business psychology, Danny Gattas, Employee Engagement, Employment, Engagement, Guest Blog, Human Resources, Kevin Sheridan, Memphis, Recruiting

The End of Employee Engagement? I think not.

Below is a recent guest blog from our esteemed friend, Kevin Sheridan, regarding the status of Employee Engagement.

UntitledThere was a recent article in Forbes asserting that the Employee Engagement Movement was dying on the vine or fading away, like the Total Quality Movement (TQM) of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In my opinion, there are several flaws in what the article suggested.

First and foremost, the big “elephant in the room” is the fact that by most measures only about 30% of the workforce is engaged, with the remainder being either ambivalent or actively disengaged. Are we to roll down our sleeves and think this is an acceptable level of engagement for our businesses, industries, and countries, and give up that easily? I hope not. Literally all of the best-in-class customers with whom I have worked in my 30-year consulting career eschewed such a defeatist attitude, and rolled up their sleeves to work harder to become even better. (Sounds a little like TQM, huh?) These organizations never lost their undying commitment to the well-defined concept of engagement, and its core underpinnings.

Second, regardless of what engagement is called, those people that have it never lose their passion for what they do, and pride in where they work. These two “Ps” of engagement will always yield superior outcomes, such as net-promoter results, customer referrals, customer satisfaction, higher quality and safety scores, and profitability. Regardless of whether we get tired of the moniker “employee engagement,” the myriad positive outcomes it creates will never go away. (To read the most comprehensive summary of these business outcomes click here.)

Third, if as suggested in the article, engagement has become a “check-the-box” exercise, then why are we not holding the people checking the box accountable, as well as those accepting the checked boxes, as opposed to conveniently blaming engagement?

Featured Image -- 609Lastly, a much healthier, opportunistic approach to engagement has played out in the hundreds of organizations I’ve helped shepherd from the nadir of engagement to achieve best-in-class status. All of these world-class employers took the following steps which are not typically taken by those stuck at “average”:

  • They never gave up, but rather made a long-term commitment to real change and improvement.
  • They had CEOs who eagerly took ownership for leading the effort and expected others to own it with the same level of steadfast dedication.
  • They tailored both their measurement instrument and process to fit the demographic make-up of their workforce, as opposed to using a “one-size fits all” survey and solution.
  • Contrary the what the article purports, the vast majority of companies and the engagement vendors they choose, give and actually guarantee, complete confidentiality for their survey and process. Best-in-class organizations on engagement are no different.
  • They instilled complete accountability on their managers for ensuring meaningful action plans are not only implemented, but effectively communicated, such that all employees knew that they were heard and that meaningful changes had been made based on their opinions.

cultureThey encouraged employees to begin to accept ownership for their own engagement, as opposed to waiting to be engaged by their manager and/or employer.

  • They gave their employees a tool through which they could confidentially see how engaged they were in their job, as well as get suggestions on what they could do on their own to be more engaged.

All of these steps are important, but the final two are critical to long-term improvement. Given that the vast majority of organizations have yet to take these two critical steps, it is certainly no time to throw in the towel and give up on engagement.

The proudest moments of my career as a consultant in this area, were standing shoulder-to-shoulder with senior executives who announced double-digit or best-in-class scores on engagement survey results and asked their entire team to stand up and give themselves a thunderously-loud standing ovation. Nearly all of the ovations ended, with the CEO saying something like, “This is great, but we are not done yet. Let’s set a goal to be in the top 3% next year.”

Rest assured, William Edwards Deming’s concepts on quality, continuous quality improvement, and the Malcolm Baldrige Award, are all alive and well today. The term TQM may no longer be bandied about, but its foundation pillars still stand as tall as those for employee engagement.

Inspiration for this piece:


Guest Blogger, Kevin Sheridan having fun and smiling as always!

 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. 

Contact Links:

Web page:

Twitter: @kevinsheridan12




Memphis, Recruiting, Uncategorized

4 Reason Why Lebron Returning Home is Great for Cities like Memphis

lebron-james-300x297Thanks to excessive media coverage everyone knows that Lebron has made his monumental decision to return to Cleveland. This time, Lebron released his decision via an online Sports Illustrated article where he stated motivations behind his decision to return. Altruistic incentives such as  being a community figure, serving as a role model, and doing what is best for his family were a few of his motivators to return home. Also in his statement, Lebron expressed his gratitude and thanks for experiences in Miami, along with his adoration for his teammates. All of this shows the signs more mature Lebron who aims to embrace a community, that lets face it, has seen better days.

