engage and effectively manage your team

engage and effectively manage your team


“understand how to engage your employees and be consistent in your cultural message”


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futures, dreams, & passages

futures, dreams, & passages


Our Journey, Your Path – Career Counseling with Vision Qwest Solutions


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About Vision Qwest Solutions
Ribbon Cutting Picture
Ribbon Cutting Picture

Welcome to Vision Qwest Solutions’ website.

Vision Qwest Solutions provides consultation and training solutions to include soft skills training, leadership development training, employee engagement consultation, talent acquisition training and consultation, and performance management consultation and training.   I first launched the original website in 2006.  The tagline, “The Journey Begins With Envisioning The Possibilities” as well as the name for the company was conceptualized during an amazing road trip.  With an open mind, in open air, and on open road, I came up with the concept for the company.  The tag line was lofty and befitting as the name for the site.  I had a specific goal in mind – to provide a myriad of strategic HR consulting services to employers and employees in the areas of performance management, recruitment support, training solutions, organizational development, and career counseling.  Although these are all areas of expertise for me, we all have to be flexible through “shifts and changes”; and sometimes, given market conditions, and constantly monitoring the current environment, I have honed my focus.  Re-prioritizing  and re-focusing is good for all us.

For me, re-focusing meant staying true to self, and re-aligning my service offerings.  This is what the new site is all about; listening to self,  internalizing, taking a personal inventory and assessment, and truly embracing the alignment of self as I strive to continue to reach the plateau of my life purpose.  With this new site, I will still embrace the lofty goals of “envisioning the possibilities“, but with a more individualistic perspective – while still being holistic.  This means a responsiblity to understand what it means to embrace human dynamics, understand organizational cultural dynamics, and what it means to understand “you”  in your chosen professions;  thereby embracing the true you in the world of work and embracing concepts that allows for contributing as you were “inherently designed”.

The power of managing these circumstances enhances ones’ ability to rise above the negative and facilitate the ability to be true to self –  “nosce te ipsum”.

Vision Qwest Solutions leverages the ability to understand your career needs based on my experience in “corporate”. I am a seasoned HR professional that started from the rank and file; yep, from the ground up.   And via my path,  my story has evolved, and adds substance to my perspectives and my understanding of what it  means to be an “employee” in the workplace today as well as being a corporate employer.

I have worked in a variety of industries – manufacturing, service industries, healthcare, and education.  Let’s delve a little deeper.  I have worked in hospitality, aviation, paper products, steel products, staffing, DOD, federal government contracting, and administration,  as an HR professional.

Celestine McMullen Allen, Vision Qwest Solutions

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This blog feature is not about me. It is about you, your career aspirations, job fit, and where you want to go in life...Your Journey - your future, dreams, and passages. Your career path is a journey. I have spent a professional lifetime aspiring to understanding human dynamics in the workplace. I have spent a professional lifetime aspiring to understand organizational culture and employee engagement. I have spent a professional lifetime recruiting "great" talent for organizations that I have supported and "Melding" the "voices" of the world of work. I have some perspectives that you may want to hear about as you embark upon "a path" in the workplace. Professional lifetimes evolve. It is important for me to keep my finger on that pulse and it is through this site that I aspire to continually feel, sense, and correlate my years of experience, with evolutions, estrangements, endearments, innovations, positivities, and wait a minutes, as Vision Qwest Solutions is being re-vamped. I want to ensure understanding and a connectivity with your voice. And so, this blog is how we work together. I share...You share...At the end of the day, it is all about you...Vision Qwest Solutions's Blog - futures, dreams, and passages is all about you.
Workplace Trends – Pandora’s Box
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12 Sep

Workplace Trends – Pandora’s Box

Delving into workplace trends is akin to opening Pandora’s box. Once the box is opened, there is a plethora of workplace issues that emerges. Oftentimes, to the dismay of employers who have to manage them. There are existing holistic management concepts that still have not been mastered, inclusive of employee engagement, performance management, profitability of the organization and how employees f...
Read More...
Organizational Culture – Is There A Need To Review Your Culture Initiatives
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24 Aug

Organizational Culture – Is There A Need To Review Your Culture Initiatives

I recently found an article, "Your Company Culture Can't be Disconnected from Your Customers", written by Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank of Harvard Business Review;  http://bit.ly/1S8guAp.  This article appeared on one of my feeds and thought it was share worthy because it addresses the importance of organizational culture and the impact that it may have on the relationship with your customer bas...
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“Zen” & Career Choices
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18 Aug

“Zen” & Career Choices

“Along the way to achieving career success, there are paths defined, paths yet to be defined, and paths unknown. Keep traveling." Celestine McMullen Allen Career choices represent a critical component of our professional world.  As with our personal lives, we pour so much of ourselves into "our" world of work. We may or may not have a clear path; sometimes meeting the day-to-day needs o...
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Introspections:  Recruiting & Career Counseling Moments
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8 Jul

Introspections: Recruiting & Career Counseling Moments

Recruiting and career counseling moments are very rewarding when it is done correctly and with the right "spirit".  This introspective moment has been brewing for a while.  It started when “applicants” that I found jobs for have come back into my life...and when I say “back in”, I can go back to relationships that evolved in the early 80’s, the 90’s, 2000 and forward.  This blog post is all about ...
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“Understanding Recruiting Dynamics” –  Essays on Professional Recruiting Synergy
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14 Sep

