Building Stronger Human Resources in 2020

Building Stronger Human Resources in 2020


Humans are an interesting species. We think, feel, communicate, and act in ways no other living thing does, and that can make us compatible and very challenging at the same time.

If you look up synonyms for “human”, you get a list including “mortal,” “individual,” “civilized,” “fallible,” “forgivable,” and “vulnerable.” Looking at these characteristics, it’s understandable why interacting with each other can be challenging. For instance, are you feeling mortal or fallible today? Civilized or vulnerable? How a person feels usually determines how he/she will act. But, since no two people express all their feelings and actions exactly alike, understanding and adapting to human emotions and actions, (including our own) can be the difference between success and failure.

HR departments often become the catch-all of an organization, with responsibilities that not only include hiring, firing, and tracking salaries and benefits, but also employee development, training, and coaching/counseling. Having worked with both small and large businesses, I can tell you that one of the biggest challenges of any business is employee management. Managing schedules, paychecks, and benefits is the easy part; handling different personalities, behaviors, motivations, and communication styles is the true challenge.

So, how does a company maximize its human resources to create a solid team? Start by understanding the human factors that make us both unique and similar.


Understanding the gamut of emotions humans experience is a science in itself. Business leaders, managers, and team members who know and understand their own behaviors are more likely to know how to navigate the emotions of the people around them. For years, I have talked a lot about emotional intelligence and the connection between EQ/EI and professional success. But, I believe EQ is the basis of all success, as it determines how aware you are of yourself and others, and how much self-regulation and motivation you possess and utilize to adjust your behaviors in a positive manner that will increase your connection with others.
Emotional intelligence assessments, trainings, and coaching have been implemented in countless businesses world-wide to create more emotionally healthy organizations at all levels. And, as long as humans have emotions, understanding and managing them will help increase sales, improve team productivity, raise corporate morale, and create a more peaceful atmosphere at work and home.


What do you do when you feel sad? Do you cry? Get quiet and retreat? Or, do you play and sing along to upbeat music until you feel better? While there are no “wrong” or “bad” emotions, there are inappropriate reactions or behaviors. Therefore, having a high EQ is important – so you can recognize your feelings and adjust your behaviors to minimize conflict and maximize positive outcomes. But, realizing that behaviors aren’t necessarily “good” or “bad” is also helpful.

In business, it’s important to recognize how different behavioral styles can be beneficial depending on the job role and responsibilities. That’s where DISC assessments come in. For instance, if you have a job opening in a fast-paced environment and you need someone who will solve problems quickly and assertively, finding or grooming someone who is high in “Dominance” may provide a better fit than someone high in “Steadiness” who likes to think things through and works best in roles that require a calculated, steady progression.

Since communication is a behavior, countless companies and government agencies have benefitted by using DISC assessments. From increasing leadership skills, to reading and responding to buyer’s signals, having insight into behavioral styles and how best to interact with them is a beneficial human skill.


What motivates someone to create art? Strive relentlessly to be “Top Salesperson?” Work tirelessly to raise money for a cause? Spend years researching and testing to find the best combination? Contrary to what many people think, not everyone is motivated by money or power. There are several other key motivators that drive people to accomplish goals and tasks. The trick to personal and professional productivity is tapping into those individualized motivators to benefit employees and the company. Businesses that recognize the specific motivators required of different job roles, can help ensure the team member in that role is a good match, or adjust the role to fit the motivation of the employee.


A Florida healthcare organization was having trouble getting their staff to consistently call patients to remind them of their upcoming appointment, and the missed appointments caused a substantial revenue loss each week. To combat the problem, they tried incorporating an “Employee of the Month” plaque for whomever was most consistent in making calls. Then, they offered gift cards to the employees who made the most calls. And, at one point, they created a “Team Call Leader” position that rotated quarterly. But, these attempts only helped for a short period of time, and they could never get the whole team to participate as needed. After reviewing the assessment results of the team, we created a “grab bag” of incentives that employees could choose from. This allowed each person to select a reward that aligned with their personal motivators so everyone on the team was engaged in the process. Within the first few months of the “grab bag”, the organization’s revenues were up substantially, and employee morale was increasing, too!


Maximizing Human Factors in HR
Professionals responsible for hiring, firing, and/or leading employees can increase productivity and revenue by understanding and utilizing the factors that make us human. Emotions, Behaviors, and Motivators are key factors that affect every action and interaction. Take a moment and think about your workday – how many emotions do you experience in one day, and how do you react to each one? How do your actions affect the people around you? What would motivate you to work more effectively? Now, think about this in relation to everyone you work with – co-workers, clients, and leaders. It becomes obvious how important it is to integrate and maximize the factors that make us human in order to accomplish our goals and objectives in 2020.


How will YOU focus on the human factors in business this year?