Archive for the ‘Employee Engagement’ Category

Exceeding the minimum

Monday, August 31st, 2015

It’s easy to fall into the habit of doing just what’s required and no more. I mean, if they wanted more, they would have asked for it, right?


Perhaps stop thinking about it as having a job. You don’t have a job. Instead, you have responsibilities. And if you want to keep that job, you need to meet and exceed those responsibilities. That is the game.

But let me ask you this: Do you pay the minimum amount due on your credit cards each month? If you do, you might want to take a close look at your next statement. Give the minimum and it can take seven or ten or twelve years to pay off the balance.

But if you pay MORE than the minimum, you’ll polish it off in a fraction of that time—and pay a whole lot less.

Now apply the same logic to your job. If you’re just doing the minimum, you might be digging yourself a hole. If you think it’s okay to have your coat on at 4:59 every afternoon, for example, you might be the first one out the door in a way you DON’T want.

Instead, make a point of exceeding the requirements of your job. Blowing past expectations is the best way to make yourself irreplaceable.

To earn trust, honesty is the best policy

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Too many employees think that in order to have a smooth, drama-free workplace, they have to sugarcoat their communications with others in the company.

In fact, the opposite is often true.

Spinning bad news or sugarcoating feedback can lead employees to distrust what you say. That road leads not to engagement but to disengagement.
Great employees at every level respect those around them enough to be direct and truthful. That doesn’t mean harsh, of course. You can and should tell the truth in a kind and empathetic way. Just don’t let your kindness and desire to avoid conflict get in the way of authentic truth-telling.

Being honest encourages an open and healthy culture. A recent study by the Corporate Executive Board found that companies with a culture that encourages open, honest communication tend to out-perform less open competitors by more than 270% in ten-year shareholder return.

Start building a workplace culture of honest, direct communication today with your own communications. The payoff is too big to ignore.

Employee engagement is not yesterday’s news – it’s tomorrow’s

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

It’s as predictable as the sunrise. Now that employee engagement has been on everyone’s lips for a while, it’s time for the backlash. Countless articles and talking heads are now saying employee engagement is a flash in the pan, the flavor of the month, yesterday’s news.

That’s not just a concern for management. It’s a concern for employees. After all, it’s YOUR engagement they’re talking about!

Don’t believe the naysayers for a minute. The research says otherwise—not just one or two studies in obscure journals, but hundreds of studies by major researchers published in the top business and management journals. Employee engagement directly drives employee productivity.

Engagement also drives retention. Deloitte’s annual Best Companies to Work For survey found that engaged employees are much more likely to stay longer than disengaged employees, even if the disengaged employees earn more. The staying power of higher income wears off in the face of the disengagement.

So tell those naysayers to tell it to the hand. And while you’re at it, make sure the boss knows as well. Employee engagement is a proven winner, and it’s here to stay.

Employee engagement is everyone’s job—that includes you. What are you doing today to make sure you “choose” to enjoy our job more AND make it a better place to work.

Keeping Millennials on board

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

So you have mixed feelings about all the new Millennial generation employees around you. Hey, join the crowd. There’s plenty of talk about a lack of focus and commitment in these folks and whether they should even be hired in the first place.

Here’s a wake-up call: Unless your company can survive a generation-wide hole in the workforce (psst: it can’t), they WILL be hired. In fact, by 2025, those born between 1980 and 2000 will make up 75 percent of the workforce. For every one of us, there will be three of them!

Learning how to keep Millennials engaged and productive should be a top priority not only for managers but for the colleagues of these younger employees. It won’t always be easy. No generation has ever been as willing to jump ship for better wages or working conditions. When that happens, it’s hard on everyone.

It’s true that some Millennials want to be paid for doing nothing, but every generation has some of those, especially when they are young. But far from being lazy, the best of the Millennials are actually MORE likely to stay if they have challenging and meaningful work assignments that hold their interest.

So when you’re on a project with younger coworkers, don’t assume they can only handle the more routine tasks, and be sure to ask their opinions when you can. You might be surprised at what you get.

And don’t forget the importance of a little positive feedback once in a while. It can mean even more coming from you than from the boss.

Signs of disengagement

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Have you seen the TV series Lie To Me? The main character is an expert in micro-expressions, including the subtle signs that someone is not telling the truth.

When it comes to disengagement at work, a lot of the same signs are in play, and you don’t have to be an expert to spot them. You just have to care enough to look for them.

When people are disengaged, they make eyes at others during meetings as if others can’t see it. The person playing with a pencil, not making eye contact, or even texting during a meeting is disengaged. They might stand off to the side after the meeting is over, speaking under their breath, or even leave early without permission.

Forbes columnist Kevin Kruse suggests an intervention as early as possible. Engage the disengaged person by asking for input or opinions during the meeting: “Michelle, how do you think we can approach this in the most effective way?”

If the person doesn’t snap out by the end of the meeting, have a quick chat right away: “I couldn’t help noticing that you seemed a little distracted during the meeting. Do you have any concerns about the way this is being done?”

This can be done no matter who you are. You don’t have to be the project leader to address disengagement, just a team member who cares. And be sure to present it in a positive way (“Do you have any concerns about the way this is being done?”), not as an accusation (“You seem to have an attitude problem”).

The company, and everyone in it, can benefit from the care you show in effectively addressing disengagement on the spot.