“Understanding Recruiting Dynamics” – Essays on Professional Recruiting Synergy

“Every life is a journey, and everyone has a story to tell”……Celestine McMullen Allen Recruiting practices and dynamics have changed a lot over the years. Now, the recruiting world is mired with data, keywords, and metrics.  How stressful is that.  And of course, other factors include recruiters not understanding the "roles" they are hiring for and applicants not understanding what they are loo...
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“Human Dynamics in the Workplace” – Essays on Personal and Professional Synergy
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14 Sep

“Human Dynamics in the Workplace” – Essays on Personal and Professional Synergy

A journey is a story, and everyone has one to tell.....Celestine McMullen Allen Human dynamics in the workplace is experiencing unprecedented twists and turns.  The outcomes become part of issues that organizations are struggling with to correct.  These human dynamic "issues" prevail in such a way that they are morhping in bad hires, lower employee engagement scores, higher turnover, higher possi...
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Essays on Personal and Professional Synergy
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14 Sep

Essays on Personal and Professional Synergy

As I am writing this post, I realized the potential and opportunities to speak to my voice, (personally and organizationally) on a broader level.   “Essays on Professional and Personal Synergy” is the new title for this essay series.  And with such a title, I can expound on a wide range of subject matter, inclusive of topics that fall within the broad spectrum of organizational development, person...
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Graduation- A Time For New Choices:  Status Quo or New Horizons
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2 Jun

Graduation- A Time For New Choices: Status Quo or New Horizons

So, we are now winding down from the season of graduation…..bridging…..next steps for our kids…….             Graduation from college             Graduation from high school             Bridging to high school (a perspective…..now is the time to focus on who you are and what your innate capabilities are……) I have participated in these events personally and vicariously through social ...
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Workplace Trends – Pandora’s Box

Delving into workplace trends is akin to opening Pandora’s box. Once the box is opened, there is a plethora of workplace issues that emerges. Oftentimes, to the dismay of employers who have to manage them. There are existing holistic management concepts that still have not been mastered, inclusive of employee engagement, performance management, profitability of the organization and how employees factor into the equation, organizational culture, and basically, overall management of human dynamics in the workplace.
And if that is not enough, we have the emergence of new human capital issues that organizations have to manage – that nebulous term that attempts to quantify human effectiveness, processes related to managing “employees”, processes related to getting products out the door, and processes related to customer service and the customer experience. In addition to existing human dynamic issues, organizations are wrestling with the concepts of big data, the blending of baby boomers with Millennials, – Gen X, Gen Y, and now, here comes Gen Z. We are more global now. Organizations have to manage work life balance for their employees. This also includes flexible workplace options. Let’s not forget trends relative to the impact of technology on the workforce of the future and how organizations will need to prepare for this transition. And still emerging from the workplace Pandora’s Box is employee engagement, how it is understood, how it is measured, and how to implement solutions for employees to truly buy-in to the success of the organization.
As I have suggested, trends in the workplace is like opening Pandora’s Box. Trends be aware, for they can be tricky. Sometimes, trends force you to get on a wagon that may lead to nowhere. And depending upon where you want to go, trends relative to the management of “your employees” can have a negative effect.
As these workplace topics are addressed, I wanted to ensure that even amongst the holistic trends of the topic, there are some basic components and assertions that cannot be overlooked as workplace trends are analyzed and dissected, and data “tweaked” to fit the needs of an organization. These assertions include embracing the concepts of employee engagement, for it is not an outlier, but the core of what makes an organization successful.
Companies now are so focused on data and profitability that, oftentimes, they are missing many opportunities to enhance their employee engagement opportunities. And when I reference employee engagement opportunities, I am referring to the comprehensive manner in which some companies conduct business that manage and bring employees into the “fold” beyond their paycheck and benefits. This includes how they are hired, how they are oriented into the organization, how their performance is assessed, how they relate to other team members, and most importantly, the breadth of their performance – day-to-day.
“Sustained employee engagement” versus surges of “employee adrenaline” is what is important relative to bottom line results and should be included as a criterion for business success. Unfortunately, this component is hard to measure. Unfortunately, many organizations are numb to the disdain that employees may be facing as go to work each day – to face mixed messages from management, lack of support, lack of creating buy-in (engagement), or lack of a true commitment to the organizations that they support. Unfortunately, many organizations still don’t know how to bridge this gap.
Whatever works, right??? No, it should not be this way; especially as it relates to the employees of your organization. Maslow articulated it best with his “Theory of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”. With his psychological approach, he suggested that self-actualization and psychological needs must be met before an individual can advance to other levels of his famous pyramid; suggesting that the most basic and primal of needs of the individual must be met before he can move forward to the tip of the pyramid.
After many management practices were launched, either based on Maslow’s Theory, or many other trends, organizations eventually have evolved to the management of people like a digit and a widget. Such to the point that now employees are managed as “human capital”; the morphing of an employee, no matter what level in the organization into the assimilation of turning the emotions of employees into numbers on a spreadsheet.
Ponder This:
Are employers really ready to embrace the concept of providing employees on-going performance discussions? Trends now suggest that on-going performance discussions versus the annual review will be the norm. Are your managers and supervisors up to this task? Does your organization have a good system in place to identify and “reward” high performing employees?
Are employers ready to blend the dynamics of today’s workforce? Remember we have Gen Z employees entering the workforce now bringing a new set of dynamics and expectations. It will be interesting to see how Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen X, Gen Y, and now Gen Z employees are managed in the workplace.
Can employers integrate the trends of Big Data to ascertain the effectiveness of their workplace? This should include ensuring that organizations know what they should track, how employees fit into the equation, and how to provide on-going discussions on the effectiveness of what is being monitored or what needs to be tweaked.
Will employers really try to embrace, versus discounting or glazing over the importance the concepts of employee engagement in the workplace? The data is compiled, but are managers vulnerable enough to embrace what is being said. Should the questions asked in these surveys be re-written such that they are forthright and to the point of what employees want to say and employers need to hear.
Are employers ready to face technological changes that will affect employees. Training and budgeting for new skills training is going to be key. Although some organizations make this commitment, day-to-day business requirements rule, and there is never enough time.
Data is important. But so are people. After all of these issues are analyzed, truly engaged listening skills, empathy skills, consistency in processes, and not de-valuing the humans that you employ goes a long way to enhancing the “big data” numbers that an organization wants to reflect in their reports, see in their organizational surveys, and bottom line results. Sometimes, it is all about going back to the basics.
Here is a link to access Global Human Capital Trends 2016 is published by Deloitte University Press. Of course, Deloitte is a major player in conducting studies on human dynamics in the workplace. Their study mirrors my position of what relevant trends are taking place in today’s workplace. Their study discusses the New Organization, Organizational Design, Leadership, Culture, Engagement, Design Thinking, HR, People Analytics, Digital HR, and the Gig Economy. You will be directed to the Deloitte University Press website to access the download for this PDF. It will also be added as a link on my website.
Global Human Capital Trends 2016
http://bit.ly/1al9nDV

