A Formula for Better Meetings

How many meetings have you attended so far this week? Were they worth your time?

It’s probably no surprise to you that meetings cost organizations valuable time, energy, and money. Most leaders are in so many meetings, that there is no time to get real work done!

Does that sound familiar?

According to, meetings are estimated to waste about $37 billion a year in the United States. A meeting with several managers and executives could cost up to $1,000 an hour in salaries. And 73% of employees do other work during meetings.

I’ve developed a framework for making meetings much more productive and successful so you can gain back valuable time and get better results.


Clarity + Purpose + Accountability = Results

Clarity: A meeting will be much more efficient and effective if you have clarity around what you want to accomplish and who should be there. One of the biggest mistakes professionals make is to meet without any clarity around the goal for that particular meeting. The result is wasting valuable time while a lot gets talked about, but not much gets done.

Some questions to consider:

  • What is the purpose of the meeting?
  • What is the goal or outcome of this particular meeting?
  • Do you really need a meeting to accomplish the goal?
  • Who needs to be involved?
  • What are the key decisions that need to be made?
  • Create an agenda and communicate the specifics about the meeting to participants.

Purpose: Meetings need a purpose. Every meeting needs a goal. David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, suggest creating a “Statement of Wild Success”. What would have to happen for your meeting to be wildly successful?

Having a purpose for your meeting seems obvious, but how many meetings have you attended where there seems to be no focus? Maybe there are 10 items on the agenda and discussions get completely off track. Before you start any meeting, state the goal or outcome (write it on a white board or agenda) and identify the key decisions that need to be made.

Accountability: How many meetings have you sat in where the team discusses great ideas, and then everyone leaves and nothing gets done? The productivity and energy that was created in the room is completely lost when there is no follow up. There must be accountability around action items for meetings to be a success. If you spend the meeting talking about ideas and then leave without assigning tasks or due dates, you are wasting time.

The first way to create accountability is to always start the meeting on time. Don’t wait for stragglers, just start. By starting on time, you set the tone for a productive meeting and you also send the message that you respect everyone’s time.

Another way to build accountability is to put one practice in place at the end of every meeting held at your organization: the end of meeting recap.

Take five minutes at the end of every meeting to convert discussions into action. Recap any decisions or actions items.

  • What are the key takeaways? (decisions made, etc.)
  • Who is responsible?
  • What is the deadline?
  • Who do we need to communicate to?
  • What do we need to communicate?
  • When do we need to communicate by?

It’s also important to have a facilitator of the meeting who can keep the discussion on track, remind everyone of the meeting objective, draw out differing opinions, and move the discussion along when someone is dominating the conversation. The facilitator plays a key role in getting results since her actions set the tone for the entire meeting.

I also recommend assigning a note taker in each meeting. The primary purpose of the note taker is to track any decisions or action items, who is responsible, and the due date. The note taker should email out this information (include the information in the body of the email since most people won’t open an attachment) within 24 hours of the end of the meeting.  This ensures everyone is on the same page and that no one can cast blame when they “don’t remember” what was decided at the meeting.

These simple practices will cut down on wasted time, increase meeting productivity, and ensure your team actually gets results from the time invested. You may even find that you need less meetings because the team becomes more disciplined and efficient. Wouldn’t that be nice?!

I’d love to hear from you: What is one way you make your meetings more productive?

The Two Most Important Leadership Skills

As we near the end of the year, are you on track to achieve your goals? Is your team focused and on track, or are they running in 15 different directions? Are you wondering how it got to be November when you haven’t had the chance to get nearly as much done as you planned?

In this month’s video, I share the two most important skills for a leader to be successful. You can be the most talented, strategic, smart, and emotionally intelligent leader, but if you don’t have these two skills, you will never achieve results.

I also share four steps to achieving exceptional goals in the next 12 weeks. Twelve weeks is enough time to achieve significant goals without becoming overwhelmed.

Once you’ve watched the video, I’d love to hear your tips for keeping your team on track to achieve goals. Or, let us know what you plan to put in action to get back on track with your goals. Leave a comment below the video.

How to Upgrade Your Leadership

A few weeks ago, I enrolled in a program for entrepreneurs. The first two weeks of this program are about decluttering your life–your physical space; including files, closets, and drawers, and your mental space; including negative beliefs and information overload. The premise is that by decluttering the things you don’t need or that don’t serve you anymore, you make room for better things in your life.

