Creating High Employee Engagement



This month’s Professional Development webinar was on the topic of Creating High Employee Engagement.

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Get the webinar

If you missed it you can download the recording.

Members of my professional development program can download this webinar for free.

This is a very useful webinar to download if you want to:

  • Increase the energy, commitment and motivation in your team
  • Create a loyal community within your organization
  • Keep your team focused on executing your strategy
  • Create strong support for your initiatives within the organization
  • Get people to care personally about what is important to the business

Here is what we talked about:

Real Engagement is Personal

This is an important topic because so often executives want to create an “Engagement Program,” or they ask HR to solve an employee motivation issue.

A programatic approach will never have enough impact on genuine employee engagement because real engagement is always personal.

If someone is truly engaged it’s because they care personally. They have their own reason to be excited about what they are being asked to do.

The trick to meaningful employee engagement is to give individual people reasons to actually care personally.

The webinar:

I put together this webinar to give leaders ideas and specific techniques for creating genuine engagement and motivation in their teams.

What the webinar covered:

  • How to make engagement personal
  • How to make your employees feel like super-heroes
  • 4 things that truly create strong engagement
    1. The right kinds of top down communications
    2. Changing Communication into Conversation
    3. Decorating the Change
    4. Getting the crap out of the way

Making people feel like super-heroes

I got this feedback once from someone who used to work in my organization:

“Patty, when I worked for you, I was Superman”

Ever since then, I’ve thought that to be a pretty good measure of how I am doing as a leader.

What more could you want than for your people to feel like super-heroes? Powerful, capable, trusted, respected, and motivated to do big things.

Change your idea of communication to conversation

One of the main ideas that ran through the webinar and is fundamental to true engagement is Conversation.

Many leaders make the mistake of thinking that communicating their strategy is going to cause forward movement.

Just because you said what the strategy is, doesn’t mean that your organization will suddenly optimize itself to do the right things to implement it.

The only way to know that your strategy has taken hold is if you hear your organization talking about it among themselves without your involvement.

In the webinar, I shared many ideas for how to make lively bottoms-up and peer-wise communications happen more naturally.

When people are talking, they are engaged.

Get the crap out of the way

Annoying things often overlooked as not being huge problems, or just as being chronic, non-negotiable challenges in the environment, are very damaging to motivation and engagement.

As leaders we need to stay aware of the persistent, annoying stuff that gets in the way or our teams.

This can come in the form of negativity, uncertainty, unmade decisions, changing course too frequently, broken processes, too many bad meetings… The list is endless.

As leaders we need to be always vigilant about searching out chaos and obstacles and eliminating them from the environment.

Work is hard enough without letting unnecessary things fester that make it worse.

This webinar is loaded with valuable resources

This webinar will give you many ideas for creating the right kinds of communications and conversations, as well as how to make the changes you want to see more tangible motivation in your organization and environment.

And it includes worksheets and templates for creating conversations, decorating the change, employee led communications, and for listening and sharing information with key stakeholder groups.

Members: Download this webinar for free.

Non Members: You can purchase this individual webinar or podcast (links below).

More, useful webinars for motivating your team:

As a member, just around this topic of increasing engagement, you can also get these additional webinars for free on:

So if you are not yet a member, you might as well join and get them all for free!

Join Now
Join Now.

TODAY ONLY
USE CODE: ENGAGE
AT CHECKOUT TO SAVE $30 ON YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Let me be your mentor

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Members of the Azzarello Group program for Professional Development basically get me as their mentor.

Every month you get new insights and tools in the form of these webinars, as well as the chance to call into a monthly members-only coaching hour where you can get direct personal coaching from me.

People tell me that membership gives them a totally new way of thinking about their career, getting promotions, solving difficult problems with bosses, peers, employees, and other annoying people, communicating better, being more influential, becoming a stronger leader, and enjoying their work more. I love to hear this, and I love to help!

If you join now, you’ll not only get this webinar, but all the other webinars in the Member Library.

AND you’ll get the opportunity to participate in monthly Coaching Hour conference calls with me.
Check out what we talk about.

AND as a member you’ll get to download your copy of the Career Year of action Guide (a $30 value) for free.

Membership to Azzarello Group is a great resource (and a steal at $179 for a whole year) to help you advance your career.

TODAY ONLY
USE CODE: ENGAGE
AT CHECKOUT TO SAVE $30 ON YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Join Now
Join Now

high engagement

Purchase just this webinar ($19.99)
Purchase just this podcast ($9.99)

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page Patty Azzarello Practical Business Advice for Humans.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Communication vs. Conversation: The Monday MOVE Idea


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Communicating is not Enough

The Monday MOVE Idea: Communication vs. Conversation

Each Monday until the launch of my upcoming book MOVE (Tomorrow!!!), I’m sharing an important idea from the book.

