Ah Cecil, We Hardly Knew Ye….

Cecil the Lion is dead, and the world mourns. And as if we needed another reason to hate dentists, Dr. Walter Palmer, DDS, is the killer of the aforementioned Cecil.

The result? People have collectively lost their freaking minds. You can do what you want, but don’t touch our freaking lions.

Disclosure – I’m an animal lover, contribute to “Best Friends,” and the ASPCA, have had pets my entire life and the only hunting I do is when I lose my keys. My point is this; a “Trophy Hunter,” I’m not. I don’t like hunting, don’t understand the appeal, and shake my head at every rationalization I hear explaining this “sport.” I’m a big softie, so the thought of something as beautiful and majestic as a lion being hunted for a bucket-list is heartbreaking.

But this reaction to Dr. Palmer is insane.

This man lost his Dental practice, is being put under mandatory police protection, and has Jimmy Kimmel tearfully calling him out on live TV. There are 100,000 people who have signed a petition to have him extradited (you’ll be relieved to know the White House will thoughtfully review said petition; your tax dollars at work!)

My guess is that 99% of the people in the free world had never heard of Cecil prior to this tragedy. But we humans are a funny bunch; did you know, that in the U.S., EVERY DAY:

  • there are 44 people murdered
  • there are 30 people killed by drunk drivers
  • over 6,500 animals are euthanized
  • 5 children die from child abuse
  • 1,800 women are forcibly raped

You see where I’m going with this, right? This is like a Malcolm Gladwell book waiting to be written; “Don’t Kill the Lion.” It’s an amazing phenomenon – why is it that this captures the collective minds & hearts of humans to the point of action? Why would a Bachelorette participant start receiving death threats? Why did Michael Vick stir more fury than Jeffrey Dahmer?

Like a lot of people, my initial reaction was to brand this guy as a selfish turd who lured an animal off a protected refuge in order to add a head to his wall. Actually, I’m not sure my opinion on that has changed a bit. But for the love of Pete, do you think this may have gone a little far? Does PETA really need to call for him to be hanged?

Get a grip on yourself people, this is bandwagon behavior at its worst. God forbid any of us do something that goes viral on Social Media, where everyone from the outhouse to the White House throws a stone at us. Celebrity opinion is obviously appalled at the death of this magnificent beast, mainly because they don’t have anything else to do – but what about the rest of us, what’s our excuse?

R.I.P. Cecil, you will certainly be remembered – even by those who don’t know who the heck you are.

 

Wellness & Engagement Initiatives: A 2-for-1 Deal? Leverage your bets.

This article is the fifth in a series featuring a revolutionary employee engagement concept called Engaged ProductivityTM.   Read the other articles in the series here or at:  http://www.authentum.com.

 

One of the most disengaging situations I can think of – is the idea that employees are paying with their health to build their wealth….  Only to use that wealth, later, to re-gain their health… Even worse… If I add the $300 billion in US losses from attempts to fix this, it really does make me feel a bit sick.

 

Engagement and wellness initiatives, as far as I see, get mixed together in all kinds of ways, with one promoting (or diminishing) returns in the other.  And, just what kinds of returns are expected?  The stakes are pretty high, really…  Leaders expect a thriving business, full of thriving employees.  Though, from what I’ve seen, the odds of seeing sustainable, big wins like that – may be worse than hitting the jackpot on a slot machine.

 

Time to rethink our strategy.  Of course, there is no such thing as a ‘sure’ bet, but I do know this.  Bigger returns come from leveraged bets.  What if we could combine our chips-on-the-table for wellness and engagement to see greater, sustainable returns?  Let’s analyze our bets.

 

 

Leveraging these two bets

‘Engagement’ and ‘Wellness’ both really mean ‘Well-Being’.

Typically defined in corporate-speak as ‘happy’ and ‘healthy’, respectively; they both translate directly into Oxford’s definition of Well-Being:  “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy.  [Sounds about right.]

 

…Btw, maybe you already thought of ‘Engagement’ and ‘Well-being’ as synonyms.  Though, Wellness initiatives have been expanding into that realm, as well.  Jeffrey Pfeffer, a Stanford Professor, makes what he calls a ‘meta point’ for wellness initiatives.  To encourage healthier choices, he suggests, organizations must also ‘focus on well-being’ at work.

