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7 Employee Appreciation Ideas People Love

Content Impact Award - TalentCulture 2022

Employee appreciation is naturally top-of-mind for employers during the holiday season. But employees actually prefer recognition throughout the year. In fact, according to a HubSpot survey, 39% of employees don’t feel appreciated, and nearly 7 in 10 think better recognition would boost their performance.

So, what can you do to help your workforce feel more deeply appreciated?

Some organizations rely on standard, old-school methods like plaques. But a more personalized approach is far more effective. A thoughtful token of appreciation is worth much more than its monetary value, alone. It tells people they matter. And that kind of message lasts long after it is received.

Here are some meaningful ways to show your team members just how grateful you are for their contributions.

7 Ways to Elevate Employee Appreciation

1. Give Hard Workers a Break

When you recognize employees for an extraordinary effort on a project or success in achieving an important business goal, don’t just say thank you. Reward them with some well-deserved time off.

In going above and beyond, employees often put in extra hours working on weekends, at night, or in the wee hours of the morning. Along the way, they’re likely to lose precious sleep or family time. By letting them redeem some of that time you can help them relax and recharge after an intense work effort. Even one day away can make an impact.

Providing time off is easy. And if you toss in a bonus gift card or cash for these employees to spend on activities they enjoy, that break is likely to be especially memorable.

2. Spotlight Your Stars on Social Media

Want people on your team to feel like stars? Showcase top performers on social media for the world to see. Share photos or video clips of them on your organization’s accounts and express your gratitude for their unique contributions in an uplifting caption.

Invite your leaders and others to congratulate featured individuals in the comment section. Your “stars” will love the attention as it spreads across social media for others to see. These interactions also increase visibility for your business in all the right ways.

This kind of public recognition is personalized, community-minded, and compelling. Above all, it can boost an employee’s pride, confidence, and morale in ways that private recognition can’t touch. 

3. Create Customized Rewards

Are you thinking of giving top performers a framed certificate, a trophy, or maybe a cash reward? Instead, why not appeal to their particular interests? How do they spend their free time? What hobbies or passion projects matter most to them?

For example, do you have fitness freaks on your team? Reward them with a gym membership, a network pass, or a subsidy.

Maybe some of your people are into group activities. Why not share experiential rewards with them? For instance, you could arrange an outing at a local bowling, bocce, or Topgolf venue.

Or for those who love outdoor adventures like hiking, fly fishing, or river rafting, you could go all out and book a fun vacation package like this: White Water Rafting Montana.

Imagine how thrilled people will be with rewards that fit their interests. Whatever your budget, this is a highly effective way to keep employees motivated and reinforce your relationship with them.

4. Treat Your Team to a Tasty Meal

Everyone loves to eat. And there are endless ways to show employee appreciation with the gift of free food. You could send each employee a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Or to celebrate as a team, why not organize a surprise lunch out?

If your people work remotely, you can arrange to have a meal delivered to everyone’s door at the same time on the same day. Contact a restaurant each employee loves and order their favorite menu item. Or send a gift card to everyone in advance. This is an easy, cost-effective way to bring people together for a casual meetup. And don’t forget to send a heartfelt thank you note to each recipient, as icing on the cake.

5. Celebrate Everyday Efforts

To build and sustain a thriving workforce, look for ways to celebrate individuals and teams on a frequent basis. Ask for your workforce to be your eyes and ears to nominate people who deserve recognition for everyday accomplishments, little wins, and hard work, as well as big achievements. And encourage everyone in your organization to celebrate others, as well.

Genuine, ongoing praise is a powerful employee feedback tactic that drives engagement and job satisfaction. It also models the kind of spirit you want to see at the core of your culture.

Also, don’t forget opportunities to celebrate birthdays and other personal milestones. Let your employees know these aren’t just “checklist” items, but heartfelt gestures. You’ll see them smiling more often and sharing appreciation with peers.

6. Highlight Employee Excellence in Internal Newsletters

Internal newsletters and intranets are great for informational updates, but they’re just as powerful for employee appreciation. It pays to think creatively about how you can acknowledge your best performers through these channels.

You could dedicate a regular column in one of these vehicles to highlight stories about the hard work and accomplishments of top performers. These stories are an excellent way to boost morale and inspire top talent to remain engaged and keep aiming high.

7. Make The Most of Anniversaries

Some organizations treat anniversaries as just another day. But wouldn’t it be great to work for a company that celebrates every year of your employment as an important milestone?

The average employee turnover rate remains 20% higher than pre-pandemic levels. In this tough talent market, why would any employer let an anniversary go to waste?

Each year matters in the life of an employee. Whether they’re new to your organization or they’ve been on board for a long time, every member of your team deserves a celebration dedicated to their service. This kind of recognition can take many forms. But whatever you do, be sure to sincerely acknowledge people for their loyalty and their role in helping your organization advance its mission.

Final Thoughts

Great companies embrace employee appreciation as a crucial way to boost motivation, minimize turnover, and set their organization apart from competitors. Appreciating employees doesn’t need to be difficult, but it should be timely, sincere, and relevant.

Even if your budget is limited, there are endless ways to acknowledge people while reinforcing your organization’s goals, values, and culture. Why not think outside the box and show your appreciation in a truly unique way? All it takes is your commitment, consistency, and some thoughtful planning.

Why Great Leaders Express Gratitude at Work

As social beings, many of our relationships are based on reciprocity. At work, we’re often involved in transactional behavior, where we expect to receive at least as much value as we give. But our deepest relationships are usually driven by higher motives like gratitude. A thankful mindset benefits our relationships with others, even if we don’t expect anything in return. That’s why it’s so important for leaders to express gratitude at work.

Research shows that people who practice workplace gratitude help foster more compassion and consideration among their colleagues. For example, the University of Central Florida recently conducted a study among employees from various professions, asking them to journal about work gratitude for 10 days.

This simple act led participants to demonstrate more respect, politeness, and self-discipline. And this is only one of many studies underscoring the power of thankfulness. Bottom line ⁠— if you want to improve your company culture, it’s wise to focus on gratitude.

How Workplace Gratitude Works

Practicing gratitude at work is easy. It’s about recognizing good things that happen throughout the course of a given day. You can focus on an employee’s notable achievement, a coworker’s warm response to a challenging customer, or the arrival of a new coffee machine in the break room. The possibilities are endless.

Here are three types of work gratitude that directly influence employee experience:

1. Episodic Gratitude

This is tied to specific positive events you’ve encountered. For instance, you may be offered a new assignment you’ve been eyeing for a while. Or colleagues may jump in to help you meet a tight deadline. Or your employer gives you time off to deal with a serious illness in your family.

There is a strong correlation between expressions of gratitude in specific situations and positive organizational behavior. In other words, by practicing episodic gratitude over time, you can form a healthy habit that benefits you and your colleagues, alike. And ultimately, it can elevate your company culture as well.

2. Persistent Gratitude

When you consistently tend to feel thankful in a particular context, that is persistent gratitude. People with persistent gratitude are more likely to notice the good in other people’s actions and be thankful for them.

For instance, say your colleague fixes some basic errors in a document you’ve drafted so you don’t have to spend more time revising it. Some people may expect this as a normal part of a colleague’s job. But if you embrace persistent gratitude, you’ll be thankful for that effort to improve your document.

So, why is persistent gratitude important at work? When people feel good about what they do for a living, it leads to better overall well-being. Persistent gratitude leads to positive work-related emotions like enthusiasm and happiness. It also helps form stronger relationships, which in turn can strengthen your organizational culture.

3. Collective Gratitude

This is a feeling of thankfulness that stretches across an organization. It means you have a culture where people openly appreciate each other. With collective gratitude, employees feel free to express gratitude to colleagues, superiors, and clients.

A work environment where you’re appreciated and your efforts are celebrated sounds like a dream. As mentioned previously, persistent gratitude nurtures happiness and stronger relationships, so imagine what this ethic can accomplish when organizations fully embrace it. That’s why highly effective leaders foster a sense of collective gratitude.

Building a Culture of Gratitude

How can you help employees feel valued, recognized, and appreciated at work? Here are some proven ways you can encourage more gratitude throughout your organization:

  • Respect employees and colleagues by consistently seeking their input and listening to their ideas.
  • Take time to celebrate individual and team successes.
  • Believe that even a simple verbal or written “thank you” can go a long way.
  • Tell people exactly how they make a difference to you and others, so they believe your comments are genuine.
  • Don’t hold back. Share positive feedback whenever you see an opportunity.
  • Ask people how you can help them grow or rise to a new work challenge.
  • Be available to help when others are struggling through difficult times.
  • Hold periodic recognition ceremonies where employees nominate colleagues for awards like custom trophies, personalized keepsakes, or other customized items that strike a meaningful chord.
  • Publicly thank those who’ve helped you at work so people will be encouraged to offer assistance to others, as well.
  • Reward your team with fun group events that can also strengthen bonds. For example, you could host informal offsite trips, game nights, picnics, happy hours, and team lunches.

The Many Benefits of Gratitude at Work

When you express gratitude as a natural habit, you’ll begin to notice that it improves your attitude about work. And eventually, that genuine sense of gratitude will spread to others around you and benefit your culture in multiple ways. For example, in organizations where gratitude is a priority you’ll find:

  • Less job stress and more satisfaction
  • Better coworker relationships and friendships
  • A happier, more collaborative atmosphere
  • Heightened morale
  • Better employee self-esteem, mental health, and confidence
  • More energy and enthusiasm
  • And even improved physical health

A spirit of genuine appreciation can fill work environments with positivity. And when employees feel good about their work experience, a better customer experience and increased sales are likely to follow. It’s an all-around win-win.

Final Thoughts

Leaders typically don’t express gratitude as often as employees wish they would. But if you’re a leader, it’s your responsibility to keep your workforce engaged, connected, and optimistic. Consistently acknowledging others can showcase your professionalism, improve your business relationships, help you stand out as a true team player, and lift your workplace culture.

It may not cost anything to be outwardly appreciative, but developing a habit of thankfulness can make a massive difference. You have nothing to lose. So why not give it a try?

6 Ways Employee Recognition can be Established in a Fair Climate

Sponsored by: Cristaux International

Kids are known for complaining when things aren’t fair. Although professional adults may not be as obvious as children, they do the same thing. Perhaps people worry about fairness because it is crucial to happiness. Any organization can find great success and growth by developing a fair recognition climate, but where does one start?

Fairness incorporates objectivity and human emotions. It’s a tricky balance to hack, but the tips below are meant to help leaders set up fair and effective recognition programs. With a clear strategy and positive culture, a company can grow from the inside out.

Why is Fairness Important to Recognition? 

Fairness helps cut bias and gives employee recognition credibility. By practicing fairness, more team members are inspired to take part in programs and opportunities. This buy-in is essential for including all employees and growing your whole team. Whether developing in-person or remote employee recognition, it’s important to make it accessible and encouraging for everyone. 

A fair recognition climate is a determining factor in establishing and strengthening corporate wellness in your company. It has many benefits considered by itself and from an overall corporate perspective.

 

Fair Recognition Programs

Overall benefits of corporate wellness (©Cristaux.com)

 

6 Ways to Establish a Fair Recognition Climate

There are countless ways to build a fair recognition climate. It largely depends on resourcefulness, planning, and inclusivity. When creating new initiatives, consider the team’s goals and the company’s capabilities. With creativity and collaboration, any organization can develop recognition programs within its means. Fairness is essential to effective recognition. It’s important to use the following tips and to see what works best for your team.

1. Use Employee Data

Choosing award recipients is often the most difficult part of recognition programs. To show fairness, use employee data and talent analytics to guide the decision-making process. Additionally, consider developing programs that are entirely objective. For instance, a years-of-service program celebrates employee anniversaries. This recognition is ideal because it can be achieved by all employees and allows leaders to remain objective.

It’s important to keep track of different data sets including employee start dates, reviews, and quotas. Different information can inspire diverse programs like sales recognition and customer service awards.

2. Allow Everyone to Achieve

Recognition must be a level playing field. From veteran staff members to new employees, everyone must be able to be recognized for a program to be fair. Imagine that an organization is putting together an annual awards program for its employees. Some staff members may not qualify for a specific category, so they must be considered for other awards. For example, new hires can be recognized as emerging leaders. Managers can be honored within their departments.

3. Recognize Consistently

Making recognition a routine for one’s company helps develop positive traditions. Consistency is key to building fair recognition. By sticking to a schedule, everyone shares the same expectations. Also, regularity encourages more people to achieve. Team members learn the routines, see others being celebrated, want that for themselves, and work harder.

Therefore, employee-of-the-month programs are so popular. They capture the importance of consistency and create a structure for employee recognition.

4. Show Appreciation

While recognition honors achievements, appreciation is often unprompted by behavior or actions. Instead, it may look like a catered lunch for a holiday. Small moments like these include staff members who may be struggling to go above and beyond. Also, it shows unconditional support and helps foster a culture of gratitude. Taking time to give genuine thanks goes a long way.

5. Celebrate Diverse Accomplishments

Supporting diversity in the workplace is crucial for growing modern businesses. This way, team members have many ways to succeed within their organization. For instance, consider honoring different departments or soft skills like teamwork and time management.

Consider recognizing personal milestones in addition to professional ones. By doing this, leaders show appreciation for the complex individuals they work with. Examples of what to celebrate include completed education outside of work and growing one’s family.

6. Recognize in Different Ways

Some employees prefer public recognition, while others opt for something more private. Get to know your team by talking with them or sharing a survey for them to complete. Consider asking how they would like to be recognized and what gifts they would like to receive. This way you can be more effective by personalizing your recognition efforts for each person. 

Fairness Makes Recognition Fruitful

The best recognition programs are fair, enjoyable, and inspiring. However, they look different for each unique organization. Like Rome, recognition programs are not built in a day. Take your time to develop what works best for you and your people and see the benefits pour in.

Tackle Turnover: Spend a Little, Save a Lot

Your employees are your most valuable asset. If nothing else, the past two years have surely taught us that. How did organizations survive? Was it their inventory, their machinery, their equity? Those resources may have had something to do with staying afloat, but without the employees to sell, manage, and operate those assets, the business landscape would look very different today.

Knowing this, it’s not surprising the Great Resignation is top of mind. In August alone more than 4.3 million workers quit their jobs. That’s nearly 3% of the U.S. workforce leaving their jobs in search of something better – in a single month. There’s no better time to spend a little to tackle turnover, and save a lot in the long run. 

Spending a Lot on Turnover

Research conducted by Gallup in 2019 found the cost of replacing an employee ranges from one-half to 2x their annual salary. In an average year – even a good year – voluntary turnover costs U.S. businesses about one trillion dollars. 

Now take into account the massive turnover we’ve seen this year, plus the increasing labor shortage industries are facing. Recruiting is no longer business as usual, and the cost of turnover will show that. Organizations looking to stay competitive will need to utilize signing bonuses, agencies, and headhunters to recruit top talent, and it will be pricey. 

All of these costs to fill a position that ideally wouldn’t have been vacated in the first place – and there’s still a risk that the new hire you just spent thousands of dollars onboarding will leave, too! 

