The 7 Secrets to Unlocking Exceptional Employee Engagement (Hint: It’s All About Your Benefits)

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement

Presenter: Kevin Sheridan

Original program date: January 2018 (available for on-demand viewing through July 2018)

Program length: 60 minutes

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Companies with higher levels of engagement not only have more productive employees, they report higher sales and greater profitability. Kevin Sheridan, author of the best-selling bookBuilding a Magnetic Culture, says the quickest way to up your game is to become better at marketing your company’s benefits offerings. In this lively 60-minute webinar, he will share his time-tested tips for doing just that, including:

  • What highly engaged companies are already doing to keep their employees motivated and fulfilled
  • How making a better first impression during pre-boarding can have positive effects that last for years
  • How leveraging HR tech and internal “benefits champions” can boost employee engagement all year long

Learn about our speakerAbout the Presenter: Kevin Sheridan is an internationally recognized speaker, a New York Times best-selling author and one of the most sought-after voices on the topic of employee engagement. For five consecutive years, he was cited as one of Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on employee engagement. He was also named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017. Having spent 30 years as a high-level human capital management consultant, Sheridan has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. He is the author of two best-selling books,Building a Magnetic Culture and The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

 

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Viewing this webcast in its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted towardSHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM andrecertification from the HR Certification Institute (general credit).

Webcast Sponsor

This webcast is sponsored by ALEX by Jellyvision

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Ten Predictions for the 2018 Workplace

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement

Kevin s blog photo  

As luck or prescient knowledge would have it, seven of the ten workplace predictions I made last year turned out to be correct.

While I am happy with that outcome, I hope to do even better in 2018. Here are my top 10 predictions for the 2018 workplace:

  1. Digital workplaces will continue to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), further promoting “the intelligent workplace.”

For 2018, AI will likely have a profound effect on both workplace and culture, continuing to change how everyone works (i.e. the practical flow of how work is accomplished).  Specifically, AI will no doubt replace certain workers, as explored in “Meet Your New Coworkers:  Robots.”

AI holds immeasurable potential to both compliment worker productivity and reduce workplace stress.  Better real-time data, logistics, planning, and reduced workplace errors and incidents will all result from higher, and better, utilization of AI.

  1. Digital literacy will become an essential competence in the workplace.

Very much related to prediction #1, organizations will not be able to compete successfully without attracting and retaining top talent who possess the proficiencies associated with the digital workplace.  Leaders lacking digital literacy will struggle mightily, underscoring the importance of placing increased emphasis on retraining and teaching digital literacy.

  1. People analytics will continue to grow, especially since workplace software will track and monitor us as never before.

The broad range of software tracking and monitoring services will continue to grow in 2018, as will the related concerns that George Orwell’s 1984 “Big Brother” is afoot in the workplace.  Technology advances have made it possible to track every employee’s electronic moves. Unlike the technology in Orwell’s novel however, the world’s advances are not focused on sordid or scary uses.  Rather,  one of the greatest benefits of the technology is that both productivity and outcomes are better measured and therefore better managed.

  1. Collaboration tools accelerate the shift from individual ego to collective team contribution.

Having been raised in a culture promoting collaboration and team-based learning, younger workers, especially Millennials, expect and even demand that shared knowledge exchange, teamwork, and collaboration will be the central staples of their work environment.  Anything else might be labeled as “selfish” or “ego-driven.”  This collaborative mindset will continue to substantially change workplace culture in the years to come, further focusing workplaces from individual to team.

  1. Microsoft will remain the top workplace enterprise platform, despite some recently introduced competition.

Yes, competitors such as Slack, Yammer, Google Suite, and Workplace by Facebook have all introduced novel and welcomed new approaches.  However, the reality is that Microsoft still reigns as the royalty of workplace enterprise solutions, and this is unlikely to change for some time to come.

  1. There will be a continued shifting from leveraging technology towards changing personal behavior and workplace culture.

