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What Does a High Performing Team Look Like?

72% of all organisations Bandran Hall Group surveyed reported team performance has a positive effect on overall productivity. But what attributes produce a high performing team? Discover if your team is displaying traits of a high performing group with our guide below.

The Team is Cohesive.

Teams with a high level of cohesiveness are successful with their business ventures. Cohesiveness can be defined as the degree of every team member corporates and remains united when working towards a common goal. According to Schneider, Gruman and Coutts Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems – high performing teams may not always agree, but their differences don’t affect the achievement of the goal.

Richard Daft and Dorothy Marcic wrote in Understanding Management  – a high performing team will respect their team members and assume the rest of the team are acting on the best intentions for the sake of the task.  They tend to focus on the task ahead of them, instead of how the individual feels about each decision. Fully committing to decisions creates a sense of shared responsibility. This increases communication, producing a higher morale, a friendlier environment and loyalty to the group.

The dedication to the tasks allows the team to feel united and happy when the team succeeds, raising an individual’s self-esteem to feed into an increase in performance. Unsure how cohesive your team is? Place your team on the path to high performance with Cognisess Team Fit.  Assess their cohesiveness and compare employee attributes. Team Fit collates the data into a user friendly graph, allowing you to observe how dynamic your team is. A strong team will have a varied skill set, for instance, if one individual’s weakness is creativity it will be another’s area of expertise.

Individuals Have a High Level of Emotional Intelligence.

According to Judith Ross in “Make Your Good Team Great,” Building Team Trust and Cohesiveness high performing teams display a high level of emotional intelligence. This is the ability to perceive and understand emotions. Each high performing team member trusts one another, has confidence in themselves and has a strong team identity.

A study by Myra Beam on Emotional Intelligence and Team Cohesiveness found emotional intelligence positively feeds into a team’s level of cohesion. Emotional Intelligence enhances decision making, regulation and self-management, which are important in teamwork. Emotional intelligence is a measurable dimension on Cognisess Pro through a variety of assessments, including the Emotion Test and Emotional Self-Appraisal. Discover how emotionally intelligent your employees are individually to be a stronger team long term.

An emotionally intelligent team practises these three key methods that organisational behaviour experts, Vanessa Druskat and Stephen Wolff, uncovered:

Allocating time to appreciate individuals skills.

Managers organise team building activities as an opportunity to appreciate everyone’s skillset. Participating in games aid discovery of individual skills on a personal level. The activity is usually organised outside their normal working hours and location.

Team members who interact away from their normal environment will have greater empathy for each other and a sense of togetherness. Teams must develop a sense of awareness of each others skills and personality. If employees are well acquainted they gain a higher level of trust with each other. Trust improves motivation and if individuals are more motivated, they are also committed to being high performers.

Discovering a method to diffuse negative emotions.

Tackling the emotional concerns of the team are essential to remain on track to success. Managers aim to establish with the team how they will express any tension, anger and frustration that can occur when working in a project –  converting it into positive energy.

Team members could participate in a weekly half an hour meeting to voice any grievances and share how they are feeling with one another. This platform allows employees to tackle issues with each other, which could have produced a negative atmosphere long term.

Celebrate their success.

A high performing team needs to have the opportunity to express positive emotions, such as admiration, to build their collective emotional intelligence. The recognition of their achievements will cement the team’s identity, showcase their effectiveness and their ambition for excellence.

A high performing team is not a rare occurrence, it is an achievable goal accomplished by  focusing on your team’s skills, cohesiveness and emotional intelligence. But you cannot start a journey if you don’t know where you’re going. Cognisess Pro is able to support a team’s development with AI analytics, kickstarting your journey to high performance. Start your journey today to a better team and a better business.

Contact us today to schedule a demo.

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Here’s How to Unleash your Employee’s Full Potential

According to a Cascade HR survey, completed by 447 Human Resources professionals, 44% believe that the workforce does not have enough support to thrive. At Cognisess we strive to change this statistic one assessment at a time. To support your organisations journey to full potential we have collated a guide to nurture potential in your employees.

Discover Individual’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Maximum potential can only be unleashed if employees are aware of their abilities and their job performance. People who lack the knowledge to perform well are usually unaware of this. This behaviour leads them to make incorrect decisions, making them unaware they are stunting their potential. Justin Kruger and David Dunning uncovered this in their study titled Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognising One’s Own Incompetence Leads to Inflated Self-Assessments.

Cognisess has the tools and data for your employees to reach their potential on one platform. Cognisess Pro’s 120+ cognitive, emotional and base skills assessments will give you an understanding of your employee’s current knowledge and a projection of their future performance. The data will assist in planning your employees next step in fulfilling their potential.

See Cognisess Pro Video for more detail here.

