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TUESDAY OCTOBER 23, 2012                                                     A WEEKLY E-NEWSLETTER COMPILED BY SAM GEIST


The question of engagement continues to seep into every business discussion whether it's about moving an organization up a notch, maintaining a competitive advantage, happy employees, or developing a profitable company. This was (again) the focus of a meeting I facilitated yesterday. After listening to the attendees' comments, I checked out what the gurus had to say about engagement. The similarity between the ideas of my participants and those who are ever quoted was remarkable.

Here are some of the masters' quotes:

"People want to be successful. They want to feel like they're contributing. The employer's role is to show their workers what success looks like and then give them the tools to close any gaps." 
--Bob Twerdun, Senior VP, Human Capital, MNP

"An engaged workplace is a place where people feel they're making a difference. Engagement is about doing the things you don't have to do. It's about spotting a problem and doing something about it."
--Douglas Reid, Professor, Queen's School of Business

"If you take care of your employees first and foremost, they'll take care of the customers and that will make for happy shareholders."
--Herb Kelleher, CEO, Southwest Airlines.

Here are some attendee quotes:

"In order to keep employees engaged they must see that they are important, that they have a say in what happens." -- J.S.

"The CEO's speech is motivating but unless the change is maintained in the every day lives of employees, it won't stick. The engagement fades away."

"You need to ensure that the answer to the question, 'do your employees want to come to work?' is always 'yes' and if it isn't it's your job as the boss to find out why and do something about it."  --D.M.

It seems since we're all aware of the importance of employee engagement, it's time to make it happen in our own organization.


"Engaged employees are your big competitive advantage."
--Sam Geist

Workplace stress is on the increase. Below is a listing of the causes given from a survey of nearly 1,000 adults. 
  • 77% of Americans are stressed by at least one thing at work 
  • 14% of adults surveyed ranked low pay as the most stressful aspect
  • 11% of those surveyed listed commuting  
  • 9% indicated unreasonable workload  
  • 9% indicated fear of being fired or laid off   
  • 8% listed annoying co-workers  
  • 5% listed the boss  
  • 5% indicated poor work-life balance
  • 4% listed lack of opportunity for advancement. 
--2011 Work Stress Survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College

To read how employee stress is being reduced in the workplace by some companies see first SITE SEEING link below.

An interesting study on how one company increased the productivity of its warehouse workers.
  • Average productivity jumped 6.8% when a wholesaler began privately informing its warehouse workers how they ranked among other employees on pay and performance.
  • This effect has shown no signs of abating over the long term.
  • The initiative, which didn't cost the company a thing, suggests that providing information about employees' relative performance is consistent with workers' concerns about their standing and performance in relation to other employees.  
--Jordi Blanes i Vidal and Mareike Nossol, London School of Economics/Management Scienceship
"Seeing the failures in others not only aids learning, but helps to make one's own failures appear less threatening."
--David Burkus, Professor of Management, Oral Roberts University

Click here to read the research that supports this quote.

"Job stress is inevitable, and the key to handling this anxiety is to manage it, not obsess over it. Learning time management skills, defining your job responsibilities and setting boundaries with co-workers or bosses can go a long way to creating a healthier work environment."  
--Davis K. Brimberg, A Los Angeles Psychologist who specializes in Workplace Issues

For a response to workplace stress see first SITE SEEING link below.

For study results on workplace stress see THE STATS below.


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Read what companies are doing to reduce the stress of their employees.

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Sam Geist lectures, facilitates workshops and conducts training seminars on sales & marketing, the changing marketplace, leadership, differentiation, customer service and staff motivation.  His three books, "Why Should Someone Do Business With You... Rather Than Someone Else?" "Would You Work for You?" and "Execute... or Be Executed" are available in bookstores everywhere, published by Addington & Wentworth Inc.