While this may sound bleak, it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, Gallup also found that 52% of employees who left their role voluntarily said their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from quitting. This “something” that could reduce your organization’s turnover by half is really quite simple.

Tackle Turnover by Reassessing Employee Value

Reducing turnover may sound daunting – after all, each employee quits for their own specific reasons. Do organizations need to have a unique strategy for each employee at risk of leaving? Luckily, that isn’t the case. Whatever the reason for leaving is – benefits, work-life flexibility, workplace safety, career development, or something else – chances are the overarching theme is the same: how valued an employee feels. 

I’ll say it again: your employees are your greatest, most valuable assets, yet based on 2021’s turnover rates, it doesn’t appear organizations are treating them as such. Now more than ever organizations must lift, connect, and engage their humans before it’s too late. Employee recognition does just that.  

A robust employee recognition program allows employees to be recognized and to recognize each other for the invaluable work they do each day. It builds a community grounded in an organization’s core values, strengthening the bottom line. When employees feel seen, appreciated, and connected to their colleagues and organization, they stay longer. 

Spend a Little, Save a Lot

How much does your company spend on turnover in a year? How much will your company spend on turnover this year, when resignation rates are at an all-time high? Even without knowing the exact number, it’s probably too much. 

Instead, consider putting a fraction of that cost, say 1% of your payroll, into building a robust, collaborative, values-based employee recognition program and watch the ROI flood in. Workhuman® research has proven recognition works again and again. 

Across industries, employees who give and receive recognition are 2.6x less likely to leave their position. Employees recognized 7 to 10 times annually (that’s less than one recognition moment a month) see 2x lower turnover than those who go unrecognized. New hires recognized in the first year leave the organization 3x less than their unrecognized counterparts. 

The Impact of Recognition

Investing in a recognition program not only reduces turnover and increases engagement, but it also leads to happier customers. A Gallup report found engaged employees are not only more productive but also report 10% higher customer satisfaction metrics than disengaged employees. Workhuman’s data backs this up. Employees who are recognized monthly with monetary value are 4x as likely to receive compliments and be recognized by customers for exceptional service. Even further, the data shows a strong recognition culture yields customers who actually spend more

The power of recognition impacts organizations in all industries, not just customer facing ones. A Workhuman study found that five manufacturing plants with the strongest recognition culture reported 82% lower recordable injuries than the plants with the lowest recognition reach. Strong recognition cultures also reported an average lost time incident rate that is 65% lower than plants with low levels of recognition.

The impact goes far beyond the individual recipient. Just seeing coworkers receive awards for safety-related moments encourages others to prioritize safety as well. Employees who feel safe in their environment and are appreciated for following safety protocols are more productive. It almost makes them and feel more valued and connected to their work. 

Spending Smart

There is no avoiding the inevitable, and employers now have a choice to make. The choice is simple. Do nothing and continue to fund the endless turnover cycle, or build a culture where the turnover cycle can’t persist. Strategic employee recognition increases the bottom line through engagement and connection. Spending a little will transform your organization into one where employees want to stay. What are you waiting for? 

5 Quick Ways to Make Employee Recognition Fun

Thanks and praise for a job well done feel good. But recognition happens far less often than it should in our work environments. And employees have noticed.

Reward Gateway found that 85 percent of employees think managers and leaders should spot good work and give praise in the moment, and 81 percent of employees think this should happen on a continuous, year-round basis. Additionally, this study also found that 70 percent of employees say motivation and morale would improve if managers simply started saying “thank you” more. Yet Gallup reports that 65 percent of employees hadn’t received any form of recognition for good work within the past year.

When asked what leaders could do to improve employee engagement, 58 percent of respondents in a Psychometrics study replied, “Give recognition and praise.” And in another survey by Socialcast, 69 percent of employees said they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated. Clearly, recognition matters.

Employee recognition is a company’s most valuable currency

Employees typically value praise more than other tangible forms of reward, including cash. According to Officevibe, 83 percent of surveyed employees said it’s better to give someone praise than a gift.

Employees want to appreciate each other as well—and when they do, it boosts a company’s bottom line. With this in mind, peer-to-peer recognition is a powerful force. Notably, it’s nearly 36 percent more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition, according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Globoforce.

Five quick ways to make recognition fun

Employee recognition doesn’t have to take the form of simple praise and thank you’s. Here are some simple creative ideas anyone can do—including you!

  • Give someone who’s deserving a standing ovation.
  • Ring a bell or gong to celebrate a big sale or major achievement.
  • Highlight photos of hardworking employees in company PowerPoint presentations.
  • Create a project scrapbook for your team with pictures and stories of good work.
  • After meeting a goal or initiative, have executives make breakfast for the team.

The bottom line

What gets recognized gets repeated. Often, this idea is referred to by many as, “the greatest management principle in the world.” By recognizing good work, you encourage more of it.

You don’t need a budget to start. In fact, the most powerful forms of employee recognition tend to cost little, if any, money. A word of thanks in person, a written note, or an email can go a long way.

Employee recognition is contagious. It doesn’t just feel good to receive recognition. It also feels good to give it, so take the time to do so and pass it on!

 

Mario Tamayo, a principal with Tamayo Group Inc., and Bob Nelson, president of Nelson Motivation Inc. co-authored this piece. They also co-authored Work Made Fun Gets Done! Easy Ways to Boost Energy, Morale, and Results, available wherever books are sold.

How to Stop the Great Resignation with Employee Recognition [Podcast]

The “Great Resignation” has organizations everywhere in strategy mode. They’re brainstorming ways to keep employees happy and in turn, keep them on board.

So what’s making people want to quit their jobs en masse? The main cause is burnout. A recent Microsoft survey indicates that one in five people don’t feel like their employers care about burnout or work-life balance. Also, 54 percent are overworked and nearly 40 percent are out-right exhausted. With these kinds of stats, it’s easy to see why people would look elsewhere.

Fortunately, there is something employers can start implementing today that can help increase retention: employee recognition.

Our Guest: Morgan Chaney, Senior Director of Marketing at Blueboard

On the latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with Morgan Chaney, Senior Director of Marketing at Blueboard, the world’s leading experiential employee rewards and recognition platform. Morgan is an employee recognition thought leader and a seasoned professional speaker. She hosts Blueboard’s monthly webinars and presents regularly at industry conferences and professional meetups, including HR Transform, HR Southwest, HR Redefined, DisruptHR Regional Events, Culture Con Madison, and the CalHR Conference.

Because employee recognition can be so effective for retention efforts, I was excited to tap into her expertise. According to Morgan, the first step in successful retention is to touch base with teams to see if people are feeling appreciated.

“Organizations need to touch base with their teams and check in on how they’re feeling,” Morgan says. “That’s how they’ll be able to pivot and stay afloat.”

Prior to the pandemic, seventy-five percent of employees didn’t feel valued. Now that we’re all interacting in different locations through screens, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand an employee’s mindset. That’s why it’s important to make a point to focus on these perspectives. Once you gauge whether employees feel valued, it’s time to add an employee recognition program or uplevel the one already in place.

 “Analyze your current program to see if it is well-utilized. Are managers trained and comfortable to give feedback and recognition in the first place? Is there clarity around how to participate in recognition?” Morgan says. “So those are things that employers can absolutely look at and ask themselves.”

The Importance of Managers in Employee Recognition

So how do you optimize these programs to ensure effectiveness? First and foremost, you need to make sure the mechanics for feedback and appreciation are solid. Managers need to feel comfortable with feedback and understand what is appropriate.

“Managers are a huge reason why people leave companies. If they don’t connect with their manager, if they don’t feel like they’re seen and valued from that first touchpoint, things can go really wrong and people might choose to go elsewhere,” Morgan says. 

Further, properly empowered managers can deliver positive feedback and can get creative with employee recognition.  They don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. With this in mind, organizations can have leaders offer customized options and perks, which will likely be more effective.

“Choice is huge. To toot the horn for Blueboard a little bit, we do experiential rewards. And what that means is that instead of giving someone a cash bonus or a gift card, we curate a really beautiful menu of global experiences that they can choose from. So what that can look like in fruition is maybe chasing the northern lights on a trip to Alaska with your loved ones and checking that off your bucket list,” Morgan says. “Make a point to really lift up your top performers, because those are the ones that you really don’t want to leave, the ones that are going to be really hard to replace … recognize them for their values”

I hope you enjoy this episode of #WorkTrends, sponsored by Blueboard. You can learn more about employee recognition by reaching out to Morgan Chaney on LinkedIn. You can also learn more about retaining top talent by checking out this  Blueboard ebook: Retaining Top Talent is Your Top Priority.

Image by Siri Wannapat

5 Ways to Incorporate Employee Recognition into the Flow of Work

While countless aspects of daily work have changed over the past year, one thing remains the same across most organizations: Employees value recognition. In fact, now more than ever, employees want their efforts to be seen, heard, and acknowledged. And with the job market heating up, if employee recognition isn’t consistently present, your top talent will go elsewhere.

Nearly 6 in 10 employees (58%) rank culture – including employee recognition – ahead of salary when it comes to what they want from a company.

So the stakes are higher than ever when it comes to recognition and retaining top talent. For companies hoping to thrive as hiring returns to normal, recognition must be a part of every leader’s responsibilities. And it must be incorporated into the flow of work to keep it top of mind and authentic. Yet, according to a recent survey across CXOs and HR leaders, only 36% see recognition as a top priority for 2021.

Employee Recognition: The Difficult Work Lies Ahead

Even for those leaders who acknowledge the need for incorporating recognition into the flow of work, the difficult work lies ahead.

For starters, know that recognition feels more natural and is more successful when leadership fosters a culture built on connection. When it comes to applying connection to recognition, repetition certainly helps. Today’s recognition technology empowers leaders to determine how each employee prefers their shoutouts and communication. For example, a recent study found that 54% of employees prefer a verbal thank-you, while 31% prefer a written note. Only 7% prefer celebration and gifts. As any successful leader knows that recognition is not one-size-fits-all, and it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it initiative.

Putting authentic recognition in the flow of your organization’s work can feel daunting. But leaders must make this a priority and set it as a part of their daily intentions. Let’s discuss five ways to incorporate recognition.

1. Acknowledge specifics

Anyone can hand out a generic “great job.” Such blanket statements feel insincere. Instead, focus on the specific contributions individual employees are making to create heartfelt praise. This will require more involved leadership and higher emotional intelligence than simply offering impersonal, inauthentic gestures of appreciation.

2. Embrace social recognition

Like it or not, social media is a big part of our lives. With remote work so prevalent now, we rely on online communities and interact via digital communication tools most of the time. Incorporating recognition into all of your employee communication tools, including social channels, ensures recognition is timely, visible, and in the flow of work.

3. Schedule virtual events

Team lunches, scheduled times to touch base, and other virtual events deliver two benefits:

  • They allow you to stay connected with your employees.
  • They provide a natural forum for recognition and communication.

Because remote work can leave employees feeling isolated, it’s important to schedule these virtual touchpoints to ensure a sense of community and connection. You can also let employees select the themes of the virtual events or choose activities (e.g., a virtual painting class or a yoga class) as a part of their recognition. That way, employees feel engaged and rewarded.

4. Make it meaningful

Let’s face it: Some daily tasks feel tedious and thankless. Put meaning in “the little things” — show the impact an employee has, even if they don’t see it themselves. One way to do this is to tie recognition of the smaller tasks to values, mission, or even larger themes within your organization. This lets employees see how their success maps to something greater. This is especially important now because being dispersed often distorts the bigger picture or impedes an employee’s visibility to larger goals.

5. Incorporate variety

Just as you incorporate variety into your messaging, variety is essential when it comes to message delivery. Think outside the box: handwritten notes, a customized gift, a video message, or a delivery of their favorite treat. If every attempt at providing recognition looks the same, employees will undoubtedly start to feel the message is increasingly less special.

The Connection Between Recognition and Results

Providing recognition is not the final step. It’s important to measure your recognition results to ensure program ROI. By infusing analytics into the process – tracking and measuring your recognition strategy’s effectiveness – you can determine which areas might benefit from optimization or where something isn’t working. You need to make sure what you’re doing is having the desired effect. You’ll also want to ensure that your company is getting the most from your recognition investment. Analytics will also help ensure that your programs are positively impacting the behaviors you want to target.

Data and analytics can provide the necessary feedback and a road map to ensure your organization stays on track now and in the future. Keeping an eye on the road ahead not only includes measuring ROI but also retaining your top talent. Ultimately, employee recognition provides the validation, appreciation, and culture to drive retention.

So, don’t let recognition be just a passing thought or a tool that sits on a shelf. Incorporate it daily for your workforce to feel genuinely valued. After all, we endured in 2020. So who doesn’t deserve a shoutout for the tenacity and resilience they’ve shown?

 

Photo: Christina @ wocintechchat.com

WFH Employees: How to Keep Them Safe

In some countries, as lockdown measures continue to ease, businesses are opening and employees are heading back to work. But some of us are still working from home — a policy that has become the ‘new normal‘ and may continue for millions of people, even in the wake of the pandemic.

Companies need to make sure their employees still feel safe and connected at home to avoid WFH burnout. Here are some effective ways to make physical and mental safety and employee well-being a top priority:

Let’s dive in!

1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

When it comes to working remotely or working from home, communication is key. According to a Buffer survey, 20% of remote workers struggle with communication.

Providing several communication channels can enable the company and employees to stay in touch. An HR manager can run conference calls (both video or audio) to help bring teams together and keep them aligned on projects. One-on-one calls are more personal and can give employees a way to reveal any struggles or concerns.

Not only does communicating make employees feel safe and connected, but it also helps them feel valued — even when they can’t draw on the support of an office or workplace environment.

2. Adjust Company Policies

With the pandemic still raging, we’re not quite at “business as usual” yet. So, it’s crucial to adjust or revise company policies and continuity plans to better protect your employees and meet their needs. Flexibility is key: more than two-thirds of employees say at a loss of flexibility would convince them to find another job. WFH security guidelines can ensure that employees can use their own devices without worrying about their data getting leaked or hacked.

As you anticipate your business demands, use workforce management software to unlock your workforce’s potential and keep employees from feeling overwhelmed. Adjust your policies regarding benefits, pay, sick leave, and paid time off to fit the circumstances.

3. Provide Team Building Activities

Since working from home isn’t the easiest task for some employees, it’s important to help them manage stress levels and feel connected to each other. One effective approach is to strengthen teamwork at the same time with team building activities, such as icebreaker or informal video conference calls. Consider movie nights, or get-togethers to just talk about life.

 Such activities can help employees not only decompress, but build their sense of personal connection and trust. 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very crucial” to strengthen employees’ work relationships and overall efficiency.

4. Promote Fair Workplace Practices

Make sure your WFH policy aligns with the company’s principles and maintains fair treatment for all employees. 54% of employees rank fair treatment as the second most valuable employer attribute, a strong factor in a decision to stay or leave.

Double-check that all employees have equal access to the company’s services, such as the devices they need to work remotely, such as laptops, internet connection, and cybersecurity. And extend sick or paid leave policies to employees even when they’re working from home. 