Celestine
Vision Qwest Solutions

Organizational Culture – Is There A Need To Review Your Culture Initiatives

I recently found an article, “Your Company Culture Can’t be Disconnected from Your Customers, written by Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank of Harvard Business Review;  http://bit.ly/1S8guAp.  This article appeared on one of my feeds and thought it was share worthy because it addresses the importance of organizational culture and the impact that it may have on the relationship with your customer base.

I liked the article for several reasons.  For me, it suggests that all companies are a blank slate until there is a reason to do business together.  And alas, this creates that “first experience” that can make or break the deal- whether it be a returning customer for a meal, a cup of coffee, launching a new product, or implementing a new process.  This article also suggests that even if there is a positive, fluff filled first culture experience, the company oftentimes relies upon the experiences delivered by the employees to validate whether the organization truly lives up to service and delivery expectations and “make or break” future business relationships.

Employees, if they believe in their company, embrace ownership of what the company represents.  It is important that when someone asks them where they work, they can respond pridefully that they work for company XYZ.  This response can be validated in your employee engagement surveys.  This is true if the organization is a start-up or whether the organization has had an historical impact – which of course can be a restaurant, a professional services provider, or a manufacturing company.  But we know that time and econonomic realities  has the propensity to change embedded values; if they truly existed.    Current economic environments may require that “shifts” be made in how “business is done“.  As is true with any type of change, organizations have a responsibility to ensure that that employees understand and follow new initiatives and ways of doing business.  To discount this step in the process is only asking for a disconnected workforce that is wondering “what is going on”, “why”, and “they question their roles and/or effectiveness” until such a point that they are just employees on your payroll.   

The article speaks in generalities in three levels to broadly define the dynamics and concepts of “thought” regarding organizational culture:

#1 – Embracing organizational stories and events that define you as an organization.  I have supported amyriad of industries, but I love manufacturing and service organizations – it’s either you got it or you don’t; especially as it relates to being customer oriented.

#2 – Embracing the the thoughts of the employee as they support you in your business initiatives – how they feel, how they behave, their values and norms, the unwritten rules, and their emotional responses.

#3 – Embracing how customers identify with your organization and their perceptions.  From this perspective, organizations are able to get “an outside in view” for them to identify with how you fulfill “external promises, thus allowing for the opportunity to implement the right processes and practices that makes your employees thrive.

The writers of this article summarized it beautifully as they added a three step protocol for ensuring that, comprehensively,the needs of the employees and the needs of the customers are met.  Steps 1 and 2 speaks to the importance of creating the right culture and parlaying a customer-centric perspective into how business is conducted.   Step 3, in terms of the views of the authors, truly speak to considerations that organizations need to consider in an on-going basis……

Step 3 of Level III –

“Design the right processes, practices, and structures for supporting and encouraging those behaviors. Management and organization processes, practices, and structures create and sustain the right behaviors, thereby institutionalizing the desired culture. These processes, practices, and structures include staffing, training, promotions, measurement, rewards, organization structure, work design, information management, physical arrangements, and leadership development. Through these elements, managers reinforce employee actions that align with customer expectations.”

It is refreshing to see a perspective on organizational culture that aligns with employee engagement and establishes a formula for success as we bridge organizational culture with employee engagement and employee effectiveness.

Contact Vision Qwest Solutions to help you to identify viable options identifying and/or understanding obstacles that impact the effectiveness of your organizational culture initiatives at www.visionqwestsolutions.com or contact me via email at celestine@visionqwestsolutions.com

Your Company Culture Can’t be Disconnected from Your Customers

written by Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank of Harvard Business Review.  http://bit.ly/1S8guAp

“Zen” & Career Choices

“Along the way to achieving career success,

there are paths defined, paths yet to be defined, and paths unknown. Keep traveling.”

