Eric Chester

Eric Chester is a leading voice in the global dialogue on employee engagement and building a world-class workplace culture. He's an in-the-trenches researcher on the topic of the emerging workforce and the dynamics of attracting, managing, motivating and retaining top talent. Chester is a Hall-of-Fame keynote speaker and the author of 3 leadership books including Reviving Work Ethic . His new book, On Fire at Work: How Legendary Leaders Ignite Passion in their People without Burning Them Out, will be released later this year. Learn more about Eric at

Articles by Eric Chester


One Rule That Just Doesn’t Work For Managers (or Parents) Anymore

Do as I say not as I do

Do as I say, not as I do.”

There was a time when a parent who smoked, drank excessively, cursed, etc. could demand – and often expect – a different standard of behavior from their children simply by telling them, ” I want you to have a better life than the one I’m living, so don’t follow in my footsteps and make the same mistakes I’ve made.”

No one exactly knows when that all changed, but the referendum on being able to raise good kids by providing a bad example of what not to do has passed.

Similarly, the time has also passed for a boss to manage his/her employees under the “I can do this, but don’t you go thinking it’s okay for someone at your level to do” axiom. Read more…

Classic TLNT

Five Things to Ask Before You Finally Kick That Employee to the Curb

Photo illustration by

Editor’s Note: Sometimes readers ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday.

Firing an employee is a task that no manager enjoys, but one that often appears inevitable.

Yet it’s a proven fact that hiring a replacement employee will cost a great deal more than retaining than the one you have, if that individual can be deemed salvageable.

That’s why it’s imperative to have a checklist of questions you ask yourself prior to pulling the trigger on your expensive turnover revolver. Read more…

HR Management, Talent Management

Working Like a Dog: How Much Do You Know About Your Employees?

123RF Stock Photo

My wife and I have three lazy dogs.

Given the choice, I know Ozzy, Olivia and Toby would like to be out chasing the deer, elk, and fox that run free in the mountains surrounding our house, but we can’t trust that they’ll come back so we don’t give them that freedom. As a result, they’ve mastered the art of continual relaxation.

Before dogs were domesticated 150 years ago (and subsequently are now typically pampered and spoiled by their owners) they were used for pulling carts, herding sheep, and chasing predators away from livestock.

It’s not known for sure where the phrase “work like a dog” originated, but it’s safe to assume it was a tribute to our canine friends by those who were in awe of their work ethic. Read more…

Talent Management

You Don’t Need a Survey to Know if Your Employees are Engaged


With a veritable army of scientific researchers, the Gallup Organization spent decades developing their famed Q12 Survey.

They now package and market this tool for organizations that want to determine the level of employee engagement in their workforce calling it The Only 12 Questions that Matter.

To date, more than 25 million employees worldwide have taken that survey, and the findings reveal the sad truth that most workers are not engaged in their jobs. Read more…

HR Insights, Talent Management

Can You Have Fun on the Job? Yes, If the Employer Can Get Out of the Way

123RF Stock Photo

I’ve had a lot of unpleasant cab rides, but this one took the cake.

Standing in the taxi queue at the airport in San Antonio, my business partner and I realized we had no cash between us and needed a cab that accepted credit cards. When it was our turn, before getting into the cab I asked the disheveled (and rather pungent) driver, “Sir, do you accept credit cards?”

Without making eye contact he grunted, “Unfortunately…Read more…

Talent Management

The Trick in Transforming Your Workforce Zebras Into Workhorses

123RF Stock Photo

If you’ve ever brought on a talented and highly-skilled employee who did not measure up to your expectations due to a lack of work ethic, drive, or character values, you’ve experienced a zebra problem.

This metaphor will make perfect sense to you when you consider the unique talents and abilities of a zebra.

Like human fingerprints, each zebra has their own unique striped pattern. They typically stand together because their stripes serve as camouflage making it hard for their archenemy, the lion, to single one out to attack. Read more…

Classic TLNT

Young Millennials: Here’s the Best Christmas Gift You Could Give Them

christmas present

Editor’s Note: The holiday season is here, and TLNT will celebrate with some classic holiday posts from the past. Look for them over the next two weeks.

The employment landscape in America for 16- to 24-year-olds is abysmal; the worst it’s been in more than 50 years.

So if you’ve got a teen or a young adult on your holiday gift list, don’t head to the mall or to your nearest big box retailer. What they need most from you cannot be found in stores.

According to this recent story in the Huffington Post, the employment rate for teens between the ages of 16 and 19 has fallen 42 percent over the last decade: 2.2 million teens and 4.3 million young adults aged 20 to 24 are neither working nor in school. Of those without school or work, 21 percent — or 1.4 million — are young parents. Read more…

Talent Management

Surefire Ways to Bah Humbug Your Employees this Holiday Season


Dickens may have penned A Christmas Carol back in 1843, but the ghost of bad management is still haunting workplaces in 2013.

Nowhere is this more prevalent and on display than in industries that boom in Q4 (i.e. retailing, food service, hospitality, transportation, entertainment, etc.). The make-or-break pressures of managing a business during the holidays can bring out the worst in the best of us..

So if the challenge to increase sales and decrease overhead amidst staggering competition has left you feeling as though you’ve been inhabited by the spirit of Rob Ford, why not go all-in and ensure that your employees hate the holidays as much as you do? you know, share your misery and get some company! Read more…

Talent Management

For Millennials, Following Their Dream Makes For a Tough Career Path

Photo by Dreamstime

The unemployment/underemployment problem facing Millennials predates the Great Recession.

It goes back to the early programming they received from their parents when the economy was booming in the early 2000’s. And parents haven’t let up.

Follow your dreams.” “Find your passion.” “You’ve got to love what you do.”

Dreams? Passion? Love? Read more…

Talent Management

Handling Employees Who Demand a Treat Without Performing A Trick

123RF Stock Photo

With roots steeped rich in Celtic, Roman Catholic, and Protestant tradition, the annual Trick‑or‑Treat ritual that takes place this week can be traced back centuries.

Originally, children would adorn hand‑made ceremonial costumes and go door‑to‑door singing out “a trick for a treat!” Then they’d entertain their neighbors with carefully rehearsed songs, skits, and dances.

If they performed well, the neighbor might reward them with some bread, fruit, or nuts. This encouraged the children to perform at their best knowing that rewards were reserved for those who went above and beyond. Read more…