Archive for October, 2012

Case of the Mondays….

Posted: October 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

The CEO knows that we all get a case of the Monday’s from time to time. What happens when that nasty case comes on every day for the rest of the week? Instead of giving them reason to leave their current job, give them the opportunity to grow, be challenged and feel job satsifaction – each and every day. The top strategies to enrich your employee’s job include:  

10.) Examine the whole picture – instead of asking your employee to do one single task, help them see the project from start to finish. If your employee only chops the onions, shouldn’t he still be able to taste and serve the soup?

9.) Give them a client. Even if you are not in a client focused industry, asking your employee to get in touch with a customer can be hugely rewarding. They are accountable for helping shape the perceptions of the organizations through at least one set of eyes.

8.) No man is an island, so encourage team projects that match employees with different colleagues. They can learn from the variety of strengths and see new perspectives. By working on a self-directed project, employees can take on leadership positions within their team.

7.) Get them involved in decisions that impact the workplace. Have them interview new hires, make budget suggestions or even decide the theme to the holiday party. Employees who are encouraged to speak out feel valued.

6.) Reward creativity and encourage employees to contribute their best ideas. Go beyond a suggestion box. Have brainstorming sessions, ask for outside-the-box ideas or allow employees to create.

5.) Movers and shakers are more likely to stay within the organization if put in the right assignments. Examine the idea of a transfer or promotion. If not possible, a rotational assignment will help spice up the mundane.

4.) Ask them how they think they are doing, beyond the annual review. Informal self-reviews encourage employees to look at their own performance and assess how they are contributing to the organization. This process can uncover outstanding issues but also hold the employee accountable for their day to day activities.

3.) Help your employees learn new skills, upgrade their knowledge or take courses outside of work. Training employees can add to job enrichment as employees recognize the time, effort and resources invested.

2.) Review the job description. Ask your employee what they would like changed about their job. Perhaps there is opportunity to shift responsibilities within the department. What do they find rewarding, and what do they find de-motivating?

1.) Set Goals with your employee. Job enrichment can also be about moving to the next level, and understanding the path to get there. The manager’s legacy is developing their people and seeing them succeed.  

Review this list anytime you notice an employee staring into their coffee, complaining of a case of the Mondays… any day of the week.


Most CEOs wouldn’t be caught dead watching a romantic comedy. But doesn’t everyone need to watch a good chick flick over a bowl of ice cream from time to time? Cue the love scenes, the tears and the famous cheesy lines that define a generation. Real world CEO’s would be well advised to watch one RomCom in particular. The lessons learned in Jerry Maguire can be brought back to the boardroom.

Think of yourself as Tom Cruise (go on, enjoy the moment). Are your employees saying: “Show me the Money…..!” or “You Complete Me”.

Chances are, if you are going to hang on to your leading characters and stars, you need to look at your approach to rewards and recognition. The paycheque is rarely the main motivator. Your people are after their perfect match, just like a true love story. They want rewards through benefits, the work itself, long term opportunities, and affiliation. At the end of the day, doesnt it all come down to a little credit for a job well done?  

Forbes magazine’s contributor Kevin Kruse blogs about the lessons from the team at Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. (Palaces? Now we are talking chick flick!)  An article from the Harvard Business Review examines how the hotel company continues to make their employees feel appreciated. This management style doesn’t just improve service, it was critical when a property was faced with terrorist attacks. The article reminds us that recognition, or “expressions of gratitude” must come from our front line managers. In addition, the article reminds us that timing is key… why wait for that annual review? I digged this article because it looks at five ‘keys’ of a specific case study which any hotelier could adapt, yet is universal in it’s message.

Stuck on how to give praise? As Jerry would say, “Help me, help you”…….

Be specific. Be timely. Be spontaneous…or be private, depending on the individual. Put it in writing, or put it on a plaque. Record a voicemail or send a text. Catch them on the spot. Recognize them in front of others, even if they are not there people will tell them what you said. Any way you do it… praise often to let them know they make a difference.

Who knows, a little recognition and you might just have them at hello.

Open Door Policy

Posted: October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

You’ve heard it before. Maybe from your manager, or in the glossy handbook provided at orientation. Organizations love throwing around the term “open door policy” to ensure employees feel that they have an outlet to share concerns. Yet, how many of those doors are actually open? Is anyone walking through them?

The Chief Engagement Officer blog has it’s doors wide open. I want to engage with both the employee and the employer on issues of engagement. I want to hear your questions and concerns. I want you to barge right in, stay a while and put your feet on my desk. I want us to come together to find solutions to questions such as, “why are my people stealing all the office supplies?” or “why do I come to work to play four hours of angry birds?”

I’m not your every day CEO. My motive is engagement and I may have a tendency to get all warm and fuzzy from time to time. Engagement in the workplace might not be at the top of your inbox, but I’m hoping we can at least get it in the pile. I am committed to driving organizations forward by putting people first. You spend too much time at work as it is. You can waste the hours wishing you were somewhere else…. or wishing you had better people working for you. I’d rather you waste your working hours checking out this blog. Hopefully we’ll all learn something and get back to work.

The very popular Allison Green of Ask a Manager has her own open door policy. She answers questions people have from her slightly sassy management perspective. She is a valuable resource for individuals who are job seeking, giving no-nonsense advice and ideas. As CEO, I would rather not advise you on job hunting…lets look at cultivating the lawn in our own backyard before checking if the grass is greener. Topic aside, Allison’s style is refreshing, honest and informative. Using her approach, I hope to get us talking about engagement in the workplace.

So, what are your questions, concerns and ideas on the subject? The CEO is in and the door is WIDE open.