Celestine McMullen Allen

Career choices represent a critical component of our professional world.  As with our personal lives, we pour so much of ourselves into “our” world of work. We may or may not have a clear path; sometimes meeting the day-to-day needs of “living” is our motivation – survival; foregoing an essence of us that is buried deep – to be professionally successful. Survival or bad choices become our comfort zone. The yoke can be unbound as long as we take measures to understand that person that we call “self”. As well, it is equally important to understand your skills, inherent traits, and interests and requires us to dig deep into our inner self.

I chose a Zen theme for this blog post for that reason. At at some point in our lives, it is important to totally connect with ourselves introspectively and intuitively. Introspectively, (I love this word), we have to understand what works for us and what doesn’t. Intuitively refers to that gut feeling that we get when we know things are not right. The principles and philosophies of Zen are much more comprehensive than what is presented in this article, but the basic principles align itself so perfectly when it comes to a thought process we could use when we make career decisions.

The concept is powerful…
you feel “Zen” when you go to the spa
…you feel “Zen” when you go to the beach or mountains
…you feel “Zen” when you create environments in your home that make you feel serene

So, why not transfer those same euphoric feelings into making a good career choice. So what is wrong with feeling “Zen” when you go to work each day and make things happen on the job, create or enhance a new process, or create a solution to a problem that your organization has been struggling with, or land a new piece of business. This is Zen, – the seeking of enlightenment through introspection and intuition. It is possible to incorporate the concept into your career decisions and career fulfillment.

Incorporate the concept of “Zen” into your career decisions.

1. Embrace this  Zen correlation to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of self – what motivates you, what your interest are, what types of tasks and activities excite you, and how you use this relevant information to plan your career path.
2. Understand your passions. There are several schools of thoughts regarding one’s career passion – they may or may not make you rich. But for me, it is the filtering of transferrable skills that are associated with your passion into viable career options. For example, your passion may be writing. You may or may not not have the formula for a bestselling novel, but there are so many professional opportunities that utilize writers – content writers for social media platforms and websites, marketing professionals, technical writers, writers for industry journals., and writing business communications to name a few. And you can still write your book.
3. We are painstakingly focused on achieving some goal and aimlessly pursue some path. Is it just because you landed the job? Is because you are glazed over by the industry? Is it because you like what you think you will be doing? Have you overstepped your current capabilities? Do you accept a job in which the culture of the organization is not a good fit for you? These scenarios happen a lot, leaving so many employees disillusioned. Without addressing these relevant scenarios, it does not matter what type of work environment you are in, you will still be out of sorts with yourself; akin to fitting a square peg in a round hole if you do not take the necessary steps to truly understand what your needs are within a professional environment.

Years ago, I found this quote that says that “we are all suited for a certain type of work, and when we find that niche – (the roles we are “professionally” suited for) – then hard work is not hard work at all.” This is the first step to ensuring that you are not subjected to the ails of trying to make your mark professionally and not succeeding. The journey begins with what you bring to “the table” and how you use these skills in your chosen profession. Secondarily, it is a matter of understanding the motivations of your employer, the culture of the organization, your ability to make an impact on their success, and what you want to accomplish as you move forward in the progression of your career. If the two mesh, this is what “Zen” is about.

This “Zen” experience applies whether you are just starting out in your career, whether you have to re-define you career goals due to economic circumstances (re-purposing yourself), or whether you finally figure out that you need to make a career change after years of being “unprofessionally fulfilled” in your current job. After all, we spend 75% of our time thinking about work, doing the work, decompressing after work, and getting ready for the next day for work experiences to be miserable.

Are you professionally fulfilled in your current job?
Vision Qwest Solutions offers a cadre of tools and resources to assist you with your career decisions. I utilize personality assessments, interest inventories, and knowledge gleaned from years of supporting organizations and corporations as an HR Professional and Recruiter.

Contact Vision Qwest Solutions to help you to identify viable options for your career path at www.visionqwestsolutions.com or contact me via email at celestine@visionqwestsolutions.com

Celestine McMullen Allen, President
Vision Qwest Solutions

Introspections: Recruiting & Career Counseling Moments

Recruiting and career counseling moments are very rewarding when it is done correctly and with the right “spirit”.  This introspective moment has been brewing for a while.  It started when “applicants” that I found jobs for have come back into my life…and when I say “back in”, I can go back to relationships that evolved in the early 80’s, the 90’s, 2000 and forward.  This blog post is all about warm and fuzzy moments, because to me, it says, “job well done”.

The above Thank You card is from a group of students that I had the pleasure of facilitating a career counseling session with.   I was so happy to find this card, for even though the event took place several years ago, it reminded me of what “we”,  in the industry are responsible for ….to make a long term difference in the lives of people that cross our path and those that look to us for motivation, inspiration, and guidance.  For me, this not only includes the professional level, but as well, the personal level – my nieces and nephews, my great nieces and nephews, and anyone else that I encounter that may need words of encouragement, words of strength, and words of “you can do it…. whatever that it is; whatever the industry, whatever the job.

I was recently inspired by a young woman that I placed on an assignment years ago.  Her name is Kwanza Graham.  I remember the day that she walked into my office.  She was professionally dressed – a blue shirt and a black skirt.  She wore a neat pair of black rimmed glasses and a hair style that suited her personality.  Most importantly, she presented herself very professionally.  She was pursuing a job as a Recruiter.  Although she was new in the recruiting discipline, my assessment during our interview confirmed that she was a “viable candidate”.  Upon the completion of our interview, I was more than convinced that she had the inherent skill sets necessary to meet the needs of my client.  Her career path has since evolved over the years.  Kwanza is now a Talent Acquisitions Manager for a major health care provider in the Metropolitan DC Market.

