Blog Posts

The Thief of Workplace Productivity

workplace productivity

When asked about the single greatest detractor of workplace productivity, most employees, and especially managers, will incorrectly cite workplace meetings or meeting mismanagement. While it is certainly true that a great amount of productivity is lost to these things, the real answer is workplace interruptions, especially given the push to open-office floor plans. While this design trend was intended to facilitate more communication and collaboration, it no doubt carried an unintended downside. The lower cubicle walls, communal snack bars and break rooms, and removal of office doors bring heightened interruptions, as well as concerns over keeping information confidential. A study ...

The Working Dead: The Middle Category of Employee Engagement

Brought to you in partnership with the Association for Talent and Development, this video blog describes the largest of the three categories of employee engagement. Fully 60% of all workers fall into this category of ambivalence. Often called “The Working Dead” or the “Quit and Stay Employee,” these workers cost organizations the most money in lost productivity and profits. Want to know the three most effective solutions on how to re-engage them and make more money? Check out this video. ...

Employee Engagement: The Actively Engaged Employee

engaged employee

This video blog explores the most celebrated category of employee engagement: The Actively Engaged Employee. Specifically, it illuminates the most precious characteristics and outcomes created by Actively Engaged team members, which I cover in nearly all the keynote presentations and leadership workshops I give. Have you fully harnessed the power of these special traits at your organization? Find out. ...

Employee Engagement: The Dividends

employee engagement dividends

This video illuminates the myriad dividends that come with building a culture of world-class employee engagement, not the least of which are great talent attraction, retention, creativity, innovation, productivity, customer service, and ethical behavior.  Is your organization reaping all of these benefits?  Find out. ...

Video Blog: Employee Engagement – The Disengaged Employee

Disengaged employees

This video explores the third category of employee engagement, that being the Actively Disengaged. Thirteen percent of the workforce is Actively Disengaged. Is there a successful solution to transform these workplace terrorists into productive and Actively Engaged members of your team? Find out. ...

Video Blog: Employee Engagement – Different Types of Engagement

Employee Engagement - Different Types of Engagement

Welcome to the second of a series of videos on Employee Engagement, Culture, and the Best Practices on each of the key drivers of engagement. This video unveils how many working people fall into two categories of engagement, that being Actively Engaged, and Neither Engaged Nor Disengaged. It also clearly defines these two buckets of engagement and discusses the Key Driver Analysis that was conducted to determine the most impactful drivers of employee engagement, which will take your organization to the next level. ...

Video Blog: Employee Engagement – Building A Magnetic Culture

employee engagement

Welcome to the first of a series of videos on Employee Engagement, Culture, and the Best Practices on each of the key drivers of engagement. This video helps define employee engagement, addresses where the ownership should be for engagement, explores the importance of engagement, and outlines some of the most meaningful outcomes that come with building a culture of engagement. This video and the rest of the series will no doubt help you and your team take your organization to the next level. ...

The Best Bosses Say These 9 Things

best bosses

Employee engagement is always greatly heightened by excellent communication. That’s why the most tremendous bosses use these 9 statements on a regular, and in some cases, daily basis. Start using these phrases regularly and watch your success as a manager take flight: 1. “Thank you.” As discovered when we did the key driver statistical research for my New York Times Best Seller, recognition is the number one driver of employee engagement. Furthermore, Millennials crave feedback and recognition. Make sure your recognition efforts are both consistent and meaningful. Your team members will really appreciate it. 2. “Regarding your career development, ...

5 Human Resources Predictions For 2017

Human Resources Predictions For 2017

In preparation for my upcoming keynote speeches in 2017, I spent a great deal of time this January researching the most prominent trends occurring, and burgeoning, in the Human Resources sector. As a direct outgrowth of this research, I thought it would be valuable to share the most likely continued trends and predictions in Human Resources for 2017. Here are the top five, in order of magnitude and strength: 1. Culture and Employee Engagement Will Continue to be the Top Priorities for Most Organizations The continued challenges with talent attraction and retention will keep Culture and Employee Engagement front and ...

