reliable by more than 40 years of research¹. Our motivation dimensions are derived from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs² and the Self Determination Theory³, both of which left a strong legacy in the definition and measurement of motivational factors⁴.

Our Dimensions

Think back to our cell phone analogy. Your first phone probably had a lot of the same features that your phone has today (such as texting and calling capabilities) but they might look a little bit different; for example, now most cell phones have the ability to voice text or video call.

In the same way, the MyPrint® assessment has a lot of the same features as the mYti©. These features may look different, however. For example, we are still measuring personality and motivations and providing information about professional behaviors. Some of our scales have remained the same, such as Patience, and others are simply represented in a new way. For example, the Creativity scale is no longer a part of the personality radar, but it can still be found in our professional behaviors. With this change, we have been able to simplify our personality radar and motivation chart, without compromising member results.

Our Science

In addition to the scales and dimensions that we have updated, you might also notice that the questionnaire itself has changed. This is because we have updated the “behind the scenes” statistics and calculations for the assessment to use cutting edge technology, a lot like what happens when your phone receives a software update.

Just like the mYti© assessment, the MyPrint® uses “forced-choice” questions. This format provides two statements that are equally desirable, so it takes away what is called the Social Desirability Bias of trying to find the “right answer” to the questionnaire and gives the user the freedom to answer in the most truthful way possible.

The MyPrint® questionnaire takes the forced-choice question format one step further to not only have the user choose the statement that fits them the best, but to indicate to which extent that statement better suits them. This concept is called “multidimensional binary forced-choice with graded preferences” — one of the most recent and useful innovations in psychometrics⁵. More importantly, this is how Talentoday is able to achieve greater accuracy through developing our new MyPrint soft-skills assessment.

Experience the MyPrint®

The best part about a new phone is getting to try it out and see all of the new features! Now that you know more about our updated product, try it for yourself! Visit www.talentoday.com and take the MyPrint® assessment. If you want to learn more about our science click here and download the MyPrint® Technical Manual!

If you’re interested in your own one page report, premium report or in learning more information about Talentoday, please visit www.talentoday.com or contact our experts at contact@talentoday.com.

¹ Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (1991). The Big Five personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 44(1), 1–26.

² Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370‐396.

³ Deci, E. L. & Ryan, R. M. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68–78.

⁴ Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1985). The NEO Personality Inventory manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

⁵ Brown, A., & Maydeu-Olivares, A. (2017): Ordinal Factor Analysis of Graded-Preference Questionnaire Data. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 25(4), 516–529.


Employee Friendships in 2020

If you’re like me, you’re probably missing your work friends right now. Even if you’re not like me there’s still a pretty high chance of that! Millions of people around the world have been working from home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and working in pajamas has become the new normal… okay, maybe not everyone is in pajamas.

Even though we might not be seeing our work pals it is important to find ways to stay connected. A study by Gallup¹ found that workplace friendships are one of the strongest predictors of productivity. In addition, those who have strong work relationships are more engaged, produce higher-quality work, and have an overall higher state of well-being. That same study found that in order to have a thriving day we need at least six hours of social time. Sound impossible? It’s not as difficult as you might think.

The ‘New Normal’

With the ‘new normal’ in the workplace including remote work, social distancing procedures, alternating schedules, and other obstacles that make our social interactions more difficult to achieve, we need to be more intentional about our workplace friendships. These challenges are something that every company is learning to navigate, and it does not have to come at the expense of employee relationships and well-being.
A study done in New Zealand after a series of earthquakes forced many people to move into remote working found that the biggest area of concern to employees was the social cost². This included professional and personal isolation, limited team interaction, loss of visibility and development, and lack of face-to-face communication. Thankfully we live in an age where technology can be our friend and counteract a lot of these concerns!

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!

Raise your hand if you have used Zoom in the past month. There have been between 200–300 million daily meeting participants on Zoom during the beginning months of COVID-19³. Birthday parties, happy hours, book clubs, classes, and business meetings are just a few of the many social gatherings that have turned virtual in 2020. Leveraging video conferencing can help bring employees together as well!

