Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

Linda Holroyd

Everyone, thank you for joining this afternoon's Front Line Managers' Online meeting on the Building Engagement topic. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
  • Enable, Measure and Report on outcomes, Linda Holroyd, FountainBlue
  • Optimize the Employee Experience, Tammy Sanders, Lam Research
  • Walk the Talk, Talk the Walk, Preethy Padmanabhan, Freshworks
  • Be Aligned on a Corporate Purpose Which Resonates in the Market and with the Staff, Roxanne Dos Santos, Samsung
Below are some thoughts on how to pivot and manage your goals.

Engagement is the great differentiator - companies which engage their people are much more likely to succeed.
Of course, you have to be in the right market, have the right leaders and products, have that diverse team, etc., but even if you have all that, if you can't engage your people, it's much more difficult to succeed.
We were fortunate to have some fun, diverse and experienced panelists speak to the topic, and share their wisdom and ideas, which are synopsized below.

Have a Diverse and Inclusive Leadership Team
  • Model the behavior you seek, the leaders you've admired.
  • Say what you'll do, do what you say.
  • Involve everyone, even when it doesn't feel comfortable sometimes to do so.
  • Be open, authentic, transparent, consistent and sincere in your communications.
  • Don't expect to be perfect, but do be clear in your communications, taking responsibility when things don't go as planned, and learning and correcting behaviors and practices.
  • Align your diversity and inclusive efforts around corporate values. 
How to be more fair/focus on meritocracy
  • Measure to help ensure hiring, development, promotions are fairly distributed
  • Be clear on expectations for promotions
  • Be clear on responsibilities for each role, each product
  • Be clear about performance criteria, and fair in performance reviews
Below are best practices for building engagement:
  • Encourage and reward initiative and creativity. 
  • Invite all voices, all perspectives. Make it 'safe' to speak and contribute.
  • Sincerely ask for input. Then respond to that input and take action to address the requests made. (Be heard, We heard) 
  • Advise others to look beyond themselves, beyond their teams, beyond their organization to get a broader perspective.
  • Practice and encourage self-awareness.
  • Push yourself to be your best self.
  • Have a 'same badge' mindset and empower and engage everyone.
  • Make each success a team effort.
  • Share engagement best practices with your team with other teams.
  • Have competitions on best engagement practices. 
Ideas for building engagement:
  • Game Nights
  • Cooking together
  • Trivia/Emoji 
  • Adult Science Fair - team sharing
  • Competitions and pitch events
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Picture sharing
  • Beverage Bingo
In conclusion, the best way to build engagement is to work with people you like and trust and trust the people you work with, aligning on doing work that makes a difference for others. 

Articles and Resources:
  • McKinsey May 2020 Article: Understanding organizational barriers to a more inclusive workplace
  • McKinsey May 2020 Survey: The pivotal factors for effective external engagement
  • McKinsey June 2020 Article: COVID-19 and the employee experience: How leaders can seize the moment

  • McKinsey June 2020 Article: Communications get personal: How leaders can engage employees during a return to work

  • ==========
    About FountainBlue
    FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
    Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
    In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit

    About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
    FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.
    Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. 
    Corporate partners also receive a half hour of support which can be applied to coaching, planning, workshops, interactive discussions at individual companies, and similar activities, as approved. A list of upcoming online programs is below. 
  • August 7, 2020: Decision-Making Best Practices 
  • August 21, 2020: Performance Review Best Practices
  • September 4, 2020: Uncomfortable Conversations 
  • September 18, 2020: Centered Leadership
  • October 2, 2020: Common Management Challenges 
  • October 16, 2020: Stress Management Best Practices
  • November 6, 2020: Productivity Hacks
  • November 27, 2020: The Gift of Feedback
  • December 4, 2020: The Next Normal
  • December 18, 2020: HR Leaders' Predictions for 2021
  • As a follow-up to our July blog entitled 'What One Thing Can We Do to Support Black Professionals?', FountainBlue will launch a 'You Can Too' program, which will provide up to 20 You-Can-Too Summer Scholarships for youths and young professionals to attend our semi-monthly Front Line Managers Online programs from July-September, and includes a fifteen minute online coaching session once a month for three months. 
    Your thoughts and input are welcome. We hope to include you in the next Front Line Managers Online program scheduled for Friday, July 17 from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., on the topic of 'Building Engagement'.


    Linda Holroyd
    CEO, FountainBlue
    650-646-1117 text and cell

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