7 Ways Technology Is Impacting Human Resources

Human Resources Technology

Oh, how technology has influenced the Human Resources function and its constituents! Cell phones, the internet, social media—these have all forever changed every aspect of life, from home to the workplace. Many things have become much easier with technology, but it has also been a game-changer that is forcing companies to rapidly evolve in ways that might make them uncomfortable. It is nearly impossible to predict what these changes will mean in the future, but it helps to understand the current trends. Here are 7 key ways technology is impacting Human Resources: 1. Performance Management HR Professionals have successfully harnessed ...

How To Deliver Bad News At Work

Bad News At Work

You may work at one of the most positive workplaces in the world, but invariably, there will be times when you must deliver bad news at work to a team or a colleague. We’ve all been there. Probably the most visceral example of this is when you have to lay someone off. Many of us have been the recipient. Just in November 2016 alone, more than 26,000 workers were terminated.1 Certainly, it is never easy to deliver bad news to a colleague. With that said, here are 3 useful tips for “softening the blow” to the colleague: 1. Put ...

7 Telltale Signs You Hired the Wrong Employee

Hired the Wrong Employee

According to a 2016 survey by CareerBuilder, more than half of American companies said a bad hiring decision had negatively impacted their business this year. Many company leaders cited associated challenges such as lost revenue, poor productivity, lower employee morale, and strained client relations. Furthermore, 27 percent said a single bad hire had cost them over $50,000.1 Needless to say, this is not only a critical mistake to building a world-class culture of employee engagement, but it also adversely affects revenue and profitability outcomes in a serious way. So here are the 7 most glaring signs that you hired ...

The Employee Engagement Checklist – The 6 Steps Employees Can Take On Their Own To Increase Their Employee Engagement

Employee engagement checklist

One of the single greatest mistakes organizations make when trying to increase their levels of employee engagement is forgetting to encourage their employees to accept some responsibility for increasing their own job engagement. Even if you hire the right employees, they still need to know the steps they can take to stay engaged at work in the long term. Many employees know the “to-dos” of engagement, but they often forget to implement them, or execute them consistently. So why not give them a checklist? Well, I created one for you, based on a key driver analysis of millions of survey ...

Employee Disengagement Linked to Unethical Behavior

Employee Disengagement Linked to Unethical Behavior

I am certain many of you saw the Wells Fargo scandal in newspapers and on the news earlier this year. In short, the bank’s management and culture allowed and even rewarded Wells Fargo employees for opening millions of bogus accounts that customers never requested in order to generate fee income for the bank. Think about that. When you choose where you want to bank, you no doubt are looking for a financial steward you can trust. Upwards of 5,300 Wells Fargo employees knew about the scam. Moreover, the bank is now being investigated for unfairly firing those employees who did ...

7 Employee Engagement Takeaways From Our World Champion Chicago Cubs

The Cubs' Way

I have been a Cubs fan all of my life. Some of my fondest memories of Wrigley Field were shared with my step-grandfather Victor, who has long since passed away and never got a chance to see his Cubbies win a World Series. I brought him with me in spirit to Game 3 of the World Series this year. While at the game, I also teared up seeing the many father and son duos in attendance, in addition to the many octogenarians who had waited their entire lives for this moment in time. Is it a coincidence that there are ...

The 5 Employee Engagement Warning Signs

Employee Engagement Warning Signs

How confident are you that your employees are staying engaged? Here are five of the most common signs that employee engagement is waning: 1. Productivity suffers. Engaged employees are all about going the extra mile and putting in extra effort. Employees who are not engaged are all about doing the absolute minimum. How are you measuring employee productivity and its close parallel to employee engagement? 2. Higher absenteeism. Companies with less engagement have employees take more sick time. In fact, one study by HR Zone concluded that companies with the lowest level (bottom 10%) of engagement, experience 2.3 times ...

Working with Zombies: 3 Surefire Ways to Awaken the Working Dead

working dead

Several years ago, I got wrapped up in the TV Show AMC called “The Walking Dead.” For those of you who have not seen it, the show is about the world being taken over by zombies who savagely bite living people and transform them into fellow zombies. While doing keynote speeches at national and international conferences, I teach my audiences about the largest category of workers, which are people who are neither engaged or disengaged. Essentially, this inspired me to call these people “The Working Dead.” These employees: Are not likely to go the extra mile. Do not ...