Do you normally eat lunch with your coworkers every day? Maybe pick one day each week to have a ‘virtual lunch’ with those that you’d normally (or not normally) eat with. Even a quick instant message to your work buddies to ask a question, or simply share what you’ve been binge watching on Netflix, can help add to that six hours of social time needed for a thriving day!

Working in a virtual environment also gives employees the opportunity to reach out to those that they would not normally have the opportunity to work with. Whether it is collaborating on a project with individuals in other offices or departments, or simply reaching out to colleagues to get to know them better, the virtual workplace gives everyone a chance to create new connections that aren’t determined by physical proximity.

MyPrint® for the Virtual Age

With virtual and remote teams being the new normal, it might take a little more creativity to bring your team together! Some fun events that we at Talentoday have done to stay connected are virtual happy hours, knowledge sharing sessions from different departments, and a MyPrint® ‘Guess Who’ game!

As new teammates are being onboarded into a virtual workplace, it can be difficult to get to know each other in the same way you would when meeting face-to-face. You can help to jumpstart these new workplace connections by leveraging a lot of the tools that the MyPrint® assessment provides! Sharing your dominant personality traits, learning how to motivate one another, or reading through your Collaboration Report together can help alleviate some of the pains that come with a virtual working relationship.

No matter what your new normal looks like, whether it is back in the office or in your pajamas at home, MyPrint® can help you and your team to continue to adapt and grow together!

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about activities like the MyPrint ‘Guess Who’ game and other services!

References

¹ Rath, T. & Harter, J. (2010). Your friends and your social well-being.
Business Journal.
https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/127043/friends-social-wellbeing.aspx

² Donnelly, N. & Proctor-Thomson, S. B. (2015). Disrupted work: Home-based teleworking (HbTW) in the aftermath of a natural disaster. New Technology, Work and Employment, 30(1), 47–61. https://doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12040

³ Iqbal, Mansoor (2020). “Zoom Revenue and Usage Statistics (2020).” Business of Apps, www.businessofapps.com/data/zoom-statistics/.


Are Remote Workforces Shaping a “New Normal”?

At times like this, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as our personal and professional lives are sent in disarray as we cancel, adjust and adapt. It is important to remember during this difficult and complicated time that we WILL get past all of this, and things will go back to normal. But what exactly does normal mean? Of the adaptations we make in business and at home over the course of time to come, what residual long-term impacts will this have on how we communicate, perceive, socialize and work?

To gain insights on the latter, we spoke with an expert in the world of work, Andrew Limouris, the global CEO of Talentoday and CEO of Medix, a staffing company based out of Chicago, for his opinions on how the paradigm of work might shift.

What immediate impacts have you seen from your purview in staffing on how organizational operations have adjusted at this time?

“Obviously with the early warnings of an imminent social isolation order, the very first shift we noticed was internal meeting cadence and structure. People became more conservative and concise in conversations, and organizations scrutinized which meetings were truly necessary face-to-face versus over email. Then came the shift to entirely remote workforces. Organizations needed to entrust their teammates to carry out their duties in remote settings, therefore adjusting communication and in some cases accountability measures. Individuals needed to self-discipline and set up their day to achieve success in sometimes distracting environments. Technological accommodations had to be made on organizational levels. And organizations clamored to figure out how to keep team culture alive and remove collaborative barriers that could be achieved through technology now that physical barriers were imposed. The key for everything has been understanding: understanding who your people are- both their hard AND soft skills, understanding who your managers are, understanding the environments that make them successful, and understanding their viewpoints and perspectives.”

What external impacts has that had on organizations, especially those like yours in the services industry?

“For Medix, we serve two different groups of ‘clients’: the talent we place and the companies we place them at. For interviewing talent, it is our literal job to ensure we understand who they are, their aspirations, their motivations, their strengths and weaknesses, to place them in environments and opportunities they will thrive in. Shifting to complete online interviewing adds just one more layer to chip through in getting to truly know someone. On a company/client group level, with all meetings being switched to virtual, organizations find it that much more imperative to understand goals and intentions as early as possible in a conversation in order to maximize the impact of virtual meetings that tend to have enough distraction and mental interruption as is. It isn’t insurmountable, but it has been a challenge.”

