Why Cash as a Reward Won’t Change Your Culture

Recognize This: How you reward employees is a key indicator of underlying company culture.

We’re often asked why we don’t encourage the use of cash as a reward in strategic employee recognition program. The simple answer is: cash = compensation. Rewards must use a different “currency” than cash or employees will lump your “rewards” into their paycheck, guaranteeing it will become an expectation.

A better question to understand is: What kind of company culture do you want? A culture of appreciation or of compensation?

Your culture is built on the interactions and conversations that happen every moment of every day between your employees. Building that culture begins by encouraging recognition between and by all employees, yes, but it also builds on the rewards employees can enjoy that links the behaviors and actions they were recognized for to the memorable rewards they choose.

When that reward is cash, you can’t – as our client Symantec explained – have a conversation with colleagues, “Oh, I got $500 dollars.”

But when the reward is in a form that gives the flexibility of cash for limitless options, but with a result that employees can share and talk about with each other, you build a culture of appreciation. “Yeah, I went to the spa and had the most relaxing and rejuvenating massage treatment.”

Those are the conversations happening every day in the hallways of Symantec, reinforcing just how much the company values and appreciates the good work their employees do every day.

What kind of culture are you building in your organization?

"Why Recognition Matters"

I'm thrilled with an interview about our book, Winning with a Culture of Recognition, that appeared Monday on The Hiring Site.

In the interview, I answered some of the questions my CEO and co-author, Eric Mosley, and I often receive about the book:

* How is this book different from other management books?
* What exactly is "strategic recognition?"
* What does it mean to "win with a culture of recognition?"
* Why is recognition so important?
* What makes companies with a culture of recognition different than others?

This is just one of great pieces of media coverage the book has received. One of my favorites was this interview on Fox News with Eric:

If you're looking to increase employee engagement, strategic recognition is one of the most powerful, proven tools for doing just that.

Do Amazing Things * Overcome Stereotypes

Recognize This: We all have the capacity to do amazing things. We need the desire – and sometimes courage – to do so.

Chris Ferdinandi, Renegade HR blogger, has done it again. For the second year in a row he has published a strong compendium of advice from HR experts on how to be amazing in 2011.

I’m honored to have my contribution on “Overcoming Stereotypes” included in “Do Amazing Things” this year. An excerpt:

“One [stereotype] we often hear in our line of business is: ‘People in China don’t want to be recognized individually.’ A client of ours proved this false simply by giving it a try. When implementing a new, first of its kind, global employee recognition program to all 33,000 of its employees, HR leaders knew the large contingent of employees in China couldn’t simply be ignored. … After program launch, the leadership team was pleasantly surprised to discover China had the fastest rate of adoption for greatest number of employees of the new employee recognition program.”

Other strong contributions from HR pros I respect include:

• Fail More (Chris Ferdinandi)
• Simplify, Simplify, Simplify (Lance Haun)
• Values, Not Words (Ben Eubanks)
• Break Out of the Boundaries (Paul Hebert)
• Become the Collaboration Leader (Steve Roesler)
• Be Curious (Ann Bares)
• Shadow Someone (Trish McFarlane)

I encourage you to read the eBook for great additional advice and thought leadership. What would you add as your recommendation to Be Amazing in 2011?

Making Your Company Values Real in the Daily Work of All Employees

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of company values as the glue that holds us (employees, managers, leaders) together as we face unprecedented change in the workplace.

I received this comment to the post on HR.com:

“At the Manufacturing Skills Australia conference Prof. Alan Patching (Program Director 2000 Olympic Games) gave a great presentation. To open he asked the audience of 500 'does everyone in this room work for an organisation with company values?' A smattering of people raised their hands so Alan went to each one and asked them to detail those values to the audience. No one could remember them. My question to you is if company values are so crucial why isn’t it taken up by the workers?”

This is an excellent question and very important point about company values. Most people in an organization have no idea what the company values are. More importantly, even more have no idea what those values mean in their daily work.

Getting a group of people in a room to decide on the values, creating posters and plaques to hang those values on the wall, perhaps sending out a communications campaign about the values – none of these are worthwhile or in the least effective in making your values real to every employee.

Sure, we’d like to help your employees recite their values. But we’re far more concerned about your employees having the values so deeply ingrained that they both live out those values in their daily work and notice when colleagues around them do the same.

