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Business can be so stressful and serious. Deadlines. Money. Missed commitments. Disagreements.

So here’s the question: Do you permit yourself to have any fun in the business? I sure hope you have enjoyment in your personal activities and hobbies, but what about when you’re working?

Even if you’re not the boss, you can still do that, you know. But when you ARE the boss, it’s actually part of your job as a leader.

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We’re all looking for the magic key to managing employees. But despite all the support, the benefits, the encouragement … they never seem to care as much about the business as you do.

That’s natural. They haven’t poured their heart and soul into it for as long as you have. And, if you’re the owner, you may have your entire life savings tied up in this.

But it is possible to tap that energy, that passion, that caring.

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You’ve probably heard the stories by now. An employee just chooses to disappear one day without a trace. No contact at all.

It doesn’t really matter where this phenomenon came from. What matters is what it tells you about your organization. And yes, it really hurts.

There are a few reasons why someone would do this to you:

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The absence of job dissatisfaction is not satisfaction, much less engagement.

That was a powerful conclusion from the research of Fredrick Herzberg back in the middle of the last century, and it is certainly true today. It’s a fundamental principle of how we engage employees and others who work for us.

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A recent Gallup paper concluded: “When your best employees are not engaged, they are as likely to leave your organization as your employees who tend to have performance issues and are unhappy.”

We can all understand how your under-performers will look for opportunities elsewhere. And, honestly, you don’t worry so much about them, right?

Good riddance. They weren’t delivering that much for me anyway.

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You know exactly why employee motivation matters. Productivity. Teamwork. Customer service.

But I run across a whole lot of people who don’t know how to build and nurture that innovation. They think it’s just a magic thing that some people have and some don’t.That’s why I was excited to read Why Managers Must Ask 5 Questions to Empower Employees, one of Gallup’s top 2018 reports. It’s practical and powerful.

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I ran across a really cool concept the other day called Pledge 1% Colorado. It’s a neat idea to support and encourage businesses to help nonprofits benefit from their company’s growth.

There’s no question that business leaders are looking for creative ways to have positive impact in their communities. It’s inspiring!

But there’s a flip side that you need to ask yourself:

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A FEW YEARS AGO, Simon Sinek explained a framework he called Why-How-What. He was drawing a distinction between the way we usually market to customers, and a much more effective method of capturing the emotion and inspiration first.

I have a link to his TED talk at the end; it’s quite good.

I’ve noticed that the same process works remarkably well with engaging and inspiring employees.

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IT’S REALLY DEPRESSING how many people are disengaged from their jobs.

I’ve been there, and you probably have too.  It’s not a great feeling.

But guess what? As a leader and business owner, you have the great opportunity to do something about it for your people.  And it’s not rocket science.

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gallupGALLUP DOES SOME AMAZING WORK.

If you haven’t been following their “State of the Workplace” research, you should.  Especially if you care to attract and retain great people, and motivate them to excellence.

That’s why I was excited this week to get the notification of their updated report, available for free on their website.

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