We hope to impart some thoughts & ideas on Building Employee Engagement, Developing Leadership, Improving Workplace Relationships and Boosting Staff Productivity.

We encourage and appreciate any feedback provided in the comments section at the end of each entry.


Workplace Efficiency Thoughts

Occasionally when speaking to folks about Employee Engagement and Leadership I get asked questions like this (and I'm paraphrasing of course)

"In addition to our focused Employee Engagement efforts, where else can we tweak day-to-day activities to benefit the workforce and the business"

Organizations, leadership, middle managers and employees should always be on the lookout for ways to make the workplace a better place to work. Whether it's tweaking a process, upgrading equipment, using better software or other 

So I've put together a few discombobulated ideas that are either my own, I've plagiarized from others or are products/services that I have previously used.

Benefits of Working From Home [Guest Author]

Benefits of Working from Home

Remote work is on the rise. With nearly a third of employees worldwide regularly working from home, technology has clearly changed our concept of physical work space. Surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of participants in Work From Home (WFH) policies find their productivity increasing. Not only has productivity increased, but so has worker happiness, along with a decrease in stress.

If you're still not convinced, consider this: Millennials are very interested in flexible scheduling. Citing compensation & benefits as their largest consideration factor when job hunting, 68% of Millennials reported that a WFH benefit substantially increases their interest in potential employers. If your organization is looking to recruit Millennials–and they should, seeing as there are over 75 million of them in today's workforce–Work From Home is a great benefit to offer.

Simon Sinek on Building Relationships

Simon Sinek on LeadershipAuthor and speaker (and 3rd most viewed TED talker of all time) Simon Sinek recently did an interview with Tom Bilyeu from Inside Quest that caused a bit of buzz on social media. The full interview can be found HERE and I encourage you to watch it as it really is excellent - the first 25 minutes or so are full of insights that echo very strongly with what we believe and champion at Satisfaction At Work.

But it was his 'Millennial Question' segment about 40 minutes into the interview that seemed to hit a nerve out there on the interwebs resulting in millions of YouTube views and countless tweets, retweets, etc...  (one particular 15-minute excerpt of that part already has over 5,000,000 views)

Leadership – Define, Measure and Improve

Leadership is similar to a coin in that it has two sides

Defined

Leadership is similar to a coin in that it has two sides... both of which are needed to make up the sum of it's value.

  1. Leading the business (i.e. strategic and tactical decisions that drive the direction of the team, department or organization)
  2. Leading the people within the business (i.e. getting the best from them through maximum engagement)

360° Feedback Thoughts and a Comparison

360 Degree Feedback is flawed

360° Feedback has been around for quite a while as a concept to develop leadership and boost employee engagement within an organization.

At its core, a survey is used to solicit anonymous performance assessments about an employee from their boss, peers, subordinates and sometimes even customers...basically those around the employee and hence the 360° implication.  This information is meant to help identify areas of weakness and strength along with highlighting opportunities to improve oneself.

This all sounds very good and when properly executed can be useful......however....

Maslow in the Context of Leadership and Employee Engagement

In 1943 Abraham Maslow first brought his Hierarchy of Needs theory to the world in which he looks at what motivates individuals.

Maslow-Employee-Engagement-Leadership-800x360He claimed that people are motivated by things and circumstance that range from basic survival up through up to the ability to reach and achieve one's full potential.

That sounds like something which could be applied in the workplace to elevate employee's motivation from simply being there to get a paycheck all the way up to performing at a very high level...

...and actually enjoy doing it.

Surviving Organizational Stress – An Infographic [Guest Author]

Surviving Organizational Stress

"Organizational stress is just one hurdle today's managers experience. It can lead to profit loss, increased costs, employee burnout and more"...  so says our returning guest contributor Tim Wayne.

The original post that includes this infographic can be found HERE on the Pepperdine Univesity website.