This is the power of Strategic Employee Recognition in which you:

1) Purposefully tie every recognition moment in the company to a company value
2) Detail more specifically how the person’s behaviors, actions or achievements reflected the values in contribution to project/customer/company success
3) Encourage everyone to notice and appreciate these “value demonstrations” in their peers and colleagues

When you do this, every employee now not only knows the values, but also knows what those values look like in their day-to-day efforts, knows the company considers these efforts and value demonstrations important, and is encouraged to repeat them.

If you make your company values real in this way for every employee, I guarantee they will be “taken up by the workers.”

Do you know your company values (no peeking at the plaque on the wall)? More importantly, do you know what those values look like in your daily tasks.

Values * The Glue Keeping Us Together during Change (Insights from HR Directors Business Summit)

I enjoyed dinner last night with several leaders of HR in various businesses. A common concern to all them seems to be the whirlwind of change currently blowing through these organizations. The forces of change I described in my post/report yesterday are real and seem only to be getting faster. The resulting question on everyone’s mind was: How do we keep everyone with us during all this change?

I started today hearing more of the same - from both the President and the Chief People Officer for McDonalds UK & Northern Europe. They painted a candid and thorough picture of the challenges McDonalds has faced over the years and how they have evolved their people management model to react.

Particularly striking to me was how Chief People Officer David Fairhurst shared the many changes occurring in the workplace and society in general, making the case that "we need a glue that will hold everything together with all these changes happening." That glue he identified as company values. "Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do" - a quotation from that other HR luminary - Elvis Presley!

I couldn’t agree more - values can be the glue holding employee needs and company success requirements together. As employees face so much change – at a pace that is historically the most rapid we've ever taken a workforce through – we need our employees to be resilient and have a clear line of sight for how we want to succeed together. Values can give this line of sight, and of course a values driven, strategic recognition program, is a proven robust approach to make these values come alive and be lived everyday in the corporation.

Values too was on CEO & President Jill McDonald's agenda when she highlighted as one of her top three priorities the need to break down silos and embed corporate values to create what she called a "connected organization". Her other two priorities included employee engagement for trust, and developing future talent.

Let me ask you, how do you plan on keeping everyone during all this change? What’s your “glue” to hold everyone together? What are your top three priorities for 2011?

Learnings from HR Directors Business Summit

I’m greatly enjoying my participation this week at the HR Directors Business Summit in Birmingham, UK. I’ve already learned a tremendous amount and am looking forward to some interesting sessions on Gen Y tomorrow.

Today, Professor Lynda Gratton from London Business School led us in a great start, sharing shared research on the "Future of Work." She described the five forces at work, which are creating the future: Globalization, Technology, Demography, Low Carbon and Society Changes. Key insights she offered for coping in this new world are:

1) Encourage collaboration, especially online between teams and the generations
2) Encourage open innovation
3) Build strong cultures & values
4) Invest in your own ability to have specialist skills
5) Realize the days of the generalist are ending fast

Professor Paddy Miller from IESE Business School really captured my attention with his definition of employee engagement. Contrary to the many finely crafted definitions we've all seen, his was that engagement is a Puzzle! Each puzzle has similar parts, but each company needs to figure their own puzzle solution. I couldn’t agree more. There is no cookie-cutter solution to employee engagement. Each company must (to borrow from Professor Gratton) build on their own values to create strong cultures in which engagement can thrive.

I presented myself today on strategic recognition and how it varies from other more traditional employee recognition. I was delighted to share the platform with our client Ingrid Waterfield, UK Head of Rewards at KPMG. She took the audience through the case study of their journey at KPMG as she shared the dramatic increases in levels of participation in their recognition program, even as budget costs were reduced! If you’d like to hear more about this, watch the webinar KPMG recently presented.

More tomorrow from the HR Directors Business Summit. In the meantime, do you see any additional forces at work that are creating the future of how (and why) we work? What’s your definition of engagement? Do you think it’s a puzzle, unique to each company, or more universal to most?

Has Someone Killed Your Employee Engagement?

Recognize This: Don’t kill someone’s engagement. Acknowledge their strengths; feed their abilities.

Have you ever been engaged at work, only to have that engagement killed by the actions (or inactions) of others, probably your direct supervisor?