5. Reward and Recognize Employees

When remote employees feel valued and safe, they are free to be productive, and get their projects done effectively and efficiently. They may be working remotely, but they feel appreciated and acknowledged. Over 79% of employees who feel under-appreciated consider quitting their job — and this is going to extend to employees working from home as well. 

Build employee engagement with rewards and recognition — even just a note recognizing their efforts can go a long way.  

Whether your employees work from home occasionally or exclusively, it’s always important to make them feel safe. Support them, engage them, and you’ll see the results.

Photo: Drew Beamer

New Research Indicates Desire for Recognition, Feedback

In the past several months, many companies have modified their performance programs. From streamlining their review processes to running more frequent pulse surveys, organizations around the world are seeking to make changes that will ultimately boost employee performance and productivity.

Our company, Reflektive, sought to measure these changes with a performance management survey. In June we reached out to 445 HR professionals and business leaders, and 622 employees, to understand the current state of their performance programs. We compared these results to a similar survey we ran in 2018. Our 2020 Performance Management Benchmark Report uncovered meaningful performance management trends over the past two years, as well as insights into the current state of work.

Formal Processes of Performance Management Consistent Since 2018

A surprising observation was that the formal processes of performance management have not changed significantly over the last two years. Nearly half of reviews are run annually or less frequently. Forty-six percent of respondents use descriptive performance ratings, such as “meets expectations.” 

People Analytics Present Big Opportunity

The survey also found that only 50% of HR and business leaders are using people analytics to predict performance and turnover. What’s interesting is that most leaders believe that people analytics has become more important, however they’re still not utilizing this technology to inform strategic people decisions. This gap can really impact workforce planning, as organizations struggle to fill needs when employees depart.

Employees Desire More Communication and Transparency from Companies

The employee survey results revealed that workers seek more communication to stay informed and engaged at work. Nearly half of respondents desire more consistent communication from leadership, and 37% said more consistent communication was needed from colleagues. 

In a similar vein, we found that employees sought more transparency from their employers. Only 19% of employees believed that their organization was transparent about upward mobility. Twenty-one percent said their company was communicative about salary freezes, and the same percentage said that their org was transparent about potential pay cuts. Employees are cognizant of the pandemic’s economic toll, and would like their companies to be honest with them about the business impact.

Employees Seek More Feedback and Coaching for their Growth

Another interesting insight we uncovered was that employees want more from their performance programs. Specifically, they’re looking for increased coaching, dialogue and recognition from their managers. Since 2018, there’s been a 3.2X increase in the percentage of employees that desire recognition. We also observed a nearly 90% increase in the percentage of employees that desire formal feedback conversations monthly or more frequently.

A performance bright spot was the manager-employee relationship. Over 80% of employees surveyed said that they are having 1:1s with their managers. Additionally, 80% said that these meetings were productive. This data was really uplifting to me, since driving alignment and communication can be tricky when everyone is working remotely.

However, we did identify a major communication gap: only 20% of employees reported that they receive weekly feedback. So it appears that managers and employees are talking regularly about ongoing work and projects, but employees still aren’t receiving the coaching that they desire. This represents a huge opportunity for managers — they can benefit from training on how to ask important questions, and how to provide valuable feedback on a more regular basis. Performance management technology — including feedback prompts and 1:1 tools — can help drive productive coaching conversations too.

Getting Feedback Remains Challenging for Employees

One interesting discrepancy between leaders and employees was sentiment around initiating feedback conversations. Only 14% of HR professionals and business leaders felt that employees weren’t empowered to initiate feedback conversations. However, 30% of employees — or over 2X the percentage of leaders — felt that they weren’t empowered to request feedback. This discrepancy indicates that HR teams and leaders are overestimating employee comfort with feedback processes. Employee training on giving and receiving feedback, and an easy-to-use feedback tool, can help fill this gap.

Executives and Employees Remain Optimistic for the Future

While sentiment and outlooks are continuously evolving in 2020, both executives and employees remain optimistic about the future. Specifically, executives anticipate more investment in technology (35% of respondents) and more efforts to boost engagement and retain employees (29% of respondents). 

Employees anticipate that six months from now, it will be business as usual (34% of respondents). Additionally, 26% expect to have learned new skills, and 25% believe they’ll feel proud of their accomplishments. Despite the many headwinds that they’re facing, employees feel that they will come out of 2020 stronger and more prepared for the future.

As employees, HR teams, and executives navigate the ever-changing environment, agility and resilience will be crucial. The ability to work productively in different environments, and collaborate cross-functionally, will be highly valued. Companies that maintain engaged and productive workforces will be the success stories of 2020.

This post is sponsored by Reflektive.

Photo: Aleks Marinkovic

#WorkTrends: Aligning Around Performance Management: New Findings

Listen to the full conversation and see our questions for the upcoming #WorkTrends Twitter Chat. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, so you don’t miss an episode.

How, where, and when we work may have changed, but there still needs to be a way to manage performance. But do employees want that right now? Amid the uncertainty, the answer is yes. Employees are yearning for continuous feedback, according to a 2020 performance management benchmark report by Reflektive, which surveyed over 1,000 HR practitioners, business leaders, and employees. And the feedback process is bolstering the relationship between managers and employers. 

I invited Jennifer Toton, Chief Marketing Officer at Reflektive to #WorkTrends to shed light on this benchmark study and dig into some of the trends it reveals. But as Jennifer pointed out, what was surprising was what didn’t change. The formal process of performance management and the number of reviews are still intact, but the way we give and receive feedback has really evolved. “We saw a 90% increase in employees who want more formal feedback conversations on a monthly or more frequent basis.”  

Also compelling, to me, is that even in these times, employees have retained a sense of optimism. Many believe that six months from the time of the survey, business will remain as usual. A quarter believed they would learn more skills. Another quarter said they would feel proud of the work they accomplished, and about a fifth said that they will feel more productive. “Our employees are resilient and they’re adapting to the change,” added Jennifer. 

Much is up to the managers, though. They must be transparent in their communication, said Jennifer, particularly around salary freezes and pay cuts, as honesty feeds trust. In addition, 80% of employees said they were having regular meetings with their managers, and that they found the format was not only positive, but productive. 

We covered a lot of ground in this discussion, so I encourage you to have a listen for yourself. Got feedback? Feel free to weigh in on Twitter or on LinkedIn. (And make sure to add the #WorkTrends hashtag so others in the TalentCulture community can follow along.)

 Twitter Chat Questions
Q1: Why do organizations struggle with performance management? #WorkTrends
Q2: What strategies can help improve performance management? #WorkTrends
Q3: How can leaders refocus performance management for better results?  #WorkTrends

Find Jennifer Toton on Linkedin and Twitter

This podcast is sponsored by Reflektive.

(Editor’s note: This month, we’re announcing upcoming changes to #WorkTrends podcasts and Twitter chats. To learn about these changes as they unfold, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.)

How to Make Every Employee Feel Recognized

Do your employees feel recognized for their work?

A recent survey revealed 74 percent of employees plan to switch jobs in 2018 and 44 percent cited lack of recognition and engagement as the reason. That’s a bummer, and it’s something that we can fix.

There are a lot of opportunities in the work day to recognize employees and improve employee engagement. Let’s think through one best practice followed by organizations with engaged teams: Put your employees front and center.

Consider Everyone Who Should Be Recognized

The Individual

Don’t just address your workforce as an assembly of names. Personalize your recognition for each individual’s interests, concerns, goals and life. A rewards and recognition program that offers customizable portals and a wide range of different exchanges is a built-in way to acknowledge that recognition is personal.

Small Teams

Small teams are like families with enormous influence over the broader work culture. Your rewards and recognition platform should offer ways for them to recognize each other, whether though peer-to-peer recognition or team leaders recognizing the broader team. Continuous recognition should be encouraged and no one should be left out. Whether an employee works in your office or remotely, it’s important to recognize every individual for a job well done.

Gig and Freelance Workers

Given the rising percentage of freelancers, contractors, and other non-employee workers in the talent ecosystem, a rewards and recognition system should also provide you with the option of including every type of worker. Extending recognition to outside the organizational walls brings employees together, increases engagement, and strengthens the workforce community.

Make Employee Recognition a Priority

Even if you’re making plans to recognize all of the groups above, you can run into blind spots and inconsistencies that will derail your employee recognition program.

Here’s an example we saw recently: We were working with an organization’s HR department that had left rewards up to the discretion of managers. And those managers had very different notions of what recognition and rewards meant. There was no centralized criteria about what warranted praise or recognition. The performance data wasn’t comprehensive, which led managers to overlook certain performers because their contributions weren’t included in the overall data set.

The company decided to make the shift to an automated recognition and engagement platform that could create a lot more data but also incorporate every employee. The new platform created a matrix based on the entire workforce, then broke it down into departments, hubs and teams. It even created an automatic calendar for periodic recognition and feedback.

The most fascinating discovery was the immense impact recognition had on the lackluster and less-than-visible performers. When the light was finally shining on them, they all started to bloom, and performance, productivity and all the other KPIs began to rise.

Since the implementation of the company’s new recognition and engagement program, employees have been staying in their jobs longer, requesting less internal moves to other departments, and the managers themselves are far more involved in the recognition process.

Rule of thumb: Validate every single employee and make them all feel like they’re important to your organization through frequent recognition.

Want to learn more about how to effectively recognize employees? Join us for our webinar, 7 Ways Rewards and Recognition Connect Engagement and Business Goals, on March 15, 2018 at 1pm Eastern. Register here.

This post is sponsored by Achievers.

#WorkTrends Recap: The Value of Employee Recognition

Smart companies and leaders are figuring out that rewards and recognition programs have a lasting impact on employees. From a small thank you to quick feedback on a job well done, recognition can improve employee engagement and productivity, as well as help retain top talent. All of which can improve the bottom line.

And yet, not every company has figured out how to incorporate rewards and recognition into their work culture.

This week on #WorkTrends, host Meghan M. Biro welcomed Salvador Barros, CEO of Tap My Back, and Jason Lauritsen, Keynote Speaker and Best-Selling Author, to the podcast to discuss the barriers to adoption and the value of recognition programs.

As CEO of Tap My Back, a tool that helps leaders promote recognition across the organization, Salvador Barros has seen first-hand what recognition can do for employees, leaders and companies. Jason Lauritsen has studied hundreds of workplaces to determine the keys to real employee engagement.

Here are a few key points Salvador and Jason shared:

  • Sustainable employee recognition starts at the top. Leaders need to be an example to the rest of an organization
  • Companies aiming to improve customer experience should first focus on having engaged employees
  • Organizations need to pay more attention to outward facing issues to realize the value of employee engagement.
  • Peer-to-peer feedback is just as valuable as management feedback because your peers see the effort you put into your work, and managers often focus on the results.

Did you miss the show? You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here: http://bit.ly/2tn6mAG

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Didn’t make it to this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the podcast and chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT).

Remember, the TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following our #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

Photo Credit: Sydnee Paige Photography Flickr via Compfight cc

10 Rules for Recognition That Increase Employee Commitment

Working in the modern world can be hectic. The pace is unrelenting. The expectations are high. The hours are long. And for many, the pay is underwhelming. So, when I hear from managers that they have no time to recognize, or show appreciation for their employees, I cringe. Essentially what these managers are saying is, they’re not interested in increasing employee commitment to the cause. They want to make their job more difficult. They want their employees to feel taken advantage of. Now, I know this isn’t the message well-intentioned leaders want to send. But not recognizing employees for their hard work is management malpractice.

Management malpractice also drives the outdated belief: “Why should I recognize my employees. They’re just doing their job. They get a paycheck. That’s recognition enough.”

While a small percentage of employees may align with that belief, it’s short-sighted. And it’s a convenient way to say, “I don’t need (or get) recognition and neither should you.” In short, it’s lazy thinking.

Businesses Benefit from Leveraging Human Nature

Human beings are social creatures. We are driven to build relationships with others. We want quality relationships, and this includes connections that make us feel good about ourselves and our contributions.

When we tap into our human nature for connection, it’s an obvious next step to show that relationships are important. To do so is a signal of respect, trust, and, ultimately, that we need each other. Imagine the powerful influence a team of appreciated employees can have on results when there is a culture of recognition.

A culture of recognition benefits employees and benefits. Here are but a few business-related outcomes.

  • Globoforce, an organization that helps companies implement recognition solutions, found a 32 percent increase in productivity in companies that practice peer-to-peer recognition.
  • In Globoforce’s 2012 Employee Recognition Survey, they found employee commitment increases 57 percent when employees are recognized

The above research reveals several business benefits. Others include lower turnover, better financial returns, more innovative ideas, creates positive workplace climates, just to name a few.

Rules for Recognizing Employees

Today we know more about what makes recognition more effective. Here are ten rules to help you appreciate what people do and the impact employee commitment has on the business.

1. Recognize employees within one week of the event. If your employee nails the sales presentation to a client, let them know quickly. Share your appreciation in a hand-written note or verbally. Maybe post a thank you in Slack.

2. Recognize employees publicly. Show employees what behaviors are important to you.

3. Focus on behaviors. It’s less effective to focus on outcomes. Sometimes an employee stumbles but recovers brilliantly. Recognize the behaviors that helped him recover with grace.

4. Use a 7:1 ratio. Ensure you have seven times as many positive interactions with employees compared to negative ones. This helps to build stable relationships. Of course, make those interactions genuine and not forced.

5. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition. Recognition isn’t limited to management. Develop solutions that allow peers to recognize one another.

6. Use Technology. With tools like Slack and enterprise solutions offered by Globoforce and O.C.Tanner, it’s easier to recognize people in the moment. Use of smartphones and tablets makes it easier to recognize people in the moment.

7. Measure the impact. Creating a recognition solution is a business investment. Invest the resources and involve the right people to determine its impact on key business metrics like the ones mentioned earlier.

Three Rules About Rewards Linked to Recognition

8. Make it unique. When recognizing someone, make the reward, if there is one, fitting for the person. If you know they like caramel popcorn give them that and not the Starbucks gift card. Show you care by putting thought into the reward.

9. Encourage sharing. When rewarding employees mix it up with rewards that allow people to gift part of their reward to others: donations to charities, for example.

10. Give an experience. Getting more company branded “stuff” is nice, but the positive association linked to the reward fades quickly. An experience, like dinner and tickets to a show, creates a lasting memory.

Management malpractice, managers’ actions that don’t lead to positive outcomes for the company and its people, can be overcome. Practicing recognition that incorporates the above rules will position you to achieve greater results in your business and increase employee commitment. Your employees will appreciate it, too.

This post previously appeared on Inc.com.

#WorkTrends Preview: The Value of Employee Recognition

Employee Recognition and Rewards are pulling up from the outside and gaining in speed quickly. Companies that are smart are already ahead of the curve and are playing to the strengths of their employees by encouraging feedback and recognition as a form of engagement, both from their peers and from management.

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, TalentCulture #WorkTrends host, Meghan M. Biro and her special guests Salvador Barros, CEO of Tap My Back, and Jason Lauritsen, Best-Selling Author and Keynote Speaker, will be discussing this timely topic and the myriad ways brands can value their employees through well-developed recognition programs.

The Value of Employee Recognition

The Value of Employee RecognitionJoin Salvador and Jason on our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, June 28 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT.

