Podcast: Meet The Consultant – Charles Rogel, MBA

In this episode, we sit down with DecisionWise Vice President of Product Development, Senior Consultant, Charles Rogel, MBA. We discuss his career and his approach towards engagement, consulting, and leadership.

Charles joined DecisionWise in 2004 and currently leads product development and provides consulting services to clients around the world. He regularly coaches leaders and works with organizations to improve employee engagement and performance.

Charles has an extensive background in sales, marketing, and consulting. Prior to DecisionWise, he worked for over 10 years in sales and marketing roles at various software companies, including Modus Media International, Parlant Technology, and Plato Learning.

He leverages his unique background in both organization development and marketing to provide leadership coaching, employee engagement survey analysis, and organization change initiatives. As an expert in employee engagement and 360-degree feedback, Charles has worked with organizations in over 30 countries.

Charles holds an M.B.A, as well as a B.A. in Humanities from Brigham Young University.

Employee Engagement Best Practice Award Winners Announced for 2019

Springville, Utah, USA—DecisionWise announced the winners of its 2019 Employee Engagement Best Practice Awards. These organizations exemplify best practices in employee engagement, both through their annual employee engagement survey results and through their actions to create an engaged workplace. DecisionWise analysts reviewed over 9.8 million survey responses to identify organizations who scored within the top five percent of the DecisionWise international employee engagement survey benchmark database.

Two categories were created based on employee size, one for large enterprises of 1,000+ employees and another for small to medium enterprises with less than 1,000 employees. The top five organizations were recognized in each category from a variety of industries.

The Employee Engagement Best Practice Award recipients in the Large Enterprise category are as follows, in alphabetical order:

· CHG Healthcare

· Community Services Group (CSG)

· Crown Castle

· Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply, Inc

· Greystone

The Employee Engagement Best Practice Award recipients in the Small to Medium Enterprise category are as follows, in alphabetical order:

· GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation

· Guide Dogs for the Blind

· Oregon Community Credit Union

· Pacific Lifestyle Homes

· Propel Media

DecisionWise CEO, Dr. Tracy Maylett, had the following to say about this year’s recipients: “We have been studying the Employee Experience for over two decades. Since first releasing our list of Engagement Best Practices Award recipients five years ago, we have analyzed more than 40 million survey responses. This year’s award recipients represent best practices in creating an employee experience that both engages employees and creates results. These are truly engaging organizations. It is an honor to recognize this year’s recipients for creating workplaces where people choose to engage.”

DecisionWise is an employee engagement firm specializing in building engaged employees at the organizational, team, and individual levels using assessments, feedback, coaching and training. Services include employee engagement surveys, 360-degree feedback, leadership coaching and organizational employee engagement development. DecisionWise was founded in 1996 and is privately held. With offices in the United States and partner locations around the world, the company operates in over 70 countries and conducts surveys in over 30 languages. DecisionWise books include, MAGIC: Five Keys For Engaging People, Leaders, and Organizations and The Employee Experience: How to Attract Talent, Retain Top Performers, and Drive Results.

Infographic: 5 Personal Benefits of Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement infographic

Download the PDF version of the Infographic

It’s apparent that employee engagement increases the organization’s bottom line and performance, but what about the individual?

As an employee, why would l care about being more engaged if it only means I have to work harder and the company reaps all of the rewards?

1. Safety

Engaged employees are 5 TIMES less likely than non-engaged employees to have a safety incident and 7 TIMES less likely to have a lost-time safety incident.

Disengaged employees are TWICE as likely to be injured on the job as engaged employees. (Based on Worker’s Compensation Claims)

TAKE AWAY: Engaged employees tend to follow safety procedures more diligently and don’t lose focus as often, thus leading to fewer safety incidents.

2. Better Health

Disengaged employees were TWICE as likely to be diagnosed as depressed than those who were engaged.

Those that were engaged reported lower stress and higher interest levels throughout the day. They also showed improvements in cholesterol and blood pressure readings.

TAKE AWAY: Engaged employees tend to have better mental and physical health, thus raising internal morale and productivity.

3. Happiness

Employees can be happy but not fully engaged in their work. But those who are fully engaged in what they do are much more likely to also be happy.


