“Rumor has it you got advisor of the year. Congratulations.”

This was a sterile email I received from my boss in 2008.  I still wonder why my boss didn’t walk the 50 feet from her office, to my office, to personally congratulate me on this statewide award. Well, I actually know why. I worked in a toxic, penal environment. Keep your mouth shut. Do what you are told. Unless of course you want your name on “the list”.

I saw a post recently on LinkedIn by Jenna Kutcher. Jenna asked: I’m curious…what five things couldn’t you live without?

Of course, I immediately commented because it was such a fun post: delicious food, dogs, family, friends, and learning (in alphabetical order, not order of importance). This got me thinking … what can’t employees live without in 2020? Believe it or not, it’s not dogs, wiener dogs, or puppies!

With a little Google searching I found a great article by Darshana Dutta of Vantage Circle. I’d like to explore three of these needs from my vantage point as a communication consultant who champions employee engagement.

Photo credit: deposit photos

PEOPLE-FIRST CULTURE. Employees need to feel cared for and respected by every level in the organization. Based on the research I did for my book G Factor: 8 Secrets to Increasing Your Gravitational Pull at Work, one of the characteristics needed for healthy workplace relationships is GENEROSITY – showing kindness and concern. For some this all seems too touchy-feely, but let’s consider the science behind kindness. There is a biochemical impact to kindness; the dopamine in our brain increases and we experience a natural high. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?! So, what are you doing to make others feel cared for and respected?

WORK-LIFE HARMONY. Employees need flexibility to manage the complexities of the current times.  Harvard Business School released these study results in September: “An analysis of the emails and meetings of 3.1 million people in 16 global cities found that the average workday increased by 8.2 percent—or 48.5 minutes—during the pandemic’s early weeks.” What are you doing to promote flexibility for more work-life harmony?

WORKPLACE WELLNESS.  Dutta wrote, “Health has a direct correlation with the productivity and performance level of employees.” Dutta is correct! Scour the internet and you will find a plethora of articles and research studies to support this (e.g., Population Health Management, Corporate Wellness Magazine, Forbes). Did you know Gallup estimates employee disengagement costs the US economy about $350 billion per year?! How many of those dollars is your company losing? What are you doing to promote employee wellness?


  1. What are you doing to make others feel cared for and respected?
  2. What are you doing to promote flexibility for more work-life harmony?
  3. What are you doing to promote employee wellness?

The time is now. Workplace trends show us that employees are suffering. Don’t let them live without the things they need.

*Special note: thank you to my very own model – my wiener dog Merlot.

For more on employee engagement, check these out:

Are your employees disengaged?

Reasons disengaged employees cost $$