Employee Engagement and the Communicator’s Role

Posted by David Grossman on Tue,Mar 31, 2015

employeecommunicationblog

Achieving trust, credibility and especially engagement is the ultimate prize for employers, now more than ever.  Communications and communicators play a key role in the engagement process. Great communication can engage employees if it cuts through the clutter to speak directly to them, and no one is better positioned than communicators to know how to connect effectively with employees.

First, employers and communicators must recognize that employee engagement is a two-way street, and furthermore that engagement is a gift an employee gives to an organization—that can be freely given or withheld at any time. It is up to these leaders to accept responsibility for (as they will reap the benefits of) making it that way.

Next, decision makers need to realize that engaged employees need more than just information. They need face-to-face communication and dialogue.

Communication professionals are at the heart of all of this interaction. It is up to them to facilitate communication between leaders and employees, and within individual teams. Yes, communication is everyone’s responsibility, but it’s up to the communicators to drive awareness and engagement.

Engagement is the degree to which workers feel an emotional connection with their employer and organization that allows them to identify with, be motivated by, and be willing to expend extra effort for their employers (e.g., extra time, brainpower, or energy).

It also leads to an employee’s willingness to advocate on behalf of the organization and brand. The sad fact is that overall employees aren’t very engaged. This has a negative impact on productivity, results, shareholder value and many other aspects of the business.

According to the 2012 Gallup Employee Engagement Index, about one third of all employees globally are engaged, nearly 20% are actively disengaged and the rest—just about half—are on the fence. Our greatest opportunity exists in our ability to help those individuals who are on the fence to be more engaged, and to keep already-engaged employees committed (they’re the ones driving the business). Imagine the impact if we could get 5 percent, 10 percent, or even more from “on the fence” to engaged? What might that mean in productivity and results?

You may not realize it, but you’re actually engaging employees every time you:

• Help them understand the realities of your business.

• Connect the dots between the big picture of your business and what it means to them and their job.

• Reinforce that they can trust you.

• Ask for their thoughts and feedback.

• Ask how they are doing.

If engagement merely facilitated a more efficient working environment or a friendlier atmosphere, the business imperative to make it a priority wouldn’t be as compelling. But the extra effort, the willingness to act as a champion and to advocate for your organization, the desire to provide value every minute of the day makes engaging employees a critical success factor for any business.

What can you start doing today to increase your employee engagement?

- David Grossman

------------------

Get the skinny on what it takes to create an organization with engaged employees.  Download, Improve Your Workplace Diet, by clicking the image below.

Improve Your Workplace Diet: Simple Yet Powerful Ingredients To Cook Up Great Results

Tags: employee engagement, face-to-face communication

Weekly Round-Up: The Case for Being a Generous Leader, 5 Tips to Be a More Impressive Speaker & 13 Ways to Re-Energize Your Team

Posted by David Grossman on Fri,Mar 27, 2015

WeeklyRoundUp_Image

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. As many of you know, each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays, I pull some of my favorites together here on my blog.

This week you’ll see articles on the best ways to manage both your introverted and extroverted employees, tips to become a better public speaker and why successful leaders focus on giving over getting.  These articles will provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

  • The Best Ways to Manage Introvert and Extrovert Employees
    By Top Management Degrees, Switch & Shift
    As leaders, we’re tasked with building teams made up of people with diverse backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles. In today’s global economy, we not only accept this, we embrace the diversity…
  • 13 Ways to Re-Energize Your Team
    By Young Entrepreneur Council, SmartBlog on Leadership
    One of the best things about running a marathon is hitting that finish line, which everyone participating knows is 26.2 miles away. Likewise, make sure your team knows where your finish line is, and what they’ll get for crossing it…”
  • The Case for Being a Generous Leader
    By Tim Stevens, Fast Company
    In my first job out of high school, when I was barely 18 years old, I had one of the best bosses out there. Lewie had no reason to give me special attention. He had no reason to be interested in my success. Yet over and over again, he…”
  • 5 Tips to Be a More Impressive Speaker
    By Jessica Stillman, Inc.
    If you're a shaky public speaker, your next big presentation offers so many things to be worried about. There's conceiving of and planning your speech, practicing it, keeping your nerves in check, actually presenting it, and dealing with audience…”
  • Why Successful Leaders Focus on Giving over Getting
    By Tanveer Naseer
    One of the wonderful benefits of our digital age is not only how we’re able to discover the talent and artistry of people we might have otherwise overlooked, but also how we’re now able to peek behind the curtain to learn what inspires them; to discover…”

