Monday, December 28, 2015

Your Best Guide to Employee Engagement Surveys in 2016

Are you planning an employee survey for your organization in 2016? 

Insightlink Communications has expanded and updated their definitive research manual to help guide your survey planning and implementation process. It's based on more than 30 years of real-world research experience.

Topics covered include:

  • Establishing Meaningful Employee Survey Objectives
  • Effective Objective-Setting Questions
  • Deciding on the Appropriate Research Methodology
  • Employee Survey Questionnaire Design
  • The Key Principles of Employee Surveys
  • Employee Survey Best Practices
  • Maximizing Employee Participation
  • Data Analysis and Reporting
  • Interpreting Your Results
  • Employee Survey Action Planning

The secrets and myths of staff motivation

Good management, money and free food have all been shown to incentivize small business employees. Which combination should you try in the new year?

The key to unlocking staff motivation has become something of a holy grail for employers. But unless they really understand what makes their people happy, and therefore engaged with their job, it remains tantalisingly out of reach.

Traditional drivers of employee motivation range from cash incentives to less tangible rewards in the form of praise and recognition from the boss for a job well done. Then there are the quirky perks, like bring your dog to work days, creative activities, and social events that could potentially translate into higher levels of motivation.
As to which are the most effective incentives, countless workplace studies have yet to produce a definitive answer. Read full article on The Guardian

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Daniel Goleman's Reponse to Gallup Employee Engagement Survey

Friday, December 18, 2015

Pay gap between staff and bosses is affecting motivation, report claims

The growing gap between the pay of executives and the rest of the workforce is having a "significant" impact on staff motivation, a new report has warned.
A group representing human resources managers said there was now a "crisis" over increases in pay for executives in the UK's largest organisations.
A study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that three out of five workers felt demotivated by the high level of money paid to chief executives.
More than half of the 1,000 workers surveyed said executive pay was bad for the reputation of UK companies.

Read more on The Telegraph

Monday, November 16, 2015

Why you need to avoid conformity in your workplace

If you want a company that pulses with creative, engaged employees, you need to avoid rigid roles and let them to assert their individuality.

Fostering diversity in your workplace is key to running a smart, innovative, and productive company. But diversity in race, religious creeds, and sexual orientation is only part of what a successful business needs.

Your company needs to allow employees to be themselves--unique individuals with a range of perspectives, talents, and skills that help them accomplish great things. If you are looking for a polished, rigid employee who can be easily typecast into a specific role, you're going about hiring and running a business all wrong.

Rob Goffee, professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School, and Gareth Jones, visiting professor at the IE Business School in Madrid, write in Harvard Business Review about how developing conformity hurts companies.

Goffee and Jones studied a range of businesses that support "self-expression, individuality, and diverse experience" in their employees and leaders. Workplaces that support individual authenticity have higher employee engagement, they found, which in turn improves the customer experience, drives creativity, and helps create a pipeline of leaders growing within the company. Read more on

Monday, October 19, 2015

How one company is thriving on a 5-hour workday

In May this year, Stephan Aarstol effectively doubled the per-hour earnings of every employee at his business, Tower Paddle Boards. Yet payroll didn't budge. Aarsol did this by exploiting the insight that, for startups, time is a more malleable resource than money. So instead of giving his employees salary raises, he reduced the company workday to five hours. 

Aarstol, you may recall, is the guy who froze during his 2012 pitch on ABC's Shark Tank, but still walked off with $150,000 from Mark Cuban. Today, he and his team of nine operate the San Diego, California-based online paddle-board business in a city where the unemployment rate is well below national average.

"Part of our brand identity to do things differently," says Aarstol. He wanted people to quit their other jobs and come work for Tower Paddle Boards. Read more on BusinessInsider

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nearly Half of Happy Employees Are Angling to Quit

Just because an employee is engaged and happy with their job, organization, pay, benefits, opportunities, management and other various work aspects, doesn’t mean they aren’t searching the Internet for a new job.

That’s according to the latest Inside Employees’ Minds Survey from global consulting firm Mercer.

The survey, which included responses from more than 3,000 workers who represent a cross-section of the U.S. workforce, found that more than 40 percent of employees who report being very satisfied with their job (42 percent) and their employer (45 percent) are actually looking to quit.

The survey finding upends the natural assumption that a satisfied employee is active, engaged and loyal.

