The Three Secrets to Engagement

Companies are taking an increasing interest in employee engagement, and rightly so.  Studies continue to emphasize the correlation between levels of engagement and levels of productivity, customer satisfaction, and profitability. But improving engagement is a challenge.  Offering better perks and better benefits helps, but not much.  In fact, according to the latest Gallup study, overall […]

Managing People Causes Disengagement

Regardless of whether your title is that of executive, director, or manager, managing people instead of leading them, drives down engagement. I’ve always loved the expression, “Things get managed, but people get led.” It’s a great perspective and it’s true. But how exactly do bosses “manage” people? After lots of reflection, I’ve distilled what managing […]

Why Recognition Programs Don’t Work

It’s widely accepted that an important part of any employee engagement strategy is having a recognition program.  People want to feel valued and acknowledged for their work, so organizations implement recognition programs to accomplish that by offering awards, plaques, mugs, pins, gifts, certificates, and/or bonuses.  All of those things are nice and the concept sounds […]

The Enemy of Effective Execution

There are a lot of smart people in the business world and they come up with plenty of good strategies to grow revenues, to gain market share, to increase productivity and to improve profitability.  And most executives also create a plan which details the tactics that need to be executed in order to achieve that […]

5 Strategies for Driving Performance

Virtually every executive I know is focused on improving the performance of their team. And while there are many ways to gain some improvement, the greatest increases arise from five key foundational strategies – trust, respect, autonomy, purpose, and opportunity. At first consideration these may seem simplistic, but just as with a winning sports team, […]

Compliance vs. Commitment

While there are a number of descriptions and definitions of employee engagement, my feeling is that engagement is a reflection of how they spend their discretionary time and effort. The difference between someone who’s not engaged vs. someone who is, is analogous to the distinction between compliance and commitment.  When someone is compliant, they simply […]

Stop Employing Managers

It’s unfortunate that mid-level executives are called managers. It really sends the wrong message and drives engagement down. We all know, for instance, that executives oversee the execution of business plans. And we understand that directors provide direction to teams, just as supervisors offer supervision to their teams. But managers? You could say that managers […]

Who’s Responsible for Engagement?

I’ve been reflecting lately on who is responsible for employee engagement. At first, it might seem like a pretty straightforward answer. After all, if a company wants employees more engaged, isn’t it the company’s responsibility? But after some recent conversations with a few colleagues, it occurred to me that it might be worthwhile delving into […]

Avoiding Employee Disengagement

A recent Gallup study reported that organizations with above average employee engagement experienced 147% higher earnings per share compared with their competition in 2011-2012.  (Gallup also estimates that active disengagement costs the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year.) It’s no surprise that a highly engaged workforce produces such significantly better results.  Highly engaged […]

Developing Your Personal Brand

Communicating “who you are” is essential to effective leadership and effective marketing.  Establishing “who you are” as a person becomes your personal brand.  And rather than our intelligence, education or years of experience, people base their opinion of who we are on other factors.  They determine it based on the level to which they respect, […]