It’s not magic…but it is. Employee engagement is based on fulfilling five basic human needs in our work:

TAKE AWAY: Research shows that once these five needs are met, our overall level of happiness increases.

4. Superior Performance

Being engaged is “having a great day at work,” or “being in the zone.”


TAKE AWAY: Being fully engaged doesn’t mean devoting oneself entirely to a job and sacrificing work-life balance. Be ENERGIZED and COMMITTED to your work.

5. Better Home Life

Disengaged at Work EQUALS Disengaged at Home. We’re simply wired that way.

“I have my work-life and my home-life. They don’t mix.” Two separate lives? Not true.

TAKE AWAY: Engaged employees are far more likely to be engaged outside of work. Home Sweet Home! Two separate lives? NOT TRUE.

Employee Engagement Survey Sample Download

5 Ingredients to Speak Your Employees’ Engagement Love Language

In 1995, author Gary Chapman published The Five Love Languages to help couples improve their relationships by showing them how their communication needs differ. For example, love might be felt by one person through acts of service, while another person may prefer words of affirmation. Chapman’s five love languages are: gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and touch. The key to a high-functioning relationship, according to Chapman, is learning how to speak your partner’s “love language.”[i] Over the years, people have applied Chapman’s concepts to improve interpersonal communication in other settings such as the workplace.[ii]

While, Chapman’s theories are a great way to improve how we show appreciation to our coworkers and direct reports, they may not provide everything employees need to become fully engaged. That’s because great work and a great workplace culture (i.e., employee experience) depend on more than appreciation, they require attention to other key social dynamics.

At DecisionWise, we suggest our ENGAGEMENT MAGIC® ingredients: Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and Connection, as a good starting point. But these ingredients aren’t necessarily the only ingredients. Each organization is unique. Therefore, your organization might need to focus on other social variables, such as trust, that your leaders need to understand and manage as well. Understanding your employee’s core employment-based expectations and needs is the heart of designing the right employee experience!

As suggested, an organization’s employee experience (EX) is that organization’s purpose-built culture that supports and strengthens its workforce in order to produce winning results. Instead of letting a random culture take root organically, the organization’s leaders take the time to design an employee experience that maximizes employee engagement.  They understand that design-based culture = employee experience.

Employee Engagement, on the other hand, is an emotional state where employees feel passionate, energetic, and committed to their work. When employees are engaged, they invest more of themselves in their work. They choose to give discretionary effort. Employee Engagement exists when it is cultivated through a solid EX – an EX that promotes and manages the MAGIC ingredients discussed above (Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and Connection), among other elements.


Engage Your Workforce

Here is a word of warning. Building the right employee experience is not about republishing your corporate values, such as “We Disdain the Status Quo.” It’s not about defining a mission statement or corporate purpose. It’s much more than aspirational statements!  It’s asking what activities, conversations, leadership styles, and opportunities must be part of an employee’s daily, weekly, monthly, and annual interactions with the organization and their front-line leader (our research shows that front-line managers are the real face of the organization).

For example, if you want employees to “Disdain the Status Quo,” how should your employees do that?  How can their voice be heard? Is it safe to speak up in your current culture?  Do you reward innovation appropriately?  Does your compensation structure properly delineate between employees that challenge the status quo and those that don’t?  Are managers given the autonomy to promote employees who are challengers? Do you allow for, or even promote, self-directed teams?

We know that designing the right EX can be daunting, especially at first. For this reason, we suggest you start with the MAGIC ingredients. Ask your front-line managers to build a plan that touches upon a MAGIC element each month (we call this a 5×12 plan). At first, it might be a team session that talks about meaning. Next month it might be a listening session for individual employees (manager can only ask questions – no suggestions allowed!)


Supportive Ecosystem for Coaching

Here is a simple manager checklist to guide a 5×12 plan:

Meaning: The work has purpose beyond itself. Hold a team brainstorming exercise over lunch to answer this question: How does our work in [insert team name] help our organization win?  At this point, limit your team’s answers to one or two final suggestions so they are focused on the core aspects of this question. Share your answers up the chain of command and across other department and functions. Find a way to visualize answers in work areas by using posters, signs, cards, etc.

