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Another Shocking Back Story About United Airlines

By David Harder on the March, 7, 2018

If only 13% of the world’s workers are fully engaged, there is a high probability that a wide variety of senior executives are disengaged, going through the motions and making decisions without questioning overall impact on the business. In The Workplace Engagement Solution (Career Press), I highlighted United Airlines as an employer that routinely makes human capital decisions that disengage its employees.   This past year, United Airlines was perhaps the 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 […]

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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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When Do Human Capital Executives Take a Fall for the CEO?

By David Harder on the December, 21, 2017

An effective partnership between a CEO and the Chief Human Resource Officer has become one of the key factors of an organization’s success. However, there is an all too common breakdown that very few business journalists discuss. When a chief human resource officer comes to me with a career opportunity. During our discussion, I invariably ask, “Is the CEO leading the culture?” If the answer is no, I suggest they keep looking. When an executive has already taken the role, I suggest she or he “keep your bags packed.” Research for my new book, The Workplace Engagement Solution only supported […]

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The Single Most Important Trait in New Hires Might Surprise You

By David Harder on the December, 17, 2017

The wise holocaust survivor and philosopher Elie Wiesel said, “When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.” The dynamic can exponentially grow in its impact on an organization. Over the years, I have often been asked to help an employer decide between two top candidates. I usually respond, “Hire the one that is most grateful.” Why? These are the individuals that are inherently skilled in connecting with others; they bring positive energy to a team, and they demonstrate predictably strong and sustained performance. […]

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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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Blow Up HR Again?

By David Harder on the December, 8, 2017

By and large, I read Harvard Business Review and The Atlantic to raise my IQ or, at the very least, give the appearance that I’ve done so.   Recently, HBR published, “It’s Time To Blow Up HR and build something new”.Sounds like consultant-speak to me. Much of the consulting profession puts a great deal of energy into making senior management and human resources talent feel unsure of themselves. For example, here is a quote from the article:   Recent complaints about the HR function have touched a nerve in a large; sympathetic audience, particularly in the United States. The most vocal […]

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Why Chief Human Resource Officers Can Become CEOs

By David Harder on the October, 18, 2017

Virtually every business publication and relevant academic research paper indicate that attracting, developing and motivating talent is the single most important element in successful business today. One of the most common failures with CEOs not reaching the objectives of their business plan is in their refusal to take charge of the culture and other people initiatives such as employee engagement. While it might feel counterintuitive to many, only the CEO can motivate everyone to commit to the most difficult aspects of culture change.   Most employee engagement initiatives fail over this typical pattern: The CEO walks into human resources and […]


Is This Man A Tipping Point for All of Us?

By David Harder on the October, 17, 2017

In the last few days, I’ve made a couple of feeble attempts to say anything about the sexual harrassment scandal with Harvey Weinstein as well as our President. But, I actually have quite a bit to say. When I was in my 20s & 30s, I worked in business development. I got hit up all of the time by men and women. But, after having a childhood where I felt victimized all of the time, I did not nor would I respond as a victim if someone, man or woman, harrassed me during the course of business. Some of these […]

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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 […]