Even years after his death, the famed management guru Peter Drucker still gets it right:

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

While technology and the associated strategy have great value, their return on investment will never exceed that of the culture, values, and beliefs of an organization and its employees. Organizations continue to recognize this trend, with numerous organizations recruiting people to fill the role of Director of Employee Experience.  Indeed, over the last three years, studies by Gallup, Deloitte (Bersin), and The Conference Board have all concluded that organizations (and their CEOs) have placed much more importance on staff, culture, behaviors, and how their staff works internally to support their external success.

  1. Intranets will keep improving performance and become fully utilized.

For both economic and practicality reasons, tailored and customized Intranet solutions will continue to attract higher attention in 2018.  Ask any IT manager or IT consultant worth their salt, and they will tell you that high-performing, well-designed Intranets are still the key application or “window” to the broader digital workplace and collaborative environment mentioned previously.

  1. Younger workers will continue to have a strong desire to demarcate work versus life.

One of the oft discussed characteristics of Millennials is their desire to separate work and life, and this is not likely to change in 2018. Remember, Millennials are not living to work, as Boomers like myself were taught, but rather working to live. To successfully retain this younger generation, it is imperative that you provide workplace flexibility and not be the “old school” manager who demands that employees be present during set and rigid business hours.  To Millennials, that is their definition of a workplace prison.

The Millennial generation values freedom because they want to be in control of their own experience.  The secret is hiring the right people, so you can trust them and let go.  Track their outcomes, not their time in the office.  Millennial employees want and appreciate being “free range,” and working in an open and flexible environment.

  1. The internal digital workplace will continue to rise in stature.

The trend of workplaces recognizing that they cannot be competitive externally without effective internal digital systems is more than likely to continue.  This recalibrating, from external to internal, unleashes exciting opportunities for digital work teams to set bold new goals and make internal digital investments for the future.

One such example is Workplace by Facebook, which is a place where workers can share ideas, brainstorm, collaborate, and achieve more work together.  This relatively new Facebook tool connects and unifies employees with their preferred digital and internet tools.  Success stories of organizations using Workplace abound, especially from such notable companies as Starbucks, March of Dimes, GoPro, Heineken, Domino’s Pizza, and Walmart.  Workplace has helped transform those cultures by “getting employees out of the dark,” and into the illumination – of strategic information, culture, beliefs, goals, recognition, and performance feedback, just to mention a few.

Getting this “Employee Experience” right from a digital workplace standpoint is hard work, as already discovered by many organizations.  Myriad factors can stand in the way of creating the ideal and smooth flow of digital connection we would ideally like employees to experience throughout their workday.  Best-in-class organizations will think through these obstacles and employ successful solutions to them before, during, and after deployment of these digital systems.

  1. The trend towards mobility will become even more pronounced.

Mobility within the workplace is becoming a very prominent topic. Employees value the ability to work from wherever, whenever, while benefiting from the same advantages of their peers in the office.   Moving forward, the requirement for all digital workforce applications to be unified (including Intranets, HR, HCM platforms, document management, as well as the aforementioned Workplace by Facebook) will only increase the demand for more efficient mobility deployments. This trend will not go away in 2018; in fact, I predict it will become even more pronounced, with employees continuing to push for more mobility in all aspects of their lives.

In 2018, I foresee mobility discussions to be centered around Telehealth and providing real-time performance feedback.

Let’s first look at the former: Telehealth, which provides the ability to receive healthcare advice and healthcare electronically, is being catapulted upon society.  This trend is likely due to younger generations’ preferences for mobility, as well as the economic reality that in many cases, healthcare can be delivered more economically through electronic technology.

Second, both millennials and the subsequent generation, often called “globals” or “digital natives,” have a strong desire for real-time performance feedback.  In fact, as reported in some of my previous blogs, 80% of millennials want feedback in real-time.1  As organizations’ continue to recruit and retain millennials and younger generations, the need for real-time feedback in mobility platforms and in mobile roles will continue to increase.

