David Lee

David Lee is the founder and principal of HumanNature@work and the creator of Stories That Change. He's an internationally recognized authority on organizational and managerial practices that optimize employee performance, morale, and engagement. He is also the author of "Managing Employee Stress and Safety," as well over 60 articles and book chapters. You can download more of his articles at HumanNature@work, contact him at david@humannatureatwork.com, or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/humannaturework.

Articles by David Lee

Talent Management

Despite Your Best Efforts, Why Aren’t Your Employees More Engaged?

Illustration by istockphoto.com

By David Lee and Jacob Schneid

Despite millions of words written and millions of dollars spent on improving employee engagement, the needle has barely budged over the years.

From Gallup’s State of the American Workplace:

While the state of the U.S. economy has changed substantially since 2000, the state of the American workplace has not. Currently, 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work, and the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is roughly 2- to-1, meaning that the vast majority of U.S. workers (70 percent) are not reaching their full potential — a problem that has significant implications for the economy and the individual performance of American companies. Gallup’s research shows that employee engagement remains flat when left unmanaged.” Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

Are You Giving Employees What They Truly Hunger For?

123RF Stock Photo

At a recent event on how non-profits can use social media, self-professed Twitter junkie Jessica Esch, from United Way of Greater Portland, shared her social media secret sauce for successfully engaging followers.

One of her secret sauce ingredients stood out for me because it’s a phrase, and a practice —  love and try to do — yet we never see talked about in the corporate world. This is a shame because this practice is not only a great way to engage people in the social media world, it is also a game-changing offline strategy for engaging employees. Read more…

HR Insights, Talent Management

Why It’s Good For You (and Your Company) When You’re an Energizer

123RFstockphoto.com,

Whether you affect people positively or negatively does not just influence what people think of you and their willingness to help you.

It also profoundly influences how valuable you are to your employer. It has a huge effect on whether you are seen as a “player” or relegated to the sidelines.

This assertion is based in part on the research conducted by the University of Virginia’s Dr. Rob Cross and his associates. Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

Why You Need a Resilient Workforce in Today’s Economy

resilient

Do you realize how important it is for you to have a resilient workforce?

Do you realize your company’s success depends on this?

And, do you recognize the answer to building resilience is not simply hosting a brown bag lunch session on stress management? Read more…

Culture, Rewards & Recognition

Appreciated or Taken for Granted? A Tale of Two Workplace Cultures

PHoto by istockphoto.com

The big, burly man began to choke up as he took in what the company’s internal leadership coach just said.

Moments before, this bear of a man, a grizzled veteran of the construction company challenged her assertion that he and his contribution at the company were valued.

Looking at her skeptically, he asked “How do you know that?

“Are you kidding?” the coach said with incredulity. “EVERYONE knows how valuable you are…Jack and Bob (his boss and boss’s boss) are always talking about how valuable you are and how important your contribution is to this company is,” she replied. Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

5 Strategies For Taking a More Positive Leadership Approach

123RF Stock Photo

 Second of two parts

In Like Ringing a Bell: How to Bring Out the Best in Employees, we explored the concept that YOU are Pavlov’s Bell to your employees.

Actually, you are Pavlov’s Bell wherever you go and with all of your relationships, but we focused on how this concept affects your ability to bring out the best in your employees.

The overall take away messages was this: “You are Pavlov’s Bell to the people you manage, for better or for worse.Read more…

Talent Management

Like Ringing a Bell: How to Bring Out the Best in Employees

123RF Stock Photo

First of two parts

To your employees, you are Pavlov’s Bell, for better or for worse.

I was reminded of this during a conference presentation. Two men in the audience, both senior level executives, made their presence known. One because his face was frozen in a dour, grouchy expression, and both men because of their cynical perspectives on issues we discussed. Read more…

HR Management, Leadership

There’s Something About Harry: Portrait of a Great Leader & Manager

be_a_great_leader_follow_me_tshirt-p235157158009334879zvf9d_400

When you’re in a position of power — whether a manager or a parent — you say things and do things that have a huge impact on those with less power.

You can have a huge impact, for better or worse, without knowing it.

That’s because when you’re in a position of power and you have a negative effect on others, you are rarely let in on the secret. Read more…

Talent Management

Your Employees Need to Know You Really Can Handle the Truth

Jack Nicholson1

Do you remember that classic Jack Nicholson scene in A Few Good Men when he bellows at Tom Cruise’s character, You can’t handle the truth!”

Your new hires need to believe that YOU can handle the truth, but only if…

… you want to learn specifically how to raise employee engagement in your organization so it is above the dismal levels most employers experience.

If you want to identify the real sources of employee turnover and the “New Hire Honeymoon Is Over Blues,” your employees need to get the following messages loud and clear: Read more…

Talent Management

What You Can Learn From the Oddest Question I’ve Ever Been Asked

Photo illustration by istockphoto.com

During a break at a seminar, someone asked me a question out of nowhere — in a restroom of all places — that took me aback

It got me thinking about a very different — and more important — question you need to ask if you’re a manager.

As I approached the hotel restroom sink to wash my hands, a man in a suit turned to me and said: “I know this is a weird question to ask, but … do I smell bad?”

He explained that he had been sweating profusely because of the hot conference room and was worried that he now reeked and would repel others. Read more…