Employee engagement

How to Build Passion Literacy at Work


I just had a fantastic experience with a call center rep! I had to call American Express this morning. After going through the dreaded automated menu of multiple options, I heard a cheerful voice saying, “May I help you?”

I could go on forever about how fabulous this person was. No script, patient listening while I ranted in a somewhat disorganized way, she gave me more information than I thought I wanted. When I thanked her profusely for her wonderful service, she rhapsodized about how much she loves taking care of customers’ needs.

But she didn’t want anyone to know about what a great job she does. When I asked her her name (which she shyly gave me one piece at a time), I then asked her, “Who do I talk to about how wonderful you are?” After putting me … Continue Reading

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Miles of Wisdom: The First Thing to Know About Inspiring Great Customer Service


(Note: Engaged employees are literally a wealth of knowledge. Whether they are high-performing individual contributors who love their jobs or managers who score high on the engagement surveys — if they love their work, they’ve got something to teach us all.  They’re better than a textbook. They’re better than a motivational seminar. They’re the real deal. And they’ve got great stories!

Because I interview engaged employees as part of my consulting practice, I’m collecting miles of wisdom in the form of great video footage. With the permission of my clients and interviewees, I’ll periodically post highlights from powerful conversations. Like this one.) Continue reading

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The Hope of HR: Prepare to Be Amazed…Every Day


When you’re in HR, it’s so easy to get bogged down by the hassles and headaches of dealing with people. How do you keep your own passion for HR energized? Be the keeper of a workplace culture that cherishes the passion of your people.

The more I get to know what healthcare HR faces every day, the more amazed I am. I don’t know how you do it, frankly. But I’m so glad you do. And I’m so impressed that even in the face of regulatory, legislative and other strategic challenges that threaten to get in the way of you doing your best work, you don’t lose sight of the fact that there are people in your organizations who really see the deep human meaning behind the work they do. And they draw inspiration from those small golden moments where … Continue Reading

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Don’t Fear the Beefer

Curious cow at a farm in Cambridge, UK

There’s this guy I know who had what can only be best described as a Jerry Maguire moment. In a fit of pique he unburdened himself about his job in a blog (but had the presence of mind to show it to his wife first for some serious vetting). I wasn’t there myself, mind you, but I’ve heard from several reliable sources that people actually stood up at their cubes the next morning and applauded. Sounds a little Hollywood to me, maybe it happened. Maybe it didn’t. But it definitely seemed to have happened in everyone’s hearts. Because the story prevails.

This is a company that has blogs galore, but everyone knows what you mean when you’re talking about this guy’s posting. You kind of say “the blog” in a lower, more momentous voice, like you would say, “the blob.”… Continue Reading

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Turn Your Passion Into Your Job Hunt Advantage

Take my heart

I love my job. Why? I interview people who love their work for a living.  I interview all sorts of people (CIA spy, hair stylist, bank chairman, nurse, accountant, airport director, animal shelter worker, secretary, beekeeper, you name it, I love it).  I especially love talking with HR leaders.  There’s something very cool about getting these folks to open up and talk from their hearts! (Don’t believe me? Click here and watch all the video clips you have time for. Then come back and watch the rest.)

Anyway, at the end of each interview I give HR folks a little thank-you present, which is an interview question that they can use while talking to job candidates.  Their eyes light up, they smile at all the possibilities that question holds for them, and they always write it down. I’ve never shared … Continue Reading

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Doesn’t HR Deserve to be Engaged Too? Part 2


I received some surprising resistance at the idea that HR deserves to be engaged, an idea I expressed a couple of weeks ago. So, I thought that I should revisit this belief from the point of view of how it benefits the business. Which is ultimately what it’s all about anyway, right? Click here for the article, which I posted on the great new site, HR C Suite.… Continue Reading

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