Wally Bock, another favorite blogger of mine, recently told the story of Dan on his Three Star Leadership blog:

To summarize, Dan was a top-notch technician, always willing to help others, always demonstrating a good attitude. Then he switched jobs. From the onboarding experience (form filling) to a boss that wouldn’t listen to suggestions from a “new guy” or trust him to do a job he’d been doing for years without direct (over the shoulder) supervision, everything Dan experienced in the new job killed his engagement. In just two weeks, Dan’s incredible engagement was thoroughly throttled.

As I commented to Wally, I hate hearing stories like this because I know it’s far more common than many companies/leaders would like to admit and a reflection of command-and-control still being alive and well. "You haven't been here long enough to know anything yet. ... You can't possibly know more than I do. ... Don't perform better than I do or make it look like you don't need me."

It's so much easier to help an engaged employee maintain or even increase his/her engagement than it is to give a disengaged employee a reason and willingness to engage in the first place.

Tell me your story of engagement killed. Better yet, share ideas with all of us on how to make sure an employee who’s engaged from day 1 is willing to stay engaged.

You Can’t Survey Your Way to Increased Employee Engagement

Recognize This: Surveys alone won’t solve your engagement problems. You must act and communicate.

Yesterday I wrote about seemingly conflicting survey results and how to interpret surveys effectively. The flip side of the same coin is, you can’t rely on surveys to fix your employee engagement problems.

Brad Federman on the Engagement Factor blog did an interesting rundown of research on the topic, highlighting (among others):

• 10-30% organizations are able to implement strategic plan (Raps, 2004)
• Almost 2 in 5 bosses are bad (Gallup, 2010)
• 34% are thriving at work (Performancepoint, 2009)
• 51% do not feel fully utilized at work (Performancepoint, 2009)
• 84% of organizations using engagement surveys do not see positive results (Hewitt, 2010)

All of these are astounding, but that last on especially so. 84% who survey for engagement do not see positive results. Well, maybe that’s not so astounding after all.

Doing a survey wont’ magically engage your employees. In fact, survey for engagement can have the opposite effect if you do not take the information given to you by your employees, act on it appropriately and, critically, communicate the actions you are taking to respond to employee concerns.

A sure way to kill engagement – in any situation – is to ask for opinion and feedback, have people spend thoughtful time giving it to you, and then ignoring it. If you’re going to undertake surveys, be prepared to invest the time necessary to respond.

Do you survey in your organization? How well do you think it’s done? Is the survey itself useful? Are actions taken as a result? How is that communicated?

Surveys Aren't the Employee Engagement Answer

Recognize This: Surveys give us good data points, but it’s up to us to read them with an eye for the truth in our own environment.

Surveys are nothing more than data on a point in time, which makes it hard sometimes to assess the validity of the results. Especially when the results seemingly conflict.

Global employee engagement is an interesting example. Kenexa’s Employee Engagement Index found:

“While EEI scores might have differed from country to country, the pattern of scores over time is fairly consistent across countries. In fact, almost every country exhibits a similar downward curvilinear trend from 2009 to 2010. China is a notable exception, with an upward curvilinear trend that shows a substantial increase from 2009 to 2010.”

But BlessingWhite’s 2011 employee engagement survey found:

“Of the 10,914 workers surveyed worldwide only 31% are Engaged. As the chart illustrates, India has the most Engaged (37%); China has the least (17%).”

What can we infer then? Perhaps China’s engagement has increased substantially from 2009 to 2010, but their overall engagement levels are still lower than the rest of the world.

Regardless, the message of this post is – survey, but read the survey results for what they are – data on points in time.

What’s your take on the surveys and the value of survey results? Who’s your preferred source of data and interpretations that you trust?

We’re ALL Responsible for Employee Engagement

Recognize This: Engagement is a shared responsibility – so be aware of what you say and do that affects the engagement of others.

In my post yesterday, I highlighted BlessingWhite’s 2011 engagement report and findings that, unless executives set the course, managers can’t lead and employees can’t follow on the path of engagement.

A similar observation I couldn’t agree with more from Points of Rue:

“Shouldn't it [engagement] be something we talk about as a shared responsibility in which all of us have a role and responsibility to positively influence the engagement of our colleagues and our leaders as much as our leaders are responsible for engaging us?”

