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

Culture, Talent Management

How I Got Zapped, or 3 Keys to Zappos Cultural Success


Last week, I had the privilege of taking a behind the scenes tour of Zappos and speaking with several of their top leaders. ]

Mine was not the popular tour advertised on their website, but rather a real peek behind the curtain to see the wizardry of this renowned workplace culture phenomena and iconic brand.

I’ve read Tony Hsieh’s bestselling business book, Delivering Happiness, and have seen some of the clever Zappos employee videos on YouTube, so I wasn’t shellshocked by this very non-traditional workplace environment.

The converted city hall building in downtown Las Vegas that serves as Zappos headquarters radiates individuality and personality with a spattering of controlled chaos thrown in for good measure. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition, Talent Management

Apple Shows How to Really Treat Employees – Even When They Depart

Apple Store

Long before the iPhone 6 was launched, I was hooked on Apple.

My first desktop computer was a MacIntosh SE II with a whopping 1 mb of ram, and I’ve been an Apple fanatic ever since. But as much as I crow about their products, I rave even more about the counter-intuitive culture that is continually on display at Apple’s 434 retail stores now open in 16 countries.

On a recent Tuesday morning, I was at one of the Apple stores in a nearby mall awaiting my scheduled appointment with a “Genius,” the official job title for Apple’s trained and certified service technicians. Read more…

HR Management, Talent Management

Groom or Broom? 3 Things to Consider Before You Terminate

© Olivier -

At first, Mindy appeared like she was going to be a great fit.

She had a solid track record. She interviewed well. All her references checked out.

But she’s completed her training six (6) months ago and, for whatever reason, she’s performing well below your expectations.

It cost you/your organization a pretty penny to get her this far. And don’t forget, you made the choice to hire her, and your reputation as a good judge of talent is hanging out there for all to see. Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing

Your Recruiting Mantra? It’s Simple as ABC – Always Be Canvassing

/ 123RF Stock Photo

The Seattle Seahawks throttled the Denver Broncos (my home team) in the Super Bowl earlier this year.

Yet, these two teams were, arguably, the most aggressive in signing free agents to upgrade their teams during the off-season and both are odds-on favorites to repeat as the teams in next year’s big game.

That’s because when it comes to acquiring top talent, champions are never satisfied with the status quo. The best organizations are always seeking to get better by upgrading each and every position whenever they can. Read more…

Talent Management

What Do You Do When Casual Friday Becomes Casual Everyday?


I can’t believe the way these young associates come to work!” Chris told me after a recent presentation. “Where did they get the idea that ‘business casual’ means cut-off shorts, flip-flops and a tank top?”

That certainly wasn’t the first time I had heard the rumblings of a bewildered employer lamenting the haphazard fashion sense and grooming habits of her young hires.

It was, however, disconcerting to hear this particular comment coming from the senior partner of an acclaimed management consulting firm that systematically recruits MBA’s from the nation’s top business schools. Read more…

Talent Management

Broaden the Appeal: There Are Many Good (But Not Sexy) Jobs Out There

Hot Jobs

Recently my wife commented on how much time I was spending watching the 2014 NFL Draft coverage on ESPN.

You’re a Broncos fan. They don’t pick again for at least an hour, at least. Are you really that fascinated by who Buffalo selects in the 5th round?” she asked.

But there I sat along with 45.7 million other football fanatics glued to the tube for the third consecutive day of ESPN’s round-the-clock, nonstop coverage of this ridiculously uneventful event.

Instead of being ashamed, I should take pride. After all, I am an American, and America is No. 1! Read more…

Culture, Talent Management

Ridding Your Workplace Culture of the Fashionably Late Syndrome

A disturbing trend I’ve noticed in the 60 plus meetings, conferences, and conventions I attend each year is the increasing frequency of how many of these events get thrown off schedule.

When attendees are still clustered around the coffee stations 10 minutes after the meeting begins, or they refuse to disconnect from their smart phones in sufficient time to get to their seats on time, it delays or interrupts the program, irritates those who are on time, and sets into motion a series of undesirable outcomes often delaying everything else scheduled throughout the day.

This “fashionably late” mindset not only impacts off-site meetings and conventions, but has also become a disruptive force in the workplace. Read more…

Talent Management

You Need to Ask: If I Had Me For a Boss, Would I Like Coming to Work?


“If I had me for a boss, would I like coming to work?

Face it, the people who work for you have other options. (If they don’t, you not only have the wrong people on your bus, you’ve got a lousy bus.)

Offering a competitive wage and benefit package may be enough to attract talent to your team, but it’s not going to keep them from moving on to another suitor that’s offering the same or better. And if your people don’t like coming to work, another suitor doesn’t even have to match what you’re offering. Read more…

Talent Management

A Lesson on Engagement From an Unpaid, 76-Year-Old Airport Greeter


I returned home from a conference and got off the tram at Denver International Airport and took the escalator up to the top level, where the first person I saw was an elderly gentleman in a cowboy hat who greets arriving passengers with a hearty “Welcome to Denver!” This is followed by an earnest, “How may I help you?”

I don’t know of another airport in the country where passengers are warmly welcomed by airport employees who are proactively offering assistance in helping navigate a large, confusing airport. Makes me proud to be from Denver, but I digress.

I stood and watched this guy for a good 20 minutes and even recorded this video of him and another ambassador on the job. Read more…


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…