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Leading expert on employee engagement.


Dr James Adonis is one of Australia’s most well-known employee engagement and team leadership educators.

Current Work

James has rich practical experience as a leader in a variety of industries, such as financial services and contact centres, at which his most noteworthy achievements were in relation to his employees’ engagement, performance and retention. Still today, he is employed full-time in a leadership capacity with responsibility for more than 100 staff, thereby ensuring he’s sharing with his audiences what he, too, is actively putting into practice.

James is frequently featured in the media as a thought leader on all matters related to workplace relations. This is most obvious in his weekly business column with the Fairfax group of online news publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. In combination with his books and fortnightly newsletter, James’s insights are read by over 100,000 people every month.

For more than a decade, he has worked with hundreds of organisations helping them successfully lead change, engage staff, and improve performance. A truly international speaker and consultant, he has worked with leaders in Australia, New Zealand, India, Dubai, Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, and Belgium, with an impressive list of clients including McDonald’s, American Express, Coca-Cola, Qantas, Optus, Ernst & Young, Gucci, Toyota and many government departments.

Previous Experience

Education:His qualifications include a PhD that researched the ways in which leaders can engage employees during organisational crises and significant change. His previous qualifications spanned a diverse range of disciplines including business leadership, marketing management, and political science.

Talking Points

Employee engagement: How to get employees to be switched on, driven and hard-working in your workplace - irrespective of their generation

Employee Retention - How to create greater levels of employee loyalty, commitment and advocacy - even in high-turnover industries

How to inspire employees to be more enthusiastic, happy and passionate - without spending a cent

Employee Enragement: How to overcome the five factors that anger, upset and frustrate employees at work

Managing change: How to get employees to embrace change (and champion it!) rather than resist it

Motivation Hoaxes: How to avoid clichés that permeate business and to instead use evidence-based approaches to workplace motivation

Personal engagement: How to motivate and engage yourself by maximising pragmatic and realistic thinking

Performance Improvement: How to enhance employees’ quality and increase their productivity in four easy steps

Crisis leadership: How to lead and inspire teams when your organisation’s survival is at risk

Tailored Topic

If you provide James with your greatest people-related challenges, he’ll design a presentation specifically suited to your organisation.
Wow, what an exceptional motivator, presenter and overall such a professional gentleman. Our audience members were mesmerised with his enthusiasm; he was entertaining, inspiring and captured our attention from start to finish. The techniques he taught us were great as they could be used both at work and in our personal lives. We all left on a high and really could have listened to him for hours. I highly recommend James to the world and wish we could have more people like him in our society - especially with his positive outlook/attitude of life. Australian Institute of Office Professionals

My group of association CEOs and Executive Directors wondered how the young man they had come to hear had such an insight into employee engagement and delivered it with such passion and clarity - in an hour and a half of humour and real-life examples. Importantly, we were given solutions and take-home tools we could use straight away. Afterwards, one of my colleagues was saying 'wouldn't you like to be able to bottle that!' It was a pleasure to hear James speak and a greater pleasure to recommend him to you.

Australian Society of Association Executives

James Adonis is exceptional - entertaining, down to earth, approachable and an expert on the topic of engaging employees and the generational differences. He really seems to practice what he preaches, and passed on some incredibly valuable information that has really made a difference to our understanding of generations in the workplace.

Australian Institute of Training and Development

I am delighted that we chose James Adonis to be part of our conference. His professional and passionate presentation was peppered with facts, examples, and humour. His ability to provide illustrations from his own experiences gave the presentation a unique personal dimension.

David Jones

James's experience and knowledge shone through. He is entertaining, well-informed, and above all, gets the audience to think and do differently. I would recommend him for any organisation where employees articulate a disconnection between themselves and their managers.

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