“The survey confirms what employers have been seeing first-hand — a workforce in transition and, increasingly, one on the move,” Patrick Tomlinson, a talent leader at Mercer, said in a statement. “The new twist is that the inclination to leave is increasingly detached from employees’ satisfaction with jobs, pay and even growth opportunities. Employers need to shift their talent strategies to understand the modern terms of engagement from the most productive employees.”

Overall, about 37 percent of workers, regardless of whether they’re happy or not, are looking to leave.

Why do happy employees want to leave and work somewhere else? According to CNN Money, the survey didn’t ask the question and unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be an easy answer. Find out more at Yahoo Finance

When 'presenteeism' rises, productivity falls

Due to poor workplace well-being, “presenteeism” is a phenomenon spreading across the globe.

It describes the existence of disengaged employees who physically present themselves at work, but do not actually complete or achieve anything.

Combined with presenteeism, depression and anxiety are now the leading causes of long-term sickness absence from today’s modern workplace.

The direct health-care costs and the costs of productivity lost to presenteeism can total up to 35 percent of salaries.

Research shows that engaged employees produce more and cost less. Eight different studies by organisations, including Harvard Business Review and the World Economic Forum, show a return on investment of wellness programmes of between 144 percent and 3 000 percent.

Wellness programmes should be seen as holistic approaches to creating high-performance organisations through establishing the right workplace environments and surroundings. Employee engagement and workplace well-being relates to all aspects of the work life.

So, the question is: if we know that good health requires more than just physical wellness and that employee well-being can have a big impact on business outcomes, why do so few organisations make a serious investment in it? Read more at Business Report

Thursday, October 1, 2015

What's Holding Women Back in the Workplace?

Despite support at the top, gender equality is a long way off at most U.S. companies. A study by Lean In and McKinsey reveals why—and what employees and companies can do about it.

Why aren’t there more women in the upper ranks of corporate America?

Cue the broken record: Women rein in career plans to spend more time caring for family. What’s more, they are inherently less ambitious than men and don’t have the confidence that commands seats in the C-suite.

Not so fast.

Something else is happening on the way to the top. Women aren’t abandoning their careers in large numbers; motherhood, in fact, increases their appetite for winning promotions; and women overall don't lack for ambition and confidence that they can take on big jobs. Yet when asked whether they want a top role in their companies or industries, a majority of women say they would rather not grab the brass ring.

Those are the findings of a major new study of women in the workplace conducted by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. The research, which gathered data on promotions, attrition and trajectories from 118 companies and surveyed nearly 30,000 men and women, is among the largest efforts to capture attitudes and data about working women. The study involved major North American companies and North American units of global ventures headquartered elsewhere. It reveals sharply different views of the workplace, in which women say they experience a playing field at work that is anything but level. Read more at

The 1 Sure-fire Way to Ignite Your Team's Passion

Leaders tend to be less comfortable with emotional engagement, because they have never learned what to do. Here is one simple, high-impact thing you can do to ignite your team's passion.

Engaging the heart tends to be more challenging for leaders than engaging the mind. It's the softer side of leadership, and it's harder to get your head around. Traditional leadership development programs don't emphasize the skills necessary to engage employees' hearts. As a result, most leaders tend to be less comfortable with this side of engagement simply because they have never learned what to do. Since emotional engagement creates an advantage that is very difficult for your competitors to duplicate, it's worth learning to do well.

The heart represents the emotional side of people that is based on connections. Engaging the heart creates passion. This side requires the art of leadership that focuses on relationships.

We live in a world driven by emotional decisions. Seventy percent of customers' buying decisions are based on human interactions. Likewise, employees are primarily driven by emotional and personal considerations. When people go to work, they don't leave their hearts at home. We live in a high-tech world, but leadership is still a high-touch job. Read more at

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

5 Reasons Your Millennial Employees are Quitting

Can't seem to keep your millennial employees engaged at work? It may be because of one of these 5 reasons.

More than 1/3 of the United States workforce is now between the ages of 18 to 34, indicating millennials have now surpassed Generation X to represent the largest share of the American workforce. Unfortunately, today's business leaders are not well-equipped to deal with the mindset and motivations of this new generation.

But some companies have figured it out and know how to maximize the unique talents and needs of millennials. Infusionsoft, a small business email service provider located in Chandler, Arizona, is ranked as one of the "100 Best Workplaces for Millennials" by Forbes. Game rooms and snacks are only part of the equation. The employees at Infusionsoft report enjoying a fun and cooperative work environment, feel that they are genuinely appreciated for their contributions, and also have the ability to take time off work when needed.

