Monday, August 24, 2015
“Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk,” said former Amazon employee Bo Olson, who worked in book marketing. Or, they very wisely chose to leave.
Explanations like “we’re not totally sure” or “I’ll get back to you” are not acceptable, many employees said. Some managers sometimes dismissed such responses as “stupid” or told workers to “just stop it.”
Ideas are critiqued so harshly in meetings at times that some workers fear speaking up.
“You learn how to diplomatically throw people under the bus,” said a marketer who spent six years in Amazon’s retail division. “It’s a horrible feeling.”
“You either fit here, or you don’t”
Posted by Ron Thomas at 2:10 AM
“I love this job. The work I do is so interesting and I am finally in a job that I am learning so much.
That was an interesting insight I was given the other day. It caused me to think of a seminar on employee engagement I ran in Cairo a few months back where one of the participants gave another interesting insight. They said, “Fire all the bad managers since that is where engagement begins.” Applause erupted.
Whatever your views on bad managers, and/or engagement for that matter, it comes down to two people in the room. The relationship that managers create with their team will determine the level of engagement within your organization.
It starts one connection at a time.
Does your department resemble a wake?
Posted by Ron Thomas at 2:01 AM
Monday, August 10, 2015
This was what I heard from a CEO who I had just met. I must say I was impressed — that is, until I met with their head of HR sometime later. She was incredulous and just shook her head.
That conversation came back into focus this week as I read a recent Gallup study titled A Company’s Purpose Has to Be a Lot More Than Words. I was informed that Mr. CEO I had heard from is the same guy who comes in every morning and walks through the workspace headed directly to his office without offering even the most basic pleasantry, “Good Morning.” He goes into his office and closes the door. So much for being connected.
The big disconnect.
Posted by Ron Thomas at 6:30 AM
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
“Think back to grade school, high school, college, or your past jobs; I want you to think of the teacher or manager that during this period had an impact on your life. If you can’t relate to that time period, think of the person that connected with you in such a way that you still think of them. I want you to be able to explain why that person is special.”
This was my group discussion question as I led a manager development group the other week here in Dubai.
I wanted them to think of how that person connected to them and meant so much in their lives. This towering figure is one that comes across our minds from time to time, the warm glow comes from the positive interaction that you both had.
I reached out to one of my favorite teachers a while back and she was so shocked to hear from me. The thrust of my conversation was “thank you.”
Posted by Ron Thomas at 2:43 AM
“Once a year, engineers at Facebook are encouraged — but not required — to ditch their jobs and try something else out within the company for 30 days. It’s a program that started in 2011 called
As I read this quote the other day from a recent Business Insider article, I just had to smile. That’s because I am just so amazed at how the “newer” companies try out new ways to engage workers. As the article states, many of the new features and products at Facebook came about as a result of this “hackamonth” initiative.
Google also has a version of this, but I understand that it has been modified somewhat.
Creating the incubator throughout the organization
Posted by Ron Thomas at 2:29 AM
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Posted by Ron Thomas at 3:34 AM
I am a big fan of Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks. In reading this statement above, Schultz described how his company faltered and lost its way. It strayed from coffee into a host of activities which basically begin the slow drip of non-profitability.
This statement is kind of a back to basics approach, but it would make a great mission statement. It would also make a great leader’s mandate.
How is that, you may ask? How many times have you spoken to a senior leader, and in the midst of that conversation, they were checking email, fiddling with their phone, or basically doing something else? Yes, they pride themselves on multi-tasking, but are they really listening?
Posted by Ron Thomas at 3:26 AM
Friday, July 3, 2015
“This may sound crazy, but it’s hard for us when someone turns down a raise,”
That was a recent comment from the Board President at the University of Cincinnati. Not only that, but it’s the third year in a row the university chief, President Santa Ono, has donated his bonus.
Since 2013, he has turned down his six-figure bonus and declined a raise. His reasoning is that he donates it to various funds and to help the college students.
What does leadership look like?
Posted by Ron Thomas at 6:32 AM
This is a question that I am hit with as I intro my presentation. It literally takes my breath away. My response is we can discuss that after I am finished.
But, I need a change in mindset from cost to expense. If you look at employee development as an expense, I may be wasting both of our times.
This approach took courage, but after a while, I realized that if that is the way that executives look at engagement, I know that I am in the wrong place.
A few statistics we all need to consider
This takes me back the notion that employees are our “greatest or most important asset.” Are they really? Those buzzwords should be outlawed.
Posted by Ron Thomas at 4:03 AM