The Top Three Reasons Employees Quit

reasons employees quit

You have seen it play out time and time again. Someone in the workplace says, “Hey, where is Mary today?” Someone else says, “Oh, she quit.” Or equally as common these days is when Mary just doesn’t show up for work one day. No notification, no resignation letter, and maybe no ID Badge turn in. The sad fact is that many of these resignations could be avoided by simply studying Exit Survey data and applying solutions to the top three reasons employees quit. While running my HR consulting firm from 1996-2012, we did a lot of research on ...

Saving a Life with a Blog

Meaningfulness and Purpose

Last week, I had a landmark letter show up in my mailbox. I regularly receive feedback, suggestions, and questions after my keynote presentations, or after people read my blog or newsletter. Never before had I received a letter like this one. I’ll paraphrase, but in short, it said:   Dear Mr. Sheridan: Your Mea Culpa: The Importance Of Learning From Failure blog came at a time when I needed it most. My last two suicide attempts could have easily ended my life. This time I was able to call a car service and get to the E.R. quickly. Again, ...

9 Lessons on Employee Engagement From Willy Wonka

Lessons on Employee Engagement From Willy Wonka

I was saddened to hear the news of Gene Wilder’s passing on August 29th, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, a terrible illness that my Father has as well. Born on June 11, 1933, in Milwaukee as Jerome Silberman, Gene Wilder touched the hearts of millions as the character Willy Wonka, in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Although the film was not a commercial success, it later gained a cult following and an Oscar Nomination for Best Score. Wilder also earned a Golden Globe award nomination. In Wilder’s memory, I’d like to highlight nine best practice lessons on employee engagement ...

Employee Engagement in España

employee engagement in Spain

I recently gave a keynote address in Brussels, Belgium and took some time off to visit the Basque Country in Northeastern Spain. It was there that I got to hike many miles of the famed Camino de Santiago, also known as “The Way of St. James.” Tens of thousands of people have trekked this pilgrimage path as a retreat for spiritual growth and as a method to re-engage in their life purpose. The journey ends at the beautiful shrine to St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in western Spain. I used the journey to ...

Mea Culpa: The Importance of Learning from Failure

learning from failure

Walt Disney was fired from his first job as a reporter in Kansas City. The reason they told him: “You lack imagination.” Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job as a reporter in Philadelphia. The reason they gave her: “You tend to get too emotionally involved in your stories,” which of course is her signature. Steven Spielberg, one of the finest movie producers of all time, was rejected by the L.A. School of Cinematography, not once, but twice. All three of these people had the perseverance to overcome a situation when they failed, and they went on ...

Employee Engagement Saves Lives!

Employee Engagement Saves Lives

There are myriad positive outcomes that come with building a world-class culture of employee engagement, not the least of which are higher productivity, more ethical behavior, less turnover, and greater profitability. But I have a favorite outcome, which exists within the healthcare industry: better safety compliance. Sadly, each year hundreds of thousands of people are admitted to hospitals with moderate health conditions, only to leave later in a body bag. The culprit? The spread of infections in the hospital. The gravity of this situation first got my attention when I learned Americans are five times more likely to die of ...

Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win

perseverance over victimhood

This inspiring quote about perseverance comes from an inspiring man—Vince Lombardi, Head Coach of The Green Bay Packers. You and your team can take these words off the football field and into your conference room. While I was CEO of HR Solutions, I had the pleasure of consulting with hundreds of world-class organizations and seeing firsthand what contributed to their success. Those who scored in the top 10% on their employee engagement surveys were considered “Best-in-Class” and were always an inspiration to me. Interestingly, they shared one uncanny commonality: they chose perseverance over victimhood. Many of these organizations had faced ...

A Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day: How to work with a coworker who always has to be right

How to work with a coworker who always has to be right

Ever worked with a coworker who consistently needed to be right? Even when shown clear evidence to the contrary, some people cannot admit when they’re wrong. Simply put, working with that type of person is not fun. Unfortunately, a stubborn attitude can create conflict in the workplace and threaten coworker comradery. Instead of letting yourself get pulled into an argument, try these 4 surefire strategies to successfully work with these know-it-alls: 1. Let them win. Rather than expending energy and time trying to convince them otherwise, redirect that energy toward a workplace issue or coworker that is far more important ...