 

 

Higher stakes need greater, combined returns

Both initiatives focus on returns related to:

 

  • Highlighting paths to positive well-being for every employee, even under pressure
  • Increasing company-wide performance to positively impact the business goals, even through change

 

…Regardless of how different some activities may be, down the line, the combined initiatives can leverage their initial steps from similar models to wind up expecting similar returns (as outlined above).

 

 

Stacking the odds in your favor 

Both initiatives depend on the mitigation of (or resilience in the face of) pressures at work.  Not only does rising pressure bring on stress, which diminishes health – but it also lowers engagement and hinders productivity.  [Now, that’s not fair!  It’s a bit like when the house wins.]

 

I’ve seen companies ‘bet’ that increases to their company-wide resilience activities will smoothly transition company-wide performance through pressure.  Though, while we all know that mindfulness and healthy eating habits, etc, may work for a while – shouldn’t we look to minimize the impact of pressures at work?

 

For greater, more sustainable returns, people should be able to analyze how pressure impacts performance and how to smoothly transition through rising pressure, on their own, without sacrificing any individual’s path to engagement (or well-being).

 

 

 

The newly leveraged, 2-for-1 deal (using the system!)

[Hmmm.  As I was reading about betting and investment strategies, there was a bit of systems-thinking, which just fits right in!]

 

My research unveiled an assessment system that creates models of Engaged Productivity™, at all levels of your organization.  The models can be used to analyze the probabilities for greater returns, as you leverage your organizational bets on engagement and wellness:

 

  • To reach your changing business goals, without sacrificing well-being in your people; and
  • In designing unique behavioral processes that promote individuals’ well-being, even as pressure rises.

 

Now, as you imagine taking the various ‘side bets’ you need to build the rest of your Wellness and Engagement initiatives, I would like to believe that I have shown you how leveraging your initial bets could even out the ‘long odds’, over time and shore up your sustainable returns.  (Assuming I got my gambling references right.)

 

When you use the systems language of Engaged Productivity™ to analyze and leverage your bets, then, finally – working ‘well’ need not come up against the odds of wellness working.

 

 

Next up… If culture eats strategy for breakfast,
we should make it a balanced meal.

 

 

Engaged Productivity™ encompasses revolutionary new thinking to solve the employee engagement challenge in quick, precise and predictable ways.
Learn more at:  http://www.authentum.com.

 

 

Pamela Teagarden, Founder of Authentum™, started her career as a banker, before her post-graduate work in corporate behaviors and positive psychology gave her a front-row seat at the intersection of business and behaviors.

 

Read more of her bio at:  www.authentum.com/about-us/

Follow Authentum on Twitter at:  @AuthentumAtWork

Business has changed in unprecedented ways. HR has not. (Breakups are hard on everyone…)

This article is the fourth in a series featuring a revolutionary employee engagement concept called Engaged ProductivityTM.   Read the other articles in the series here or at:  www.authentum.com.

Have you ever been in one of those relationships that started out with magical moments of bliss – before one party moved on (‘just’ fell out of love, one day…), leaving the other behind to wonder what went wrong (jilted into one of those “was-it-me” depressions…)?  Well, business has left HR behind, and I feel like HR has fallen into that age-old-trap of repeating the same patterns in an attempt to get back together – as if the definition of insanity never existed!

 

Remember when we first met?

Back in the days of the first industrial factory – both parties were SO in sync.  Businesses made ‘widgets’ and HR was there to insure people could make them – answering to real productivity needs:

  • Promotions went to those who could make the most;
  • Recruiting meant finding those who knew how to make them best;
  • Training was step-by-step instruction on how to make the perfect widget;
  • Management included those who made the most or got others to make them faster

 

Remember how great it was, in the beginning?  It was love at first (factory) site.

 

So, what happened?

It’s no one’s fault, really, but the world-as-we-knew-it changed.  Competition amongst widget-makers and the influx of the service economy changed everything.  It made the relationship much harder to navigate.  Now, instead of people ‘doing‘ the tasks to produce the product, they had to start ‘being’ the product (or the better choice amongst widget-makers).