There’s No Magic Pill To Boost Leadership & Employee Engagement

Wouldn't it be great if we could simply give each employee a little medication that would boost leadership and engagement as well as happiness, teamwork, commitment and productivity?

Yes, an Employee Engagement pill would be a dream come true for all of us.

But while there may not be a magic elixir to ignite and galvanize the workforce, you don't need a Ph.D in chemistry to make positive change in staff behavior and performance.

Leadership can't afford to be Foolish about Employee Engagement

Don't clown around with Employee Engagement

STop jesting when it comes to leadership and employee engagementWhen it comes to Employee Engagement, organizations simply cannot adopt a harebrained approach and expect to be successful.  As highlighted below, the cost of workforce disengagement in terms of productivity and profitability are not something even the most good-humored leadership can jest about in the boardroom.

This year April Fool's falls on a Friday, a day that in some organizations means a relaxed dress code, ordering in lunch or maybe even cutting out a little early.  While these are all great gestures that certainly have merit, if they (and similar generic 'benefits') are your only efforts towards boosting employee engagement....well the jokes on you.

The Leadership Skills of Saint Patrick

Today is March 17th which (being Irish) is an important day to me each year.   I'm sure later today I will be out celebrating St. Patrick's Day with family and friends, but in the past few days I found myself wondering about the leadership skills and traits of a man who lived over 1,500 years ago but is still celebrated today.

I'm not going to discuss the subject of religion but rather what he must have done to have been such a revered figure in Ireland and now around the world.

Here are 5 things St. Patrick did that we can all use to become better managers, leaders and people.

Are You Ready For A Leadership Leap In 2016

In 2016, we get an extra day to be productive (among other things) as we synchronize our calendar with the 365 1/4 days it takes the earth to circle the sun. The 'Leap' year supposedly gets its name because all days after February 29th effectively leap over their usual progression day and onto the next one. For example, in 2014 Independence Day fell on Friday, in 2015 it was Saturday BUT in 2016, it will leap over Sunday and be on Monday.

So with the science and history lesson now complete, let's think about how we can utilize that extra day AND the 365 others to become better colleagues, peers, and leaders.

The Psychology of the Office Space – An Infographic [Guest Author]

When employees are disengaged and dissatisfied with their jobs, it shows – especially in a business's bottom line. Unhappy workers are estimated to cost the U.S. economy as much as $550 billion annually due to issues like more frequent sick days, higher turnover rates, and wasted time at work.

As managers, we're always looking for methods to better identify and address employees' concerns before these issues impact their job performance and satisfaction.

However, it can be easy to forget that the workplace itself can often play a part in maintaining employee happiness.

Use The (work)Force to Unleash the Power of Leadership and Engagement

So, last week I went to see the latest episode of what to me is the greatest series of movies ever made....yes, I know JarJar binks was horrible and episodes 1, 2 and 3 didn't quite live up to expectations but as a product of the 70's, Star Wars hold a very dear place in my heart.

Amidst all the special effects, strange worlds, even stranger creatures and alien dialogue, at its core it is still a story of individuals and teams banding together to banish evil and conflict from the galaxy.

Now, can we do this on a smaller scale...?

A Value Proposition For Making Employees Feel Valued

Smart​ ​leadership realizes that to increase employee engagement and productivity across their workforce they must look beyond salary, benefits and an occasional free pizza.

A savvy manager knows that today’s employees (not just millennials) place a high emphasis on:

  • Their importance to the team;
  • Entrusting them with information;
  • Empowering them to make a difference;
  • Cooperative feedback and mentorship;
  • Appropriate recognition and reward.

In other words, they want to feel valued.

Happy & Engaged Employees Produce...that's a no-brainer.

Happy, Engaged Employees... a no-brainer

In a recent Entrepreneur article, author (and highly-decorated former Navy SEAL) Jeff Boss looked at five very different programs that address the "human side" of any business.

Jeff picked out our unique program under a "Fulfillment and Engagement" classification and had some very nice things to say about us...