Better yet, Lebron likened his decision to “take his talents to South Beach” to a highschooler leaving their hometown to attend college to develop his skills, knowledge, talents, and mature; a transitional experience that Lebron forgo by declaring his eligibility for the 2003 draft. Similar to a college student post graduation, Lebron, aware to how positively his impact would mean for his community, returns home for all the right reasons

Many people, especially the Cleveland Faithful, will never forget Lebron’s decision to return home because his decision provides hope to a community that sure could use some.  Lebron’s decision is great for many blue collar cities similar to Cleveland for numerous reasons. Take for example a city like Memphis, a blue collar city that certainly has seen brighter days. Here are four reasons why Lebron’s Decision to return to Cleveland is great for Memphis. memphis

1. There is no place like home.

  •  Most people would agree that Miami is a more attractive city than Cleveland on the surface but in Lebron’s case the benefits of being near his family and friends coupled with accomplishing great things in his hometown meant more than living in the glamorous Miami. That is why Lebron’s decision to return home shows the world that our hometowns warrant a very special place in all of our hearts. Also, his decision shows youths across the world that there is no place like home, something any Memphis can identify with.

2. Keeping local talent  

  • It is always the prerogative of any city to keep the local talent because it embeds progression and fuels growth for years to come. Also, cities that have higher concentrations of talents locals who choose to stay in their cities statistically have more engaged communities.  Memphis, specifically would greatly benefit from keeping its local best and brightest here in the Mid-South so that our community can continue to burgeon and show promise. The decision for Lebron to return home shows millennials, who are more mobile than any previous generation,  that they can return home and positively impact their  hometowns.

3. Good  Role Model for Children

  • Lebron understands that his decision to return to Cleveland in lieu of returning to Miami will present numerous challenges. One of those being that he is no longer surrounded with experienced NBA champions. Cleveland is a team full of young whipper snappers like Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins-if they decide to keep him- but according to Lebron he is ready for the challenge. Memphis is a great city but that doesn’t mean it isn’t void of challenges. From a struggling school system, to a unbalanced budget, and a history of political corruption, Memphis could use some help in numerous areas. Help from people who are up for a challenge and want to make a positive impact in a lovely community. That is why when the mass public witnesses Lebron choose the more difficult road over the easy path it encourages people to push themselves and aspire for greatness.

4. Lebron Stayed in the East

  • Lebron’s decision to stay on a team in the Eastern Conference instead of move to an already uberly competitive Western grizzles
    division is fantastic for our home town heroes, the Memphis Grizzles. The Grizzles are a consistent playoff contender looking to get over the hump and become a serious player to make it to the NBA finals, which would have become more difficult if they had to out play any team led by Lebron. Until Lebron had made his decision, as a serious Grizzles fan, I was still anxious he might migrate to a Western Conference Team.


Employment, Recruiting, Tech

Emjoyment: The Future of Employment Recruiting?

“Swipe Left” is a term commonly associated with the dating/hook-up app tinder, where users are matched together because of a mutual interest based on individuals swiping the pictures presented in front of them. But the idea of swiping might evolve from the simple dating app to the recruiting/employment realm due to the release of the newenjoyment app called “Emjoyment”. This application builds upon the premise of Tinder by allowing users to see potential employment opportunities instead of dates.

The principle is that someone who is seeking employment can cruise through job postings and swipe the opportunity that garners their interest and on the flip side employers can swipe through potential candidates based on their resumes. If both the candidate and organization swipe right then they are matched together. This eliminates the painful process of candidates having to write a cover letter for each job posting and also saves the company precious time by removing strenuous recruiting processes. 

This tech startup might be on to the right road by expediting the recruitment process by bringing companies and potential employees together.Only time will tell if this app will take off and become a frequented recruiting strategy but with 50% of job searches occurring via mobile technology this burgeoning recruitment app just might cement itself as the future of employment sites.     

Emjoyment is currently available on Itunes and is based exclusively in San Francisco and New York City but hopes to expand to different app platforms and cities down the road.