BLOGSpeaK 5.0 - Learn From The Influencers!

  • By Andy Fox

It goes without saying that an engaged workforce is the biggest boon to any organisation. The more engaged your employees are, the more productive your teams are, and hence a positive impact on your business growth. 

It’s estimated that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. Also, given the staggering amount of 11 Billion USD, which is lost annually due to employee turnover, it makes good sense why it’s high time for organisations to reel in those 71% of all employees, who are not fully engaged in their work! 

Take a look at those brands who have made it big, they all seem to take the ‘company culture’ and ‘employee satisfaction’ as key elements that drive their business growth, with the underlying principle: “Happy Employees = Happy Customers”. 

The first thing you’ll notice when you enter the Virgin Airline’s website is the motto, “Staff comes first – Learn to look after your staff first and the rest will follow”.

The highly celebrated CEO of the company, Richard Branson believes on the principle; Happy Staff Are Proud Staff, And Proud Staff Deliver Excellent Customer Service, Which Drives Business Success 

Or take Starbucks for that matter, where the CEO Howard Schultz says, “We built the Starbucks brand first with our people, not with the consumers. Because we believed that the best way to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers was to hire and train great people, we invested in employees.” 

The Tiny Pulse 2017 Employment Engagement Report states that the biggest factors that relate to ‘happiness’ in employees are the intangible ones, such as; interpersonal relationship, culture and work environment. Interestingly to note is that benefits, work-life balance and flexible schedules don’t have a strong impact on their ‘happiness’ meter. 

To delve more into the ‘employee engagement’ narrative, today we have taken Rodd Wagner, as our Influencer for this BlogSpeak Post. 

Rodd Wagner, who currently sits as the VP of Employee Engagement Strategy at BI Worldwide, is also a regular contributor to Forbes and the New York Times Bestselling Author of the book "Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They're Real People." 

Here’s a quick takeaway for you on the 12 NEW RULES of ENGAGEMENT from his book Widgets: 

1.  Get Inside Their Heads

More than ever, great managing is a matter of intense understanding of each unique individual, knowing their abilities, their aspirations, and how they work best.

2.  Make Them Fearless

No one can promise job security anymore. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your people courageous, able to focus on the company’s goals rather than self-preservation.

3.  Make Money A Non-Issue

Money isn’t everything. It only gets you so far. But companies that mishandle this emotional area will make it a bigger deal than it has to be.

4.  Help Them Thrive

Work conditions and policies can’t help but affect people’s health. Getting them right, and with the right intent, doesn’t just reduce costs, it invigorates the employees and the business.

5.  Make It Cool

Talented people don't have to work for boring companies and most won't. Loosening up and making a uniquely stimulating culture create a real competitive edge.

6.  Be Boldly Transparent

There are no more secrets,  everything about a company is public, or will be. Behave accordingly.

7.  Don’t Kill The Meaning

People need to be part of something bigger than just a job and a pay slip. Meaning drives higher performance.

8.  See Their Future

What people do today is largely motivated by where they think it will take them into the future. It's as true on the job as it was for every employee dreaming of a future career when he or she was in school. Companies that are deliberate about helping employees chart that future get those people's best work.

9.  Magnify Their Success

What a company does not recognise, it should not expect to see repeated. Making a big deal of employees' accomplishments ensures the victories will be multiplied.

10.  Unite Them

People have always been willing to take one for the right team, but players get traded much more these days. With people moving between companies at a faster pace than ever before, it's never been more important to create conditions that foster strong collaboration.

11.  Let Them Lead

Employees don't just want their opinions to count. To accomplish all they can for the company, they need the chance to take the lead.

12.  Take It To Extremes

Your best people are itching to accomplish something incredible together. Challenge, rally and support your people and you’ll be struck by what they can do.


Employee Engagement is not a new buzzword or a ‘new age’ philosophy. It has been in the workplace lexicon for more than two decades, but the alarming statistics in recent times on employee turnover and ‘disengaged’ workforce, has brought it to light with the need to tackle it with a different perspective. 

As the initial engagement approaches didn’t get updated over time, and only existed as a practice which is routinised and hackneyed,  this led to impersonal management practices, which Rodd reflects as, “reducing employees to a ‘resource’ instead of people”. 

The new rules take into consideration, the ‘unwritten social contracts’ between the employee and the company, taking empirical insights that are grounded on behavioural economics and motivational psychology.

As another author Dan Pink, in his book Drive rightly points out, that the ‘carrot and stick’ motivators will not work in the long run. What people are looking for in their jobs is the ‘autonomy’, a chance to get better at what they’re doing and a purpose that connects them with a ‘bigger’ picture!

The following is an interesting infographic from TinyPulse, if you'd like to learn more about the elements that make for a highly ‘Engaging Workplace Culture’.


If you'd like further assistance or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you. 

Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email

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Andy Fox - Author

I have a firm belief there is only one great challenge in life… And that is… To be the best version of you possible. I have lived my whole life to this tune. I love that I am not perfect and I love that every day I get up and make at least one change in my life that makes it better, one change that takes me closer to my life’s goals.

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