As I’ve been working through this program, it feels great to give away old clothes, clean my office space, and make room for a calmer and cleaner environment. The program facilitator also has us creating an “Upgrade Plan,” identifying incremental changes to upgrade our life. These don’t have to be big changes–one of the things I upgraded are my pens! I had a bunch of old pens that I’ve collected (and were free) over the years, and they just don’t write as well as a nice, smooth Bic Atlantis. In the past I felt guilty buying pens when I have so many free ones, but I decided this was a small upgrade. I spent less than $10 to upgrade something I use every day. It’s a small change, and it feels better and reduces the frustration I feel when I find a pen that doesn’t work or write well. I also got rid of the old workouts clothes I don’t use and that were taking up a lot of shelf space (because I convinced myself I might need them one day), and replaced them with new running shorts and shirts.

This program is really about upgrading your life so you can let go of all the old “stuff” to create space and time, reduce stress, and really be able to live and work at your best.

This got me thinking about leadership. If we don’t declutter our physical and mental space, we can’t serve our organizations to the best of our ability and work at peak performance. We will be bogged down by all the things in our space that don’t serve our bigger goals.

Are there things you need to declutter or upgrade around your leadership?

Here are some examples of areas to consider when decluttering:

  • Your office or workspace
  • Your email inbox (a game-changer for me has been the website; this site can put all of your email subscriptions like newsletters into one daily digest, and allows you to unsubscribe from multiple emails at one time. Now you don’t have to filter through all your subscriptions to find important messages)
  • Your schedule (don’t accept every meeting request, and leave space for actual work)
  • Your filing cabinets (my assistant helped me reorganize and throw away a ton of old files, and I felt relieved to get old documents out of my space)
  • Piles of magazines or articles
  • Piles of papers or files on your desk
  • Your electronic folders and files
  • Your mind (write down all the things in your head you need to do and then organize them by priority. Keeping ideas and tasks in your head takes up mental space and energy, and perpetuates a state of overwhelm)
  • Your negative beliefs (things like, “I’m just not organized” or “I don’t have time to develop my employees”). These beliefs do not serve you, so replace them with empowering beliefs.

When you clear the physical and mental clutter, it leaves room for the more important areas in your leadership. You no longer feel bogged down and overwhelmed by stacks of papers, magazines, emails and clutter. This exercise clears your space and your mind so you can focus and bring forth your best effort and contributions.

One you have decluttered, you can look at the areas in your leadership to upgrade. Upgrading doesn’t have to cost a lot of money (it doesn’t even have to involve money). Sometimes the simple things can make you feel more organized and focused. Perhaps you seem to never have time to formally coach your employees because you can’t find the space in your schedule. Decluttering creates space to upgrade areas of your leadership that are most important and can have a significant positive impact.

Below are some areas (with examples)to consider upgrading:

  • Physical environment : a shelf to organize your books, a better phone, or just a clean space
  • Supplies: notebooks, planner, organization system, or new pens!
  • Personal development: great leadership books, a professional development workshop or conference
  • Employee development: creating time in your week to give feedback, and to coach and develop
  • Employee engagement: send a thank you note or email to an employee, and create a consistent plan for keeping your staff engaged
  • Morning and evening ritual: rather than jumping into your day (like I used to do), creating a ritual to set yourself up for peak performance and to decompress after a long day. For example, starting the day with gratitude, planning your day the night before, using the morning hours to focus on important projects, carving out a half hour for reading, or anything else that sets you up to work at your best.

I’d love to hear from you: what is one thing you want to declutter this week? And what is one thing you want to upgrade?

A Better Planning Method that Gets Results

It’s our business anniversary today, and we are celebrating by posting our very first video! In this video, Laurie Maddalena, CEO of Envision Excellence, shares information about a new planning system that helps leaders and organizations get better results faster.

Laurie also shares one of her personal goals she is committed to taking action on in the next 12 weeks!

6 Strategies for Becoming a Persuasive Speaker

Many years ago, as I prepared for one of my first presentations as a leader, I remember filling each PowerPoint slide with information, ready to “wow” my audience. I don’t remember the outcome of that presentation, but I’m pretty sure my audience was glazed over as I went through and read each slide in detail. Although I have learned to be more concise and persuasive over the years, one of my biggest challenges as a speaker is to keep it simple and not overload my audience with too much information. I want to share so much value, that I often have to reel myself in when preparing a speech.