Unfortunately, too many companies simply assume what millennials want and barely scratch the surface when trying to recruit and keep them. Companies offer perks millennials simply don't value, while skimping on what does matter. This can create mass turnover for many companies. To stem the flow of quality employees leaving your organization, here are five reasons your millennial employees are quitting--and what to do about it. Read more at

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Goodbye nine to five, hello work-life balance

Employees want flexibility and freedom from outdated work practices. For this to happen, organizations must empathize with the individual.

So many of our current working patterns are hugely outdated. The idea of “nine to five” was conceived during the industrial revolution, prior to the invention of electricity, never mind the internet. Our culture of presentee-ism was born out of conformity, rather than evolving working patterns into what we truly need, both in terms of motivation and productivity.

Large organizations embrace a fixed regime of regimented hours and a single office space because it enables them to retain control over their workforce. Big businesses that allow employees to work from home on Wednesdays, leave early on a Friday, or work a four-day week are not offering true flexibility, they are merely extending the leash. But the tide is turning: people are now taking the matter of work-life balance into their own hands. One in seven workers in the UK has chosen self-employment as the most effective means to take control. Read more on The Guardian

Monday, September 14, 2015

De-stress your workplace

Workplace stress is a silent killer that is plaguing India Inc. Stress in the context of a workplace is anything that stretches an individual's ability to cope. But not all stress is bad. A balanced stress does drive exceptional performance. Dis-stress is when the intensity of stress is so high that an individual exhausts their coping potential. Dis-stress is the number one lifestyle risk factor among Indian workers. As per a recent study by Towers Watson, it ranks above physical inactivity and obesity at the workplace. More than 10 out of 25 people feel that excessive workload is the biggest cause while 2 out of 5 attribute it to inadequate staffing. That is not all. There are other factors like unclear job expectations, overwhelming work demands, technology that expands availability beyond normal work hours, which are identified as top reasons for stress at workplace.  Read more here.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Make your employees your brand ambassadors

Exceptional customer experience is what all companies aspire to deliver, and one of the keys to achieving it lies in having a high level of engagement between their employees and their brand.

How many businesses are aware of just how crucial internal brand engagement is to customer service and satisfaction?

According to research by communications agency Involve, almost half of marketing, brand and customer experience directors believe that their own internal brand engagement programs are ineffective.

While they understand the value of engaging their employees, they see external marketing activities as more prestigious and influential. In fact, many companies are failing to invest or measure the success of their employee brand engagement programs. Read more on

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to Start Fitting Work Into Life (and Stop Fitting Life Into Work)

Finding work-life balance can be challenging, especially for entrepreneurs. Sometimes, we fall prey to the illusion that personal time is another name for time we can put to better use by working. We might even feel that we'd be more productive if we could only forgo rest to work more. But our bodies will likely overrule us on that one.

And that's a good thing because the truth is, we can’t do our best work if we stay plugged in 24/7. To cite an age-old example, Isaac Newton spent plenty of time working, but he didn’t truly understand gravity until he rested under an apple tree.

What's more, there are benefits to spending time on things other than work and sleep. We don’t just take downtime to distract ourselves from responsibility: Time away from work actually makes us work harder and smarter during the hours we dedicate to working.

Work hard; play hard.

Technology has fundamentally changed the workplace: it's actually difficult to get away from work what with cell phones in our pockets and laptops on our coffee tables. However, to get the full benefits of recharging ourselves (not our devices) during our time off, we have to make sure that that time off truly is "off."

We accomplish this by being fully present in everything we do. That means no cursory glances at email under the table and no quick texts to employees when no one’s watching. Blocking off time for leisure makes this easier.

If I want to eat dinner with family, grab a drink with friends, exercise or read a book, I schedule some uninterrupted time to focus on that activity. Setting parameters helps me eliminate the guilt of not working while getting the most from my personal time.

This is more than just what you “should” do. It’s a complete priority shift. While shifting mindsets sounds like a daunting task, we can make the transition easier on ourselves by following a few simple steps: Read more on Fox News

Friday, August 14, 2015

Survey: Half of Americans worry about work while on vacation, then return stressed

More than one-third of U.S. employees (39 percent) don't believe their bosses encourage them to take allotted vacation days, and almost half (45 percent) say their bosses don't help them disconnect from work while on vacation, according to a Randstad US Employee Engagement Study released this week.

Forty-nine percent of workers who participated in a Randstad U.S. survey say they feel stressed upon returning from vacation.Forty-one percent of survey participants said work-life balance is impossible to achieve.

