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Even the Best Quarterback Needs to Hear the Truth!

We all have at least one player who doesn’t mind sitting on the bench… the employee who comes to work Monday through Friday completely disconnected, uninterested and without a sense of enthusiasm for the work he or she performs. The employee has checked out – essentially given up his or her starting position on the team – without actually leaving the firm.

This phenomenon began approximately five years ago when the economy tanked, and as a result, we continue scratching our heads and wondering how in the world we can re-engage our employees during these challenging times. Shari Harley of Candid Culture, one of this year’s incredibly talented conference speakers, dubs this the “Quit & Stay Phenomenon.”

I first heard Shari Harley speak several years ago at a seminar in Omaha. Her overall message was simple: practice candor at your workplace. (I have since then attended many of her ALA presentations and every time walk away with something new.) In her weekly blogs, Harley delivers tips and best practices for making difficult conversations easy. The messages emphasize the point that direct, open and honest communication is the key to retaining engaged and committed employees.

Most research supports this as well. Successful leaders take the time to interact with and provide continual feedback to their staff throughout the year, rather than only once a year during performance evaluations. Can you imagine how quickly the quality of athletes would decline if coaches waited until the end of the season to give feedback?  “Hey, Peyton, I’m going to give you a 5 on your ability to read the defense, but only a 2 on mobility. Keep that in mind for next season, okay?” Of course that would be an ineffective way to coach a team. After each game, the coaches review film, evaluate the players’ performance and talk to the players about adjustments they need to make before the next game. Shouldn’t we do the same as managers?

Join Harley’s session, “Avoid the Quit & Stay Phenomenon: Engage Your Best Employees,”  at the 2014 Annual Conference on Tuesday, May 20th at 10:15 a.m. to develop the coaching skills you will need to keep your employees on their A game.



Shari Harley is known globally as an engaging, funny, content-rich business speaker. A former HR practitioner and operations leader, her practical approach has led her to speak and train in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Dubai and Australia. Watch videos and learn more about her at

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