 

That’s when distance was introduced into the relationship.  Cultural norms started mattering more.  Posters were put up on the walls showing the values that everyone was meant to share.  The business still cared about productivity needs, though HR needed more to keep the flame lit – HR had to multi-task by adding the peoples’ needs to the productivity needs, or there would be less profit.  Business just didn’t understand.  It felt like HR got kind of ‘soft”…  a little too emotional, all of a sudden.

 

Over time, the distance grew, like Mars and Venus….  Competency structures were built.  Human Capital indexes were developed.  Engagement began to matter.  And, from the perspective of business, HR began asking for too much.  (How many assessment tools does one HR department really need to increase the productivity in one company?)  Business began to pull in the purse strings.  HR just didn’t seem to make sense, anymore.  It became so hard to communicate…  Everything started to fall apart.

 

It didn’t start out as a huge fight, it was more of a power struggle.  But, no matter what, business always seemed to win!  No fair.  Good results seemed to trump the things that could make people happier, after a while.  HR became too needy, resulting in that dreaded I-just-need-some-space kind of business we see today.

 

Can this relationship be rescued?

[Author’s note:  I have to admit…  as I got really into this analogy, I actually looked up marriage counseling techniques. Egad.]

 

To move from power struggle to power couple in this relationship, it will take both parties coming to the table.  Anything is possible, with a little honest conversation.  So, we may begin mediation:

 

Q:  Can we agree on our shared interest?

Of course, the commercial success, including profit, is what every person wants to be working toward.  After all, if the business fails, we have nothing. 

 

The people just need to feel more engaged in the plan.  (What happened to the committed partnership we had in the beginning?)

 

Q:  What are the primary needs of both parties in the shared solution?

From the business perspective of the organization:
According to McKinsey, HR practices will benefit from establishing more of a ‘business context’ and for ‘understanding the mindsets that underpin decisions made at work’ – turning HR practices into real business drivers

 

From the HR perspective of the individuals:
In order to connect people more directly to the strategic plan, Barbara Fredrickson writes, in “Positivity”, that when people can ‘intentionally order their own goals [at work], they may be engaged.

 

In fairness to both sides:
To keep the relationship on track, over time, Dr. Prilleltensky, in his study of “Wellness as Fairness”, found that thriving organizations consider the views of the individuals and of the organization, simultaneously, using similar measures.  [My research found that similar language rests in Engaged Productivity™ ]

 

Q.  What is the solution to rescue this relationship? 

My findings suggest that we can use technology to help us gather new measures using a new systems-based method – that leverages the company-wide ENGAGEMENT of employees to influence the dynamic PRODUCTIVITY needs in the business.  To create the dashboard that HR needs. 

 

By allowing people to drive the business, with their engagement as the key to fuel the productivity, HR can get back into the front seat and play the part of navigator!

 

Is this where we say, “Until death do us part”?  (Now, that would be retention!)

 

Next up… Wellness and Engagement – A two-for-one deal?

Shoring up some of your spending.

 

 _________________________________________

 

Engaged Productivity™ encompasses revolutionary new thinking to solve the employee engagement challenge in quick, precise and predictable ways.  

Learn more at:  www.authentum.com.

 

 

Pamela Teagarden, Founder of Authentum™, started her career as a banker, before her post-graduate work in corporate behaviors and positive psychology gave her a front-row seat at the intersection of business and behaviors.

Read more of her bio at:  www.authentum.com/about-us/

Follow Authentum on Twitter at:  @AuthentumAtWork

R.O.E. – Your Return on Engagement(s)

This article is the third in a series featuring a revolutionary employee engagement concept called Engaged ProductivityTM.   Read the other articles in the series here or at:  www.authentum.com.

Maybe it’s the ex-banker in me, but when I hear claims made about the ROI for engagement activities, I cringe.  Comments like – ‘When your people are engaged, they will be more productive’ – and other wonderfully vague, broad suggestions.

I find myself asking…  How quickly will all this magic happen?  Will everyone be engaged, company-wide – and, for how long?  How do I get them there – and keep them there?  Will they be engaged in the right productivity?  [Crickets chirping in response.]