Autonomy: The power to shape one’s work and environment in ways that allow them to perform at their best. Hold a one-on-one conversation with each employee to explore the level of autonomy they would like to have in their work environment. Do not make any promises other than you will do what you can to listen and make changes where possible. Our experience suggests that there is always something, even if only small, incremental changes, that managers can do to improve autonomy.

Growth: Being stretched and challenged in ways that result in personal and professional progress. Ask each employee to prepare their own growth plan for the next 12 months. Review their plans with them, and then discuss ways the organization will support the plan.

Impact: Seeing positive and worthwhile results from the work one does. Find and share a story with your team that shows how your team’s work made an impact on a customer. This might require stopping by the sales team to find the right stories.

Connection: The sense of belonging to something beyond the individual. Create a recognition program and make it a part of your team’s ongoing culture. Here are some ideas to get you started: https://www.snacknation.com/blog/employee-recognition-ideas/.

As you build your 5×12 plan, you will likely find alternative ways to focus on speaking your employees’ engagement love language. As you move forward in this process, helping your front-line managers become engaging leaders, your employee experience will transform into something special, and employee engagement will thrive. In sum, your efforts will yield key benefits such as lower turnover, better productivity, more meaningful innovation, and market growth.

Employee Engagement Survey Sample Download

[i] https://www.5lovelanguages.com/.

[ii] https://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2011/12/28/the-5-love-languages-office-edition/#7fed2ba8bad8 or consider, https://qz.com/1053563/love-languages-in-the-workplace-how-the-relationship-theory-can-help-your-office-relationships-too/, and https://medium.com/@esellberg22/incorporating-the-5-love-languages-in-the-workplace-ba0ab9eb982.

Podcast: Employee Engagement at UPMC

UPMC is operating in a healthcare environment that is incredibly complex and volatile based a variety of external factors. In order to remain agile, innovative, and positively disruptive, the organization needs highly engaged, high-performing leaders and employees to successfully execute its mission, vision, goals, and related strategies.

Joe Dicianno, Ph.D., Manager of Talent Development and Organizational Development at UPMC join us on the podcast to discuss how UPMC approaches employee engagement.

Note: This audio was taken from a webinar of the same name.

Webinar: Employee Engagement at UPMC

UPMC is operating in a healthcare environment that is incredibly complex and volatile based a variety of external factors. In order to remain agile, innovative, and positively disruptive, the organization needs highly engaged, high-performing leaders and employees to successfully execute its mission, vision, goals, and related strategies. 

Joe Dicianno, Ph.D., Manager of Talent Development and Organizational Development at UPMC will join us to discuss how UPMC approaches employee engagement.

Watch Now:

The Power of Identifying and Engaging Your Hidden Influencers

By Beth Wilkins, Ph.D. and Natalia Smith

Early in my career, an insightful mentor taught me that formal leaders are in charge but not in control. After ten acquisitive years at Oracle, I realized how accurate this axiom was. My role as an organizational effectiveness consultant gave me a front row seat to senior leaders’ attempts to transform their organizations. Though I worked with some brilliant leaders, most often their sophisticated strategies were not operationalized in the way they envisioned. I became fascinated with the relational dynamics in organizations that can either accelerate or impede transformation.

In my role as the Director of Talent Development at Oracle, I had the privilege of working with Dr. Rob Cross from the University of Virginia. His thought leadership on the power of social networks, as well as my own experiences navigating the complexity of global leadership, taught me that many times informal, or hidden, influencers have a significant impact on the direction, alignment, and commitment of organizations.


Hidden influencers are those with personal power, but not necessarily positional power. Other employees are drawn to them due to their expertise, influence, and role modeling. These informal influencers are crucial for engagement, information flow, decision-making, best practice transfer, institutional knowledge, mentoring, and retention. In short, they are key to transforming and bolstering the morale and productivity of an organization, and yet executives often fail to identify who these people are. In fact, in McKinsey’s efforts to identify informal influencers as part of their change management initiatives, they have found that executives are most often incorrect in their initial assumptions. As a result, social network analysis experts commonly use web-based surveys1 to help leaders get a more accurate understanding of their informal networks, and the hidden influencers within them.

