Mike Kerr, The Workplace Energizer

Michael Kerr

“The Workplace Energizer”

Why choose between humour and relevant, practical content when you can have both? Michael Kerr is one of North America’s leading authorities on fostering innovative and inspiring workplace cultures. His presentations — known for their practical and inspiring ideas that audiences can put to work immediately — are delivered in a truly unforgettable manner through his memorable brand of clean, high-energy humour.

A former government manager and business owner for more than 20 years, Kerr has traveled the world researching, writing, and speaking about inspiring workplace cultures, leaders, and businesses that leverage their humour advantage to drive outrageous results. He is a Canadian Hall of Fame speaker whose ideas on building great workplaces have been featured in hundreds of publications worldwide.

Kerr is the bestselling author of eight books, including The Jerk-Free Workplace: How You Can Take the Lead to Create a Happier, More Inspiring Workplace; The Humour Advantage: Why Some Businesses are Laughing all the Way to the Bank; and Hire, Inspire, and Fuel Their Fire: How to Recruit, Onboard, and Train New Employees to Love Your Culture Out Loud. His Inspiring Workplaces blog has been recognized as one of the top 25 workplace blogs in the world.

Inspiring Workplaces: How to Create a Dynamic, Collaborative, Service-First Culture That Drives Outrageous Results!

Your workplace culture is your #1 competitive advantage. But here’s the rub. Great cultures don’t just happen! You can’t fake a great culture. You need to be intentional about your workplace culture. And you need to enlist everyone’s support to contribute to a purpose-driven, happier, more resilient, innovative, collaborative, and service-focused culture.

Leaders Leading Leaders: Great Cultures Begin with Intentional Leadership from the Top

Great workplace cultures don’t happen by accident, and they don’t happen without intentional leadership. I use the term “intentional”, well, intentionally. I’ve interviewed hundreds of leaders around the world, and inspiring leaders tell me time and time again that the key to their success as a leader starts by simply being more intentional about being a leader.

This means knowing there’s a difference between being a manager or boss and being a leader. Being intentional means consciously making decisions and choices about your attitude and behaviours that reflect and demonstrate real leadership.

Intentional leadership is about creating more leaders at work, not more followers, which is why so many high-achieving organizations embrace the mantra “we are leaders leading leaders.”

The Jerk-Free Workplace: How to Take the Lead When You’re Not the Boss

As I explain in my book, The Jerk-Free Workplace, this presentation is more than just about shining a spotlight on jerk-like attitudes and behaviours that might lead to conflict and poor morale in your workplace.

It’s about the need for all your employees, regardless of their position or role, to step up, take responsibility, be accountable for their actions, and embrace the power they have as leaders to create a greater future for themselves and for your workplace.

This presentation celebrates the idea that everyone has the potential to step up as a leader. And if you want to create a happier, more collaborative and more innovative culture that drives outrageous results, you absolutely NEED to encourage all your employees to embrace a leadership mindset.

The Humour Advantage: Putting Humour to Work for Less Stress and More Success

I’ve visited dozens of inspiring workplaces around the world that take their humour, well, seriously! And for good reason. Study after study reveals how humor helps companies reduce employee turnover and absenteeism rates, lower stress levels, foster an environment of resiliency, build relationships, improve morale, collaboration, and communication. Humour also helps companies stand out with their remarkable customer service, humanizes their company, and in some cases even builds a unique brand.

As I stress to audiences, it’s not about telling jokes, being the office joker, or even about being funny. It’s about finding the funny in your everyday work lives, being more authentic at work, laughing at the things you have no control over, and, especially, about laughing at ourselves.

When you infuse your entire culture with a spirit of safe humour, it’s one of the most powerful tools there is that truly can help you energize your culture and drive outrageous results!

Inspiring Change at Work: How to Champion Innovation and Turn Ideas into Action

Change is happening on so many levels and at a faster pace than ever before. And if the pace of change outside your company exceeds the pace of change on the inside, it’s just a matter of time before you’re going to be in trouble. Serious trouble.

