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

HR Basics, Talent Management

Crucial Questions Employees Ask After Their First Day on the Job


You invested a lot of time, energy, and money bringing on that new employee.

They show up on that first day ready for your orientation doing their best to disguise their nervous anxiety.

Feeling a bit anxious yourself, you want to get them up and running as quickly as possible so as to maximize your ROI. After all, you need to prove to yourself and your team that you made a great hire.

As the day draws to an end, you begin to reflect on how things went on Day No. 1. But it’s important to realize that they, too, are reflecting. Read more…

Talent Management

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

Photo illustration by

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.

Here are five (5) introspective considerations you should make sure to include on your checklist: Read more…

HR Management, Talent Management

Armed & Dangerous: Handling Disgruntled Workers Packing Smartphones


Ever have a job where you felt picked-on, intimidated, harassed, and micro-managed by a tyrant boss?

Most of us can recall working for a real jerk at some point in our job history, most likely when we were just entering the workplace and at the bottom of the totem pole. And maybe the way you were being unfairly treated made you want to “get even” with your boss.

So, you called in sick on a day when you knew you were desperately needed, or you found a quiet corner to take periodic “unscheduled” breaks when your boss believed you were hard at work, or … well, if you’re like me, your memory is running rampant.

Today’s disgruntled employees have discovered another avenue for getting even with a hard-ass boss, and all it takes is their smartphone and a Facebook page. But unlike anything you or I ever conceived back in the day, this lethal combination of modern technologies is a weapon capable of mass destruction. Read more…

Talent Management

Building Better Engagement, or Why Millennials Hate Being Paid by the Hour

The recession has changed the attitude of many members of the Millennial generation when it comes to work.

Question: What’s the simplest way to pay an employee?

Answer: Wage per hour.

Simply multiply the number of hours worked by the agreed upon hourly wage, subtract taxes, and presto – a paycheck!

Hourly compensation has been a staple of the free enterprise system since Rosie fastened her first rivet. And like they always say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Unfortunately, wage-per-hour employee compensation is broke. Has been for at least a decade. Read more…

Talent Management

Building a Future Workforce, or Why Teens Need Summer Jobs

Teen worker

A close friend of my wife invited us to a celebration of her daughter’s high school graduation.

Jenna’s a great kid who did very well in school and was involved in several extra-curricular activities. But at 18, she’s never had a real job. She applied at several boutiques in the mall but never made it to the interview round, so she’s never actually punched a clock.

Her mother told me that “Jenna’s too sharp to flip burgers.” So instead of working in a ‘menial job,’ her parents will provide her with a car to drive and make sure she has some spending money for shopping, concerts, and the like. Jenna will, in turn, spend some of her summer days volunteering at the local animal shelter. Read more…

Talent Management

Why You Shouldn’t Judge a Candidate by Their Background Check


Imagine that you have one opening you’re trying to fill, and 16 eager applicants aged 17 to 22 — all with more than adequate skills for the job — awaiting their second interview.

Before the interviews begin, you discover that among those candidates are five recovering addicts, two pregnant unwed teens, three who are on probation, eight high school dropouts, four who have earned only a G.E.D., and one who’s recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

And those issues are just the ones listed on the background checks of the young people you are about to meet. There are many that aren’t listed, to be sure. Read more…


When Your Marketing Message Gets in the Way of Your Company Values


Last week on an upgraded flight between Denver and Orlando, I was given a warm cookie after the meal service. This is a nice touch United Airlines does and has done for first class passengers for years.

But as I examined the little brown paper sack the cookie came in, I was amused by the sentence printed on the bag: Made fresh, especially for you.

Something about that woke up the stand-up comic that resides deep within me as I began to imagine how Jerry Seinfeld might relate this story on stage. Read more…

HR Insights, Talent Management

True Work-Life Balance? It’s a Myth We Need to Quit Worrying About

Photo illustration by Dreamstime

Work-Life balance.

As a Baby Boomer teen born to Depression-era parents, I never heard that term once.

It didn’t exist back then and, if it had, it would have never come out of my father’s mouth. Hard work was his life, and when he had a day off, he worked. To my dad and those who were his age and older, balance was something you did to your checkbook when the statement arrived.

It wasn’t until the late 1980s when this three-word term entered the American lexicon, and it wasn’t popularized until the late 1990s. Now, those three words are said in conjunction as frequently as pass the salt. Read more…

Talent Management

Important Message For Your Workers? Make It Short, Sweet, and Entertaining


When you fly, do you actually pay attention to the airline safety announcement?

Neither do I.

These FAA-mandated announcements are, for the most part, monotonous, mundane, and insulting to the intelligence of anyone with a fifth grade education. Instructing passengers on how to fasten their seat belt by inserting the end with the clip into the metal buckle? PLEEZE!

However, this past week I experienced one that made me drop my USA Today Sports section, as it captured my undivided attention for nearly five minutes. Read more…

Talent Management

Managing Millennials: You Don’t Need to Lower Your Expectations

123RF Stock Photo

A customer service manager of a regional banking chain recently told me about a challenge her managers were having in getting young tellers to handle incoming calls when they were assigned phone duty.

“It’s astounding how many will answer our business line by just saying ‘Hello’ or ‘Yo. Wat up? This is Monique.‘ It’s almost as if they’ve never answered a phone call for anyone else,” she said.

“It’s likely they haven’t,“ I replied.

Although we got a chuckle out of it, I think it was a moment of Zen for both of us. Read more…