You Couldn’t Pay Me Enough to Work Here 3

bxp59950Staff engagement – it’s rarely about the money. They stay because of the people they work with. They stay because it’s a fun place to work. They stay because they see an opportunity for advancement. According to a recent survey conducted by Aon Hewitt, employee engagement in North America is at an all time low – down to 63% of the workforce. If those numbers are accurate that means 37% of your employees are not engaged, they are just going through the motions, or worse yet, they are actively disengaged, and our bent on trying to undermine what you and your engaged employees are trying to accomplish. That means 37 % of your staff have turned off or have tuned out.

Worth Remembering … “Get to know your people, what they do well, what they enjoy doing, what their weaknesses and strengths are, and what they want and need from their job” – Robert Townsend

What are you doing to retain the talent you have? Every organization has an identity – a culture that is best described as the values, beliefs and attitudes that are shared by everyone in the company. It starts at the top and trickles down. It never starts from the bottom and trickles up. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos believes that if you get the culture right, then a lot of really amazing things happen on their own. What are you doing to engage the hearts and minds of everyone in the company? Answers to exit interviews conducted by the Saratoga Institute and outlined in Leigh Branham’s book “The Seven Hidden Reasons Employee’s Leave” may hold a few clues. According to those surveyed “Workers felt devalued and unrecognized, workers suffered from stress due to overwork and work-life balance and there was a loss of trust and confidence in senior management”

  • You’ve got to give people a reason to stay.
  • You’ve got to make them feel part of the process by soliciting their input.
  • You’ve got to communicate often by letting them know how well they are doing
  • You’ve got to let them in on your plans for the future, where they fit in and where the organization is going.

Worth Remembering … “One of the most important things about being a good manager is to rule with a heart. You have to know the business, but you also have to know what’s at the heart of business and that’s people.” – Oprah Winfrey

What are you doing to attract new talent? Everyone is competing for the same recruit. Why would someone want to work for your company instead of your competitors? And remember it’s not about the money. You just can’t sit back and throw money at them. At some point you won’t be able to pay them enough money to stay. According to a 2012 Bersin survey, $720 million per year is spent on employee engagement without much of a return on that investment.  If you want to attract new talent then you need to understand what they are looking for in the companies they choose to work with and commit to changing the way you communicate and interact. Life outside of work has become just as important, if not more important, than life at work. Especially among Millennials who will make up 50 % of the workforce by 2020. What are you doing to promote a healthy balanced life-style?  Advancement should be based on merit not on seniority. What training dollars are you willing to invest in their future? If you aren’t willing to invest in them, then don’t expect them to invest in you. Do you have a mentorship program? Have you identified your next crop of managers and enrolled them in your management development program? Can they work at home or do you offer a flexible work schedule? Company mission statements, values and code of conduct should be more than just fancy platitudes. You and everyone in the organization need to “live” them.

  • You’ve got to give people a reason why they would want to work for you
  • You’ve got to make them feel part of the process by soliciting their input
  • You’ve got to communicate often by letting them know how well they are doing
  • You’ve got to let them in on your plans for the future, where they fit in and where the organization is going.

I hope you are starting to see a pattern here? People are people – it doesn’t matter what generation you are from – we all want the same thing. We want to be seen and treated as partners. We want to work for an organization that wants us to be successful and are willing to invest time, energy and resources in us. And we want to work for an organization that makes us feel valued and trusted. 

Copyright (C) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a speaker? Planning a lunch-n-learn or training session? Let’s talk. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit –

Hey Coach Put Me In The Game 8

images (33)What could a coach do for you that you can’t do for yourself? The truth is sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know – until you know that you don’t know it.  Sometimes it takes a coach to point out the not-so-obvious. You know where you want to go – but it may take a coach to teach you the skills you’ll need to get you there. You may need the help of a coach to get you to the next level. You only know what you know – it’s what you don’t know that can hold you back or better yet – propel you forward. The most talented of musicians, athletes and actors can attest to that. Even Tiger Woods works with a coach to help him stay at the top of his game.

Worth Remembering …

In order to be a teacher you’ve got to be a student first” – Gary L. Francione

All Coaches are not created equal  

Think of a Coach that you admire. What is it about their style that resonates with you? Bobby Knight, Coach K and Scotty Bowman have all had success as coaches.  Yet all three went about it differently. What style of coaching would work best for you? Someone who’s been there and done that so they know what they are talking about? A good communicator and listener. Someone who understands you – your strengths and your weaknesses. A coach who won’t tell you what  you want to hear but will tell you what needs to be said.  Someone who is patient when they need to be yet unforgiving when the situation warrants it.   A disciplinarian – a teacher, guidance councilor, cheer leader and mentor all rolled into one. A Coach who will push you to reach higher and go farther than you thought you could.

Worth Remembering …

If you want something you’ve never had – then you need to do something you’ve never done.” – Drina Reed

A Coach can’t do the work for you 

There are no silver bullets here. A coach can’t do the work for you. You still have to play the game. You still have to put in the time and effort it will take to get you to where you want to go.  A coach can show you the way – but you still have to walk the path. When you come to a fork in the road they can steer you in the right direction. If you are mentally and physically capable of taking the next step – then the only person standing in your way is you. Motivation is inside out – never outside in.  A coach is not there to be your best friend. They are there to help you get up off the mat and begin again. A coach is there to help up fill in the gaps and teach you what you need to know.  So go out and find a coach you can work with – one who can help you get in the game. – Cheers 🙂

 Copyright 2013 (c) |Brian Smith -Author, Communications Expert and Management Consultant works with people who want to learn how to communicate and interact more effectively; and who want to discover how to get the best out of themselves and others.  To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization visit