And that’s it for my 2018 predictions.  Let’s look forward to watching most, if not all, of these predictions for 2018 unfold.  Once again, Happy New Year!

 

  • Source: 2016 ICIMIS, Inc. Study

 

Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For six years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017.

 

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.

 

www.kevinsheridanllc.com

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Email: kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com

Why Diverse Teams Need To Step Up Their Communication

Michal Aniol
This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field
 of Employee Engagement

A very good friend of mine, who is of Polish decent, was reading an article in Polish next to me and pointed to a name referenced repeatedly, that being Michał Anioł. She looked up at me peering over her shoulder and said, “You know this guy.” I honestly had no clue who she was talking about and said so. She looked at me like I was crazy. I reiterated that I truly had no idea who Michał Anioł was, assuring her that I was not joking. She looked flabbergasted.

She then turned the page and I was suddenly looking at the world-famous Statue of David, which I had first seen when I studied in Florence, Italy, in 1981. It was then of course that I realized she had been talking about Michelangelo, who of course I knew thoroughly and even wrote course papers about.

Such communication mishaps occur all the time in workplaces. Two people can interpret the same word or phrases in opposite ways. Cultural differences can further complicate the communication and outcome.

Given that Communication & Diversity Acceptance are seventh and tenth on the list of Top 10 Drivers of Employee Engagement, here are several proven tips on how to best handle each:

– Provide examples when communicating. (e.g., The Statue of David)

– Ask for clarification. (e.g., “Can you give me an example of why you expected me to know this Michał Anioł?)

– Encourage all managers at your organization to always share what they learn at management meetings with their work groups and direct reports. Research has consistently shown this lack of communication is the single greatest complaint about communication. As such, encourage your managers to put ongoing Outlook Calendar reminders to host “huddles” with their employees, thereby making such consistent communication inescapable.

– Make a concerted effort to “bridge the gap” as it relates to differences in culture, ethnicity, gender, age, language, education, etc. Furthermore, create an organizational culture that accepts, appreciates, and learns from those differences.

Many times, you won’t know if your communication has been unclear because no one has given you honest feedback. This problem can be even more common when working with diverse team members who have different backgrounds, experiences, and ways of working.

As the year winds down, now is the perfect time to start thinking about what can be improved in your workplace, and what you can personally do better. Focusing on improving communication can make a resounding impact in your day-to-day work experience, and that of your colleagues.

 

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.

The Sweet Gift Of Employee Engagement And Strategic Brand Promotion

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement

On the heels of conducting a motivational keynote speech for a client in Las Vegas, one of the key executives sent me the most unique post-event thank you gift.  The gift so resonated with me since it leveraged three of the most impactful drivers of both employee engagement and brand promotion and recognition.

First, I’ll share the gift with you and then I’ll highlight the drivers it leveraged, such that you and your team can use them to make a difference for your employees and customers.

sugarhouse casino card

sugarhouse casino mounds bar

The gift was from Wendy Hamilton, the General Manager of SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia,  but was assembled by Trish Smylie, the Director of Customer Service.  Trish had creatively assembled a box labeled “Shoot For The Stars.”  I opened the box with great curiosity and found a hand-written note with messaging that was interspersed and punctuated with well-known candy.

sugarhouse casino starburst and rolo sugarhouse casino KIND and extra

sugarhouse casino card2

 

This gift was most powerful because it leveraged three key drivers of employee engagement and brand promotion:

  1. Strategic vision and mission. The candy in the gift was representing and promoting the organization brand, SugarHouse.
  2. Communicating lasting impressions with the customer. The thank you gift was fun and unlikely to be forgotten.  As such, others recipients,  especially customers, would give their future loyalty to the casino.
  3. Having fun. Fun is the missing driver of both employee and customer engagement. So many organizations, managers, and employees forget to have fun while working, and as such, this engagement driver goes under-utilized, or not leveraged at all, when trying to reach world-class engagement levels.

