Michael’s Messages

We at Humor at Work believe it’s important you understand what exactly it is Michael will be sharing with your audience. We’re serving up this detailed smorgasbord of messages because we want to make sure you’re confident that Michael’s messages are a fabulous fit for your audience.

Whether you hire Michael for an hour keynote or a full day workshop, he always tailors his topics, themes, and messages to the audience and to meet your specific goals.

Regardless of the topic you choose, all of Michael’s messages are focused around a few central themes:

  • Workplace culture drives success in any organization.
  • You need to be intentional about creating an inspiring culture. Great workplace cultures don’t happen by accident!
  • Work plays a critically important role in our lives. It affects our mental and physical health, our marriages and families, our personal development, and our identity. Work is the single biggest use of our time, talents, and energy in this short journey called life. So we owe it to our employees, to the families of employees, to our customers and clients, and yes, even to our souls to create as inspiring a workplace as possible because WORK MATTERS!

That’s the big picture. Below is an overview, by topic area, of the messages Michael shares with audiences. (Be sure to download Michael’s speaking kit for more details on each topic.)

Michael uses his engaging and energizing sense of humour, wacky props, inspiring stories, and real-world examples based on years of research and experience to get these messages across in a truly unforgettable manner. (But don’t just take our word for it – be sure to download the Rave Reviews package to see what Michael’s clients say about the long term impact of his presentations.)

“Michael, your presentation was beyond excellent! I cannot thank-you enough for all of your hard work prior to and at our conference last week. You have the unique ability as a speaker to both entertain and educate people. Our audience all felt you had a good understanding of our business challenges, and were darn funny at the same time. Your presentation was the perfect mix of a serious business-based message, along with a very funny and engaging delivery. You are a very talented, entertaining and compelling speaker. I would strongly recommend you to any company as I would use his services again without question.”
Dave Thompson, CFO & President, Sandvik Canada, Inc.

“I have seen Michael live and in person four times now. He is amazing. You come away with knowledge on how to make your work world a better place and best of all you don’t even realize you were being taught how to do this because you are so busy being entertained.”
Michelle Kimura, Owner, MicAr Marketing

Workplace culture and attitude

  • Inspiring leaders recognize that culture is more important than strategy. Culture drives success, but you need to be intentional about it.
  • Your culture is your DNA. It’s the unique set of traditions, rituals, behaviours and attitudes that make your organization distinct from anyone else.
  • Your workplace culture is your number one competitive advantage: it affects every aspect of your business.
  • Your REAL workplace culture is defined by your unwritten rules. It’s what the veterans tell the new kids. It’s what your customers say about you behind your back.
  • Attitude is a key drive of success in any job and in any workplace.
  • Inspiring organizations hire first and foremost for attitude. They train, mentor and coach people on attitude.
  • You can train your brain and shift your attitude to drive more successful behaviours at work.
  • Positive attitudes help create a better workplace environment, but they also reflect a great workplace culture.

Inspiring Leadership

  • Inspiring leadership drive success in any organization. Your leadership matters – a lot!
  • Leadership has a profound impact on your workplace culture and on the happiness and stress levels of your employees.
  • There’s a difference between being a manager and being a leader: it starts with intentionality.
  • Leadership has nothing to do with your position or power.
  • Everybody has the ability to be a leader in your organization: Inspiring organizations live by the mantra: “Leaders Leading Leaders.”

The “Vision Stuff”

  • Creating visionaries is far more important than putting a vision statement up on a wall that no one ever reads and/or can’t understand!
  • Instead of vision statements, have vision conversations.
  • A well-defined sense of purpose is a key motivational factor for many employees.
  • 7 out of 10 team members, on average, don’t understand the central purpose of their team.
  • There’s the HONKING BIG sense of purpose that can inspire employees and unite teams, but there’s also the day-to-day sense of purpose employees need to derive from doing their work and that needs to be celebrated!