                                                                                                  

What were some of the top leadership articles you read this week?

-          David Grossman 

___________

Download, 10 Dos and Don'ts of Email Tip Sheet below, and get the steps you need to take back control of email in your organization.

10 dos donts email tip sheet

Tags: Weekly Round-Up

Let Them Eat Cake: The Value of Celebration

Posted by David Grossman on Wed,Mar 25, 2015

15yr

“The more you praise and celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

-          Oprah Winfrey

This month marks 15 years of being Your Thought Partner at The Grossman Group.  Growing up I never appreciated the significance of milestone birthdays or anniversaries.  Uncle Tom and Aunt Rose’s 25th anniversary party?   My focus was on when we got to eat the cake and go home.  (For those of you who know me well, I am skipping the “have my cake and eat it too” pun here.)

Then I got married and had kids and am the first to celebrate.  Now I get it.  Personal and professional milestones matter.  In a myriad of ways.  Bring on the cake and the streamers and the noise makers and the unicorn piñata, as my oldest daughter Avi requested for her recent 5th birthday.  Pop open the Veuve and hand me a tall glass!

Making it to 5 or 15 or 25 or 50+ – or any number in between, for that matter! – is cause for celebration, appreciation, and reflection.

I’m grateful for the clients who have entrusted us to help during their toughest and everyday defining moments.  I appreciate the amazing team of thought partners who are the best in the business. And, I’m grateful to my family for their love and support, and for understanding that fulfilling my passion often takes me away from them.

This anniversary also is a reminder of the need to celebrate more regularly with the people around us.  To share appreciation and be grateful for what we have.  It’s so powerful – for the person sharing, and for those receiving appreciation.  It’s free, easy to do, yet so often forgotten in the press of business today.

So here’s to you.  Thanks for reading, and for being part of our extended family as we celebrate 15 years.

In what ways are you celebrating both the big and little things with others?

-          David Grossman              

Tags: Starting Thought, announcements

Embrace Conflict and Transform Discomfort For Better Business Results

Posted by David Grossman on Tue,Mar 24, 2015

Embraceconflict

It’s a paradox that every leader faces: create teams that work well together but embrace conflict. Also, drive consensus but encourage individual points of view. Discomfort is emotional. Feelings can be complex and multi-layered. But stifling expression can inhibit a team’s performance and lead to poor decision
making.

Here are the top 6 strategies to drive discomfort for better decision-making: 

  1. Make “disagreers” part of your team (but not disruptors).
  2. Maximize team diversity to reap the benefits of differences in experience and thinking. Ensure you have various points of view represented at the table.
  3. Encourage debate, but avoid endless disagreement. Before you make a decision, ensure you have all the points of view on the table. Leave room for passion.
  4. Take on sacred cows, and allow others to do the same.
  5. Consider alternatives. Strategic decision-making is about making choices. To make the best choice, you need alternatives.
  6. Always debrief in the spirit of continuous improvement. Institutionalize the questions, “What worked well?” and “What could we have done better?”

What conflict are you avoiding today, and how might you address it?

-David Grossman

Originally ran June 2012

Tags: leader effectiveness

Weekly Round-Up: 5 Ways to Move a Culture to a Community, Motivation at Work & The Power of Your Leadership Story

Posted by David Grossman on Fri,Mar 20, 2015

WeeklyRoundUp_Image

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. As many of you know, each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays, I pull some of my favorites together here on my blog.

