Monday, August 9, 2010

New home!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The CEO's point of view

This week’s Real Recognition Radio show brings you inside the world of ING DIRECT CANADA with Peter Aceto, President & CEO and Kate Johnston, Senior Manager of Communications.

How do you build a strong culture of recognition for engaged employees?

Discover ING DIRECT’s secrets to creating an environment of positivity and cooperation through the power of relationships. It takes a lot of strategy and a little elbow grease, but the result is an enviable engaged, top performing workforce.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You think your boss is bad?

Monday, August 2, 2010

What We Can Learn From Customer Loyalty Programs

Since 2004 my company has provided customer loyalty programs to several very large financial institutions.

You know the type of program I mean… the ones where you pull out your credit card, pay for your latest purchase and earn points which can be redeemed for travel, merchandise and gift certificates.

Needless to say, we have learned a lot over the years about this type of business. One of the most surprising things is how many similarities there are between what we do for our customer loyalty clients' cardholders and for our employee performance clients' recipients.

There have been a couple of surprising lessons concerning the number and type of rewards offered in a customer loyalty program.

Typically, customer loyalty programs often feature less than a thousand different rewards… usually only several hundred rewards. Turns out research shows that thousands and thousands of merchandise rewards aren’t necessary, regardless of the size of the program. Cardholders appreciate a carefully selected and balanced merchandise rewards selection tailored specifically to them.

Another lesson is the limitation credit card companies put on the number of gift cards featured in their programs. Gift cards reduce program brand equity! For example, when cardholders select a gift card to an electronics store versus selecting the electronic, the cardholder will associate the reward with the store they used the gift card at, not from their rewards program!

These are very sophisticated marketers who specialize in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), a well established science. So what can we learn from these experts and how can we apply their lessons to employee performance programs? I asked these CRM experts the very same question.

Their response might surprise you!

They told me that they do their very best to know and understand who their customers are and what rewards excite them. In other words, they try and create a merchandise rewards catalog that is personal and relevant to cardholders. When they heard that in our employee focused industry sometimes tens of thousands and in some cases hundreds of thousands of different rewards are offered, their response (and this came from several different companies) was identical… “I guess companies don’t know their employees very well!”

And you know what, they are right!

Offering tens of thousands of reward options really is making a statement… we (the company) don’t really know you (the employee) very well! So here, choose from a gazillion different options and hopefully there will be something you like.

I believe that for recognition to be effective it must be personal. Could it be that for rewards to be effective they too should be personal? Credit card companies have invested millions of dollars trying to reach customers on a personal basis. The same holds true for employees!

I think we can all learn some very valuable lessons from these CRM experts and apply it on the work we do for our clients' employees.

Perhaps it’s time for a new science… Employee Relationship Management!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How Organizations Empower Bully Bosses: A Criminal in the Workplace

This episode of Real Recognition Radio invites Marilyn Veincentotzs, author of How Organizations Empower Bully Bosses: A Criminal in the Workplace, to talk about the troubling trend of “bully bosses.” Learn what your leaders may unconsciously be doing to encourage this kind of behavior and what they can do to be proactive to ensure your employees are living your corporation’s values. So join in on the conversation and discover how to create a positive work environment you can be proud of!

Monday, July 26, 2010

VPHR's International Conference

My colleague Christophe Laval, founder of VPHR (Vision Performance Humain Reconnaissance), is hosting an international conference this October to discuss the importance of quality of life at work and its relation to productivity.

This event will be an opportunity for people from all different areas of expertise to share points of view and experience.

There will be presentations in English and French, so if you're looking for an excuse to visit Paris in October, here's your chance!

Click here for registration and presenter information.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How do you inspire greatness?

Have you checked out Rideau's Facebook page?

Check it out, and feel free to leave us a note on our discussion board, where we ask you, How do you inspire greatness?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Why of Work: Creating Meaningful Work & Workplaces

According to the authors of “The Why of Work”, Dr. Dave Ulrich and Dr. Wendy Ulrich, we all seek a sense of purpose, contribution, connection, value, and hope through our work, this is what drives us and keeps us engaged.

On next Tuesday's episode of Real Recognition Radio, the Ulrichs will help you unravel the root of what motivates your employees and learn how to create leaders that will change the workplace.

