Hiring, motivation, retention to be in focus at NASBP Virtual Seminars

By Kathy Hoffman posted 11-17-2015 01:47 PM


How to hire the right employees–and keep them motivated and engaged–will be among the focal points of an upcoming NASBP Virtual Seminar series led by Mark Harris of Harris Development Group in Deerfield, Ill. As finding, hiring, and retaining the right people becomes more important, this leadership series will help the NASBP membership develop critical skills.

Each NASBP Virtual seminar will be discussed in the context of real-life situations and not in theory, so “the information will be practical” for participants' professional lives and “will have a carry-over into their personal lives,” Harris said.

The schedule of seven seminars is as follows:
Dec. 8 – How Smart Are You Emotionally?
Jan. 19 – Hiring the Right People
Mar. 8 – Engaging Our Employees
Mar. 22 – What Motivates People
Apr. 5 – Coaching for Performance
Apr. 19 – Managing Our Daily Conflicts
May 3 – Solving Problems for Better Decisions

The topics will “pertain to people in all professional walks of life,” but the seminars also will address issues as they affect the surety industry, Harris said. The first seminar deals with emotional intelligence, which Harris said can greatly benefit the workplace and talent retention.

“What's been shown through research is that effective leaders are no longer just the brightest in terms of intelligence, but they're also tuned in to staff's emotions, needs and things of that nature,” he said. “So the way it helps is that you may be competent, but if you don't show any emotional intelligence, people become disengaged. They're looking for a manager or leader who really cares about them.”
The following seminar will examine hiring, a process in which job offers tend to go to “people who are most like ourselves,” Harris said. While not always bad, this can become a problem when hires who can benefit an organization are overlooked.
Harris also touted behavioral-based interviewing, which allows an employer to examine past behaviors as predictors of future performance, as opposed to hypothetical questions that people are trained to answer in a way “so they all look good on paper.”

He also cautioned against certain questions that can arise during “chit-chat” but turn out to be problematic. Those include “Do you have any children?” or “Can you work on Saturdays?” which can be construed as discriminatory for religious reasons. “They're just simple questions, and they're innocent in nature, but they're illegal,” he said.

In addition, companies often make a “huge misstep” by relying chiefly on raises to foster motivation and engagement, Harris said. Employees also want recognition for strong performance, regular feedback and career-development opportunities, he said. They generally stay with a company for the “longer haul because they feel valued; they feel appreciated. Those are intangibles, but companies tend to focus on the tangibles,” he said.

Registration for all seven Leadership Virtual Seminars is $399, which is a 15% discount compared with purchasing each one separately. The last day to receive the reduced rate is Friday, Dec. 4. All new 2016 NASBP Annual Subscribers who sign up by Dec. 4 will be registered for the first Leadership Seminar at no additional cost. Register now.