As we wrap up 2016, I have a special end of year gift for you! Five tips to catapult employee engagement and satisfaction during the holiday season. As John F. Kennedy said “One person can make a difference and everyone should try”. Why not try at least one of these tips before December 31, 2016? Reflect on and recognize full year achievements: Take the time to ponder all of the contributions of your team and cross-functional colleagues and surface those that deserve special recognition. This could take many forms including phone calls, emails, hand written notes or formal awards. The most important thing is toRead More →

I am currently involved in an initiative to help motivate and inspire our telecommuter population. This is just over 10% of our entire employee base. Since these telecommuting team members are spread across the globe, across departments and functions, and have varied years of experience, this is a challenging task. Recently, I previewed a number of “how to telecommute” books from Amazon.com, to see if any of them would be worthy as giveaways or job tools for this group. Sadly, many of them are geared to business owners working from home or have outdated information. I did find one book, “101 Tips for Telecommuters, SuccessfullyRead More →

This week I had the opportunity to attend a women’s leadership symposium in Washington D.C. As I reflect back on the content and the speakers, one of the sessions that stood out for me was on power. The word power is often used as a negative, for example, “The zombie queen used her powers for evil instead of good.” or “The politician used his power to hire his friends, instead of the most qualified candidates.” In this session we talked about the different types of power and when having it or using it can be a good thing. At one point the facilitator asked herRead More →

Before I moved to Georgia, I only flew into the Atlanta airport every once in a while. When I did, I found it a bit scary and overwhelming as this airport is one of the busiest and largest in the entire world. There are people and activities everywhere, and you need to ride the internal train to get from gate to gate. I felt like a tiny spec traveling in the spacious atmosphere of the airport. Now that I live in Georgia, I fly from the Atlanta airport all the time. What used to be an overwhelming experience has now become very comfortable and simplyRead More →

As I called out in a blog post I wrote in 2012, “5 Best Practices for Building Trust With Employees”, there is no silver bullet or quick fix that will create a positive, trusting work environment.  Leaders must deliberately set a tone of authenticity and transparency, and one of the best methods to achieve this is via consistent, ongoing and direct communication. Fast forward to 2016, I feel more passionate about this topic than ever before. Even with more than 20 years of leadership experience under my belt, I am still un-pleasantly surprised when managers attempt to leverage “forced fun” or corporate speak to connectRead More →

For a number of years I have been involved in initiatives to improve employee morale and engagement, and create a more positive working environment. In my gut, I have always felt like the big, complex projects or events have a much lower impact on improving this area, versus the small things (like touch points) we can all do day in and day out. So, I was pleased when I came across the book called “TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments” by Douglas Conant and Mette Morgaard. A short aside… I came across this book while perusing the business section of myRead More →

When I look back at my leadership successes and challenges from the past year, one of the key concepts that had a strong presence in my day-to-day activities and that I learned a lot about/from was “building trust with employees”. It can take one sentence, one conversation or one seemingly innocent action to completely lose the trust of your employees or colleagues. Conversely, it will take multiple conversations, consistent actions and time (and more time), to build the trust of your employees and colleagues. When it comes to building this bond, there is no magic bullet, no special pill and no one week contest. A talented coworkerRead More →