Listen in next week to discover how to become a “meaning maker” and how this helps you improve productivity, customer satisfaction and your bottom line.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why You Need a Recognition Strategy

Having a well defined recognition strategy is the first and arguably the most important element of Recognition Professionals International’s (RPI) Seven Best Practice Standards.


Simply put, recognition programs which do not align with overall corporate strategies are impossible to defend and inevitably end up being considered an expense instead of an investment. In hard times, these aimless programs are among the first things to be cut.

Any well thought out recognition strategy that ties into your corporation’s business objectives or mission, vision and values is much more readily defensible because senior management can see the link between your strategy and their business objectives.

Corporations will always try and cut expenses, but most will do their utmost to defend investments they believe will help grow the business and deliver profits to shareholders.

RPI's second Best Standard is to have senior management buy-in and support for your recognition strategy. If your recognition strategy is linked to senior management’s business strategies, it makes it much more likely that someone in the C-Suite will act as your recognition champion.

So here are a few tips… take a hard look at your current recognition programs. Do you have a written recognition strategy? Does this strategy align and link up with your senior leadership’s business objectives? Do your leaders understand the strategy and its linkages? Do your leaders actively support your recognition programs?

If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, you should invest some serious time and effort on your recognition strategy, otherwise, you might find yourself considered an expense… and we all know what happens to expenses!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Philanthro-captialism: Oxymoron or Social Responsibility?

My colleagues Roy Saunderson and Max Brown, hosts of Real Recognition Radio tell me there is a global revolution under way in philanthropy: organizations are finding out that doing good for others mean doing well for themselves too.

Real Recognition Radio's guest, Matthew Bishop is the US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist, and the author of several books including, “Philanthrocapitalism.”

According to former U.S President Bill Clinton, “This is an important book. Our interdependent world is too unequal, unstable, and unsustainable. We have to transform it into one of shared responsibilities, shared opportunities, and a shared sense of community.”

Listen and learn how making the world better makes perfect corporate $ense.

Tune in next Tuesday at 1 PM ET

Monday, July 12, 2010

Creating communities within your organization

My partners down at PollStream create fantastic social networking tools to facilitate employee relationships and increase employee engagement. The networking systems let you use a proven successful social phenomenon to keep the channel of communication between employees open and active. PollStream understands the power of community!

If you're interested in learning more about them and the subject, they've recently launched their blog:

So go take a look and discover the power of conversation!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thank You Thoughts

"The only way to get people to like working hard is to motivate them. Today, people must understand why they're working hard. Every individual in an organization is motivated by something different." -Rick Pitino

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What is leadership 2.0?

Bestselling author and leadership advisor, Robin Sharma is this week’s guest on my colleagues Roy and Max's show Real Recognition Radio and will explain how embracing leadership can change the workplace.

Robin Sharma is ranked as one of the Top 5 leadership experts and is the celebrated author of 11 bestselling books on leadership, including The Leader Who Had No Title.

Successful organizations are those that have high emotional intelligence – they encourage innovation, responsibility, relationships and see leaders in all their employees. Join in on this powerful conversation to learn that it doesn’t matter what your title is, you have the power to change your environment at work and at home.

Tune in next Tuesday at 1 PM ET

Past show episodes available on itunes!

Monday, July 5, 2010

World Cup: A Game Changer!

The whole world’s eyes are focused on South Africa as the world gathers to celebrate and play the World Cup. Nelson Mandela said it best, “The generosity of the human spirit can overcome all adversity. Through compassion and caring we can create hope.” Just think of the thousands of fans gathered in South Africa to cheer on their country's team and the millions more around the globe that watch with excitement.

All businesses have a lot to learn from World Cup games. Imagine your workplace where everyone was so excited and focused on your business’s goals. Recognition and teamwork can help, not only improve your work environment, but also your company’s results. Just as soccer is the “game changer” for South Africa, building a recognition culture can become your "game changer" to helping your company decrease turnover, improve customer satisfaction and raise employer and employee engagement to reach all new records of performance.

Danny Jordaan, member of FIFA's organizing committee provided some special recognition to the 22,000 workers who helped build the new venue on the eastern border of Sowetto that will host the opening and final games. He presented them with 2 tickets each to attend a match for their help in building this great tribute to their country. “The world can see what you have built,” he said. “This is not just a stadium but a monument, a demonstration of this country’s ability and capability."