Yes, it should. We are – each of us, individually – responsible for the attitude we bring to work every day and how we reflect that attitude towards our colleagues. Paul Hebert, a favorite blogger of mine at i2i, made this point in a post just last week:

“Phrases and words may seem simple and harmless but they can create a situation that enable good people to behave differently – more negatively – toward others. … A simple word can have a big impact.”
And if that simple word is “thanks,” then the impact can cause people to behave more positively towards others. Our customers have repeatedly increased employee engagement scores by double digits – in less than year – simply by encouraging a culture of appreciation. The research backs it up, as I’ve written about in more detail on Compensation Café.

What’s the attitude you bring to work? Are you a positive influence or a negative one? How about the people you work with most closely?

Who’s Responsible for Employee Engagement

Recognize This: No one is responsible for your engagement but you, but others can certainly influence your desire to engage.

Are you engaged at work? Are the people on your team? Are the employees generally at your company?

Who’s responsible for engagement at your company? More and more “employee engagement” is being added to job descriptions/responsibilities for HR professionals and sometimes to line managers. There are even very high level titles such as Senior Vice President for Employee Engagement at numerous companies.

Is this right? Is this fair? The right answer is “maybe.”

BlessingWhite’s latest employee engagement study summarized this well:

Individuals must own their own engagement. If they do not know what’s most important to them, they will not find it in your workplace (or potentially any other).

Managers can’t make employees engaged. They can act as coaches to facilitate their team members’ engagement journeys.

Executives must set the direction that your workforce aligns to, communicate that direction to ensure a clear line of sight throughout your organization, and create a culture that fuels engagement and business results.”

There’s a clear progression here. If executives don’t buy into engagement and promote it directly, managers can’t coach within an appropriate culture for engagement. Without that culture and coaching from managers, individuals are less likely to want to engage.

Where does your executive team stand on employee engagement? Are you like Sisyphus, pushing a rock up a hill you will never summit? Or are they at the top of the hill, pulling the rock up for you?

Sacrificing Company Culture Puts Market Share at Risk

Recognize This: Commitment to your company culture cannot rise and fall with economy.

During the recession, many companies took harsh actions they likely had no choice but to do. But many others took similar actions out of fear or even greed.

Those who were able to stay the course, however, are now working from a much stronger economic position today. For example, Panera Bread’s Executive Chairman and Founder Ronald Shaich explained their approach:

“We've continued to invest in labor in our cafés and the quality of our people. We've invested in the quality of the food. When everybody pulled back and we did more, the difference between us and our competitors went up. And we've been taking market share. We had near double-digit [same-store sales] for over a year now. The stock has tripled in the recession.

By staying the course in its commitment to its culture – the behaviors and actions that make the company work – Panera Bread is now taking the lead in its industry, even through a recession. This is not surprising, based on research I’ve written about before:
“With extreme downsizes (in workforce) in the long term, companies really do suffer relative to competitors in the same industry facing the same sets of economic conditions. Extreme downsizers are companies that cut their workforce by more than 20 percent. … Most of them lag their industry for as long as nine years after a recession.”

Can you afford to lose market position for 9 years? Did your company take drastic (or even moderate) actions in the recession? What effects are you seeing in your colleagues? Do you see any improvement as the economy improves or are the effects lingering?

Articulating Your Company Culture for Better Recruiting

Recognize This: People want more than just a pay range when they’re looking for a new position.

I know what you’re thinking. Pay is the first thing people want to know in reading a job description. That may be true, but how many job descriptions actually include pay or even a pay range? Very few, especially for professional positions.

Sure, they want to know job title and description, but those are so similar across companies there is little differentiation for seekers. (And keep in mind 2/3 of those currently employed are actively seeking a new job today.)

So what do they want to see when seeking a new company? According to CareerEdge:

“Gen-Yers want to understand the corporate culture.”

Culture – working environment, tolerated behaviors, company values – is so important, some will bypass a job listing that doesn’t make culture clear.

How are you communicating your company culture? Even to those you are passively recruiting?

How to *Manage* a Culture of Recognition

Recognize This: It’s possible to proactively manage a company culture with a little directed effort.

Once you’ve created a company culture, how do you manage it?

As we explain in Winning with a Culture of Recognition:

Culture management is the direction of behavioral choices based on values. It is a clear communication, training, and reward system, and recognition is one of its tools. In fact, culture management is implicit in every organization. The relevant question is, will culture management be deliberate, measurable, and globally directed toward shared, transparent values? Or will it be haphazard, unmeasured, and individually directed toward vague or hidden agendas?”

