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What Salt Pills and Employee Engagement Have in Common

I’m training for the Boston Marathon this year, and on one of my recent long training runs I made a HUGE mistake.

Before a 16-mile run on warm and humid morning, I forgot to take my salt pills.
Uh oh. Not good… I need those electrolytes because I sweat a lot. (TMI?)

My body felt fine the first 12 miles, but then I began to feel the consequences of my mistake.

My calves started twitching and cramping. My toes started to lock up. It was painful, and I had no choice but to slow down my pace.

I was hurting mentally and physically. I felt lucky I was able to finish the last four miles without walking.
Still, I had botched my training run. I was upset with myself for not taking my salt pills!


Reflecting on that regrettable experience and thinking about the work I do with my clients, I came to the conclusion that salt pills (electrolytes) are like employees.You can easily take them both for granted… until they’re gone… and then your performance starts tanking.

In my case, my body started to quit.
In an organization, employees start to quit.
In both cases, there is a lot of stress and pain that can be completely avoided.


I forgot to take my salt pills because I had been meaning to create a checklist and hadn’t gotten around to doing it.

I didn’t have a plan or a system in place to make sure I remembered all the things I needed to do before my long runs.

For a lot of leaders and organizations, it’s very similar. There is no plan or a system for employee engagementto make sure they are taking care of their employee’s needs so that morale is high, productivity is high, and retention is high.

People are what make a company successful. They are the differentiating factor.


Employees can take a company the distance across the finish line to reach its goal or they can make things painful by quitting halfway.

Just as the human body NEEDS electrolytes to function well, an organization NEEDS engaged employees to function well.

Learn from my salt shortage, so you don’t have a shortage in talented employees.
If you’re ready to lead with culture and create a system for engaged employees, I’m here to serve as coach, consultant, and trainer.

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