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Our old book is still relevant…

20 Dec

Over a decade ago my friend Leigh Branham and I wrote a book about employee engagement. I looked back on the book through the lens of our current challenges and, to my pleasant surprise, the recommendations we offered in 2010 stood up pretty well.

Here’s an article I recently wrote where I took our ideas and updated them to meet some of our current economic and social challenges:

If you are so moved, you can also check out our book here:

“Let’s capture the moment”: Inspiration across the employee experience.

20 Dec

The singer Rihanna was right—we need to capture the moments, in this case the moments when you can inspire employees. Key moments to account for are:

~ In “Decision Day”, inspire prospective employees to join your organization, which is a way to differentiate yourself in securing the right talent,

~ In “First Day”, inspire new employees to get off to a great start, as employees who are onboarded more effectively can contribute more quickly,

~ In “Every Day”, inspire employees as they make meaningful progress toward their goals, because every day they’re successful is a key to your ongoing success,

~ In “Achievement Day”, inspire employees who achieve important results so they feel a continued commitment to the organization, and

~ In “Referral Day”, inspire employees who are great advocates for the organization who help you secure new customers and prospective employees.

Along each of these moments there are ways to inspire employees. Our research shows that more inspired employees will help you achieve your company goals.

Capture the moments and enjoy great success as a result.

#recognition  #appreciation #gratitude #grateful #inspiration

My employer has created a free site to recognize folks. Use it as often as you would like! Give some appreciation, right now:

Biggest Mistakes Job Seekers Make

19 Dec

I conducted a very non-scientific survey of ten experts on job search. I asked them: what were the three biggest mistakes they saw job seekers make? I received eleven replies with 22 ideas, but the following five were by far the most frequently cited:

  1. Not knowing what you want in a job that would fit your skills, interests and values,
  2. Relying only on applying for jobs and ignoring the value and power of networking,
  3. Not researching companies, using information in the public domain and also what you can learn from personal networking,
  4. Being unprepared for networking and job interviews, and
  5. Using “one-size-fits-all” communications, such as cover letters and resumes.

The consensus makes great sense to me, and I’ll continue to comment on each of these in future posts.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout the videos reference. This content is free. Please consider passing along:

#career #careercoach #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

My thanks to you…

18 Dec

For the last six months I’ve engaged far more with you on this platform. I’ve learned a lot and been challenged in some ways I now view as important in my development.

I’ve made a number of new contacts and found some new business partners.

And I hope a pearl or two I’ve shared has been of some value to you.

As a friend of mine often said: “we all are beggars, and we should try to help each other on our journey to find a bit of bread.”

If that’s true, I’ve gotten more than my share of nourishment, and for that I’m grateful.

I’m going to take a break from this platform and will return after the New Year.

Wishing you and yours all the best, Mark

Disability doesn’t mean inability—“driving” customer satisfaction with the right employee.

16 Dec

A car dealership hired an individual on the autism spectrum. He had a driver’s license, which allowed him to be hired for a job as a car detailer.

In the case of this gentleman, he was fussy, even perfectionistic, in his approach to his work. He made sure that each car he cleaned and detailed met his exacting standards.

Customers loved his work.

In fact, customers would call ahead and request he detail their car and would even wait until he was available.

He was that good.

He did have some challenges when it came to social interactions, but the dealership was happy to work with him so that he could be in a job he enjoyed and was valued by customers.

Instead of looking at what a person doesn’t do, perhaps we can turn our attention to what a person can do, where they have skills and abilities that can be of value.

Because the car dealership was willing to look for abilities they employed a person who, to turn a phrase, “drove” customer satisfaction.

JOB SEARCH TIP. Networking helped me secure half of my jobs. Networking can help you.

15 Dec

In my almost 40 years of post-college work experience I’ve had six employers. In three of those cases I secured the job because of networking. In a quick survey of thirty friends and colleges, four in five of my contacts indicated they had come to at least one job in their career via networking.

Over the last six months I’ve taken many calls from folks who are looking for work. I’ve learned from these conversations and have not seen them as a burden, a feeling I think most share.

I know it’s not easy to network, but if you’re having difficulty here’s a place for you to start:

Contact me.

If you’re not a connection let’s get that done and you can review my 3,000 contacts.

Looking forward to chatting!

There are free training videos on the web site of my faith community: 

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

Want a more inspired and engaged sales team? Lead with compassion.

14 Dec

In these changing times we need to help our sales leaders inspire and engage their sales teams to meet new expectations, including how customers buy.

These changes require strong leadership and, according to our research, the right kind of leadership.

This summer we conducted a study of engagement patterns of sales producers. We asked them how they felt about their work experience. We looked at several factors we know align with the Compassionate Leadership model researched by Brad Shuck.

Sales reps rated factors such as:

~ Did the sales representative feel they were understood by their leader?

~ Were their ideas taken seriously?

~ Did their leader act with their best interests in mind?

~ Did the sales representative believe that if they did good work their efforts would be recognized?

The results are clear—sales employees who rate these parts of their work experience and sales leadership are, on average, more engaged, committed and inspired than those who aren’t.

Compassionate leadership is the call for our challenging times. When sales employees are more inspired and engaged, they’re more likely to produce better sales results.

Image 12 Dec

Why getting a new golf club didn’t get me in trouble at home– the concept of justifiability.

10 Dec

My wife and I were making some home improvements, so buying a new golf club wasn’t really in the budget. But when I received points from my workplace that I could use to redeem an award, I used those points to get my new club, which didn’t dip into the home improvement budget.

This is an example of why noncash awards from employers are helpful. They provide what academics call “justifiability”, where in my case I can redeem for a new golf club from my company recognition program and not feel guilty about taking away from our home improvement budget.

A noncash award such as a golf club also has the benefit of one where I would likely socialize that I received the award from my employer, and if you want to know how many times I’ve said that to the guys in my regular foursome they’ll tell you I say it every time I hit a good shot!

The psychology around the value of noncash awards is sound:when you’re developing plans for your company recognition program, use noncash rewards to engage and inspire your employees.

For discussion: In what ways can noncash awards be used to inspire your employees?

#ThankYouThursday #recognition  #appreciation #gratitude #grateful #inspiration

Disability does not mean inability—a case study.

8 Dec

I consulted with a telecommunications company who had been working to hire individuals with disabilities in their call centers. The initiative had been in place for several years, and over that time they were tracking the results of individuals with disabilities in comparison to employees they had hired in similar roles who did not have a disability.

The results were stunning.

Individuals with disabilities, on average:

~ stayed with the company longer,

~ had better attendance, and

~ to the surprise of some, had lower benefits claims.

As you might expect, the individuals with disabilities did often require equipment to help them perform their job, so there was a “reasonable accommodation” expense…


Yep, the average “reasonable accommodation” investment reported over the years was, on average, $115.

To be sure, there were some accommodations that were higher, but the average was just a bit over a hundred bucks.

A tip of the hat to companies like this, who sincerely and earnestly work to recruit, hire and retain individuals with disabilities. In doing so they found committed, responsible employees who had good jobs for which they were more than qualified to perform.

Hear me– disability does not mean inability.