Blog Posts

How to Improve Company Culture: 5 Tips

how to improve company culture

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Management guru Peter Drucker said that years ago and wow, was he spot on. Thousands of companies have wrestled with how to improve their company culture, in the hope of improving employee engagement, talent attraction, and talent retention. This blog will show you how to improve company culture, including five tips that will make a real difference at your organization.   1. Develop a Shared Vision and Mission for the Organization and its Team Members. Including employees in the creation of this shared vision is critical to getting their “buy-in.” Make sure to ...

Leveraging Corporate Social Responsibility for Employee Engagement

Corporate Social Responsibility

I recently had the honor of giving the Opening Keynote at The Doolittle Institute in Niceville, Florida. In their words, “The Doolittle Institute has the privilege of providing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education to thousands of underserved students, many of them military personnel. These hands-on programs include robotics, coding, computer-aided design, managing job stress, time management, and others. One of our primary goals is to inspire and educate our country’s future workforce.” About half of my audience were in uniform. Needless to say, I was inspired to bring my “A game” and deliver a kick-ass keynote speech. ...

How to Improve Company Culture: Your Sneak-Peek at 6 Innovative Tips

How to Improve Company Culture

Leaders in all industries are constantly wondering how to improve company culture. There are myriad benefits to achieving world-class culture, not the least of which are: higher profitability, improved customer service, enhanced talent attraction, and superior talent retention. Below are six of the most unique and proven means of achieving a best-in-class organizational culture. Three of the six secrets were discovered by noticing three consistent commonalities among the thousands of best-in-class organizations (top 10%) with whom I worked in my 35 years as a culture and employee engagement consultant. Empower your employees to accept ownership for their own engagement....

Is your communication style a message in a bottle?

I just returned from an amazing 30-day cruise of the Indian Ocean, which included ports of call in 12 different countries. While at sea one day exercising on the cruise ship deck, and prompted by a sunlight reflection off the water, I spied a sealed bottle floating on the surface of the ocean. It immediately made me wonder if there was a message in the bottle, and if so, I pondered what the odds were that the message would ever be read. So many organizations are mistakenly using “messages in a bottle” to communicate to their employees. As a ...

6 Ways To Reduce Employees’ Stress During The Holidays

Employees’ Stress

Let’s face it.  The holiday season is a very stressful time, both at work and at home.  Great managers will be looking for ways to make the holidays a lot less intense for their team members.  Here are six basic ways of doing just that: Eliminate the pressure of “Secret Santa.” First, ask your employees if they want to discontinue this age-old tradition that often ends up being harder to execute than people expect.  Explain how forgoing Secret Santa gives the “gift of time,” since everyone will have one less gift to buy and wrap....

That Evil Smartphone – 6 Tips to Stay Focused at Work

Stay Focused at Work

We’ve all seen it or experienced it firsthand: Someone is speaking at a meeting or presenting at a conference, while half the audience members are looking down, openly fiddling with their smartphones.  As a keynote presenter myself, I find this audience behavior especially frustrating.  I’m up there passionately speaking about ways to truly help people improve their day-to-day experience at work, and the messaging is lost on an audience that is simply not listening or being fully present.  Even when event planners ask participants to silence and put away their cell phones, people can’t seem to part with ...

Sexual Harassment: The Workplace’s Dirty Little Secret

sexual harassment in the workplace

Recent headlines have been littered with numerous stories of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and rape. Harvey Weinstein. Google. Uber. Silicon Valley. SoFi. Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes of Fox News. Three hundred and ten accusations against filmmaker James Toback. Mark Halperin. Taylor Swift allegedly being groped by radio host David Mueller. And for real, our 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush? Sadly, sexual harassment is so pervasive that we sometimes don’t see it. Gender inequality in the workplace has gotten better over the years, but it’s still a far cry from giving men and women equal ...

5 ways to work with the jerk in your office

workplace jerks

Hundreds of millions of workers worldwide dread going to work every day. But for those workers who have to work with a jerk or workplace bully, going to work is unbearable. All of these office jerks are Actively Disengaged employees whose behaviors contribute to their coworkers’ depression, anxiety, health problems, despair, and insomnia. The workplace negativity becomes even more palpable if the jerk is one’s manager or a member of Senior Management. Furthermore, the jerk’s toxic behavior becomes contagious, infecting many others who may begin mistreating others as well. In addition, the watercooler gossip mongering is equally infectious, resulting in ...

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 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Culture is Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year – For Good Reason

culture

Largely due to its tracking of which words were looked up the most, Merriam-Webster announced “Culture” as its Word of the Year for 2014. Chosen at the end of each year, the word serves as a snapshot of what people have been thinking about and talking about for the past 12 months, and what will continue to be a hot topic in the coming year. (While “Culture” had one of the largest spikes in look-ups, the words “Celebrity Culture,” “Pop Culture,” “NFL Culture,” “Media Culture” and “Company Culture” also had big years.) And from what I’ve experienced consulting with ...

The 7 Deadly Sins of Customer Engagement

Customer Engagement

As an entrepreneur, I have always admired companies whose innovation creates wonderful industry disruption. Take Uber, for example, which has completely turned the taxi industry on its head. Despite their innovation and resourcefulness, entrepreneurial organizations can also fall victim to the 7 Deadly Sins of Customer Engagement, as did Uber with my recent experiences. UberX is the least expensive option for Uber transportation and the most popular, but there are other types of Uber vehicles too, such as luxury cars and large SUVs. As Uber rolls out other options, the app makes it easy to accidentally order a more expensive ...