Blog Posts

The Business Case For Leadership Development & Learning

Leadership Development

“ONCE YOU STOP LEARNING, YOU START DYING.” - Albert Einstein It is not uncommon for Chief Learning Officers (CLOs) to struggle trying to secure funds and commitment for leadership development programs, despite the value that organizations see from such programs. I’ve been surprised and disappointed to read so many recent articles that assail the value of these programs versus the amount of money spent on them, including a Wall Street Journal article entitled “So much training, so little to show for it,” and a 2016 Harvard Business Review article calling leadership development programs “the great train robbery.” ...

Recognizing Millennials

Recognizing Millennials

Millennials are a unique generation in the workforce for a variety of reasons, including their plans for staying with their current employer. Unlike other generations, Millennials aren’t afraid to pick up and leave a company if a better offer comes along. This new approach to career development has many managers scrambling to retain Millennials, but most don’t do the single easiest and most effective thing to engage these workers and entice them to stick around for the long haul. In just two minutes, this video shows you how to be a better boss for Millennials. ...

Managing Generational Differences and Culture at Work

Generational Differences

Ever sense generational friction in your workplace? You are not alone. This workplace tension is most common between Baby Boomers and Millennials. Luckily, there are a variety of things you can do to improve coworker comradery despite generational differences. Subtle changes can go a long way in improving your company culture and boosting employee retention. Here’s how. ...

The Perils of Disengagement

employee disengagement

In partnership with the Association for Training & Development, this video explores just how damaging it can be to tolerate Actively Disengaged employees on your team. I should know. My former account stole $110,000 from my company over the years. But even worse, she sabotaged a deal I teed up to sell the company. (The potential buyer was an auditing firm and she was scared the transaction would unearth her secret, so she stopped at nothing to avoid being caught.) This shows how employees who don’t have the company’s best interest at heart cannot be tolerated. You must learn ...

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 ...

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 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 ...

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 ...

What Employee Engagement Means to Recruiters & The Staffing Industry

Recruitment

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent with recruiters and staffing firms each year by companies trying to attract top talent to empty positions. The obvious hope on the companies’ part is that the recruiters will find the perfect person for the position and that the new hire remains fully engaged in the years to come. A natural question posed by the people holding the purse strings for recruiting is: Are we getting our money’s worth? I was invited to do a keynote presentation at the 25th Annual Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum later this month to answer that exact ...

The Easiest Way to Influence Employee Engagement

This is the first video of a series of tips for managers and employees on how to reach best-in-class levels of employee engagement. It reveals the single most important way to positively influence employee engagement as well as some of the best practices on that key driver of engagement. If you are as passionate about employee engagement as I am, then you will definitely will want to share these with your team....

Behaviors and Traits of Best Bosses

Best Bosses

One of my most popular blogs this year was 19 Ways to be a Bad Boss. So I thought it would be equally as valuable to outline behaviors and traits of a Best Boss as well. As fortune would have it, I discovered a fascinating leadership study conducted by Lead Well LLC in partnership with Chicago-based Vantage Leadership Consulting. The 2013 study identified five common traits of a Best Boss: Leads From a Higher Purpose – The Best Boss demonstrates a purpose beyond self-interest and self-profit and/or a purpose beyond the organization that is put into action on behalf of ...

Becoming Someone’s Best Boss

Best Boss

Nearly every expert on employee engagement agrees there is a single, most impactful, means of increasing employee engagement and performance: the Manager. Taken from the Leadership Development workshops I conduct, here are the five simple ways to elevate the effect your managers have on your corporate culture and employee engagement. 1. Ask all of your managers to think of who their best boss was throughout their entire career. Have them write that person’s name down on a piece of paper. 2. Have them write down the three key qualities that made that person their best boss. 3. Encourage them to ...

The Three Most Impactful Workplace Phrases

Three best workplace phrases

I recently read a New York Times article that featured The Three Most Influential Phrases in the Workplace. I was surprised to be in agreement, that indeed using these three phrases is the most powerful way managers can show that they are human, and show they truly care about the relationships they have with their direct reports. I was so excited to begin using these phrases in my keynote presentations and leadership development workshops, that I went home and shared them with my wife. Each phrase is featured below, along with my own explanation as to why they are so ...

Zappos’ Experiment with Holacracy

I have long admired Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos for his out-of-the-box thinking and workplace innovation. Hsieh pioneered the practice of paying people to quit, which is one very effective way of transitioning unengaged employees to other pastures. He and his team also adjusted Zappos’ interview process to increase the focus on a candidate’s attitude, rather than just aptitude. Assessing these two metrics became tasks for two separate interview teams; a spot-on best practice. Then he introduced Holacracy to Zappos, and I started questioning whether his success streak will come to an end. The idea behind Holacracy is that there ...

Fuel50 Guest Post: The Three Truths of Agile Recruitment

Fuel50 Logo

The silver bullet, the magic cure, the rock star employee who will magically solve your business woes. Myths, all myths, and dangerous ones at that, that easily gain traction when the blind start leading the blind through the murky waters of talent acquisition and management! The three truths of agile recruitment: #1 Any employee is only as good as the environment in which they must operate (and the opportunities they are given). #2 It’s a question of alignment; the right career experience, for the right person at the right time. #3 It’s very possible to turn an A player into ...

“Re-Casting” Employees into the Right Role

Miss Betty

The following passage is from my New York Times Best Seller Building a Magnetic Culture: RECOGNIZING TALENT - MISS BETTY’S STORY She is more than just a greeter to patients and guests at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, Louisiana; she is Miss Betty, an always smiling, forever cheerful, burst of positivity and enthusiasm. The Louisiana hospital group first recognized Miss Betty’s positive attitude and ability to connect with patients and their families when she started working as a housekeeper 30 years ago. She was in that position for many years, but Senior Leaders thought her people skills could be ...