Don’t Forget the “Why” in Your Mission Statement

A colleague of mine, Gwen Kinsey, led a crisp, interactive presentation at a recent leadership breakfast event. The topic was about how mission statements engage (or not) your employees. Gwen's session drove home a point for me and I'd like to share it here. She put us in small groups and handed out two mission statements, one to half the groups, the other to the other half. Our task was to read the mission we were given and find connections between it and what we value highly. It turned out … [Read more...]

They Feel Entitled. How about Engaged Too?

They're either disengaged or under engaged in their work but they very much intend to stay with their current employer for a long time. This is what a new study by Modern Survey revealed. For government workers, 80% were less than engaged but 60% plan to stay. Not like the private sector, you say? Well, how about 66% not engaged and 56% hanging around? Furthermore, the percentage of employees, public and private, who felt their total compensation package is competitive is in the mid fifties. … [Read more...]

Employee Engagement – You’re Only Part Way There

Research by TowersWatson has revealed that to generate a climate where your employees contribute a consistently high percentage of their capacity you need more that just "engagement." You must add into the mix enablement (a better term for what used to be called empowerment), and employee well-being. Here, very briefly, is what constitutes each element of what they call the "3 E's": Engagement – employee commitment, both rational and emotional, to contributing discretionary (i.e. more than … [Read more...]

Give Me Something (or Someone) to Connect to

There is enough research on Employee Engagement to show that engaged employees give more "discretionary effort" (going above and beyond job expectations…without being told/asked) to their employer. Yet levels of engagement have not changed over the last ten years or so, through a period first of  boom, then of bust. Consider this data from the Gallup organization. They surveyed around percent of employees who are (1) engaged, (2) not engaged, and (3) actively disengaged. Check the trend since … [Read more...]

Every Job Matters (to Someone)

Recently I heard a presentation by Jim Gibbons, President & CEO of Goodwill Industries. In it he said that "every job matters." Every job has someone relying on the incumbent of the position to do their job well so that the other person can either: benefit or do their own job well. Your client/customer is either internal or external.You serve (or produce for) the external client or someone who delivers to the external client. This is true whether you operate in the private, … [Read more...]

Talent Magnets

In my leadership workshops and keynote speeches I sometimes ask the group/audience to think of the best boss and worse boss they've ever had, what each did, and what effect it had on you. People come up with all kinds of descriptors and behaviors of both bosses. But one thing emerges about the best boss ever (BBE). He or she is someone you want to work for…and keep working for. Furthermore, a BBE is almost always someone that others in the organization would like to work for too. When an … [Read more...]

One Employee at a Time

Back in the 90's the Royal Bank of Canada had a series of TV commercials touting the theme, "Building a Better Bank, One Customer at a Time." The message, as I recall, was that RBC treats each customer as a unique individual and strives to win them over, one-at-a-time.   I frequently refer to this ad campaign in my management development workshops. The parallels are natural… RBC has customers, current and new. Managers have employees, current and newly hired. RBC seeks to … [Read more...]

(Re)Frame their Job as Something that Matters

Richard Florida is a provocative thinker around social and economic issues. He first became noticed from his book, The Rise of the Creative Class. In his latest book, The Great Reset, he shares data that the future growth of jobs will be in two areas: (1) knowledge, professional and creative jobs and (2) lower paying, more routine work in the service sector. Citing progressive companies like Wegman's, Whole Foods, REI, Zappos, Nordstrom, and The Container Store, his thesis is that work in the … [Read more...]

Look Beyond the Money for their True Motivators

In PwC Saratoga's latest Global CEO Survey, 65% of CEO's report that they intend to use more non-financial rewards to motivate their staff. This is an admission that the a motivation strategy full of mostly financial reward "carrots" is not enough, especially for their highly skilled and high potential employees. We so easily forget the fact that people are looking for at least some measure of fulfillment from the time they spend on the job. "Fulfillment," of course, can take many forms: … [Read more...]

Employee Engagement in Action–an Example

I actually came across this article from in 2009 but never got around to sharing it. The piece tells about Douglas Conant, the new CEO of Campbell Soup Company, who came on board in 2001 and over the next eight years grew EPS by 5-10% every year. His strategies included invigorating their work force by concentrating on employee engagement. In 2002 62% of employees reported being not actively engaged and 12% were actively disengaged. By 2009, 68% were actively engaged and only 3% … [Read more...]