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Our Perspective on Life, Leadership, and Engagement

Get the scoop from our consultants and creatives, as well as our clients and other thought-leading guests. In addition to our blog and video posts, don’t miss our popular podcasts — they’ve been heard regularly by thousands of leaders since 2012!
  • On the Engaging Leader podcast, we share communication and leadership principles, and tell stories that illustrate putting those principles into practice.
  • The Workforce Health Engagement podcast explores strategies to improve your employees’ health and productivity — and to protect your bottom line.

198: Want More Collaboration & Team Accountability? | with Kim Nugent

Brought to you by Workforce Communication

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Organizations need more collaboration and teamwork, but how? Particularly when facing large initiatives or other challenges, stress can lead to problems such as burnout, finger-pointing, and project failures. As a leader, how can you troubleshoot the situation and improve the team’s collaboration, accountability, and overall effectiveness? read more…

197: Leading a Healing Organization | with Michael Gelb

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On the Engaging Leader podcast, we’ve often discussed why an organization needs to have a compelling purpose and vision, beyond just making money. There are so many reasons why it’s not only the right thing to do but also smart business – for example, having a purpose that excites people leads to strong employee engagement and a powerful employer brand, making it much easier to attract and retain top talent.

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196: How to Win Like Forbes 100 Most Innovative Leaders | with Jeff Dyer

How do you win the support needed from bosses, colleagues, and investors to bring to life you and your team’s ideas?

Great leaders of innovation know that creativity is not enough. They succeed not only on the basis of their ideas, but because they have the vision, reputation, and networks to win the backing needed to turn ideas into reality. It turns out that this quality – called “innovation capital” – is measurably more important for innovation than just being creative. read more…

Unlock a Better Workplace: The Most Valuable List of 2019

By Jamie Barnes

Your company’s culture is built on human behaviors. The actions that are rewarded are the ones that get reinforced then spread like model behavior throughout your organization. So if you’re not rewarding behaviors that help people work together better, you might be enforcing a suboptimal culture.

The first step to building an effective communication strategy is to define the audiences and barriers to engagement. It doesn’t matter if the client is investing in an equity and inclusion strategy or implementing a massive system change – we need to uncover why employees may not buy in to your initiative.

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Don’t Use Job Title Creep to Communicate Recognition

Or, the Case Against the “Very Senior Associate Manager” Job Title

Job title creep happens in nearly every organization, especially in a slow-growth economy. Merit increases are small, growth opportunities are few. When positions are eliminated, those who remain take on those additional tasks, and they naturally want to be rewarded for doing so. Hard-pressed managers rewrite job descriptions and send them to HR for pricing—sometimes resulting in a new job title, but rarely with any difference in base pay.

A grocery chain realized their job titles were out of control when they counted them up: 126 different job titles existed for their store-based positions. They found titles indicating three different levels for the job of collecting shopping carts from the parking lot. Some of the specialization in job titles were just plain silly, such as Hot Chicken Associate. (“Oh, you want cold chicken? That’s not my area—see the Cold Chicken Associate over there.”) read more…

195: Engaging Generations part 2 — How to Communicate with Millennials and Gen Z | with JJ Lahey

In case you didn’t already realize it, the people who are graduating college now and entering your workforce are not considered Millennials … they are the next generation, Gen Z (sometimes called Post-Millennials).  And even though Millennials have already driven a significant shift in how people communicate in the workplace, it looks like Generation Z is driving another major shift. As a leader, how do you connect with younger employees … to capture their attention, earn their trust, and inspire them to take action? This episode discusses principles and tips that are effective in this new era of communication. 

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194: Engaging Generations part 1 — How Millennials and Gen Z Are Reshaping Workforce Communications | with JJ Lahey

With four very different generations making up today’s workforce, how do you effectively engage them all? In particular, a frequent question we receive is how to communicate with younger employees.

Today’s workforce is made up primarily of four generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Gen Y (also known as Millennials), and Gen Z (sometimes called Post-Millenials). The two younger generations have been driving huge shifts in how people communicate in the workplace. As a leader, how do you connect with younger employees? This episode helps you get started by understanding their values as well as their communication habits and preferences.

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193: Research Techniques for Identifying a Compelling EVP | with Matt O’Connor, PhD

When you identify the reasons why high-performing employees choose your organization, it serves as a compass in guiding your ongoing development of the employee experience.

Furthermore, if you use those insights to craft an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that resonates with both current and prospective talent, it becomes a strong foundation of your employer brand and all your internal retention efforts as well as external recruiting efforts.

This is the second of a two-part interview with talent research expert Matt O’Connor. In part 1,  we discussed how to frame the discovery process, which is how to find out what makes your company stand out as a great place to work for the type of people you want on your team.

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192: How to Discover Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) | with Matt O’Connor, PhD

What makes your company different from your competitors in the talent marketplace? Can you articulate the reasons in a message that is unique, authentic, and compelling?

A strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is key to recruiting, retaining, and fully engaging top talent. Your EVP is a clear message about why people choose to join your organization, continue working there, give their best effort, and speak well of the company to others.

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Try This Trick From Amazon Next Time You Draft a Communication

By Jamie Barnes, communicator for change, engagement, learning & culture shift

Whether you’re inviting employees to register for a wellness webinar or writing content that helps your team adopt a new system, the quality of your communications will make or break the success of your initiative.

When you’re tasked with communicating to employees, you probably start with writing down what you want them to know. Seems straight-forward, right? Nope. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your audience probably doesn’t care about what you want them to know. They have 152 things to finish at work before they go home to do another 252 things. You need to think like your audience.

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