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An Invitation to Empathy …one year later

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Updated: Friday, November 3, 2017

By Brett Culp – HR West 2018 Keynote

Last November, I sat in a living room with 10 people of diverse viewpoints sharing their hearts. They talked openly about their struggles and fears. Tricia and I were invited to facilitate the discussion, but we cried right along with them.

I wish you could have been there. My heart was filled with hope watching these people build connection with each other from love, even when they knew they didn’t agree on everything.

Healthy relationships and communities are built on speaking and listening well. I believe the events of the last year are an opportunity for all of us to do this together.  Right now, some of our deepest beliefs and anxieties are coming to the surface.

Whatever your opinions are, whomever you voted for, you have a choice:

Continue reading on the HR West Blog.

Tags:  empathy  Employee Engagement  Engagement  HR BLOG  HR leadership  HR Management  HR West 2018  Keynote  Leadership  listening. 

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Workplace Vampires: The Disengaged Employee

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Thursday, April 6, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

This video from HR West 2017 speaker Kevin Sheridan explores a third category of employee engagement: The Actively Disengaged.

Did you know? Thirteen percent of the workforce is actively disengaged - they are workplace vampires.

Discover the successful solution that can transform these "workplace terrorists" into productive and "actively engaged" members of your team in Sheridan's 2 minute (highly informative) video:

Tags:  company culture  employee  employee engagement  Engagement  HR Management  Managing Employees  millennial-retention  workplace performance 

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4 Ways SMS Text Messaging Helps Human Resources

Posted By Editor Laurie, Thursday, March 23, 2017
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017

Business leaders are constantly struggling to find ways to communicate with their employees more effectively. Employee communication is tricky! You need to strike the perfect balance between ease of use and convenience for the employees. That’s why many HR departments are now looking at SMS text messaging to support communication goals.

Did you know that the open rate of all SMS messages is 98% and that the vast majority of which occur in less than 15 minutes? SMS is also extremely cost and time-effective. and offers terrific automation capabilities.

Here are four ways to leverage SMS text messaging to help your HR department run more efficiently:

1. Sending Company-Wide Messages

Communicating with all of your organization’s employees at the drop of a hat is critical for any Human Resources department. When a new product launches or inclement weather forces the closing of the office, everybody needs to know. SMS is the perfect venue for these notifications. Since the open rate is high and fast, you’ll know that it’s being read by everybody.

Because SMS is short and simple to use, you’ll be able to craft the messages quickly and get them out right away. In an emergency or high-pressure situation, those minutes will make all the difference.

2. Enhancing Your Wellness Program

A large number of employers are offering wellness programs, and even more plan to do so in the near future. Investing in a wellness program can make your employees healthier, happier, and more productive, all while driving healthcare costs down for you and your employees.

SMS offers a great way to enhance or jumpstart your wellness policy. You can use it to send out automated tips and strategies for living a healthy lifestyle to employees who opt-in on a daily or weekly basis. You could even provide them wearable fitness trackers and send them weekly updates on their activity levels.

3. Recruiting

Managing and communicating with potential recruits is an important HR task and a huge timesink.

Using mass SMS text messaging and shortcodes, however, you can automate a great deal of these processes. You can send out updates on postings they have shown
interest in, notify them of a new opening they could be interested in, or let them indicate any questions they might have.

You’ll also have instant access to your entire database of recruits whenever you want.

4. Employee Productivity

A big part of working in Human Resources is helping your company’s employees work more effectively. SMS messaging can do just that. Take scheduling and holding department meetings as an example. It’s often difficult to get everybody together for a meeting, especially when they’re working in different locations on different schedules.

You can leverage SMS messaging to send automatic meeting notifications and reminders, giving individuals the ability to notify their managers if they’re running late or will
miss the meeting altogether. Meetings become easier to manage and more productive, making everybody more efficient.

Are you using SMS text messaging to help your business out? Do you have any questions about how it can help your own business? Make sure to leave any questions or comments below!

Be sure to attend HR TechXpo (August 2017) to learn more about how HR continues to embrace technology and innovation.

Contributed by Sophorn Chhay

Sophorn is the marketing guy at Trumpia, the most complete SMS software with mass sms messaging, smart targeting and automation.
He’s worked with HR managers to help them develop internal communication strategies to streamline employee productivity.

