Entries by gmader

Appreciation and Employee Engagement

Managers often think that the source of employee engagement is providing staff with material rewards and privileges such as more money, bonuses, stock incentives, promotions, titles, etc… While these things are important, their impact tends to be overestimated. A huge dimension in employee engagement is the quality of relationship that exists between management and staff. Employees feeling they are known, accepted, appreciated, valued and trusted goes a long way toward getting employees on board with a company’s vision and strategy. Many of the leaders we encounter seem either blind to this point — or worse —simply don’t care. By not listening to and recognizing employees which is a critical part of their job, managers are […]

From Human Resource Manager to Chief Commitment Officer

In our work, we often hear HR executives lament about not having a seat at the table when it comes to being part of the strategic decision-making process. They frequently speak of the desire to be true strategic partners with their peers, rather than merely comp and benefits administrators or purveyors of training programs that may or may not contribute to the bottom line of the business. The good news is that the time has never been better for HR execs to reconstitute their role — by shifting from Human Resource Managers to Chief Commitment Officers. What CEOs and business leaders want and need more than ever is employees who are 100% engaged and committed […]

Six Steps To Make Your Meetings More Effective

In this week’s post, I offer six approaches you should consider in making your meetings more commitment driven. 1. Before planning an agenda, ask yourself the key questions that will allow you to make your meeting meaningful. What do we want to accomplish? Who should attend the meeting in order to accomplish what we intend? What do we want people to leave the meeting with? What could we do during the meeting to achieve the desired objectives? How much time do we need in order to achieve the objectives? 2. If appropriate, include a cross-section of individuals who will be attending the meeting in the agenda-planning phase. Getting these folks involved from the start will […]

Why Agenda Driven Meetings Don’t Work

A key principle of generating total alignment and engagement is ensuring that you are always working backward from a deliberate, desired future — rather than merely extrapolating or perpetrating business as usual. When it comes to meetings — which consume enormous amounts of most managers’ time — this principle can make the difference between meetings that make a big impact, and those that waste valuable time. To begin with, most meetings are designed backwards. The agenda planning starts with the questions: How much time do we have? and What do people think we should talk about? The reason we say these meetings are designed backwards is because the time allocated for the meeting should be […]

What Can Executives Do To Drive Employee Engagement?

In the last three posts on the topic of organizational commitment we looked at evaluating your companies level of commitment, the way two different CEO’s handle commitment and examined the warning signs for lack of employee engagement and commitment. In this final post of the series we asked a few other authors to give us their take on the topic: WHAT CAN EXECUTIVES DO TO DRIVE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT? Here’s what they had to say. “Manage your inner control freak.  You can’t — and won’t — inspire employee engagement and commitment unless you loosen the reins and let go of control.  As a leader, you are there to champion the vision and keep people focused on […]

Six Warning Signs You Lack Employee Engagement and Commitment

In the past two blog posts regarding this topic I explored the problem of lack of commitment and looked at two case studies. In this post I examine what to do if you want to tackle your commitment problem. Where do you begin? What are the most effective ways to assess if and where there are commitment problems? Here’s a list of some observable indicators: 1. People don’t speak up even when they know things aren’t being dealt with honestly and directly. This is relatively easy to spot, especially in meetings. Everyone knows important issues are not being addressed. Yet they fail to speak up because of fear or cynicism. 2. Missed commitments met with […]

A Tale of Two CEOs and Employee Commitment

In a previous blog post on this topic, I outlined the problem of CEOs mistaking compliance for commitment. In this next post, I show the profound difference that owning the commitment problem makes, by comparing two CEOs of $1+ billion-plus organizations, leaders in their respective industries, one a manufacturer and the other a services firm. Both had significant commitment issues to deal with – weak trust and alignment between levels and functions that were undermining ambitious growth plans. The CEO of the services firm, who rose to his position after having been one of its best salespeople, was a proud but arrogant leader. Despite repeated attempts by senior managers, including his direct reports, to convey […]

Does Your Organization Have a Commitment Problem?

Organizational commitment to a CEO’s strategy is a key factor in how successful that strategy will be. How far employees at all levels will go to execute the strategy — what we call their “strategic commitment” – doesn’t just make the difference between stellar and mediocre results – it can be the deciding factor in producing any results at all. But in many organizations, such commitment is often lacking, and executives don’t even know it. When revenue and profits are suffering, these managers rarely look to a deficiency in commitment as the culprit. As a result, many CEOs avoid dealing with commitment problems simply because they assume they don’t have one. They believe that if […]

Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Last week, the Conference Board research group released its latest report on job satisfaction. The results are pretty grim; only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their work, the lowest level ever recorded in more than 22 years of studying the issue. Experts say the drop in workers’ happiness can be partly blamed on the worst recession since the 1930s, which made it difficult for some people to find challenging and suitable jobs. But worker dissatisfaction has been on the rise for more than two decades. Quoting Linda Barrington, managing director of human capital at the Conference Board, who helped write the report, “It says something troubling about work in America. It is not about the […]

Start the New Year with a Bang!

What will it take for 2010 to be an extraordinary year for you and your organization? One where you position yourself for success? As we discussed in our previous post, “Complete Your Year Powerfully,” step one is taking stock of your successes and shortfalls from 2009 so you are free of the regrets, resentments, guilt or denial that could drain you of energy as you enter the New Year. Once you’re at peace with 2009, the opportunity before you is to generate a deep alignment around a bold, ambitious future for 2010. Rather than merely reacting to 2009 by extrapolating 2010 objectives and opportunities from spreadsheets of best case/worst case scenarios, we recommend a generative […]

Complete Your Year Powerfully

2009 will go down as one of the toughest years in many people’s professional careers and personal lives. “We dodged a bullet” is how many of the more fortunate would characterize their current situation. The unfortunate are licking their wounds; the lucky are exhausted and relieved and a small few are celebrating. It’s common at this time of year for people to take some small amount of time off to be with family and friends. Only to come back a few days after the holidays and begin with a list of incomplete items left behind at yearend. Unfortunately, this leaves people less than ambitious and energized about the New Year. Merely surviving last year – […]