“Employers who proactively maintain positive relationships with employees and encourage them to utilize allotted vacation time are more likely to boost company morale, reduce turnover and increase productivity, all of which can positively impact a company's bottom line,” Atlanta-based Randstad US said in a statement about the study.

The Employee Engagement Study also found :

Vacations can be stressful: Forty-nine percent feel stressed after they return from vacation. Forty-six percent say they worry about work while on vacation.

Hold the vacation: More than one in three employees (38 percent) believe taking fewer vacations makes them look better in the eyes of their boss.

Change of plans: More than one in three employees (36 percent) have had to cancel vacation plans due to work. Read more on

Imagine that for a second. More than 40% believe that work-life balance is impossible to achieve? How on earth is it possible to engage employees under this scenario? It is any wonder then that employee engagement levels in the U.S. are at all-time lows and job burnout is soaring. But you can’t change what you don’t measure. If you’re not doing some sort of employee survey, whether satisfaction, engagement, pulse, or something else, then you have no idea how to improve things.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

3 Things Bosses Can Do to Support Mental Health at Work

More people are starting to speak out at work about the importance of mental health.


Among them, according to The Wall Street Journal, are members of a new organization called the Stability Network, which is dedicated to promoting professional support for Americans who suffer from mental illness. Another is entrepreneur Indigo Triplett, founder of Careers in Transition, a human resources consulting firm, and an columnist who writes about mental health at work.


Many functioning professionals are afraid to admit to a disability for fear of discrimination. They may struggle to find a workplace where their diagnosis does not define them. They often don't disclose it until they are comfortable that the work environment will be supportive.


Employers are legally required to make accommodations after an employee discloses a mental or physical disability. Mental health advocates are seeking to encourage employers to go beyond mere accommodation and build in proactive, purposefully inclusive workplace policies and procedures.


Here are some best practices for business owners and managers seeking to cultivate a more inclusive and supportive work environment for mental health. Read more in

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Design Your Office to Fulfill Employees' Most Basic Needs


In the war for talent, savvy companies understand that office space is both a key component of their recruiting strategy and a platform they can use to amplify their culture. One way to design a space that will become a competitive advantage is to understand exactly what it is that your employees need to be happy.


And for help on that front, you might think about Abraham Maslow’s 1950s theory about human motivation and his hierarchy of needs.


How can something like office design aid in fulfilling those needs? Answering that question is key to helping companies design spaces their employees love. After all, the same principles that apply to people should also be considered when designing for people. Here are four to consider. Read on


Friday, July 3, 2015

Wishing everyone a safe and happy July 4th.

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  ~Erma Bombeck

Thursday, July 2, 2015

3 Categories of Employee Perks That Have a Bottom-Line ROI

From free, daily catered lunches to company yoga classes to Friday happy hours, workplace perks are here. And they're great additions to standard 401(k) plans and vacation days. Perks like these break the everyday monotony of the workplace, attract the newest generations of talent and keep current staff happy.


But, that’s not all.


Employee perks also have a strong impact on a company’s bottom line. That’s right -- there’s a quantifiable benefit to taking the team out for drinks.


So what is the return on investment of employee perks? Here are three categories of popular perks companies are providing today and the data-backed ROI that comes with them: Find out here

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

5 Ways to Make Your Employees Happier and More Productive

More millennials work for small businesses with less than 100 employees than any other company size, according to research from Five years ago this may have been less consequential, but this year marked the tipping point where millennials now make up more of the work force than any other generation. The future of the work force is here, and its members are more inclined to work in a small business than larger organizations.


In order to understand how macro forces are driving change in the workplace, like the rise of millennials and the expectations that come along with that, Staples Advantage, the business to business division of Staples and partnered on the Staples Advantage Workplace Index, a new study surveying more than 2,000 American and Canadian workers. The major finding was that more than half of small-business employees report feeling overworked and burnt out, yet 89 percent are still happy at work and motivated to become managers in their respective organizations.


It's no surprise that this data also suggests that small-business employees are working longer hours; a quarter of them spend time working outside of the office and 40 percent work on weekends at least once a month. The research also found that they don't have time to take breaks, they get too much email and they're wasting time in business meetings.


