IrishmanSpeaks! Best Motivational Employee Engagement Speakers

Hi, You may have come to this page when you searched for “Best Motivational Employee Engagement Speakers.” I won’t bore you with my words here but let client testimonials and videos showcase the type of work I do to engage audiences and clients who wish to improve employee engagement, employee retention and generate a more productive, engaging workplace culture.

Oh, as well as learning during my sessions, I promise they will laugh (a lot) as well.




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Enjoy Employee Engagement & Retention Tips from IrishmanSpeaks – Chicago based Conor Cunneen

The Power of a Compliment


“The compliment that helps us on our way is not the one that is shut up in the mind, but the one that is spoken out.”
– Mark Twain: A Biography

“The form of a compliment has nothing to do with its value — it is the spirit that is in it that makes it gold or dross.” – Mark Twain: Fables of Man


What is Employee Engagement?

The big dog in Employee Engagement consulting – Gallup – defines Employee Engagement as “the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.”  That’s nice and also pretty bland. I would define Employee Engagement as the level of commitment and enthusiasm employees bring to their workplace often indicated by their interest in going “the extra yard.”


How do I measure Employee Engagement?

There’s a gazillion companies out there offering Employee / Work Engagement Surveys including Gallup, OC Tanner, Qualtrics. Google “Best Employee / Work Engagement Software” for some objective reviews on determining just what your employees think of you.

But here is one question for you to ponder. “What do employees say about the organization when speaking to their friends?”


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Powerful Employee Engagement Tips from Conor – Hear “Thank You”


“Whenever I want to laugh, I read a wonderful book, ‘Children’s Letters to God.’ You can open it anywhere. One I read recently said, ‘Dear God, thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.” Maya Angelou


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Powerful You Can’t Substantially Improve Employees Net Worth.

You CAN Substantially Improve their SELF Worth


My core belief as an employee engagement speaker and consultant is that most managers / leaders cannot significantly impact employees net worth, but literally everyone – managers / leaders / co-workers CAN substantially impact the self worth of employees, direct reports and peers.

In this article we look at the “C” in CHAPS and the Power of a Compliment to enhance the workplace environment but briefly, the  CHAPS Micro-Goals relate to:

C – Compliment one person today. (SEE Employee Engagement article on The Power of a Compliment).

H – Hear ‘Thank You’ (See more on Employee Engagement TIps “Hear”)

A – Address colleagues / customers with their name (See more on Address Colleagues with name)

P – Positive words create positive impact (See Video and Article)

S – Smile – as in, Put a smile on someone’s face.

Phone Conor at 630 661 1220 for a chat. You’ll find the brogue is real and the content “unreal” (as in very, very good!)

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On Stage at Winnipeg Safety Conference wearing a Winnipeg Jets shirt!

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Testimonials for IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen Best Inspirational Employee Retention / Engagement Speakers

3.96 out of 4 from Software Gurus!

Conor, to achieve an average rating of 3.96 out of 4 for your keynote is a testament to how well you connected with our audience with your Gift of GAB program. I am not all surprised to see evaluations like “Amazing / Awesome / Awesome and Inspiring / Great Presentation/ It was very impressive with the knowledge and practical example he gave.” Your message about Goals, Attitude, Behavior is a powerful one for any organization or Association.”


Beating the “Graveyard shift”!

Yes, I did tell you ,that you had the” graveyard shift” for our annual sales conference, but what a resurrection ! As I said to you on the day , you had them eating out of the palm of your hand within minutes . Most of the team at the conference thought that you spoke for about twenty minutes when actually it was over an hour. Time flies when you are having fun so well done on empowering them with enthusiasm .


He was EXCELLENT and received rave reviews

Mr. Conor Cunneen presented the Gift of GAB (Goals, Attitude, Behavior) at United Health Services 22nd Annual Oncology Teaching Day. He was without a doubt very entertaining, extremely thought provoking, and subtle but yet direct in moving the attendees to look at their behaviors, and their attitude at work, home and in their daily relationships. He was EXCELLENT and received rave reviews- from nurses mind you, who are often very stingy with their compliments! I would recommend him very, very highly for your corporate or healthcare event




Having fun – I was doing Emcee work here

Phone Conor at 630 661 1220 for a chat. You’ll find the brogue is real and the content “unreal” (as in very, very good!)

Conor, why have you been referred to as one of the Best Motivational Employee Engagement Speakers?

The primary reason is that I work very hard to customize material that will leave the client happy. Happy in this case means their audience is leaving with really good, down to earth ideas to improve employee experience and performance. My presentation style is a mixture of good research, anecdotes and a large spoonful of humorous Irish storytelling. The objective is to leave the audience with a smile on the face, a spring in the step and memorable actionable takeaways to make a difference at work, at home, at play.

