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

HR Insights, HR Management

How Those Who Challenge You Help to Make You More Successful

Illustration by istockphoto.com

Are you feeling uninspired and stuck at work? Perhaps it’s the people around you.

It’s nice to have colleagues who support us and are of like mind – they boost our confidence and allow us to relax. We develop a network of people with whom we like to work because we know their styles and they know ours.

It’s comfortable and expedient and it works. Read more…

Culture, Leadership

How to Rebuild Lost Trust Within Your Organization

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It seems like new challenges for business leaders are surfacing almost daily.

In a McKinsey Quarterly survey of senior executives around the world, 85 percent of them said that public trust in business had deteriorated. This was echoed in the Edelman Trust Barometer, where 62 percent of global respondents said that they “trust corporations less now than they did a year ago.”

Trust in business has been in steep decline for the past 30 years, and North American scores for credibility and trust in leadership are now at all-time lows. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

Workplace Appreciation Can Be Pretty Simple — and Effective

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 Do you think telling someone they’re doing great work on the job will fall on deaf ears? Research says differently.

In an economy where money is still tight, positive feedback can help keep employees motivated. In fact, according to a survey by Kelton Research nearly 50 percent of working Americans say they would rather be appreciated than have an opportunity to advance in their careers.

The study also found, with escalating workplace demands, employees aren’t feeling valued by executives and superiors. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Talent Management

The Message Is Clear: Workers Still Want Balance, Growth, Advancement

Young workers

The economy may be improving, but job numbers show it’s a long way from fully bouncing back from pre-recession levels.

According to a survey from Kelly Services, 66 percent of the world’s workforce is looking for a new job and researchers say the employees most likely to leave are a company’s top talent!

Baby Boomers (aged 49-66) are the most likely to switch employers, with a staggering 74 percent planning to look for another position, compared with an extremely troubling 69 percent of Gen X (31-48) and 66 percent of Gen Y (19-30). Read more…

HR Management, Talent Management

Keeping Workplace Teams Fresh, Relevant — and Productive

123RF Stock Photo

At the heart of successful organizations are people who work well together.

But, what are the circumstances that lead people to want to team up again and again?

Research by Stanford University sociologist Daniel McFarland suggests the reasons people continue to collaborate with others in their professional networks are quite different from the motives that led them to begin those relationships in the first place. Read more…

Leadership

Traits of the Great: 5 Qualities That Distinguish the Best Managers

Performance Great Best

Bad managers cost businesses billions of dollars each year.

One of the most important decisions leaders make is simply whom they hire as managers, according to research by the Gallup Organization. Yet Gallup finds companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82 percent of the time.

This is an alarming problem for employee engagement and the development of high-performing cultures. Without the raw natural talent to individualize, focus on each employee’s needs and strengths, boldly review their team members, rally people around a cause, and execute efficient processes, the day-to-day experience will burn out both the manager and their team. Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

Information Overload: Why Brevity Is Becoming a Business Basic

From istockphoto.com

Brevity is emerging as an essential new business basic.

In the fast-paced, multi-tasking, attention-deficit workplaces we find ourselves, getting to the point quickly matters more than ever. If you’re long winded, you’ll lose people’s attention and get lost in the data deluge.

But we face daunting challenges just to be heard.

The average person’s attention span is now only 8 seconds, and professionals are interrupted 6-7 times an hour, often unable to get back to their task at hand. More than 43 percent of us abandon complicated or lengthy emails in the first 30 seconds, and the majority of us admit ignoring half the emails we receive every day. Read more…

Talent Management

The Path to Success: 8 Little Secrets to Getting Promoted

Job promotion

It’s never too early to carve out your path to success.

Start to think, act, and communicate like a leader to get the promotion you ultimately want. Even if you’re still several levels away from your dream promotion, there are numerous ways you can get on the path of your dreams, claims Amy Gallo.

In her Harvard Business Review article, she provides tips for doing just that. Read more…

Culture, Talent Management

5 Ways to Help Get Employees to Think More Strategically

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When asked to select the leadership behavior most critical to their organizations’ future success, executives chose strategic thinking 97 percent of the time, according to a large scale global research study by the Management Research Group, and strategic thinkers have been found to be among the most highly effective leaders.

Executives rated a strategic approach to leadership as ten times more important to the perception of effectiveness over other attributes including innovation, persuasion, communication or results orientation. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Talent Management

Want to Excel? It’s About Whether You Pick For Potential or Achievement

give-way-high-potential

If you’re promoting employees, advocating for them, or hiring them, your natural instinct is to choose someone with a solid track record of accomplishment.

However, despite the logic of this strategy, new research from Stanford University demonstrates people often prefer potential (over achievement) when evaluating others.

In a series of experiments set in different contexts, Stanford researchers found that high potential can be more appealing than equally high achievement. In general, potential seems to engender greater interest than achievement, which can translate into more favorable reactions.

The explanation lies in the power of potential and the allure of uncertainty: we are often more intrigued by unknown outcomes or mysteries. Read more…