Improving Employee Engagement Efforts

Team-In-OfficeMost organizations realize the need for (and huge bottom-line benefits of) an engaged workforce, but the majority still struggle with it.

The cost of Employee Disengagement can be startling, and while studies show 90% of leaders agreeing that it directly impacts business success, only 25% have a strategy to address it

In addition, most of those trying to drive Employee Engagement aren't getting the results they hoped for.... and their efforts may even be causing further dysfunction and mistrust.

Where is it Going Wrong?

Employee Wellness means more than just Good Health

An Apple a Day...

Workplace Wellness programs are all the rage these days – and rightly so.

You don't need to be a doctor, analyst or accountant to realize that healthier employees are going to take less sick days and be more productive while at work....which obviously helps the bottom-line.

And it's also true that for many employees, a healthier body also leads to less stress, emotional well-being and a happier mindset.

Simply put, a fit and healthy workforce makes good business sense.

Retaining Talent in Global Markets - GMSHRM Event Recap

A Talent War is being waged to attract and (more importantly) hold onto the best employees, where "every day is a new battle" according to Mary Cheddie, Senior VP of Global Human Resources at Interval Leisure Group (ILG) last week.

Ms Cheddie was part of a panel discussion on Retaining Talent in Global Markets organized by the Greater Miami Society for Human Resource Management. She was joined by Frank Lopez of Ryder and Lynn White from Norwegian Cruise Lines at the July 17th event held at Keiser College's Miami campus.

Openness is an Employee Engagement Jewel

To get to the pearl you must open the shell. Build a culture of workforce openness and discover your own gems.

Books, eyelids, convenience stores and even web browsers all have one thing in common... For them to function effectively they need to be open.

The same is true of the employees in any team, department or organization. Engagement (and all the good stuff that goes with it) thrives in a culture where open communication and workplace relationships are strong. In fact, today's workforce expects nothing less as they are used to posting their life stories in various public, online outlets.

Being open is having the capacity to

Led Right & Grew - the ongoing journey for all of us

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader" - John Quincy Adams

The fact that you are here today reading this, is proof that (at various stages throughout your life) significant people helped guide you along the appropriate path resulting in you becoming a better person.

From early years, through troubled teens, seemingly endless college days and now the world of work, we all grew personally and professionally because we were led the right way by parents, relatives, teachers, peers, managers and various other mentors.

Employee Engagement Awards (USA) 2015

There's a first time for everything right?

I had the privilege to attend the inaugural Employee Engagement Conference and Awards in New York City last Wednesday (June 17th) so was up bright and early to catch a 6:00 AM flight out of Miami into LaGuardia.  Upon arrival at the impressive Three Sixty° in the Tribeca neighborhood of the city, attendees were escorted to the 11th floor to check in and grab some breakfast before the event commenced. 

Around 10:00 we entered the main conference area where there were numerous round tables to accommodate 6-8 people at each. I like it when an event is set up like this as it provides ample opportunity to interact with fellow attendees rather than rows of chairs which always have a 'shut up and pay attention' feeling to them.

The event was emceed by Susan Hunt Stevens from Wespire and after some brief opening remarks from her and event creator Matt Manners, we were off and running.  Attendees were encouraged to post to social media using #EENYC2015...and it actually started 'trending'.

Great Leaders make a difference…by managing differences effectively.

Workforce diversity is much more than just another corporate buzzword. It's an important business topic these days as organizations regard differing viewpoints a critical element in being innovative and competitive in a fast changing world.

Regardless of any social factors, the individual employees within every organization have a wide variety of business-centric ideas, perspectives and behaviors that usually lead to one of two outcomes.

When managed effectively their differences can be harnessed and nurtured into a collaborative culture for the better good of the team, department and business as a whole. This win-win mindset separates great entities from the rest.