There’s three key elements to managing your culture implicit in the above:

1. Directing – Managing culture is a proactive endeavor. You can choose to sit back and let a culture develop, or you can proactively create the culture you want that you think employees will choose to engage in and be most productive under.

2. Behavioral Choices
– If you choose the pro-active route, you must make an investment of time and energy to notice, acknowledge and appreciate the behaviors of employees that reinforce the culture. You can’t do this once a year (or even once a month). You must do it in the moment so the behavior and the recognition are closely associated in the mind of the employee.

3. Based on Values
– What behavioral choices do you reinforce? Those that reflect the values that you’ve already determined to be important to the success of your company. Again, recognition of employees when they demonstrate those values in their daily work is the best method to bring the values to life in a meaningful way.

Are you proactively managing the culture in your company? Is anyone? Or is the culture something that “just is” or “just happens?”

How to *Create* a Culture of Recognition

Recognize This: A culture reflects a process that has become a habit.

Now that we understand what a company culture is, how do you do it?

Patty Azzarello in TLNT offered this tip:

Say thank you. Creating a culture of recognition is a very powerful thing. Make sure you have ways of knowing when good things happen, and personally thank people. Make recognition and appreciation a process and a habit.”

You need both.

Process: A system that both makes giving recognition easy and ensures that it happens. This process could be formal or informal, but it must become as much a part of “the way things are done around here” as product development or customer service.

This speaks to encouraging an attitude of recognition – an approach to every day at work where people stop, look around, notice what others are doing and take the time to say “thanks.” Habits take time to form and require encouragement as they settle in place. Managers are responsible for making sure “process” becomes “habit.”

Once that happens, your culture of recognition is firmly in place.

What kind of culture do you have in your organization? A culture of recognition? A culture of intimidation? A culture of cooperation?

What’s Your Company Culture? Look at the Behaviors.

Recognize This: Your company culture is a reflection of the behaviors you tolerate.

What exactly is culture, especially in the business context? Can an organization really have a culture? The answer, unequivocally, is: “Yes!”

Understanding your culture and, more importantly, knowing how to proactively manage it is an entirely different discussion.

Carolyn Taylor, author of Walking the Talk, explained culture and its importance in the workplace this way:
Culture is the patterns of behavior that are encouraged or discouraged over time. These behaviors will either facilitate business performance, or they will hinder it. They will either be aligned to values that will build your brand and reputation, or they will not.”

Carolyn’s take on culture reinforces my own and Eric Mosley’s in our book Winning with a Culture of Recognition:

“An organization’s culture is so much more than a slogan or poster. Culture is nothing less than the aggregate of tens of thousands of interactions every day. Leaders of great companies reinforce their values by rewarding and celebrating the behaviors that express those values.”

Globoforce’s culture (in addition to being a culture of recognition) is one of “others first.” For example, in our daily work we tend to put the needs of our colleagues ahead of our own. I’ve seen it repeatedly where someone will drop their own priorities to help another on a project that perhaps is a greater priority overall. And these people are consistently recognized and appreciated when they do.

What behaviors does your culture reinforce? A desire to “win” at all costs (even if less than desirable behaviors are required to win)? A commitment to improve the surrounding community (even if profits may be a bit less)?

Is Your Company Culture Worth Firing Someone Over?

Recognize This: If company culture is truly important to you, make it a major portion of your performance review process.

Online shoe company Zappos, famous for offering employees thousands of dollars to leave, has made the news again with its performance review process.

Forbes recently reported a speech given by Zappos founder and CEO Tony Hseih, particularly this statement:
“Fifty percent of our performance review at Zappos measures how you are furthering the company’s culture.”

50%. That’s an astounding percentage. But more importantly, think of it this way. If Zappos is putting that much emphasis on culture in the performance review, that means they must be doing an outstanding job of communicating what, exactly, it means to advance the company culture in your daily work. If they didn’t, they’d be opening themselves to a massive lawsuit.

Are you so confident in your company culture – and in how well it is communicated to and, more critically, understood by your employees - that you’d make “advancing company culture” 50% of your performance review?

Do you think culture is important enough to require this?

Stop Killing Passion at Work!

Recognize This: You always have the power of recognition.

Last month I received an email from an HR director I’ve corresponded with in the past (full disclosure: this person is not a client of Globoforce). Her role is head of employee engagement and the recognition and reward program. Her email to me was full of anguish over an attempt of recognition that was rejected.

