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In the topic 'Employee Engagement & Empowerment'


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Powerful Leaders Go Beyond Empowerment to Empartnerment

To fix organizational problems or make major changes, managers often hire consultants to analyze what’s happening and provide improvement recommendations. The consulting firm usually interviews people, runs focus groups, and gathers input from a variety of sources. Lots of good ideas are gathered and the best ones presented to leaders along with a recommended action […]

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Lip Service or Leadership: Are We Really in This Together?

Over the years, many managers turned, “people are our most important resource” into an empty cliché. Their behavior treated people as “assets with skin” or “human capital.” As one executive put it, “I’d really enjoy my job if I didn’t have to deal with people.” “We’re in this together” is the latest phrase ringing hollow […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Partnering not Patronizing

Sam Walton built Bentonville, Arkansas based Wal-Mart into the world’s largest retailer through treating staff as respected partners. One of his legacies was to “treat them as partners and they will treat you as a partner and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.” A scout leader was trying to lift a fallen […]

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Layoffs Rarely Pay Off: Here are 15 Alternatives

Your values are showing. Tough times are when the tide goes out to sea and exposes the jewels or junk that’s been under the surface. Words like, “our people are our most important resource” now prove to be empty rhetoric or compassionate reality. Leaders who care about people and building long-term trust, treat layoffs as […]

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Engaging and Energizing: Are You Leading in the Key of E?

Are people in your organization leaping out of bed eager to get to work? Or is work a four-letter curse word? What’s the Laughter Index in your workplace? In the most effective organizations, leaders are often “leading in the key of E” by engaging and energizing people. It’s so vital. And too rare. Leadership researcher […]

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On The Leading Edge to Cut Wasteful Employee Engagement Efforts

There’s a direct line between levels of employee engagement and service/quality, productivity, innovation, safety, revenue, profitability, and other key results. That’s well documented, and most leaders strongly agree. Where agreement falls apart is how to boost engagement levels. Some leaders feel that running organizational surveys and giving that aggregated data to managers will somehow get […]

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This is Critical to Building an Agile, Change Adaptive Organization

“Workers are more adaptive and optimistic about the future than their leaders recognize.” That’s a key conclusion of a major study by Harvard Business School’s Project on Managing the Future of Work and the Boston Consulting Group’s Henderson Institute. The study encompassed 11,000 lower income and middle-skill workers and 6,500 business leaders in 11 countries. […]

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This One Culture Factor Leads to 5.5 Times Higher Growth

Are your own people your biggest barrier to higher innovation and agility? That’s what recent research from Great Place to Work found in a study of 792 companies totaling about 500,000 employees. In this new study, Innovation by All, Great Place to Work concluded organizations with high-trust cultures involve and engage many more employees than […]

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For the L of It: Leadership and Love

I once asked a manager how many people work for his company. He said, “About half.” After we assessed their organizational culture, we found he was overly optimistic. They had a very large number of disengaged people. It wasn’t hard to see why the organization’s results were poor and getting worse. As someone in a […]

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Are You Doing it…To…For…or…With…Your Team?

Many studies have shown the impact that control of our situation has on our health, happiness, and effectiveness. In one experiment a white-footed deer mouse was placed in a brightly lit cage. The mouse could press a bar to alter the light. The mouse reduced the lighting to a dim level. The next morning experimenters […]

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New Studies Show “Soft Skills” Are Now a Critical Priority

“The whole human side is now more important than skills or IQ. Everything we hear from clients is about the human aspects of leadership,” reports Rajeev Vasudeva, CEO of the Egon Zehnder executive recruiting firm. In a feature article on today’s “ultra-tight job market,” Fortune magazine concludes, “across industries, employers are prizing people skills, the […]

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Year End Reflections on Leadership Behaviors

Recently Laurie Wilhelm, editor of the online publication, Realizing Leadership, interviewed me on a range of leadership topics. It was a stimulating conversation. She summarized our discussion in a Q & A article now available on our web site at “Leadership Behaviors“. Given my meandering musings on a very broad topic, Laurie did an excellent […]

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The Impact of Leadership on Employee Engagement

Whenever we poll leadership audiences on how many of their organizations are concerned about employee engagement, most report this is as a vital issue. It’s been well documented that highly engaged employees lead to much higher levels of productivity, customer service, innovation, and quality with lower levels of turnover and absenteeism. To boost mediocre or […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on… Agile, Learning Organizations

“The learning organization can mean two things, it can mean an organization which learns and/or an organization which encourages learning in its people. It should mean both.” – Charles Handy, “The Age of Unreason“, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, pp 225 “Feedback is the lifeblood of the organization — the exchange of information that lets […]

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Growing Leaders at All Levels Even More Critical Today

A central theme in Growing the Distance: Timeless Principles for Personal, Career, and Family Success, is dealing with change through continuous growth and development. As we’ve been revising our workshops — especially our core program, Leading @ the Speed of Change, that theme is resonating even stronger. We all need to be leaders regardless of […]

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A Fresh Look at Employee Engagement

When I poll audiences for the key performance outcomes their leadership development efforts are aimed at improving, employee engagement gets many of the votes. While many session participants agree that the immediate manager plays an important role in engagement levels, most are surprised by extensive research data showing the influence of the manager on his […]

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Great Leaders Nearly Double Satisfaction with Pay and Job Security

Have you ever been stressed out by a bad boss? If it was bad enough you likely found yourself saying “they can’t pay me enough to put up with this.” At the other extreme, have you been part of a team led by an outstanding leader? Did the spirit of we-can-conquer-all, electric energy, and stretch […]

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Coaching Video Clip: Creating Empowerment and Growth

“Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?” is a 1974 Harvard Business Review article that’s become widely cited and reprinted. The authors, William Oncken, Jr.and Donald L. Wass use the metaphor of a problem or issue being like a monkey on someone’s back. This excerpt outlines a leadership trap that’s still ensnaring many managers over 40 […]

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New Survey Showing a Strengths Revolution in our Workplaces

In 2001 only 2 out of 10 people reported that they had a chance to do what they do best every day at work. In 2015 this more than doubled to 5 out of every 10 people. Michelle McQuaid is an honorary fellow at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education, holds a Masters in Applied […]

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Workers Force Reinstatement of Highly Likable CEO

Labor Day was celebrated yesterday in Canada and the U.S. “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.” Last week’s story of how fired CEO Arthur T. Demoulas was reinstated in his role by force of his employees’ fierce loyalty to him contains a powerful leadership lesson. Demoulas was fired as head of New […]

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