Emenex Weekly News

Each week we bring you news, opinions and research on Employee Engagement, Leadership and Motivation,  along with some thoughts on practical workplace applications.


Re-engaging With William Kahn 25 Years After He Coined Term Employee Engagement

Today it’s not uncommon to see article after article about the ubiquitous term employee engagement, such as: “This percentage of employees are disengaged,” a study finds; “How do I keep my employees engaged?” one article asks; and “How does engagement affect overall business?” another wonders.

Although a popular talking point now, the term “employee engagement” is relatively new. Professor William Kahn of Boston University coined “engagement” in terms of the workforce setting 25 years ago in his 1990 paper, “Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work.”

Workforce caught up with Kahn via email to discuss the genesis of the term, its evolution over the past 25 years and what leaders can do to re-engage the disengaged.  Read their dialogue here.


It’s time to move beyond engagement.  Empower and align employees with organisational priorities to build a culture of high performance, well being and career satisfaction.  To learn more, call 03450 523 593


Blog: How Well Are You Prepared for Your Career Lift-off?

Today (Dec 14th 2015) will mark the first journey by a British astronaut (Tim Peake) to the international lift-offspace station as a member of the European Space agency, beating over 8,000 other elite applicants from across Europe. Peake’s initial military training for this role began in 1990 at Sandhurst and subsequently as a helicopter test pilot.

25 years of intensive work is not unusual for individuals like Peake. Preparation for any extreme activity requires intensive effort and attention to detail, and yet why limit that level of preparation to the field of extreme activities. The world of business can be no less challenging. Read more.


Take Charge of your career, team or organisation by aligning individual goals with organisational priorities. To learn more, call 03450 523 593


6 Companies That Get Employee Engagement – And What They Do Right

According to Mandy Flint and Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, employee engagement is not just down to the leader or company – each person is responsible for his/her own level of engagement. [That’s also an emenex mantra! – Ed.]  They quote Walmart’s founder Sam Walton: “The way management treats associates is exactly how the associates will treat the customers.”

Flint and Hearn name the following companies as those getting it right, and explain how. Read the full article for lots more detail.

Google – Transparency 
Employees want to be a part of something where there are no hidden agendas… Informed employees feel valued and engagement typically follows.

American Express – Focus on Behaviours 
American Express has equal weighting between the fact that people achieve their goals and how they do it… Successful companies understand how behaviours impact employees on an emotional level.

John Lewis – Empowering
By making employees partners, the company is clearly expressing that there is a shared responsibility for customers and the outcomes of the company.

Hyatt – Employee Development 
The hotel group’s focus on employee development and promoting from within plays a large part in its unusually high retention rate…

Southwest Airlines – Purpose
This airline doesn’t just see itself as a transporter of people, but as an enabler who helps people get to people or places they care about. A strong, clear purpose connects emotionally with employees; it engages.

Virgin – Listening
Virgin listens to employees. It’s a win-win; the organisation keeps learning and employees feel important and engage with the organisation… Listening is at the heart of engagement.


Company Gives All Employees $100K Christmas Bonus

As Christmas fast approaches, it seemed appropriate to share a good-news story! At least, good news for the employees of Hilcorp in the United States, where each of their 1,380 employees received a $100,000 Christmas bonus this year. Receptionist Amanda Thompson said “It’s just a true gift and I don’t think that myself along with everyone is not going to give less than 100% every day.” Hilcorp was named on the 2015 ‘Fortune 100 ‘Best Companies to Work For’ list for the third year in a row – perhaps not surprising!

Of interest to me, though, is not just the size of the bonus, but the nature of it. It clearly says…

  • we recognise that every employee has played their part in our collective success
  • we value you all on equal terms
  • we don’t under-value any person’s contribution
  • you matter to us
  • the contribution you make is of equal importance to anyone else’s

Clearly, not every company can give every employee $100k. But what could/does your organisation do to send a similar message? We’d love to hear about it. Happy Christmas!


Was Your 2015 Full of Great Days at Work?

When you look back on your year at work, what measures will you use to size it up?

Mary Ann Masarech does not want to hear about your organization’s performance management process. Instead, she wants you to think beyond your list of accomplishments, to consider great days at work.

Everyone has had great days at work. Everyone wants more great days.  Great days are what full engagement looks like. Tens of thousands of professionals worldwide have shared their great days with her firm. Although the details can be very different, their great days reflect common themes.  Go here to see them and consider what you need to do to have more great days yourself?


 About Emenex

We help you keep your people great.

Emenex helps organisations get the best from and for their people.  Organisations approach us when they have challenges with engagement, motivation, productivity, retention, talent management,  management development and succession planning.  They know that addressing these critical issues delivers higher levels of profit, productivity and customer satisfaction. They also know that a more progressive solution is required – one that delivers above and beyond expectations and enhances their brand with customers and staff alike.

Emenex has a great track record in supporting organisations with consulting expertise, tools, resources and skills needed to deliver the required results.  The continued growth and development of both teams and individuals builds loyalty, commitment and engagement.  An organisation that has aligned its values, priorities, structures and resources is better able to meet future challenges leading to higher performance and customer satisfaction.

The result? Individuals and their organisation excel. 

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