November 15, 2016 in Career, Power of Positivity, Relationships

Increase Employee Engagement

Increase Employee Engagement


The room is dark, but I know there are 400 HR Professionals out there waiting to be inspired.  As I step on stage, I realize they have gathered here to find out ways they can improve retention in their corporations.  And after the turnover recently experienced, they want something they can use NOW.  

“What is the #1 motivator in the workplace?” I begin.  

Instantly I hear many different voices shout “MONEY!” which is the answer I most often get.  However, a quick web search will show APPRECIATION actually tops that list.  Employees want to be acknowledged for their successes, as well as for their efforts in the face of failures.  

But what does Appreciation look like on the ground level?

Here is a simple 4 step guide how to show appreciation:

  1. Identify the Situation – This is an opportunity to single out an employee and be very specific about what they are doing that is making a positive impact on the team, the project, or even the bottom line. In this example “Jackson” has been perusing small town on-line newspapers to try to discover ways that his company “Community Crew” (a start-up that creates and curates local Virtual Community Centers) can spotlight young people who are making a positive influence on their respective communities.  
  2. Describethe Behaviors –  What is the employee specifically doing that is making a difference.  In this case Jackson is taking 20 minutes out of every morning to search through the “Online Search” results he has put in place.  Once he finds a relevant story about a young person doing good in one of the Client Communities, he sends a brief write up (with photo if possible) to the Content Manager of that area’s Virtual Community Center. 
  3. Share the Impact – Here is where the magic happens.  Let the employee know exactly how their initiative has been making a positive difference. This is especially powerful if you share your praise publicly, as it will magnify the positive impact on Jackson as well as inspire the rest of the team. 
  4. Thank the Employee. 

So the entire conversation looks this:

“(1) Hey Jackson, can I chat with you for a moment about the on-line searching you have been doing around positive youth projects in our client communities?  

(2) The way you identify these outstanding young people and summarize what they are doing, makes it so easy for the Content Manager to quickly feature them as outstanding members in the Virtual Community Center.  The speed with which we are able to share good news like this makes it relevant on a daily basis.  

(3) The impact is our Virtual Community Center engagement numbers are up 17% with the majority listing the positive youth spotlights as the main reason they log in every day.  Another impact is that more youth are actively seeking opportunities to make a positive difference and several are sharing best practices across the areas.

(4) Thank you for the work you are doing and the way it is helping our Virtual Community Centers and the residents they serve!” 

This conversation takes all of two minutes, costs absolutely zero dollars, and is the single most effective way to increase employee engagement and workplace optimism and happiness. 

Oh, and wait until you see the power it has at home! 

August 30, 2016 in Career, Motivation/ Go. Be. Do!, Speaking, Success/ Achievement


Ninety degrees. Blazing sun. High humidity and no breeze. Now add to that hours of jogging, sprinting and kicking, and you have a summer weekend with a U12 travel soccer player.

Yesterday, I watched the boys perform better than anyone could expect under such grueling conditions, and up against one of the top teams in the state. Yet, the result was a demotivating 3-5 loss and a lot of downturned eyes.

As Becket slumped toward me to head home, the coach called out and motioned him over. One of the players from the team below ours was out and did he want to fill in? He did, and went on to play two more games that day in the same conditions. However at the end he was skipping and laughing.

Because he was asked to join the B Team that day, Becket was one of the strongest players on the pitch, and was able to score the first goal and assist several others. He was the big fish in the small pond. And he was loving it.

Sometimes life can kick us when we are down and we may find ourselves on the receiving end of a proverbial defeat. You didn’t win the work, you were passed up for promotion, your calendar is empty.

When this happens, join the B Team to jump start your success! Get out and offer your services to those who would normally not be able to afford you, or volunteer your talents for someone who is truly in need. When you have the opportunity to serve, and to be on the receiving end of that gratitude it will result in a renewed spirit and maybe a few new ideas.

Sulking on the sidelines is the best way to feel worse. When things are dark, light a spark, and suit up to serve. Action steps will move you forward so that when the whistle blows to start the next challenge on your A Team, you will be ready, willing and able to give it your very best shot.

And regardless of the score, that is how you win at life.

January 16, 2014 in Success/ Achievement

IMG_2786 - Version 2


Weather changes on a dime, but often we are fortunate enough to have a forecast of what is coming.

Life is not so predictable.  Often, change comes out of nowhere.