As a strategic, employee engagement firm, DecisionWise is constantly looking for ways to increase the morale and productivity, or engagement, of organizations. Through our research, three main categories of informal influencers have emerged: role models, experts, and change agents.

  • Role models are the people employees admire and naturally go to when they need advice on how to do their work or move forward in their careers. These mentors greatly affect others’ morale of others and provide guidance on how employees should behave if they want to succeed in the organization.
  • Experts are those that employees and customers seek out when they need information. Frequently, newer employees apprentice under these more knowledgeable colleagues, and leaders and peers go directly to them when they need quick answers or assistance on key initiatives. The challenge, however, is that experts often become crutches for those who go to them in lieu of learning the needed information themselves.
  • Change Agents are individuals who have the charisma, political savvy, or optimism to get things done in the organization. Often this group is the most visibly influential; however, there are some, due to their ability to effectively build trust, who quietly exert their influence by working through more prominent peers or formal leaders.

Since informal influencers seem to be magnets for meaningful work and are valued by their colleagues, our early hypothesis was that they would be some of the most engaged employees in the organization. Surprisingly, we discovered those at the center of informal networks are often overloaded and disengaged, because they are so frequently tapped to answer questions, solve important problems, or teach others. These activities can increase engagement if employees are not weighed down with high-priority projects; however, many of these key contributors seem to be struggling to balance all the work their competence has earned them. In a recent study of more than 300 companies, employees identified as  the most reliable collaborators and sources of information had the lowest engagement and career satisfaction scores. If these connectors of information and people become disgruntled enough that they leave the organization, they take valuable intellectual property with them and leave gaping holes in both information and process flows.

An example from a global biotech company highlights how significant disruptions in informal networks can be. The leader of their product development function identified the key influencers in his information network in an effort to redistribute workload and decrease the time it took to get products to market. Unfortunately, no one acted on this data and figured out how to lighten the load of these key collaborators. As a result, almost a third of the informal influencers left the organization due to burnout. This meant that two-thirds of the existing relationship webs were affected. Those who remained struggled to establish new relationships and fill the information gaps. Instead of shortening the time to market, weeks were added to project timelines because key institutional knowledge that was once there was now no longer readily available. Additionally, the trust needed to run projects smoothly had to be rebuilt amongst those who remained.

With our expertise in survey design, statistical analysis, and employee engagement consulting, DecisionWise is uniquely positioned to help organizations identify and engage their hidden influencers. Our network analysis surveys, coupled with sophisticated data visualizations, enable our clients to find targeted solutions that increase the engagement and the retention of their key contributors. On an individual level, our executive coaches can help experts, change agents, and role models increase their own engagement and amplify their influence on the engagement of the many employees who rely on them. On an organizational level, our consultants can help senior leaders redistribute responsibilities in order to lighten the load on key influencers, remove network bottlenecks, and engage a greater number of employees in more meaningful work.

Please contact us if you are interested in tapping into the hidden potential of your organization.


  1. Cross, R., & Prusak, L. (2002). The people who make organizations go – Or stop. Harvard Business Review, 80(6), 104-112.

Podcast: Meet the Consultant – Dan Hoopes, M.S.O.D.

In this episode, we sit down with DecisionWise Principal Consultant, Dan Hoopes, M.S.O.D. We discuss his career and his approach towards engagement, consulting, and leadership.

Dan is a Principal Consultant at DecisionWise, where he is responsible for leading a consulting team. He is also responsible for partnering with organizations in creating change by enhancing organizational, team, and leadership effectiveness and capabilities.

Dan brings a breadth of experience to DecisionWise and our clients. He has worked in organization development, leadership development, and Human Resources in a varied and extensive list of global corporations for over 25 years. These companies include L3 Communications, Intuit, Gateway, Grainger, R.R. Donnelly, and Marriott. His passion is assisting organizations with building capabilities and create stellar work environments, while also helping individuals and teams reach their potential. He has led extensive global initiatives involving employee engagement, leadership development, talent evaluation and assessment, succession, culture change, and M&A. Previously, Dan was the Director of Organization Development at L3 Communications, and was most recently the Director of Talent Management for a global nonprofit organization with a presence in over 100 countries.

He has lived in Texas, Illinois, California, and Utah, and his international experience includes working in Singapore, India, and the Philippines.