Month: February 2020

Ending Human Trafficking with Employee Engagement with Gabrielle Thompson

As far as titles go, the above might be slightly melodramatic. Nevertheless, it’s one hundred percent valid.

In a recent podcast with Gabrielle Thompson, CEO of Free for Life International, we had the opportunity to discuss how her organization’s mission is the identification, assistance, and restoration of victims and survivors of human trafficking. (Before we get any further into this article, please consider making a donation at their website.) No one would argue that their goal is an ambitious and noble one. It’s also a very difficult, multifaceted plight to tackle. There are several different areas of focus that could be leveraged in order to make progress, but all of them share a central, common resource – they all require people to get it done.

On the spectrum of types employees an organization like Free for Life would want to aide them in their mission to end human trafficking, they don’t want people showing up just for a paycheck. Too many organizations settle for employees who are just there to get paid. Worse yet, by and large, it’s the fault of the organization.

Free for Life has a very strong and clear mission. Because of the strength and clarity of that mission, they know exactly what they are looking for when they hire new people. They’re looking for candidates who share that same passion for freedom. This simple onboarding lens allows Free for Life to make sure that they are not hiring the wrong type of people into their organization.

Thousands of people have been rescued through the efforts of Free for Life. These rescues did not occur because of a group of employees who are apathetic about the overall success of the company.

Freedom happened because their employees are engaged.

Most organizations don’t have the same caliber of cause to rally behind but that doesn’t mean that don’t have any cause at all. If companies want passionate, engaged employees, then they themselves need to be passionate and engaged in a clear, understandable mission.

To hear more about how Free for Life uses their powerful mission to engage its employees, please visit Forging Employee Experience. If you’d like to connect with Gabrielle and hear more about the work they are doing reach, out to them at

Once again, please consider donating via their website.

Eureka! How to Create an Award-winning Culture with Dr. Laura Wendt

We’re all very familiar with the phrase “the customer is always right.” So familiar, that no one could use it in a legitimate business scenario and be taken seriously. We’ve heard it so many times that it’s lost its value. Which, objectively speaking, is a shame because the statement is a powerful one. While an individual customer is certainly capable of being wrong, if a quorum of customers is offering feedback, we should listen – whether we want to hear it or not.

The same effect has occurred with the notion of Company Culture. Executive and staff alike roll their eyes at the topic of this amorphous notion. Again, tragedy has struck! Simply because so many people have been harping on it for so long and most of them have been completely clueless about how to effect change that does not mean this concept likes value. In fact, those that ignore it, do so at the peril of their own success.

Company culture is the lifeblood of an organization. It describes the how each employee connects with the organization on an emotional level. The best success a company with poor culture can hope for is the summation of the lowest performance potential of each employee. Work will still get done. Carrots and sticks are still very effective motivators. However, if a company wants to do more with less, then they will take the status of their company’s culture very seriously.

In a recent podcast with Dr Laura Wendt. She compared a groups ability to excel to porcupines huddling together for warmth. She explained that when a group of porcupines comes together to survive cold climates, they must be conscious of the effect their having on the group. If their group is agitated than there will be a great deal of uncomfortable poking and quilling. However, if in an attempt to see to the groups best interest, each porcupine avoids bristling its quills, the end result will be a prickle of porcupines that enjoys each other’s company and makes it through the cold climate. To hear the rest of the podcast, visit Forging Employee Experience. To connect with Dr Laura Wendt, feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn.

Fundamental to increased group performance is the social and emotional well-being of that group. This concept is the backbone to the trite term Company Culture. Though frequently used and rarely acted upon, company culture is a hugely critical element to the success and profitability of any organization.

Twitter: @Laura_R_Wendt