What have been the positive ramifications of these changes?

“I believe organizations are finding new efficiencies that might not have existed before. Our communication has become more concise, and by virtue, oftentimes more powerful. One beautiful thing that has emerged in organizations is trust. Companies are setting up the accountability infrastructure for truly efficient and empowered teams. Employees tend to appreciate this autonomy, which can reap benefits in increased engagement and psychological safety with their places of work.”

What are some of the challenges?

“Operationally speaking, it is already intensely difficult to source, screen, hire, onboard, motivate, engage and grow effective teams. If it was easy, companies like Medix or Talentoday wouldn’t exist. The only way to do this effectively, as I mentioned, is to have a deep, robust understanding of who a person intrinsically is- not just what’s on their resume. Not just what they tell you in annual reviews. Adding a veil of technology only intensifies those challenges. My biggest fear regarding remote work is and always has been the impact it could have on our culture. Maintaining team collaboration and a cohesive vision in a remote environment is tough.”

What are your thoughts on the long-term impacts and how to handle them?

“It’s most organizations’ goal to achieve operational and financial efficiencies, so as companies spend the months ahead figuring out how to maximize their teams’ time and energy, I would not be surprised to see less lengthy meetings in boardrooms in the future, and many more flexible work programs surface. If they prove to be effective operationally, as well as motivating or incentivizing to employees, I would expect employers who might have been adverse to them in the past experimenting with implementing more widespread remote offerings to teammates. The caveat is going to be to continue to balance those efficiencies and benefits with the costs and risks I mentioned. What can be achieved through technical skills can sometimes be interrupted with soft-skills incongruencies due to environment and work styles, and aligning individuals with roles, teams and cultures that don’t need physical presence to be effective will be increasingly important.”

With still uncertain times on the horizon, one thing that is certain is that for employers and citizens at large, we will want to spend this time deepening our understanding of our companies, our teams, our social circles and ourselves, in order to best adapt to the potentially long-term or in some cases even permanent aftermath to our workstyles and lifestyles in general.

If you’re interested in learning more information about Talentoday, please visit www.talentoday.com or contact our experts at contact@talentoday.com.


Use MyPrint® to Engage Your Remote Workforce

In the early months of 2020, HR professionals and managers have been faced with the biggest unilateral shakeup that doesn’t discriminate against industry or country borders, the COVID19 global pandemic. Workplaces with previously strict or conservative remote work policies may find themselves in a non-negotiable situation as “social distancing” is the new norm; that of course, is if you’re lucky enough to work in an industry or position that allows you the ability to work from home. While some may find themselves out of work, others are on the frontline of the pandemic, such as medical staff and grocery store workers. For managers creating an office at home, it poses the question: how do I be present and engage my team virtually?
At Talentoday, we have a passion for unlocking the keys to employee engagement, management and teamwork, which is the driving force behind our MyPrint® assessment. Through our assessment, coupled with our web application, we offer digital solutions to managers for effectively engaging their team. While our assessment wasn’t originally designed to provide instructions for remote team management through soft skills, we’ve been able to identify the direct correlation between results and how to put this knowledge to use in a remote work setting. The below is a step-by-step guide, with advice, on how to leverage assessment results for your remote team.

Step 1: Have your team spend 20–30 minutes completing the MyPrint® assessment.

Immediately after completing the assessment, they’ll have access to their personality radar, motivations and professional behaviors. While some of your team may additionally be experiencing a period of self-isolation, or having limited social exposure, this allows for dedicated time for a bit of self-care and self-reflection, by allowing them to take a deep look into their strengths (or potentially some areas they could seek additional training during this remote period).

Step 2: Look at the unique motivations across your team and figure out what motivates, and discourages, your team.

Working from home, coupled with isolation, some may experience a lag in productivity and engagement. As a manager, this allows you the opportunity to step in and rally for success. Within the motivation poles, managers are given tailored guidance based on individual results for what motivates an employee, as well as insight on what can discourage them. See below for an example:

Step 3: Start tailoring motivation to individual results and empower an engaged remote workforce.

