Posts tagged "employee engagement"

10 Ways to Create Disengaged Employees

March 14th, 2018 Posted by Behavior, Blog Post, Engagement, Leadership 0 thoughts on “10 Ways to Create Disengaged Employees”

It’s easy to find advice on how to improve employee engagement, some good, some useless. Here are some ways to create DISENGAGED employees. Our advice? Don’t do the things listed here.

Employee Engagement Begins With You

March 7th, 2018 Posted by Behavior, Blog Post, Engagement 0 thoughts on “Employee Engagement Begins With You”

There is a lot of advice available to us on ways to improve employee engagement, but, the truth is, it begins with you. We often overlook that simple reality.

No matter where you are in your career, role, or position, while on the job, you are constantly on display. Your body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and the words you choose matter – and they impact others around you.

To better make the point, the following is an excerpt from the book Business is ART.

An Excerpt from Business is ART, Chapter Five

One day, I came into the office after having a significant disagreement with a family member. I reacted poorly to the emotion of hurt and anger that I was feeling and let the disagreement influence my workplace behavior.

When I got into the office, instead of greeting people in my usual friendly way, I entered the break room with a scowl on my face, not looking at or engaging with anyone. I simply poured a cup of coffee and hurried back to my desk.

Later, one of the most trusted members of my leadership team knocked on my door and suggested that we needed to talk in private.

He closed the door and asked in a very concerned tone, “Are we going to announce layoffs?”

The question stunned me. We were growing. We were profitable. We had a couple of small layoffs early on in our path to $50 million, but that was part of the plan. I didn’t know where the concern was coming from.

“No. Why?”

“There’s a rumor going around.”

“How did that get started?”

“Some employees were in the break room this morning and said you wouldn’t even look them in the eye, so they started speculating about what was wrong. Then they concluded you couldn’t look them in the eye because you are going to lay some of them off.”

I started the rumor. Not knowingly or intentionally, but because I was not paying attention to my own behavior.

You are constantly on display

Employee engagement begins with you. At work, you are constantly on display.

Before taking on any new initiatives to boost employee engagement, take a good, hard look in the mirror and ask, “How can modifying my own behavior make a change for the better?”

5 ways to add new life to your tired business

April 6th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Inspiration, Leadership 0 thoughts on “5 ways to add new life to your tired business”

successYou’re tired. You’re angry and frustrated. Employees keep leaving and those who remain are less than enthusiastic about staying. You are working your tail off to add new customers. You continue to cut costs, but just can’t seem to get profits up to where you’d like them.

You’re thinking about throwing in the towel, cashing out and starting over. If you truly have viable products and services, you might not want to go nuclear just yet.

Here are 5 things you can do that will add new life to your tired business.

Practice the ART of business

ART = Articulate, Revise, Track.

Articulate what you want. Revise your plans as you go. Track your progress.

So many businesses come and go without ever having practiced the ART of business. If nothing else, you should do so for these basic, foundational keys to success.

  1. Vision – How you see things out into the future
  2. Mission – What you do
  3. Purpose – Why you do it

Set value-based vs profit-driven goals

Are you doing it because you love it? Are you doing it because it’s a family tradition? Are you doing it for the money? It may be a combination of things.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing it for the money, but there is a wrong way to go about it – by focusing solely on the money. I subscribe to the school of thought that if you focus on the other things, like bringing value to your many stakeholders, the money follows. Here is a quick order of business to do just that:

  1. Focus on Social Responsibility – it leads to…
  2. Focus on higher Employee Engagement – it leads to…
  3. Focus on higher Customer Engagement – it leads to…
  4. Higher Sustainability and Profit

Define “Success” on your own terms

Don’t let anyone tell you what YOUR success should look like (unless that someone is me…kidding). Success is personal. Define it on YOUR terms. To do so, work on identifying:

  1. Long, medium and short term goals and objectives
  2. The actions necessary for achieving them
  3. A priority order for tackling them

Define employee incentives that they can control or influence

There is not much that is less motivational than defining incentive plans that are unachievable, either because they were right out of the gate or because you keep moving the bar. Equally as bad is defining incentive plan objectives that are completely outside of the control of the employees.

The goal is to incentivize behavior that will help the business or organization achieve its objectives, goals and vision.

That said, consider a 3-tiered incentive program that incorporates 3 major components:

  1. Individual targets
  2. Team/functional area targets
  3. Organizational targets

Up your social media and online game

The vast majority of U.S. consumers conduct some form of online research before making a purchase – no matter what kind of business you have. So, you have to have an online and social presence. The best advice I can give you is not to try to do this on your own and shop around for assistance. There are a lot of “professionals” out there more than happy to help you part ways with your money, so be careful.