What makes this story marked is that I initially placed Kwanza on an assignment in the 1990’s.  She has advanced in her level of roles and responsibilities.  Her success is due to her staying true to her dreams and her inherent tenacity to make her career dreams come true.  Better yet, thanks to social media, we have reconnected.

In recent communications with her, she shared with me that our initial connection professionally impacted her, as well.  Kwanza shared with me that she “still shares the story” of being allowed to have a chance to get into the recruiting industry; a story that she shares whenever she gets a chance.   Oh, what a compliment.    Kwanza also asked me a very poignant question.  She asked was I able to recount the number of hires that I have made over the years – bearing in mind that this has been a core responsibility of my jobs – 35+ years later. I can’t count the number of placements that I have made over the years, but I truly hope that if I placed you, that it was a “good fit” for your personal aspirations.   I wish I still had this ongoing communication with them like I have with Kwanza.  I would love to hear their stories.

Little did Kwanza know that during this same time frame, there were several people that I was also able to “reconnect” with and others that shared with me that they wished that they had heeded my counsel.  Most importantly, if I placed you, that you “followed your path”, that you followed your dreams, and that you understood how your skills and your inherent skills aligned in tangent to being “the best professional you that you could be”, that you are now professionally accomplished or on track.

The thank you card that is a part of this post also reminds me of our mission – “to be real” to applicants that you are graced with the opportunity of helping.  For me, that means helping people through my recruiting and career counseling experiences.

Thanks, you rock…  Thanks for sharing the “great information that you presented…  Thanks for the great info…   Very insightful…  Thanks for providing career information and tips for the class… These are comments that I cherish.  For as I spoke with the class, I was “very real” in the presentation, and answered their questions poignantly.

 My recruiting experiences over the years, have been from a multi-level perspective, corporate and agency.  As well, I have a vast number of years as an HR professional.  These collective experiences have honed my people skills to ensure an understanding of what is truly important with “my peeps”.  This includes considering their fit, fit for the organization or client, or whether  the opportunity is good for their career path.  And when it is done right, and with the right perspective, it is very satisfying personally.  

Personal, professional impacts are important.  The moment that you encounter an applicant, a colleague, or a friend, be in the present of who they are, their possibilities, their path, and their accomplishments…..for you never know where their path may lead them to……faith in the possibilities…

If I placed you in a “viable” job opportunity, I would love to hear from you and hear your story.  Share your comments and updates on this post.

 

Celestine

Your Career Coach

 

 

“Understanding Recruiting Dynamics” – Essays on Professional Recruiting Synergy

“Every life is a journey, and everyone has a story to tell”……Celestine McMullen Allen

Recruiting practices and dynamics have changed a lot over the years. Now, the recruiting world is mired with data, keywords, and metrics.  How stressful is that.  And of course, other factors include recruiters not understanding the “roles” they are hiring for and applicants not understanding what they are looking for in terms of their career aspirations.

I have been recruiting professionally for a long time, both corporate and agency.    With each hire that I have made, or with any candidate that I have interviewed, it was important for me to establish a personal connection with the candidate to ensure that their credentials, background, personality, and inherent skills were suited for the needs of the client and/or the organizations that I supported.

So, from the old school days, I had this stack of resumes that had arrived via snail mail.  Eventually, they arrived via email.  Eventually to the plethora of online recruiting sites that were key word based.  Of late, recruiting has become algorithmically savvy which predicts the viability of opportunities of candidates for consideration.  I used “people gut” and an understanding “eye” to make good placements for my clients and/or organizations that I supported.  Very effective, might I say.

So as we have added other tiers to this process, we started affecting the recruiting process even more. Unfortunately, some of these tiers are ineffective in a lot of instances.  Factors of consideration include the world of metrics and recruiting effectiveness that is counter to mutual needs of the organization and the individual.  These added layers entail a lack of definition of what an organization truly needs in their strategic world, business criteria that is ill-defined, lack of synergy, and little or no support to the employees who works  for you day-to day or whom will  and want to work for you.  These metrics also force counter-productivity and affects the quality of candidates that are hired.  I am not suggesting that this data is not important.  I am merely suggesting that they add a layer of disconnect with the applicant.  I am also suggesting that some of these activities takes away from building a great applicant pipeline and from establishing a good rapport with viable candidates.

Upon conducting research to validate statistics relative to this topic, I sourced several articles that suggest the following:

  •  Research indicates that talent acquisition professionals will have higher recruiting budgets, but they also will have higher volumes.  The higher budgets are necessary because they are now faced with recruiting in social professional networks, internet job boards, and company career websites.  And measure they must to be able to get a decent return on their investment.  So with more dollars being spent, their recruiting world evolves around time to fill.  Disconnect begins here and creates a quandary and a source of angst between the applicant and the recruiter.
  •  Quality of hire is another valuable recruiting stat, but given the current climate, this measure suffers the most.  Unfortunately, recruiters, and their efforts are also affected.  They too, are trapped in the mire of meeting the needs of the applicant and the financial goals of the organizations that they support.  There is a caveat – the applicant needs to understand what is important to them in terms of career path and goals, and what type of organization suits them so that they can flourish professionally.   Recruiters need to understand the roles, the job, the organizational culture, and other relevant information that ensures a “good fit”.

So as to not put the cart before the horse, we do need to examine some basics that need to be in place before this myriad of expectations can be obtained and or understood.