This week you’ll see articles on ways to make your work culture a community, the importance of telling your story as a leader and 10 quotes from the best business books of 2015.  These articles will provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

  • The Naked Truth: How to Uncover an Insecure Leader
    By Lolly Daskal, Inc.
    If you've ever worked with an insecure leader, you understand the problem of insecurity--and the damage it can do.  The trick is to discover and intercept the warning signs of insecurity within yourself. It's a necessary effort…”
  • 10 Quotes From the Best Business Books of 2015 (So Far)
    By John Brandon, Inc.
    I'm a voracious reader. I usually have a stack of books in my office and tend to bring a few along on business trips. (If you see me at SxSW this week, I might be reading a book.) For the past two months, I've been reading a few hand-picked business books…
  • 5 Ways to Move a Culture to a Community
    By Jon Mertz, Switch & Shift
    ’At Facebook, Boss Is a Dirty Word’ announces the headline in a recent Wall Street Journal article. Facebook has a majority of Millennials working within their company. The median age is 28. …”
  • The Power of Your Leadership Story
    By Tim Tobin, SmartBlog on Leadership
    Stories have power. They move people in a way that facts and figures can’t. Many leaders use stories as a tool, but most have no idea what tale their own leadership is telling.  By thinking of your career…”
  • Motivation at Work: Six Action Steps for Leaders
    By David Witt, Blanchard LeaderChat
    Recent research into motivation has shown us that, at least in the corporate world, we don’t have the complete story. In their latest column for Training Industry Magazine Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard share that typical variations of the carrot .…”

                                                                                                  

What were some of the top leadership articles you read this week?

-          David Grossman 

___________

Download The Email-Free Vacation Pledge below. It’s packed with the most critical steps to prepare your team and you for your best spring break ever.

Take the Email-Free Vacation Pledge

Tags: Weekly Round-Up

New Tip Sheet: 10 Dos and Don’ts of Email

Posted by David Grossman on Tue,Mar 17, 2015

Partial_DoDontTipSheet-1

We have a love-hate relationship with email.  Research shows employees spend an estimated 71 hours on irrelevant emails per work year – that’s almost 90 minutes a week.  Yet, CEOs, leaders and employees agreed email is an effective way to exchange information at work.

Despite its effectiveness as a communication vehicle, there’s consensus that it needs to be improved. Email is not as effective as it could be.  Managers and employees say the top issue with work-related email includes a number of misbehaviors.

So, in the spirit of using email better, and helping others use it better too, we’ve created a Tip Sheet with suggestions anyone can implement to avoid email abuses and fix bad habits. 

Armed with these practical tips, you’ll be able to spend more time focusing on other important aspects of your job and less time getting bogged down in unnecessary emails.

Download—10 Dos and Don’ts of Email Tip Sheet — and get the steps you need to take back control of your email.

Tags: Tip Sheet

Weekly Round-Up: When Employees Give Feedback, Building Trust & 7 High-Impact Approaches for Employee Development

Posted by David Grossman on Fri,Mar 13, 2015

WeeklyRoundUp_Image

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. As many of you know, each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays, I pull some of my favorites together here on my blog.

This week you’ll see articles on ways to achieve your full potential as a leader, making meetings at work more productive and building trust with your employees.  These articles will provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