If part of your job as a leader is giving presentations, here are six strategies for becoming a more persuasive speaker:

1. Determine the type of presentation you are giving. Are you giving a motivational speech to your employees? Sharing the vision for the next year with the entire staff? Or are you providing a project update to the Board of Directors? Each of these presentations requires a different approach. If you are painting a vision or giving a motivational speech, you may want to rethink the PowerPoint (unless you use only one word per slide or use pictures to illustrate your points). If you are giving a more formal presentation, you can probably get away with using PowerPoint, but don’t overload your slides with too much data. Your audience might decide to take a nap.

2. Begin with the end in mind. What do you want your audience to walk away with? What is the goal of your presentation? Start with that in mind and work backwards. Most people start with a topic and then pull up PowerPoint and begin filling in the slides. By doing this, you usually get bogged down in the details and lose the overall “frame” for the presentation. Think about the result or outcome you want from the presentation, and then write out the main points you want to cover to get there.

3. Prepare your outline. Giving an effective speech or presentation typically takes a lot of preparation. For your presentation to be truly persuasive, you should develop an outline of the main points you want to cover in your presentation. You want to make sure your speech or presentation has a clear structure. A structure is most important for you, the speaker, to make sure you are not going off on tangents or missing your points. You want your presentation to have a clear format and flow. After developing your main outline, flush out each of the points by using stories, statistics or examples.

4. Prepare your visuals. If you are using PowerPoint, try to keep the words on each slide to a minimum. Too much information on your slides distracts your audience from you as you are delivering the message and puts the focus on your slides. The minute you put up a slide, your audience will direct their attention to your PowerPoint, read your slides, and not hear anything you are saying. Try using cartoons, illustrations or even just one word to illustrate your point. Then elaborate your message through words so the audience can actually absorb your message.

In most cases, your slides should not be the main focus; they should supplement your message. For example, having a graph on your slide to illustrate your point is usually fine, but having paragraphs of text is a distraction. And don’t read your slides. This is a sign of lack of preparation. Having one word on your slide can help you keep your place as your work through your main points. If you need to have some data on your slides, then try breaking each point up into one slide each instead of crowding them all on one slide.

If you want your audience to walk away with some written information, consider preparing a report or one page sheet of your main points to hand out after your presentation is completed.

5. Practice, practice, practice. People are often surprised when I tell them I spend an average of 20 hours preparing for a one hour speech (between creating the topic, outline, visuals, and practicing). I’m not suggesting you need to prepare that many hours for a presentation to the executive team, yet most people spend no time practicing their presentation and “wing it”. Taking time to practice will only make you a more confident, persuasive, and polished speaker. It also gives you a chance to work out any kinks and ensure the presentation flows properly.

When I prepare for a one hour speech, I do a full run through of the talk every day for a week before the presentation. I don’t memorize the speech–that will make it less authentic and often has the opposite effect–you get so caught up in remembering your lines that you lose your place. Instead, I make sure I am comfortable with the main points and the examples and stories I am using. Practicing the entire presentation allows me to get very comfortable with the material so I can engage with the audience and not be “in my head”.

6. Engage your audience. Most people don’t love sitting in a room while someone talks to them for an hour. It’s a surefire way for your audience to pull out their Smart phones. Whenever possible, engage the audience in your presentation. Ask a question, ask for examples, and check in with them occasionally by asking for their thoughts or feedback. If your presentation is a project update, ask one or two of your team members to elaborate on one of the points to keep the presentation interesting.

Another way to engage your audience is by appearing approachable. Make eye contact, smile, and walk around a bit so you don’t seem too rigid.

The more presentations you give, the more comfortable and confident you will be speaking in front of an audience. Now I’d love to hear your tips for being a persuasive speaker. What is your top tip for a successful presentation?

5 Things to Start Doing This Year

Do you want to elevate your leadership impact this year? Leaders are busy, and sometimes it’s a challenge to just get through the day.

But we often put off doing the things that will help us make a bigger impact and get better results for ourselves and the organization. Where we focus our time has a significant impact on our success in leadership.

Here are the top five things I think leaders should start doing this year to work at peak performance and get better results.

