Posts Tagged 'employee engagement'

Is Santa Engaged?

Watch this video of a department store Santa. Earlier this year, David Gray held this video up as proof that you can be productive without being engaged.

But is the Santa in this video really disengaged?

If you say yes, the mistake you are making is in thinking that engaged employees have to be upbeat cheerleaders. This guy liked his world-weary persona. He might not have considered himself engaged (in 1975 he would have been puzzled that we were even thinking about it).

Listen carefully to what he has to say and you will hear someone who knows exactly what result he needs to achieve, has the talent required to achieve it, and is proud of his result. That is engagement.

Here are a few things to look for in the video:

1) He mentions several times that he has been called the only authentic Santa in Chicago and how he gets to pick his hours.

2) As his costume is completed he says, now you are going to see something beautiful.

3)Then, as you watch him with the kids, his voice over says, “you see so much love…if I make kids happy…”

Yes Virginia, there is an engaged Santa Claus.

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Results of Employee Satisfaction and Retention Survey

Each year Salary.com does a Employee Satisfaction and Retention Survey. My thanks to reader Sue S. for pointing out the results of the 2007/2008 are now available online at: http://www.salary.com/docs/resources/JobSatSurvey_08.pdf

A few highlights:

  •  42 percent of employees have updated their resumes, while 27 percent have posted or emailed it. People are very actively exploring their options!
  • The top two reasons employees leave is money and advancement (not much an individual manager can do, other than help employees set reasonable expectations).
  • The third highest scoring reason for leaving is insufficient recognition. This is where managers can shine!

If you are looking for more on recognition, continue reading past blog posts. You can make a difference with employee retention!

Engagement at the Senior Executive Level

It seems that disengagement affects organizations at all levels.

According to research by BlessingWhite (State of Engagement 2008), 50 percent of senior executives have “less than ideal emotional connection and alignment” to their organization.

Read a report on the presentation of BlessingWhite’s findings.

Why do you think executives are less than fully engaged?

Statistics would show that they are not under-compensated, proving once again that money can’t buy engagement.

Do executives feel underappreciated? Maybe this research presents a case for more recognition up the ranks.

What do you think?

What Exactly Is Engagement?

I guess I’m in the mood to think about how we define the terms that we throw about so easily these days. Last post leader, this post engagement.

We are continually hearing about the poor state of employee engagement. Surveys show that only about 30 percent of the North American workforce is fully engaged. I don’t think I know of any organizations that aren’t working to improve engagement.

In 1999 Curt Coffman and Marcus Buckingham introduced me to the Gallup Q12 survey in their book First Break All the Rules. The Q12 are the 12 Characteristics that create a strong workplace. Covering resources, expectations, leveraging employee strengths, and more, the characteristics he laid out were, for my undefined definition, the characteristics that cause engagement.

But what exactly is engagement? How do you know if employees are engaged? Once again, I went back to Coffman to see what Gallup had uncovered:

In Follow This Path Coffman and Gabriel Gonzalez-Molina provide a list of the traits of engaged employees. I think this list goes a long way, to explain what engagement means.

Engaged employees:

  • Use their talents everyday.
  • Demonstrate consistent levels of high performance.
  • Show natural innovation and drive for efficiency.
  • Intentionally build supportive relationships.
  • Are clear about the desired outcomes of their role.
  • Emotionally commit to what they do.
  • Challenge purpose to achieve goals.
  • Work with high energy and enthusiasm.
  • Never run out of things to do, but create positive things to act on.
  • Broaden what they do and build on it.
  • Commit to company, work group, and role.

This is a list that fits my view of engagment. Based on what is listed here, would you say you are engaged?
Why or why not?


My name is Cindy Ventrice. I am the author of the best-selling book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works and the companion guide Recognition Strategies That Work.

My work has been quoted in The New York Times, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Tim Sanders' book The Likeability Factor.


Visit my website www.maketheirday.com today!


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