  •  Connecting with the Applicant– How do you and your organization connect with candidates?  I contend that just as you are a human being contacting a potential candidate to fill a vacancy, there is the same amount of energy that the “applicant” puts in to being deemed a viable candidate.    Recruiting scenarios are lop-sided these days.  Yes, recruiters may have access to jobs that may or may not be available – also called contingent opportunities.  But the outreach and ensuing dialogue is, and/or can be with a one-sided perspective of what the process should be about.  Recruiting venues are not supportive of the process.  Technology, as good as it is, takes humanity out of the process.  Placements and filling offers is the game.  Trust me, applicants are feeling the pain, more than we may realize and creating a divide that goes deep.  The bottom line is although they solicit our help, there is a level of distrust that is brewing that will be hard to bridge unless some changes are made.
  •  Understanding The Skill Set of Candidates – A good recruiter …..No, let’s not start here yet.  An applicant should understand what their inherent gifts are and the path that they should be on to fulfill their professional dreams.  I chose to start here, because ultimately, one can be sold “peanuts” even if they are allergic to them.  This may be an extreme analogy, but the bottom line, bad career choices can work against you personally, professionally, and physically.    It is incumbent that one understands their personal strengths and “fit” for whatever opportunity that they pursue.

From the recruiting perspective, how adept are you in terms of understanding the roles that you are recruiting for.  You have a job description (probably outdated), you have discussions with the hiring managers, you have conversations with the hiring organization about their needs, and oops, “a” candidate is available.  When you review the credentials of candidate, what are you looking for?  Are you reviewing the job requisition against the job description and hope that the key words match?  Do you thoroughly review prior job history and discern whether there are transferrable skills available that are suited for the opportunity for the client?  Do you consider or understand inherent skills of the applicant to ensure that the applicant fits the environment?  Another important consideration – are you pursuing a candidate just to meet your personal organizational metrics of “time to fill” or other organizational metrics that do not fit with the needs of the applicant?  And in terms of looking at the entire picture, when is one considered a quality hire – one month, six months, one year, or more?  This question raises issues relative to how employees are effectively evaluated; another question for another post.  Every role is not process specific but may rely upon other organizational factors for viable determinants of success.

  •  Understanding the needs of the role/and or organization – We have briefly talked about the needs of the individual and obstacles facing recruiters in today’s work environment.  What barriers and obstacles have been put in place with the organization that prevent these first two considerations from melding together?

With this series, I usually like to discuss concepts in trinity.  But, corporate responsibility in the disconnect can  encompass several themes that are better fit for subsequent posts which will include organizational culture, organizational effectiveness, performance management, and employee engagement.  Here are some stats that are worthy of consideration:

Survey results indicated that young professionals value…..

  •  Excellent compensation and benefits
  • A strong career path
  • Good work/life balance
  • Challenging work
  • Strong employee development opportunities

Comparatively, in the same survey the measures indicated that what was most important include :

  • Valuing good relationships with colleagues
  • Good relationships with supervisors
  • Job security
  • Supporting companies that value employee contributions

And this is just one segment of the workplace, but probably one that is most sought after currently.

And if there be a trinity with this series, it will be in these closing thoughts for this post and thoughts for consideration for subsequent posts.

  •  Employees need to embrace and understand their “total person” as they make career decisions, navigate career options, and continually discern their path.
  •  Recruiters should be more diligent about embracing the “total person” into the recruiting process and strive to make those “warm and fuzzy” placements that work for the individual, the recruiter, and the organization.
  •  Organizations should embrace a more humanistic approach to how employees are recruited, expectations, provide full organizational disclosure, support, accountability, as the individuals and humans that they are, which supports their ability to thrive and be effective.

(The statistics addressed here are specifically from data compiled and summarized by The 4th Annual Report of 2015 Global Recruiting Trends. This report was authored by Sam Gager, Rachel Bowley, Ester Cruz, and Ryan Batty, LinkedIn Talent Solutions Professionals.  The report is based on a survey that was conducted with 4,125 recruiting decision makers in 31 countries.)

Celestine McMullen Allen

Vision Qwest Solutions

 

“Human Dynamics in the Workplace” – Essays on Personal and Professional Synergy

A journey is a story, and everyone has one to tell…..Celestine McMullen Allen

Human dynamics in the workplace is experiencing unprecedented twists and turns.  The outcomes become part of issues that organizations are struggling with to correct.  These human dynamic “issues” prevail in such a way that they are morhping in bad hires, lower employee engagement scores, higher turnover, higher possibilities of litigation, and lower expectation of leadership.

As these posts are evolving, it is relevant to note that paths take a “voice” when there is true reflection and one acknowledges the true “understanding of self”.  We also have to consider that our immergence into the world of work is not about us individually, but all facets of “us” which are worthy of consideration and contemplation – in terms of the individual that we are and the organizations that we support.    We have to true to our selves and take personal ownership in understanding the organizational culture that we may face day-to-day.  The organization owes us this same consideration.  And once we are in a place of understanding, it is so much easier to truly give of ourselves to the organizations that we support.  I am a staunch believer that “we are all suited by nature for a certain type of work; and that when we find that place; hard work is not hard at all”. 

 So, to set the stage for this post, I would like to summarize the gist of the first post.    It established the premise that collectively, individually and organizationally; or the we must embrace the total person or the organization that we are.    The second post embraced the premise that once this concept is understood, we then have a responsibility to be that person or organizazation, personally and individually, and let that same person be whom they are in the professional realm.  The previous posts were about blending the “trinity” of our personal and professional selves.

