Leadership Transitions

If only 34% of U.S. workers aspire to leadership positions, with 7% aiming for senior or C-level management what will that mean for our leadership bench strength? share your thoughts and ideas.

5 Ways to Engage Employees

Engaged EmployeeThe most important component in building an engaged workplace – the engaged employee! How do we ensure our employees come prepared and motivated to demonstrate high levels of engagement, and to inspire their peers to do the same?

Here are five ways in which we can work to ensure this is the case:


  • Selection of skilled and motivated candidates for employment
  • Development to increase their chances of success
  • Recognition of accomplishment in meaningful ways
  • Celebration as a team for milestones on the journey together
  • Connections to mentors, leaders, customers and others

Selection of engaged and prepared employees is the product of a well-planned recruitment and on-boarding process. The process should be designed to determine that candidates have the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in the role, and also to create an environment as close as possible to the one the candidate will experience as an employee.

It is important to allow the candidate to express themselves freely, ask questions, and to provide information that will allow you to assess their ability to respond to the types of challenges they will face on your team.  You will want them to be able to assess the organization and determine if it is a good match for them.

You will want to specifically address their level of engagement, and their feelings about a highly engaged work environment. Once selected, the integration of the candidate into the work environment should not only include specifics about their role, the organization, policies and procedures, but an introduction to the engagement culture of your organization, behaviors associated with it, and individuals who will support the new employee in this environment.

Development of the new employee should include not only technical and business skills, but abilities directly related to the engagement culture and process. These might include: facilitation, mentoring, negotiation, critical thinking ability, and presentation skills.

Special attention should be paid to the performance review process to ensure it is consistent with engagement goals, meaningful, and performed with a focus on the employee’s long term success. It should be timely, so it can benefit performance, and not just occur as a requirement to justify compensation. It is also important in the review process to capture contributions the employee is making beyond their job description, and to note talents and abilities not used in their current position, that may benefit the organization in the future.

Recognition of accomplishment should be conducted in a way that is meaningful to the employee and not “status quo.” It should reflect the employee’s accomplishment and highlight behaviors associated with engagement. Other individuals involved in the accomplishments being recognized should be allowed to contribute.

Considerations in deciding upon recognition should include:

  • what motivates the employee
  • who should be involved in the recognition
  • who the recognition should come from
  • who should be present
  • how there recognition reflects the employee’s skills, personality and interests
  • how the recognition will help the employee to be successful in the future

Celebration of success supports engagement and should involve the groups involved, or possibly the entire company. It is important to set, meet and celebrate milestones together. As appropriate, celebrations may include family members, customers, and other groups involved with, or who benefit from, the accomplishments being highlighted.

As in the home environment, connections play an important part in the success of employees and their level of engagement. These connections should be formed from the time the employee arrives, and may include:

  • leaders, mentors, colleagues, customers, community partners, industry members, representatives of professional or trade organizations, and others who enhance the employee’s work experience.

Connections provide balance, advice, and a positive sounding board for employees seeking to develop their level of engagement. Who are the individuals who have helped you to be successful at work? In what ways have they inspired you? In what ways have they been present in your professional development and recognition experiences?

Embedded Engagement: It is a Process

We have discussed the ways in which building a culture of engagement in the workplace is like building a healthy home environment. One necessary component in this process is, well, process.

An organization dedicated to an engaged workplace will develop its processes in a way that supports this effort. It may seem odd to talk about processes when we are discussing culture, but when we think about it, isn’t this where the rubber really hits the road in an organization?

Everything is process in the workplace. Almost nothing gets done without it. And in this maze of competing processes lies one of the greatest opportunities for engagement to become lost, and never to be found again. There are even processes for shaping the processes.

Sadly, in the situations that provide the great opportunities for engagement, this opportunity is often overlooked or ignored. This is because these situations often involve urgent or unexpected developments.