Immediately following the podcast, please join the TalentCulture community over on the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: How can companies begin a recognition program? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q2: What can employees do to help support recognition and rewards? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q3: What are the long-term effects of recognition programs?  #WorkTrends  (Tweet this question)

Don’t want to wait until next Wednesday to join the conversation? You don’t have to. I invite you to check out the #WorkTrends Twitter feed and our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group. Share your questions, ideas and opinions with our community.

Photo Credit: seosam2011 Flickr via Compfight cc

What's More Important to Give Employees: A Gift Card or a Pat on the Back?

While many companies use financial compensation to reward employees, there are times when these rewards lose their effectiveness. Here is when to consider ditching the bonus for a simple pat on the back.

While companies are comfortable with giving financial rewards to employees, they often get stuck when it comes to giving meaningful, genuine recognition. Yet recognition is often the more powerful reward, since it speaks to the employee in the language of meaning and personal context, rather than generic gift cards.

What speaks even more volume is creating reward programs with a social component. This approach brings the department or larger organization into the celebration of an employee’s accomplishments, resulting in the most powerful path to building a culture of recognition tied to accomplishments and employee growth.

Rewards vs. recognition – when each makes sense

For the purpose of this discussion, rewards can be thought of broadly as some form of compensation. Compensation may include salary, bonuses, stock, options or even deferred compensation. The point is there’s a formal agreement between the manager and the employee that some level of effort is required, some work product is expected, certain behavior is appropriate and results are desired.

This system works pretty well for most of us, most of the time, but there are times when financial rewards lose their effectiveness. Say your business isn’t growing due to economic or competitive pressures and you don’t have the resources to periodically review and up-level the rewards system. Many employees will find this a disincentive to keep performing at the same level. They may leave for greener pastures, they may develop bad attitudes, become resentful or cynical, even sabotage the workplace with ill-timed comments to customers.

While rewards are a necessary part of the world of work, they are not sufficient. It’s important to get them right and keep up with the market, or you’ll see retention fall and employees disengage. But it’s not the whole ball game.

This is where recognition comes in. In many cases it’s more powerful (assuming your rewards programs are in reasonable shape) to give an employee recognition when he or she excels. Recognition can be as simple as a shout out in a group email or as subtle as a heartfelt handshake. The difference here is it takes an emotional action on the part of the manager to recognize the actions of the employee.

Here are a few times when recognition makes sense:

  • When the person is well-compensated but has done something above and beyond the call of the job
  • When the person makes an effort to set a fine example, say by mentoring a struggling employee
  • When the employee invests him or herself at an emotional level to the success of the organization.

Building a culture of recognition

It’s difficult to build a culture of recognition but it can be done. Christine M. Riordan, writing in the Harvard Business Review, talks about how companies can ‘foster a culture of gratitude.” Certainly gratitude is a component of recognition: If someone helps you reach your sales goal, you’ll feel not only that you hired the right person but also grateful for their contribution to your company. Recognition is, I’d argue, bigger than gratitude alone. Recognition is a celebration of shared values and a shared sense of purpose, clearly communicated and widely understood. If you don’t convey the purpose, mission or how to achieve the goals correctly, many things can go wrong in the organization. (McKinsey Quarterly goes into this more in depth.)

Employee recognition has (at least) five attributes: it’s in the moment, in context, appropriate, authentic, and it’s aligned with the employee’s notion of value.

When financial rewards backfire – and what to do to remedy the situation

We’ve all seen rewards systems based purely on financial rewards backfire. It happens with dismaying frequency when your culture lacks a recognition component. Remember the last time you gave Jim a bonus for hitting a goal, only to find out later that Jim’s team did 90 percent of the work? Remember when you instituted raises after a two year freeze, citing everyone’s hard work? You lost 30 percent of staff within six months. Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Money isn’t everything. To fix a situation where monetary rewards have created friction, you’ll first need to check in with all your managers to get the lay of the land. Find out who’s unhappy, then go to them and ask open questions about what’s bugging them. Then acknowledge the error and fix it. It might mean giving Jim’s team bonuses (after having a few words with Jim about how he handled it), but in other instances you may be able to bring the ship aright with recognition: stand up in front of the group, admit you made an error, and recognize each player for his or her contribution.

Financial rewards put a price on doing the right thing; recognition gives the same action value. I’ll take value every day. In a healthy work culture, value should be the yardstick used to measure accomplishment and determine appropriate recognition.

This article was first published on Entreprenuer.com on May 2, 2014

Photo Credit: Pewari via Compfight cc

5 Ways Leaders Rock Employee Recognition

I was grocery shopping the other day (Yes, this sometimes happens). A mom with two small kids in tow kept up a constant stream of chatter: “Great job pushing the cart, Stella, you are so smart.” “Good work picking out a pepper, Max, now put it back.” It went on and on – kids do something/anything, mother responds with a positive affirmation, kids do another something, mother reacts. This is so awesome to see in action. I’m in aisle 10 and it continues. There is a giant metaphor unfolding as I seek out my coconut water.

happy-employees411

You rock. You’re so special. Nice job putting your toys away. On and on it goes: reflexive praise for doing the right thing and, in many cases, the not-so-right thing. We’re becoming a culture in which people expect to be rewarded for drawing breath and taking up space, which makes the job of an HR pro or business leader tasked with employee retention a difficult one indeed. If many of your employees expect routine and social praise and “badges”, how can you recognize extraordinary achievement? When should recognition and reward be linked?

In many organizations recognition and financial reward are joined at the hip.  An employee does something above and beyond and receives a gift card or a lunch with the boss; a team achieves a goal and is rewarded with a party. These rewards, however, can backfire; they tell the employee that he or she is worth n dollars to the organization for some level of effort. In my opinion this approach misses the point of recognition: people are motivated by more than money. People crave positive feedback, recognition they put in extra effort, acknowledgement of leaders and peers, the glow that comes with knowing an achievement has been seen, appreciated and celebrated. I love this place. But I’m also realistic as I look at ways leaders can recruit and truly nurture current and future talent.

Financial reward is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the equivalent of recognition. Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s a short term solution. Neither is constant praise for average work. Recognition is a key tool in employee retention programs for a reason: people need more than constructive feedback and positive affirmation. They need recognition of extra effort. They need to “feel” it. This will never go away as a basic human need.

An effective approach to employee recognition encompasses these key points:

1) In the moment – as much as possible, be timely. Catch people doing exemplary work and acknowledge their efforts.  Don’t be knee-jerk – showing up for work on time does not count in most cases. Be specific, descriptive and measured.

2) In context – recognition is most effective when it’s given in the context of a larger goal or business-results-focused activity. Random affirmations are much less meaningful than those tied to a business goal. An employee who lands a big contract by putting in the extra effort needs to know you noticed, and understand the employee’s  effort to ensure business success. This matters.

3) Appropriate in volume/scale – think back to the mom in the market. Was the praise she doled out appropriate in scale and volume? Not really. Here again randomness is not your ally. Recognition should match effort and results, or it loses meaning. This is where the complexity lives.

4) Authentic, not automatic – you have to mean it when you give employees recognition. This is my chief worry about automated recognition systems – they remove the human touch so important to effective recognition. Can we find a smart balance? Can we make social HRTech software work?

5) Tied to the employee’s perception of value – people know when they’re valued, and they should have a good idea of their value to the organization. Monetary rewards can skew this notion of value, linking it to cash when it should be linked to appreciation of extra effort and smarts. Money is appropriate much of the time, but it’s not the only – or even the most effective – motivator. Treat employees as valued team members, not as numbers. Most  of the time it’s the best way to really recognize a valued player.

There is HR Technology that’s super sexy and relevant for engagement. I’m overthinking it at the moment. This is typical as we find the most meaningful ways to innovate the future of work. I’m excited about software and social applications for rockstar leaders and workplace culture. It’s all good. Now we seek to connect the most relevant, human and inspiring dots.

I have many thoughts about how we, as a society and a global social leadership community, handle recognition, but I’d like to hear what’s on your mind. Please weigh in and tell me what recognition means to you, and how you’ve successfully recognized your employees and co-workers. Leaders jump in here too. Lead the revolution. You Rock.

Image credit: businessnewsdaily.com

photo credit: 5 via photopin (license)

A version of this post was first published on published on Forbes on 1/13/13

 

5 Tips For Effective Multigenerational Employee Recognition

Here’s a surprise about managing multigenerational workforces: when it comes to being recognized for their hard work, the “generations” are remarkably similar.

A 2013 O.C. Tanner Institute global research study found that all employees, regardless of age, are far more engaged, driven and connected to the company when they’re recognized for their contributions. They have better work relationships too.

The following statistics from the study show just a couple examples of the consistent value of recognition across generations.

Drive and determination

  • Strong Recognition Programs: 88% of employees ages 25-44 and 89% of those ages 45+ report feeling a high sense of drive and determination.
  • Weak Recognition Programs: A mere 41% of ages 25-44 and 47% of those ages 45+ experience a high level of drive and determination.

Company connection

  • Strong Recognition Programs: 79% of employees age 25-44 and 84% of those feel a strong connection to their organization.
  • Weak Recognition Programs: Only 32% of employees ages 25-44 and 39% of those 45+ feel a strong company connection.

Despite the clear value of recognition regardless of employees’ ages, to ensure your recognition is effective, there are some important generational nuances managers should account for, as shown in the following five best practices:

1. Deepen engagement by holding younger employees accountable and building trust for older workers.

Towers Watson research shows that regardless of age, the top driver of employee engagement is a “sense of opportunity for development in the organization and that the company cares about me.”

However, the number two driver of engagement for younger workers (ages 25-44) is a sense that employees are held accountable for their work. Younger workers want to know their work will get noticed and see how it makes a difference for the company and their careers. For older workers (ages 45-64), a feeling of trust for leaders and respect by leaders is the number two engagement driver. They need to feel that their company trusts them to perform, and trust that their managers support their actions.

2. Motivate younger employees with promotions and formal recognition for their work. Motivate older employees with variety and autonomy.

Across the board, employees are motivated by exciting, challenging work. But once that need is met, generational nuances matter. Younger employees (ages 25-44) want their work to be noticed by their peers, leaders and the organization. Recognition and promotions help younger employees feel a sense of opportunity and well-being. Older employees (ages 45-64) want to feel secure in the organization they work for; variety and autonomy not only give them this feeling, but also allow them to feel empowered to make a difference.

3. Make sure recognition is meaningful for less experienced employees and based on performance for more experienced employees.

Less experienced employees (those under age 25) want recognition to come across as genuine and personal. More experienced employees (ages 26 and up) need their recognition to be specific, based on performance, and given for very clear reasons.

4. Highlight unique ways less experienced employees contribute, and make sure recognition is given fairly for more experienced employees. 

All employees want to be recognized and appreciated in a variety of ways. Less experienced employees want to be uniquely valued, preferring more spontaneous recognition. Recognition that appears to be given to younger workers to “check a box” or “because it’s their turn” is not meaningful. More experienced workers are less concerned with uniqueness and more concerned with recognition that is fair, based on performance, and earned. Because they typically have more senior positions/greater tenure, their award expectations are also higher.

5. When planning career celebrations, keep in mind what would be most meaningful for each individual employee.

According to the O.C. Tanner Institute study, younger employees (ages 25-44) report wanting a more casual, party-like environment with more opportunities to socialize, to get away from the work location, and have greater management participation (but they’re sensitive to presentations that are generic and not personalized). Older employees (ages 45-64) are more comfortable with more corporate/formal presentations, family involvement, and greater management participation.

By recognizing and appreciating your multigenerational employees appropriately, you can engage, motivate and inspire great work from all of them.

About the Author: The New York Times bestselling author of Great Work: How to Make a Difference People Love, David Sturt began his career in market research, where he studied and analyzed the impact of recognition on people and their work. In the two decades since, he has researched and developed products and services that engage employees, inspire contributions, and reward outstanding results in organizations around the world.

photo credit: Pigsaw via photopin cc

Job Hunting? Look For Employers That Care About Your Future

Written by Chris Boyce, CEO, Virgin Pulse

Are you pursuing new job opportunities — hoping to take the next step in your career? How do you determine if a potential employer is a wise choice? What criteria really count?

If wellness programs aren’t on your “must have” list, you may want to reconsider. The evidence is mounting. Companies committed to workforce wellness — particularly those committed to total quality of life at work and at home — are likely to be your best bet.

Unfortunately, not all companies make that kind of commitment. It’s no doubt one reason why employee engagement is so poor. Of course, engagement is influenced by multiple factors, but in general today’s workforce isn’t feeling the love. In fact, Gallup research revealed last year that 70% of U.S. employees are either disengaged or actively disengaged — and it’s costing companies over $300 billion a year.

The Workforce Wellness Difference

If you’re looking for a new gig, it makes sense to bypass organizations whose employees just aren’t dialed in to the work they’re doing, or the company’s mission, or its culture. But how do you find a great place to work?

There are some amazing companies out there that demonstrate their commitment to employees by investing directly in their health and happiness. We see them every day.

Leaders at these companies recognize that employees who are engaged in life inside and outside of their work environment are likely to be more productive and loyal over time. These types of companies support their workforce with comprehensive wellness options, like healthy food choices in the cafeteria, free group exercise classes in corporate gym facilities, paid time off to volunteer in the community, and even cold, hard cash incentives to reward healthy behavior.

Why Total Wellness Matters

By improving your health in multiple ways — physical, mental, social and financial — you’ll improve your total quality of life and maximize your potential in your job. Smart companies know this, and smart job seekers do, too. According to our own research, 87% of employees believe robust workplace wellness programs are paramount when choosing a place to work.

In recent years, with technology advances like the Internet, smartphones, teleconferencing and a variety of devices that help us work productively no matter where we’re located, the lines are blurring between work and home life. Employers recognize this, and increasingly are helping employees improve their total quality of life — not only by offering stellar benefits and workplace wellness programs, but also by extending those benefits to family and friends. This way, employees can rely on their natural support network to influence and reinforce their healthy habits.

Including family members is a no-brainer for employers, since spouses and dependents help boost wellness program participation. It should be a no-brainer for you, too. When exercising and dieting with a friend or family member, you have a 57% greater chance of losing weight than by going it alone, according to the Framingham Heart Study. Plus, getting healthy is more fun when you don’t fly solo. With innovative wellness programs that include your family and friends, you can challenge one another to simple, healthy competitions. For example, you can win bragging rights by tracking who climbs the most stairs at work, or who eats the most fruits and vegetables each week.

Employee Health Is More Than Fun and Games

But all of that fun also has serious impact. If your employer offers wellness programs you enjoy, and you take advantage of those programs, you’re more likely to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyle changes for the long-term. What’s more, the link between companies that provide robust workplace wellness programs and sustained employee engagement is strong. Our research shows that, at these organizations, 80% of employees feel their employer cares about their well-being.

So, in the long run, what can you expect? The payback of choosing a company that cares includes: fewer sick days, fewer workplace safety incidents, and an increased sense that your contributions at work have a greater overall impact, according to multiple sources. You’ll also feel a stronger connection with your employer, as you’re encouraged to stay active and healthy, and you see a similar commitment to those you love.

