Monday, August 31, 2009

Some Engaging Reading

Not too long ago, the British Government released a comprehensive report on employee engagement entitled “Engaging For Success: Enhancing Performance Through Employee Engagement.” It consists of five chapters:

1. Employee Engagement – What, Why And How
2. The Case for Employee Engagement – The Evidence
3. The Barriers to Engagement
4. Enablers of Engagement – What Has to Happen to Make Engagement Work?
5. Recommendations

If you don’t have the time, I strongly recommend that you read David Zinger’s 21 Powerful Points on Employee Engagement From the UK MacLeod EE Report. David is devoted to employee engagement and in my humble opinion, one of the world’s leading experts on the subject.

David’s 21 Points will probably whet your appetite for more and you can pick it up the full report here.

It makes for very engaging reading!

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Friend Mark!

Some more words of wisdom from my friend Mark!

Praise is well, compliment is well, but affection--that is the last and final and most precious reward that any man can win, whether by character or achievement.
- Affection speech, 1907

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The buck may stop here, but how did I do?

This Thursday (tomorrow), both myself and my colleague Roy Saunderson, President of the Recognition Management Institute, will be interviewed live on the Voice America radio show!

We'll be discussing the ins and outs of employee rewards and recognition: what it is, what it costs and why it matters.

Tune in tomorrow, August 27th, at 7 PM ET

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Looking for more information on incentives?

Follow Incentive Magazine on their new twitter page!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ask the Experts

Looking for more information on recognition? In the August edition of Incentive Magazine’s “Ask the Experts,” my colleagues Michelle Smith, Dee Hansford, Kevin Cronin and I answer the following questions:

• To be respectful to our board and shareholders, shouldn’t we put a hold on our recognition programs until the economy completely turns around?
• We are getting ready to launch our first employee survey and want to keep it simple. Do you have any suggestions about what questions to ask for feedback on recognition?
• Is recognition less meaningful if you do not give a reward along with the recognition?
• Can you give me some of the “do”s and “don’t”s of recognition communications?

My contribution dealt with the last question. Find out how to create the ultimate communications strategy around your recognition program here!

Do you have any other recognition questions? Drop me a note in the blog’s comment section below!

Friday, August 21, 2009

New picture of the week

Mont Tremblant Dream by Peter Hart

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Friend Barbara Ruddy!

In 2001, I attended my first Recognition Professionals International conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was a great experience. I learned a lot and made many new friends.

One of them was Barbara Ruddy!

I’m sure I wasn’t the only person at the conference who wished it could have gone on longer. That was because of Barbara. She was the Conference Chair and her hospitality and organization made it a memorable experience for me and many others!

At the time Barbara was working for the State of Arizona’s Department of Economic Security. She had designed and implemented an employee recognition system for more than 10,000 employees!

Barbara is very involved in Recognition Professionals International. She acts as the Chairperson for the prestigious Recognition Champion Award program in honor of her dear friend Pamela Sabin. Over the years Barbara served on RPI’s Executive and Advisory Boards. She was also the first certified instructor authorized to teach all RPI Certified Recognition Professional® courses. This year Barbara won RPI’s Spotlight Award which honors her recognition career and the activities that she has done to improve RPI and its mission.

Over the years our friendship grew and it is with no small measure of pride that I was so pleased to see her join Roy Saunderson and his team at the Recognition Management Institute.

I know that Barbara will continue to teach and help others understand what Real Recognition is really about!

Welcome to our family Barbara!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Recognition Fuel to Outrun the Competition

On Wednesday august 26th, Rideau will be presenting a recognition webcast hosted by my colleague, special guest speaker, Tom Miller, Recognition Council Board of Directors’ Vice President.

Employee recognition programs can generate significant revenue and profits. Companies that recognize people outperform the competition by 30% - 40%. Having your talent perform at their best has never been more important–even during a recession. It is the key to sustainability and the hope for future growth. If you want to outrun your competition, this webcast is for you! Click here to register.

Can’t make it? Recast dates are also available for registration.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Friend Mark!

This week's words of wisdom from Mark Twain...

An occasional compliment is necessary to keep up one's self-respect. The plan of the newspaper is good and wise; when you can't get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one.
- Notebook, 1894

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Technology Only Enables Recognition

Here’s some interesting information…

• Over 60 out of 275 people work in Rideau’s IT department.
• Over 94% of all of Rideau’s transactions occur over the web.
• Rideau plans on continuing to invest millions of dollars in IT so we can provide best in class, world class recognition and incentive programs to our clients.

I don’t think there are too many recognition and incentive companies who are spending as much on IT as Rideau.