She had nominated a colleague for a prestigious honor within the company. This colleague had demonstrated passion, knowledge, excitement and general excellence in completing a certain project far above and beyond expectations. But because the project was technically within the colleague’s job description, the recognition nomination was denied. The person had been “just doing their job.”

My advice to this person, who simply wanted to be sure her colleague was properly recognized for her efforts, was:

While you may not be able to recognize her through official channels, you do retain the power of recognition. I would recommend you:

1) Write a personal letter to the colleague, one she can keep and take with her wherever her career may take her in the future, expressing how much your colleague did to help you and how greatly you appreciate it.

2) If her boss is someone other than the person who denied the recognition nomination, send your colleague the above letter in an email, copying the boss so the boss will also know the tremendous asset your colleague is to the team.

3) However you can, help this colleague in her career by telling her colleagues and superiors what a wonderful and innovative asset she is.

What additional advice would you have given to ensure the fire of passion for the work wasn’t doused in this conscientious employee (both the one being nominated for recognition and the one trying to give it)?

Why Are You Here?

Recognize This: People want to be part of something meaningful – something larger than themselves.

Have you ever used one of those “you are here” maps, like they have in a mall or city centre?

Generally, these are helpful, but I’ll never forget the time I was in a rush to find a particular store. I located the map, quickly found the store I wanted, but then realized there was no “you are here” reference.

I knew where I wanted to go, but because I didn’t know where I was in relation to that, I didn’t know how to get there.

I think the same is true in the workplace. Many companies invest a good deal of time and resources communicating to employees where they need to be going, but spend little to no time on where they are.

Why do they (why do you) come to work every day? I hope it’s more than just a paycheck. What’s the greater purpose you’re contributing to? Gautam Ghosh puts it this way:

“Personally I think every human being wants to be part of something larger than himself or herself. An organization should look at goals that excite even the most world weary cynic and say ‘I am part of something meaningful. Something larger. Something beautiful.’”

Why are you here? What are you part of?

How to Conduct a GAP Analysis of Leadership

Recognize This: Employees need Goals, Appreciation and Purpose, not just tasks.

Who do you consider good models of leadership? If you had the chance, who would you want to mentor you on your leadership style?

One person I’ve always admired is Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State, national security advisor and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Since he left public service, General Powell has made quite a career speaking and writing on what makes a true leader. SmartBrief recently ran a summary of key points from one such speech. I call these points a true GAP analysis of leadership, which I paraphrase as:

Goals: “When the followers know what the goals are, everyone understands the importance of their own role for the common purpose.”

Appreciation: “Make sure that those under your command understand that you appreciate what they are doing.”

Purpose: “People want to know that you are serving a greater purpose than just your own.”

Conduct your own GAP analysis – do your people know the goal? Do you appreciate and recognize them for contributions and actions that help you reach the goal? Do they know the greater purpose of their daily tasks?

If you could pick anyone in history, who would be on your list of leadership mentors?

My Generation Isn’t What You Say It Is

Recognize This: The management needs of modern employees have changed. Can you manage the way your employees need to be most engaged, productive and successful?

Back to the “generations at work” battle. I’m on record with my belief that GenY is no different, really, than any other generation in what they want out of work – validation that their effort is worthwhile (in that it contributes to the success of others, the company or the community) and a desire to prove themselves, grow and develop in their chosen careers.

However, I do think that the generation debate shows a deep seated change that is occurring all around us in how information flows, ideas are shared, networks are created, influence happens, and like it or not, it's tending to be members of GenY and GenX who are leading the charge. Not only will this impact how companies make decisions and engage (with employees, with customers and with suppliers), but it's also charging the very way our society works. Information flow is now so dynamic and networks so widely dispersed, someday we'll see a government being changed as a consequence of a Facebook campaign.

In a Bnet post, management consultant Stephen Denning put it this way:

“Managers of the 20th century were trained to supervise people to get them to do stuff, to perform tasks. But now that most people are knowledge workers and not semi-skilled workers, we need managers who inspire, motivate, and encourage collaboration – managers, even, who care about the well-being of their employees and strive to make the workplace meaningful. And that’s not a corporate world where the older set is generally comfortable.

“Older set” – chime in. Are you ready for how your company culture can maximize this new world? Are you comfortable inspiring, motivating and encouraging your employees? Do you care about their well-being? Do you work at making their work meaningful for them?