Whatever you do, have a little fun with it. Here are a few online things you can do to step up your game:

  1. Run ads and specials online
  2. Conduct giveaways
  3. Recognize individual customers on a regular basis (with their approval)
  4. Write regular, informative blogs posts
  5. Provide links to valuable or interesting information
  6. Push quick “Did you know…” tidbits that don’t necessarily have anything to do with your business specifically
  7. Be personal – share things from your life and the lives of your employees (with their approval)

Good news

The good news is we have tools that can help. My book, Business is ART, gets in to all of this and more. Start with it, available at Amazon and several other resources. Then follow our progress on the beta test of Plan Canvas, the business planning software based on Business is ART.

Let me be your free consultant by inviting you to never miss a podcast, blog post or newsletter. Sign up here. I don’t spam and try very hard to bring you informative and entertaining content as well as useful tools to increase your odds of success.

Incentive Doesn’t Equal Paycheck

January 5th, 2016 Posted by Behavior, Business is ART, CEO, Employment, Engagement, Inspiration, Leadership, Owner, Relationships 0 thoughts on “Incentive Doesn’t Equal Paycheck”

Photo courtesy of

Incentive Doesn’t Equal Paycheck originally appeared on an earlier version of the Business is ART web site, January 25, 2015. I was reminded of it last night sitting in as a guest on Dr. Jessica Cortez’ new show at – In Sickness and Health. Click here to listen on Soundcloud and scroll down to the show segment entitled “This isn’t Our First Rodeo.”

How many times have you asked why you should incentivize people to do their job when a paycheck should be incentive enough? Taking this attitude is a huge mistake, and here is why.

Most people desire to do a good job. Doing good, quality work produces an emotional response of feeling good, feeling valued, and feeling happy. It’s pride. People want to do good work. The employer, however, wants exceptional work, and often assumes everyone knows what that means.

The Incentive Chasm

From the start, this may create a huge chasm in expectations. What one might, legitimately, see as good work, may be seen by the employer as not good enough. So it is very important to formally set expectations in order to eliminate the chasm.

Define “good enough” in your organization and then stretch it a bit to say “but this is exceptional.” Then go on to say, “And this is what I expect of you.”

You are paying people a base wage or salary for the “good enough,” however that is defined.  The intent of the incentive is to get them go beyond “good enough” and achieve “exceptional.”

Define Expectations and Incentives

However you approach it, it is important that you formally define “good enough” and “exceptional”, and critical that you communicate what that means in terms of expectations and reward. Formally define the incentive and when it is earned, give it with pleasure.

Your risk of not doing so is losing employees who truly are exceptional or have the potential to be.

You Must be Crazy

December 7th, 2015 Posted by Business is ART, CEO, Delegate, Employment, Entrepreneur, Inspiration, Leadership 0 thoughts on “You Must be Crazy”

Do you have to be crazy to be an entrepreneur or a CEO (or other type of leader)? I mean, think about it. You’re putting yourself in a highly scrutinized spotlight. You’re putting your livelihood and assets on the line, putting relationships at risk, and probably spending a lot of money you don’t have just to get started.

Sounds crazy, right?

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

Well, it turns out that there are some personality traits typically viewed as negatives that might actually help people to become entrepreneurs and leaders. Indeed, bi-polar disorder is often referred to as the CEO Disease because some of the very characteristics of bi-polar behavior are present in many of the world’s most successful CEOs, like Ted Turner and Steve Jobs.

A pet peeve of mine is that when someone is a little different or struggling, especially when they are kids, we rush to label or medicate them. Well-meaning people think they are doing the right thing, but what they could be doing is stifling that person’s ability to become the next great leader (or masking a “problem” instead of treating it, thereby creating larger and potentially dangerous circumstances).

The trick is recognizing, encouraging and even teaching leadership and entrepreneurial potential early, although it is never too late.

The “crazy entrepreneur” is the subject of the December 7 edition of  my weekly newsletter, The Weekly See 7.

What is your level of engagement?

October 24th, 2015 Posted by Engagement, Relationships, Significance 0 thoughts on “What is your level of engagement?”

The latest post in my personal blog, #Significance is about how my new bride continues to teach me things about love, and especially about being loved, that I never realized was important or missing from my life.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

You can read more about it by clicking here but basically it discusses how there once was a period in my life in which I frequently commuted to a city 635 miles away from home. And although it was a big part of my life, those closest to me showed little interest in it. No one was actively engaged in it. Although I didn’t consciously recognize it at the time, in hindsight, it bothered me…a lot.

This personal experience led me to wonder. We measure things like employee engagement and customer engagement, which is all about them showing you some love. But how engaged are you with them? Are you sure? What can you do to make it better?

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