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From Knowledge@Wharton: More than 50 years after management guru Peter Drucker first wrote about the difficulty of defining and measuring the productivity of knowledge workers, management experts say many companies still do a poor job of it. To get a better gauge of how much employees are accomplishing, experts say managers need to remember that quality is often as important, if not more so, than quantity, and that blanket policies rarely remedy such a highly individualized issue.
From Roger Schwarz: Have you ever used the “sandwich approach” to give negative feedback to your direct reports? You sandwich the negative feedback between two pieces of positive feedback. It’s a common method, but the sandwich approach may be undermining both your feedback and your relationships with your direct reports.
From Harvard Business Review: Moody, erratic, eccentric, and arrogant? Perhaps — but you can’t just get rid of them. In fact, unless you learn to get the best out of your creative employees, you will sooner or later end up filing for bankruptcy. Conversely, if you just hire and promote people who are friendly and easy to manage, your firm will be mediocre at best. Suppressed creativity is a malign organizational tumour. Although every organization claims to care about innovation, very few are willing to do what it takes to keep their creative people happy, or at least, productive. So what are the keys to engaging and retaining creative employees?
From NY Times Magazine: Organizational psychology has long concerned itself with how to design work so that people will enjoy it and want to keep doing it. Traditionally the thinking has been that employers should appeal to workers’ more obvious forms of self-interest: financial incentives, yes, but also work that is inherently interesting or offers the possibility for career advancement. Adam Grant’s research, which has generated broad interest in the study of relationships at work and will be published for the first time for a popular audience in his new book, “Give and Take,” starts with a premise that turns the thinking behind those theories on its head. The greatest untapped source of motivation, he argues, is a sense of service to others; focusing on the contribution of our work to other peoples’ lives has the potential to make us more productive than thinking about helping ourselves.
From FastCompany: Design thinking is a process of empathizing with the end user. Its principal guru is David Kelley, founder of IDEO and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (otherwise known as the d.school), who takes a similar approach to managing people. He believes leadership is a matter of empathizing with employees. In this interview, he explains why leaders should seek understanding rather than blind obedience, why it’s better to be a coach and a taskmaster and why you can’t teach leadership with a PowerPoint presentation.
Chronicling a time period up until the first units and software began to ship, the documentary describes the multiple challenges Jobs faced in building NeXT, motivating his employees and creating a polished product. · Watch video →
From strategy+business: Managers are taught to work with limited resources, but what if those limitations were removed? An unusual management technique inspires business teams to envision — and achieve — breakthrough results.
From Guy Kawasaki in Leader to Leader Journal: Keep bakatare in mind whenever you are tempted to think your disenchanted employees will somehow magically enchant your customers. Bakatare: Japanese word meaning “stupid” or “foolish”