What is Employee Engagement AND do you have it?

Employees Engaged in their jobs at YOUR company

Could you define employee engagement?

Can you measure it?

Do you have specific programs and initiatives in place to improve or build employee engagement?

If you answered NO to any of these questions, you're in big trouble with your workforce.

I define employee engagement as employees who are excited to come to work, are learning new skills and capabilities, are intellectually stimulated through challenging work, expectations, and assignments. They get praised when they do an outstanding job, and they are recognized by their peers for going above and beyond the call of duty. They wouldn't think of leaving your company for greener pastures, even if they got a 10-15% salary boost. They have a clear understanding of your well-articulated culture and vision, and buy into with all their heart. They are passionate about what your company does, and the role they play. Your employee surveys, 360 degree reviews, and monthly performance coaching confirms that you've got an engaging culture.

How do you define it?

If you have a large percentage of your workforce, especially your better performers, who are not engaged – then prepare yourself for the upcoming flood of talent leaving your organization.

Companies that recognize the importance of an engaged workforce have specific programs in place. They can talk about during an interview. They can reinforce to retain great talent. It allows them to “recruiter-proof” their company.

What employee engagement programs, initiatives, and tactics have you implemented to create an engaged workforce?

Barry Deutsch

Why and How LinkedIn Can Bring More Than Just Top Talent To Your Company

LinkedIn is one of the social media sites that may be as misunderstood as Twitter. CEOs and key executives constantly ask me why they should be using either one. They haven’t been able to grasp the impact these tools can have on their company. The CEO or key executive doesn’t have to actually use either of them, but they should at least encourage the use by the appropriate people in their organization.

LinkedIn is more than just social networking like Facebook. I think of Facebook as a personal social site and LinkedIn as the business people's social site. LinkedIn and Facebook serve different purposes.

Unlike Facebook which hides a lot of information about the person, unless you are directly connected, LinkedIn profiles are pretty much open for everyone to review. Granted the person controls what information they chose to display, but whatever they decide it is open to just about everyone. This is actually a good thing.

Since most profiles on LinkedIn are about the person’s professional background it really isn’t too much different than posting one’s resume online. This opens up a whole new way to use LinkedIn to benefit your company.

Here are some examples:

Hiring. Why pay thousands of dollars to Monster, CareerBuilder or The Ladders in order to have access to their resume databases? If you are seeking a professional person chances are very high you can locate them on LinkedIn. You can review their background, experiences, accomplishments, awards, education and so on,  for free or a small monthly fee.

In addition you can connect to references, view a list of people with similar backgrounds, identify people in your industry or even specific companies. LinkedIn has provided you and your hiring team not only with a wealth of people, but also given you an enormous amount of information on this person.

Reference Checking. We hear this all the time, people won’t give you references unless they know they will give a good reference. OK, so now you have a way of getting your own references.  LinkedIn allows you to find people based on companies. LinkedIn will give you list of people that have worked at a specific company and those currently working at the company. Now you have a list of people independent from the ones the candidate provided you.

Customer Leads. Cold calling has never been the best way to access a company. With LinkedIn your sales people can now develop warm leads. Your salesperson can identify a potential customer, find who else in their network has contacts within the company or better yet knows the person your salesperson wants to meet and ask for an introduction. How about asking if they would set up a lunch with the potential customer? This is a powerful tool few sales people use.

Vendors. What a great way to pre-qualify vendors. Go on LinkedIn look for people that have left the company and connect with them. You may learn some things the salesperson will never tell you. Granted, depending on the person the information could be biased. That works both ways. As with all information the person collecting the information will have to filter it as they see fit. But I submit having it and ignoring it is better than not having it at all.

Affiliations. Another tool that helps identify potential companies to affiliate with. This is a great way to be introduced to someone you hope to develop a professional business relationship. Often contained within the profile are recommendations that may help you decide if this is the right company to work alongside.

Open Jobs. A component of hiring but this has a different spin. The ability to post open positions  for free or low cost. With LinkedIn groups you can post a job for free and have hundreds of thousands of people be aware of it. In addition, for a reasonable fee you can target specific people, with specific backgrounds, in specific industries only. So you don’t receive hundreds of unqualified resumes.

International Contacts. LinkedIn is a global site. If you are seeking contacts or considering doing business in a foreign country, LinkedIn may provide the contacts you need to get started. If your company is considering coming to the USA, the level of contacts available to you in just about every business sector is well worth your time to check out.

I could continue, but if I haven’t convinced by now why go on. Even if these reasons don’t work for your company, think beyond the specifics above. Think about how these resources can be utilized in your company. That is the real value of LinkedIn. It opens up so many opportunities that have not been available in the past.