South Africa’s current President Zumba was quoted in Time magazine as saying the World Cup is “To show the world we are capable.” Truly all the eyes of the world are on South Africa and we are proud that they have showed us what change can be made in a relatively short period of time since Apartheid . President Mandela thanks for showing us how to be compassionate and how to create hope, you are an example for all of us to follow.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Creating Great Corporate Culture One Slice at a Time

How do you take a standard industry turnover rate of 150% and reduce it to less than 30? Tune in to the next episode of Real Recognition Radio to find out!

CEO of Nick’s Pizza & Pub, Nick Sarillo is going to be interviewed by my colleagues Roy Saunderson and Max Brown on the next Real Recognition Radio. Nick will share his insights and practices so you can learn what it means to “create great corporate culture one slice at a time.”

Featured on the cover of Inc. magazine, on Fox Business and in Newsweek for his creative and values-driven approach to leadership and training, Nick will show you how to create a deep corporate culture that delivers a strong sense of belonging, topped with high morale and high productivity. Tune in next Tuesday at 1 PM ET and learn how embedding recognition in corporate culture results in success!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Roy Saunderson is a Visionary!

In 1996, Roy Saunderson founded the Recognition Management Institute (RMI) to address the difficulty managers have giving effective recognition to their employees. Roy was one the very first pure play recognition consultants and pioneers in the field.

At that time, Roy was a very lonely voice in the wilderness. Most folks associated “recognition” with rewards. Roy saw it differently. He believed that recognition was about feelings. He coined the term Real Recognition™ and over the years, has consulted and presented to corporate clients all across the globe as well as to governments and trade associations.

I’m proud of the fact that that Recognition Management Institute became a division of Rideau Recognition Solutions in 2006.

Roy is truly a visionary in the field of employee recognition!

One of his recent monthly columns in Incentive Magazine addresses one of the hottest topics in our industry head on. That issue is how to determine ROI on recognition programs.

I urge all readers to check out Roy’s “Top 10 Tips for Solid Recognition ROI” in Incentive Magazine.

One of Roy’s thoughts really struck home with me… “the bottom line is not as important as what happens above that line.” How true. A profit & loss statement is just a snapshot in time. Too many CEO’s and other c-suite types focus on this short term “moment” and forget the bigger picture. Those who care about what happens above the profit line… i.e. PEOPLE… will be rewarded with sustainable long-term growth and profits.

Read Roy’s column. I think it was one of his best!

... and if you're looking for more recognition - try listening to Real Recognition Radio hosted by Roy and our colleague Max Brown.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Contented Cows Move Faster

Did you know contented cows move faster??

On the next Real Recognition Radio, my colleagues Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown will be interviewing the authors of Contented Cows Move Faster - Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden. Bill and Richard also speak to, train, and coach managers on leadership practices for better business outcome. This great episode will teach you how having a focused, fired-up, and capably led workforce is one of the best things any organization can do for its bottom line.

Tune in next Tuesday at 1 PM ET!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Recognition Reading

The Recognition Council's latest white paper is entitled Pump Up Employee Engagement: Fuel Prosperity with Strategic Recognition, Supercharge Your Program by Really Knowing Your Audience.

Give it a read to learn how to wield recognition effectively and accomplish all your corporate goals.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Southwest Makes Recognition Fly

Next on Real Recognition Radio is Southwest Airlines’ Sunny Abercrombie and Leslie Shults. Hosts & colleagues Max Brown and Roy Saunderson are going to uncover their secret to a happy and performing workforce!

Their vibrant corporate culture has created a positive workplace and flyers are reaping the benefits. Sunny is the Senior Director Culture Services and Leslie is the Team Leader/Planner Culture Activities. The two will show you how to create a recognition culture that filters down to your customers. And you’ll be happy to learn there’s a financial benefit to all the fun Southwest has!

Tune in next Tuesday at 1 PM ET

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Reward IS Recognition: Earning Discretionary Effort

Our very own Roy Saunderson, president and founder of the Recognition Management Institute, will be a guest during Pollstream's next webinar, The Reward IS Recognition: Earning Discretionary Effort on June 23rd.