Tags:  emplyee communication  engagement  HR innovation  HR management  recruiting 

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Motivating Through The Ages

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, August 3, 2016

In Their Twenties…
Fresh out of college, employees in their twenties are loving their independence and are hungry for success. But for many, the 9-5 confines of becoming a citizen of adulthood leads to disillusionment.
What equals Success: Getting their “yellow belt.” Employees in their twenties move farther away from entry-level positions and start seeing their hard work rewarded with their first promotions.
What can be a Challenge: Ch-ch-changes. A recent study confirmed that 80% of employees in their twenties change career paths. Often, a job or an industry isn’t what fresh grads thought it would be.
How to Motivate: Employees in their twenties want to feel like their work is contributing to something important, so be sure to make your company’s mission clear and meaningful. Take time to show them the results of their efforts—and don’t forget to recognize good work.

In Their Thirties…

Employees in their thirties are starting to settle into a long-term career path, and will have accrued enough experience to be choosy about the type of companies they apply to.
Success: Leadership roles. With a decade of accomplishments, thirty-to forty-year-olds are getting to call some of the shots (and making better money).
Challenge: Work-life Balance. Thirty-somethings with children will find themselves negotiating time between home and work—like having to stay at home with a sick child on a day packed with conference calls.
Motivation: Offer employees flexible schedules that give them to freedom to manage their work and personal lives. Consider implementing a gracious family or medical leave policy, or offer flexible work time and enhanced technology to support remote communication like the folks over at Gap Inc.

In Their Forties…

Success: Employees in this decade of life can claim a specialty, have built a strong professional network, and revel in the fact that they always “know someone they can connect you with.”
Challenge: The elusive mid-life crisis. Employees are taking a step back and assessing their career choices and their general path in life, and begin to accept that certain opportunities have passed them by for good (we can’t be presidents and astronauts).
Motivation: One of the reminders that the forties has arrived is a lower metabolism and the onset of certain aging issues. Make it easy for employees in their forties to meet their health needs – consider offering sensible snack and lunch options, as well as a gym membership subsidy, to help them boost energy both inside and outside of the office.

In Their Fifties-Sixties-and nowadays even Seventies…

Success: Employees in their fifties and up secure real seniority and enjoy their top management positions—with retirement in site.
Challenge: When searching for a job, fifty-somethings fear age discrimination, or being replaced by a younger, zippier employee (who will work for less).
Motivation: Offer professional development resources that help these employees learn new skills, which will inject something new into the routine, and boost confidence when competing with a younger hiring pool.  And take advantage of all of their acquired skills by putting into place a mentor/mentee program, signing up senior executives with millennial ICs to help develop our next round of leaders.

Looking for rewards and recognition that span all life stages?  
Check out our variety of experiential rewards offerings at

Tags:  Engagement  HR Management  HRTech  HRTechXpo  Millennial Employees 

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Employee Engagement - Beyond the Golden Rule

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Contributed by Eugene Dilan, Psy.D., Founder/CEO, Dilan Consulting Group

Note: Dr. Dilan will present his webinar, Employee Engagement: The Platinum Rule on May 20th from 12PM until 1PM. This webinar is complimentary to all NCHRA members ($49 for non-members).

Learn more about this event and to register >> here


Understanding Engagement

The dictionary describes engagement as “the act of engaging or state of being engaged,” but the term is much more complicated in reality. Experts do not agree on what it means in the workplace, or how to achieve it. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, to be sure, but success can be achieved if one understands the currencies of engagement and moves beyond the

Golden Rule to the Platinum Rule.

Some define employee engagement as a state of mind where one feels satisfied, empowered and committed at work. Others suggest it is characterized by such behaviors as persistence and initiative. Still others describe it as innate personal characteristics, like the right attitude, level of energy or point of view. Some define engagement as a combination of all of these. But, confusion over definition cannot distract from the importance of engagement. There is widespread agreement that an engaged workforce leads to higher retention and productivity, lower stress, better customer satisfaction and ultimately results. The cost of not addressing engagement is tremendous. A 2013 Gallup report showed that 70 percent of workers are not engaged or actively disengaged, placing the annual estimated loss in U.S. business productivity at $450-$550 billion.

