Category Archives: Monday morning percolator

5 Leadership Inputs into Employee Engagement: MMP #27

Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #27

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The last Monday Morning Percolator outlined 7 organizational inputs to foster employee engagement. This post will outline the key inputs into employee engagement from leaders and managers within the organization.

Engage yourself. Before you can foster or enhance the engagement of employees, never lose sight that you are one of those employees. Keep a focus on your own levels of employee engagement as you also champion engagement for others.

Hold engaging conversations. Avoid making employee engagement an announcement or policy. Ensure your employee engagement has a grass roots conversational quality to it. Talk with your employees. Doc Searls talking about conversational marketing stated: conversations are about talking, not announcing. They’re about listening, not surveying. They’re about paying attention, not getting attention. In many ways, employee engagement is less about what you put in and more about what you draw out of employees.

Be strong and strengthen others. Employees who work from their strengths and have work designed around their strengths are more engaged. As leaders, we must also talk with people about their strengths. There are many pathways to strengths. Click here to read my strength based leadership articles if you would like to learn more.

Apply the simple and significant. I am passionate about employee engagement and believe it makes a huge difference for all in the workplace and I recognize how many things the average leader must attend to. It is not my intention to make employee engagement an imposition in an already overcrowded day. I encourage you to find the simplest yet most significant thing you can do to advance employee engagement.

Engage the clutch. My experience with the majority of leaders in organizations is that they respond to the full slate of demands with an excess of engagement and hours worked. We must regularly engage the clutch and go to neutral. Engaged leaders also find time for rest, recovery, and renewal. The path to full engagement also involves periods of disengagement — our walk to the desert for renewal.

Contact David Zinger if you would like more information.

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Picture Credit: Desert Leaders by http://flickr.com/photos/hamed/327939900/

Breakthrough to Employee Engagement: MMP#24

Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #24

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How do you create a breakthrough to achieve fuller employee engagement for yourself and the people you work with? Often we feel stuck or disengaged. We want a breakthrough. But we are not sure how to proceed or even get started.

Lisa Haneberg offers a solution in her book: Two Weeks to a Breakthrough.

Lisa moves beyond simplistic pop psychology or self-management and offers a very practical and explicit method to get fully engaged.

She recommends taking 2 weeks to create the breakthrough and gives you guidance each day on how to proceed. The daily practice is the key to move beyond dreaming of change and breakthroughs to zooming towards your goal.

Each day is configured slightly differently but the practice consists of 3 fundamental components:

  1. Share your goal with others
  2. Take action that support your goal
  3. Make request that will help you move towards your goal

Share-Action-Request makes our breakthrough method public, tangible, and connected. I know one of the first times I tried this method I let the sharing part of the method slip. I thought I could just do it on my own. I now realize how important this was to create what I call an accountability allies – others who will both support and challenge me on my work.

Here is a short outline on the approach if you are a leader striving towards creating more engagement in your workplace:

  • You will get specific about what you are trying to achieve.
  • You will be talking with many people about your plans and actions to foster fuller employee engagement.
  • You will be taking multiple actions to increase engagement.
  • You will be requesting help – full employee engagement can not be achieved on your own.
  • You can monitor the progress and results.

One thing I love about Two Weeks to a Breakthrough is how short it is. If you did not get the results you hoped for you can start again with a fresh two weeks and use what you learned from the last breakthrough approach to ensure more success.

Fostering high levels of employee engagement will be both a service and a contribution you make to your employees and the organization.

How about it? What are you planning to do for the next 2 weeks? I hope you make a break for full employee engagement.

Get Perking:

  1. Read Lisa’s book: Two Weeks to a Breakthrough.
  2. Visit and engage in Lisa’s breakthrough blog.
  3. Learn from your own experience, apply the method and monitor results.

An Employee Engagement Six Pack (MMP #22)

Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #22

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Are you flying with a six pack of employee engagement?

In this case, I don’t mean half a dozen beers.

The six essential instruments in a light aircraft are often referred to as the six pack:

  • airspeed indicator
  • attitude indicator
  • altimeter
  • turn coordinator
  • heading indicator
  • vertical speed indicator

Do you monitor 6 strong “indications” of your employee engagement to get you successfully to your destination?

  1. Airspeed indicator – how fast can you move towards your goal?
  2. Attitude indicator – is everyone maintaining a strong and positive attitude and avoiding too much wobble?
  3. Altimeter – how high can you climb with fully engaged employees?
  4. Turn coordinator – are you responsive to change to turn back to employee engagement if you begin to drift off course? Can you feel exhilarated while making a steep turn?
  5. Heading indicator – do you stay vigilant about where you are headed?
  6. Vertical speed indicator – how quickly can you climb to new levels of employee engagement?

Grab a coffee, jump into the workplace cockpit, and prepare to take off with these indicators of employee engagement.

Of course, you could also grab a six pack of beer or root beer and have a down-to-earth discussion about employee engagement with the team of people you work with.

Making Employee Engagement “Mmm, Mmm, Good” Again (MMP #21)

Employee Engagement Monday Morning Percolator #21

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At the turn of this century, the Campbell Soup Company’s employee engagement was not “mmm mmm good.” In addition, soup sales were stagnant and the stock was slumping. The executive wanted to assess employee engagement but many employees, including managers, did not want to complete the anonymous Gallup employee engagement questionnaire and when the results were in, Gallup told Douglas Conant, the CEO, that it was the worst level of employee engagement they had ever seen.

Douglas Conant now focuses as much on employee engagement as he does on soup, manufacturing facilities, and marketing efforts:

Every day, you’ve got to be making deposits in the emotional bank account of your company. When people do something right, you have to celebrate it, and then you have to celebrate it again. And if they do something wrong, you have to thoughtfully call them on it, because this isn’t a patronizing culture, it’s a performance culture.

Conant believes that lifetime loyalty is a thing of the past, but said that doesn’t worry the young people joining Campbell Soup today right out of college.

They are not looking for a job for life; they want meaningful experiences where they can do something special and contribute. It’s not about security. It’s about making a better world.

Get Perking:

  1. Heat up performance and engagement for the benefit of employees and the organization by making the workplace a better place to be.
  2. Carefully craft the ingredients in your recipe to create chicken soup for the employee engagement soul? Make the cultural broth of your workplace performance based not patronizing or penalizing.
  3. Transform your organization so that employees are slurping up nourishing work and saying, “mmm, mmm, good” rather than cracking under too many demands, lack of meaning and trust, and an increasing sense of disconnection from the work and each other.
  4. Click here to read the New Jersey Star-Ledger article that inspired this post.

Photo Credit: Warhol @ Moma: Campbell Soup Series by http://flickr.com/photos/beberonline/207118541/