Bottom line: Healthier, happier employees are more engaged employees. And engaged employees perform more effectively at work. This can opening avenues to upward mobility and promotions that you might never have realized otherwise.

Factor these elements into your job search today, and I am confident that, in the future, you’ll find greater benefits both at work and in every other facet of life.

Chris-Boyce_color_web2(About the Author: Chris Boyce is CEO of Virgin Pulse. He is an accomplished technology entrepreneur who brings more than 15 years of consumer loyalty, enterprise and consumer software experience to Virgin Pulse. Leveraging Virgin’s philosophy that business should be a force for good, Chris’ leadership has been instrumental in guiding Virgin Pulse’s development of market-leading, technology-based products and services that help employers improve workforce health, boost employee engagement, and enhance corporate culture. Chris has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.)

(Editor’s Note: Chris Boyce discussed employee engagement with the TalentCulture community this week at #TChat Events. See full highlights and resource links in the Recap: “Employee Engagement: Say It Like You Mean It.“)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Recruitment Insights Webinar: Join Us!

What does it take to recruit top talent in today’s business environment? Is a nonstop employer commitment essential? And how can companies link recruiting and retention more closely, for better business results?

Learn from the experts at a very special webinar this Thursday, July 25, at 1pm ET/10 am PT. At 24×7 Recruitment TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, and Achievers Talent Acquisition Manager, Kate Pope, will engage in a dynamic discussion about the factors that make or break recruiting strategies.

WR_247Recruit_SM_404x404-001“I’m passionate about exploring best practices in talent management — and forums like this create an opportunity to share ideas with a broader community” Meghan says. “Earlier this year, TalentCulture and Achievers joined forces to help generate conversations that elevate the future of work. This brings that concept to life in a way that can make a real difference for talent-minded professionals.”

Throughout the webinar, members of the TalentCulture community are invited to share highlights and questions on Twitter by tweeting with Achievers’ #A_Chat hashtag.

Register now at Achievers.com, and join the discussion this Thursday!

Participating Organizations

Learn more about Achievers, and follow @Achievers on Twitter.
Learn more about TalentCulture, and follow @TalentCulture on Twitter.

The Steep Cost of Poor Management

Written by Tatiana Beale, Achievers

How do you feel about your job? Do you love it, hate it, or feel like you’re drifting in neutral? If you’re “checked out,” you’re not alone. According to the latest Gallup workplace research, 50% of today’s employees are disengaged. Another 20% are actively disengaged (in other words, openly miserable). That means 70% of today’s workforce is operating under a cloud! The business implications are staggering.

Key Issue: Bad Management

What are the core factors driving workforce disengagement? Gallup says that managers from hell are the primary reason. Poor managers are not only an obstacle to employee engagement — they actually drive employee disengagement. The net effect on business is huge — an estimated cost to U.S. organizations of $450-$550 billion a year. Yes, you read that right. The bottom-line message is clear. Managerial incompetence is not just annoying. It is potentially catastrophic.

What’s The Problem?

The stage is set for disengagement when employees don’t understand their organization’s mission, or see how their efforts contribute to that mission. Poor managers typically don’t emphasize big-picture context, or help employees understand the meaning of their work. They tend not to offer positive feedback when it’s deserved. And they fail to provide constructive criticism or coaching to help employees improve and develop professionally.

Weak managers don’t see value in helping their employees succeed. Why? Often they lack the insight, tools and competence to motivate others, and align their activities with business objectives.

The Upside of Manager Influence

However, there’s another side to this managerial coin. As Gallup’s research reveals, great managers have a highly beneficial impact on business results. Specifically, when leaders focus on building employee engagement and leveraging team strengths, their organizations outperform others across key indicators — earnings per share, profitability, productivity and customer satisfaction.

Every Organization Is Unique

Of course, the right employee engagement strategy is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. As Gallup notes, employees come in a spectrum of generational and other shapes and sizes. Jobs are equally diverse. From blue collar factory workers to call center representatives, every situation demand an engagement approach that fits.

Research reflects a variety of issues. For instance, women tend to be slightly more engaged than men. And on average, Millennials are more likely to leave a job within 12 months than their counterparts from other generations. Also, interestingly, employees with a college degree aren’t as likely to report a positive, engaging workplace experience as those with less education. This suggests that more managerial involvement may be appropriate to keep highly-educated employees engaged.

Another point worth noting — engagement is even more important than workplace perks in boosting employee performance. In other words, benefits are no substitute for a personal connection with work. Engagement initiatives must take these realities into account.

Turning Disengagement Around

So, what can your company do to improve employee engagement? The Gallup findings are undeniable. Success starts with business managers. It’s important to select the right managerial talent, right from the start. And once managers are on board, coach them, support them, and hold them accountable. Help them understand why employee engagement is essential to business success. Work with them to connect with employees on an individual level. After all, your workers are human beings, not robots. Both effective managers and effective engagement strategies recognize and respect this fact.

For more ideas about the role of today’s manager in driving employee engagement and business success, read the Achievers 2013 Guide to Recognition.

What do you think about the findings summarized above? Do you believe managers from hell are destroying employee engagement? Leave a comment below and join the discussion.

Tatiana Beale (427x640)(Author Profile: Tatiana Beale is a Senior Marketing Communications Specialist at Achievers. She is passionate about changing workplaces for the better and inspiring Employee Success™ through insightful content. Tatiana believes that employee happiness is the key to a wildly successful company, and means it when she says “I love my job.”)

Republished with permission from Achievers Employee Success Blog.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Feeling The Future Of Work: #TChat Meets #SHRM13

(Editor’s Note: Looking for the #TChat Preview post? Read Stronger! #TChat Preview #SHRM13 Edition.)

Employment: An Emotional Experience

It’s the most overlooked aspect of employee engagement. And yet, it’s the aspect that matters most — especially if you’re in the graduating class of 2013, and stepping into a still uncertain, fragile global workforce economy.

I’m talking about the emotional element of the employee experience. And that’s not just a hunch. According to recent workforce engagement research, emotional commitment is 4x more powerful than rational commitment in driving employee effort. In other words, when employees are rationally committed to an organization, they’ll stay if they believe it is in their self-interest to do so. But when employees are emotionally committed — when they believe in the value of their job, their team, and their organization — they exert discretionary effort. And discretionary effort is where the engagement magic happens.

That news probably doesn’t surprise you any more than it surprises me. I’m a big believer that we’re loyal first to the work we do, then to the teams with whom we work, and last to the organization that hired us. A sense self worth and job worth is critical, if we want to feel valued on the job. But unfortunately, too often, organizations tend not to focus on these realities.

Time To Rearrange Priorities?

The chief workplace management and well-being scientist at Gallup suggests a fresh approach. In a recent FastCompany interview, Dr. Jim Harter explains that, because individuals have a core need to feel appreciated and valued, organizations should be extremely generous with praise and recognition. In fact, I’d argue that we thrive not only on praise and recognition — but also on continuous constructive feedback about where and how to improve. Both encouragement and guidance are keys to performance and growth.

Achievers Promo

Learn more about the Margarita Meetup at SHRM

But in truth — it’s a stretch to find either, in today’s environment. Harter’s research indicates that nearly 3 of every 4 U.S. workers are either disengaged or actively disengaged from their jobs. Over half are willing to show up for work, but generally do only the minimum required. And another 20% are intentionally counter-productive. I doubt there’s much positive feedback or encouragement happening in those scenarios.

How Do We Turn This Around?

We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. So I propose that we not only acknowledge the issue — but actively talk about how the “world of work” can tackle disengagement head-on. And what better venue than the SHRM Conference & Exposition next week in Chicago?

Come talk with us and other HR executives and practitioners about this and related issues! My TalentCulture co-creator and #TChat forum co-host, Meghan M. Biro, will join me as we work the #SHRM13 aisles and report LIVE throughout the conference. And don’t forget to save the date for a #TChat double-header next week:

MONDAY JUNE 17 — 3:15-4:00pm Central Time (4:15pmET/1:15pmPT)
Margarita Meet-up at Achievers Booth #2455“CLASS of 2013” Panel
Join our LIVE discussion, focused on results from a recent survey of 10,000+ graduating students. (We’ll post more details in this weekend’s #TChat Preview.)

WEDNESDAY JUNE 19 — 6:00-7:00pm Central Time (7-8pmET/4-5pmPT)
#TChat Twitter — A Closer Look at the Graduating Class of 2013.
For more details, look for our weekly Preview post this weekend, here at TalentCulture.

We’ll see you in Chicago — and on the stream!

The Business Wisdom of Recognition #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a full review of this week’s events and resources? See “Recognition: Meaning and Motivation: #TChat Recap.”)

If you could pick your dream employer, where would you work?

Patagonia? Facebook? Google? It’s no mystery why so many people find these companies attractive — employee satisfaction is off the charts. Great organizations offer members of their workforce many reasons to love their jobs. And studies show it’s a worthwhile investment. High employee engagement is directly tied to tangible business benefits — improved productivity, increased retention and higher profits.

Recognition: Secret Sauce?

Perhaps the most vital factor in the engagement equation is recognition. But recognizing employees is apparently easier said than done. Can we learn from best practices? It seems like a great place to start. That’s why we’re focusing on “Recognition Done Right” this week at TalentCulture #TChat forums. Leading the way are two experts on employee recognition:

#TChat Sneak Peek Videos

Max briefly joined me for a G+ Hangout to outline the role of recognition in today’s workplace:

And then Stan offered a glimpse of why and how recognition is so important:

#TChat Events: Recognizing How to Recognize

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Listen to the #TChat Radio show

This aspect of employee engagement has such tremendous potential. So why do organizations and leaders often seem to struggle to get recognition right? How important should this be on a leader’s list of priorities? What are your thoughts, as professionals who focus on the “human” side of business?

Let’s talk about it and learn from one another!

#TChat Radio — Tuesday, May 21 at 7:30pmET / 4:30pmPT — Stan and Max join our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman for a 30-minute deep dive into issues and opportunities surrounding recognition and organizational culture.

#TChat Twitter — Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00pmET / 4:00pmPT — Calling all #TChatters to join us on Twitter, as Stan and Max return to drive an open online crowdsourcing conversation. Check out the questions and weigh in with the crowd!

Q1:  How important is employee recognition as it relates to performance?

Q2:  How often should companies recognize employee achievement, and why?

Q3:  How can recognition be tied to the overall values of an organization?

Q4:  What are creative ways you’ve seen business leaders leverage recognition?

Q5:  How can technology improve employee recognition and engagement?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Clearing Hurdles to Employee Engagement

Recognition is a key component of Employee Success. What gets recognized get repeated. Recognizing employees for hitting targets and exemplifying corporate values reinforces behavior that impacts the bottom line. According to recent research by Aon Hewitt, organizations with high engagement rates are 78% more productive than disengaged organizations. The powerful combination of engaged employees and brilliant performance is critical to business success.

But it’s not that easy. As with any major organizational initiative, there are obstacles to integrating recognition into company culture. Securing buy-in and participation is always challenging, especially when the program seems “touchy-feely.” But from what I’ve seen, recognition is a critical business tool.

It can seem perilous to mess with established customs, but creating a strategy around recognition makes recognition—and business—more effective. To guide you through the process and ensure you come out a winner, our team put together this infographic.

In general, we see companies encountering six main hurdles on their journey:

  • Employee participation
  • Making time
  • Securing executive buy-in
  • Engaging managers
  • Budget
  • Measuring success

Each one presents a unique challenge, but none are insurmountable. As with any obstacle course, the proper training, preparation, and team work will get you over the finish line and improve your bottom line. Check out the infographic for a guide to making your company a recognition winner.

Overcome the Obstacle Course of Disengagement

(Legal Note: Employee Success is a trademark of Achievers Corp.)

Feature Image Credit: Pixabay

Getting Workplace Recognition Right: #TChat Recap

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. -William James

As children, when we master a new skill or complete a task well, others often offer us a hug or a thumbs up. Sometimes, we even receive stickers or an allowance as a reward for completing chores throughout the week.

Rewards and recognition are ingrained in our culture – and are central to our personal and professional lives. Whenever someone acknowledges our efforts or commends us for a job well done, that moment creates a connection, and establishes an understanding that positive reinforcement will be available again in the future.

Workplace “job well done” salutes are often associated with financial rewards. But is that what matters most? How can recognition make a real difference in today’s world of work?

That was our #TChat focus this week – as the TalentCulture community came together to share issues, ideas and best practices for improving business performance by showing employees and leaders that their contributions count.

Not Just a Pat on the Back

Although money and other tangible “spiffs” are considered appropriate recognition tools, the #TChat crowd expressed strong sentiment about the value of simple, sincere interaction, and a culture that encourages recognition when it is deserved.

Feedback is necessary for individual assessment, coaching and development. Acknowledgement keeps employees on a path for engagement and productivity. Positive feedback fuels individuals and teams to continue delivering outstanding results. And in the aggregate, it keeps organizations focused on key success factors, and drives business momentum. But there is no silver bullet – no simple “checklist” formula or one-size-fits-all solution.

So, what else emerged from this week’s focus on recognition? Check it out!

NOTE: To see specific highlights from yesterday’s “Employee Recognition” #TChat session on Twitter, see the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

#TChat Week-in-Review

SUN 1/13
TalentCulture Founder, Meghan M. Biro set the stage in her Forbes.com post: “5 Ways Leaders Rock Employee Recognition”

MON 1/14
#TChat weekly preview post “Employee Recognition at a Reasonable Volume”

TUE 1/15
#TChat Radio Show: Two fascinating experts joined our hosts to discuss what it takes to make employee recognition work:

Rob Catalano – head of marketing at Achievers, a company that creates social software that supports employee recognition.

Ted Coine – leadership author, speaker, consultant, and one of the most influential business commentators on Twitter. His collaborative blog, Switch and Shift, explores better ways to do business. For example, this week’s #TChat topic was examined in a popular post by Roy Saunderson: “Engaging Employees with Recognition.”

WED 1/16
#TChat on Twitter: Ted and Rob joined us again – this time on the Twitter stream – as workplace strategist, Dr. Marla Gottschalk, led participants through an open conversation about the importance of avoiding “one-size-fits-all” approaches to recognition, and how to make it work in any organizational setting.

Here’s a taste of the interaction from last night’s #TChat interaction…
(For full highlights, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.)

Is recognition a driver or an outgrowth of engagement?

Both – it’s cyclical. An engaged employee is bound to deserve recognition, and recognition keeps them engaged. @BrightJobs

Need to hire the right people with the right mindset, so engaging people and engaging culture facilitate recognition. @ThinDifference

When should recognition be different from praise?

In some cultures praise is enough, but others want $ or a new title; you have to know what works globally @melissa_lamson1

Recognition is a form of feedback – constructive criticism is other side of coin. Both are important. @RobCatalano

How can an organization be believable?

The best way to be “believable” is to truly believe in people. People know. @ReCenterMoment

Employee recognition must be action, not words. Then it’s believable. @samfiorella

Recognition should be a daily thing that leaders do to guide their people on a journey to reach worthwhile goals! @bcoelho2000

Want to recognize employees authentically? Learn their kids & spouses’ names. @tedcoine

Does technology facilitate or hinder workforce recognition?