I would encourage everyone to be active on LinkedIn. The benefits far out weigh any drawbacks.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, You’re NOT The Person I Hired. Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad

 

How Important Is Hiring and Retaining Great People?

Is Hiring and Retaining Top Talent Important To Your Organization?

On a recent Harvard Business Review Blog Article, titled Good Managers Lead Through a Team, Linda Hill & Kent Lineback spoke about how the ability to manage teams is one of the key pillars of success for managers and executives. This an excellent and well-written article that all managers and executives should read.

I commented on the article since I felt the authors missed the key point about people and teams. It’s not as much the ability to manage them – as it is the issue of hiring and retaining them.

Here were my comments to the authors. What are your thoughts?

 

Excellent post about a key pillar of successful managers and leaders. I'll go one step further. In our executive search practice, we've completed well over 1,000 projects and interviewed over 250,000 managerial and executive candidates over the last 25 years. We've identified that the NUMBER ONE element of success for managers and executives is hiring and retaining a top-notch team.

Even hiring managers and executives with technical weaknesses in their functional niche or specialty out-performed their more technically adept peers due to their stronger teams. It affects career progression, job opportunities, bonus and incentives, and job satisfaction.

Managers and Executives who hired middle-of-the-road minimally qualified candidates, and accepted mediocrity among their team members, had average and mediocre careers – passed over for promotions, denied new opportunities, and failed to earn their full bonus potential.

No other trait or ability appears to come close to the correlation of success for managers and executives and their ability to hire and retain top talent.

Unfortunately, most companies give the concept of hiring top talent and “our people are our most important asset” lip service. Rewards, incentives, goals, objectives, and consequences don't match the propaganda most companies spew out about their people and teams. You can find isolated cases of companies that make hiring and retaining a top priority – but the list is very small. More likely, you'll find a few managers and executives scattered through-out different companies who instinctively “GET IT.”

Why do you think there is such a gap between the generic words about the importance of people and team members vs. the practical application on a day-to-day basis?

 

Share your experience of what happens when managers and executives do a great job of hiring and retaining top talent vs. what happens when weak, average, and mediocre people are hired and “tolerated.”

If you would like to read the full article, click the link below:

Good Managers Lead Through A Team

Barry Deutsch

 

PS: Download a copy of our best-selling book “You’re NOT the Person I Hired” and take our Hiring Process Assessment to determine if your organization is capable of hiring top talent.

Which of Your Employees Have a Miserable Job?

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni

One of my favorite books, is Three Signs of a Miserable Job, by Patrick Lencioni.

Have you read this book yet? Every CEO should make it required reading for their management team.

Here’s an excellent YouTube Video with Lencioni talking about the book:

Here’s my homework assignment for you: Take an excel spreadsheet, list every employee in your company, and categorize them into one of the three main categories for a miserable job that Lencioni refers to in his book.

  • Anonymity: People need to be understood and appreciated by someone in a position of authority
  • Irrelevance: Everyone needs to know their job matters to someone
  • Immeasurement: Employees need to be able to gauge their progress and level of contribution for themselves

That’s the easy part, the next part is then put action plans together to overcome these miserable elements of jobs in your company. Are you to this challenge?

You might say to me:

‘I don’t have a need to go through this with my employees. Our productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness is good enough. We don’t have to go through this time-consuming, painful process, to figure out what’s wrong with our jobs. If any of our employees don’t like their jobs, their welcome not to let the door hit them on the way out.

 

Should Employees Be Engaged and Satisfied?

I’m curious how many CEOs really believe that statement. Oh, no one raised their hands. Here’s the irony: The vast majority of CEOs don’t perceive a problem. Then why are the vast majority of your employees turned off, dissatisfied, disengaged, and are ready to look for a new job? Almost every study over the last few years indicates employee satisfaction has dropped to historical lows compared to the Great Depression.

What’s the risk of having employees feel like their job is miserable? What’s the risk of having disengaged, unhappy, dissatisfied, unmotivated employees?

The risk is a tolerance for “it’s not my job”, errors, customer dissatisfaction, turnover, poor performance and execution, below industry average levels of productivity, and a dysfunctional culture that permeates every element of your business. Wow – I depressed myself just making that list.

 

Create An Engaged Workforce of Happy Employees

When should you start to care about how your employees feel about their jobs? Should it be when you want to grow your business by $250,000 next year, or $22 million over the next 3 years?

If your approach to business is “it’s good enough”, then take no action.