Limited resources and the need to do more with less is a hallmark of small businesses. In many cases, this fast-paced environment and ability to wear multiple hats are a few of the traits that make small businesses so desirable for the new wave of workers. However, it also means that small-business employees are under the constant pressure to manage a growing workload. According to the survey, the "always on" work culture forces employees to complete work they don't have time to do during the day and many have the desire to get ahead for the following day as to eliminate even more burnout. Read more on

Monday, June 29, 2015

How Much Does Employee Turnover Cost You?

There are various ways to calculate the direct and indirect costs of replacing employees. There's no question, however, that it does cost companies much more in both time and money to replace a good employee that it does to keep them happy and engaged (especially long term employees with a great deal of institutional knowledge). Here's a Quora discussion on the topic with a few useful links.

Do you have a Nightmare Boss?

You know the types. The jerk. The one who needs anger management training. The bad communicator. The sexist. The manipulator. The not-so-funny comedian. We've all had them at one point in our careers. Here's how to handle it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Why We Love to Hate HR.and What HR Can Do About It

Recent complaints about the HR function have touched a nerve in a large, sympathetic audience, particularly in the United States. The most vocal critics say that HR managers focus too much on “administrivia” and lack vision and strategic insight.

These feelings aren’t new. They’ve erupted now and in the past because we don’t like being told how to behave—and no other group in organizational life, not even finance, bosses us around as systematically as HR does. We get defensive when we’re instructed to change how we interact with people, especially those who report to us, because that goes right to the core of who we are. What’s more, HR makes us perform tasks we dislike, such as documenting problems with employees. And it prevents us from doing what we want, such as hiring someone we “just know” is a good fit. Its directives affect every person in the organization, right up to the top, every single day.

The complaints also have a cyclical quality—they’re driven largely by the business context. Usually when companies are struggling with labor issues, HR is seen as a valued leadership partner. When things are going more smoothly all around, managers tend to think, “What’s HR doing for us, anyway?”  Read more on

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why Thanking Employees Can Make for a Better Leader

Is gratitude deficit rising in the workplace? When was the last time you sent an employee, colleague or customer a sincere thank-you note or a personalized gift to show your genuine appreciation for what they do? If it has been so long you cannot remember, you may not be alone.

A recent survey of 2,000 Americans found, while almost everyone agreed that thankful bosses would be more successful, only 10% actually reporting acting on their impulse to express thanks on any given day.

Often we take other people’s work and help for granted (“they are just doing their job”). Or, we assume employee-recognition programs are sufficient at rewarding extra effort. But does another company mug really tell someone they are valued?

The American writer William Arthur Ward noted that, “gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” Read more on

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


The word burnout gets thrown around a lot in business. But what exactly does it mean?


Burnout isn’t just the feeling of angst on Monday morning; it’s an acute condition that derives from chronic emotional stress at work. Researchers and physicians have characterized burnout as a state of exhaustion, ineffectiveness, cynicism, and reduced personal fulfillment.


Research from 2012 shows a strong negative correlation between burnout and job engagement. A burned-out brain can’t concentrate as easily or separate itself from problems. Because the brain’s emotional center connects to the thinking brain, burnout compromises innovation, risk assessment, and decision-making. But burnout doesn’t just affect the individual; its symptoms are contagious and can quickly infect your entire workplace.


How can business leaders prevent the productivity-crushing effects of burnout from plaguing their companies? While you can’t eliminate stress, you can monitor signs of burnout and identify vulnerable employees before they become chronically unhappy.




Before you can combat burnout, you need to understand the source. Read the six main causes on

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Body language don'ts at work

Success in your career can come from a number of things, many of which have little or nothing to do with your actual job description. There are proven ways to make a good first impression at work, and often decisions you've made before entering the workforce have a significant influence on your earnings and your job satisfaction. Beyond those types of factors, the day-to-day ways you interact with your peers and your boss can go a long way toward solidifying positive relationships — or tearing them down. The nonverbal communication you use, even you're not aware of it yourself, can serve as major signals to those around you if you're invested in your work, whether you're open to input, and if you have the confidence necessary to succeed in your office.


Dr. Travis Bradberry, a clinical psychologist who has become an expert in emotional intelligence, wrote a blog post on LinkedIn about some of the bad habits that cause more damage at work than you might think. Bradberry is a co-author of the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, which describes this sort of knowledge as the following: "Today, emotional intelligence (EQ) needs little introduction. This 'other kind of smart' is the No. 1 predictor of success both personally and professionally. But knowing what it is and knowing how to use it to improve your life are two very different things." Read more on

Monday, June 8, 2015

All the Happy Workers

The end of capitalism has often been imagined as a crisis of epic proportions. Perhaps a financial crisis will occur that is so vast not even government finances can rescue the system. Maybe the rising anger of exploited individuals will gradually congeal into a political movement, leading to revolution. Might some single ecological disaster bring the system to a halt? Most optimistically, capitalism might be so innovative that it will eventually produce its own superior successor, through technological invention.


