Influence: Even More Important Than First Impressions

Posted by Christie Hardy Perez on April 19, 2019

First Impression meeting

Have you ever walked away from a situation, conversation, or interaction and thought “wow that was really impactful”?  Did you feel like you had been influenced in some way? Was it a positive or negative experience and did it help you make a decision or transform your way of thinking? Along those same lines, do you make a conscious effort to consider how you want to influence an individual or a situation and what your direct intention is?

Jim Rohn, one of the most successful American entrepreneurs, once said, “Never mistake the power of Influence”. Influence is very powerful. Leaders in the Human Capital Management arena, consciously or unconsciously, are always influencing someone or something that will have an impact on the outcome of a situation. Make it a priority to think about how you can play an influential role in your workforce’s career paths, experiences, and the influence you have on the culture within your company.  Every step along an employee’s career journey provides an opportunity to influence. Opportunities for human resource practitioners, managers, trainers, and recruiters to have a significant impact on employees, teams, and colleagues with every interaction. As an executive, you could truly alter a person’s life, professionally or personally, with influence.

As we explore the lifecycle of Human Capital Management and the opportunities for influence along the way, I want to open your mind to the possibilities of how you can and will influence an employee throughout their career with your company. First, understand there are various ways and reasons for wanting or needing to influence someone.  There has to be a goal that is being worked towards such as a business goal, a project to fulfill, an educational or development goal, a promotion, achieving higher customer satisfaction and so on. 

 

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Recruiting and Building Candidate Relationships

As a recruiter, think about how you interact with job seekers. Are you using campaigns to tout the company’s mission and goals, the benefits you offer, and the culture?  Campaigning is critical in capturing job seekers’ interest as soon as possible, so you have the right people ready to be assigned to the next big project. Did you know that you can influence their decision in real-time while they consider whether to apply for the job or not?  Your goal is to convert them to an employee! Campaigns should also be used to stay engaged with past, pre-qualified candidates to fulfill future project needs.  As a recruiter, when you demonstrate you are still interested in past candidates, you create a trusting relationship that will influence candidates’ decisions to apply for future job openings.

Onboarding New Employees

Now, you’ve converted your job seeker to a new employee and you’re ready to onboard them.  The new employee should be partnered with a positive, influential mentor. A person that will coach them through the first few weeks, and most importantly, someone that will mold their impression of the company that confirms they made the right decision when they chose to accept the offer.  Starting a new career with a company is intimidating, scary, and overwhelming so aligning the appropriate influencer from day one is critical in that employee’s experience and long-term success.

Feedback and Performance Management

Consider how managers influence and interact with their employees. If a manager is encouraging, positive, transparent, and provides continuous feedback, they will certainly influence an employee’s direction with the company.  Employees will either, be eager to continue working for the manager and company or may instead choose to leave based on how they are being influenced. 

Employee Development

We are starting to understand the true value of employee development and managers have strong influence over development paths for direct reports. Your newly hired employee has his or her own career direction in mind. Managers should be thinking about future projects, and creating development plans that include learning courses to assist their employees in obtaining new skills that align with their individual aspirations and with future project needs.

Offboarding Employees

Consider how you can influence an employee when they move on from your company.  What kind of impression are they left with during offboarding? You may or may not be directly influencing the employee, but once they have left, you should consider whom they might influence once they are gone.  It is key that ex-employees leave on a good note so they can positively influence potential customers, vendors and/or future employees.

At the core of successful business outcomes lies your HR Department and the technology solution you use to capture and maintain HR data. That solution, along with your processes, play a profound role in your employees’ experience. HR is no longer simply a transactional function. It’s strategic! HR doesn’t just handle benefits, payroll, or drive performance initiatives, they are the heartbeat of every aspect of what influences your people and the culture of your company.  HR is probably the most influential part of every employee’s life cycle.

We certainly have not covered every step of the employee lifecycle, but I hope you are starting to recognize the opportunity you have to influence your company’s workforce at any given point within the lifecycle? You have taken a job seeker who knew nothing of your company, influenced their decision to apply, and then hired that person. You have taken opportunities to prepare them for the next level, developed their skills and helped to create new ones. When they decided to take a new opportunity, you left them with the best possible impression so that they may positively influence others outside the organization.  

Does your current Human Capital Management solution provide a one-stop shop where every aspect of managing your people is integrated, streamlined, and centralized?  If not, it’s time to reconsider. Rethink your HR strategy and reflect on how you can influence your firm to invest in a solution that gets the job done, from start to finish.  Lacking the right tools, will influence and impact every single employee and all of your HCM goals.

Key Takeaways

Use your influence to provide a sense of trust, instill pride, create camaraderie, but most of all help everyone be successful.  Remember, positive influence encourages and promotes productivity and guarantees success. Success for the employee, success for you, success for your projects, success for your company and success for your customers.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Henry Drummond, "The people who influence you are the people who believe in you!"

 

 

About the Author

Christie is the Sr. Product Management Specialist for Deltek Talent Management Acquisition solution, which also includes partnered responsibilities over Talent’s API/SOA offering and Deltek Reporting Tool. She has worked in the HCM industry for more than 12yrs primarily focused on Acquisition.