How needs-aware are you?

by | Jul 19, 2021 | Diversity of Thought, Leadership Matters, Profiling

In my blogs, I refer frequently to the importance of leaders meeting their teams’ needs.  To do this well, they need to be needs-aware.

I am proud to be a certified licensed reseller for An Even Better Place to Work (BP2W) and yes this could be seen as a sales pitch. However please don’t leave the page just yet.  Please give me a chance to explain why I rate its entry-level diagnostic Satisfaction@Work as a product (and leadership solution) so highly.

First, there is the business case for being more needs-aware

It is a low cost, high impact online diagnostic and leadership support tool that really works.

The providers of BP2W give this as the official business case argument:

“Every organisation strives for more efficiency, increased performance and higher profitability. It’s a default state required for growth and evolution. The key to achieving these goals lies in your people. If your staff are happy, motivated and engaged at work they are more likely to give their best. Unfortunately, the reverse of these conditions are also true. The cost of disengaged people in the workplace is huge. Relationship breakdown and dysfunctional conflict contribute to one of the largest hidden business costs”.

They even provide a calculator so you can put numbers to the unmet needs in your organisation!

As I write this, it is live in a couple of client sites and both are finding it incredibly useful.  In both, feedback was the biggest gap in their leadership toolkit – everyone was just too busy to carry out effective, regular and engaging performance development conversations.

No structured performance development framework meant that leaders and staff were unaware of what the other wanted.  That led to underperformance, demotivated workers and, in one site, staff departing regularly because they felt completely valueless.

In just one quarter (three months), both organisations took the feedback on board, introduced performance reviews – and opened up a much-needed dialogue between managers and staff.  Put simply, the leaders are now more needs-aware.

The next quarterly survey in one site has already shown significant improvement in staff satisfaction in this area.  Can the leaders there rest on their laurels?  No, and they don’t want to.  They have seen the difference this engagement has made in their business.  Now, they are looking at other measures, such as better time and resource management, getting to know and understand one another’s behaviours and personalities etc.  People are more productive and there are fewer departures.  In just three months.

Next, there is the benefit for the organisation as a whole

 Here’s the official BP2W rationale:

 Attract and retain quality people. Become an employer of choice. With BP2W® you can expect fewer people problems, less attrition and reduced staff turnover. This frees up time for leaders to lead and focus more on strategy and the business of the day.”

In both my clients’ sites, there is actual dialogue between managers and teams.  Actually, in some sites this is happening for the first time, and it has caused a bit of surprise or even cynicism.  Staff turnover in this site remains a key issue, because of the costs it results in.  Things have been said in the past, and nothing has changed.  Why should this be any different?

That’s easy.  It’s because BP2W is different.  It is styled as a simple anonymous online survey.  In fact, it’s a highly-complex psychological profiling tool, applied to individuals, and collated by team. The answers to the survey make leaders more needs-aware.  They do this by enabling staff to grade how well leaders meet their needs as individuals.  This helps people highlight things to their leaders in ways that perhaps they didn’t think of before.  That’s the skill that has gone into the development of this product, born of solving issues of unmet need in some high-risk, volatile circumstances.

The questions are also phrased in such a way that the leaders don’t feel completely criticised.  This is crucial to the buy-in and adoption of the findings.  BP2W brings people together to solve a shared problem.

And then, the benefits of being more needs-aware for teams and individuals

“Feeling valued and listened to are key ingredients for high esteem, morale and motivation. BP2W® cultivates a needs met’ culture resulting in individuals becoming more accountable, collaborative and receptive to feedback. For teams this creates a stronger sense of unity and identity. With the politics out of the way, teams become more solution focused leading directly to higher productivity.”

In my clients’ sites, I deal largely with the management, so I don’t see the individuals very often.  However, a couple of employees from one client have got in touch, to explore the diagnostic some more, and to find out how they can deepen their personal learning.  These are really positive signs of engagement, which may not have happened before.  It is early days with both clients, but to be stimulating intelligent and informed debate this early has to be a win.  Discussions aid a collaborative approach in the workplace, which builds the unity, team spirit and effectiveness that ever leader would want.

As you read this, I am pretty confident you can remember a time when you had a “bad boss”.  And you probably define “bad” as not listening, not taking time for you, not understanding what you needed in work.  Despite this experience, can you hand-on-heart say that you don’t slip into those behaviours now, as a leader?  DO you really know what is going on for your team?  Are their needs ACTUALLY being met?  How receptive to feedback and fresh ideas are you?

In the event that your team are telling you their needs are being met, congratulations.  (I would still like you to check on how accurate that confirmation is, from time to time, please). You might also like to check that this translates as you being needs-aware AND that you are doing something to meet their evolving needs.

On the other hand…

If you are starting to think “OK, you may have a point …” then how about giving BP2W a go?  It is an excellent product, as I may have stated above!  In addition, its inventor is so confident you will love its benefits that you can sign up to the diagnostic for a FREE trial!  You can’t say fairer than that.

So please have a look at the BP2W website and watch some videos (there’s a wide range of informative talks to choose from which explain pretty much everything about the tool).  Then please get in touch, to find out how to access a trial, or to find out the great value entry level costs involved for your organisation.  You’ll be fully needs-aware before you know it.