But in the years that have followed the demise of state socialism in the early 1990s, a more lackluster possibility has arisen. What if the greatest threat to capitalism, at least in the liberal West, is simply lack of enthusiasm and activity? What if, rather than inciting violence or explicit refusal, contemporary capitalism is just met with a yawn? From a political point of view, this would be somewhat disappointing. Yet it is no less of an obstacle for the longer-term viability of capitalism. Without a certain level of commitment on the part of employees, businesses run into some very tangible problems, which soon show up in their profits.


This fear has gripped the imaginations of managers and policymakers in recent years, and not without reason. Various studies of employee engagement have highlighted the economic costs of allowing workers to become mentally withdrawn from their jobs. Gallup conducts frequent and wide-ranging studies in this area and has found that only 13 per cent of the global workforce is properly “engaged,” while around 20 percent of employees in North America and Europe are “actively disengaged.” They estimate that active disengagement costs the U.S. economy as much as $550 billion a year. Disengagement is believed to manifest itself in absenteeism, sickness and—sometimes more problematic—presenteeism, in which employees come into the office purely to be physically present. A Canadian study suggests over a quarter of workplace absence is due to general burnout, rather than sickness. Read the full article on Yahoo Finance.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Global Employee Engagement Levels Have Plateaued, and Average Employee's Perception of the Work Experience is Deteriorating

New research from Aon Hewitt finds that while employee engagement levels have plateaued, employees' overall work experience is deteriorating--particularly their perceptions about the resources and programs that enable them to grow and perform.

Aon Hewitt's Trends in Global Employee Engagement study represents the perspectives of more than 9 million employees at over 1,000 companies in 164 countries. According to the report, global employee engagement levels reached 62 percent in 2014, up just 1 percentage point from 2013. Employee engagement across the countries with the world's 20 largest economies and labor pools remained flat at 61 percent. Despite modest increases in engagement, Aon Hewitt's study shows that employees' net satisfaction with their work experience plummeted 28 percentage points in 2014.

"As GDP growth continues, we expect to see organizations make greater investments in people, which could result in an increase in employee engagement," said Dr. Ken Oehler, Aon Hewitt's global engagement practice leader. "However, any improvements in engagement could be offset by increasing employee dissatisfaction with many of the work-related resources and programs that enable them to effectively do their jobs. Employees who are engaged, but not empowered, are more likely to be frustrated, burned out and become disengaged, which puts organizations at risk of having suboptimal productivity and higher-than-average employee turnover." Read more on Marketwatch.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Don't Fail Your Employees: Why Professional Development Training Is Critical

Zig Ziglar sent an important message when he said, "The only thing worse than training your employees and losing them, is not training your employees and keeping them." Although many factors contribute to a negative employee culture, including poor management, lack of advancement opportunity, low pay, and other factors, there is another strong correlation: how well people are trained to do their jobs. It turns out, if people feel well-prepared and well-equipped to succeed in their roles, that feeling improves their morale.


Ziglar's message has some weight behind it. According to a recent Gallup "State of the American Workplace" study, only 30 percent of American workers are fully engaged in their roles. And, as we recently discussed, lack of engagement is one of the leading indicators of high turnover. The problem? Companies select and hire people, but then underinvest in-;or significantly underestimate-;the amount of professional development training necessary to help employees develop their personal skills and exhibit the organization's desired behaviors. The impact can be felt in two major ways:  Read more on

Monday, June 1, 2015

Keep workers with the four steps to happiness

Keeping workers happy is the key to business success, says British consultant Henry Stewart, who is in Australia to show how it can be done in four steps. While people work best when they are appreciated and feel good about themselves, this simple philosophy is not a focus for most companies. Stewart, chief executive of the British  consultancy Happy Ltd, is advising Australian telco Macquarie how to retain in-demand IT workers through better management. He says Google in Australia and British retailer John Lewis are among the few companies that have grasped the importance of keeping their employees happy.


"At their last board meeting, John Lewis spent half an hour discussing the numbers and three hours discussing people and how to motivate and value them," he said. "I am trying to encourage that shift from focusing on the financials to focusing on how you make people feel good. "Google is absolutely clear that a key focus is keeping people happy."