I posted a blog on Motivational Speakers Review that may help you think about what you can be doing NOW that will help later…

Read it here:   Plan Tomorrow, Today – Tami Evans



January 6, 2014 in Blog, Success/ Achievement

Don’t Sprint a Marathon


You’ve probably seen the sticker, and chances are you know someone who actually earned the sticker.  26.2  This number represents the amount of miles run to complete a marathon.  It takes the average marathon runner 4 ½ hours to do it.

As a runner… well, a slogger (slow + jogger)…  my sticker would only read 3 which is the number of miles I am able to complete a few times per week – and it takes me about 30 minutes.  But even on my relatively short shuffle, I have to pace myself – If I tried to run my 3 miles in 15 minutes, I would fail.

So, you know that bright shiny feeling of power you feel facing this new year?  Perhaps you named a few new behaviors you were excited about incorporating?  You feel full of potential and able to achieve your most elusive goal?

Pace yourself.

The positive changes most of us want to incorporate are BIG changes – otherwise we would have made them on a random Tuesday last November.  And big changes are like a marathon.  You can’t sprint a marathon.  Don’t expect to hit mile markers every day, every week even, but do keep moving toward the finish line.

If you start to feel the familiar urge to chuck it all and revert back to old habits, or think “Holy wha!  Look at the pile of stuff on my to-do list, how did I think I would have time to make a change?!?”   Please don’t give up the race.    Rather, step off to the side for a quick slug of water and a hamstring stretch.  Then take a deep breath and get back in there, moving forward, slowly one step at a time.  Even if you find yourself back at the starting line – keep starting!

It may take all 52 weeks to complete your goal or institute your positive behavior change.  So what if it takes all year?  At the end of 52 weeks you will have achieved a major accomplishment.  Which is a heck of a lot more than you will achieve if you step out of the race because it takes longer than you would like.

You decided on this positive change for YOU.  Don’t let anyone or anything muck up your marathon.  Now, lace up and let’s get going!


November 8, 2013 in Relationships, Uncategorized

Team Building With Soul

“ARE YOU OUT of your MIND?!?    I TOLD you to STAY AWAY from the MUD PUDDLE!!!”

The most shocking thing about the stressed out Dad shouting these words and dragging his now wet and muddy (and smiling) four-year-old son across the grass is not the intensity with which he is yelling, but that he actually seems genuinely surprised by the boy’s actions.

It is a mud puddle.  He is a small boy.  They were MADE for each other.  Right?

I am watching an absolutely perfect fall day soccer game in which my son is playing.  My attention is focused on his every dribble and kick.  But when he is on the sidelines, I find myself checking in with mud puddle dad.

As a motivational speaker I am constantly on the lookout for real world examples of the content I share.  In this situation I see that the reason the dad is so shocked by his son’s behavior is because he doesn’t really know the boy.  When he is not reprimanding, he is completely engrossed in his phone or a conversation with another dad.  He is honestly expecting his son to be behaving in a way that is completely outside of the parameters of his natural tendencies – because he doesn’t understand what those tendencies are.

(Now this is not a blog about parenting, although I would love to remind this dad of the saying that when you are 7 life travels at 7 miles per hour, when you are 30, 30 miles per hour, 65, 65 miles per hour – and I would add that precious time with a growing child travels at warp speed.)

This IS a blog about connecting with those around you and really understanding what makes them tick.  It is especially true if you are a manager of people, domestic engineer of a household, or in any position where you are able to direct people and their responsibilities.  If you understand what the people around you are passionate about, you can give them more opportunities to work on projects that align with their interests.

If there is someone in your world who likes to roll up their sleeves and get dirty, assign them projects that involve hands-on tasks.  Someone who is addicted to facebook, put them in charge of all your social media.  Someone who always has a colorful desk and a quick one-liner, send them toward marketing.

There are now several books about this kind of strength-based team building, but the bottom line is if you give people responsibilities that involve what they love to do, everyone will be happier, healthier and more productive. 

So if you have a puddle jumper in your world, do not try to keep them dry.  Instead give them a good set of welly boots and make sure you have a change of clothes on hand.  Then let them jump and splash and generally rejoice in the task they are given to achieve.


February 12, 2013 in Blog, Communication

Social Media?  Oh crap, are you still here?!?  I thought we agreed.  You would make a splashy entrance, I would be one of the first to dip my toe into your choppy waters, and then you would be on your way, leaving me to get back to my real networking tools; phone calls, postcards and palm-pressing parties.   Clearly, you did not get the memo.   What is that, your suitcase? *sigh* I guess you’re here to stay.