As far back as the 1890s George Eastman recognized that a solid core of highly engaged employees were the heart of his enterprise. When he began paying his employees dividends out of his own pocket he discovered that a small bonus was enough to encourage employees to perform above what their job descriptions required.

The difference between what a worker is required to do and the higher level of performance a worker is capable of is known as "discretionary effort." It turns out that the cash Eastman handed to his employees might not have been as important as the fact that he took the time to recognize their contributions.

Register now and reserve your place, it's free!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Engagement in the Post-Recession Economy

In just two days, on Wednesday, June 16th at 2 PM, I will be speaking during Inventive Magazine's live free webinar, "Engagement in the Post-Recession Economy."

I'll be talking about the importance as well as ease with which recognition can keep your employees engaged and productive throughout the recession period and into the recovery period!

Click here to register - it's free!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Is Engagement Just a Buzz Word?

David Zinger is the next lucky guest on Real Recognition Radio, hosted by my colleagues S. Max Brown and Roy Saunderson. David Zinger is the founder and host of the 2,500+ member Employee Engagement Network.

This episode will teach how engagement can change a company, but more importantly what engagement can do for an individual on a personal level. David is a world traveled speaker, educator, coach and consultant focused on achieving results through engagement. Listen in and learn the value of online communities, the power of Zen-gage and the best and most effective methods of communication!

Tune in every Tuesday at 1 PM ET on Real Recognition Radio.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Roy Saunderson on the value of Real Recognition

Have you met my colleague Roy Saunderson? Roy is the president and founder of the Recognition Management Institute, and co-hosts Real Recognition Radio along with S. Max Brown.

Click below to meet our very own recognition guru!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Thank You Thoughts

"Management is nothing more than motivating other people." --Lee Iacocca

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Driving Performance Through Validation

My colleagues Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown welcome the Chairman and CEO of The Og Mandino Group, David Blanchard to Real Recognition Radio. David’s amazing success story has led him from award winning writer and director to a career where helping people succeed and creating a more fulfilling work and life space is his bread and butter.

During this episode you will gain insight on the importance of self-improvement, real leadership, communication and how this leads to innovation and a happier, healthier, more productive workplace.

Join in on the conversation on the next episode of Real Recognition Radio - tune in every Tuesday at 1 PM ET!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Is Your Company Playing Musical Chairs?

Last week I attended a luncheon hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce.

The keynote speaker was Florent Francoeur, President & Director General who heads up the 10,000 member strong Quebec HR Association.

Florent's message spoke to the reason why companies need to become employers of choice.

Simply put, the talent crisis is now upon us. In the Province of Quebec where I live, more employees will retire in the year 2013 than those who will enter the workforce. This includes those who immigrate to our province.

And this is not just happening in Quebec... it's a phenomenon that's starting to happen all over the world!

This morning on television, I saw an ad from a company urging job seekers to visit their website and "check out what prospective employers were really like by checking under the hood".

Think about it... a global talent crisis combined with knowledgeable job seekers who want to know what their potential employers are really like! These job seekers have the online tools to see which companies really do live up to the promise that "employees are our greatest asset".

Good luck to the ones that don't because they're playing musical chairs and they are bound to lose.

So what can you do?

Create employee referral programs and monitor their success closely. If participation is low, you can bet your bottom dollar that your company is in the danger zone.

Take a look at whether employees who are eligible to retire are charging out the door. If they are, you might want to review how you are treating them. There has been so much focus on millennials, Gen Y and Gen X that many companies now have reverse age discrimination going on. Place more emphasis on retaining your boomers and focus on the things that will make them want to stay with your organization.

Take a hard look at your people policies. Make sure your company respects people for who they are, regardless of their age and recognizes them for what they do, otherwise your company may end up without a chair when the music stops.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The ROI of Recognition

My colleagues Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown welcome Dr Jack Phillips on Real Recognition Radio's next episode.

Dr Phillips is the chairman and co-founder of the ROI Institute, and was named one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings and Events Industry.

You'll learn how simple, cost effective, and important measuring return on investment for your recognition program can be. Join hosts Roy and Max next Tuesday to learn how to turn your intangibles into tangible dollars and cents.