Tech helps facilitate immediacy of recognition when proximity isnt there. @brentskinner

Performance & productivity are key issues. Speed, revenue, innovation need to be ignited; social business can bridge gaps. @thehealthmaven

Tech is an enabler. Still need recognition strategy. Tech won’t help if you don’t establish whats important. @RobCatalano

How can organizations recognize their leaders?

Leaders praise and recognize team when getting praise and recognition. Respect 101. @YouTernMark

Work your hardest for them to make them proud. Ease up their workload and show THEIR boss how well they’re leading you. @AshLaurenPerez

# # #

Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow

SPECIAL THANKS: Another nod of appreciation to Ted Coine and Rob Catalano for sharing your depth and perspective on this week’s topic. Also thanks to Dr. Marla Gottschalk, for your leadership as chat moderator. Our community salutes you!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about employee recognition or other “world of work” issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along. There are many voices in this community, with many ideas worth sharing. Let’s capture as many of them as possible.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, the topic of recognition moves to another level, as we examine The Power of Endorsement. Be sure to mark your calendar – first for #TChat Radio, Tuesday, Jan 22, at 7:30pm ET. And then for #TChat Twitter Wednesday, Jan 23, at 7pm ET. Look for a full preview on Monday, January 21 via @TalentCulture and #TChat.

Til then – we hope you’ll find opportunities to recognize others in your world. Let us know how it goes!

Image Credit: Pixabay

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: “Getting Real About Employee Recognition”

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Business and the Spirit of Sharing: #TChat Recap

Good vibrations. Could you feel them all around yesterday? It’s not just because the holidays are upon us, but because it was 12-12-12 – a day of harmonic convergence. Astrologers proclaimed peace across the universe. The Concert for Sandy Relief rocked Madison Square Garden. And the TalentCulture “world of work” community joined virtual hands around the Twitter stream to align the social responsibility stars.

Live from New York, #TChat moderator Meghan M. Biro, and community manager, Tim McDonald, steered the flow of conversation while sharing holiday cheer with the innovative folks at NYC’s Internet Media Labs. It was a great capstone in a week at TalentCulture that focused on corporate responsibility, social impact and the spirit of the holiday season.

SUN 12/9
Meghan’s Forbes.com post:  “5 Traits of Leaders Who are Ready for Social Good”

MON 12/10
#TChat weekly preview post:  “The Grinch & The World of Work”TalentCulture #TChat Video window of GoogleHangout with Mashable Community Manager

TUE 12/11
Google+ Hangout videoMeghan Peters, Community Manager at Mashable, talked with Tim McDonald about simple ways that companies can make a difference.

#TChat Radio program: Meghan Peters and Brian Sirgutz, SVP of Social Impact at The Huffington Post, discussed issues and opportunities in social responsibility with hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman.

WED 12/12
#TChat: The Wednesday night chat crew took the Twitter stream by storm for a spirited discussion about organizational giving and the greater good.

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Listen to the recorded show now…

So, what have we learned from all this interaction? Did we discover more about why and how business should give back to employees and the community at large? Were we inspired to do more in our organizations and communities?

As I mentioned during last night’s chat wrap, the energy was fun and inspiring, quirky and cynical. Just like a slice of society – all in one happy fruitcake. That’s #TChat! Here are a few takeaways to review and pass along. (Remember – sharing is caring!)

To see full highlights from yesterday’s #TChat session, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

On the meaning and value of corporate responsibility:

“I almost hate the term ‘social good.’ Just do good. Always. To everyone.” jocelynaucoin

“#Socialgood has become far too trendy + hip leaving it as an obligation for most orgs” MillennialTweet

“I want someone’s definition of #socialgood? A holiday party, Christmas cards, community giving?” megburkett

On commitment to giving:

“Giving at Christmas shows you have the holiday spirit. Giving year around shows you have a giving spirit.” Beverly_Davis

“If you feel like you *have* to give thanks during the holiday season, you’re doing it wrong.” brentskinner

“In many cases the need is greater outside the holiday season, when people aren’t thinking about it as much.” pamelamaeross

On demonstrating gratitude to employees:

“Here’s a thought: integrate gratitude into everything you do every day with everyone.” DawnRasmussen

“Are we making this too complicated? I received a box of Christmas cookies today… and I’ve been smiling all day.” YouTernMark

“Homemade baked goods open hearts!” ReCenterMoment

“Gratitude: Send a email to employee and cc in your +1 – thanking them for specific accomplishments” levyrecruits

“Recognize that 1 size does not fit all. Know ur folks- u’ll know how to express gratitude that does them justice.” MillennialTweet

On leading by example in the community:

“No one should wait for permission, or a title on a business card, to lead/inspire others to do to good.” YouTernMark

“Projecting an image is called marketing…doing is called being a professional…” levyrecruits

“Leaders fall short when they promote #socialgood activities but only on employees own time” AlliPolin

“Matching contributions to charitable organizations of ees choice is a way to encourage good and it is not forced.” TomBolt

“Gr8 examples of enterprise contribution yr rnd: gatesfoundation & many offshoots, initiatives by dell, ge & many others” justcoachit

#TChat Radio Image from BlogTalkRadio

Click to hear this week’s #TChat Radio interview

For me, the top takeaway this week came from The Huffington Post’s Brian Sirgutz. He asked a simple question that is essential to socially conscious individuals and organizations, alike:

“How do people ‘catch’ empathy?”

If we understand how to reach individuals in ways that move them to change themselves for the better, then we can plant a seed that will eventually change the world. And someday perhaps the old phrase, “I already gave at the office” will slip into oblivion – for good.

#  #  #

NOTE: To see specific highlights from yesterday’s “work life balance” #TChat session, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

#  #  #

Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow

SPECIAL THANKS from TalentCulture to Meghan Peters, Community Manager at Mashable and Brian Sirgutz, SVP of Social Impact at The Huffington Post – guests of this week’s Google+ Hangout and BlogTalkRadio shows. Your depth of knowledge and community leadership is inspiring.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: If this #TChat session inspired you to write about corporate responsibility and social good, we’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (at #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll add it to our archives. There are many voices in this community, with many ideas worth sharing. Let’s capture as many of them as possible.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Join us next week, as we look ahead to the New Year by looking “Back to the Future.” Specifically, we’ll look at last year’s predictions about human capital management, hr and learning technologies to determine how far we’ve come. And then we’ll peek at the road ahead! Tune in to #TChat Radio on Tuesday, Dec 18 at 7:30pm ET. Then join the #TChat Twitter discussion on Wednesday, Dec 19, 7-8pm ET to share your ideas and opinions. Look for a full preview early next week via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Thanks!

Image Credit: Niklas Wikstrom

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: Business and the Season of Sharing

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#TChat INSIGHTS: The Grinch & the World of Work