To make the situation more frustrating, it seems as if we have been assuming (at least in our actions) that engaging people is a simple equation that can be solved, once and for all.  HR, along with the coaches/consultants they bring in, are (truly!) doing amazing things for individuals.  I really do mean that.

I just happen to believe that this is where it usually stops – with the individuals.  It’s as if everyone is working from a belief that:

‘If I could just engage one person + another + another + another….

And these people go and engage one more + another + another….  Then the sum of that simple equation will equal = (fingers crossed…)

Increases in (the right?) productivity AND improved engagement (sustainably?).

 Whew.  That’s a lot to imagine.  And, even more to assume in the individuals at work, in every moment.

So, if we need some sort of return for our investment.  And, the equation is not one with a fixed solution.  Then, how do we understand what we are getting for our engagement activities?

This return matters a whole lot.

Engagement [in productivity] is the reason for everything.  No matter what activity you have taken on to develop the organization or your people, the investment is, primarily, for the business.

Think about it.  Why has there been an investment in leadership development, culture initiatives, health benefits, strategic change processes, plans to foster diversity…  (okay, you get the idea)?

Answer:  To engage your people in (better) performance.

[And, then to keep them showing up and wanting to engage in more.]

To have a return implies there is one answer to one equation.

Engagement in productivity is not a simple equation.

Simple equations can be solved (1+1+1=3), but complex problems may only be managed, amongst layers and layers of fragmented pieces of the bigger problem.

What does that mean?   No matter how great any one of your projects becomes, somebody has to understand what that one solution offers as a part of the whole issue (as well as, how that part affects the other projects that have been invested in!).

It means that if you attain employee engagement, at any given moment, you may not achieve the right levels of productivity.  And, vice versa.  Complex problems, like this one, require systems thinking – and we haven’t done enough of that.

Systems thinking allows for many answers, or returns.

Engaged Productivity™ enables systems thinking 

Systems thinking is an approach to problem solving in which we can explore the relationship between every part of the issue, in relation to the whole – with the understanding that improvements in one may adversely affect another.  (Sounds like a day-in-the-life of a HR Director!)

In managing the layers of business activities from both perspectives, we sure could use a model to run a few scenarios on – as situations change.  This is what has been missing in the way HR has been structured.  There have been a number of ‘fixed solutions’, from each of the separate HR activities/tools, which became like puzzle pieces that never really fit together – at least not easily.

Engaged Productivity™, the subject of my research, is one systems language that speaks from both perspectives (the organization’s and the individual’s) – and links them both to the changing business needs.  It is a way of modeling engagement in productivity for HR and business leaders to have a dynamic view of how to manage many returns to their activities, even as they change.

Return(s) on Engagement [through models of Engaged Productivity] 

As with any system, there is input.  Your people answer one set of questions, expressing how they choose to perform, that populates the systems information used in the models.

Imagine comparing a behavioral model of ‘how your people are likely to perform’ to a business model of ‘how the work needs to be performed’.
ROE-Pic-1

 


How cool would that be?  You would know how to engage your people, individually and in teams – more meaningfully in the performance you need them to do (because they told you how!).  And, you would be able to use that information to look at the other layers, or your projects that provide parts of the whole solution, to this systemic problem.

You would have a dashboard-like view from both perspectives, using the same language.

 

ROE-Pic-2

Just think of it.  Now, your people can drive your business, instead of your business driving your people.  (Now, this sounds MUCH more engaging – and productive.)

Next up… Letting your people drive your business – with engagement as the key.

We may have a dashboard, but how do they drive the business?

Engaged Productivity™ encompasses revolutionary new thinking to solve the employee engagement challenge in quick, precise and predictable ways. 

Learn more at:  www.authentum.com.

Pamela Teagarden, Founder of Authentum™, started her career as a banker, before her post-graduate work in corporate behaviors and positive psychology gave her a front-row seat at the intersection of business and behaviors.

 Read more of her bio at:  www.authentum.com/about-us/

Follow Authentum on Twitter at:  @AuthentumAtWork

 

3 Ways to Reframe the Definition of Employee Engagement

This article is the second in a series featuring a revolutionary employee engagement concept called Engaged ProductivityTM.   Read the other articles in the series here or at:  www.authentum.com.

