079: How to Engage Cynical Employees | with Bob Kelleher, author of Employee Engagement for Dummies

by Joe Sherwood on March 6, 2014

Employee Engagement for DummiesHow do you engage employees who are cynical or jaded? And what if your organization is trying to improve employee engagement, but employees and even managers are cynical about the engagement initiative itself?

To help us address this issue, our guest is Bob Kelleher, author, speaker, and founder of The Employee Engagement Group.

Bob Kelleher’s first book, Louder Than Words: 10 Practical Employee Engagement Steps that Drive Results, has been one of the world’s bestselling employee engagement books since its release in 2010.

In his latest book, Employee Engagement for Dummies, Bob examines the basics of employee engagement. Today more than ever, companies and leaders need a road map to help them boost employee engagement levels. Employee Engagement For Dummies helps employers implement the necessary plans to create and sustain an engaging culture, allowing them to attract and retain the best people while boosting their productivity and creativity.

Here is what Jesse said after reading the book:

I was skeptical of this book, even though Bob’s previous books were well written and worthwhile. I didn’t feel like a dummy, and I didn’t particularly want to read a 350-page textbook on this topic.

However, I was very pleased to discover this is a must-read handbook on all aspects of increasing employee engagement, in an easy-to-read format with plenty of humor, stories, checklists, and so forth to keep me turning the pages.

Bob Kelleher’s 30 years in the trenches, plus the Dummies team’s talent for organizing and communicating valuable content, is a winning combination. Bob is thorough and very generous with what he knows. For example, here is just some of the “meat” the book includes:

  • engagement survey questions
  • communication protocol, planning templates, and best practices for communicating before, during, and between surveys
  • steps for establishing local and company–wide engagement committees
  • steps for creating, communicating, and reporting on action plans
  • interview questions to help select employees who are more likely to be fully engaged
  • what to ask in exit interviews and “stay” interviews to help you learn how to improve future engagement
  • best practices for using the onboarding process to engage employees right from the start
  • steps to identify, crystallize, and communicate, and reinforce the company’s purpose, values, and vision
  • tips for incorporating corporate social responsibility (CSR) to drive engagement
  • best practices for training managers to drive engagement
  • tips and key messaging to help get all senior leaders on board, so that employee engagement becomes a  corporate initiative rather than just an HR “program of the day”
  • best practices for recognition
  • 12 leadership-based engagement drivers
  • steps for setting performance expectations and conducting performance appraisals
  • alternatives for performance assessment and feedback

Engager questions/comments:

On Facebook, Dina says: I think engagement surveys can be an effective point in time measurement and if there are action plans followed through then follow ups done to measure change. However if not then companies lose credibility pretty quickly. At least that has been my experience. They have to be part of a larger program of engagement activities.

In an email, Bill says: How do you inspire different generations? I seem to find it easier to inspire my younger staff, who are not as jaded by life experience.

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