But when people do not recognize the validity of other opinions, viewpoints or mannerisms it can cause inefficiencies, dysfunction and may potentially escalate to conflict. This me-me mindset stagnates weak entities and must be laid to rest.

Bottom-line Impact of People Problems in the Workplace

Employee Engagement affects the company's bottom line

In a Utopian workplace environment, every employee would arrive with a smile on their face, diligently work on projects about which they are passionate, interact with and assist their colleagues, have a great relationship with their boss, and when the going gets tough they would roll up their sleeves and pitch in without a second thought.

But according to Gallup, approximately 70 percent of employees are not engaged at work, meaning that (at best) they show up, do the minimum required, clock-watch and are really only there to collect a paycheck. To make matters worse, that figure includes almost 18 percent who are unhappy to be there, undermine others regularly and may even act maliciously — these are the actively disengaged.

The price of this dysfunction and disengagement in the United States is estimated to be upwards of $450 billion annually in lost productivity. Yes, that's billions.

And while that's a staggering number nationally, what really hits home for most organizations — especially in the boardroom — is how this disengagement impacts their bottom line. How does that number translate and become something tangible to their business?

Place of Work - Family, Fumblers or Factions

I was fortunate enough to attend the Best Places to Work luncheon awards last week, hosted by the South Florida Business Journal (to prove it, that's me in the blue shirt in the foremost table in the picture). 

The forty, very worthy nominees listed at the foot of this post had their credentials announced as they received their plaques, with the winners also invited to say a few words while accepting their awards.

While many different characteristics, benefits and perks offered by each company were read out (including a 'Craft Beer Day' by one very dynamic company) what struck me most was a very common theme that was woven into the fabric of each organization being honored.

Workplace Relationships; the lifeblood of Culture and Engagement

Many companies struggle and fail with their efforts to implement effective ways to improve their corporate culture and their employee relations. While employee engagement continues to be a hot topic with endless reports, statistics and trinkets of information on how organizations can improve and get more from their staff, how does an organization go about implementing meaningful corporate culture and employee engagement?

The truth is that while salary, benefits and other perks are important elements of any job, they are transcended by the relationships employees have with their co-workers and supervisors. It is these partnerships and connections that drive the company culture and—by association—the passion, commitment and engagement.

Workplace relationships are a game-changer in business today...

...and it's a game worth winning.

Reverse the Disengaged Employee's New Year's Resolution

It’s that time of year when we begin to reflect on the last 12 months and turn our attention to changing for the better in 2015 2016 2017. Promises of getting fitter, eating healthier, visiting somewhere new and being less stressed are just a few of the popular ideas that get penciled in.

And for many the New Years Resolution list also includes finding a better and more rewarding job. They have become despondent and disengaged with their current situation and have decided that it’s time for a change.

But now is also the perfect time for an organizational resolution to become a better place to work and companies can actually use their employees' newfound focus on bettering themselves to bolster this.

Feeling Valued is a gift worth giving.

As we embrace the season of giving of gifts to family, friends, colleagues and more, one common denominator ties all recipients together.

Regardless of the tangible gift (ugly sweaters and the like notwithstanding) the recipient is aware you have made the effort for them and hence they Feel Valued. And that sense of feeling valued stays with the person long after the novelty or usefulness of the gift has passed by.

Many organizations use this time of year to show appreciation to and among co-workers. It may be gifts to/from the boss, office parties, secret santa type activities, exchanging cards, recognition awards, communication from leadership to say thanks for all the work during the year and so on...

All of these activities can help foster a sense of Feeling Valued among the workforce and this is very important. Why….?

Is your Employee Engagement Survey like a Broken Pencil...?

Without timely and tangible action, a staff survey, 360 Feedback, open door 'ideaology', suggestion box or other (so called) employee engagement undertaking is ...

... pointless.

In fact, you could very easily put forward the idea that asking employees to provide input without them seeing speedy and credible effort can actually be detrimental to an organization.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen....

