Engagement & Motivation: Top Picks

Morale: a moving target

Duane Dike

What we think we know about morale is probably wrong, especially the black and white notion that morale is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Like most human feelings, morale is a moving target, which is why being sensitive to its nuances is such a key skill for leaders.

Does your behavior encourage happiness?

Duane Dike

Happiness is good for business and leadership behavior is what sets organizational mood. And nowhere is that more important than with front-line employees, who are possibly your organization’s biggest competitive advantage.

Leadership, morale and employee turnover

Duane Dike

In entry-level unskilled jobs, annual employee turnover can reach a staggering 85 percent. Yet the reasons so many employees quit so soon – and what steps they can take to reverse this trend - remains a mystery to most business leaders.

The real test of employee engagement

Wayne Turmel

We hear all the time about employee engagement and how it's measured (or not). But finally, I've found a simple metric that reveals what employers and employees alike really need to know.

A road map for employee engagement

Andy Parsley

Now that we have identified the key drivers of employee engagement, how can we start to create – and implement - a road map for achieving outstanding organisational performance?

How to motivate the unmotivated

Dan Bobinski

Motivation is fire lit from within. You can't light that fire, but you can create the conditions for that fire to burn brightly. But when you're faced with a workforce whose fire has gone out, what do you do? Here's my advice to someone in just that situation.

Your team members aren’t pawns in a chess game

Wayne Turmel

Project management and team leadership are often viewed as chess games. But there’s one important difference. Those pieces on the chess board aren’t human. Your team members are - and they need to be treated accordingly.

More on Engagement & Motivation

Engage me or enrage me

Max McKeown

More managers and leaders ask me "how to engage" and, "how to innovate" than any other question. As well they might, given that so many of us have to disengage just to survive their endless ill-conceived meetings, badly-laid plans, and the waste, day by day, minute by minute, of our lives.

A new variety of carrot?

Bob Selden

The metaphor of carrots as motivators is still alive and well. But carrots don't work for all of the people all of the time. So how do we package reward and remuneration to meet the needs of people at all levels of an organisation?

Beyond the pot of gold

Emma Murray

Non-existent bonuses, fewer promotions, mass redundancies and stringent budget-cuts. In times of austerity, what really incentivizes employees to get out of bed in the morning?

Seven characteristics of remarkable businesses

Andy Hanselman

Is your business remarkable? But what does that actually mean? What makes a business remarkable? In simple terms, you could say it's anything that gets people talking about it. And that means being dramatically and demonstrably different from your competitors.

Getting into the FLOW

Mark A Smith

Flow is about achieving a state of focused high-performance and enjoyment where the challenge level is a match for skill level. Athletes call this place 'the zone', but it's something that you can achieve at work, too.

Give employees what they really want

Jack Wiley

There are seven key elements that contribute to the engagement, commitment, retention and overall satisfaction of employees. There's no mystery to any of them - in fact they can be achieved with little or no expense while delivering real improvements in operational performance.

Does austerity breed negativity?

Emma Murray

A hiring freeze is one thing. But cost-saving can quickly become counter-productive. And austerity measures like removing pot plants and rationing paper are only undermining morale and boosting negativity.

How to make work meaningful

Myra White

It's hardly surprising that levels of employee engagement are at an all-time low when so many of us are essentially modern-day serfs. A large part of the value that we create at work simply feeds the greed of the people at the top. And where's the meaning in that?

The bold employee experience

Shaun Smith

If you want to deliver a great customer experience you must first create an engaging employee experience. And what what motivates employees is feeling connected to the brand promise.

Gimme, gimme, gimme!

Karsten Jonsen

Many generations have said "today's young people only think of themselves," but this time around it may be true. So is "Generation Me" a real phenomenon – and if it is, what are the implications for business and society?

Learning from the old beans

Peter Taylor

Every organisation faces the challenge of bringing on board and developing raw talent. So as far as project managers are concerned, what are the keys to a successful induction?

Respect, trust, confidence and Facebook

Bob Selden

If you don't want to see your firm being slammed by an unhappy employee on Facebook, ask yourself whether you have a culture of recognition within your company. Because such comments invariably stem from someone's lack of trust in their employer. And that comes down to poor management and leadership.

Green business: the HR angle

Gareth Kane

If a business is really serious about being environmentally responsible, it has to taking the environment out of the environmental manager's office and embed it in the DNA of the organisation – and that includes the HR department.

Money, happiness and motivation

Bob Selden

The first thing Clive Palmer did when he bought a loss-making Australian nickel refinery in July 2009 was to raise the of pay of its employees and then ask them how to run the business. The results have been impressive – and so too Clive Palmer's generosity in return.

Exciting work is key to engagement

Jack Wiley

Is your work exciting? If so, you're much more likely to be motivated. But can a business case be made for 'exciting work' and what can managers do to improve productivity and make the work of their teams more engaging?

