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

Leadership

5 Traits That Make Truly Authentic (and Enlightened) Leaders

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A leader’s success is largely incumbent on their capacity to influence other people.

And 21st century leadership is about creating relationships of integrity, authenticity and trust, as loyalty is now earned through relationships and collaboration, rather than through titular power.

Yet, forging deep, trusting business relationships is often awkward, unchartered territory for leaders. Many are wary of leading with emotion or operating with a genuine openness and honesty, believing that showing vulnerability will lead to dissenting opinions or criticism from colleagues and subordinates. Read more…

HR Insights

Five Strategies to Fast-Track Your Management Career

Career

If you aspire to climb the corporate ladder, the power to do so rests largely in your own hands.

Regardless of your industry or the amount of bureaucracy you believe exists in your organization, you have the ability to be a better master of your own career destiny.

While every organization is different, there are universal strategies and tactics that will serve you well anywhere and can help fast-track your management career. Read more…

HR Management, Talent Management

How To Lose Your Best Employees in 10 Easy Steps

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What could be more essential to organizational success and the corporate bottom line than talent?

Yet many of the people in our employ continue to be marginalized and neglected, often taking a backseat to the various other matters that occupy our workdays as leaders.

And the problem seems to be pervasive. Read more…

Talent Management

Why It’s Important to Calculate the Lifetime Value of Employees

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Only recently have organizations begun to view employees as value creators rather than as expenses.

Savvy employers have come to understand that a company’s main competitive advantage comes from its people. It’s the employees’ energy, passion, talents and creativity that makes a company stand out and excel.

That’s why it’s extremely important to be able to measure the long-term financial contribution of employees, similarly to how we have benefited from the tremendous advantages of being able to measure the lifetime value of customers. Read more…

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!

123RF Stock Photo

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…