Stewart said most companies concentrate on the bottom line, "but how to get that bottom line is through your people. People work best when they are trusted," he said. "People don't like being micromanaged. Trust people – judge them on what they produce and not on the time they spend on things."


Research from the department of economics at the University of Warwick has found that happiness made people around 12 per cent more productive. The London Business School has also published research linking employee satisfaction with business success. Macquarie Telecom executive Luke Clifton said the company wanted its managers to focus on the happiness of its employees to reduce attrition, and not just on deadlines and tasks. "Like a lot of businesses in IT, we think our attrition is slightly too high. The way to address that is through happiness and engagement," Clifton said.


Stewart recommends four key strategies to making workers happy: Read them on

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Maybe employee engagement levels aren't as bad as you've been told

If you believe scores of management blog posts about one very dreary Gallup poll, the current employee engagement landscape is as bleak as a post-apocalyptic highway.


Less than 32 percent of U.S. workers were "engaged" in their jobs in 2014, the poll says, and although that's a slight improvement over last year, the numbers are still enough to make an HR manager consider changing professions.


But is this really a true reflection of modern workplaces?


Some interesting new research has been released with some very different numbers. And, more strikingly, some very different insights on whether employees are engaged or not at work. Read full article on BizJournals.Com

Thursday, April 23, 2015

12 Ways to Be an Engaged Employee

Employee engagement is a trendy term being thrown around right now by companies. But what exactly is it?

Employee engagement is "about connecting with the company," writes Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group Inc., in her blog HR Bartender. "When employees are connected, they understand what it takes for the company to be successful, want to see the organization succeed and are willing to do what it takes to help the business get there."

Experts and studies claim there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and organizational outcomes (profitability and performance). This explains why companies of all sizes are paying more attention to the softer side of business -- how employees feel on the job. Gallup's most recent State of the Global Workplace report found that only 30 percent of U.S. employees were engaged at work.

What makes a connected employee? According to Dale Carnegie Training, the top three drivers of employee engagement are the employee's relationship with his or her immediate supervisor, belief in senior leadership and pride in working for the company.

From an employee's perspective, why is engagement important if you don't have direct control over it? Part of the answer is that you want to feel good about the work you do. The other part is about avoiding pain. If you don't like your job, you would have to search for a new one. And you don't want to look for a new job -- that's painful.  Read more on Yahoo Finance

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

6 Reasons Small Companies Have More Engaged Employees

It's official--people who work for small companies like their jobs better than those who work for large ones. That's the finding in a Dale Carnegie study released last year. Thirty-six percent of small-company employees reported being "fully engaged" with their jobs, compared with 29 percent of those who worked at larger companies. And while 26 percent of large company employees reported feeling "fully disengaged" from their jobs, only 18 percent of those who worked for small companies described themselves this way.


Engagement matters. Research shows that fully engaged companies generate two-and-a-half times as much revenue as disengaged ones. And then there's the obvious connection between engagement and retention--disengaged employees are roughly three times as likely to jump ship for a job at a competitor than engaged ones are. In a tightening labor market, having engaged employees gives you a significant advantage. Read more on

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

4 rules for conducting successful performance reviews

Workforce development is a high priority for global companies for many reasons — it generates business outcomes, profitability and, perhaps most importantly, employee engagement.

In fact, according to a recent Economist Intelligence Unit study, 82 percent of executives surveyed believe workforce development has contributed to the success of their businesses.

It’s also a difficult area to navigate, since development stems from performance reviews, and performance reviews are often met with varied emotions, and often uncertainty. The key to executing successful performance reviews is ensuring that managers are properly trained and armed with the resources they need.   Read more on

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

5 Signs It's Time for a New Job

Regardless of your age, background, or accomplishments, you have probably fantasized about the possibility of a new career at some point in your life – those who haven’t are the exception.

LinkedIn reports that of its 313 million members, 25% are active job seekers, while 60% can be considered passive job seekers – people who are not proactively searching for a new job, but seriously willing to consider opportunities. In addition, there has been a steady increase of self-employed and temporary workers over the past two decades. This is true even in rich economies with low unemployment rates, like the U.S. and the U.K., partly because of the glamorization of entrepreneurship, the rise of the sharing economy, and the ubiquity of incompetent management, which makes the prospect of not having a boss rather alluring.