Value Your Workplace Values

  • Actions speak louder than words and talk is cheap: Your real values are defined through your day to day attitudes and behaviours.
  • If people don’t know what your values mean, they are worthless. You need to translate your values into meaningful behaviours and stories.
  • Your values can’t just be empty slogans or vague promises. They need to be treated as lines in the sand, as true commitments to one another.
  • Customers are increasingly concerned about key values: Organizations need to live their values out loud and champion them day in and day out.
  • Putting Humour to Work for Less Stress and More Success
  • There really is a “humour advantage” at work at an individual, team, and organization level.
  • Humour helps drive success and, just as importantly, reflects workplace success.
  • Work is hard enough as it is without making it any harder!
  • Humour is not about telling jokes or being the office clown. It’s deeper and more powerful than that. It’s about a sense of balance and perspective and it’s about being more human.
  • Humour is a triple threat in the fight against stress: It helps change our thinking, relaxes us physically, and changes us emotionally.
  • There are real, proven health benefits associated with humour and laughter. If you’re serious about your workplace health and wellness programs, get serious about your humour.
  • Humour helps your messages stand out from the herd to be heard.
  • Humour is increasingly being used as a branding tool to help organizations attract and keep better employees and attract and keep customers.
  • Humour can help your customer service in a surprising number of ways.
  • There is a direct correlation between humour and creativity: Ha + Ha = AHA!

Employee Motivation

  • Money is a lousy motivator. And you’ll never “win” if you just focus on money and external benefits in the war for talent.
  • There’s a difference between long-term employees and a truly loyal employees.
  • Hire for attitude – hire people who are already highly motivated then inspire them and get out of their way!
  • You can’t really motivate another human being, but you can create the conditions that either encourage or discourage people’s natural inclination to be motivated towards a behaviour.
  • Intrinsic motivators are the most powerful motivators: Purpose, praise, pride, and play are all powerful motivational triggers.
  • Great organizations create a culture of continual recognition and celebration.
  • When employees feel valued and feel as though they are your number one priority, that’s how they’ll treat your external customers.
  • Everyone is motivated by something – you just need to find out what that is.

Workplace Communication is Everything and Everything is Communication

  • The amount of open and honest communication in a workplace directly correlates to future success in any team or organization.
  • It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say things at work that truly matters.
  • There’s a difference between being efficient with your communication vs. being truly effective.
  • There’s a difference between being accessible and being approachable.
  • If there’s never any conflict at work, chances are you’ve got a dysfunctional team!
  • Get your meetings right! Meetings both help create and reflect your desired culture.
  • Stories are the most powerful form of communication: What stories do you need to tell? What stories are your employee co-writing in your organization?

Creating a Service First Culture

  • Service must be considered a top level value in any truly great organization.
  • Customer service matters like never before and it’s your number one competitive advantage that you have total control over.
  • You create a great culture when everyone embraces the idea that their most important customers are on the inside: Teamwork is about providing exceptional service to your fellow team mates. Inspiring leadership is about providing exceptional service to your employees.
  • Stop providing good customer service. Customers already expect good customer service, so to wow them you need to exceed their expectations and/or do something different to stand out.
  • Everyone needs to embrace the importance of having a “Director of First Impressions” mindset.
  • Great customer service starts by anticipating needs.
  • You need to encourage “go the extra inch” and “go the extra mile” attitudes and behaviors.
  • There’s a difference between long term customers and truly loyal customers.

Driving Creativity, Innovation and Change at Work

  • If the pace of change outside your organization exceeds the pace of change on the inside, it’s just a matter of time before you’ll be in trouble.
  • You have three choices: Get left behind, adapt to the change happening around you, or lead the change.
  • Every business is in the business of ideas – ideas are the currency of success.
  • Most people don’t have their light bulb moments at work: You need to be intentional about creating an environment conducive to leading change and innovation.
  • Questions drive creativity and innovation at work: Create a culture that values and champions questioning.
  • Creating a psychologically safe environment that supports ideas is the key driver of innovation.
  • Asking for ideas isn’t just good business; it’s also a key way to recognize and motivate employees.
  • How you implement new ideas and respond to setbacks and failures is the truest test of truly inspiring, innovative culture.

“Michael’s presentation was engaging, informative and inspiring all in one package. His obvious knowledge of what makes an enjoyable and productive workplace was conveyed to the audience in an entertaining manner, yet poignant and professional in the message. We highly recommend him to other organizations looking for a knowledgeable and entertaining speaker to engage their audience.” 
Robin Samer, Appeals Secretary, Appeals Commission

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