After taking a look at your teams’ results, you’ll notice that there are 11 motivation categories, with two different criteria for each motivation. We refer to these criteria as either the “positive side,” at the high end of the pole, and the other as the “negative side,” with it being on the lowest end of the pole.

In the below graphic, you’ll see engagement examples that align to both the “positive” and “negative” sides of the poles to help tailor motivations to individuals on your team.

Long after the COVID19 pandemic is behind us, Talentoday will still continue to provide quality solutions that help professionals make empowered decisions through data analytics. To keep building on the momentum sparked through remote work engagement, our solution offers additional features and insights; whether it’s learning how to best collaborate with another individual or asking more meaningful interview questions tailored to their MyPrint® results, we look forward to continuing to serve our global community and provide purpose during this time of uncertainty.

Ready to take the MyPrint® assessment? Set aside 25 minutes, in a non-distracting space, and click “Take the free test” on Talentoday’s website (www.talentoday.com).

 

 

For more information on Talentoday and how to utilize our reports and features, reach out to us directly at customer@talentoday.com for both existing and prospective customers. For more information about our science and product, visit our company website.


Unique Results You Can Actually Use

 

It is human nature to be curious. That is why we hear children ask “why?” over and over again or take the online social media quizzes knowing that there is no validity in their results, but we are simply curious as to what TV character they might say we are or what movie our personality is most like.

When it comes to our personalities and soft skills, the right tools will allow you to leverage technology in order to capture, represent and report our human elements that make us unique in a simple way. That is exactly what Talentoday’s One Page and Premium Reports do!

Whether you are interested in learning more about yourself or thinking about using these reports to manage your team, let’s spend a couple minutes together learning about these two reports.

A Quick Review

After completing the MyPrintⓇ questionnaire, your results will be visualized into reports as a one-page or premium report. There are a total of 26 possible personality traits, 22 motivations and 44 possible behavioral types that will make up your unique results. Just think about the possibilities!
Three high-level definitions to keep in mind before we dive into the reports:

  1. Personality traits are used to describe the attitude and emotional characteristics of an individual
  2. Motivators are the reasons an individual acts or behaves in a particular way
  3. Behaviors help us understand how an individual acts or conducts themselves towards others

One Page Report

If your time is valuable and you want to understand the most pertinent information in a summarized format, then the one page report will be your best friend. This report is separated into three segments, including a personality summary, top motivators and behaviors exhibited. Essentially, it highlights the need-to-know information about your soft skills in each of the three areas and identifies the traits that make you, you!

The personality summary section displays the top three most distinct personality traits an individual possesses based on what Talentoday measures in our questionnaire. The top motivators section displays the top three most distinct motivators for an individual. Lastly, the behaviors exhibited section displays the three predominant behavioral styles of an individual.

Sample One Page Report

Premium Report

Now don’t worry, because we know comprehensive detail can’t be summarized in one page. So for all you that love to dig into the details, our premium report is perfect for you. This report contains over 30 pages of detailed information about every single personality and motivation trait, as well as your behavioral styles. In addition to the granular details, we see well summarized personality and motivation trait visuals with our easy-to-read personality radar and motivations scale.

The premium report not only provides you with the results and descriptions of your results, but also gives you recommendations on how to use those results. As we dig in to each personality trait, you will find additional tips to review. For motivators, we will not only understand what motivates the individual, but also what can discourage that person. In each behavioral style, we can understand the description of the style, assets, and questions to ask ourselves or the individual whose report we may be reviewing to dig into the behavior further.

Interested in what your personality, motivations and behaviors are but haven’t had a chance to experience MyPrintⓇ Of course, we would be too! Contact one of our Talentoday experts at contact@talentoday.com to experience the questionnaire and view your one page report as soon as you answer the last question. We can’t wait to hear what you think.

Stay tuned for more exciting product news! We know that 2020 is going to be ROARing!

If you’re interested in learning more information about Talentoday, please visit www.talentoday.com or contact our experts at contact@talentoday.com.