Tune in next Tuesday at 1 PM ET!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thank You Thoughts

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that's why we recommend it daily." --Zig Ziglar

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Healthcare: Keeping Recognition Alive & Well

My colleagues Max Brown and Roy Saunderson at Real Recognition Radio will be interviewing Carole Erken, HR Director for Kaiser Permanente and Sue Warwick, Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare’s chairperson of the Reward and Recognition committee. They'll be letting you in on their journey towards a successful recognition program.

You'll learn about the obstacles they’ve faced and the successes they’ve had. You’ll also learn some lessons on program sustainability, unions, and how to overcome participation challenges.

So, how is your recognition program fairing? Tune in to leverage their recognition best practices Tuesday at 1 PM ET!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Help Support the Incentive Legislation Campaign

I’m proud to be on the Board of the Incentive Federation. The Incentive Federation is an umbrella organization founded to promote, protect and research the incentive field, encompassing recognition, promotional products and related promotions.

One of the causes the Incentive Federation supports is national health care reform and measures that can lead to a healthier workforce. As a consequence, the Incentive Federation supports a tax incentive for employers and employees who participate in wellness programs. We believe that a well-designed qualified wellness award that is tax-free to employees would provide the necessary incentive to promote a healthier lifestyle and lead to a more productive workforce.

I’m proud to work with a group of incentive leaders that has been working to establish a presence with members of Congress. Last fall we had a Legislative Summit in Washington to meet with members of Congress on wellness incentives. We need a dedicated voice to “lobby” for legislation that serves our industry, the companies we serve and the hundreds of millions of recipients we touch annually.

As a consequence, the Incentive Legislation Campaign (ILC) was formed in order to make our presence felt on a consistent basis. To do this, we need financial support and input from individuals and companies for our efforts and step in when we need “grassroots” support with lawmakers.

If you would like more information please read the ILC Informational Flyer.

I hope you seriously consider this great opportunity to strengthen our voice in Washington and support of our industry.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cultural influences and recognition

My friend and colleague Christophe Laval, President of VPHR, is conducting a global survey on recognition practices across cultures.

The survey will review perceptions, practices and obstacles of recognition in the workplace.

Please click here to help complete this survey. It’ll be accessible until the 30th of May 2010 and is completely anonymous.

And be sure to stay tuned! The results will be revealed during the 13th World Human Resources Congress in Montreal this September.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rideau Extends its Global Reach

Rideau is now in India! My Bangalore-based colleague Jayanth Narayanan CRP, is now Managing Director of Rideau’s Asia-Pacific operations.

Jayanth is Asia's first Certified Recognition Professional and has been involved in the Business Process & IT outsourcing industry for the last 12 years.

Rideau chooses to extend its operations locally to better serve its clients, not only in terms of operations, but also in terms of recognition strategy. What motivates people in one country will be different from those in another. Having local resources allows Rideau to be increasingly attuned to client needs across time zones.

To learn more about recognition in India and the Asia-Pacific region, visit Jayanth’s blog here!

Or read the press release here!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thank You Thoughts

"What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise -- although the philosophers generally call it ‘recognition’!” —William James

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Goldman Sachs & Incentive "Rip-offs"

Not too long ago, I did a post on the lessons to be learned from Amazon’s exit from the incentive fulfillment business. Many others commented on Amazon’s departure as well.

For the most part, these commentaries were even handed and balanced but some were very self-serving. One recognition company opined that one of the primary reasons Amazon exited the business was because it was concerned about its brand image… apparently customers were complaining of feeling ripped off by the prices they were paying to their incentive reward provider partners. The writer then went on to denounce the “massive markup rip-offs on merchandise reward items”.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

This is coming from a recognition company whose only redemption vehicle are “award vouchers” that can be exchanged for gift certificates. Don’t ask them for instant awards with a company logo or for symbolic awards that can be used in service awards or for your prestigious President’s award… they simply don’t have the supply chain that can deliver these types of rewards.

Any recognition company that says there is only one type of reward redemption system doesn’t know what they are talking about. Period! They are being totally self-serving and are not looking out for the interests of their clients. Make sure when you pick a supplier to work with that they don’t operate under a "One Size Fits All” redemption model.