Yet, I’m troubled by certain trends in our industry…

All too often companies are looking for technology enabled recognition solutions. That’s a good thing. But what they’re forgetting is technology can only enable recognition.

It takes “real” people to deliver “real” recognition. Make sure you don’t let technology replace the human element.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Recognition 24/7!

I believe recognition is one of, if not THE most important tool in building relationships.

While most professionals focus their work on “employee” recognition, we should never forget the lessons we teach should extend far beyond the workplace and into our day to day lives.

When someone quits an organization, most of the time it’s because of a failed relationship between the employee and the manager. Research has shown the leading cause of this failure is because employees don’t feel recognized and appreciated.

Now just think about all the failed relationships that we have known and experienced in our own personal lives.

Could those relationships have failed because we never took the time to appreciate and recognize each other?

While I don’t have any research to back me up, I’ll bet the answer is “yes”!

I’ve always said that one of the most powerful recognition "rewards" are words used with sincerity and appreciation.

We should use recognition at work to build better workplaces.

We should use recognition in our day to day lives to build better personal relationships.

We should use recognition all the time!

Recognition 24/7!

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Friend Mark!

This week's words of wisdom from Mark Twain...
I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough.
- Speech, September 23, 1907

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Interview With Christophe Laval

My good friend and fellow RPI Board Member recently did an extensive in depth interview in “Les cahiers du DRH,” an HR publication out of France. The interview was in French and you can read it in French here.

I thought the interview was very good so, with Christophe’s approval I have tried to summarize his thoughts.

Recognition In The Workplace – Money Doesn’t Mean Everything
How did Christophe become interested in recognition?
When traveling he noted how corporate culture in France differed much from American culture. Americans were more likely to believe in deliberate recognition programs versus the French.
How do corporations view recognition?
In France, recognition is often discussed in psychological terms, philosophically. They look at the cost of not having recognition, but seldom of the benefits of having recognition: ROI.

For example, Christophe found while studying companies such as Club Med, Disneyland Paris and FNAC, companies with line managers that practiced recognition had 15 to 20% better customer satisfaction than those who did not.

Christophe speaks of the “Latinization” of American methods of recognition. You cannot simply “cut and paste” recognition the way it is being taught in North America. The culture simply isn’t there yet in France. You must take into account the geographical location and the company’s internal culture. For example, Christophe speaks of a time when he saw a manager recognize an employee in public and it turned out quite badly by making others jealous or the recipient uncomfortable. However, in companies where recognition is already part of the culture, recognition is easily received. In companies like FedEx and Bouygues, a recognition system was in place since its inception, recognition is well received by employees. Therefore, it helps successfully accomplish company goals.

Among the four types of recognition defined by Dr Jean-Pierre Brun, which ones are the most seldom used?
In France, the most pervasive form of recognition is results. It doesn’t matter how much or little effort you put into your work, results are the only thing that matters. If your sales and marketing team work morning, noon and night, this makes little difference if their projects do not result in sales.

What is seldom seen in Europe is existential recognition, where people are valued for their attitudes and ideas.

In a successful recognition program, all recognition types are intertwined and dependant of each other.

During these difficult economic times, have we seen a shift to a real internal move towards the implementation of true recognition?
According to Christophe, recognition is not just a short term tool during a crisis. If you are going to put recognition aside after the storm has passed, might as well forget the idea altogether. For recognition to have a real impact, companies must have the will to change their internal vision and values.

How does Christophe go about implementing a recognition program within a company?
First question would be “what is the main concern within the corporation?” Turnover? Absenteeism? Customer satisfaction? After which the scope and context of the problem is assessed. Then, Christophe meets with employees to get an idea of the perception of the problem. Following this, he meets with managers to identify their behavior. Depending on the situation, he could have more in depth meetings with different individuals within the company. Finally, implementation occurs over a period of 6 months to a year.

However for recognition to truly take root, it will take up to one or two years.

Future projects?
Christopher is creating a “Club Européen” which will be a sort of RPI Europe, an extension of the current association. He is also preparing his first international conference on recognition in the workplace in France next November.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Who Are We To Preach?

Not too long ago I was on an International Panel discussing how recognition differs around the world.

As the discussion went on, I had an interesting thought…

“Who are we to preach?”

Research shows that close to 90% of North American companies have recognition programs yet 60% of employees don’t feel appreciated or recognized. (“How Full is Your Bucket: Positive Strategies for Work and Life” by Tom Rath & Donald Clifton, Gallup Press, 2004)

If anything, this is a powerful indication that what we are doing in North America isn’t working. It tells me we need to get our own house in order before we go off and tell other countries how they should be running recognition programs!

Without the risk of sounding too outrageous, perhaps we could even learn something from our “global friends”!