If you are of my generation (or just musically diverse) the title of this blog post may have you now humming a very popular 90's song.

But while listening to the opening lines of Vanilla Ice's global hit recently, it resonated with me how important this was in the area of Employee Engagement and Workplace Relationships.

Engage Employees in the Engagement Process

Although most organizations and management understand the need for Employee Engagement, most still struggle to create it.

Why is that?

Well in most cases it is simply down to the fact that it is still viewed as a Management and/or Human Resources function....or burden depending on where you stand.  

The old (and very time-consuming) method of seeking staff feedback via a lengthy opinion survey and then digging through all the data looking for a golden nugget is still widely used and seen as the only option in many circles.

This is despite much research and numerous articles that highlight the need to move away from this mindset to a more immediate and hands-on attitude.

Fix your own Workplace and Stop Worrying about Competitors

Don't worry about the competition.  Focus on your own employees and workplace.Somebody asked me recently if our Employee Engagement program would enable an organization to measure themselves against others/competitors (and admittedly it's not the first time I've heard the 'benchmarking' question in one form or another).

As always, I explained that our program identifies issue and opportunities in certain areas of your organization so that corrective actions can begin in those areas immediately, thus your organization improves as a whole.  

And of course, you get to analyze how each internal team stacks up across our seven key areas of engagement.

But it always makes me wonder why wanting to compare against other (external data) is viewed as so important.

Interview with "AIRY GLOBAL HR HIVE"

Shea Heaver interview with "AIRY GLOBAL HR HIVE" on Employee SatisfactionBack in June 2014 we attended the annual SHRM Conference and Exposition where we met hundreds (maybe thousands) of interesting Human Reosurce professionals, journalists, students, etc...

One group (visiting from Asia) that we spoke to was "AIRY GLOBAL HR HIVE"...a new Human Reosurces related blog and information website.

They were interested in speaking with us about a number of HR related areas so after the conference we continued our dialogue and did an interview for them recently on what drives Employee Satisfaction.

The transcript of the interview is below BUT you can also read the full interview HERE (full article includes introduction, images, formatting and extra content)

Is it Time to Ditch the Annual Employee Survey?

The employees roll their eyes, shrug their shoulders and mutter about how nothing ever comes of this fruitless exercise.

Ah yes......it must be time for the annual employee survey. That default ritual by which many organizations assume they are measuring and improving the business.

But is this long-standing practice now redundant and does it need to be put out to pasture?

The Business Case for an Employee Engagement Program


While attending the recent SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition in Orlando, a common theme became apparent when talking with numerous HR practitioners and company executives.

After talking about and/or demonstrating An Even Better Place to Work we were frequently asked questions that went along the lines of "what are the impacts and costs to our organization of a disengaged workforce?", "What's the R.O.I" or "how can we build a business case to implement a new/better engagement program?"

Employee Engagement is critical in today's workforce and the need to address it in new ways is more important than ever.

Let's take a look at a few key factors that can be used to determine your company's approach

Employee Motivation is Critical for Business Success

Motivation is the inner desire to take action, that usually stems from some form of self-interest. Motivating your Employees, on the other hand, involves getting them to do what you need them to do because they want to do it!

Motivation in the workplace translates into energy, energy into action and action into results. It is a critical element of employee morale and performance gains. Great leaders are also great motivators within the work environment.  A well motivated workforce will exhibit greater employee engagement, enhanced teamwork and collaboration, productivity gains, reduced absenteeism and (ultimately) more profitability.

See you in booth 215 at SHRM Annual Conference...?

SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition 2014 Orlando, FLThe annual SHRM conference is billed as "the best — and biggest — HR Conference in the world" and we are very pleased to say we will be first time exhibiting attendees at this years event.

From Sunday June 22nd to Wednesday June 25 we will join more than 700 other exhibitor and over 14,000 attendees at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL - which luckily for us is just a few hours drive up the Florida Turnpike from our Ft. Lauderdale headquarters.