Construct a Psychologically Safe Environment

A two-year study by Google uncovered psychological safety as a trait of a high performing team. Psychological safety refers to a person’s perception of how safe it is to make a mistake. This behaviour is also measurable with Cognisess Pro through our Lens Pro and Team Fit assessments. Our software combines each users openness to experience, emotional intelligence and agreeableness to calculate a psychological safety score.  A person who feels psychologically safe will exercise moderate risk taking, be more creative and confident in unfamiliar situations and tasks – these are all traits that can help an employee reach their full potential. Potential cannot thrive if a person is scared to make a mistake. A manager needs to react appropriately to an error to create a psychologically safe environment for their employees.

Help People to Solve their Problem  – but don’t Resolve it for them

Collaborate with employees when problems arise. Humans feel failure more strongly than success. If an employee thinks they have failed they will counterbalance this with criticism and disengagement, which is a form of workplace – learned helplessness. This will stunt the growth of employees potential. To avoid this do not blame an employee, instead be curious. Adopt a learning mindset to gather the facts of the situation, if a manager presumes they know what the team member is already thinking, they are not ready to approach the conversation. Use neutral language to present their problematic behaviour as an observation, for instance ‘Within the last month you’ve seemed distant and not as motivated to meet your targets’.

Uncover what the underlying problem is together and ask for solutions from them, this allows them to take an active role and become the answer to the problem. The process will show the team member that mistakes may occasionally happen, but they have the ability to solve them without encountering repercussions for it. This mindset eases the individual into focusing on their growth, instead of whether they will lose their job.

In order to improve your technique ask for feedback, not only to enhance your potential but to model to your employees that leaders still need to develop. This increases trust in management. Cognisess Pro’s PeopleSense survey measures a team’s trust in leadership as well as if they believe the company is helping them reach their potential. The opportunity for feedback will give managers the chance to adjust their management style accordingly. Paul Santagata, Head of Industry at Google, uses these questions to conclude a difficult conversation:

  • What worked and what didn’t work in my delivery?
  • How did it feel to hear this message?
  • How could I have presented it more effectively?

Santagata’s team regularly complete surveys on how psychologically safe they feel, with questions such as how confident are you that you won’t receive retaliation or criticism if you admit an error or make a mistake?  Amongst the many features of Cognisess Pro managers are able to send a range of default and custom surveys to their team, utilise this feature to monitor a good level of psychological safety within your team.

It is clear that the modern working environment thrives when its open and safe for employees and managers to express themselves and address shortcomings. The use of People Analytics is becoming essential to support constructive and fact/data driven conversations rather than subjective ones. By having insight and information that is supported by data, the conversation has less chance of feeling personal or critical, increasing the chance of being objective and helpful.

Unlock your team’s potential by contacting us today to schedule a free demo.

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Cognisess Invited to Attend TechInnovation in Singapore

Chris Butt, Cognisess’ CEO, is attending TechInnovation 2018 from the 18th to the 19th September as part of a UK AI delegation sponsored by Innovate UK and the European Enterprise Network (EEN).

TechInnovation is a technology conference dedicated to bringing together technology providers and seekers worldwide. It forms part of Singapore Technology Week as is the biggest Technology fair in the APAC region. Techinnovation specialises in pairing technology with industry needs. Cognisess are one of eighteen UK- based companies selected to take part in by Innovate UK to represent the UK and the EEN.

Our recently announced partnership with Zhaopin, China’s leading talent solutions and recruitment company, has paved the way for Cognisess to reach out to the wider APAC region and market. At Techinnovation, Cognisess will be looking to engage with other potential strategic partners to create business opportunities for our software to be operated on a worldwide basis.

Cognisess will feature with over 160 other exhibitors from the world of AI and Innovation.  Cognisess will be demonstrating how our predictive analytics platform can benefit companies who want to predict the current and future performance of their most valuable asset; their people. Cognisess Pro is already a market leading product, with the most comprehensive set of people assessments on the HR market with over 120+ cognitive, emotional and base skills assessments. With many major enterprises seeking to understand how innovative technologies like AI can transform their business – Cognisess hopes to showcase how our solutions can enable better decision making when it comes to people and their talent.

There will be opportunities to conduct one to one meetings with potential clients and partners allowing Cognisess to showcase at a personal level how Cognisess software can transform their business. The variety of industry talks on offer like, Open Innovation: Transforming Business, Driving Growth, will continue to inspire us to develop our business and software. The Crowdsourcing and Crowdpitching events will provide Cognisess opportunities to seek collaboration or pitch software for the commercial market.

If you are attending the conference, please come and visit us at our exhibition stand. We are at the forefront of the Innovate UK Hub on stand UK01. If you are unable to attend the event but would like a free demo our software please contact: support@cognisess.com.  