The right measure of communication success is never about how clearly you think you have communicated. The only right measure is about how much your audience has internalized.

You need to be ready to consider this first telling of your strategy as pretty much a throw-away effort. Yes, it’s a step in the process. Yes, you need to communicate top down….

Change Communication to Conversation

But to genuinely communicate, and to get your message internalized, and for your transformation to take hold, you need to create a fundamental shift in the way that you think about communication.

You need to change your existing idea of communication to instead become conversation — that involves everyone.

The Measure of Success

You have communicated successfully only when the people in your organization are talking about it among themselves.

For your transformation to work, the change must be part of the social fabric of the whole organization in a very real way — and that happens through conversation.

Only when you can approach an employee at any level at random and ask, what is the most important thing for us to be doing right now, and why? — and get the same answer most of the time — then you can say that your communication has been successful.

MOVE launches tomorrow!

I’m excited to share more information about creating conversation and all the other ideas I put into MOVE to help you execute your strategy more decisively.

So that also means that there is…

One day left to win a 1-1 executive coaching program with me

Learn more in the video or click here to enter.

Download a free preview of MOVE

azzarello_final_3D trxDownload a free preview of MOVE now

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page Patty Azzarello Practical Business Advice for Humans.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Win a 1-1 Executive Coaching Program with Patty


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The Monday MOVE Idea

Each Monday until the launch of my upcoming book MOVE, I’ll be sharing an important idea from the book. This week: The value of unstructured conversation.

But first…

It’s only two weeks until MOVE is released in Hardcover!

So I’m combining today’s Monday MOVE idea with a reminder of the contest to win a 6 hour 1-1 executive coaching program with me.

Pre-order MOVE before Feb 28

All you need to do is pre-order the Hardcopy or buy the kindle version before Feb 28, and send your receipt to movepreorder@gmail.com.

There will be 2 winners announced on Feb 28. You’ll have up to 1 year to use the 6 hours of coaching. I’m really excited to meet the winners!

Unstructured conversation

Many leaders avoid unstructured conversation because it might get messy. They prefer to say, “Here’s the strategy… Please submit your plans…”.

This feels safer than saying in an unstructured way, “Here is the strategy, what you do think? Really?” because the structured way cuts off the possibility that someone might say, “I disagree, or I have a problem with that”.

But here’s the problem…

If it’s the case that people are not supporting your strategy, wouldn’t you want to know?

Time, conversation and belief

You need to invest some time to allow your team to build their own belief in whatever you want them to do.

Belief and alignment cannot be achieved in an instant without talking about it.

Each person needs time to process the ideas and form their own point of view. They need the unstructured conversation in order establish their own way of believing in the strategy. They need to get their own opinions, thoughts, beliefs in line before they will be ready to move.

What you might not be able to see, is when you announce your new strategy you have already created a train-wreck! People need time to get their bearings again.

The unstructured conversation is what allows everyone to find their way back to the path — in their own way. You can’t force it. And if you skip this step, people won’t be able to execute on the new thing because their belief system is stuck somewhere else.

By avoiding potentially messy conversation up front what you have actually done is traded a false sense of order and harmony in the short term, for a slow moving catastrophe where people are not effectively set up to succeed in the long term.

Pre-Order MOVE and win a 1-1 Coaching Program with Me

MOVE will be available February 28, but if you pre-order your copy now you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a 6 hour executive coaching program with me. There will be TWO winners!

Click to pre-order and enter.

Move thumb

I’m really excited to share the important ideas, and all the tools I put in my upcoming book MOVE to help you get your team (at any organizational level) to execute your strategy more decisively.

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Talk vs. Action: Collectively Admiring the Problem


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The Monday MOVE Idea

Each Monday until the launch of my upcoming book MOVE, I’ll be sharing an important idea from the book. This week: Talk vs. Action: Collectively Admiring the Problem.

Big Goals

Think about the really important goals your team talks about all the time. When you talk about them everyone agrees they are critical. We must improve quality. We must innovate. We must respond to a competitive threat. We must evolve our business model to provide better service.

Talk vs. Action

To move your team from talking about important stuff in a vague way, to actually making progress on these things in a real way, the first step is to realize that you are stuck because you are still only Talking.

It’s vitally important as a leader to recognize when your team is falling into the pattern of accepting smart sounding ideas and inputs instead of measurable forward progress.

The most effective way I have found to break through this is to recognize when you get stuck only talking about the Situation.