  • Reading- The best leaders are focused on continuous learning and development. Many leaders are so busy they rarely can find time for keeping up on industry trends or enhancing their leadership. Make this the year you focus more time on reading, listening to educational audios, and focusing on development. Some of my favorite resources are:
    • Success Magazine (you get a bonus CD with each monthly magazine):
    • Leadership from the Inside Out by Kevin Cashman
    • The Compound Effect audio series or book by Darren Hardy
    • The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
    • Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
    • Leading for Growth by Ray Davis
  • Planning- every minute of planning saves you 10 minutes in execution. Set aside an hour each Monday to plan for the next two weeks. Block out two days each month for planning and executing strategic projects. Last year, I started blocking out four days in a row each quarter to completely focus on only strategic projects. I did everything possible to keep those days open so I could focus on getting some serious strategic work done. When you plan ahead, you will find the time to elevate your focus to strategic areas that give you the best results. Check out the book Strategic Acceleration by Tony Jeary.
  • Recognizing– develop the habit of thanking your employees for a job well done. Meet with each employee to ask how they like to be recognized. Send a hand written note or a small gift when an employee goes above and beyond. It doesn’t take much time to recognize and appreciate your employees. Small interactions and gestures can generate better working relationships and a positive environment. A great resource for creating a recognition culture is The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White.
  • Coaching-make this the year you will make coaching and developing your staff a priority. Provide feedback early and often. Set up regular coaching sessions with your employees. Ask more questions. Talk less and listen more. Coach your employees to take more responsibility and ownership in their jobs. Check out my article, Ten Tips for Successfully Coaching Employees for ideas on how to implement coaching.
  • Reducing disruptions– Despite what most leaders think, having an “open door policy” is not productive. Let your staff know that you are going to close your door more often to concentrate on high value projects. Turn off your phone and your email when you need to focus and get things done. Take control of your time and politely let someone know when it’s not a good time to talk. It’s the small distractions throughout the day that compound and consume time that can be used for focused, productive work. Check out the book The One Thing by Gary Keller for some great tips on how to achieve better results in less time.

What is one thing you would like to start doing this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.


Eight Ways to Overcome Perfectionism

I was recently working with one of my executive clients on the area of perfectionism. She talked about the standards she places on herself; feeling inadequate if she makes one mistake, mulling over it for days as the uneasiness builds.  This is an area I know all too well. I’ve struggled with perfectionism throughout my life, and have often wasted a great deal of time and energy striving to create the perfect business plan, the perfect presentation, or even the perfect gourmet dinner for friends.  The list goes on!

So why do so many high-achieving, successful leaders beat themselves up over small, inconsequential mistakes? Why are we striving so hard to be perfect?

The truth is, people who are challenged by perfectionism usually don’t think they’re perfect. More often than not, they fear what people will think if they find out how imperfect they really are. Many perfectionists struggle with living up to their own internal standards and want to be accepted and appreciated by others.

There are two types of perfectionists: adaptive and maladaptive. Adaptive perfectionists are more goal-oriented and conscientious, and adjust well within groups. This type of perfectionist scores high on leadership abilities and tends to be the kind of person who reaches for attainable goals and continuously seeks self-improvement. Adaptive perfectionism tends to be self-oriented; meaning, they adhere to strict standards while maintaining strong motivation to attain perfection. By contrast, maladaptive perfectionists tend to fear criticism, are obsessive over order, and seek total admiration. These perfectionists as leaders tend to be micromanaging, emphasize hard work over results, and struggle with building and maintaining positive relationships with others. The impact can be de-motivated employees, underdeveloped staff, and high turnover.

Perfectionism can serve you well if it’s healthy and oriented toward self-improvement and strong goal orientation. And it’s important to be aware of when you are being self-critical and irrational. As I’ve developed as a person and leader, I like to reframe perfectionism in a more healthy way. Rather than strive to be perfect, I now strive to be excellent.

Here are eight strategies for being a “healthy” perfectionist:

Get out of your office. Schedule at least three, fifteen-minute blocks of time a day to get out of your office and connect with people or to go outdoors. Giving your brain a break brings clarity and focus, and often gives you the mental space you need to reframe your perfectionism tendencies.

Delegate and trust. Perfectionists often feel they will be seen as successful leaders if they can do it all. The opposite is actually true. A good leader is able to delegate some tasks and projects and focus on the important, high-leverage areas.

Develop employees. The more time you take to develop your employees, the more opportunities you will have to delegate work to them and free up your time for the most important strategic projects.

