that's, that's interesting that you that you've blended on mindfulness, and really the world of corporate hygiene and well being perks as being one of these, I would have picked quite quick as the hype trend of 2020 to the, you know, the the substance less hype trend of the year. To what extent does that resonate with you at all?
Erik S. Meyers 32:01
I didn't even think about that. But yeah, quiet. I mean, that's the hype, the fight the hype thing to win. If I read another phrase that starts with great are quiet. My stomach is turning a bit quiet, quitting and quiet resignation. All these trends, but every time there's these trends, so many people jump on them. But the question is, is it really happening? Does it really make sense? I mean, I don't know how many times I've had conversations in LinkedIn, where I'm one of the only people to actually count or something. And I know one person, somebody, somebody, some communications leader and wouldn't say his name, but I can't remember it anyway, wrote a blog about some authenticity, I can't remember. And, and one person who I also know, on LinkedIn wrote, it wasn't even a critical comment, it was said, which is my also question, how was that gonna work? You know, and, and he was, he was attacked, I mean, literal, really, like, very verbally attacked. You know, you're obviously a dinosaur. I mean, I don't even know it was all there was no conversation, and everybody else was like, Oh, my God, this blog is so amazing. And I mean, I, you,
you highlight a very interesting and important issue in the world of, you know, communication, leadership and communication, thought leadership. And that is, you know, you've got people out there who are saying stuff, some of which is contrary and some of which is, you know, really just kind of, you know, celebrating the trendiness of trans. But there's, you know, there's very little actual conversation going on, what do you think can actually stimulate some more conversations and more productive conversation in the field in the coming year? This is certainly something that I'd like to see happen. Because, you know, I write as you know, I write quite a bit and, you know, often I get, like, 50 likes and no comments. You know, what could stimulate some conversation? Because we need conversation and move things forward.
Erik S. Meyers 34:18
Often today, it's very, it's a big challenge, because I've got a couple of posts on LinkedIn that went viral, I think one out even 300,000 views or so I can't remember the topic. But it was, I wouldn't say I wrote more from an IP perspective, but it was commenting on something or often it's just the title of a blog. That that is really I would say perhaps could be construed as clickbait. But obviously with I would, if I did a title like that, then there's actual content behind it. So it's not so much clickbait just grabbing people's attention. But I really am particularly in the communications world. It's almost so of perpetuating hype, because in many business areas there, from my also perspective, there's not as much hype and communications, as always, oh, we all need to newsroom which was a few years ago, you know, we all need to be on tick tock. And it's just a lot of people patting each other on the back. I think we need more people like us, the two of us to really take these topics and not just not just agree with the hype. And I think one one value, which you have as a communicator, and unfortunately, also not that many, and I would recommend everybody who's in communications or looking at or starting in communications, the communicator in many companies, or the communications leader is often the only person in the company who tells the truth to the CEO or senior executives. And you get so much more value. And respect when you do that, instead of just jumping on the latest trend or being another yes person because they don't often get the truth. In my experience, it's often the communications person, or I would say myself to, to bring up these topics. And I think it's the same thing for communications, say writing a blog or or topic, you get so much more respect, but also just conversation and learning. If you don't go you don't write from the perspective that everybody else's. But you you actually think about a topic, what actually makes sense. Back to the tic toc, or everybody's hybrid or whatever. What makes sense? Or even worse, which people often ignore, how would that actually work? I mean, I guess maybe I'm too logical. But often when people come up with these things, are we all have to do this or that? I mean, are things like in the US with so many memes companies jumped on the latest meme? I don't know defund police, or cancel capitalism. I mean, how would that actually work? It sounds great. Worse is, of course, companies that just every month have their latest meme that they jump on, but they're actually not changing anything. So actually questioning things, not just immediately jumping on, we need more definitely need more people like that. And so and for the communications role, itself, as a communications leader, that within a company really gets you respect. And you and you learn so much by doing that,
you talk about the meme of the month, and I can't resist the temptation to talk about what I would consider in the same vein, the meme of the century. And that is the concept of employee engagement, particularly, you know, the idea that a internal comms and player engagement of the same thing, and be that focusing on the improvement of employee engagement scores, is somehow going to magically improve your profitability and productivity. To what extent do you see the employee engagement conversation as being genuinely value additive? versus, you know, just simply being, you know, this, this meme on steroids?
Erik S. Meyers 38:14
I think, I mean, there's so many articles, or gurus talking about how to improve employee motivation or productivity. I mean, basically, if you treat people like they're humans and not task robots, or slaves, that's already most of the most of the most of the mostly what you need to do for that. Employee engagement, I mean, I think is a piece that you need to look at in terms of I mean, employee communications, for example, isn't, as it used to be just top down, you know, the latest message from the CEO. It's about explaining topics is about bringing people together, so that they know what's going on. So they're all also motivated and, and also productive, and enter and like the job and like working there. Employee engagement that that's gone awry is when there are employee surveys, which, which most companies do, and either people are forced to more or less only say everything's great, or, which unfortunately, I've also seen in some companies, the results aren't so great. But the good pieces are played up and the bad things are ignored and employees are immediately cynical. And I think that's one thing you always have to watch with employee communications. You don't want people to be cynical. So if there is an employee engagement survey, for example, or the company really wants to improve employee engagement, then things actually have to improve because employees will very quickly be cynical and and not believe anything Anything the either employee engagement team is saying or the leaders are saying, I think employee engagement as a topic shouldn't be more in the HR space. Or it's a it's a strong working collaboration between internal comms in HR. But also you need for, I would say, every topic, if the CEO is not behind it, or doesn't support it, then you might as well not even do it, because sending the communicator out or the HR person out to try to promote something when everybody knows the CEO either hasn't doesn't talk about it. Or worse since things against it, then that's never going to work.