Situation Discussions

Sure it’s important to use some time to note and understand the situation, but you can just sense it when everyone has internalized the situation and then … you keep talking about it! Talking and talking and talking about it.

You can feel it in your stomach when the meeting is not going anywhere and you’re still talking. The talk gets smarter and smarter sounding and the forward motion everyone is craving never happens.

Situation discussions are basically: Collectively admiring the problem.

You need to change the nature of the conversation to become one that drives action, instead of just more talking.

I outline the specific steps to do this in MOVE. I’m really excited to share it with you!

Pre-Order MOVE and win a 6 Hour 1-1 Coaching Program with Me

MOVE will be available February 28, but if you pre-order your copy now you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a 6 hour executive coaching program with me. There will be TWO winners!

Click to pre-order and enter.

Move thumb

I’m really excited to share the important ideas, and all the tools I put in my upcoming book MOVE to help you get your team (at any organizational level) to execute your strategy more decisively.

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

The hidden cost of a business review


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Too much time spent on internal reviewing!

In the last two weeks alone, I have had 3 different organizations at 3 different companies tell me that they are preparing for an executive business review and therefore can’t do anything else for the next 2 – 3 weeks.

Regularly, when I talk with mid-level managers about time management challenges, one of their biggest challenges is the fact that they are required to spend so much time preparing for business reviews for executives, that they can’t get their actual work done.

The Expensive Business Review

When you ask an organization to do a business review, you might put 2 hours or half a day on your calendar a few weeks out. That’s what it’s worth to you, on your calendar.

But you need to be aware that this one request can completely paralyze your whole organization. The internal review (to impress you), becomes the urgent business priority, and virtually all work on the business itself stops for weeks to prepare.

Of course, business reviews have their place.

As an executive, especially if you are on the board, you need to satisfy yourself that the business is running properly, and that the work you have committed is getting done.

Getting (only) what you need from a business review

But you need to find a way to ask the questions, get the answers, and feel like you are in the loop of how the business is doing, without creating risk by how you ask.

It’s important to realize that way you review the business may be one of the biggest risks to actually succeeding in your business.

Don’t just ask for “A Review

When you ask for a business review, it’s like throwing a grenade into your organization. There will be many meetings where people get together to debate, “What do you think our boss wants to hear? What are the key messages? How much do we share? What do we feature?”

Once they decide, your team will spend however much time you give them between the request and the review itself, preparing — and doing little else.

This open ended request of a “business review” will give your team a lot of stress, and will not guarantee that you get the information you truly need. And you’ll likely get a lot more non-useful information than you truly need.

Steps to a good review process

Here are some steps to having a productive business review that doesn’t cripple your team to prepare for.

1. Sit down with your business team to discuss what you truly need to learn from the review. If possible, provide a template.

2. Budget the amount of time that preparing the review is worth. Let then know that you only want X number of people to spend Y amount of time preparing. Make it clear that the work is the priority, not the review.

3. Make the amount of time spent on preparing the review part of the review. Shine a spotlight on this and decide with your team what is reasonable. Put in the template a place to record how many people worked for how many hours.

4. Articulate the key control points in the business, and what the desired outcomes and measures are for those, before the review prep starts. Don’t send your team off to debate what should be included. Tell the up front.

5. Identify key risk areas you want to see the plans for. Make a list of the risks, ask for the next top two if they are not on your list and ask to see the plan to mitigate them.

6. Create a 1 page dashboard that the team needs to report on. In addition to a template that guides the preparation process, a one page dashboard can be valuable. You could say for example that any element of the business that has been green for the past two reviews and is green again does not need to be included other than in the dashboard.

Don’t invent too much new stuff

The key thought here, is that the materials you use to review the business should be ones that the business is using to run the business, not some special 100 slide presentation that was only prepared for your review, that has no value otherwise.

My guideline when I was running a $1B business software business, was that I never wanted a team to spend more than 1 week elapsed time, and no one person should spend more than 2 hours preparing for an internal review. I want to see what you are actually doing, using the same artifacts you are using to run your part of the business. Don’t create new stuff. Let’s talk about what’s really happening, not some artificial presentation designed to impress me with it’s polish.

Get over your addiction to detail

The other thing that I see becoming a huge time sink in organizations is when the executives are so addicted to detail that they insist that even the lowest level of detail be dragged up and vetted through every level of management and reviewed and inspected over and over again.

Moving too much detail up kills organizational effectiveness, is hugely expensive, and introduces more risk than it averts. Managers should be creating insights not just moving all their detail up.

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on the Azzarello Group Facebook page.

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About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook