Our perspective
on life, leadership,
and engagement.

Get inspired.

Our Perspective on Life, Leadership, and Engagement

Get the scoop from our consultants and creatives, as well as our clients and other thought-leading guests. In addition to our blog and video posts, don’t miss our popular podcasts — they’ve been heard regularly by thousands of leaders since 2012!
  • On the Engaging Leader podcast, we share communication and leadership principles, and tell stories that illustrate putting those principles into practice.
  • The Workforce Health Engagement podcast explores strategies to improve your employees’ health and productivity — and to protect your bottom line.

219: How Women Leaders Can Master a Remote Work Environment | with Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD

Play

 

We’ve entered a new era with more people than ever working remotely, especially from home. This past year, according to author Charlene Walters, women have made up 80% of the people who left the on-site workforce during the pandemic.  

In this second of a two-part interview, Jesse is joined again by Charlene to discuss tips from her new book LAUNCH YOUR INNER ENTREPRENEUR: 10 Mindset Shifts for Women to Take Action, Unleash Creativity, and Achieve Financial Success. This conversation includes:

  • The challenges female leaders and “fempreneurs” face about working from home
  • How to master a remote work environment and balance it with your leadership
  • Tips for leading a remote team
  • Fostering engagement and loyalty in a virtual environment

Charlene Walters, MBA, Ph.D. is an entrepreneurship coach, business and branding mentor, author, and trainer. She developed a digital entrepreneurship MBA program, has taught hundreds of business and marketing courses at a number of universities, and has led workshops for Entrepreneur Magazine’s Insider Platform and other corporations.

 

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app:

Apple Podcast | Google Play | Spotify |  Stitcher  | Other Ways to Listen

218: Overcoming the Challenges Faced By Women Entrepreneurs and Leaders | with Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD

Play

 

Many people say that entrepreneurship is often still a man’s world ― despite the fact that 42 percent of all small business or franchise owners are women, and there are 13 million female-owned businesses contributing to $1.9 trillion in revenue in the US. According to author Charlene Walters, a multitude of research has shown that many women entrepreneurs and leaders struggle more than men with certain issues that may thwart their success.

In this interview with Charlene, we discuss tips from her new book LAUNCH YOUR INNER ENTREPRENEUR: 10 Mindset Shifts for Women to Take Action, Unleash Creativity, and Achieve Financial Success. Our conversation includes:

  • The challenges female leaders and “fempreneurs” face in the world of work and business … and how to reframe them as opportunities
  • How to overcome imposter syndrome
  • How to deal with haters
  • How to fight self-sabotage

Charlene Walters, MBA, Ph.D. is an entrepreneurship coach, business and branding mentor, author, and trainer. She developed a digital entrepreneurship MBA program, has taught hundreds of business and marketing courses at a number of universities, and has led workshops for Entrepreneur Magazine’s Insider Platform and other corporations.

 

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app:

Apple Podcast | Google Play | Spotify |  Stitcher  | Other Ways to Listen

217: The Business of WE – Closing the Gap Between Us vs Them part 2 | with Laura Kriska

Play

 

Us versus Them gaps have always affected the American workplace – Sales versus Marketing, Manufacturing versus Engineering, Human Resources versus Legal. But today there is an urgent need to address a wide range of culture gaps, especially due to the impact of the pandemic, racism and protests in support of Black Lives Matter, and an intensely divisive U.S. presidential election.

No matter what your politics, one thing is clear — the old tools just don’t work; a new approach to diversity, cultural difference, and inclusion is urgently needed. What can business leaders do to create true synergy among the diverse and often fiercely divided members of their workforce?

In this interview with Laura Kriska, author of the new book The Business of WE, we discuss a practical roadmap for building cohesive, high-performing teams, regardless of personal differences. Drawing on her decades of international experience as a cross-cultural consultant, Kriska shares her proven three-step method for closing the gap between Us and Them in your workplace.

Our conversation includes:

  • Simple examples of “We-Building” behaviors or gestures
  • Overview of the 3-step process for closing Us versus Them gaps in your workplace
  • Actions that will contribute toward building a WE culture
  • Tips for we-building while working from home, especially during this pandemic?
  • How can people use the WE-building tools in their daily lives,  both the workplace and beyond

Laura Kriska is an internationally recognized expert and leading consultant on cross-cultural relations with more than 30 years of experience bridging gaps in diverse workplaces. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies on four continents, helping thousands of business leaders and professionals build trust across Us versus Them differences based on nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, age, or any factor of identity. Her first book, The Accidental Office Lady, was based on her experience as the first American woman to work in Honda Motor Company’s Tokyo headquarters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app:

Apple Podcast | Google Play | Spotify |  Stitcher  | Other Ways to Listen

216: The Business of WE – Closing the Gap Between Us vs Them part 1 | with Laura Kriska

Play

 

Us versus Them gaps have always affected the American workplace – Sales versus Marketing, Manufacturing versus Engineering, Human Resources versus Legal. But today there is an urgent need to address a wide range of culture gaps, especially due to the impact of the pandemic, racism and protests in support of Black Lives Matter, and an intensely divisive U.S. presidential election.

No matter what your politics, one thing is clear — the old tools just don’t work; a new approach to diversity, cultural difference, and inclusion is urgently needed. What can business leaders do to create true synergy among the diverse and often fiercely divided members of their workforce?

In this interview with Laura Kriska, author of the new book The Business of WE, we discuss a practical roadmap for building cohesive, high-performing teams, regardless of personal differences. Drawing on her decades of international experience as a cross-cultural consultant, Kriska shares her proven three-step method for closing the gap between Us and Them in your workplace.

Our conversation includes:

  • Simple examples of “We-Building” behaviors or gestures
  • Overview of the 3-step process for closing Us versus Them gaps in your workplace
  • Actions that will contribute toward building a WE culture
  • Tips for we-building while working from home, especially during this pandemic?
  • How can people use the WE-building tools in their daily lives,  both the workplace and beyond

Laura Kriska is an internationally recognized expert and leading consultant on cross-cultural relations with more than 30 years of experience bridging gaps in diverse workplaces. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies on four continents, helping thousands of business leaders and professionals build trust across Us versus Them differences based on nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, age, or any factor of identity. Her first book, The Accidental Office Lady, was based on her experience as the first American woman to work in Honda Motor Company’s Tokyo headquarters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app:

Apple Podcast | Google Play | Spotify |  Stitcher  | Other Ways to Listen

215: The Long-Distance Teammate | with Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel

Play

 

Working remotely isn’t just a new normal that we must learn to live with. It’s an opportunity to work and lead in ways that provide great operational and productivity results for the organization, as well as to be a part of a great team while finding individual meaning and purpose too. 

But there is a big difference between working from home … and feeling like and being an effective member of a remote team. How can you be a great teammate and leader while working at a distance from the people you collaborate with?

In this interview with the authors of the new book The Long-Distance Teammate, we discuss tips for being an effective member of a remote team, leading well as a remote leader, and how to combat the very real potential of isolation and loneliness when working from home.

Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel are cofounders of the Remote Leadership Institute. Kevin has twice been named one of Inc.’s Top 100 Leadership and Management Experts in the World. They have written dozens of books separately and together, including their previous book The Long-Distance Leader.

 

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app:

Apple Podcast | Google Play | Spotify |  Stitcher  | Other Ways to Listen

 

214: 4 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire | with Paul Falcone

Play

 

Interviewing job candidates can feel like wading through a foggy swamp. You’re attempting to discern whether candidates would be successful on your team, while struggling to prevent the massive headache and wasted resources of a poor decision. 

 

Asking the right questions during interviews can bring clarity to the process by giving you a more accurate, complete picture of the person sitting across from you. In this episode, employment expert Paul Falcone shares four interview questions that can help cut through the uncertainty by drawing out honest, helpful answers from job candidates.

 

A bestselling author and top-rated presenter, Paul is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer for The Motion Picture and Television Fund, primarily serving retirees from the entertainment industry. Previously, Paul served as head of HR for Nickelodeon, head of international HR for Paramount Pictures, and head of HR for the TV production unit of NBCUniversal, where he oversaw HR operations for NBC’s late night and prime time programming lineup, including The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, and The Office.

 

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app:

Apple Podcast | Google Play | Spotify |  Stitcher  | Other Ways to Listen

 

Seven Practices to Ensure Creative Brainstorming in a Virtual World

 

Many of us are used to generating our best ideas by tapping the creativity of a group of colleagues…in the same room with a whiteboard, flipchart, or sticky notes. The interpersonal dynamics and these tactile tools help make something magical happen in the brainstorming process.

