Boomer Think Tank: What Makes a Productive, Happy Workplace?

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On our Think Tanks this month we are tackling what makes a productive, happy workplace. We are looking at the topic from each generation’s viewpoint in order to measure how much progress has been made, and what challenges still exist.

This past week it was our Boomer Think Tank’s turn to weigh in. Before I give you the overall insights, here are a few relevant statistics to be aware of.

A recent report by Workplace Research Foundation states that:

  • Increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year.
  • Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.
  • Companies that foster engaged brand ambassadors in their workforce report an average of 2.69 sick days taken annually per employee, compared to companies with weak engagement efforts, reporting an average of 6.19 sick days.
  • Companies with engaged employees, outperform those without by 202%.
  • Companies who implement regular employee feedback have turnover rates that are 14.9% lower than for employees who receive no feedback.

Our panelists this week included:

Joseph Grier – LearnGrow LLC founder

Bob Jones – serial start up entrepreneur

Sherree Worrell – founder of Tala Consulting Group


  • Using untraditional methods, like visual and kinaesthetic approaches to communicate macro and micro concepts is most effective.
  • Active listening is crucial.
  • “Group think” does not result in good communication and stymies creative solutions to challenges.


  • Respect is given from the get-go (until it is lost) while trust is earned.
  • Trust is a two-way street: you can’t expect your team members to trust you if you don’t give them a reason to trust you.
  • You can’t have a productive, communicative team without trust.


  • Authoritative management is ineffective; team building should be key.
  • In a strong team, everyone feels respected, trusted, and heard.
  • Management should get to know their team members, understand their roles, and become one of the team members, not just rule from above.



  • It is the job of the management to mentor people to replace them in the future.
  • A mentor needs to be a facilitator, a guide, a teacher
  • It should be the mentor’s goal to get the people who report to them to be better than they are.


All of our participants agreed that without trust, you could not have a productive workplace. They also agreed that trust is only built through solid communication, team building, mentorship instead of authoritarian rule, and mutual respect. If those cannot be achieved, your employees will not be engaged and the workplace will never reach its full potential.

You can listen to the podcast or view the hangout in its entirety:

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