Today we have a guest post by Seanlai, Proclivities Founder.  Please see below:

Sometimes you’re just out of ideas.

It’s not a matter of desire — you want your company to scale, you’ve done it before. But now, what used to work isn’t working and you’re getting frustrated

Millennials have changed the game—they aren’t motivated by money, security or climbing the corporate ladder.

Yet they make up the 75% of the work force.

You can’t stay relevant and strategic if you can’t keep them happy and who really knows what makes employees happy anymore?

Retention is the part of strategic planning that most people don’t spend too much time on, human capital isn’t on the balance sheet and the impact of voluntary turnover costs companies millions of dollars every year.  It’s not just Millennials either, today more than ever, people are jumping on the entrepreneurial band wagon and you’re left hemorrhaging money after investing in recruiting, training, and onboarding not to mention loss of productivity and decreased morale.

Well, there’s good news: Engaging your team and getting them to hit it out of the park doesn’t have to be that daunting.  With the right tools at your disposal, you can easily create an engaging, team-centered group that wants to fulfill the company’s mission.

The secret sauce the best companies are using today is Proclivities: The Science of Connection.   Proclivities are the way that people operate, function and connect on an instinctual level.  Communication is a learned skill, something that our parents and teachers have taught us.  But connection is different.  Connection is an instinct you were born with.  When you were little no one taught you how to play or how to get your mom’s attention.  You came into this world knowing how to connect and just like other traits that we train out of ourselves; we’ve forgotten how to use this most basic instinct.

There are four Proclivity types and each Proclivity type uses different language patterns, different thought processes; they require different rewards, different reprimands, and vastly different support in meetings, instruction, and motivation.

After decoding the science of connection, I created a classification system.   I use the acronym PLAY, because remember, connection is an instinct, just like playing.  Therefore, the four Proclivity types are PLAYERS, LIGHTERS, ARTISTS, and Y’ERS.

Each Proclivity type has traits that are indigenous to them.  For example, we found that in meetings:

PLAYERS need to play, they need to move, fidget, take notes, stand in the back of the room etc. or they are unable to stay engaged.

LIGHTERS need to see it to believe it, so they need handouts or PowerPoint to stay engaged and focused.

ARTISTS need to be able to listen to the presenter; they will physically be unable to hear if the presenter is monotone.  If the presenter is monotone, it would help the Artist if there is background noise or music during the meeting.

Y’ERS need the freedom to ask questions.  If they are unable to question the process or the reason for it, they will have a difficult time both understanding the tasks and staying present in the moment.

The way to motivate, train, reprimand and reward are also Proclivity based.  What works for one will not work for the other.  This doesn’t mean that companies have to take each one of their thousand employees by the hand individually, but it does mean that knowing the employees’ Proclivity gives leadership the edge it needs to put together high functioning teams, to finally solve the mystery of why some employees engage and some don’t, and to create a culture where the employees you hire produce at a high level and want to be working for your company for a long time.

The first step in fostering engaged productive happy employees is knowing your own Proclivity.  You must know this so you can learn your own connection style, why you do what you do and what you must do to understand and lead your employees better.

Is your company struggling to stay relevant and strategic?  Let us know how you are dealing with it – or, better yet, attend our amazing, data-driven workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning.  Our highly acclaimed Simplified Strategic Planning approach has helped many hundreds of organizations improve their strategies and bottom line results with effective, actionable strategies.  Please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at
© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

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