  • When Employees Give Feedback
    By Matt Straz, Switch & Shift
    Performance reviews, while they’ve earned a bad rap, mean well. They’re intended to help develop employees and assist them in reaching their work-related goals. Or, at least, they should be…”
  • 7 High-Impact Approaches for Employee Development
    By Jerome Ternynck, Inc.
    As the CEO of a company that delivers technology focused on hiring success, I know far too well the importance of recruiting (and retaining) the best employees. A few months ago, I wrote about…
  • Building Trust: It’s Not a One-and-Done Deal
    By Jennifer V. Miller, SmartBlog on Leadership
    What role does trust play in employee engagement? It’s a fairly large one, according to this Towers Watson research. The study cites leaders’ ability to “earn the trust and confidence” of employees as one of the top drivers of…”
  • 6 Necessities for Achieving Your Full Potential as a Leader
    By Firas Kittaneh, Entrepreneur
    Many leaders and entrepreneurs are sold on the idea that hard work and paying your dues will guarantee future success. Indeed, the idea of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is something we aspire to do…”
  • The Tools You Need to Make Every Meeting More Productive
    By Alexandra Samuel, HBR
    Meetings may seem like the ultimate hold-out against the digitization of working life: after all, what’s more analog than talking directly with another person? Even though the core work of a meeting.…”

                                                                                                  

What were some of the top leadership articles you read this week?

-          David Grossman 

________

Download The Email-Free Vacation Pledge below. It’s packed with the most critical steps to prepare your team and you for your best spring break ever.

Take the Email-Free Vacation Pledge

Tags: Weekly Round-Up

FREE DOWNLOAD - Unplug This Spring Break with Our Email-Free Vacation Pledge

Posted by David Grossman on Tue,Mar 10, 2015

Email-FreePledgeBlogImage

For those of you who follow my blog, you know I am email-free on vacation.  It’s been a change for me from how I used to operate, and a very welcome one.

Like any change, it was difficult at first.  The first time I tried it, I came close to totally unplugging.  A client issue came up where I needed to check email and I almost got lost in the email black hole. While I wasn’t perfect my first time out, I made progress and considered my first try a huge step forward.

After that, not checking email on vacation became much easier, and now it’s a habit.  I know I can do it, and have a process in place to help me unplug.

It’s with those learnings, along with our research and engagements with clients, that we’ve developed The Email-Free Vacation Pledge.  It outlines 8 steps you can take today to ensure your vacation doesn’t turn into a “workcation.”

So join me, and download The Email-Free Vacation Pledge here for free. It’s packed with the most critical steps to prepare your team and you for your best spring break ever.

 - David Grossman

Get the Pledge

 

Tags: work-life balance, taking vacation

Weekly Round-Up: 5 Actions of an Open-Minded Leader, Leading with Intention & 3 Ways to Improve Your Efficiency

Posted by David Grossman on Fri,Mar 06, 2015

WeeklyRoundUp_Image

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. As many of you know, each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays, I pull some of my favorites together here on my blog.

This week you’ll see articles on getting the most from your one-on-one conversations, ways to improve your efficiency in the workplace and tips to start leading with intention.  These articles will provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

  • 5 Actions of an Open-Minded Leader
    By Dara Goldberg, Switch & Shift
    How many times have you heard someone use the term, open mind?  I expect that, like me, you have heard it countless times, used by countless people, in countless settings. Add to this the number of occasions when the words were…”
  • 3 Ways to Improve Your Efficiency
    By AJ Agrawal, Inc.
    When it comes to many of the people who we think are hardworking, we're really just misinformed. For instance, it is a common thought that people who work late are hardworking. Why? Because the assumption is…
  • Leading with Intention: Every Moment is a Choice
    By Skip Prichard
    When you meet someone, it doesn’t take long to know if they are living a life with intention, with purpose, with a design. Many people float through life waiting to see what will happen, going with the flow, and allowing others…”
  • Lead from Where You Are and with All That You Have
    By Lolly Daskal, Lead From Within
    How many times have you heard yourself say If only I had the right role … the right job … the right business … the right opportunity, then I would step into my leadership.  But that role, position, opportunity, or business may never…”
  • Getting the Most from Your One-on-One Conversations: 6 Tips for Managers and Team Members
    By John Hester, LeaderChat
    A survey conducted by Training magazine and The Ken Blanchard Companies found that 89 percent of those polled want to meet with their manager at least monthly, and 44 percent want to meet weekly.  The majority of respondents.…”

                                                                                                  

What were some of the top leadership articles you read this week?