Here is an excerpt from Essays on Personal and Professional Synergy – (Post 2)

……….Are we  personally aligned individually to the “skin” that we live in everyday?   This is where and how the guards come down, and sets the stage for the total integrative concept of these posts.  For it is not just about career endeavors, it is the total assimilation of self into our world of work, how we lead, how we are perceived, and the importance of how we support our team and how they support us.   Yes, there is parallel in these journeys that do have a direct correlation to our world of work and the quality of our career choices. 

Somewhere, within the myriad of human experiences of our world of work lies the concept of the human persona that is oftentimes, forgotten about.  I have had many conversations throughout my career as it relates to the individual in the workplace, organizational dynamics, employee engagement, leadership and/or lack of, career choices and paths, performance management issues, as well as how employees are evaluated in the workplace.    It is with a lot of personal chagrin, angst, and empathy, that there were a lot more negative conversations rather than positive ones as the “people emotion” that came out of these conversations.  I experienced more disdain in understanding that “the human side” of an individual is not acknowledged in all of these functional areas of an organization and how they are managed.   It is as if  employees are just pawns, human capital, and a digit on a spreadsheet.  Unfortunately, this position can start as an employee is first recruited into an organization.  These collective concepts are worthy of a book, and I will be addressing them in subsequent posts until my totally synthesized message is understood and apparent.

Poignant questions and concepts of consideration of personal and professional synergy and human synergy include:

  •  If we, individually, do not understand what our personal career aspirations and path should entail, how can we hold any organization accountable to our personal success?
  •  If the recruiting process is not effective, how can there be an assurance of a good fit for both the aspirations of the applicant and the needs of the client?
  •  Once employees joins an organization, what is needed in terms of a comprehensive orientation, the identification of employee development initiatives, on-going training, ensuring that the needs of the organization are met, and opportunities for growth for the employee?
  •  Once employees join an organization, are the systems and processes in place for an employee to be successful?
  •  Once an employee joins an organization, does the organization even consider employee needs beyond their “bottom line” needs?
  •  Once an employee joins an organization, what can they expect in terms of support for their personal and professional development?

These points of consideration are not all inclusive.  But these points establish boundaries and perspectives for what “the big picture” should at least, begin with.  With this series of questions, I do contend that a broader concept of “trinity” emerges. This trinity considers the individual, their needs, along with the needs of the organization and the necessity to focus on the human side of an employee; another level of synergy.  Organizations need to do a better job of embracing the human side of the individual even before they become an employee.  For after all, people are people before they become employees.

This is not all about my perspective, nor should it be.  I would like to hear your thoughts.  Comment on the post or send me an email to celestine@visionqwestsolutions.com.

Celestine McMullen Allen

Vision Qwest Solutions

www.visionqwestsolutions.com

celestine@visionqwestsolutions.com

Follow me on Twitter at:  @VisionQwest

Contact Vision Qwest Solutions to help you to identify human factor areas that impede the sucess and viability of your oganization and for your personally.  Contact me at www.visionqwestsolutions.com or via my email at celestine@visionqwestsolutions.com

 

Essays on Personal and Professional Synergy

As I am writing this post, I realized the potential and opportunities to speak to my voice, (personally and organizationally) on a broader level.   “Essays on Professional and Personal Synergy” is the new title for this essay series.  And with such a title, I can expound on a wide range of subject matter, inclusive of topics that fall within the broad spectrum of organizational development, personal and professional endeavors, human dynamics, and finding the centre of what the important variables are.  If you read further, it is all about “the concept of trinity”.

Here is an excerpt from the first post.

……Personal career endeavors seem like a good place to start.  For the crux of the concept of synergy is all about finding and following our personal dreams and aspirations; how we find them, how we stumble upon them, and how we struggle day-to-day with career choices can have such an impact on us personally…..

 …as in life, a journey is a story, and everyone has one to tell…….Celestine McMullen Allen

So upon starting this series on “Essays on Personal and Professional Synergy”, it takes on a personal assessment of self, and how aligned we are individually to the “skin” that we live in everyday.    This is where and how the guards come down, and sets the stage for the total integrative concept of these posts.  For it is not just about career endeavors, it is the total assimilation of self into our world of work, how we lead, how we are perceived, and the importance of how we support our team and how they support us.   Yes, there is parallel in these journeys that do have a direct correlation to our world of work and the quality of our career choices.

I will add another level to the concept of synergy; one that I designed for my personal blog  – www.celestinemcmullenallen.com – Celestine’s Voice ; the concept of my trinity.  “My personal trinity includes my love for cooking, my love for my family, extended family, and friends, and my love for writing.  My professional trinity includes my love for career coaching, organizational development, with a focus on employee development, employee engagement, people dynamics, and performance management.

My personal journey has always been a part of me, and over time, has taken on some interesting and fulfilling developments as I have evolved and grown personally.  Over the years, personally, I have always been immersed into the heartstring of my family, extended and otherwise – a perpetual sister, auntie, cousin, great auntie, and friend. Another aspect specifically also stands out is this love for food; not just eating it, but preparing it.  All of these dynamics have always been near and dear to my heart, but when your journey takes you through the loss of parents and other special ones in your life, an apartment fire, and a near death experience such as an aneurysm, the people that are in your life take on a meaning that is hard to articulate in words.  The important things in life take on another level of perspective of which more will be shared on my personal blog.  I would prepare a king’s feast, all prepared with love, for the people that are a part of my life.

