9 Strategies to Get Employees Talking in One-on-Ones

one word answers“How are things?” you ask.

“Good,” she replies.

“What’s been keeping you busy?”

“Normal stuff, I guess.”

“Like what? What are the kinds of things demanding your attention and effort these  days?”

“Nothing out of the ordinary.” Continue reading

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Worst Boss in 5 Words…

The hashtag #WorstBossIn5Words is trending right now on Twitter. Fueled by the Comedy Central show @Midnight, what started as a vehicle for humor has morphed, in some corners, into a genuine discussion of what it means to be a terrible boss.  Continue reading

Employee Engagement: It Ain’t About the Money, Folks…

pay and bonusesLast week I came across a LinkedIn article given high visibility on what drives employee engagement. The author’s three suggestions were 1) share profit info with employees so they can see their impact; 2) hold events like summer picnics to bring together a family atmosphere; and 3) share success in the form of monetary gifts like bonuses and gift certificates.

While #2 is spot on (cultivating team relationships is key to engagement), #1 and #3 miss the mark. Profits and bonuses are extrinsic motivators. While they certainly serve a purpose and can result in short-term gains in performance, employee engagement depends on our ability to tap into intrinsic motivation in each employee.  Continue reading

Employee Engagement: Defined and Debunked

employee_engagementHaving spent many years designing and delivering leadership training for managers specifically tied to influencing employee engagement, I’ve encountered all manner of engagement “experts.” In fact, I’m finding it’s rare to meet a speaker, author, blogger, coach, or consultant who doesn’t claim to have expertise in this area. It also doesn’t help that there is widespread dispute as to what employee engagement is and how to leverage it to improve performance. Much of this is driven by competing interests. Google “employee engagement” and you’ll find hundreds of organizations each with their own definition, their own assessment tool, and their own team of experts with a solutions package that **“gets results!”**

(And yes, I did just use “Google” as a verb. It’s sort of been a thing since about 2011.)

So here, dear reader, for the purposes of clarification and education, is a quick primer on what employee engagement is, what it isn’t, and why you should care about it. Be warned though: along the way you’ll have to endure some terribly boring terms like key performance indicators, metrics, and quantifiable. I promise to use them sparingly.  Continue reading

Infographic: A Guide to Strengths-Based Management

Strengths-Based Management is a key skill for managers and an important strategy for impacting employee engagement. Yet managers rarely get training in how to take a strengths-based approach day-to-day. This infographic can be printed and hung in the office of any manager looking to improve their supervisory approach. Continue reading

Healthcare Managers: Your Employees Want to Talk to You

one on oneIn a recent study by Training magazine, employees across multiple industries said they wished they were meeting more frequently with their boss.

One-on-one meetings are the lifeblood of employee engagement. They play a big part in job satisfaction, performance, development and motivation. If you are somebody’s boss, it’s imperative that you set aside regular time to meet with them one-on-one. I would argue there are few responsibilities in your job that are more important. Continue reading

Successful Managers Focus on Employee Strengths

strengthsWhen you go to work do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? If you answer yes to this question you may be one of the  30% of Americans that is fully engaged in their work. That is to say you’re probably invested in and enthusiastic about the work you do and thus act in a way that furthers the interests of your organization, colleagues, and customers.

But what does it mean to do “what you do best” every day and how do you as a leader work to ensure that the people reporting to you have that opportunity as well? Continue reading