-          David Grossman 

___________

Download our latest Tip Sheet, 10 Tips for Guiding Culture Change, and get insights to help ensure your organization's culture change is a success!

10 Tips for Guiding Culture Change Tip Sheet

Tags: Weekly Round-Up

The Future of Business Email: Will it Live or Die?

Posted by David Grossman on Tue,Mar 03, 2015

Atos_email

Even as the volume of work email mounts, there are growing signs that email use at work may shift dramatically in the not too distant future.

The highly publicized “Zero Email Initiative” at the global technology firm Atos is just one glaring example of what’s possible for companies looking to significantly curb email use.

More than three years after the CEO of Atos, Thierry Breton, announced in 2011 that he would eliminate email for internal communications within a few years, the company has indeed cut way back on its total email count.

The average number of internal emails per mailbox per week at Atos dropped from 100 in 2011 to under 40 by 2013, according to an Atos report posted on the company’s website. The company cited a recent report from Gartner Research, which described Atos’ email initiative as a “big change effort” -- looking to transform the way that more than 76,000 employees interact throughout 47 countries.

The Atos initiative is part of a bigger effort at the company called “Wellbeing at Work,” designed to provide new ideas for enhancing working conditions and improving work-life balance. The zero email project evolved after the company realized the average employee was spending 15 to 20 hours a week checking and answering internal emails.

“My first intention was to deal with this internal data deluge and to work with the tools that the young generation are using,” Atos’ Breton told the BBC News in announcing his email project. “We are business technologists, so it’s our mission at Atos to be a front runner in this technology age.”

To replace email, Atos transitioned to an enterprise social network model. This allows employees to more easily find experts who can help them with an issue or participate in conversations that are relevant to their work – much like Facebook allows users to pipe in and out of conversations they care about.

Gartner credited Atos with making a major investment in its initiative, tying bonuses and performance evaluations to the zero-email effort. Atos moved to a social business network called blueKiwi for collaboration, Sharepoint for document management, and online meetings and chats to reduce its internal emails. The company still uses emails for external communication and more formal communications outside the company.

The decision by the global technology company has prompted a lot of conversation about the future of email for business.

Ryan Holmes, chief executive at the social media management company HootSuite, called email “an unproductivity tool” and the “new pony express” in an article for Fast Company.

Other experts argue that email is not likely to completely go away. Instead, they predict that companies will get smarter about when to use email and when to reach for other technology forms, depending on what employees need to accomplish.

Here at The Grossman Group, we see a growing interest from companies to do something about the mounting volume of email. Toward that end, we’ve launched successful “email etiquette” campaigns to educate employees about how and when to use email more efficiently – and ultimately reduce irrelevant emails.

One company we worked with recently estimated that time spent on irrelevant email costs the company more than $200 million per year in lost productivity from their workers. There’s no better argument than that to begin seriously tackling the email problem. We expect even more companies to begin taking a closer – and more aggressive look – at this important issue.

No, it’s not time for email’s funeral, but the alarm bells continue to ring.

What’s your plan for getting better at using email at work?

 

- David Grossman

------------------

Check out email research & useful resources to tackle email overload!

email research, email etiquette, email misbehaviors, workplace email

Tags: email in the workplace

    About leadercommunicator blog

    What does it take to be a leadercommunicator?

    The Grossman Group CEO and communications expert David Grossman shares his insights on the importance of meaningful leadership communication in today’s business climate. With high level tips on engagement and connection, insights into employee motivations and behavior, and firsthand stories from the frontlines of America’s leading companies.

    The leadercommunicator blog is instructive, entertaining, and a must-read for leaders, communicators, and leadercommunicators.

    Subscribe by Email

    iabc on demand employee engagement webinar  

    Take the Email-Free Vacation Pledge

    In the News:

    Badge

    You can also find us here:

    Featured in Alltop

    Leadership Digital

    NSA Speaker Info

    Daily Dog

    Linked 2 Leadership

    Business Management Blogs

    NSA Speaker Info

    Topics