So in context with the nature of this post, let’s talk about professional synergy….

Upon preparing for these posts, I was reminded of how wide-eyed I have always been about learning.  So much so, that I remember making a statement that I would always be a perpetual student.  I have maintained this posture throughout my professional career.   I have often taken the position of an observer, taking it all in; just sitting back, watching and learning.  Maybe the term “perpetual” observer applies in this scenario.  Have you noticed, the pictures that I use for my posts are color palettes in various scenarios?  There is a lot of symbolism that is associated with this concept.  For purposes of this post, a color palette is reminiscent of “our total self” and with the right technique and imagination, and learning, world visions can be created.  Personal visions can be created.  Life visions can be created.  In a recent phone discussion with David Zinger, an employee engagement guru, I described his concept of “People Artistry” as “People Synergy”; (individually and organizationally).    “Ones’ personal visualization ends up being his/her own creation of art”.

My personal visualization is still a work of art that is in progress.  I have obtained depth and definition in my palette and my visualization.  Over the years, professionally, my career has been about helping others, lending an ear when one was needed, advocating a cause, helping people to understand themselves and their emotions, helping others to follow “viable” career paths, helping others to secure employment opportunities, and helping others to understand that” the glass is always half full versus being half empty”.  These combined activities, both professionally and personally are all emotional, fulfilling, soul zapping, soul satiating, and rewarding on so many levels.  I have embraced these essences of life, oftentimes, carrying the weight of others’ burdens, hurts, and pain as if they were my own.  And because I am a poet and a writer, I have a sensitive soul.  And because of my personal innate skills, I have a strong “personal antennae” and “people gut”.

And once these feelings, skills are acknowledged, and embraced, there are personal responsibilities to live, eat, and breathe these experiences everyday in interactions with the people you encounter and the person that you are.  And as well, I will prepare a king’s feast for the people that I support professionally.

So, this post on synergy becomes a post on embracing a humanistic attitude on life and the people that you encounter, personally and organizationally.

 Celestine McMullen Allen

Vision Qwest Solutions

 

Visit me at:   www.visionqwestsolutions.coFollow me on Twitter @visionqwest

Graduation- A Time For New Choices: Status Quo or New Horizons

So, we are now winding down from the season of graduation…..bridging…..next steps for our kids…….

  •             Graduation from college
  •             Graduation from high school
  •             Bridging to high school

(a perspective…..now is the time to focus on who you are and what your innate capabilities are……)

I have participated in these events personally and vicariously through social media.  I have witnessed accolades from doting parents, sisters/brothers, aunties/uncles…..and cousins……yelping…..that’s my baby…. My brain has been all over the place in terms of what these recent graduates will now be facing, in terms of …….new life decisions……..how will they transfer their learning from one stage of life to the next……how they will seize opportunities…….how they will balance life and living……if and how school will be involved…..and whether they have truly thought through at least the next four years of life…..(which can easily become five, eight, or ten years) depending upon how concrete the plans are or the path…..(a perspective…..progress based on your plans and not of your friends, classmates, and other “perceptions” of success…….) and as equally important, how your career decisions are influenced………

Milestones are important…….understanding personal aspirations create the foundation for those milestones…..manifestation of “dreams” are individual…….understanding you, innately, are critical to successfully realizing your dreams………

Yes, this post is about insight into realizing your dreams……..And just as important, what thought is given in terms of what influences career decisions…….sports role models…….entertainment role models…..(doctors, lawyers, or executives), what your parents did to make a living……what teacher you admired…….family traditions…….becoming an entrepreneur……and your personal comfort level with the concept of “going for it”.

All of these influences are worthy of consideration.  (a perspective……at the end of the day, you will have to live the level of success that you aspire to).  (a perspective……understand how your gifts, talents, and innate abilities will and should influence your  career.)

What are your plans?

#justgraduatedfromhighschool, #justgraduatedfromcollege, #careerchoices, #understandingmycareeroptions. #understandingmycareerpath

 

Celestine McMullen Allen

Vision Qwest Solutions

 

Training Solutions

I love training….and if it is well developed, based on the needs of the individual or the the organization, it can be very effective.  I love providing food for thought.  I love providing insight from many perspectives……I love being candid in my delivery…..I love my audience taking something  from the delivery……I love the word uuhmmm…..

This solution, as well, leaves open the tapping into “the possibilities” of the needs of the individual,  organizations, teams……students, educators, counselors, parents……civic groups, advocacy groups, associations, and champions of all causes……all deliveries customized to what you need.

Whether it relates to career coaching, organizational development, leadership development, or business strategy…..Vision Qwest Solutions  can provide insight.

The training services of Vision Qwest Solutions are available to:

  • Civic Groups
  • Youth Groups
  • Youth Counselors
  • Educators & School Counselors
  • Organizations

 

MORE TO COME ON TRAINING SOLUTIONS AVAILABLE…….

 

Leadership Development

Wow…..what a state of affairs we are in with today’s work environment……..

You, the leader have to be perfect….you have to make perfect decisions……your organization has to be perfect…..you have to have all of the answers……

You, the employee (whether as a leader or a champion of change), are faced with so many variables.

I have always been a proponent of the this philosophy……..KNOWLEDGE IS POWER…….SELF-KNOWLEDGE IS LIBERATING……

So…….lets combine your thoughts and experiences, with my insight…….

Contact me today so that we talk about “the possibilities”…….

 

MORE TO COME ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT SERVICES