I did jump into Social Media early… I had a “My Space” Page… ’nuff said.   And it has been a bumpy ride – The whole Private Message vs. Wall Posting thing really threw me… and provided many opportunities to practice diplomacy.   Social Media has changed the game when it comes to keeping in touch with old friends, and finding new ones who share your interests.  It also has become a powerful tool in business development.  Just like drinking water and eating vegetables, you may not perish without, but your business will be a lot healthier and happier if it is part of your daily diet!

As a National Public Speaker and Writer, I work from home.   And while my usual business attire comprised of yoga pants is nice, it can be isolating.  With Social Media, I can take a break and instantly feel connected to the outside world as well as my “tribe.”  The downside, of course, is if I fall into The Wormhole and “wake up” two hours later having achieved nothing more than a cyber-stalking session of all my old crushes.  C’mon… you’ve done it.

So, how do we navigate the world of Social Media without sacrificing our precious time and energy?  Here is your easy-peasy guide to getting on board the Social Media Train, without derailing your day.

SOCIAL STARTER:  1. Sign up for a Facebook Page.  This is one of the easiest and most user-friendly Social Media sites out there.  You will be amazed at how quickly you will find friends, fans and future clients.  At this level, just get your profile photo uploaded and have a look around at what everyone is up to.  After a while, comment after someone else’s post, “like” a few, and when you feel ready, go ahead and let the world know what’s new with your business, what’s on sale at your shop this week, or how excited you are for the new season of SMASH (oh wait, that’s me.)

NOTE:  Make sure to enter your birthdate in your profile – getting all those messages is just the BEST.

Time Saving Tip:  Post two times per day; Beginning of workday (for daily news or specials) and End of workday (for tomorrow’s news or specials).  Read and respond to all your posts after the end of your workday ONLY.

SOCIAL SURFER:  2. You are up and riding the Social waves, updating your status and posting photos.  It’s time to Twitter, Baby!  For your Twitter Handle (Name) choose your name or the name of your business.  This way people can find you easily.  Search for your friends and fans and follow them – also follow back anyone who follows you (first check they are a real person and not a SpamBot).  A Hashtag (#) is like a clubhouse people build to hang out with others who are interested in the same event or topic.  For instance the Young Professionals Conference this year could be #YP13.  For a smile, check out tags like #happy.

NOTE:  Everything you EVER Tweet is recorded in the Library of Congress, and ANYONE can read what you Tweet even if they are not following you.  Tweeting is like changing into your bathing suit in the middle of a crowded beach – It’s fun to go swimming, but you want to make sure you feel comfortable about what people might see.

Time Saving Tip:  Post two times per day; Beginning of workday and Middle of workday.  Have one person in your business responsible for checking your Twitter account five times per day – and respond immediately to any client questions or comments.

SOCIAL SMOOTHIE:  3. You are now ready for LinkedIn.  The magic of this Social Media tool is that you can belong to groups that are related to or interested in you and your business.  You can also ask your connections for references and use those as testimonials other places in your marketing.

Time Saving Tip:  Join and post to many groups that share similar interests as your business, however, do not have the General Post Feed from these sites linked to your email in-box. 

Remember as you journey though the world of technology and Social Media, in order to get through the awkward start-up phase, you just have to go through it.  Everyone feels a bit wonky the first time they use a new technology – but through a little trial and error, you will be up and running in no time.  Time Saving Tip:  Find the nearest 14-year-old and ask them to help you – offer them a visit to Pinkberry or iTunes credit as a bribe. 

The most important thing to remember about every Social Media interaction is that it only works if you engage with people.  Don’t think “sell”, think “give things away”.  Make what you post meaningful.  Here is a sure-fire Social Media Success Formula – ask yourself if your post is at least three of these things: Helpful, Useful, Informative, Relevant, Practical, Actionable, Timely, Generous, Credible, Brief, Entertaining, Fun, Occasionally funny.

So get off the shore and jump on in.  It’s really not that scary and you might find you even “Like” it.  See you on line!

Editors Note:  Tami Evans is a Speaker, Writer and Recovering People Pleaser.  Visit her Social Media-ly at: Evans Speaker,,  

She’s happy to help with any Social Media questions… no frozen yogurt required!