This video from SugarHouse Casino shows how much fun they are having, (quite fittingly beginning with Wendy the GM) and how much fun you could have at their property, and more importantly, at your organization.

 

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.

A Lesson On Employee Engagement From Thomas Edison’s Mother: Never Let Them Put You Down!

Edison
This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement

 

One day, as a small child, Thomas Edison came home from school and gave a paper to his mother. He said to her, “Mom, my teacher gave this paper to me and told me only you are to read it. What does it say?”

Her eyes welled with tears as she read the letter out loud to her child: “Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have good enough teachers to train him. Please teach him yourself.”

Many years after Edison’s mother had died, he became one of the greatest inventors of the century.

One day he was going through a closet and he found the folded letter that his old teacher wrote his Mother that day. He opened it.  The message written on the letter was: “Your son is mentally deficient. We cannot let him attend our school anymore. He is expelled.”

Edison became emotional reading it and then wrote in his diary: “Thomas A. Edison was a mentally deficient child whose mother turned him into the genius of the Century.”

A positive word of encouragement can help change anyone’s destiny.

Although it’s widely known that Edison struggled with learning as a child and only attended public school for a short time, there is much conjecture on the internet as to whether this story about his teacher is true.  No one knows.  Regardless, it illustrates the importance of both owning your own engagement and never letting others ruin your outcomes or future.  If people don’t believe in you or the mission you’re committed to, it shouldn’t affect your own personal drive.  This is true at school, at work, and in your personal life.  Never let people put you down!

 

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.

Video Blog: The Power of Recognition

This guest video blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

There are hundreds of millions of workers worldwide who feel unappreciated in their jobs and have not heard a “thank you” from someone for a very long time, if ever.  This video illustrates the importance of, and best practices on, the number one driver of employee engagement:  Recognition.  Is your organization properly and fully leveraging this key driver of engagement?  Find out.

http://kevinsheridanllc.com/2017/10/the-power-of-recognition/

This guest video blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

 

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.

Lessons On Engagement From My Native American Sister And Iraq War Veteran

PhotoBlogMelissa1This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

Recently I went home to the Native American Indian Reservation in northern Wisconsin on which I was raised.  I always find it so grounding to go home to the “Res” as it is known to the locals.  It was especially grounding this trip because I got to spend two and a half peaceful hours with my Chippewa little sister, Melissa Doud, on her new pontoon boat.  Although I am not Native American, and not her blood brother, we share kindred spirits and souls, and much family and Native American history, not the least of which was dancing in the “Pow Wows” for the white tourists in the summer.

Thus, it was with great emotion that I listened to Melissa talk about her 20-year defense of our country as an active in the army, her one Iraq “tour” and the subsequent PTSD, and her divorce, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts.   Melissa shared three key factors on how she made it through this challenging time of her life, all of which are also helpful to employees facing similar despair in their jobs:

  • She kept forging ahead, trying to stay as active and positive as humanly possible.
  • She asked for help, especially from fellow combat veterans, support groups, and therapists.
  • She used her children for both emotional anchoring and inspiration, especially recognizing that restoring her state of mental health was essential for her kids’ survival.
  • Wow.  No matter what side of the current kneeling or no kneeling NFL drama you are on, I hope you can salute military veterans like Melissa and what they have done to protect our rights to free speech and democracy.

As a special thank you to this special veteran, I implore you listen to Bullet Dress on Soundcloud.)  In the song, she references her Chippewa name, Animikiikwe, pronounced (Ah-nimi-key-kwe), which means “Thunder Woman” or “The Storm is Coming.”

PhotoBlogMelissa2

With unending gratitude to all veterans who have served our country, Gaagige Nisayenh 

(The Chippewa name given to me by Melissa this trip, which means “Forever Brother.”)

Kevin Sheridan is an Internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement.   He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement.  His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.  He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior.  He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies. Kevin can be reached via email at kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinsheridan1 and on twitter @kevinsheridan12. His webpage is www.kevinsheridanllc.com.