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Why Must the CEO be the First to Engage?

By David Harder on the January, 23, 2018

If 87% of the world’s talent is disengaged, the probability of CEOs also being disengaged is pretty high.   For years, my company has produced engagement with intact teams. We’ve produced great results regardless of the overall engagement level throughout an organization. When I was asked by the business publisher Career Press to write The Workplace Engagement Solution. When we included the word solution, I asked for more time to write the book! Research, interviews with key business figures, and common-sense led to the architecture that produces a very real solution to the biggest problem that employers face today, a […]

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How One Tech CEO Created Talent Stability

By David Harder on the January, 16, 2018

The technology industry tends to be very good at hiring people, keeping them is an entirely different matter. Gourmet lunches, pool tables in the break room, gyms, and onsite daycare are certainly nice perks but the tech industry has the highest turnover within all industry categories. Average tenure hovers around three years. Amazon and Google, while characterized in the press as wildly different cultures, actually are within .1% of each other with their turnover.   According to David Harder, author of The Workplace Engagement Solution(Career Press), here’s why:   “The tech industry is filled with both employers and employees committed to […]

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Mid-Management. Engagements Final Frontier

By David Harder on the January, 11, 2018

In a Harvard Business School study, mid-level managers emerged as the most disengaged of all workers. This is not a big surprise. Mid-managers are overworked, undervalued, and the most at-risk employees during layoffs. Academics and business authors routinely suggest that we get rid of them as a first step to becoming leaner and improving organizational performance. And yet, organizational America depends on managers to drive the very workers that interface with our customers. Mid-managers represent the single biggest reason that employee engagement must have a Democratic solution.   We frequently select many mid-managers because they get the job done quickly […]

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Shattering the Business of Sexual Harassment

By David Harder on the January, 10, 2018

The phenomenon of transparency has led to a tectonic shift in how our culture responds to sexual harassment. For many of us, the surprisingly swift departures of CEOs, bankable celebrities, politicians and other big revenue makers indicate a tipping point. Why are actions like these so very new?   For many years, organizations have literally protected sexual harassment through settlements and non-disclosure agreements. Consider the message this sends to everyone. Time and time again, we have indicated that money is more important than human dignity or “doing the right thing.” It is time to shatter this practice and for any […]

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Today’s Sexual Harassment Shock Wave & the bigger revolution behind it

By David Harder on the December, 12, 2017

Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Mark Halperin, Bill O’Reilly, Mario Batali, Al Franken and dozens of other celebrities, politicians, and CEOs have one issue in common. You probably know what that is. Why am I so confident you will know? Almost everyone knows. Today’s sexual harassment scandals represent more than just a cultural shift with predatory sexual behavior. We are witnessing nothing less than a tipping point and a growing tsunami of transparency, one of the many revolutions brought on by advancing technology. Organizations are only beginning to recognize how quickly transparency is changing our lives, the way we do business […]

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How One Boss Changed My Entire Life

By David Harder on the October, 30, 2017

Doing the right thing seems to be as much the product of instinct as intelligence.   Today, a dear friend and I are getting together with our former boss – Gail Angel. I have not seen her in twenty-three years! Gail owned one of the most successful staffing companies in California. Gail also taught me the very greatest lesson on the first day I showed up as a new general manager.   I remember 1985 as an absolutely terrifying time in my life. People were dying…in droves. None of us knew how AIDS was transmitted. Before it became a world […]

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United Airlines – The Shocking Back Story

By David Harder on the October, 29, 2017

This past year, United Airlines was perhaps this years biggest demonstration in how a disengaged employee culture can impact consumers. Almost all of us witnessed security guards dragging a semi-conscious passenger off of his flight. While the guards were not employees of the airline, the UA employees took a minor service problem and escalated it by simply not thinking through the implications of their actions – a classic example of disengagement. The incident made world news, destroyed shareholder value, and affirmed the bad experiences so many of us have had with this carrier.   United Airlines is a case study […]

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Why the CEO Must be the First to Engage

By David Harder on the October, 9, 2017

If 87% of the world’s talent is disengaged, the probability of CEOs also being actively disengaged is pretty high. With a purely democratic solution, the global disengagement problem can only be solved if everyone from the entry-level worker to the CEO/owner is dealing directly with his or her own engagement.   Engaged CEOs lead their cultures. The very word “engagement” implies connectedness and transparency. The failure of most engagement programs begins when the CEO turns the initiative over to someone else. Make no mistake about it, engagement includes an emotional component and many CEOs are uncomfortable with the feelings generated by […]

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Why Your Employer Brand is Definitively More Important Than Your Consumer Brand

By David Harder on the September, 26, 2017

Who would you rather work for? United Airlines or Southwest? Google or Yahoo? Vons/Safeway or Trader Joe’s? Consider the following. Whatever talent you attract is what your organization becomes to the world and to the consumer. If you can’t attract the best talent in your industry, you will never achieve category leadership. Your employees will actively or passively practice disengagement. Customers will have lower rather than higher expectations when they deal engage with your organization. You will be in charge of a commodity where expectations are low, everyone expects mediocrity and slim profit margins. Everyone knows this. With the advent of Glassdoor […]

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The 7 Engagement Questions Every CEO Needs to Answer

By David Harder on the August, 22, 2017

I wrote The Workplace Engagement Solution with a commitment to define a practical and actionable response to disengagement. According to Gallup’s last global survey, about 87% of the world’s workers are disengaged. The consulting world treats employee engagement as a chronic illness. Surveys tell us how big the problem is. It is management’s fault. We give them loads of development and not much changes. This is because disengagement is such a pervasive problem that we cannot treat one segment of an organization and leave the rest to chance. CEOs have a long history of turning culture over to human resources. It happens […]