But let me go even further…

Mid April the SEC charged Goldman Sachs with civil fraud. It alleges that Goldman helped a hedge fund client create a financial derivative based on US sub-prime mortgages. The hedge fund bet against the derivative… i.e. they hoped it would fail. The suit alleges that Goldman knew this and then went out and marketed the derivative to investors without disclosing the hedge fund’s side bet that the investment would fail.

I think there are a lot of similarities at the charges leveled against Goldman Sachs and companies who provide award voucher recognition programs to clients when the award voucher has an expiation date.

Let me explain…

In these type of programs, when an employee is recognized by the employer the recognition provider sends the employee an award voucher. This award voucher can be exchanged for a variety of gift certificates in different countries. The recognition provider charges the client when the award voucher is sent to the employee. The catch is when the award vouchers have an expiry date on them. If they are not exchanged before they expire, the recognition provider gets to keep the revenue. This is called breakage. In essence, the recognition provider is betting AGAINST recipients exchanging the award vouchers before they expire. Often the clients are not even aware of the breakage.

Lovely! The client recognizes its employees and the recognition providers hopes they never hear from them again!

Talk about a “massive rip-off”!

Every time we come across these award voucher type of programs clients all complain about the same thing… lack of reporting. No wonder! The reality is that they are doing exactly what Goldman is alleged to have done. We are not talking about insignificant sums of money. The Consumers' Association of Canada estimates that one in every four gift cards goes unredeemed. I imagine the same breakage percentages would apply to award vouchers.

All recognition providers are entitled to make a reasonable profit, including those who provide award vouchers. But it is incumbent upon all providers to provide totally transparent pricing.

It is also important to call out those few who tarnish our industry.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Daniel Guerard - RPI's Spotlight Award Winner

Kevin Cronin, RPI President & Daniel Guerard, Rideau IT Director

I’ve worked with Daniel Guerard for over 12 years. Daniel is Director of Information Securities and Technologies here at Rideau.

I first met Daniel when he was working for a third party software provider. They were working on a website project for our IT department. Daniel was putting in incredibly long hours and working late into the night.

I happened to log onto the development site early one morning and immediately noticed a banner on the top of the site. It said “Lache Pas La Patate Daniel!" The expression makes no sense in English… literally translated it means “don’t give up the potato.” I was not amused, until I found out it was a French expression that meant "don't give up" and that Daniel’s colleagues put it up as a mark of respect to recognize all his hard work and efforts to perfect all elements of my website.

The company Daniel worked for went out of business several years later and we made a concerted effort to recruit him. I’m glad to say our efforts paid off! He is the number three man in Rideau’s IT department and manages a staff of about 10 professionals.

Daniel has also served with distinction on Recognition Professionals International’s Marketing and Communications committee for the past two years. His work merited one of three of RPl’s Spotlight Award. His citation read:

“Daniel has been a very active member of the Marketing Communications committee member and goes way above and beyond in his contribution to this committee. Daniel was recruited to come and help with some of our analytics/reporting from a search engine optimization perspective. One the key elements that Daniel helped deliver is report on understanding our website traffic patterns. His contribution went beyond his technical expertise into many value add ideas that helped us become better marketers of RPI.”

Many of Daniel’s colleagues knew he was getting this award and it was one of the best kept secrets in Rideau for the last month. As a surprise, we decided to have Daniel, his wife Evelyne and two young sons come out to the RPI conference in Las Vegas to accept the award in person.

I’m so proud of Daniel and to see him recognized by others is not surprising. Over the years he has become a key member of Rideau’s management team.

BTW… Dan’s wife Evelyne is an accomplished artist in her own right and you can see her work at

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rideau = Educational Excellence

In 2009, Recognition Professionals International (RPI) developed a new recognition program to honor achievements and excellence in education. At each annual conference, an individual or corporation is recognized for their outstanding achievement in education.

I’m pleased to announce that Rideau received the Excellence in Education Award this year!

The citation read out at the conference stated, “Rideau received the award in recognition for the overwhelming ongoing commitment to education in the field of recognition and for their outstanding support of Recognition Professionals International.”

I’m so proud of Rideau’s educational efforts in the field of recognition. Almost 40 of my teammates are RPI Certified Recognition Professionals (CRP)! This is more than any other company in the world. It represents almost 16% of Rideau’s entire staff and almost 25% of all CRP graduates!

