Archive for the ‘Employee Engagement’ Category

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Triggering stories and action through competition

When asked for the secret of his success in the steel industry, American industrialist Charles Schwab (1862-1939) always talked about using praise, not criticism, giving liberal bonuses for work well done, and “appeal[ing] to the American spirit of conquest in my men, the spirit of doing things better than anyone has ever done them before.” […]

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Making the most of story-work

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —November 30, 2011
Filed in Business storytelling, Employee Engagement, Strategy

In using story-work to build a brand, engage employees, or for one of its many other purposes, organisations nearly always focus on storytelling. The meme is strong because the act of storytelling is so powerful. But to focus solely on this one aspect of story-work severely limits the benefits. The most valuable application of this […]

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Different ways to envisage the future

Posted by  Kevin Bishop —July 29, 2011
Filed in Communication, Employee Engagement, Leadership Posts, Strategy

How do you get your people to think about what the future could be, in a way that inspires them and starts to spark action, but also takes into account the simple fact that the future is unpredictable? I was reminded of this challenge, yet again, last week. We were working with a client on […]

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No fun at work – values in action

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 17, 2011
Filed in Anecdotes, Employee Engagement

I heard this story from one of our workshop participants. We were talking about values and how they play out in practice. Their organisation, a government department, has ‘fun’ as a stated value. With that in mind Janet (not her real name) thought it would be fun to take her team on an outing to […]

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The problem with ‘motivational speakers’

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 20, 2011
Filed in Communication, Employee Engagement

So called ‘motivational speakers’ don’t motivate people to change behaviour. Throughout my career I have been involved in organising, planning and developing a huge number of away days, events, conferences and the like. When you start working on ideas for the agenda, more often than not someone will suggest getting a ‘motivational speaker’ along. This […]

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Employee engagement – good intentions are not enough

Posted by  Mark Schenk —April 17, 2011
Filed in Anecdotes, Employee Engagement, Leadership Posts

My engineering friends would say it like this … good intentions are a necessary but insufficient condition for success. In my working life I have only ever met a handful of people who deliberately set out to humiliate, disempower, demotivate or otherwise disengage staff. Yet these are exactly the effects that many managers/leaders have. How […]

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Listening – Motivation or Ability?

Posted by  Kevin Bishop —April 15, 2011
Filed in Communication, Employee Engagement

Is really listening to someone about your listening abilities, or is it about your motivation to listen? Is it about the ‘skills’ of listening or is it the desire to want to listen that makes the difference? I have been running a series of workshops lately where we do a very simple listening exercise that […]

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Exploring employee engagement

Posted by  Mark Schenk —March 28, 2011
Filed in Employee Engagement, Leadership Posts

We have been using narrative approaches for many years to help organisations with employee engagement. This 4 minute youtube video gives some insights into some of the things we’ve notice working in this field and some examples of behaviours that can build or undermine engagement. In 2009, we also posted a detailed description of how […]

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The Otis Redding Problem

Posted by  Kevin Bishop —January 6, 2011
Filed in Employee Engagement, Fun

I stumbled across a blog post yesterday from Bob Sutton where he referred to the ‘Otis Redding Problem‘. This is where you put in place too many metrics to measure individuals, teams, or business units. meaning they can’t even think about all of them at once. They therefore end-up doing what they believe are important […]

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Thanks is good business

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 11, 2010
Filed in Communication, Employee Engagement

When we collect stories in companies one of the most common anecdotes is the one about the boss who fails to recognise their staff’s work. People want to be thanked, appreciated, recognised regardless of their level in the organisation or their level of skill or expertise. Dan Ariely conducted a simple experiment described in his […]

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