They can lead to a reactionary response, designed to ensure secrecy and “hierarchical” behaviors. However, if the mission and culture of the organization are not being considered, and all employees who may create value included, the result may in fact not be responsive or confidential, because it will lead to further problems down the road.

Take, for example, two companies with urgent customer satisfaction issues. Both companies consider themselves to be dedicated to engagement, valuing the benefits of an engaged workplace to their organization.

However, the first company responds to the situation by bringing together a small group of individuals, on a “need to know” basis. The conversation in the room is mostly one-sided, and focused on gaining agreement, assigning blame, and protecting those not directly accountable from the incident being deflected toward them.

This process is being conducted quickly, so the organization can get back to its normal discussions, engagement practices, and celebration of those things that are going well. But does it really speak to engagement?

In the second company, a different approach is taken. There is sincere interest in not only solving the immediate customer problem, but creating a learning experience to ensure this customer, as well as others, have increased confidence in the company in the future.

Discussions include all employees who can contribute, and whose work impacts customers like this one. There is a dialog in which everyone is allowed to participate, and a solution is agreed upon and implemented.

Leadership is informed, the customer is made aware of the solution and the company’s commitment, and the developments are shared with all employees who support customer relationships. In this company, the problem is not likely to occur again, and if it does, employees will be better prepared to handle it.

This is one of the situations in which it is most important to “walk the talk” about engagement.

There are many other types of processes that should be examined to be sure they support the engagement effort. These include:

  • employee selection and on-boarding
  • employee development
  • performance reviews
  • strategic planning
  • budgeting
  • product launch
  • customer relationship management
  • project management
  • crisis management
  • community relations
  • media relations
  • meeting and event planning
  • employee recognition
  • employee surveys

In what ways does your organization design processes with engagement in mind? In what circumstances does this not happen? Do these circumstances usually have to do with unplanned or emergency situations? How can you better use these opportunities to create better results through the engagement of your employees?

Let’s Start an Employee Engagement Revolution!

I am writing this to you as a friend, colleague, and peer.  Our methods for “doing” employee engagement are captured in our new book published last fall that many are starting to call THE book on Employee Engagement because of its straight forward and practical approach.  Sales of my new book “Employee Engagement:  A Roadmap for Creating Profits, Optimizing Performance and Increasing Loyalty” have been rock solid.  I have so far exceeded the publisher’s expectations.  But that is not good enough.  I believe in this book.  I know it can help organizations and people as it has already with many of our clients.  I want to start an engagement revolution

That is why I am asking for your help and support.  Here are a few ways you can support the cause.

  • Purchase the Book:  If you have not purchased a copy of the book please do so now – you can purchase it on Amazon  or at a discount directly from my company, Performancepoint
  • Read the Book:  If you have purchased the book but have not yet read it, start it today
  •  Write a Book Review:  If you have read the book please write a review about it on a blog, review site, your LinkedIn profile or on Amazon
  •  Refer the Book of Give it as a Gift:  If you know someone who would benefit from reading the book then tell them about it or give it to them as a gift 

If you are not familiar with Employee Engagement:  A Roadmap for Creating Profits, Optimizing Performance and Increasing Loyalty and would like to sample the first chapter, email me at bfederman@performancepointllc.com and I will personally send it to you.  

Help people find out why:

  • Homewood Suites by Hilton purchases copies for every new GM
  • Macy’s bought copies for their top HR Vice Presidents and Directors
  • Mosaic provided copies for their entire leadership team

If you have an office library, place a copy in there.  Buy it for your team. 

Find out why people are saying things like…

“The ideas expressed in this book explode off the page. They are so relevant and meaningful for employees and managers, especially during these hard economic times, when most employees are made to feel that they should simply be happy to have a job. Employers should read this book and start maximizing their productivity by developing engaged employees. Excellent resource – with practical, real life examples of the “Do’s and Don’ts” of employee engagement.”