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Cognisess Competes in Bath Dragon Boat Race, Surpassing Charity Fundraising Target

Taking part in the annual Bath Dragon Boat Race for the first time, Cognisess raised £1,000 alone for The Mountain Way charity.

On Sunday 9th September Cognisses raced against twelve other local business teams, set the fastest time of the day at 56.63 seconds and qualified for the semi-finals. The team thoroughly enjoyed competing and raising money for the designated charity The Mountain Way.

The Mountain Way is a charity whose aim is to help military veterans suffering from Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Their programme offers a ten-day excursion into the French Pyrenees mountain town of Bagnéres-de-Luchon on a one to one basis. By eliminating everyday distractions the veterans can start focusing on recovery, allowing them to regain a level of control of their combat- damaged lives.

At Cognisess we are passionate about helping others reach their potential, which is why we are excited to be supporting The Mountain Way. The money donated goes to a good cause – aiding veterans to rehabilitate their mind, rediscover their skills and boost their confidence.

Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess, commented:

“We are so pleased to be supporting The Mountain Way and taking part in the Dragon Boat Race. The day has raised over £5,000 overall – and was fun and exciting for all the teams taking part. I’m proud that the Cognisess Sport crew has risen to the challenge – only losing narrowly by a second in the semi-finals. We look forward to 2019 and going one step further.”

 

Our fundraising page is still open if you would like to support the cause: https://goo.gl/Qasbwa



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3 Killer Questions for a Job Interview – and the Science behind them

Bauldville reported on the first day of a role 67% of millennials are already thinking about applying for a new job. To improve your chances of finding a great hire that is more likely to stay, use these questions and the science behind them.

Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work?

A question like this aims to understand two areas: a candidate’s resilience – whether they can overcome challenges quickly, as well as their emotional intelligence – which is how honest they are with themselves or others about their actions and feelings.

Resilience sits under the personality type ‘emotional stability’, one of the ‘Big Five’ personality factors, proposed by Costa and McCrae (1992). Emotional intelligence is measured by the ‘Emotion test’, which is taken from research by Paul Ekman. Both attributes can be measured through Cognisess’ platform using two assessments heavily substantiated by their research.

It is not about the size of the mistake they describe, but how the candidate dealt with the aftermath of it. ‘‘You won’t hear people low in emotional intelligence take much accountability for their mistakes.’ claimed Mark Murphy in Forbes.

Does the candidate accept responsibility for making a mistake? A research article ‘Who Accepts Responsibility for Their Transgressions?’ by Schumann and Dweck (2014) found that people are more likely to apologise and take responsibility for their actions if they believe they can change their behaviour. This acceptance demonstrates a ‘growth’ mindset and a willingness to change in the future. A key feature of personality traits are that they remain stable across time and context. With this in mind, the findings of this study remain generalisable to the work environment, even though the original context was romantic relationships. As such, this study demonstrates a key behavioural factor in how successful an employee will be in the workplace.

Tell me an interesting fact about yourself.

Not only will the answer demonstrate an example of their personality type, it will also give the interviewer an insight into how the individual views themself. The candidate must select what they deem to be ‘interesting’ it offers a view of how the individual will fit within the company or team culture. For example, a candidate who chooses to relay information about a recently gained skydiving qualification may be more extraverted than a candidate who has expressed their passion for classical literature. Depending on the position available and the culture of the company, one candidate may be better suited than the other. Extraversion is also one of the more commonly discussed traits from ‘The Big Five’ (Costa and McCrae, 1992).

This also may not be a question the applicant has prepared for. You will be able to observe first hand how an applicant thinks under pressure. However good a person is at hiding how they feel about a question, their true expression will display on their face for one-fifth of a second. Cognisess Video Intelligence is able to capture this to enable you to explore how the candidate is actually feeling.

Do you have any questions?

This will be able to tell you how attentive an applicant was throughout the interview, if done right it should feel like they are interviewing you.

Top candidates may display ‘reflective listening’ – a communication strategy where a candidate listens to what you have said about the role and then paraphrases parts back to you in a form of a question. Good listening skills exhibit emotional intelligence, as the applicant values what you are saying instead of thinking about what they want to say. This will be more important when recruiting for a leadership role as in one study, 44% of employees reported poor communication skills as a main obstacle when successfully leading a team.

Additionally, Cognisess’ software is able to reveal insights into candidates prior to the interview stage. It assesses them on all levels – their cognitive capacity, emotional intelligence and personality. Our algorithms then custom builds an interview guide from a database comprised of 500 questions tailored to the role you are hiring for; saving you time before the interview and allowing you to really listen to what each candidate has to offer.

To understand how to use People Analytics for more successful hiring contact us today.