 So many “best practices” in engaging employees feel like bribery with promises of never-ending bliss.  It’s a bit like corporate leaders are behaving like our divorced parents – at some point, Dad trumps Mom’s trampoline by putting a pony in the backyard. But are any of us really any happier at work, every day?

I would love to believe that every employee at Zappos is happily gliding down the hall on a scooter; that everyone who works with Arianna Huffington feels as if they are thriving, and that every Google employee is a champion ping-pong player.

I’d love to believe it, but we all know this isn’t the case.

Don’t get me wrong.  I get it.  I do.  These, and many other great ideas, are all wonderfully happy and engaging activities.  But (and this is a big ‘but’), can anyone be sure that – because of these efforts – the right business productivity is happening, now and in the future? And then continuing as things change or when pressure is rising?

The reality is pretty daunting.  Gallup shows that companies will lose more than $300 billion, this year alone, in misguided attempts to engage their employees [in productivity].  Egad.  That’s A LOT of fancy chefs and keg-a-rators in the corporate kitchen.

Wasted money is one problem.  Frustrated employees is a completely different problem.  Consider what it must be like at the #1 best-place-to-work-in-the-world when you have a problem with a peer or when your boss doesn’t see things the way you do?  How can that possibly be? Spoiler alert – yoga and ping-pong can only get you so far.

Maybe I should explain why I care so much.  After decades of consulting, I decided to get my Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from UPenn.  I studied happiness – from the perspective of business, precisely because I believe it should be possible to find your own happiness in your work, every day – and simultaneously increase business performance. After all, is it reasonable to expect these two dynamics to directly correlate?

After spending the last six years researching the topic, here are three things my research uncovered about the definition of employee engagement:

I.  Happiness is too broad.

Do leaders really think they can sustain the cheery disposition of thousands of employees every moment of every day – while getting these happy people to be more productive toward the actual strategic goals of the business?

Happiness is too personal.  Too emotional.  A leader could never make every employee happy, much less keep them happy over time. How could anyone fill that role? Think about waking up happy, one morning, and finding that you are unhappy that same afternoon.

II.  There are two perspectives to consider.

In your business, every activity comes from one of two perspectives:  the individual or the organization.  One is meant to serve the other, but they are different.  My research validated the obvious: the organization needs productivity, while individuals wish for engagement.  These two perspectives can be difficult to balance.  When you seek engagement, you may not get the productivity you seek, and, vice versa.

III.  We can’t forget about productivity.

First, the moose on the table – – The organization is not a human being (despite what the Supreme Court may be arguing,) it’s a series of processes.  It’s a system with goals that are meant to deliver profits.

Before we define engagement, we have to think about WHY a company needs engagement.  It’s a way to achieve more/inspire better performance and to retain (the right!) talent to continue doing that work.  We have to define engagement in a systems language that is grounded in productivity, or, we will keep losing tons and tons of money in our attempts.

My professor, Barbara Fredrickson, points out in her book Positivity that engagement is connected to ‘one’s ability to intentionally order his/her own goals [at work]’.

Eureka!

The research validates that employers can achieve meaningful engagement that leads to productivity, simply by transparently considering how employees choose to do the work – in the context of the organization’s strategic priorities.  This, btw, is the only level of engagement that a company has any direct (and sustainable) connection to.   Anything else – is truly none of their business.

So, I call my new definition, “Engaged Productivitytm:

 

“Engagement in productivity

occurs when employees can intentionally order their goals, including in teams,

within the productivity that defines their unique business performance, every moment.”

Once this foundational level of employee engagement (in productivity) is managed well, then happiness can be attained, in all kinds of ways.  Now, there’s a definition we can all be “happy” to work with!! (pun obviously, intended.)

Next up…  “Engagement is everything, but it can’t solve your problems.”

Even if we could get there, what do we do with it?

Engaged Productivity™ encompasses revolutionary new thinking to solve the employee engagement challenge in quick, precise and predictable ways. 

Learn more at:  www.authentum.com.

Pamela Teagarden, Founder of Authentum™, started her career as a banker, before her post-graduate work in corporate behaviors and positive psychology gave her a front-row seat at the intersection of business and behaviors.