Ultimately, I’d love for them to be saying, he has to be one of the Best Motivational Employee Retention Speakers I have ever heard.


For more Employee Retention or Engagement Tips to help you grow business and employee morale See Employee Engagement Tips and Micro-Goals

You may also be interested in 2022 Culture Trends


Conor answers some questions on employee experience and retention?

Do you have a particular perspective on how to enhance employee engagement?

Indeed, I do. My basic view – which resonates strongly with clients – is that very few managers can substantially improve the New Worth of their employees or co-workers, but literally everyone, managers or not, CAN improve the Self Worth of the people they work with and manage.


How can a manager improve the self worth of employees?

In theory, it is not difficult. In practice, it is not as easy as we would like. I ask people in my keynotes and workshops to write down 2-3 instances where they felt absolutely awesome and life was really good. Responses that come back include holding their baby for the first time, graduating from college, winning a major sporting event, their kid winning a major sporting event, overcoming major illness etc. Rarely, does any reference money or monetary reward in their answers. What this teaches us which is critical for employee retention is that it is emotional elements that impact people, much more than monetary reward.

The challenge facing the manager is to find ways to consistently make employees feel valued, appreciated and needed. The employees who feel valued, appreciated and needed are far less likely to participate in the great resignation than an employee who feels they are simply being treated as a number.


Is Employee Engagement Important in the Workplace?

OK, that is a pretty dumb question. Indeed, Harvard Business Review suggests that over 1500 scholarly articles on what might also be referred to as Employee Experience were published in the past year! In his excellent book – It’s your Ship – author Captain D. Michael Abrashoff states that the fifth most important reason, people left the navy was poor pay. FIFTH! In other words, Recognition, being treated with Respect, being listened to, were much more important in determining a person’s engagement and connection to the workplace. Now retired, Abrahshoff is today one of the top employee engagement speakers in the industry today and a genuinely motivational speaker.

Richard Branson and the Employee Experience

Forbes published an excellent article / interview with Sir Richard Branson and his thoughts on the importance of engaged employees. See Reasons to Make your Employees Happy.

Branson believes that business building involves openly recognizing good performance, genuinely appreciate everyone in the organization from the janitor to the C-Suite, be a good listener and act on recommendations received.

You can read more about Richard Branson here.


Employee Engagement Software

Employee engagement software is a fast growing segment. This is not surprising giving the dire need to improve employee retention.


I reference some of the better reviewed softwares and provide their basic marketing pitch.

Clear Company

The only platform that unifies Recruiting, Onboarding, Performance Management, and Employee Engagement.


Your secret weapon in the war for talent.

The Kazoo Employee Experience Platform brings together everything you need to create a high-performing, connected culture regardless of where your employees work or what device they use. By combining Goals & OKRs, Recognition, Feedback, Conversations, and Incentives within a single, easy-to-use platform, your employees become more engaged, your managers become better leaders, and your productivity and business performance soars.


Recognition matters! Build a Thriving Culture With Kudos® Unlock employee potential through recognition with Kudos®. Clients in over 80 countries have built thriving cultures using this simple, scalable SaaS solution. Reduce turnover, improve culture and drive productivity and performance. Kudos® is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance.

Some useful employee engagement resources to encourage employee retention

What to Do With Employee Survey Results

Your secret weapon in the war for talent.

Kazoo helps you create a strong, connected culture that attracts and keeps the best and brightest.

Gallup Employee Engagement Survey


One Surprising Way to Boost Workplace Productivity


Employee Experience / Engagement and Retention Books you might find interesting. These books follow much the same logic as I do with my program on Employee Engagement through the Gift of GAB (Goals, Attitude, Behavior)

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

Authors: Gary Chapman / Paul White

From the Inside Flap

You Appreciate Your Coworkers. But Do They Feel Appreciated?

In today’s workplace it is crucial for employees to feel valued. But that’s a challenge when you and your employees communicate appreciation differently. Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Paul White help you:
-Elevate employee engagement by making your staff feel truly valued.
-Decrease turnover and increase loyalty with your employees and supervisors.
-Reduce cynicism and create a more positive work environment.


More articles on Employee Engagement, Culture and Employee Retention

Employee Engagement Tips – A brief primer on CHAPS

See: Reviews of Employee Engagement Software

Amazon Books on Employee Engagement



Scholarly Articles for Employee Engagement

Download: Impact of Management Basics on Employee Engagement

The study examines the influence and impact that the basic principles of management
and the management process have on employee engagement.

Integrative Literature Review on Employee Engagement in the Field of Human Resource Development

Exploring Employee Engagement from the Employee Perspective: Implications for HRD

Measuring the Benefits of Employee Engagement

CEO Credibility, Perceived Organizational Reputation, and Employee Engagement


Conor is blessed to be a two-time cancer survivor who gives thanks everyday to the healthcare professionals who helped him through his journey.



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