Pare down your to do list. At the end of each day, pick one or two important tasks or projects that are essential to complete the next day. Instead of focusing on a long “to do” list, start your day by focusing on your two important tasks. Determine that your day will be a success if you complete these items. Many perfectionists are action oriented and feel successful by checking things off a list. It’s better to accomplish the important tasks rather than just any task.

Focus on being, not just doing. Perfectionists usually focus on accomplishments and tend to neglect downtime. Designate downtime every day where you shut off everything and leave the demands behind.

Celebrate mistakes. We are all human. When you make a mistake, celebrate and learn from it. Better yet, tell your staff about your mistake. They will actually have more respect for you for admitting you are not perfect.

Strive for excellent instead of perfect. We waste so much time and energy trying to ensure every detail is perfect. Often what you think is only “good” work is seen as far more superior in others’ eyes. Strive for excellence, and accept that you can be more productive by not being perfect.

Institute “pause” moments. Whether it’s meditation or just taking ten minutes a day to take a breath and quiet your mind, pausing throughout the day to regroup can be very empowering. This has made a huge difference in my life. I am calmer and more focused, and have reduced my anxiety significantly around what needs to get done. Even though I’m not perfect at slowing down, pausing throughout the day to be present in the moment makes me feel more in control.

Awareness is the first step toward reducing anxiety around perfectionism. Start noticing the irrational thoughts going through your head (i.e., I’ll get fired if this report is not perfect) and bring yourself back to reality.

I’d love to hear from you: What strategies have you used to keep your perfectionism in check? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.

Do top grades in school predict great leadership?

I was a good student in high school, but not at the top of my class. If I didn’t find a subject appealing (um, chemistry) I didn’t put as much effort into it as I know I should have. So I was relieved when I read an article that said emotional intelligence is more important than IQ when it comes to being a successful leader. It turns out you don’t have to be valedictorian to be a highly successful leader. In fact, Daniel Goleman, the article author, said when he asks a roomful of CEOs if they were magna cum laude or had the highest grades in their class, less than 1% raise their hands.

Emotional intelligence is our ability to perceive, reason with, understand and manage our emotions. Leaders who are self aware and are able to manage their emotions are more successful than those who are blind to emotions and their impact on others.

Goleman says, “A higher proportion of the competencies that distinguish the stars among leaders turn out to be based on emotional intelligence rather than IQ-type abilities, by far–like 80 or 90 percent of them.”

The good news is that emotional intelligence is not fixed. With awareness and practice, we can develop our emotional intelligence.

While there are many elements of emotional intelligence, I find many leaders struggle with areas like self-awareness, empathy, interpersonal relationships, and emotional expression. Most employees connect better with leaders who are authentic, approachable, supportive and who listen well. I’m sure we’ve all experienced working with people who were very intelligent yet poor leaders.

Below are three ways to increase your emotional intelligence:

Ask for feedback. There are several tools for gaining information on how your staff and peers perceive you. An emotional intelligence assessment or 360 degree feedback survey are great ways to benchmark how your emotional intelligence skills are perceived by others.  Sending an survey to anonymously collect feedback will help you to focus in on the areas of improvement.

Listen. Studies show that most people are only about 25% effective as listeners. Listening is a mental skill that takes energy and discipline. With practice, we can improve our ability to listen. A good practice is to focus really intently on the person speaking and wait until she has finished before you formulate your response. When meeting with an employee, turn off the alerts on your email and phones so you can focus on the conversation.

Cultivate relationships. Many leaders don’t find the time to interact with their staff because they are too busy. This often leads to employees feeling their boss is unapproachable or doesn’t care. Focus on developing relationships with people by asking about their personal life and walking around to interact with them. Foster an engaging environment where employees enjoy coming to work.

To watch a 5 minute video by Daniel Goleman on emotional intelligence, click here: Emotional Intelligence Video

I’d love to hear from you–what do you think are the most important qualities for being a successful and respected leader?

Habits of the “Super Achiever”

One of my personal goals each year is to improve my habits over the previous year. Whether it’s being more productive, spending more time planning and prioritizing, exercising more, or focusing on cultivating personal relationships, keeping my focus on getting better and better helps me to get greater results over time. Small incremental improvements yield better results than a list of lofty resolutions or goals.  