Read more of her bio at:  www.authentum.com/about-us/

Follow Authentum on Twitter at:  @AuthentumAtWork

There Are 2 Types of Engagement Surveys (neither works like you think)

This article is the first in a series featuring a revolutionary employee engagement concept called Engaged ProductivityTM.   Read the other articles in the series here or at: http://www.authentum.com/blog/

 So, your engagement survey has done a fabulous job in pinpointing the current state of your company-wide engagement, BUT what are you going to do to FIX any of the problems it highlighted for you?  You know how important engagement is.  You’ve had the phrase ‘we can only manage what we can measure’ drilled into your thinking. And your people are waiting for you to make them happy – that’s enough to make you disengaged.  Why isn’t this working? Maybe because we don’t appreciate the differences in the types of survey we are giving.  Or, maybe we’ve stretched our expectations of the survey results way outside their original intent.  Probably both.

The 2 kinds of engagement surveys

Let’s look at what we’ve got.  There are two perspectives that frame the activities in your business:  the organization and the individual.  My research validates that the ‘language’ of these two types of surveys will differ, according to their different needs.  Look at this way:  Organizations need productivity; individuals wish for engagement.  So, which language does your engagement survey use?

  1. From the individuals’ perspective,
    you get lots of how-does-it-FEEL-to-work-here kinds of questions (because engagement is mostly ‘felt’).
  • Do you have a best friend at work?
  • Do you feel your leader cares about you?
  • Do you feel your opinions count?

suggestion-box

Imagine your job depends on increasing engagement results.  What are you going to do about finding a best friend for anybody?  Do you really know why anyone feels their boss doesn’t care about them, not to mention what to do about it?  And, by the way, how exponentially more horrific does this become when you have thousands of employees?  (For that matter, even 10 could be tough!)

  1. From the organizational perspective,
    you get a lot of how-great-do-our-processes-MEASURE-UP-to-you kinds of questions (because productivity is mostly measurable).
  • Have you received a performance appraisal in the last 12 months?
  • Are you clear as to the expectations in your role?
  • Are you able to see how your role affects company-wide performance?

Now, imagine you’re the one who receives these answers.  Better? You will probably put together a task force to address the changes to the work processes.  But, even if you roll out some pretty good stuff, are you sure – as your job depends on it – that you are going to improve engagement?

Which kind of survey are you using? That’s a trick question, because neither of these surveys is enough on its own.  Why? Because, for 2 decades, at least, we have had the same horrifically awful statistic that less than 20% of employees are actively engaged in their work.  With the time and investment we have put into measuring their moods, shouldn’t we have seen more of an active increase in engagement?  Because, don’t we urgently need it with businesses changing in such unprecedented ways?  It’s as if the surveys have been pointing out the obvious for decades, but what are we supposed to do about it? 

Measure something new – – in a new way

Why are we measuring if our people are engaged, instead of how to engage our employees in the productivity that the organization needs?  [And, btw, why aren’t we figuring that out before we ask them whether they got there or not?]

In my graduate thesis, I unveiled an assessment system that surveys how your people choose to perform so that leaders have precise, predictive information to highlight strengths-based paths to drive the business – now and for the future – withoutsacrificing engagement.  The result is sustainable Engaged Productivity™.

Of course, as you saw from the statistics above, simply achieving engagement in productivity, at any one moment, would be a pretty great thing, but it is the ability to keep it going, even through changing environments – that engages me the most about this new method.  Unlike ‘happiness’, this could be sustainable. 

Fear not, though…  You can keep your engagement surveys.  Let them inform you of the state-of-engagement at any moment.  Then, if you add the measures of Engaged Productivity™, you can highlight the most engaging path to get productivity back on track and predict ways to keep the foundation of your engagement activities running smoothly.  Your people can choose to work, in a way that works!  (Maybe even engaging in a few new friendships.)

Next up…  What does engagement really mean? 

We may be all bent on measuring it, but we haven’t really agreed on a definition.

There are 3 ways to frame that definition, btw. 

Engaged Productivity™ encompasses revolutionary new thinking to solve the employee engagement challenge in quick, precise and predictable ways.  

Learn more at: http://www.authentum.com. 