Storified by TalentCulture World of Work · Thu, Dec 13 2012 06:40:42

Who’s ready to kick off #TChat ? The one and only @MeghanMBiro at #TheLabNYC http://pic.twitter.com/qFPd9NKQTim McDonald
“@jocelynaucoin: And then the heavens parted for #TChat http://pic.twitter.com/msLepuYW” AHH I can hear the sounds effectsMegan Rene Burkett
Q1: Devil’s advocate: Does it even matter to stakeholders for an org to express the season’s sharing spirit? Why? #TChatMeghan M. Biro
+1 “@melissa_lamson1: A1 Of course stakeholders should. If we connect Social Responsibility & the Bottom Line they’ll care. #TChat”Claire Crossley
A1: Expressing the season’s sharing spirit is a great way to bring artificial barrier btw work and life down #tchatSusan Mazza
A1: Depends on how the organization shows their appreciation. If you send me a Holiday Card Fake Signature~Save your $$$ #TchatLisa Fields
@MeghanMBiro A1: it shows the human side of the organziation & how the employees are treated. When morale is low, so is production. #TChatOrnella Grosz, CFEd®
A1: #CompanyCulture #tchatprettypinkponies
A1. I believe leaders fall short by not showing up for events or taking time to humanize a bit with all employees #TCHATChris Fields, MLHR
A1: Also, is your company, or the organizations you support a good fit for yourself? #tchatprettypinkponies
A1. Leaders don’t project an image of doing #socialgood. They just do it. #TChatTalent Generation
A1: Paying attention to what leadership values helps us become informed consumers, stakeholders, investors, et cetera… #tchatprettypinkponies
keep the great answers coming & don’t forget to use A1, A2 etc. when responding to the questions! #TChatTalentCulture
MT @MarcyLField: When a core value, actions are fr heart of the org & occur thru out the yr making a diff. for all stakeholders. #tchat A1Susan Mazza
A1: As we move forward purpose=profit because orgs will have to contribute in new ways to drive engagement & sales. #tchatIrene Becker
A1: Stakeholders will care when the work directly benefits them. Good leadership connects and elevates the needs of followers. #TChatAndrew Henck
A1. Sharing is caring and caring is the secret sauce for transforming the bottom-line (and everything else.) #tchatMichael Clark
A1. it can give employees a nice break which can boost morale and spirits (and it doesn’t have be overly expensive to do so) #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1: Social good isn’t seasonal – it’s year round #tchatJen Olney
A1: If it’s a Small Business perhaps the group could determine a non-profit that could use some Holiday help. Bonus Team building #TchatLisa Fields
A1: Sharing a post I wrote, Goodness to Greatness Leadership 7 Steps from Me to We http://bit.ly/JjMQBH Hope u enjoy it #tchatIrene Becker
@meghanmbiro A1: It builds goodwill with both customers and employees. It should definitely matter to them. #TChatCream.hr
A1: Knowing which charities an organization invest in helps me diversify my own volunteer activites & contributions. #tchatprettypinkponies
A1: I’d rather be given a Kiva gift cert than pizza & a white elephant for 60 minutes #tchatAlli Polin
A1. Organization’s can use the holiday spirit as a catalyst for giving employees what they want the most: recognition for hard work. #tchatMichael Clark
#tchat A1: It matters b/c orgs must put their values into action to be credible and enduringMichael Leiter
When a core value, actions are from the heart of the org & occur throughout the year making a difference for all stakeholders. #tchat A1Marcy Field
A1: Spirit matters and we know the diff between fake sharing and sharing for real heartfelt reasons. #TChatJanis Stacy
A1) how you deal with charity all year speaks volumes about your corp culture. People are not naive #tchatJim Ducharme
A1: No, it doesn’t matter, unless there’s an open bar at the — ahem — “holiday” party. Now *that* is sharing. #TChatBrent Skinner
A1: Employees that are genuinely celebrated feel it every day & esp around the holidays & reflect the feeling to customers #tchatAlli Polin
Yes! “@talemetry: A1: The companies that get it right don’t wait until the holidays to share the spirit of giving and good will. #TChat”Claire Crossley
A1 The way we want to be appreciated is so Different. Does the organ or Leader Customize their Holiday Cheer #TchatLisa Fields
A1 – Too many biz ‘save up’ charity for this time of year. That fact alone nearly eliminates the sense of goodwill. #tchatJonathan Barrick
A1. Expressing a sharing spirit is an individual moment-to-moment choice (just like the rest of the year.) #tchatMichael Clark
A1: Holiday sharing makes good biz sense. It shouldn’t be all about profits, IMHO #tchatDaisy Wright
A1: Some orgs use giving to cover up naughty behavior during the year. You have to be consistent in your actions for it to count #tchatJen Olney
+1 “@melissa_lamson1: A1 Of course stakeholders should. If we connect Social Responsibility & the Bottom Line they’ll care. #TChat”Claire Crossley
A1: If an organization invests in causes I support, I’d probably be more loyal to the org. How about yourselves? #tchatprettypinkponies
A1: Expressing the season’s sharing spirit is a great way to bring artificial barrier btw work and life down #tchatSusan Mazza
A1: It should matter because happy, engaged employees greatly impact the bottom line and the stakeholders investment #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
Agree if we include 12 months 2 MT @RRojo619: A1: Should matter, if employees R content and feel appreciated theyre more productive. #TchatLisa Fields
A1: The companies that get it right don’t wait until the holidays to share the spirit of giving and good will. #TChatTalent Generation
A1: Well, no one really likes a grinch! #tchatEarly Careerists
A1: I think it most important for corps to culturally match with stakeholders, so depends on stakeholders. Yes in USA at least. #tchatJanis Stacy
A1 Of course stakeholders should. If we connect Social Responsibility & the Bottom Line they’ll care. #TChatMelissa Lamson
A1. Expressing a sharing spirit happens individually, in teams, departments, across organizations, with customers. #tchatMichael Clark
A1: It matters to me, baby. Merry Frickin’ Christmas. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A1: Sharing and celebration is always good for the soul – it fuels the kind of passion that sources the extraordinary #tchatSusan Mazza
A1: What matters to customers/clients should matter to the stakeholders…and customers/clients value sharing ALL YEAR #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A1: Not so much in some of the orgs I’ve worked for. It was have a mug, some candy & get back to work #tchatAlli Polin
A1: Should matter, if employees are content and feel appreciated they’re more productive. #TChatRobert Rojo
A1. It should matter stakeholders help mold and shape org culture and cultural sensitivity and tolerance is part of the season #tchatChris Fields, MLHR
MT @gingerconsult: A1: The holidays are a chance to show an org is human but it shouldnt just happen during the holiday… #tchatJennifer King
A1. Expression of the season’s sharing spirit is an individual choice moment-to-moment (just like the rest of the
year.) #tchatMichael Clark
A1: Depends on how the organization shows their appreciation. If you send me a Holiday Card Fake Signature~Save your $$$ #TchatLisa Fields
A1 It would hope it matters; if I’m a stakeholder in an org, I hope I am because our ‘philosophies’ jive #TChatClaire Crossley
A1. random or planned events (holiday related or not) can just increase engagement throughout the organization as a whole #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1 meh…”We wish all Goodwill and a Happy Holidays” – then they mess with ya the next 11 months #tchat’Steve Levy
A1)Great leaders know the true value of sharing (all times of the year)..this means stakeholders. Yes it should certainly matter now. #tchatRed Zone Resources
A1) You can get to know a lot about a company’s culture during the holiday season #justsayin #TChatnancyrubin
A1 – It sure should, but not limited to just this time of year. Successful biz’s should give back to communities that helped them. #tchatJonathan Barrick
A1. Charity begins at home – in your community! #TChatDave Ryan, SPHR
A1: Many investors support organizations that support their own values. #tchatprettypinkponies
A1. We have internal and external stakeholders in organizations. #tchatMichael Clark
@TalentCulture A1. The only season that should matter to stakeholders are quarterly earnings calls. #TChatMatt Charney
A1: The holidays are a change to show an org is human but it shouldn’t just happen during the holiday – should be year round #tchatJen Olney
A1 It matters ~ showing you are REAL people caring about REAL things #tchatCASUDI
A1. Sharing during the holiday season harms on one, #Tchat 4 that matter it doesn’t hurt anything year round!Dave Ryan, SPHR
A1. Depends upon whom we consider to be stakeholders. #tchatMichael Clark
A1: Yes. It demonstrates to investors who you are and what you value. #Connection #tchatprettypinkponies
A1: I would hope the values of the “holiday season” would be found in an org culture year round. #TChatAndrew Henck
A1 Don’t think it matters unless perhaps the company is doing poorly. #TChatMelissa Lamson
A1 Yes, I think it’s important. Not expressing holiday spirit demonstrates coldness, bordering on egocentricity. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A1: It depends on what the stakeholder gets out of it. #tchatRob McGahen
A1 No, I don’t really think it matters unless perhaps the company is doing poorly. #TChatMelissa Lamson
Q2: Where do #leaders fall short in projecting an image of doing #socialgood during the season or at any time? #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A2. Dear leaders: It’s more about connecting and caring than the $$$ holiday bonus. #tchatMichael Clark
A2 They also fall short when they miss opps to model giving behaviors. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2 Orgs fall short if not integrated into vision, strategic direction. Social good culture isn’t formed by one-offs #TChatClaire Crossley
A2. Get it straight: The more you give the more you get, one way or the other. #tchatMichael Clark
A2 Leaders should lead by example – not expect to dictate it down – if they lead the others will follow #TChatPaul Hebert
A2: When you homogenize gratitude it loses its meaning and value — embed in culture not thru a program #tchatSusan Mazza
A2: Let’s face it. Most employees DO not feel valued + do not work in csr focused orgs. This will change-big orgs can model the way #tchatIrene Becker
Another reason why I left a corp job. “@TomBolt: A2: If employees feel like somebody is “keeping score”, leadership has failed. #TChat”billallemon
A2: We have enough problems evaluating employee performance in a timely manner much less add arbitrary “social conscience” measure #TChatTom Bolt
A2. Dear leaders: It’s more about connecting and caring than the $$$ holiday bonus. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: CSR initiatives also speak to employee engagement, constituent engagement and loyalty…they are the way forward #tchatIrene Becker
A2 They also fall short when they miss opps to model giving behaviors. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2. Leaders underestimate the power of a positive words, gestures and actions. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: America has always shined at giving! American corporations can now lead the way. CSR speaks to a better future #tchatIrene Becker
A2: Leaders fall short when they promote #socialgood activities but only on employees own time #tchatAlli Polin
A2: They fall short when they latch on to the word “or” in the question. #TChatBrent Skinner
A2. We have a tendency to internalize our positive emotions towards others and externalize our negative reactions towards others. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: In ON Canada volunteerism is now mandated as part of high sch. curriculumn. Wonderful results that extend to orgs too #tchatIrene Becker
A2 An organization’s holiday social good effort should meet tangible & intangible needs. #tchatJoe Sanchez
A2: The delta between what the company does between Jan-Nov shouldn’t be that much smaller than what they do during Dec #TChatPaul Hebert
A2: Leaders fall short when they are the “show horse” rather than the “work horse.” #TChatJon M
A2: If employees feel like somebody is “keeping score” on them, leadership has failed. #TChatTom Bolt
A2: A leader I know started a community giving task force so he could put it in the newsletter. One soup kitchen & done #sad #tchatAlli Polin
#tchat #A2 Leaders fall short when they have competing priorities. Balance is a tough disciplineMichael Leiter
A2: i.e. contributing to causes that support ‘x’ yet have practices that speak to the contrary.re: Agreed. @CareerTips2Go #tchatprettypinkponies
A2: Actions speak louder than words #TChat and I go back to if you are authentic @ReCenterMoment (sip EggNog) people KNOW and FEEL itLori~TranslationLady
A2. When it comes to engaging, sharing, caring, a little goes a long way. #tchatMichael Clark
A2) Fall short every time they ‘try’ to project #socialgood. Heartfelt sentiment is something that you shouldn’t have to ‘try’ to do. #TchatPhil Komarny
A2: Social good has to be genuine or it’s sniffed out a mile away, seasonal or not. #tchat #tchatAlex Theis
A2: Leaders fall short when they do not include volunteering as part of the program just cutting a check doesn’t cut it #tchatJen Olney
A2: I believe that orgs will also start to include more volunteerism, or reward it as part of corp culture ane emp. engagement #tchatIrene Becker
A2 – many leaders are sociopaths – don’t understand the idea of giving without getting – don’t comprehend charity and caring #TChatPaul Hebert
A2. Expand the definition of #socialgood to include kind words, emotional connections and positive choice making. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: Gr8 examples of enterprise contribution yr rnd: @gatesfoundation and many offshoots, initiatives by @dell @ge and many others #tchatIrene Becker
A2 Leaders fall short when their behavior does not match the “spirit” of those within the organization. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2: When they don’t do any #socialgood during the holiday season or year round. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A2: Org’s fail when they try to turn expressions of gratitude into a “program” or only focus on it once a year #tchatSusan Mazza
A2: Actions that don’t align with CSR-related words do more harm to employee engagement than not mentioning it in the first place! #tchatCassie LP
A2) Fall short when there is no follow up to a big corp announcement that “good is being done.” Show results of time, donation, etc. #tchatinTalent Co
nsulting
A2 – #Leaders fall short when they focus 2 much on the “bottom line” & 4get that their customers are people, not products! #TChatDr. Antoine D. Moss
A2 Orgs fall short if not integrated into vision, strategic direction. Social good culture isn’t formed by one-offs #TChatClaire Crossley
A2: Leaders need to be authentic in their giving & avoid making it a spectacle. People see through this fast. #tchatEarly Careerists
A2: Many leaders don’t tell the story of why or motivation so the sharing seems mechanical/ political. We believe passionate! #TChatJanis Stacy
A2: Leaders fall short when they do not walk the talk. Some only pay lip service. #tchatDaisy Wright
A2 leaders fail at doing #socialgood if it’s just a once a year thing. It should be a value, not an annual task. #tchatJennifer King
Even if motives are displaced it’s always good to do good. Sometimes actions have to lead our hearts. A2 #tchatJocelyn Aucoin
A2. Leaders fall short by not taking the time to get to know those under their charge, and how these times affect each individual. #tchatChance Casas
A2 I keep thinking “Undercover Boss” – “social good” has little meaning unless there’s a change that folks can see #tchat’Steve Levy
A2. Many leaders (and everyone else) fear the transparency created when we authentically reflect another’s greatness. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: #Leaders fall short in projecting #socialgood when it is only about the #image and #onceayear season
A2: Years ago dozens of my co’s employees bonded over Christmas in April. Leaders & newbies hip to hip #socialgood #tchatAlli Polin
A2: Ask the question: does (fill in the blank w/ the social good effort) meet tangible needs? #TChatAndrew Henck
A2. Is it ok to use EGO and LEADERSHIP in the same sentence? #TChatDave Ryan, SPHR
A2 This year we are giving your Xmas bonus to OUR favorite charity! #tchatCASUDI
A2: Inconsistency. #tchatprettypinkponies
A2: It rings a bit hollow when you only do it once a year instead of all year round, doesn’t it? #tchatRob McGahen
A2)”Portion of proceeds” promotions always make me wonder. Why not just say what the portion is….or give a lump/significant amount. #tchatRed Zone Resources
A2: If you act like the Grinch all year long and only show your heart at the holidays your motives may be questioned #tchatSusan Mazza
@meghanmbiro A2: I think it’s a matter of donating time vs. money. Employees who are encouraged to do volunteer work excel. #TChatCream.hr
A2: They fall short when the employees know they are not sincere! #TChatRobert Rojo
A2: Leaders fall short when they are inconsistent in what they do or words don’t match actions. #TChatJon M
A2: When #socialgood is mandated and is a photo-op for leadership instead of out of the desire to do/give #tchatAlli Polin
A2: Sorry, but I’d hope leaders wouldn’t be “projecting” an image of doing good, but influencing others to live it. #TChatAndrew Henck
A2 – when someone asks what’ #TChatPaul Hebert
A2 Social good has to be Authentic. Cheap, nasty and second-thought celebrating is often too evident. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A2: Leaders fall short when they make it about themselves and not about the cause they support #tchatJen Olney
A2 Projecting an image is called marketing…doing is called being a professional… #tchat’Steve Levy
A2: When they make token efforts at the holiday season to ‘reward’ employees. #tchatRob McGahen
keep the great answers coming & don’t forget to use A1, A2 etc. when responding to the questions! #TChatTalentCulture
A2) Leaders lead by example and not by intention or motivational posters :) #tchatJim Ducharme
Q3: What can #leaders do year ‘round to give credibility to end-of-year, seasonal shows of #socialgood & sharing? #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A3) sounds like doing good is really not as important as being good in a corporate karma sense ;) #tchatJim Ducharme
A3: Making #socialgood a team building project – promote it as a way to bring employees together and do good in the process #tchatJen Olney
A3: Reward and recognize others who give back. #tchatprettypinkponies
re: Agreed. Recognition and rewards. A3: @DarkMatterCon @jmass #Tchatprettypinkponies
A3. We can all do a better job of receiving. Strengthen that. #tchatMichael Clark
A3 – Leaders should be authentic all year long…it should be in their DNA to promote #socialgood regularly. #tchatDr. Antoine D. Moss
A3: I appreciate that my financial advisor asks clients what charities matter to them & gives. Works @ work too #tchatAlli Polin
A3: Organizations don’t have #feelings. #tchatprettypinkponies
A3. You’re all leaders, look how much you’re giving here now without any expectation of return. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: I like it when a company has a charity or social movement that it focuses on throughout the year, instead of just vol around xmas #TChatTheJobChaser
+100 @kathyherndon @Beverly_Davis: A3. Giving at Christmas shows you have holiday spirit. Giving yr around shows u have giving spirit #tchatSusan Mazza
“@AshLaurenPerez A3 why does “social good” have to be so stuffy? don’t make it seem like obligation-make it seem like social occasion #tchatSusan Mazza
A3 the problem with only focusing on #socialgood at this time of year is the need is year round. Needs to be culture #TChatPam Ross
A3: Leadership sets the tone – if leaders aren’t authentically concerned the org won’t be either. #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A3. We can all catch an positive energetic boost during the holidays and end of the year. #tchatMichael Clark
No, not much, I agree! “@ReCenterMoment: A3 Not much worse than insincere emotional expressions of appreciation. #tchat”Claire Crossley
A3: Ask employees what matters to them instead of dictating the only way of giving #socialgood #tchatAlli Polin
A3 leaders need to lead a culture of social good within the workplace and community. @jodysteinhauer does this really well! #TChatPam Ross
A3. Recognize people for recognizing people. #tchatMichael Clark
@pamelamaeross Hi Pam! A3) sharing the message of #social good all year round and recognizing employees who demostrate this. #tchat #tchatJennifer King
A3: Make it possible for people to bring passions to work even if uncomfortable (old org wouldn’t let AIDS Care come speak) #tchatAlli Polin
A3) Greed and short sightedness ultimately erodes everything…history is very clear. #tchatIrene Becker
A3 Not much worse than insincere emotional expressions of appreciation. #tchatMichael Clark
A3) I disagree CSR is an oxymoron. Purpose = Profit. Sustainability is creating value for others. Current recession result of greed #tchatIrene Becker
A3. why does “social good” have to be so stuffy? don’t make it seem like an obligation- make it seem like a social occasion #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