You have three options really, when it comes to your relationship with change. You can ghost it (in other words, cover your eyes and ears and ignore it), you can host it (learn to adapt to the change that is happening around you), or you can toast it (by embracing and leading change).

To wrap your arms around change and show change the love it deserves, you need the right mindset, the right tools, and the right culture that supports creativity, resiliency, and innovation.

Creating a Service-First Culture: Why You need to Stop Providing Good Customer Service!

Since your customers already expect “good customer service,” all you’re doing by providing “good customer service” is staying out of the customer service. All you’re doing is meeting expectations. Yawn.

You’re never going to stand out from the herd and earn a reputation for your phenomenal service if you don’t do one of two things:

  1. Exceed your customers’ expectations of good customer service.
  2. Do something different, something your competitors won’t do or can’t do.

And this customer service mindset begins on the inside of your company, which is why, once again, there’s a deep connection to your culture. You need to create a culture that is infused with a service-first mindset; where it is second nature to provide remarkable customer service on the inside; and where everyone treats their teammates like their most important customers.

Hire, Inspire, and Fuel Their Fire: How to Recruit, Onboard, and Train New Employees to Love Your Culture Out Loud

You cannot create a rocking, innovative, service-first culture without getting your hiring, onboarding, and training right! As the old mantra goes, “If you hire wrong, you can do no right, but if you hire right, you can do no wrong!”

Everything starts with hiring the right people — the people that are a right fit for you; the employees that are going to grow your culture in the direction you need to take it.

This is an essential topic for leaders who understand the significant costs associated with a bad hire and, conversely, the enormous benefit of recruiting top talent who are a perfect fit for your company.

Participants will love Michael Kerr’s unique take on this in-demand topic and appreciate the many relevant ideas based on his extensive interviews with CEOs, senior managers, and HR professionals from around the world who are using innovative techniques with their recruitment and onboarding.

Inspiring Leadership: Creating a Purpose-Driven, Values-Based, Innovative and Yes, Fun Culture for a 21st-Century Workforce

Duration: Half day, full day or two day workshop
Target Audiences:  Frontline supervisors, middle managers and senior leaders looking to re-energize their workplace culture to drive phenomenal results.  A version is also available for all employee events that include front line employees.

Culture drive success.  In fact, when I ask inspiring leaders from around the world what’s been more important to their success – business strategy or culture, 95% say it’s their culture.

But great cultures don’t happen by accident. You can’t fake a great culture, and you sure as heck can’t buy it. An inspiring culture requires a dedicated commitment by every leader in an organization. The Human Capital Institute suggests that 70% of a leaders’ time should be focussed on talent development and culture building – culture is just that important.  So if you want an inspiring culture, there’s no getting around it – you need to invest in making that happen!

Why Invest in Inspiring Leadership Training?  

Providing your leaders with the insights, inspiration and tools to focus intentionally on building an inspiring culture will help you:

  • Build a culture that delivers better bottom line business results. (After all, if you’re in business, isn’t this what it’s ultimately about?)
  • Foster a culture that will attract more who are a better fit for your organization.
  • Improve your employee retention rates and reduce employee absenteeism rates.
  • Build greater resiliency in the face of unexpected change.
  • Build a culture where leaders and employees actively seek out change, challenge assumptions, and become restless with the status quo.
  • Build a culture that thrives on ideas and turning ideas into action.
  • Build a culture that puts people first and service first.
  • Reduce silos and improve teamwork.
  • Reduce stress and conflict in the workplace.
  • Increase happiness levels of nearly everyone in your workplace (“nearly everyone” because, let’s be honest,  no matter what you do, there’s just no pleasing some people).