“Federman has positioned himself as the lightning rod for this topic by really landing the “plane” with this book. He uses the science “behind the curtain” in order to help us understand the “art” of building employee engagement. Easy to read, easy to understand graphs, and great real life stories made this an important read for my business. I appreciate the time, effort and energy it took to take this subject and make it meaningful.”

This is it!  The time is now!  Help me take the ideas in this book to a whole new level.  Small actions create major waves.  Thanks in advance.

Achieve Organizational Success in Today’s Economy

New Book: Employee Engagement
MEMPHIS, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Five years ago your company hired a bright, young, talented college graduate whom you believed had the moxy to someday take your position as leader. Since his hire, he’d become a top producer, had risen within the organization and, literally, was next in line to take your place. You felt as though you had mentored and nurtured this person for five years. Obviously, they didn’t feel the same way. Then, out of the blue, he comes to you and hands over a more …

Are you ready for your future?

Part of being engaged is the ability to handle change, to grow and develop, and to help others do the same.  I recently came across this list of future jobs from an organization called Fast Future.  they were doing a survey on future careers.  When you look at these positions…What are your thoughts?  Feelings?  How engaged would you be in some of our potential futures?  How would you suggest engaging others?

1.      Body Part Maker

Due to the huge advances being made in bio-tissues, robotics and plastics, the creation of body parts – from organs to limbs – will soon be possible, requiring body part makers, body part stores and body part repair shops.

2.        Nano-Medic

Advances in nanotechnology offer the potential for a range of sub-atomic ‘nanoscale’ devices, inserts and procedures that could transform personal healthcare. A new range of nano-medicine specialists will be required to administer these treatments.

3.        Pharmer of Genetically Engineered Crops and Livestock

New-age farmers will raise crops and livestock that have been genetically engineered to improve yields and produce therapeutic proteins. Works in progress include a vaccine-carrying tomato and therapeutic milk from cows, sheep and goats.

4.        Old Age Wellness Manager / Consultant Specialists

Drawing on a range of medical, pharmaceutical, prosthetic, psychiatric, natural and fitness solutions to help manage the various health and personal needs of the aging population.

5.        Memory Augmentation Surgeon

Surgeons that add extra memory to people who want to increase their memory capacity and to help those who have been over exposed to information in the course of their life and simply can no longer take on any more information – thus leading to sensory shutdown.

6.        ‘New Science’ Ethicist

As scientific advances accelerate in new and emerging fields such as cloning, proteomics and nanotechnology, a new breed of ethicist may be required. These science ethicists will need to understand a range of underlying scientific fields and help society make consistent choices about what developments to allow. Much of science will not be a question of can we, but should we.

7.        Space Pilots, Architects and Tour Guides

With Virgin Galactic and others pioneering space tourism, space trained pilots and tour guides will be needed, as well as designers to enable the habitation of space and the planets. Current projects at SICSA (University of Houston) include a greenhouse on Mars, lunar outposts and space exploration vehicles.

8.        Vertical Farmers

There is growing interest in the concept of city based vertical farms, with hydroponically-fed food being grown in multi-storey buildings. These offer the potential to dramatically increase farm yield and reduce environmental degradation. The managers of such entities will require expertise in a range of scientific disciplines, engineering and commerce.

9.        Climate Change Reversal Specialist

As the threats and impacts of climate change increase, a new breed of engineer-scientists will be required to help reduce or reverse the effects of climate change on particular locations. They will need to apply multi-disciplinary solutions ranging from filling the oceans with iron filings to erecting giant umbrellas that deflect the sun’s rays.

10.    Quarantine Enforcer

If a deadly virus starts spreading rapidly, few countries, and few people, will be prepared. Nurses will be in short supply. Moreover, as mortality rates rise, and neighborhoods are shut down, someone will have to guard the gates.

11.    Weather Modification Police

The act of stealing clouds to create rain is already happening in some parts of the world, and is altering weather patterns thousands of miles away. Weather modification police will need to control and monitor who is allowed to shoot rockets containing silver iodine into the air – a way to provoke rainfall from passing clouds.