Pamela Teagarden, Founder of Authentum™, started her career as a banker, before her post-graduate work in corporate behaviors and positive psychology gave her a front-row seat at the intersection of business and behaviors. 

Read more of her bio at www.authentum.com/about-us/

Follow Authentum on twitter:  @AuthentumAtWork

 

 

HR – A Force To Be Reckoned With

“The Force of Human Resources” is the third in a 10-part series outlining the concepts included in “The Physics of HR; Mastering the Laws of Motion,” the Whitaker joint set to publish in mid-2016.

You probably guessed we would arrive here. In the first post of this series, I crystallized the HR function into a four-word statement – “We Make People Move.” Is it an over-simplification? Maybe, but keep listening and see if I can bring you around.

For two years, those of you who have been paying attention have commented on the prominence of Newton’s Cradle in my branding, my imagery, and even in the background of my webinars. That’s no accident – Newton is my muse. Watching a set of silver balls in motion was THE seminal moment in my belief in the Science of Human Resources; the whole kit and caboodle illustrated by a desk toy.

Middle-ball-change-uncertainty

  1. An object A person at rest will remain at rest unless an external force acts upon it.
  2. An object A person in motion will not change its velocity unless an external force acts upon it.

Get it? Is that amazing or what – how many times have you felt like a “force?” Not a common descriptor for Human Resources in my 20+years of service, but that’s what we have the ability to be.

An organization, an individual, an employee – each either at rest or in motion, respectively, and each subject to change should an external HR Force act upon it. You could probably list a dozen ways of the top of your head where Human Resources has played a part (sometimes unintentionally, by the way) in changing the uniform motion that exists at a point in time. Pulling, pushing, stopping, starting, attracting, repelling – we’re a force, man, believe it.

This idea of how we can consciously and purposefully change the course of employees and organizations is the veritable hamster running on the wheel inside my head.

Tell me – are you feeling it? If not, keep reading – my hamster’s just getting started.

Next up: Newton’s Second Law of Motion, making it matter…

 

A Declaration of Your Independence

Hey Hardballers, this article introduces a special series (and a special person) featuring a revolutionary employee engagement concept called Engaged ProductivityTM. Check out my friend Pam Teagarden at her company website, Authentum.com ~ throughout July, expect additional guest appearances by Pam here on HR Hardball.

In the course of human events, we have reached a moment when every corporate citizen may abolish the establishment of absolute tyranny over the state of your business – in pursuit of happiness and liberty.  I am honored to invite you to sign up to receive my blog series, unveiling my new research on engagement in productivity.

As we celebrate our independence in the US, it seems like the perfect time to invite you to review my new, helpful information that results in Engaged Productivity™.

(Drum roll, please.  Step aside for the marching band to enter…..)

Free yourself from:

  • Idealized definitions of engagement that imply a company-wide utopia, with no sustainable link to business productivity
  •  Engagement surveys, measuring the state of engagement, that fall short of establishing ways to fix the issues raised
  • Engagement surveys, measuring the state of engagement,  that fall short of establishing ways to fix the issues raises
  • Soft measures of employee engagement that underpin a loss of more than $300 billion, every year

Recognize new metrics, measured in a new way, that can quickly, precisely and predictively increase productivity, without sacrificing any individuals’ liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As for me, I am really celebrating – for so many reasons.  I truly feel the freedom, After 6 years of research on the subject of engagement in productivity.  I’ve found it; a “truce” to resolve the revolution between your organization’s need for productivity and every individual’s pursuit of engagement at work.  A fair and self-evident system of business.

I’ll be starting my series with “There are 2 Kinds of Employee Engagement Surveys – and neither one works the way you wish it would” – look for it here on HR Hardball and on my website at Authentum.com (cue the fireworks!)

Engaged Productivity™ encompasses revolutionary new thinking to solve the employee engagement challenge in quick, precise and predictable ways. 

 To learn more, contact us at: info@authentum.com.

Pamela Teagarden, Founder of Authentum™, started her career as a banker, before her post-graduate work in corporate behaviors and positive psychology gave her a front-row seat at the intersection of business and behaviors. Read her bio, here:  www.authentum.com/about-us/

Engaged Productivity™ encompasses revolutionary new thinking to solve the employee engagement challenge in quick, precise and predictable ways.