Build Better Teams That Achieve More

Jul 21, 2015

Is your team as effective as it can be?

Organizations are beginning to explore relatability, incorporating employee empowerment, engagement, and relational insights into the way they manage their teams and people. For the professional HR team, this means increased emphasis on hiring the right people, fostering a climate where people understand themselves and each other, and helping employees adapt their communication style to best relate to others. When people understand each other, teams are able to work with greater trust, improved communication, and better performance.

Communication styles and core convictions

Every employee possesses a fundamental communication style, characterized by the way they interact with others. There are four essential types, each with key themes:

Director: Authority and Control – say what they believe is relevant and directly to the point. Sometimes hear only what they want, and prefer interactions to be factual, not emotional.

Encourager: Excitement and Fun – speak often, sometimes exaggerating to make a point. Generally hear conversations in broad strokes, and prefer people to share their emotional enthusiasm.

Facilitator: Harmony and Security – reserved and friendly, speaking in gentle tones. Encouragers listen patiently, and like to be appreciated for listening.

Tracker: Understanding and Details – describe everything in detail. Will often press for additional information. Trackers strive to be understood with clarity.

Within a team, balanced communication styles are a necessity. In a team comprised of only Directors, for example, leadership conflict may occur. Conversely, on a team made up of only encouragers, the team may struggle to work effectively.

Relatability is also determined by people’s core convictions – ambition, belief, compassion and discipline. Everyone possesses each of these convictions in different strengths. They are hard-wired into our personality, and rarely change dramatically. Alignment of core convictions is an important factor in an employee’s feeling of engagement. Although perfect alignment is not required, generally the more closely core values align with the company and the team, the more likely they will be to be engaged.

By understanding relatability, HR can have an immediate impact

“When relatability is made fundamental to Human Capital Management, HR is able to have an immediate impact on the business,” says David Ossip, CEO, Ceridian. “Beginning with the recruiting process, organizations can measure candidate compatibility with their team and hiring manager. Teams can be built and balanced to take advantage of employees’ complementary strengths and styles to improve team performance.”

Recruiting managers can measure candidate relatability to understand what the candidate’s likely fit will be with both the hiring manager as well as the team they are being hired on to. This can give the managers a strong indication of what strengths the employee will bring to the team. It can also indicate in which groups an employee might be most effective with a broader team.

Furthermore, relatability can dramatically improve the performance management process. An evaluating manager, armed with relatability knowledge, can understand how to best deliver feedback to their employees. For example – do they value direct feedback? Do they desire praise and recognition? Do they prefer an emotional tone or an appeal to reason? Answering these questions in advance of a performance review can dramatically impact the effectiveness of the session.

Employees can focus on continuous development

Many employees have yet to be exposed to the behavioral science that underlies relatability. When people are exposed to the basic behavioral science that underlies their communication and beliefs – and its implications for working with others – they are immediately able to become more mindful in their interactions with others. By being conscious of their style and convictions, they can adapt how they work with others to improve the outcomes of their interactions. As the world of work continues to shift towards team-based productivity teams built for relatability will achieve more.