Employee Engagement Can Drive Success: Jeff Dunn, Campus Relations Manager/Senior Recruiter for Intel Corporation and Kevin Kruse, New York Times Best-Selling Author and Keynote Speaker on Leadership

Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – Talent Talk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  Talent Talk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues like employee engagement. 


Today’s guests are Jeff Dunn, Campus Relations Manager/Senior Recruiter for Intel Corporation; and Kevin Kruse, New York Times Best-Selling Author and Keynote Speaker on Leadership.  To hear the entire show, click here.  As each of these leaders can attest, real employee engagement can drive business successes and even profit.

JEFF DUNN Employee Engagement

Working in corporate recruiting work for 20 years, Dunn currently manages Intel’s relationship with two universities. Beyond technical acumen and GPA, when qualifying Intel prospects, adequate interpersonal skills really narrows the field. Additional skills that make a good fit at Intel include: analytics, creative problem-solving, resourcefulness, good team mindset and effective communication.

Three Tips for College Grads

Intel’s internal marketing pitch indicates, “Welcome to your next 10 careers,” because there is so much opportunity to move around within the organization. But, to take advantage of such opportunities, Dunn encourages young professionals to:

  • Stay current with their skills to stay sharp technically and professionally,
  • Build their networks so they have a bigger sphere of influence, and
  • Find a mentor.

Personally, Dunn enjoys helping people with job search strategies. “If I can help people, they are going to think positively of me and my association of Intel, and maybe they will refer someone to me,” comments Dunn.

Brainstorming in the Cold

Dunn believes that brainstorming suffers if people come to the meeting cold. At Intel, there is “always some pre-work that goes out beforehand…so that we are ready to actively engage in the discussion.” He also believes diverse perspectives are key. “If you have a diversity of ideas, you are likely to make better decisions.”

To get the most out of every employee, Dunn encourages the practice of sitting down with employees each quarter to talk about how they are doing and where they want to go in their careers, and then mapping that discussion to career opportunities. At Intel, this involves a small amount of classroom time, mentorship and on-the-job training. The latter can take the form of either assignments that complement an employee’s core skills or volunteering at a company event or function the employee is considering taking on.

What are You Reading?

Dunn is reading Switchby Chip Heath and Dan Heath on “how to deal with change…from the head and from the heart.”

How Can I Connect with You? Via LinkedIn is the best way to connect.

KEVIN KRUSE Employee Engagement

In the last year, Kruse —  a New York Times best-selling author –

launched the 4th edition of book Employee Engagement 2.0and Employee Engagement for Everyone.” He is not an expert in HR, however. Instead, he is a small business leader who discovered the power of employee engagement at work throughout his experiences. This led Kruse on a journey of researching the science behind engagement and then simplifying the story for “people like me,” says Kruse, who are running small businesses.

Employee Engagement Secret Sauce

After analyzing surveys from 10 million employees across numerous countries with a team of organizational psychologists, three elements were identified as correlating to more than 70 percent of how we feel at work:

  • Growth – learning new things and being challenges,
  • Recognition – feeling appreciated, and
  • Trust – confidence in the future, the security of the job and the leadership driving toward the corporate vision.

Beyond that, “Most of how we feel about our job comes from our relationship with our boss.” Managers can make or break our experiences.

A key step organizations forget is tracking. “If you want something to improve, you should measure it,” reminds Kruse. Most leaders conduct the survey, come up with a few ideas, and stop there. Instead, organizations should share that data back down with managers to share with their teams, and get ideas and feedback from all levels of the organization. “Letting the ideas, the solutions, come from the grassroots, that’s how you drive great engagement scores.”

As far as measurement tools available, he recommends larger organizations employ vendors such as Kenexa, Mercer or Gallup to help track engagement. Smaller companies can use free online survey software such as SurveyMonkey and leverage the employee engagement questions from books such as “Employee Engagement 2.0.” For even smaller organizations, one-on-one employee meetings can also be effective.

2020 Vision

“The employees need to know where they are going and then have some confidence to know there is a plan to get there and how they fit in,” says Kruse on organizational goals. Of note, he asserts that the key for leadership is to simplify organizational goals and repeat it often. Coca-Cola boiled down their entire corporate strategy to two words — “2020 Vision” — to communicate that they want to double their revenue by the year 2020 and shared that message with even the most junior of employees.

In the absence of the corporate leadership doing this, mid-level managers should be empowered to do it for their own teams, coming up with memorable rallying cries and creating a feeling of confidence along the way.

Picnics are not Engagement

Only one in three workers is engaged at work, according to several surveys. Meanwhile, studies also cite that true engagement leads to higher profits and higher stock price. So why the disconnect? “Unfortunately at the C-level there is lots of misconception” that engagement is about keeping employees happy through bonuses, picnics and casual Fridays. “Engagement isn’t happiness. Engagement is an emotional commitment to the organization. There is a big difference.”

What are You Reading?

Kruse is reading Business Secrets of the Trappist Monksby August Turak about embracing authenticity as business leaders.

How Can I Connect with You? Via www.kevinkruse.com or on LinkedIn.

Tune into the show next week, and remember, do what you love….and show the world how talented you can be, today.

Air Date: March 4, 2014