Are Your Employees Engaged?

Jathan Janove spent 25 years litigating workplace relationships that had turned toxic. He then switched from “firefighting” to “fire prevention,” and now as a coach and trainer, works with employers to improve employee performance, accountability and engagement.

Jathan is Director of Employee Engagement Solutions of Ogletree Deakins, one of the nation’s three largest labor and employment law firms. He is an internationally published author who has written Managing to Stay Out of Court: How to Avoid the 8 Deadly Sins of Mismanagement, (co-published by SHRM), which the late Dr. Stephen R. Covey described as “Marvelous! Every manager will benefit immensely,” and which Richard Drezen of the Washington Post described as “an extraordinarily useful book for managers and workers.” Jathan is also author of The Star Profile: A Management Tool to Unleash Employee Potential, a Gold Medal winner at Book Expo America 2009.

Jathan tweets @jathanjanove and writes a blog on employee engagement, which can be found on his firm’s website:

He is also Editor of the SHRM-Ogletree Deakins book series on HR and employment law.

See Jathan’s bio on the Ogletree Deakins website.

If you’d like to receive Jathan’s weekly e-letter (stories, best practices tips & selected video clips), please sign up here:

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For the past 23 years, Ken Couch, R. Ph., has been President of Smith Drug Company, the sixth largest pharmaceutical distributor in the U.S. with $2.4 billion in annual sales. Retiring this month, Couch shares important lessons he’s learned about creating a productive and engaged workplace.
Michelle P. Wimes, Esq., is the Director of Professional Development & Inclusion at Ogletree Deakins, an international labor and employment law firm representing management. In my interview with her, Wimes describes the strategic action plan she developed and implemented after joining the firm in January 2011. Her plan has three fundamental aspects: Vision, Foundation and Success Modeling.
J. Hamilton (Jimmie) Stewart, III has practiced labor and employment law for nearly five decades and helped found Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. In my interview with him, Stewart shares insights on how even seemingly small employee relations gestures can make a big difference.
In my 25 years as an employment litigator, it struck me how often performance reviews were used against the employers that created them. Indeed, in all of the cases I handled as a management-side attorney, I can’t recall a single instance when a performance review helped defeat an employee’s claim. In my other blog, I […]
Charlotte Miller is a former state bar president, corporate general counsel, chief administrative officer and global chief human resource officer. In her career, she has been involved in planning and carrying out over 5,000 employee terminations. Yet not a single one has resulted in a lawsuit. Currently Senior Vice President of People & Great Work […]

When verbally attacked, how do you respond? Fight? – You return fire.Flight? – You retreat or grow quiet. You may answer, “It depends.” If it’s your boss, an important client or customer, or someone in a position of authority or importance, you might say “flight.” If it’s someone else, you might say, “fight.” There’s a better option than either fight or flight. It involves applying a verbal form of the Japanese martial art Aikido.

Have you had this experience? You need to choose a course of action. Yet you wrestle with whether to run it by your boss first. You think, “Maybe she’ll say ‘yes.’ But maybe she’ll say ‘no,’ which will frustrate me. Or maybe she’ll say … nothing. I’ll be left in limbo, which is even worse than ‘no.’”

Tom Robertson, Ph.D. specializes in organization development and has worked on major projects throughout the world. The former Director of Engineering and Chief Scientist at Lockheed Martin, Tom now works with companies through his consulting firm Thinking Teams. Recently, I interviewed Tom on the topic of project leadership and alignment.

For six years, Sue Meisinger served as president & CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), the world’s largest HR organization. She now consults on human resource management and writes a column on HR leadership for Human Resource Executive Online. In my interview of her, Meisinger weighs in on HR’s complaint of not getting a “seat at the table.”

In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins shares research showing that the most effective leaders combine humility with strong personal will. I’ve been fortunate to know such a leader, Homer L. Deakins, Jr. When Deakins became Managing Partner (equivalent to CEO), Ogletree Deakins was a relatively small southeast law firm. Under his leadership, the firm created an entrepreneurial culture and expanded throughout the country. It has now grown to over 750 attorneys in 46 cities across North America and Europe. In our interview, Deakins discusses the importance of humility in effective leadership. Here are his principal observations.

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