If your approach to business is along the thoughts of Jim Collins in Good to Great, I challenge you that this could be one of the greatest areas for operational performance in your business over the next few years.

What are your thoughts? What’s your experience in implementing actions to overcome the 3 primary elements of a miserable job?

Barry Deutsch

PS – Take our FREE Culture Survey to get a quick grasp on how your employees might perceive your company and whether there is a risk of them being miserable. Click here to download the Culture Survey. This was one of the key chapters in our award-winning and best-selling book, titled “You're NOT the Person I Hired.”

If you would like to discover how to hire and retain top talent, we've made You're NOT the Person I Hired, available for FREE in an electronic version. To download your free copy of the book You're NOT the Person I Hired, click this link, or click the button below:

Download our FREE e-book - You're NOT the Person I Hired

 

Do Unemployed Candidates Stink?

Holding your nose because the candidate your considering stinks or has a stigma attached to them

What’s your bias regarding unemployed candidates? Do they have a stink or have a stigma attached to them?

I’ve been doing executive search for 25 years and the bias of the vast majority of hiring managers/executives is to consider a candidate who has been out of work (especially one with long-term unemployment) to be “damaged goods”. Something must be wrong with them if they’ve been out of work for so long. Do you subscribe to this theory? Many of my clients who have been out of work for an extended period of time apply a different standard to the potential members of their team.

Why do we have this bias?

I’ll admit I have a pretty powerful biased and judgmental approach to candidates who have been out of work – even during a recession. Historically, I’ve always felt that a top caliber candidate should have an extraordinary network in place, and bring the same passion, initiative, and energy to their job search that they bring to work everyday. The last 3 plus years of this recession have rocked that assumption a little – and I’m trying to reconcile it (but I’m not being very successful changing my historical bias).

I’m always willing to make an exception to the rule. I try to be open and not run my search business on a series of “absolute” rules. Unfortunately, my bias toward out of work candidates – perhaps based on some tribal myth – is hard to overcome. For example, I recently placed a VP of Sales and Marketing with one of my clients where the specification for the job was so narrow, the very best candidate had been out of work for a year (by the way, I cannot remember the last time I placed a candidate that was not currently working). The big issue was if he can’t put the energy into finding a job, how can we expect him to bring a high level of energy to this role.

I spent an excessive amount of time validating the candidate’s energy, passion, focus, and initiative. He was clearly the best candidate for the job. However, I still have this nagging sensation at the back of my neck as to why he had been out of work for a year. When I dug really deep with him, I discovered that he conducted a terrible job search as if it was 1970 – which unfortunately is the strategy most executives apply when they’ve been forced to look for a job for the first time in 15-20 years. Is that an appropriate excuse or rationalization for conducting a terrible and ineffective job search?

That raised a number of other questions for me about the candidate. If he didn’t know how to conduct a job search, shouldn’t he have done research to discover current best practices, methods, tips, and techniques in this “new normal” of job searching in a digital age with tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter? 90% of this information is free on the internet on blogs (like the one we write for executive job search candidates), and wide range of other sites, such as jobsearch.about.com. I believe Steven Covey called this being “unconsciously incompetent.” We don’t know what we don’t know. Should my candidate have realized he was unconsciously incompetent in conducting a job search, and focused on learning everything he could about an effective executive job search?

The answer is YES!

Just attending a few networking meetings with other people who are up to speed on an effective job search should have given him a clue that he was not conducting a job search that would generate an abundance of leads and opportunities. Most executives and managers spend the vast majority of their job search applying to open positions advertised on job boards. This is the same technique as reading the want ads in the paper 30-40 years ago. The result is pretty much the same now as it was back then. The Florida unemployment office is helping out the people of its state by helping them live through their unemployed period by giving them the opportunity to apply for an unemployment insurance.

The vast majority of jobs are not advertised. They are buried in the hidden job market. Studies show that the hidden job market is probably 80% or more of all open managerial and executive roles. If that’s true, shouldn’t a job search candidate at this level conduct a search focused on the hidden job market and uncovering those opportunities vs. the passive approach of answering ads?

What does this say about my candidate? Can we extrapolate that he’s passive? Would a top caliber candidate bring a different level of energy and initiative to their job search vs. their on the job performance?

What do you think? I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments to this blog and the experiences if you’ve had being unemployed, and your experiences of interviewing or hiring candidates that were unemployed.

Barry Deutsch

 

P.S. Download a FREE version of our famous e-book You're NOT the Person I Hired if you would like to learn how to improve your hiring accuracy and success.

Download our FREE e-book - You're NOT the Person I Hired