Work is a relationship. The attributes that drive engagement in the workplace happen to be the same qualities people look for in personal relationships: Feeling valued and cared for. A sense of trust and appreciation. So, what if we treated team members the same way we treat friends and family? What if we designed best practices to build rather than break down those relationships? What if we made decisions from a place of love?

Today, we’re joined by Jason Lauritsen, an expert in the realm of employee engagement and performance management. Jason has dedicated his career to solving for dysfunction in the workplace, exploring the issue from multiple perspectives as a headhunter, corporate HR VP, researcher and consultant. His new release, Unlocking High Performance, explores how performance management can be used to engage and empower employees to reach their full potential.

Jason shares his deep understanding of the history of work, explaining why we’re stuck in a contract model designed 120 years ago. He describes his relationship-based approach to decision-making in the workplace, offering insight on what leaders can do to diagnose performance issues, cultivate employee growth, and deliver feedback in a supportive way. Listen in for Jason’s take on eliminating the traditional appraisal system—and learn how to apply design thinking to create best practices specific to your organization.



Themes explored in this week’s episode:

• Why work is organized around a contract model that is not good for human beings
• The connection between employee engagement and LOVE
• Applying The Relationship Test to build engagement at work
• Jason’s frustration with managers who don’t spend time with their people
• Delivering feedback that is oriented around future performance
• What leaders in performance management can do to optimize growth
• Jason’s advice around eliminating the traditional appraisal system
• Applying design thinking to make best practices fit your organization
• Jason’s suggestions for operationalizing the data you collect
• The power in asking, “Where am I going?”


Jason’s 5 questions for diagnosing performance issues:

1. Are they clear on expectations?
2. Do they know how they’re doing?
3. Do they have what they need?
4. Are they capable?
5. Are they choosing not to perform?


Resources from this episode:

• Connect with Jason at
• Message @JasonLauritsen on Twitter or LinkedIn
• Access Jason’s books Unlocking High Performance and Social Gravity
• Learn more about Quantum Workplace and Best Places to Work
• The Relationship Test
• Watch Jason’s keynote on The Relationship Test

We would love to hear from you! Have an idea for a podcast or a question you want us to address? Interested in additional support, resources and workshops? Here are all the ways you can interact with us!
• Tweet us! @tegantrovato and @TeamAwesomeMKE
• Email us: and
• Follow us on Facebook @BrightArrowCoaching and @TeamAwesomeCoaching
• Follow us on Instagram @TeganTrovato and @katie_rasoul
• Connect with us on LinkedIn: Tegan Trovato and Katie Rasoul
• Download free tools and sign up for our newsletters, events and workshops by visiting: and


Quotes from the episode:

“There’s so much of what we do that we don’t know WHY we do it … and so much of it is just not good for human beings. Never was.”
“I would never do this to someone I cared about in my personal life, so why am I doing this to people at work?”
“When is the last time you’ve even made sure that person felt seen?”
“How can we scale caring?”
“Time is the currency of relationships.”
“Expectation setting is probably the most important skill or activity that you undertake as a manager or leader of people. If you are crystal clear on expectations … I would venture to say that removes 80% of performance issues.”
“Cultivation is making sure those plants have what they need to grow and that you get the obstacles to growth out of the way. That should be our job from a performance management perspective.”
“People are genetically wired to perform.”
“Corporate profits are up 800% over the last 30 years, and yet the bottom 50% of American wage earners have increased zero in terms of real dollars.”
“Every practice is context-dependent. What works for me at my organization may not work for you at your organization.”

How do you create belonging at work?

We go to work for more than a paycheck, we go for a sense of belonging. So what does belonging look like? Get the Belonging Resource Guide to learn new ideas on how individuals, leaders, and organizations can help people feel safe, loved and whole at work.

You have Successfully Subscribed!