And ultimately…create a “want to” kind of workplace instead of a “have to” kind of workplace.  A workplace where people want to show up on a Monday morning and enthusiastically contribute their ideas and their passion towards building a better YOU.  The kind of workplace where everyone who comes in contact with you – be it your customers, employees, partners, suppliers, or family members, walk away thinking: “That is a remarkable place. The kind of place I’d like to work.”*

*Okay, if you think I’m being a little over the top then we need to talk. After all, there are organizations out there that have achieved this lofty goal (or at least come close) –  Zappos, Google, AFA JCDecaux, SAS, just to name a few.  And no, it’s not going to happen overnight and yes, maybe you won’t ever get to those dizzying heights, but isn’t that the direction you should at least be aiming for?

What Participants Will Learn

With dozens of real-world, relevant examples, and through interactive exercises that get people engaged and, at times, up on their feet, participants will learn:

  • Why culture is everything and everything is culture.
  • 5 “killer” questions to keep asking about your culture.
  • Leadership vs. manager-ship: What’s the difference and why does it matter?
  • How your culture connects with your branding.
  • Recruiting and hiring: Why finding the right people is critical, hiring for attitude, and hiring for a culture fit.
  • The on-boarding process: How to teach your culture to new employees.
  • The role of mentoring, training, and coaching in building a strong culture.
  • Being on purpose: Why “why” matters now more than ever and why your vision statement might be giving everyone a case of the “blahs.”
  • Shifting attitudes: Shifting employees from a job mindset to a calling mindset.
  • Valuing your values: How to communicate your values, celebrate your values, and make sure your values actually mean something.
  • Motivating the troops: Why money isn’t always honey, what most organizations get dead wrong about this topic, and 5 powerful Ps for more effective motivation.
  • Creating a “service-first” culture where everyone understands that some of their most important customers are sitting right next to them!
  • Communication is everything and everything is communication: Shifting from being merely efficient to being truly effective with your communication.
  • Getting your meetings right. How daily team huddles can strengthen your culture and why getting your meetings “right” is critical!
  • How to drive more creativity and innovation: Building a culture that challenges assumptions, questions everything, creates a safe space for ideas, and turns passion and ideas into action.
  • The humor advantage: Why leaders need to demonstrate a healthy sense of humor and how humor both drives and reflects an inspiring culture.
  • Five effective ways to jumpstart a culture shift.

Take Away Resources and Follow Up

To help keep the messages and ideas alive in your workplace,  the workshop also includes a whole suite of electronic resources for participants, including:


  • “Inspiring Questions for Inspiring Workplaces”
  • “340 Ways to Put Humor to Work”
  • “Inspiring Workplaces: Creating the Kind of Workplace Where Everyone Wants to Work

Culture Handouts:

  • “Why Culture is Everything and Everything is Culture”
  • “6 P‘s of Powerful Workplace Motivation”
  • Article: “Lessons from a Workplace Where Everyone Smiles”
  • Article: “Zapped By Zappos”

Communication at Work:

  • “Effective, Inspiring Communication in the Workplace”
  • 52 Meeting Opener Ideas checklist
  • 24 Awesome Meeting Ideas
  • “How to Turn Complainers Into Explainers”

Humor at Work:

  • “Putting Humor to Work”
  • “How to Jumpstart More Fun at Work”
  • “Laughing Your Way to the Top”

Putting Creativity to Work:

  • “25 Ways to Keep Ideas Flowing in Your Workplace”

Additional options that we’d be happy to discuss with you include:

  • Signed copies of Michael’s latest, raved about book, “The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank.” Michael’s book is packed with relevant ideas on building a great culture, making it not only an invaluable resource, but also a memorable gift for    Incredible bulk discount rates are available for Michael’s clients.
  • The 30-Day “Inspiring Workplace Culture” video program. A 2-minute video featuring Michael’s voice and messages delivered to your every participants’ e-mail inbox each day for 30 days. A great way to reinforce the messages and stay inspired.
  • Follow up video messages from Michael customized for your team to talk about your specific challenges. Monthly or quarterly video options are available.