Employee Engagement is Key for William Tincup, CEO of Tincup and Co. and Kevin Howard, CEO of I.C.G. Inc.

Date: December 10, 2013

To hear the entire show, click http://tiny.cc/podcast_tincup_howard

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.  Employee engagement is important to any successful company when it wants to retain and motivate its employees. 

Today’s guests are William Tincup, CEO of Tincup and Co.; and Kevin Howard, CEO of I.C.G. Inc. 

Whether as a candidate or as an employee, having a vision for what you want to do and where you want to go is crucial, according to both of today’s guests. As a leader, it is your responsibility to understand this vision, and help your employees foster it – even if it lives outside of the official duties of their job – so long as it contributes positively to the company.

WILLIAM TINCUP william tincup

As a consultant to the HR vendor community, Tincup “serves the layer that markets to HR,” a role he excels at having worked as an HR professional himself earlier in his career. Tincup speaks at several HR conferences, is a prolific writer and has a daily podcast, “Drive Thru HR.”

With 22,000 different HR and recruiting software in play today, Tincup fell in love with the idea of how to get people to use HR software, and more so, how to get businesses to want to use the software. He argues that software adoption should be a conversation that’s had in tandem with the contract negotiations.

Fistful of Talent

Kris Dunn founded Fistful of Talent to create a forum for “irreverent and relevant” HR perspectives that break out of stale content approaches prevalent in HR today. As a contributor to this forum, Tincup says: “I am the status quo buster…because I want people to think.”

Commenting on the tendency to gravitate toward more generic articles in the press, Tincup proposes that, “We should stop looking for the ‘3 things’ that solve anything…because maybe we’re the problem.” He believes that 90 percent of blog content in the industry today focuses on the shortcomings of HR. “What HR doesn’t need is more content like that.”

Employee Engagements

Tincup places tremendous value in social media platforms. HR professionals have various audiences they need to understand and respond to, from employees to executives to job candidates. “The failure in HR is we don’t think about the plurality, that different people need different things. We can respond better if we open ourselves up to these multiple mediums.”

“I learn every single day. If you’re open to it, you can learn everywhere from everyone. So [social media is] just a new place to learn…HR should stop fearing it,” Tincup continues.

What are You Reading?

Transitioning away from business books for the moment, Tincup is reading classic from Hemingway and Wilde.

How Can I Connect with You? On Twitter at @williamtincup or via LinkedIn.


Though his early career involved roles with major finance firms, Howard decided to start I.C.G. as a business consulting firm that has today morphed into a full-service digital media firm.

Recently recognized on Inc.’s “Fastest-Growing Companies” list, I.C.G. has grown more than 300 percent each year for the past three years. Howard believes the key to their success comes from a strong focus on internal communications and employee engagement. “It allows us to be uber-efficient across all fronts,” offers Howard. For instance, the staff sits on wheeled chairs so they can easily move and collaborate in the open office setting.

From Setback to Step Up

Howard believes his most important leadership trait is determination, a lesson he learned at a young age having hailed from humble beginnings. Hand in hand with this is the ability to recover from setbacks and failures. “The successes haven’t brought me to where I’m at; it’s the failures.”

When it comes to hiring talent, Howard leans on two guiding principles:

  1. “Hire folks for the role; don’t try to fit people into roles.”
  2. “We want staff members to have a vision of where they are going in life and where they want to be. If you can’t see your end goal, you’re never going to get there.”

To keep talent engaged once aboard, Howard ensures his staff have the learning opportunities to stay on top of the quickly-evolving digital landscape. He has also deliberately created a culture of employee engagement which includes healthy internal competition that has resulted in very little follow-up needed on the part of leaders and directors to the staff at large.

Green with Creativity

When the creative juices need to flow, the I.C.G. team can be found jotting down ideas on the walls throughout the office or using one of several rooms – one painted in a stimulating bright green – designed to engender creativity. From a process perspective, Howard makes sure to include cross-departmental representation in any brainstorm. After the session, ideas are narrowed down to the best two or three, and those are then taken to the public for external feedback before being presented to a client.

What are You Reading?

Howard uses literature to transport him away from the business world.

How Can I Connect with You? Visit www.icginfo.com, find him on LinkedIn, or Twitter, @ICGInfoCEO.

Employee engagement ensures that employees are engaged and invested in the organizations goals and values.  Through employee engagement, employees that are engaged are motivated to contribute to organizational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being.

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