This year, one of my small improvements is implementing a “Half Hour of Power. ” I learned of this idea from famed coach Tony Robbins, who suggests an “Hour of Power” each day. I determined a half hour would be manageable for my schedule, and have been working to implement this improvement into my day. Each day, I spend a half hour writing what I am thankful for in my journal, envisioning future successes, reviewing my annual, monthly, and weekly goals, setting my two top priorities for the day, and getting centered to be able to work at maximum productivity. This small change has helped me to stay on top of my key result areas, be highly productive, and stay centered and focused.

I’ve worked with many leaders through coaching and leadership programs, and I’ve noticed the highly successful leaders share many of the same daily habits or traits. They focus each day on improving and don’t make excuses. The most successful leaders make time for the important areas, they don’t complain about how much time they don’t have. They take control and responsibility.   Here are the most common habits and traits of highly successful leaders, or what I call “Super Achievers”:  

Planning and Focus. They develop plans and goals, and then execute those plans. They take time each day to make sure they are working on their top priorities. They are proactive and purposeful, and their day reflects it.

Passion for learning and improvement. They have a desire to constantly learn and grow. They tend to be relentless readers of leadership books and articles, and they invest in their growth and education. They make time to develop and improve themselves as leaders.

Keep commitments. They keep their commitments and don’t make excuses. They rarely miss schedule events and meetings, and are always well prepared and focused. They take time to do the work needed to make each encounter meaningful. They bring their ‘A’ game to meetings and are prepared.

Focus on people. They always make time for their employees and the important people in their life. They understand the value of cultivating relationships, and regularly interact and meet with their employees in a meaningful way. They understand the importance of communication and learning, and foster an environment of truth and feedback. They take the time to communicate vision, plans and goals, and ask questions.

100% effort. They always give all their effort to everything they take on. They are deliberate about their choices and focus on a few initiatives to do really, really well rather on a bunch of things half-heartedly. They don’t settle for mediocre; they aim to work at peak performance.


Employee Satisfaction vs. Engagement

This year got off to a great start for me. Our family welcomed our second child, Luca, on January 18th.  We are very excited to have him join our family, and big sister Olivia is enjoying him! Here is a picture of baby Luca.

I was also honored to be interviewed for the article, “Coaching Outside the C-Suite” in the January edition of Credit Union Management magazine.

Since I am taking a few weeks off, I asked my colleague, Kerry Liberman, to share some information this month on engaging employees. Kerry is president of People Perspectives, a company that conducts employee opinion surveys, and she has a lot of insight on how to keep your employees engaged. Read below for Kerry’s advice on why you want to measure engagement in addition to satisfaction.

Employee engagement has become a hot topic in companies over the past few years. More and more often, organizations are looking at measuring engagement as a means to improving their company’s bottom line. Prior to engagement, at People Perspectives, we measured employee satisfaction exclusively. However, with the compelling research on employee engagement, we found that the best strategy was to “make room” for both satisfaction and engagement in our surveys.

Here’s why:

Employee Engagement. An engaged employee is someone who is loyal, puts forth extra effort for the company, and remains with the organization for a long period of time. What can engaged employees do for a company? For starters, compared to disengaged workers, one research firm found that engaged employees had 27% less absenteeism, 62% fewer accidents, and 31% less turnover. Moreover, employee engagement led to higher customer satisfaction and higher future spending intentions.

Employee Satisfaction. Literally thousands of studies have been conducted, looking at the impact that employee satisfaction has on the workplace. Over time, researchers have found that employee satisfaction is significantly correlated with higher innovation and production levels of staff, lower absenteeism, and higher levels of employee loyalty and retention.

Using Both. Although employee engagement findings have understandably met with great fanfare within the HR community, it (like employee satisfaction) has its limitations. Engagement doesn’t address issues such as pay, benefits, advancement opportunities, senior management, or organizational structure. On the other hand, employees may be perfectly satisfied with their jobs, but it’s not the same thing as being engaged. Even though the employee’s needs are being met and they’re happy to come to work, they may not promote the organization’s goals and ethics as engaged employees would.

Surveying employees on both their satisfaction and engagement is instrumental to getting a comprehensive view of not only how satisfied they are with different programs in place and the workplace overall, but also how committed they are to the organization. This type of assessment really provides the best of both worlds.

Kerry Liberman is the president of People Perspectives LLC, a company that specializes in conducting employee opinion surveys (including engagement and satisfaction) and internal service surveys. She can be reached at 206-451-4218 or [email protected]

Thank you, Kerry for sharing your expertise!