Tools to Support Employee Engagement

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We interviewed Lynnea Gery, Director of People and Culture at Afia Inc., to gather some insights as she leads efforts to implement employee engagement strategies like Predictive Index.

How does the organization’s culture influence the approach to the employee strategy? Our core values have been part of the business plan since the company’s inception (integrity, relationships, personal mastery, openness, and commitment). The owners exemplify these core values, are consistently reinforced in our communications, and demonstrated by how we work. Our values are at the core of our culture and we want to ensure that any strategies we implement align with them.

When I recruit for our team, I look for someone with a sense of grit, someone that is good at discerning problem areas but also good at identifying solutions. If you can only find the problems, the person just won’t do well here. We need individuals that have an entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy coming up with creative solutions. These are qualities that are necessary for the success of the organization and utilizing behavioral assessments help us get to know if candidates are the right fit.

How are you using Predictive Index (PI) as part of your employee strategy? When we are looking for a person to fill a specific role on the team, the PI tool helps to pull out the right person in several ways.

  1. During a normal interview, we learn a lot about a person. When we incorporate the PI Behavioral Assessment as part of the interview process we get some great insights into what type of questions we should be asking during the interview to get a better sense of whether someone is a good fit with the role. It also helps to validate things that we may already be thinking about the candidate based on his/her resume.
  2. We rely on it to point us in the right direction, help us raise red flags. For example – someone who is client-facing and they are quite reserved, how does this person manage it; does the individual tap into a different part of themselves when interacting with a customer?

What attracted you to Predictive Index? The teamwork styles feature was key. You can really see what everyone brings to the team and what’s missing. When you complete a personal profile it’s interesting, but what’s so great about PI is the opportunity to look at relationships. It takes an individual’s personal strengths/preferences one step further by taking the guess work out of how people work with others or in teams. PI does the dynamic work for you and offers simple steps individuals can take to make room for improvement. For example, two individuals working on a project can identify that by providing each other a little more space/time to respond to inquiries, they reduce frustration and ultimately get what they need.

How are you making sure this isn’t just an “HR thing”? We’re investing the bulk of our time on teams; we ask structured questions about what’s working really well for the team, what’s missing, how we can communicate better (e.g. do we embrace someone’s communication style and accommodate for it or do we see gaps that we need someone else to fill).

We also plan to use the tool with our career mentors. It gives the mentors a lot of information to help them communicate most effectively with their mentees. We ask mentors to use the data to help them understand how to communicate with their mentees by looking at what naturally drives and motivates the individual. It also provides specific areas the mentor can help the mentee work on.

What were the decision points your organization explored when making the investment in employee engagement tools like PI? We selected this tool because it addresses multiple needs. We are using it to support recruitment, team dynamics, and our mentorship program. We invest a lot of time and energy when there are issues within a team. So, anything that can support constructive conversations and reduce conflict is a solid investment. We can use this tool to help us avoid conflict, or to guide us in the right direction when unresolved conflicts happen. If we know someone has certain behavioral tendencies, simply knowing that piece of information influences how we can approach the individual in a constructive manner that speaks to their natural tendencies.


Want to explore ways to enhance your people strategy with tools like Predictive Index? Click the link to schedule a call or email me directly at laurag@inciteconsultingsolutions.com.

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