Yet at the same time, humans are naturally prewired to fear and avoid change, even when we are decidedly unhappy with our current situation. Indeed, meta-analyses show that people often stay on the job despite having negative job attitudes, low engagement, and failing to identify with the organization’s culture. And, since career changes are often driven by emotional rather than rational factors, they often end up disappointing. So at the end of the day, there is something comforting about the predictability of life: it makes us feel safe. As the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard observed: “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” More on

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bosses Can't Get Even When Staffers Gripe on Social Media

Bosses can get mad when staffers vent on social media about their jobs, but they may not be able to get even.

When one of Bert Martinez' employees posted gripes about her job and the boss on Facebook last year, the publicist consulted his lawyer, who said the staffer couldn't be fired.

"The first lesson I learned is, employees are allowed to vent," says Martinez, owner of Bert Martinez Communications in Phoenix. "If they're saying, hey, it's hard working here and I find this environment unpleasant, you can't fire them for that."

The employee quit a week after Martinez learned about the post.

The government protects workers' rights to say what they want about where they work, even if it's in a vitriolic and insulting tweet or post. It's illegal for an employee to be fired for a post about working conditions, whether it's pay, hours, assignments, difficult supervisors, dress code, or any other issue. So employers shouldn't try to restrict workers' freedom of speech or retaliate if there's a post they don't like.

It's an issue that companies of all sizes have to deal with, but it's often more challenging for smaller companies because they typically don't have large human resources departments or lawyers on staff to advise them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Job Openings Highest Since 2001

job openings

"Help wanted" signs are popping up everywhere: There were more than 5 million jobs available in the U.S. at the end of 2014, the highest number since early 2001, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Tuesday. More on Huffington Post

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Geeks Arrive In HR: People Analytics Is Here

From Josh Berson at

The old fashioned fuddy-duddy HR department is changing. The Geeks have arrived.

Today, for the first time in the fifteen years I’ve been an analyst, human resources departments are getting serious about analytics. And I mean serious.

I was in a meeting several weeks ago in San Francisco and we had eight PhD statisticians, engineers, and computer scientists together, all working on people analytics for their companies. These are serious mathematicians and data scientists trying to apply data science to the people side of their businesses.

This last week I had another similar meeting and we had three of the world’s leading insurance companies, two large retailers, three health care companies, and two manufacturing companies with serious mathematicians and scientists assigned to HR.

What’s going on?

As I recently wrote about in the article “How People Management is Replacing Talent Management?” there is a major shift taking place in the market for people analytics. After years of talking about the opportunity to apply data to people decisions, companies are now stepping up and making the investment. And more exciting than that, the serious math and data people are flocking to HR.

Friday, January 30, 2015

4 Ways to Make Conference Calls Less Terrible

No one wants to sit on a boring conference call, especially when they have other work to do. But that’s the reality for a lot of people, at least according to recent InterCall research on the rise of mobile conference calls and employee conferencing behavior. With 82% of employees admitting to focusing on other work while on a call (along with other, less tasteful non-work distractions), disengagement — at least during virtual meetings — has started to become standard practice. While some may argue that these employees are still engaged in other work, it raises questions about the productivity and value of these meetings.


The good news is that companies can make their meetings more relevant and productive by making a few simple adjustments — even though many of them go against some familiar office habits. Read more on

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why Diversity matters

We know intuitively that diversity matters. It’s also increasingly clear that it makes sense in purely business terms. Our latest research finds that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. Companies in the bottom quartile in these dimensions are statistically less likely to achieve above-average returns. And diversity is probably a competitive differentiator that shifts market share toward more diverse companies over time.

While correlation does not equal causation (greater gender and ethnic diversity in corporate leadership doesn’t automatically translate into more profit), the correlation does indicate that when companies commit themselves to diverse leadership, they are more successful. More diverse companies, we believe, are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, and all that leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns. This in turn suggests that other kinds of diversity—for example, in age, sexual orientation, and experience (such as a global mind-set and cultural fluency)—are also likely to bring some level of competitive advantage for companies that can attract and retain such diverse talent. Read more on

Friday, January 9, 2015

6 Rules for Effective Peer-to-Peer Communication

Effective peer-to-peer communication affects the workplace in a variety of ways, including employees' engagement, morale and satisfaction as well as the company's overall success.

Gallup’s 2013 "State of the American Workplace" observed that "regular communication from the company’s leaders and informal communication between employees will begin to breed a culture of engagement, leading participation rates of employee engagement metrics and other interventions to be more successful.”

Here are a few rules for more effective peer-to-peer communication. Read them on