Featuring over 200 sessions covering every facet of HR education, innovation and strategy, the conference also includes keynote speakers such as Robin Roberts from ABCs Good Morning America and former first lady Mrs Laura Bush.  Country music superstar Tim McGraw will perform on the Tuesday night.

Personal Excellence Essentials: May 2014

Personal Excellence Essentials: May 2014

Our Avoid Employee Workplace Conflict Before You Need To Resolve It article has been included in this months edition of Personal Excellence Essentials.

The article (renamed 'Turn Conflict into Potential' for print-spacing/editorial reasons) looks at first diffusing pending conflict early and then seeing all sides of what was at issue to establish a collaborative way forward.

This monthly publication from HR.com goes out to their 200,000+ members and is also distributed through a network of partners.

 

BP2W creator is finalist of the ABP Workforce Experience Awards

The Association for Business Psychology WorkForce Experience Awards fINALISTThe creator of An Even Better Place to Work (Shay McConnon) is a 2014 ABP Workforce Experience Awards finalist in the category: "Excellence in Employee Engagement".

Entrants to this specialist category were invited to demonstrate rigor and/or innovation in the area of employee engagement including (but not limited to)

  • the measurement approach used
  • an intervention made to increase engagement
  • the approach taken to demonstrate effectiveness.

Recognition and Engagement Excellence Essentials: March 2014

Recognition and Engagement Excellence Essentials: March 2014

Our Bending the 'Golden Rule' to Improve Working Relationships  article was selected for inclusion in this months edition of Recognition and Engagement Excellence Essentials.

This monthly publicatipon from HR.com goes out to their 200,000+ members and is also distributed through a network of partners.

In addition to our piece, this month has some other excellent articles looking at various topics in the recognition and engagement arenas.  

Would you quit if you hit it big?

Would you quit your job if you won the lotteryI read a very interesting article from Gallup earlier this year entitled "Engaged" Workers Would Keep Jobs Upon Winning Lottery that indicated only 25% of engaged employees would stop working if they won $10 million in the lottery with 63% electng to remain in their current job (see full statistics below).

Given that the US median household income in 2012 was a little over $51,000 (source) that's nearly a whopping 200 times what Joe and Jane Public are bringing home each year.

So it got me thinking about a couple of things as it pertains to engaged employees...

Avoid Employee Conflict Before You Need To Resolve It

Employee conflicts in the workplace are a common and destructive occurrence yet they are not caused by differing opinions but by how those differences are managed. Conflict is a major source of organizational inefficiency and wasted opportunities.

While some conflict is inevitable, in most cases it can be easily avoided because it arises out of disparate views and ideas that could very easily be contained and resolved up front.

Bending the 'Golden Rule' to Improve Working Relationships

Growing up we are taught (and throughout life we observe) what is frequently referred to as the Golden Rule.  For many of us it started as (and maybe still is) the phrase "do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, and while the exact wording is flexible the central message is common to all.

In principle the concept champions a two-way, reciprocal and mutual relationship between two or more parties.  This indeed is a a very admirable idea, but it has a fundamental flaw that is amplified when brought into the workplace.

Q&A Interview with Shay McConnon

Shay McConnon InterviewShay McConnon is the creator of the An Even Better Place to Work program.

He is a leading authority on leadership and culture issues and he has developed a unique blend of magic, humor and common sense in his keynote presentations.

He is also the author of 17 books on personal development and is an inspirational, entertaining speaker with a powerful business message.

We sat down with Shay in the summer of 2013 to get his insights into workplace relationships, employee engagement and more.

Employee Feedback is a Powerful Productivity Enhancing Tool

Without proactive feedback and direction from leadership, people are 'blind' and will work on their own assumptions of how they are performing to meet business needs.  But feedback is a two-way street and your entire team should not only be willing to accept feedback but actually encourage it and see the opportunity to openly discuss work topics as a critical element of the job.