Posts By: Warren Tanner

filed under Engagement


How to Set Goals on Purpose

The SoapBox Goal Setting Guide (with worksheets!) came to life in the summer of 2016, as part of our annual company retreat to Algonquin Park. One of the things we wanted to do at the retreat was put some focus on the personal development and growth of our employees.

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filed under Vertical Collaboration


How Employee Feedback is Like the Corporate Information Nervous System

Our central nervous system plays a critical role in sending important information from the body to the brain. The brain, in turn, sends information back to the body to take the appropriate action.  This feedback loop between body and brain is critical to an organism’s survival. Similarly, organizations need important information to flow between employees and leadership. This feedback is also critical to the organization’s survival. However, this is largely broken in many mid to large sized organizations.  Read more

filed under Engagement


Engaging and Motivating Employees: Reward vs Recognition

The challenge of motivating employees to perform to their full potential is one that every workplace faces. Managers can feel that their staff would be more productive if they were more committed, while employees typically feel overworked and undervalued. So what are the best methods to increase employee engagement and encourage them to bring their full selves to work every day? Looking specifically at rewards or recognition, which is better? The answer of course is that it depends.

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filed under Innovation


What Innovation Actually Means

When was the last time you saw the word innovation? Ten minutes ago? The fact is, there are many different types of innovation but they’ve all been bucketed into one big category. In other words, many people struggle with what innovation means.

We’re here to help.

We believe that ideas fall on a scale that looks like this: Read more

filed under Vertical Collaboration


Why Your Paradigm for Collaboration is Wrong

Every company wants its people to work together towards the company’s goals. In an earlier post, we suggested that it’s very difficult to create high performance teams by dissecting attributes of great teams because teams and organizations are complex systems. The solution is to not just try to recreate the characteristics of high performing teams, but also to look at the big picture and leverage something called systems thinking. One of these big picture things is that our concept of working together is part of the problem. We tend to think of collaboration as a horizontal phenomenon. While this is true, it is incomplete. What is missing is the concept of working together vertically throughout the company, which requires a new way of thinking. But before we dive into collaboration, let’s take a step back and talk about teamwork. Read more

filed under Engagement


Make Accountability a Core Part of Your Culture

Accountability in the workplace is something every manager wants to have. Accountability has a clear link to higher work performance, but experts indicate that it also results in improved competency and commitment to work, increased employee morale, and work satisfaction (Source: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management). It’s also known to improve creativity and innovation because the employee is more invested in the future of the organization.lack_accountability

However, according to a study (Source: AMA Enterprise, 2013), leaders recognize a significant lack of accountability on the part of employees. In fact, 21 percent of respondents stated that unaccountable employees make up 30-50 percent of their workforce.

What exactly is accountability in the workplace, and why is it essential to high performance? What can leaders do to make accountability part of their organization’s culture?

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filed under Engagement


The Two Types of Employee Engagement

If you were to sit in during one of the many leadership meetings held throughout the year in almost any organization, one key topic that you would undoubtedly hear time again is “employee engagement.” Plenty has been written about the topic, and we have all heard just how great it is and how costly disengagement can be. Organizations are aware that, at best, only one-third of their current employees are engaged and that they could be doing more.

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