Employee Engagement


November 2017

  • How Morale Changes as a Startup Grows

    When we think about startup cultures, we imagine ping pong tables, kegerators, and Nerf guns. More importantly, we envision an esprit de corps that drives employees to happily burn the midnight oil to build the next big thing. However, this startup cultural utopia invariably hits a rough patch for about 70% of startups in years three to four, regardless of how happy the team was before. We call this the “cultural chasm.”

  • Should CEOs Respond When Employees Complain About Them Online?

    Many leaders expect to be challenged by employees in the privacy of their offices, but there are greater risks when it happens online, in public. Others may pile on, a CEO’s response may be taken out of context, and comments may live on in perpetuity. A CEO’s personal reputation, which is one of a company’s most valuable assets, may be at stake.

  • Why the Millions We Spend on Employee Engagement Buy Us So Little

    Organizations are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on employee engagement programs, yet their scores on engagement surveys remain abysmally low. How is that possible? Because most initiatives amount to an adrenaline shot. A perk is introduced to boost scores, but over time the effect wears off and scores go back down. Another perk is introduced, and scores go back up — and then they fall again. The more this cycle repeats itself, the more it feels like manipulation.

  • Why COOs Should Think Like Behavioral Economists

    When Yelp was a startup with just 15 employees, the office manager began to stock the kitchen with drinks and snacks to get everyone through the long afternoons. Juice, water, fruit, chips, and as much candy as could be stuffed into the small kitchen drawer. Being at work was like being, well, a kid in a candy shop: a bottomless supply of Snickers, Twix, 3 Musketeers, M&M’s, Almond Joys — the list goes on.

  • Closing the Strategy-Execution Gap Means Focusing on What Employees Think, Not What They Do

    When you embark on a new strategic journey to sustain and grow your organization in an uncertain world, what do you prioritize? If you’re like most of the leaders we know, you start with organizational structure and processes. This would be a mistake.

October 2017