With so many models for how to improve engagement, which is the best one? Unfortunately, there is no one model for optimizing engagement because not all individuals or organizations are alike.

The 12 Currencies of Engagement

People are like nations—that is, they will accept some currencies, but not others. Even so, some currencies are universally accepted. Examining a cross section of the most popular and researched models shows 12 factors most consistently reported to correlate highly with engagement:

  1. Engaged leaders and managers and an organizational culture that is nurtured at the top levels.
  2. Trusted leadership developed by honoring commitments and doing what is right.
  3. Timely, honest and consistent two-way communication.
  4. Amiable relationships with immediate supervisors.
  5. Respectful, collegial relationships with coworkers who do great work.
  6. Fairness in compensation, workload and negotiations.
  7. Pride in an organization’s mission, products or accomplishments.
  8. Appropriate and challenging opportunities for learning and career growth.
  9. Rewards or recognition for achievements, however small.
  10. Ability to influence decisions and have some control over the way one’s work is done, scheduled and managed.
  11. Flexibility in work location or methods, among others.
  12. Accommodation of personal needs.

This list reflects the most powerful currencies for inspiring engagement. But how do you know which currency or combination of currencies will be most effective? By knowing your audience.

Moving from Gold to Platinum

When it comes to culture and engagement, most thinking stems from the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is a good start, but there is a better way. Leaders must strive for the Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would like done unto them.” In other words, don’t assume others want what you want. Treat them the way they prefer to be treated.

In applying the Platinum Rule, we need to embrace the fact that engagement is personal, must be customized and is an ongoing, iterative process highly influenced by fluid dynamics between leaders and followers. This leaves many leaders wondering if it is possible, or realistic, to achieve it. The answer is yes, if leaders prioritize and invest time in relationships and building leadership capabilities.

To build leadership capabilities, consider using Emotional Intelligence as the foundation. Leaders who understand themselves and regulate their own behavior generally are more attuned to what is happening with their people. Ultimately, the leader’s ability to consistently deliver the right currency at the right time determines his or her effectiveness at engagement.

The Platinum Rule begins with active listening. Effective leaders notice that their people constantly communicate their desires through words and deeds. They become attuned to the currencies used by their direct reports and quickly gain insight into how best to engage and keep them motivated. This is where the Golden Rule provides a useful signpost; they probably behave toward others the way they wish to be treated. This method of assessing needs and wants also works up and across the chain of command.

Another approach, so simple that it is often overlooked, is asking people directly. In 2005, Sirota coined the term, “stay interview” to describe an ongoing, informal dialogue where one seeks feedback on the reasons why employees stay, matters that are going well or not and one’s performance as a leader. The goal is to stay connected. The 12 engagement factors can help, but it is essential to recognize that leadership behaviors are meant to drive and shape organizational culture.

Everything a leader does and says, consciously or unconsciously, models what is acceptable or unacceptable. It influences the choices one makes regarding strategy, structure, polices, procedures and their hiring and reward decisions. In short, employee engagement is not a one-shot effort to check off. It is a concerted effort to develop a partnering culture. Once you have learned what currency people want, you need to identify how frequently they want it.

An investment in your people will not go unrewarded. If nothing else, time spent getting to know them will communicate one’s genuine interest in them as fellow human beings, which itself goes a long way toward developing engagement. 

About the Author
Eugene Dilan, Psy.D. is the Founder and CEO of the Dilan Consulting Group. He is a licensed psychologist, organizational development consultant and coach with over 25 years of hands on experience developing leaders and values driven performance cultures. He has worked internationally (including in Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan) across all functions and levels, including with C-Suite executives, and in a broad range of technology sector industries including aerospace, biotech, defense, energy, IT, and social media. Dr. Dilan is currently CEO of the Dilan Consulting Group, an organization that supports companies of all sizes, from startups to enterprise, and their team has a special knack for understanding engineering and science-based cultures. He recently served on the Division III board of the California Psychological Association, and is also a member of SHRM, and the American Psychological Association. 

For more on Powerful Employee Engagement, visit:


Tags:  Customer engagement  Employee Engagement  Employee retention  engagement  Leadership 

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