Employee Engagement, Retention, and the Elephant in the Room

What my clients have to say…

For you, your colleagues and workplace, are things rough? Work not done well or at all? People crabby and uncooperative? Almost always, this is the direct result of the way we speak to each other. How do you communicate?

The elephant is the difficulty people have speaking to each other in business.  Knowing what to say is one thing, but the impact of how it’s expressed – there’s your elephant.  We can all string a sentence together but many, many people are not skillful and that works against them and the whole company. It shows up in all sorts of ways – assigning work, handling difficult colleagues, office conflict and team problems, giving bad news, getting off a call, moving things along in a meeting, performance reviews and often, people with job skills who lack personal skills. Hierarchy has its own torque on this too. It applies to both the spoken word and the written. This is so important these days when unprofessional behaviour is modelled in lots of unexpected places.

These things demotivate people; that makes it difficult to bring their best to work.  Eventually they disengage and leave.  So all that time, expense and effort spent to search, hire, on-board, and train.  Poof!

Helping employees to polish interpersonal communication boosts confidence – that they can navigate any kind of conversation with ease. They know they can say anything to anyone, no sweaty palms, no blurting it out. They are skillful.

Then they are skillful on behalf of the company.

Gallup Poll research tells us that 81% of employees leave jobs because of their managers: too difficult, unreasonable, demeaning. And 89% of managers wrongly believe that staff leaves for more money.  Another elephant!

No organization prospers and grows with miserable and mistreated staff. The world is too noisy and stressful to endure that.  What is most important is treating colleagues professionally, with professional respect.  All of them, at all levels.  Even the non-favourites.  Flawed communication creates a mess that begs to be cleared up and often isn’t.  It’s a high price to pay in damaged relationships, loyalty, focus, and productivity. Why make work harder when it can be avoided with some skillful attention? It’s not about going soft and being a pushover, “everybody being nice to each other”. It’s about being professional, smart and skillful.  Once you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

Well-known engagement perks like benefits and team get-togethers are great. But day after day working in a constructive professional environment is the best way to engage and retain.  It can be done through choice of words, and tone, no personalities or emotional styles to figure out, And, it resonates longer.

This concrete tool works anywhere people speak to each other, its pan industry, and for all levels and departments: like VPs, managers, sales, customer service, marketing, IT, friend to HR.

Workplaces are stressful, sometimes people develop bad habits, or the business culture is unaware or seems unconcerned.  Workload can push addressing the elephant to the bottom of the list. The many benefits include for management and HR, less busyness with petty politics and emotional events that are not focused on the company’s work. It’s a very useful contribution to company success: productivity, less absenteeism, engagement and retention, clarity for goals, and focus in the right place.  A big payoff without office disruption.  The elephant always appreciates the attention.

Imagine being so skillful that you can navigate any conversation with ease.


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Listen to this example (1:36 in length):


“The best way to reduce stress is by creating less of it”, E.M. James