How do we get the same result with a virtual team? Our Workforce Communication team needed to generate a bunch of ideas for our business this summer. Here’s how we did it:

1. Set up the question in advance. We emailed everyone a simple description of the topic.

2. Gathered via video conference so we could see each others’ faces…the next best thing to being there these days.

3. Followed ground rules such as no judging ideas, one person speaks at a time, build on others’ ideas, be positive, etc.

4. Gave ourselves one hour max. Spend too much time and you often end up criticizing or repeating ideas.

5. Took verbatim notes so we didn’t need to discuss ideas in-depth.

6. Facilitated a round-robin and gave everyone the option to pass.

7. Prioritized the ideas…everyone “voted” on their top three via the chat function in Google Meets.

In the end, everyone’s voice was heard, and we had three pages of prioritized ideas. The session was deemed successful! Easy peasy! Want more? Here’s a 10-minute read on the topic from Harvard Business Review.

What Are You Forgetting? Press Play on Video

 

Each year, our culture takes another leap in the digital revolution. This has sent video to the forefront of communication channels.

Some examples. COVID-19 has forced Zoom meetings to become the backbone of our daily schedules. TikTok and Instagram Reels have exploded on the mobile entertainment scene. And even Facebook now encourages advertisers to use video ads versus text-heavy promotions. All that has contributed to video being the most-shared, online content.

Back in 2014, Catherine Clifford, senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC, predicted that the more information became accessible, the more companies would need to push harder to become increasingly competitive in their communication.

Consider these marketing stats as you plan how to use video communication with your workforce:
+ According to HubSpot, videos reach their peak share rate in Q4 of each year, which is coming up soon!
+ Video marketers average 66% greater qualified sales leads per year than those who do not use video.
+ Video ads achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness over non-video ads.
+ Product videos can increase purchases by 144%.

A video puts a face and a voice to an issue and a message. This allows your audience to feel closer to the content. Plus, information presented in video is mentally processed 60,000 times faster than printed text, freeing the brain to ponder on the deeper implications of your message more quickly. That’s a true advantage. How can you use video to amplify your next workforce communication message?

Serial Comma or Not? Whatever You Do, Be Consistent

 

The serial comma is a much-debated punctuation mark. Often called the “Oxford” comma, it’s the comma before a conjunction (“and” or “or”) in a list of three or more words or phrases. One, two, and three. Red, white, and blue. Burger, fries, and a drink.

There are two schools of thought on the serial comma. While some feel it isn’t necessary (think minimalism), the rationale in favor of the serial comma is that it promotes clarity. See this Daily Writing Tips blog for an array of opinions and examples. (5-minute read)

We all know writers on both sides of this debate. Let’s agree to accept our differences.

Above all, be consistent. Make your approach to the serial comma part of your editorial style guide so all writers and editors who work with you follow the same rules. It’s clear, simple, and smart.

The Best Open Enrollment Tactics in a Pandemic

 

With the virus still plaguing us, there are no standard operating procedures for our everyday lives…at home or at work. However, the benefits open enrollment for 2021 must go on! What’s worked in the past will need to be tweaked, if not completely revamped.

Meet employees where they are by using a multi-channel approach.

Employees may be working with alternative schedules in remote locations. Think about how to reach them in different ways, including video delivered via email or online, webinars and video conferences, and text messaging. You should also consider mailing something home this year to be sure you reach everyone.

Be responsive and answer employee questions quickly.

Face-to-face meetings and benefits fairs will be non-existent this year, but employees will still have questions. Be creative. Use video conference technology for live, virtual sessions. Cover anticipated questions online in an interactive Q&A or in a series of intranet posts. Promote one-on-one telephone support if you have it.

Limit the amount of detail you push out.

Streamline the information employees need to make their decisions. Don’t provide every detail about the plans during enrollment. Instead, provide employees and family members links to other resources with more details, including your benefits portal, online Q&A, or a recording of your virtual meetings.

Be present and send reminders.

People have a lot on their minds, are stretched thin, and will likely have other distractions. A once-and-done strategy is not a good idea this year. Send a heads-up message so employees know the enrollment dates and what to expect. Then, provide reminders regularly so no one misses the deadline.

Work with us

We can help you engage your workforce with wildly successful communication.

© 2012 – 2020, Workforce Communication, LLC. The "Workforce Communication" logo is a trademark of Workforce Communication, LLC.

LEGAL STUFF | PRIVACY POLICY