12.    Virtual Lawyer

As more and more of our daily life goes online, specialists will be required to resolve legal disputes which could involve citizens resident in different legal jurisdictions.

13.    Avatar Manager / Devotees – Virtual Teachers

Avatars could be used to support or even replace teachers in the elementary classroom, i.e., computer personas that serve as personal interactive guides. The Devotee is the human that makes sure that the Avatar and the student are properly matched and engaged.

14.    Alternative Vehicle Developers

Designers and builders of the next generations of vehicle transport using alternative materials and fuels. Could the dream of underwater and flying cars become a reality within the next two decades?

15.    Narrowcasters

As the broadcasting media become increasingly personalized, roles will emerge for specialists working with content providers and advertisers to create content tailored to individual needs. While mass market customisation solutions may be automated, premium rate narrow casting could be performed by humans.

16.    Waste Data Handler

Specialists providing a secure data disposal service for those who do not want to be tracked, electronically or otherwise.

17.    Virtual Clutter Organizer

Specialists will help us organise our electronic lives. Clutter management would include effective handling of email, ensuring orderly storage of data, management of electronic ID’s and rationalizing the applications we use.

18.    Time Broker / Time Bank Trader

Alternative currencies will evolve their own markets – for example time banking already exists.

19.    Social ‘Networking’ Worker

Social workers for those in some way traumatized or marginalized by social networking.

20.    Personal Branders

An extension of the role played by stylists, publicists and executive coaches –advising on how to create a personal ‘brand’ using social and other media. What personality are you projecting via your Blog, Twitter, etc? What personal values do you want to build into your image – and is your image consistent with your real life persona and your goals?

Introducing the Definitive Resource on Employee Engagement

Contact:  Brad Federman                                                                                            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tel. 901.737.3468

Cell Phone: 901.292.2636

Email: bfederman@performancepointllc.com

Introducing the Definitive Resource on Employee EngagementEmployee Engagement: A Roadmap for Creating Profits, Optimizing Performance, and Increasing Loyalty by Brad Federman.

Employee Engagement is the first book to offer a comprehensive view of the driving force for organizational success in today’s economy.  Each employee within an organization puts forth discretionary effort; they come to work with the power to choose how much effort they are willing to give their company. An engaged employee is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, their work. These employees care about the future of the organization and feel a strong emotional bond to the business.

Employee Engagement outlines a comprehensive framework, language, and process that helps executives, leaders and human resource professionals connect their overall “Business” strategy with their “People” strategy.

Filled with practical ideas and illustrative examples, Employee Engagement:

  • Provides a clear definition of Employee Engagement
  • Identifies drivers of Engagement
  • Outlines strategies for measuring Employee Engagement
  • Highlights best practices for responding to Employee Engagement issues and feedback
  • Offers a full Employee Engagement program strategy
  • Illustrates how to deploy Employee Engagement as a business strategy

This important resource offers step-by-step guidance for putting in place an effective Employee Engagement program that will create a workplace with more committed employees, a more meaningful environment, stronger relationships with employees, and a sustainable competitive advantage.

Now is the time to re-engage your employees, connect them to your new strategy, promote accountability, and regain trust.

“If you think you know everything it takes to attain associate/employee engagement, put yourself to the test. This book provides a holistic approach to engagement that will create the competitive edge required to succeed in this economy.”—Sharon S. Bilgischer, senior manager, logistics global talent, curriculum and documentation, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

“I can speak first hand to the benefits of this book when the author talks about a roadmap for creating profits, optimizing performance and increasing loyalty.  I have used these techniques, after working with Brad, in two companies that I have managed with significant results to both organizations.” —James Rose, chairman and CEO, Mosaic Sales Solutions

You can order your copy at www.engagementleader.com

If you would like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with Brad Federman, please call 901.292.2636 or email Brad at bfederman@performancepointllc.com