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 Management, Talent Management

Ignoring Employees: It Wreaks Havoc on Your Team and Your Bottom Line

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Leaders are busy people who need to set and manage priorities, often dismissing or delegating tasks that don’t provide a strong return on their investment of time.

Nonetheless, there’s one area of responsibility that leaders should never ignore — their employees.

Gallup has repeatedly found that leaders who compliment their teams enjoy extremely low (1 percent) employee disengagement levels. As you’d expect, when leaders criticize employees, disengagement levels rise to 22 percent. However, disengagement almost doubles to a shocking 40 percent when leaders ignore their direct reports. Read more…

Talent Management

A Talent Management Truth: Your Employees ARE Your Brand!

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North Americans tend to be a results-oriented bunch. We applaud an endeavor’s result, but are sometimes myopic about how that result was achieved.

The same can be said about some business leaders. They revel in high net promoter scores and loyal brand consumers, but fail to appreciate the efforts of those who are nurturing customer relationships on a daily basis to attain those results.

The Hay Group publishes the World’s Most Admired Companies (WMAC) list. A study of the organizations on the WMAC list analyzed the connection between employee engagement and a company’s business development and customer relationships. Read more…

Leadership

What Leaders Should Really Say Every Single Day

Photo illustration by Dreamstime.

Change your words and change your world. Your words can be your greatest gifts or your most destructive weapons.

As a leader, your words and tone provide a window into your vision, your values, and your ability to engage and inspire others, says Drs. Kevin and Jackie Freiberg in their new book, Do Something Now.

Whether you’re running a large company or leading a small team, the Freibergs have discovered seven (7) things the most successful leaders frequently say to communicate more effectively and draw out the best in their employees.

Follow these examples to increase your team’s results, too. Read more…

Best of TLNT

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

talent management

Editor’s NoteIt’s a TLNT holiday tradition to count down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 23. Our regular content will return on Monday. 

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. Read more…

Best of TLNT

5 Ways to Help Get Employees to Think More Strategically

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Editor’s NoteIt’s a TLNT holiday tradition to count down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 29. Our regular content will return next Monday.

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…

Talent Management

Still Adjusting to Millennials? Well, Get Ready for Generation Z

Z Gen Z

As the Millennials populate the workforce, employers are looking at the next wave of employees – Generation Z.

Born after 1994, Gen Zs are different from their predecessors in a number of ways.

While the Millennials grew up with the World Wide Web, Gen Z grew up with social media and smart phones. However, Gen Zs are discriminating users of social media and favor more visually engaging platforms that accommodate their eight-second attention span. Read more…

Culture, Leadership

Essential Elements for Getting the Team On Board With Your Ideas

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When it comes to leadership, building alignment is essential to getting people on board with your ideas.

Alignment conserves time and energy by making sure every employee knows what they’re supposed to be doing and why, and provides a forum for asking questions and expressing concerns.

This builds emotional and rational buy-in and unites people around your vision. Read more…

Culture, HR Insights

Want Lasting Change? It’s All About Making Waves at Work

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 It seems that the only constant these days is change.

We all have to navigate the changes that happen around us, but sometimes we also want to initiate change in our organizations and need to gain support from our colleagues to ensure the transformation succeeds. Here are a few tips on how to do just that from Patti Johnson‘s book Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change At Work and in Life. Read more…

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…