Seven Organizational Culture Killers

Posted on December 1, 2016 by Don MacPherson.

Organizational culture is an amorphous, powerful thing. Creating a strong culture can take years. Dysfunctional cultures are often the culprits behind highly visible events such as a data breach, a CEO meltdown, or even a rude remark by a customer service representative caught on video and posted to social media. In our December 6th webinar Building a Strong Corporate Culture…and Seven Culture Killers, my Aon colleague Ken Oehler and I explored some of the most common ways good cultures go bad.

Below is a summary of the “Seven Culture Killers” we discussed in the webinar. Continue reading »

Are You a “Workplace Prisoner?”

Posted on November 8, 2016 by Don MacPherson.

You might be surprised to learn that one in twelve global workers are “Disengaged” yet are still planning to stay with their current employer. That’s correct. About 8% of the people you come in contact with at work or in a working situation are miserable in what they are doing, are doing the minimum to get by (or less), and have no plan to change their situation. We call these employees “Workplace Prisoners.” Continue reading »

Creating a Continuous Listening Strategy

Posted on June 18, 2016 by Don MacPherson.

Executives around the world often say their employees are their most important asset. Yet many use the annual employee survey as the main tool for understanding the employee experience. That’s a flawed strategy. To truly know what employees want and need, more frequent listening and conversation is a must. Continue reading »

What the Aon Acquisition of Modern Survey Means

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Don MacPherson.

The press release announcing Aon’s purchase of Modern Survey was distributed last week. After nearly 17 years of founding and building Modern Survey into an international provider of employee measurement software, my partners and I decided it was time to find an organization to propel our work further and faster. Aon is the perfect fit. What this acquisition means depends on who you are. Continue reading »

8 Surprising Employee Engagement Trends

Posted on November 16, 2015 by Don MacPherson.

Modern Survey recently wrapped up the Fall 2015 U.S. Workforce Employee Engagement Study. In it, we determined how employees feel about their organizations, their leaders, and their individual sense of future at work. The study revealed eight things every HR professional and business leader needs to know about the current mindset of their employees.

1. Engagement dropped slightly. A year ago, Modern Survey saw the level of “fully engaged” employees hit its highest point ever at 16% of the U.S. workforce. Continue reading »

My Best Friend at Work

Posted on October 27, 2015 by Don MacPherson.

I have a best friend at work. That is the most disparaged survey item my industry has to offer. Gallup asks just 12 questions on their employee engagement survey and that is one of them. I’d be lying if I said I never bashed Gallup for asking this question on their survey. Being connected assists loyalty and having a friend at work makes us feel connected. I get that. What I don’t get is what the manager or organization is supposed to do about it if employees don’t have friends at work. They aren’t going to force you to make friends and they probably aren’t going to hire your poker buddy who is unqualified to work with you.

It turns out that there is something that the organization can do to make sure people have a best friend at work. Continue reading »

Why Wellness Matters

Posted on September 23, 2015 by Don MacPherson.

As healthcare costs continue to rise there has been a great deal of discussion in the media about wellness at the worksite. Wellness programs at work not only help lower healthcare costs, they have also been shown to improve productivity and positively influence the culture. They have gained traction too. Over 70% of companies offer some sort of wellness program.

From our research at Modern Survey, we know that employees who pursue a healthy lifestyle are more likely to be engaged in their work and engaged employees are more likely to be healthy. In fact, 22% of employees active in their organization’s wellness program are “fully engaged.” Those who are not active in their organization’s wellness program are “fully engaged” at a rate of only 11%. To learn more about wellness and its importance, I sat down with Jina Schaefer, founder of North Fourth Wellbeing, to discuss the trends in wellness at the worksite.

The way she sees it, employee wellness and employee engagement are related through one simple principle: Continue reading »

10 Things You Need to Know About Employee Engagement

Posted on July 20, 2015 by Don MacPherson.

Modern Survey recently wrapped up the Spring 2015 US Workforce Employee Engagement Study. In it, we determined how employees feel about their organizations, their leaders, and their individual sense of future at work. The study revealed 10 things that every HR professional and business leader needs to know about the mindset of their employees.

1. Engagement is still high. In the eight years Modern Survey has been measuring engagement of the U.S. workforce, the level of “Fully Engaged” employees is at the second highest point (at 14%) that we have ever seen. It is just lower than Fall 2014 when it was 16%. The level of “Disengaged” employees is also low in comparative terms at 23%. The only lower point was 22% during Fall 2014. Continue reading »

Are Your Job Descriptions Hurting Engagement?

Posted on April 17, 2015 by Don MacPherson.

Do you have any “prisoners” among your workforce? These are the employees who are disengaged but who have little motivation to either improve or find another job. Continue reading »

Build a Culture of Recognition to Avoid Employing “Prisoners”

Posted on April 10, 2015 by Don MacPherson.

Does your company have a culture of recognition? Companies that do not are at greater risk of having disengaged employees. Some disengaged employees may turn into “prisoners” — those who have little incentive to improve their performance and are not interested in finding other work. Continue reading »


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