Agreed @ClaireSMBB A3 Leaders/orgs shd celebrate/give in small ways all year long, end the year celebrating all of those & more! #TChatMarcy Field
A3: Three C’s: care, connect, compensate well #tchatAlex Theis
A3: It’s too easy to plaster your logo on collateral. Engage those NPO’s around you, learn their needs + do what you can to meet them #TChatAndrew Henck
A3. Giving at Christmas is shows you have the holiday spirit. Giving year around shows you have a giving spirit. #tchatBeverly Davis
A3: Give (even praise) to those who deserve it all year and giving more at the EOY is icing on the cake #TChatLori~TranslationLady
A3. Too often, the
season’s giving within organizations happens in a one night party with dinner and open bar ( if you’re lucky.) #tchatMichael Clark
A3: Rising to the Challenge Before Us http://bit.ly/LtSwAc America can lead the way in csr. Time to lead forward #tchatIrene Becker
‘@Redzonejobs: A3) Pick a cause, visibly give time, money, etc consistently all yr round culminating in more giving/show real impact #tchatSusan Mazza
A3: Matching contributions to charitable organizations of employee’s choice is a way to encourage doing good and it is not forced. #TChatTom Bolt
A3. invite others to do social good with you- make it a company outting… keep it fun #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A3 #tchat So much comes down to believing in your values enough to live themMichael Leiter
re: A3: How can an organization demonstrate appreciation for others’ behaviors? @jmass #tchatprettypinkponies
A3 leaders need to BE the moral compass of their group, division, company – it’s binary: Either they are or they aren’t #tchat’Steve Levy
A3) Provide opportunities for employees to volunteer in ways meaningful to them and share ways to participate in corp projects #TChatnancyrubin
A3. set an example and let your employees rise to the occasion #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A3 – and a questions – how many companies crowdsource their socail resp. with their employees? Cool way to get buy in #TChatPaul Hebert
A3: Encourage employees to give back during the season or year-round. Allow them to take a day to volunteer. #TchatMark Van Baale
A3: Create an internal/external culture + reputation of social engagement + community stakeholders will give you credibility in Dec. #TChatAndrew Henck
A3: Let people talk about their community #socialgood activities at work. It’s not a time sink, it’s a value add #tchatAlli Polin
A3: Empower employees to give back while at work. #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A3: The actualization of change in relation to csr starts with one change done consistently that will + impact the entire sys. #tchatIrene Becker
A3: Scrap phoney United Way campaigns and other fake charity drives for the appearance of good. #TChatTom Bolt
A3: Create opportunities year round for employees to give back to the community and reward their efforts #tchatJen Olney
A3: Leaders can recognize people that give at work and to the community. #tchatAlli Polin
A3: Give time in the hols to cause they’ve given air-and-volunteer time to over the year – consistency, value & authenticity is key! #tchatCassie LP
A3) Leaders should get in the trenches of social giving and not just endorse/deliver the company checks during the year. #TchatinTalent Consulting
A3. If leadership doesn’t create a consistent culture of recognition and caring, employees will not believe #tchatMichael Clark
A3. Set goals at the beginning of the year/ provide updates throughout/ and results toward the end. Consistency #tchatChris Fields, MLHR
A3 Leaders/orgs should celebrate/give in small ways all year long, end the year celebrating all of those and more! #TChatClaire Crossley
A3. Do things quietly & enjoy the personal rewards. Ethics & Integrity r what u do when no one is watching #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A3: Taking care of your EMPLOYEES year round is also #socialgood !!! #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A3: Leaders can donate their time and invite people to join them #tchatAlli Polin
EVENING all :-) A3 The year end discussions are not interrogations but idea integration #tchatJohn Kosic
A3: Great leaders can know their employees and work with them year round on important social issues. #TChatJanis Stacy
A3: The Q answers itself. Be giving & give thanks all year long; theoretically, u won’t even have 2 @ Christmas. #TChatBrent Skinner
A3: Aren’t there ppl (or deps) that focus on community giving & sharing in most big orgs? Small orgs could do it, too #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A3 Quarterly reminders emphasizing a project. #TChatMelissa Lamson
A3) sharing the message of #social good all year round and recognizing employees who demostrate this. #tchatJennifer King
A3) Pick a cause and visibly give time, money, etc to it consistently all year round culminating in more giving & showing real impact #tchatRed Zone Resources
a3: Walk-the-talk all year and people will see you’re genuine during the holidays. #tchatSalary School
A3 – Donate time. If you want to save your big $ giving for the holidays, then donate time & volunteer throughout the year. #tchatJonathan Barrick
A3) sounds like doing good is really not as important as being good in a corporate karma sense ;) #tchatJim Ducharme
A3 – social consciousness must be part of the everyday before it can be highlighted in the season. #TChatPaul Hebert
A3: Leaders should be consistent in their generosity and message. The ‘missionary of the minute’ leader is always pegged as fake. #TChatTom Bolt
A3: Instead of a token year-end effort, make it a year-round thing. #tchatRob McGahen
A3. Leaders must track internal and external #socialgood just as meticulously as the financials. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: Celebrate people who commit acts of social good and sharing for who they are and what they are providing, not just their actions #tchatSusan Mazza
A3 Social good has to be consistent 24/7, and, where & when possible, cover the cultural spectrum. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A3. encourage employees to do #socialgood – maybe even tie them with contests to keep employees motivated to do it on their own #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A3: Do more than sponsor an event or write a check. Send your folks out of the office during the workday. #TChatAndrew Henck
A3: Be consistent…Always! #tchatEarly Careerists
a3) Delgate responsibility, set main goal with waypoints and recognize and encourage effort. #tchatJim Ducharme
A3: Reward and recognize others who give back. #tchatprettypinkponies
A3 Make sharing and #socialgood an everyday event #tchatCASUDI
A3: Be consistent with social messaging year round. #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A3: Making #socialgood a team building project – promote it as a way to bring employees together and do good in the process #tchatJen Olney
A3. Do the same thing all year that they do at the end of year. #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A3 – connect the day-to-day to the seasonal events – make it part of the Corp DNA #TChatPaul Hebert
A3: How about do #socialgood year round? #tchatRob McGahen
A3: Partner with organizations and groups and engage in Social Good efforts throughout the year. #tchatAmy Vernon
A3: Make sure they take care of their employees as well as they take care of themselves. After all, it’s bonus time. #TChatTalent Generation
BOOM! Q4: What are traditional vs. innovative ways for #leaders to express gratitude? What’s a good mix? #socialgood #121212concert #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A4) Pay for employees days off when volunteering time. Encourage social sharing of charitable messages. Neither cost $ to employee #TChatTim McDonald
A4: There are no cute tricks to expressing gratitude, but a few new channels for its delivery. Thank you, tech. #TChatBrent Skinner
A4: Make it personal. Keep it real. Show you care. Let them know they matter. — never about the form, always about the impact #tchatSusan Mazza
A4, time is more valuable than pay (to a degree) #tchatTom Spiglanin
A4. Forget titles and positions, lose your fear of engaging people. #tchatMichael Clark
A4 Nearly 40% of e’ees don’t feel they are recognized enough. Recognition, recognition, recognition. Continuous! #tchatJustin Angsuwat
A4: Give people what THEY want, not just what
YOU want… find out what matters #connect #tchatAlli Polin
A4. Everyone must be given fundamental insights into the cycles and rhythm of human performance. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: Seem traditional was thanks, handshake and a “good job”, now not being layed off is showing “gratitude”. We can do better. #TChatJanis Stacy
A4: Saying I appreciate you should not be reserved for the end of the year.Be genuine & be generous with appreciation #tchatAlli Polin
A4. Choosing to be a positive force is the great equalizer of human performance. #tchatMichael Clark
“@MillennialTweet A4: Recgnze that 1 size does not fit all. Know ur folks- u’ll know how to express gratitude that does them justice. #TChatSusan Mazza
A4. Stop holding yourself back. The moment you see good, speak UP. #tchatMichael Clark
Yes! “@ReCenterMoment: A4. Like great teachers, leaders should always be watching for and recognizing positive performance. #tchat”Erin Colleen Goodell
A4: Seem traditional was thanks, handshake and a “good job”, now it seems not being layed off is the show of “gratitude”. #TChatJanis Stacy
A4. Engage one-to-one, moment-to-moment, in real-time IRL. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: Please preserve the sanctity of “sharing” – and make it a gamification-free zone ;) #tchatExpertus
A4 (Just 4 Fun) Cash, Liquor, Furs, Expensive Autos, Gambling Trips, Viagra and recognition #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A4: A good, old fashioned “thank you” always works. #tchatBright.com
A4: Make it personal. Keep it real. Show you care. Let them know they matter. — never about the form, always about the impact #tchatSusan Mazza
A4: Let team members nominate each other for recognition from leadership… a lunch, coffee or time spent w/leader #tchatAlli Polin
A4. Where and how are you concentrating your moment-to-moment attention and energy? #tchatMichael Clark
A4: Recognize that one size does not fit all. Know your folks + you’ll know how to express gratitude that does them justice. #TChatAndrew Henck
A4 All research points to frequent feedback & recognition. New social technologies enable us to do it right! #tchatJustin Angsuwat
A4. What you put your attention on grows. What you remove your attention from shrinks. #tchatMichael Clark
A4. Like great teachers, leaders should always be watching for and recognizing positive performance. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: I went to a catering meeting for our holiday party & gave our fabulous admin @EliseGilmore33 a gift card to the store upon return #TChatLori~TranslationLady
Down with job titles! MT @markvanbaale: A4: dont let ur title make you prideful. Personally thank ur employees. #tchatJocelyn Aucoin
#Tchat A4 Orgs who produce good will in their local community showcase their genuine nature offline: Gratitude is amplified by social mediaALEX BOTTOM
A4: Every ee has a goal, why don’t you find that goal and help them achieve it. #TChat i.e. higher ed, sales, networking, etcRabih Najjar
A4 When planning employee engagement events, see if there’s a link to social good – like volunteering as team at food bank #TChatPam Ross
A4: There’s no formula (i.e., no “right mix”) 2 expressing gratitude. Do it whenever u mean it. Use lotsa channels. #TChatBrent Skinner
A4: Don’t just give $$ – make sure they know why they matter & are appreciated #tchatAlli Polin
A4: I’d assume that “innovative ideas” aren’t widely executed, right? Doesn’t the latter = tradition? #TChatAndrew Henck
A4)Bring those impacted by company volunteerism in to meet those who cared enough to help/contribute. Make it human. #connect #tchatinTalent Consulting
A4: If you’re a CEO or president of a company, don’t let ur title make you prideful. Personally thank ur employees. #TChatMark Van Baale
A4: How do you know you have a good mix? Watch and listen – do people around you incl you feel appreciated? #tchatSusan Mazza
A4: Be mindful of those around you. See how they live/work + what needs they have. Respond accordingly w/ gratitude. #TChatAndrew Henck
A4 – send a note that says “you’ve still got a job” – the anti layoff #TChatPaul Hebert
A4 – Want an innovative way to appreciate? Give them something nostalgic. Connect to childhood. Means you need to learn about them. #TChatJonathan Barrick
A4) Pay for employees days off when volunteering time. Encourage social sharing of charitable messages. Neither cost $ to employee #TChatTim McDonald
A4: Make time for 1×1 time that starts with: I appreciate you because… #tchatAlli Polin
A4: Show up. Be present. #tchatprettypinkponies
A4: Traditionally: a crackin’ Christmas party and a positive outlook on the New Year. #TChatTheJobChaser
A4: The best know that personal touches, handwritten and from the heart leave their mark on others #tchatJen Olney
A4. Leaders must create and engage a strategic plan for becoming a positive force of recognition and #gratitude. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: Don’t know about the mix, but a pat on the back and a ‘thank you’ means a lot to most ppl. #TChatTom Bolt
A4 take a moment and listen observe and respond to those not at shareholder level @tamcdonald @MeghanMBiro #tchatJohn Kosic
A4: Find ways to involve everyone vs. use a committee to “put on a show” #tchatSusan Mazza
A4: Be more original than handing out gift cards – make it personal and leave a lasting impression #tchatJen Olney
A4 Look at all of your partners/vendors. good example – check out @Zoealliance #socialgood #tchatPam Ross
A4: Gratitude should certainly go beyond financial reward #TchatScott M. Hutcheson
A4: I could submit people on my team & their story to the CEO/President & they got a personal note of thanks #tchatAlli Polin
A4: Innovative or not, just make it heartfelt and honest. Appreciation is not just for the holidays. #tchatPhil Komarny
A4) Getting on vid or PA system in office is traditional/tired, as is mass thx email. Leaders GO where emp actually sit and say thx! #tchatRed Zone Resources
A4. The most innovative way for #leadership to give back is to engage-connect-share-care with each and every employee. #tchatMichael Clark
A4 no reason to be fancy but your boss can always write you a nice LinkedIn recommendation -even if it makes u more recruitable #tchat’Steve Levy
A4. Saying Thanks a job well done publicly and privately #TChatDave Ryan, SPHR
A4: A specific thank you for a specific accomplishment – shows the leader is engaged and aware of contributions. #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A4: Authentic expressions of gratitude are as contagious as laughter – use social technology to fuel the contagion #tchatSusan Mazza
A4: Let your “world of work” express its holiday self, within reason of course. I want a “Rock of Ages” Nativity scene on my desk. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A4: Give options beyond $$. Set boundaries & ask what’s important to them #tchatAlli Polin
A4: Get creative by shining a light on employees. Used to print a cookbook with employee recipes. Sent to every client. #tchat #twoferBryan Chaney
A4 Traditional would be plaques, award ceremonies, ‘an exercise’ imo. Innovative, for me, can be as simple as an unexpected thank you #TChatClaire Crossley
A4: There are no cute tricks to expressing gratitude, but a few new channels for its delivery. Thank you, tech. #TChatBrent Skinner
A4: Does my heart good to see an executive serving at the local food bank! #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A4 Gratitude: Send a email to employee and cc in your +1 – thanking them for specific accomplishments #tchat’Steve
Levy
A4: Meaningful expressions of gratitude opens hearts in any form – traditional or innovative – choose whatever is natural for you #tchatSusan Mazza
#Tchat #121212concert A4 say a heartfelt thank you!alinalara
A4 – just pay it forward – in any way that makes sense #TChatPaul Hebert
A4: Send a thank you note to your staff members family noting how proud they should be. #tchatEarly Careerists
A4) never give your staff fruitcake! #tchatJim Ducharme
A4: “Thank you” never goes out of style. #TChatTalent Generation
A4 – who are we expressing gratitude for? to whom? Emps? Others? Vendors? Clients? the world? #TChatPaul Hebert
A4 Tech and Tradition can mix. Orgs have to demonstrate gratitude in line with normal operating standards & possibly exceed them. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A4: Traditional: year-end. Innovative: year-round. #tchatRob McGahen
>> Anyone? LOL >> Q5: How is technology helping orgs to express gratitude? What are the pros and cons? #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5 tech helps spread messages way faster (pro). A con is tech can be overused & become impersonal if not balanced w/ face-to-face! #tchatJeff Waldman
A5. Look at us here now engaging-connecting-supporting across the world. #tchatMichael Clark
A5: Given a choice? Pick up the phone, walk to someone’s desk. Tell them thanks & you matter. Tech is fast, IRL connects #tchatAlli Polin
A5: Beware of over-relying on technology. Make sure u express gratitude in a way that creates meaningful connection #tchatSusan Mazza
A5. Strengthening our capacity to receive, expands our desire to give. #tchatMichael Clark
A5: Good witch/bad witch – social channels amplify stories & msgs of “good” works. But can cross-over to forced/contrived self-promo #tchatExpertus
a5) seen today, email appreciation to a team from VP, copied to all cognizant parties including all team members’ line mgt. #class #tchatTom Spiglanin
A5 a con w/ tech is if it’s used for someone who is not comfortable being recognized publicly – need to fit the channel w/ the person #tchatJeff Waldman
A5: “Technology” has connected me to countless causes, needs and orgs to channel gratitude + support (i.e. @Kiva @WorldVision @IJMHQ) #TChatAndrew Henck
A5: We have the ability to reach out and touch more with the platforms, for that we can all be grateful #tchatJen Olney
A5: A note of thanks on email can be saved & shared easily. CC used well! #tchatAlli Polin
A5 Can develop an online form to nominate other employees. Recognition from fellow employees means a lot to workers. #TchatHeather Rothbauer
A5: Ecards make it easy and cheap… get it? “cheap!” #tchatNeil MacGregor
A5)Overall technology is good but can make the interaction/expressions of gratitude seem less personal. Again..connection is good. #tchatinTalent Consulting
A5) If you’re real tech is your timeline of goodwill through the year. Create a culture page on your site – show em some soul. #tchatJim Ducharme
A5. Oh, the wonderful places we will go united via #tech #tchatMichael Clark
A5: Employee appreciate via #SocialMedia is a great way to recognize good deeds. #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A5: Personal use Tech gifts are cool!! IPad? Also tech helps expand awareness. But showing gratitude needs be personal. #TChatJanis Stacy
A5: Those with smart phones can text donations – but not everyone has a smart phone (newsflash) #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A5: Tech can help us express gratitude real-time. On a biz trip & can IM my team member to recognize good I heard about #tchatAlli Polin
A5) network-based technology increases agility to recognize achievement; challenge is keeping it personal, need to be genuine #tchatTom Spiglanin
A5: A nice, simple note of personal thanks from a leader/manager via email to employees can be done w/today’s tech. #TChatMark Van Baale
A5 Some good info like the NYC cop buyt the boots gets sent around the world quickly #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A5: Tech makes gratitude easier, but less personal and authentic. #TchatScott M. Hutcheson
A5 tech gives ppl more options to recognize but is only 1 option of many! #tchatJeff Waldman
A5 – tech has made it too easy – reduces the “personal.” Made it efficient at the cost of effective #TChatPaul Hebert
A5. #Tech + #Community + #SocialGood = Saving our beautiful planet. #tchatMichael Clark
A5) Technology helps gratitude go viral for one thing! :) #tchatRed Zone Resources
A5 tech can help share recognition broadly, publicly – BUT can’t be the only way – doesn’t replace IRL genuine Thank You #TChatPam Ross
A5 tech helps spread messages way faster (pro). A con is tech can be overused & become impersonal if not balanced w/ face-to-face! #tchatJeff Waldman
A5: (insert cliche comment on the “human touch” that is needed) #TChatAndrew Henck
A5. Look at us here now engaging-connecting-supporting across the world. #tchatMichael Clark
A5 Too much tech is distancing Orgs and gratitude has less value than before. Done tastefully, the pros outweigh cons #TChatEnzo Guardino
A5 #Tchat Paper greeting cards thru snail mail are unlikely to be a spam scam but ecards . . .Michael Leiter
A5: #Tech speeds up communication and engagement #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A5: Just more opps to do so. But do tech right, or you’ll be right back @ seeming inauthentic again. #TChatBrent Skinner
A5 Tech flattens an org, but not the holiday spirit. Real comms, and real feelings across the org are made easier by tech. #tchatNeil MacGregor