How to engage employees

Mitch McCrimmon

Traditionally, executives climbed the ladder by being decisive and by appearing to know what they are talking about, not by listening to others and being great facilitators. This is why real employee engagement can be so difficult to achieve.

HR and the new normal

Andrea Adams

More and more business leaders who have survived the recession and are rebuilding their organisations are coming to realise that their business models must be overhauled and that the old ways of improving performance and managing change will no longer work.

Rewriting the rules of work

David Thompson

The rules of work are changing. Commitment, hard work and loyalty counted for little during the tough times. As a result, people are reviewing their loyalties. They want work that is on their terms. And that poses some real challenges for those who those who manage and lead businesses.

Presenting work to best advantage.

Janet Howd

A common complaint these days is that new entrants into the workforce don't want to put any effort into learning new skills. Nonsense. The real problem is that mangers are unable to tap into their obvious and zealous work ethic.

Dealing with negative energy

Jean-François Manzoni

Since the recession began, many organizations have had to cut costs, lose staff and demand more from their remaining employees. But this can lead to negative energy and a loss of goodwill. So how do you keep your employees on board for the road to recovery?

More Good Stuff

Trust and collaboration: a virtuous circle

Andy Atkins

Trust is an essential requirement of effective leaders. Without trust, leaders have no followers. And if they want to build trust, leaders need to understand that trust as driven more by aligned commitment and shared responsibility than by an assessment of individual capabilities.

Keeping up in a down economy

Bob Nelson

The real toll of the recession is its impact on everyday people. Smart managers know that creating a climate of fear isn't going to help. Instead, they need to focus on the right things that together create a more motivating work environment for their employees.

Employee engagement in tough times

Marcia Xenitelis

How do you inspire confidence and innovation in an organization whose employees are worried sick about their jobs? The answer isn't that complicated – and it doesn't involve employee engagement surveys.

Getting the most out of your people

Charles Helliwell

For all the talk about its importance, the vast majority of organisations simply don't take employee engagement seriously. And they never will until those who run these organisations acknowledge that every employee is a potential asset, not a liability.

The benefits of pamper power

Joe Barnhart

Despite what bankers continue to claim, money buys neither happiness nor loyal employees. So throwing good money after bad isn't a long-term solution for employees suffering from occasional feelings of low job satisfaction. There are lots of tools in the box – tools like pamper power.

The psychological contract during the downturn

Graham Dietz

While many companies concentrate on physical employment contracts during a downturn, the psychological contract often gets overlooked. Dr Graham Dietz of Durham Business School warns against this and offers advice on ensuring your company's contract remains in good health.

Strategic visioning

James M. Kerr

If an organization really wants to attract and retain the best and brightest, a good place to start is by painting a vision. I don't mean some tired mission statement, I mean something with depth, something so compelling that the average working professional wants to be part of it.

Three ways to impress your employees

Dan Bobinski

Some employers act as if they shouldn't worry about impressing their employees unless it has to do with flaunting their wealth. But most know that when they make an effort to impress their staff, the result is increased commitment and productivity.

Finding and cultivating finishers

James M. Kerr

Finisher is a term used in American football circles to describe a player who never lets up until that last whistle blows. Sports teams need finishers to successfully compete. Businesses need finishers, too. But how do you find and cultivate them?

Are people really your most important asset?

Dan Bobinski

Many companies proclaim that their employees are their greatest asset. Unfortunately, the phrase has become somewhat cliché, similar to saying employees are "empowered." These are valid statements only if companies put actions behind their claims.

Positive thinking: does it really get results?

Dan Bobinski

The idea that positive thinking can affect our lives for the better has been gaining momentum over the past 80 years, and even more so recently. So does the concept work? I dare say it does - within reason.

Five simple keys to building solid teams

Dan Bobinski

When I ask teams what they would like from their supervisors, the same simple things keep coming up. You might think they're obvious - but if they are, teams wouldn't continually be mentioning them!

What are you doing to increase trust?

Dan Bobinski

Without trust, there's no passion or desire for excellence. Employees stop contributing, valuable new ideas are never brought the table and bad ideas are never challenged. An organization suffering from these conditions eventually becomes incapable of correcting its own mistakes.

Is your work an obligation or an opportunity?

Dan Bobinski

People tend to see work either as an obligation, overbearing, or an opportunity. And if you want to take the opportunity to rise above the mundane and "make a difference", try thinking like an entrepreneur.

Are you dead on the job?

Bob Selden

Here's a challenge for you. Find someone doing something good today and tell them what a good job they're doing. Because praise is the thing that motivates us the most, even though it takes so little time and costs nothing.

Avenues for employee complaints seem to be closed

Dan Bobinski

A prime reason for employee unhappiness is that companies do not adhere to a set of standards. Some are too forgiving of employee misconduct, while others are managed by people who themselves overstep boundaries and could care less about rules.