Michelle M. Smith

Michelle M. Smith is the Vice President of Business Development at Salt Lake City-based OC Tanner, an international appreciation company that helps more than 6,000 clients worldwide appreciate people who do great work through consulting, training, and creating customized award and recognition programs. Michelle is a renowned speaker, writer, consultant and trusted advisor to Fortune 500 companies and governments, and President Emeritus of the Incentive Marketing Association.

Articles by Michelle M. Smith

Classic TLNT

A Close Look at What CEOs Really Think About Employee Engagement

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

Have you ever wondered what your CEO really thinks about employee engagement?

Many of us have, and new research from the UK’s Ashridge Business School provides some answers.

The study found CEOs had a pretty good idea of what employee engagement is and what it could do for their organizations. They view engagement as a strategic narrative (and ongoing dialogue) within their organizations that creates emotional connections and purpose for employees. Their view of the end result is a culture where people choose to give the very best of themselves at work. Read more…

Talent Management, Training & Development

3 Ways to Identify and Develop the Critical Talent You Need

Is HR at the top of the pyramid? (Illustration by Dreamstime).

Talent is getting unprecedented recognition as a key determinant of business success, and talent management has become so crucial to business growth that it’s forcing organizations to re-examine how they attract, develop, retain and engage employees.

Therefore, building leadership capacity is perhaps the most pressing strategic imperative in business today.

In a global survey of business executives conducted by Right Management and The Conference Board, over 80 percent of companies reported they intend to grow talent internally versus hiring leaders from the open market. Read more…

HR Insights, Talent Management

Will You Be Able to Keep Your Workers From Walking Out the Door?

© VRD - Fotolia.com

You made all the right moves the last few years, difficult as they may have been.

You took a firm hold of the leadership mantle, turned a discerning eye to your business and streamlined operations to ensure your organization would remain viable.

Yet, as anxious as you are to let out a sigh of relief, something tells you that you can’t exhale all your pent-up concern just yet.

And for good reason. Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

4 People Strategies That Together Can Double Company Growth

123RF Stock Photo

Technologies and processes continue to evolve, but how companies manage and develop employees hasn’t improved over the past decade. As a result, companies miss out on unprecedented opportunities for growth.

Gallup has discovered four (4) human capital strategies that combine in a powerful way to add up to 59 percent more growth in revenue per employee, and using them together leads to gains that more than double the effect of using any single strategy on its own.

They call this the “additive effect.” Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

What’s Next in Leadership? ‘Enriching” Employees to Unleash Their Potential

© ComZeal - Fotolia.com

There’s no way around it – being a leader is tough. It’s hard and it’s getting harder.

The complexity and pace of business today makes it virtually impossible to keep up, let alone find the time to nurture and encourage your team to its full potential.

So how do you deal with it? Read more…

Leadership, Training & Development

Some Sobering Reasons Why We Need to Train Our Leaders, Too

Employee training

Leaders play an essential role in meeting business goals and profitability targets, as well as delivering service and retaining talent.

However, according to a nationwide survey released by Aon Hewitt, only 12 percent of respondents said their leaders are extremely effective at meeting business goals.

What’s more, just 14 percent believe their leaders are extremely effective at meeting profitability targets, 17 percent say the same holds true for delivering service, and only 7 percent believe their leaders are extremely effective at retaining talent. Read more…

Talent Management

CEOs Focus on Talent Shortages, But the Key is Engagement & Retention

talent management

In the last couple of years, leaders have been compelled to look to a new asset group — their workforce — to provide the company with the same productivity and financial gains they’ve experienced from leveraging hard assets and operational systems.

It seems obvious that people are at the heart of every aspect of running a business, and are therefore in the best position to positively impact outcomes, but that perspective has only recently begun to make its way into leadership training or business publications.

CEOs tell me managing talent is at the top of their agenda and research bears this out. According to PwC’s annual global CEO Survey, 83 percent of the CEOs surveyed from 69 countries plan to change their firm’s talent management strategy and for 31 percent those changes will be major. Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing, Talent Management

How Employee Turnover Can be a Source of Long-Term Strength

123RF Stock Photo

Departing staffers can become a source of new networks and competitive intelligence.

Given the effort and expense in recruiting, identifying and hiring talent, organizations want to retain their employees at all costs. But in the increasingly mobile labor market, companies should view departing employees as continuing assets and employee turnover as a source of long-term strength.

A team of researchers from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland studied linkages between the firms on both sides of an employee move and patterns in the way the firms cited patents. They found that after an employee changed jobs, both firms became more likely to cite the other firm’s patents and gained knowledge. Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

Why Is It That So Many Employees Don’t Trust Their Employers?

Lack of trust

More than half of us don’t believe our employers are open and upfront with us.

This disturbing news comes to us from the American Psychological Association’s 2014 Work and Well-Being Survey, which finds nearly 1 in 4 workers don’t trust their employers, 1 in 3 reported their employers aren’t always honest or truthful, and less than half believe employers are open and upfront.

This lack of trust in the workplace is a big deal, and is leading more than a quarter of U.S. employees to say they intend to seek new employment in the next year. Read more…

Talent Management

How to Crank Up Creativity in Your Workplace

Photo illustration by Dreamstime.

In the not too distant past, one good idea could catapult an organization to long-term success.

Companies were able to leverage a new product or service to their advantage for several years, and creative output was tasked to a select few employees.

But now, dramatically shorter business cycles and customers obsessed with novelty and “what have you done for me lately?” have reduced many of those advantages, requiring all of us to crank up our creativity quotient in the workplace. Read more…