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 EricChester.com.

Articles by Eric Chester

Classic TLNT

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

123RF Stock Photo

Editor’s Note: The holiday season is here, and TLNT is again getting into the spirit with some classic past holiday posts. Look for them until Christmas Eve.

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…

Rewards & Recognition, Talent Management

3 Surefire Ways to Disengage Your Employees This Holiday Season

national-lampoons-christmas-vacation

For each of the past 20 years, my wife and I have watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation while putting up our Christmas Tree.

Why we still laugh uncontrollably at the same bits we’ve seen so many times is something our kids may never fully understand, but I digress.

This classic movie’s plot centers around the plans Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) has for surprising his family at Christmas by having an elaborate swimming pool built in their backyard the following spring. Although the packaging company he works for is not obligated to pay out a Christmas bonus, Clark has always received one in each of his past 17 years working there. Read more…

Talent Management

Employee Entitlement: It’s More Than Just a Generational Issue

Entitled-License-Plate-300x169

If you are a person who enjoys peace and serenity, you don’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater, nor do you whisper “bomb” when going through airport security.

And unless you want to incite a riot, you’d better not let the word “entitled” slip out around a business owner, manager, or employer.

Regardless of how Webster’s defines it, in the minds of many adults the “e” word evokes the painful confrontations they’ve experienced with kids/students/employees who have been dealt with fairly, but have acted out as if they have been mistreated and are deserving of more. Read more…

HR Insights, Talent Management

Having Great Talent Does Not Always Guarantee Great Results

Dogs

Ozzy is an 8-year-old golden retriever who loves to fetch our morning newspaper.

Although our driveway is nearly as long as a football field, he is relentless in his pursuit and always manages to find it and bring it to us at the front door even in a driving rain or total white-out blizzard. For this, we reward Ozzy with a jerky treat and a massive amount of praise.

We began training him to handle this chore when he was only a few months old and it took less than five (5) days for him to master it. It’s been a good deal for both parties ever since. Read more…

Culture, Talent Management

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

Zappos

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 - Fotolia.com

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?

From istockphoto.com

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…