Rideau’s latest graduate is Jayanth Narayanan CRP who hails from Bangalore, India. Jayanth literally travelled half way around the world to become certified!

Two of my colleagues, Roy Saunderson CRP and Max Brown CRP from the Recognition Management Institute just finished taking an intensive two day course titled “Proving the Value of Recognition - Measuring the Application, Impact and Return on Investment for Recognition Programs/Projects.” This course was given by Dr. Jack Phillips of the ROI Institute.

We were also very fortunate to have Arne Carlson present when I received the award on behalf of my Rideau colleagues. Arne Carlson joined Rideau’s board in 2004 and serves as Vice Chairman. Arne was a two term Governor of Minnesota. I once asked Arne what his proudest accomplishment was as Minnesota’s Governor. He told me it was in the field of education where he created the nation's first K-12 school choice program and received awards for educational reform. Arne has supported all of Rideau’s educational efforts and it was a pleasure to have him and his lovely wife Susan on the podium with all my other colleagues when we received the award.

I truly believe Rideau’s educational efforts set us apart from other providers and it shows in the quality of our solutions, products and services we provide to our clients and the millions of recipients we honor.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Regaining the Passion to Value Others

Relationships are the basis of employee engagement. On next week's episode of Real Recognition Radio "Regaining the Passion to Value Others", my colleagues Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown will be interviewing Monica Diaz, author of the book, "Otheresteem: Regaining the Passion to Value Others", also speaker, trainer and executive coach.

Their discussion will shed new light on how real relationships and real leadership can engage both you and your employees creating a more efficient, productive and dynamic work environment.

Tune in every Tuesday, 1 PM ET on Real Recognition Radio

Monday, April 26, 2010

Recognition from the Hart: Spring Is In The Air

Employers Web have just published my new article, "Spring Is In The Air."

The sun is back and shining, and all any of us want to do is put on our sunglasses and head for the great outdoors. Unfortunately, that does not bode well for employee productivity. Read my new article on employers web for some practicle tips on what you can do to keep your employees positive and engaged during the sunny season.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thank You Thoughts

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

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Recognize Earth Day!

The environment is an issue that affects us all and today is particularly important as we celebrate “Earth Day 2010”. Here at Rideau, we are playing the extraordinary movie “Home” for all our employees.

Home” was released on World Environment Day 2009. It is a beautiful picture with an amazing soundtrack. It takes us everywhere on the planet and traces the history of life, human-kind and our impact on the planet.

I’m proud of Rideau’s environmental initiatives. We are very fortunate to have Jay Whitehead on our Board of Directors. Jay has co-authored a book called the “Post Carbon Economy” and is at the epicenter of corporate social responsibility. His magazine CR is doing amazing work and Rideau is proud to sponsor the “100 Best Corporate Citizens Awards” in America. Today, Jay was the opening speaker at the Yale University – New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Earth Day 40th Anniversary CEO Summit! Jay was introduced by the CEO of the NYSE!

We are also lucky to have Valerie Duchesneau on our team. She is our resident “in-house” environmentalist. Thanks to her leadership Rideau has made significant strides in reducing our carbon footprint and more importantly, she has helped us design recognition programs that reduce environmental impact and actually give back to the planet.

Valerie Duchesneau on Earth Day

Helping the environment is the right thing to do and it also makes good business sense!

According to the Sirota Survey Intelligence organization, corporate social responsibility contributes positively to a company’s bottom line, as well as increases employees’ pride as well as their engagement.

The numbers are amazing. Sirota’s research found that of employees who are satisfied with their employer’s CSR commitment:

• 86% have higher levels of engagement
• 82% feel their organization is highly competitive in the marketplace
• 75% feel their employer is interested in their well-being
• 71% rate senior management as having high integrity
• 67% feel that senior management has a strong sense of direction

I urge you to watch “Home”! Hopefully, you too will be inspired by this phenomenal documentary!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Building a Positive Workplace Environment

Shake up your organization today! This week, my colleagues S. Max Brown and Roy Saunderson interview guests Matthew J. Grawitch, Ph.D. Director of the Organizational Health Initiative at Saint Louis University as well as David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, Assistant Executive, Director for Marketing and Business Development at the American Psychological Association and the APA Practice Organization.

Drs. Grawitch and Ballard will tell you how to make your organization a high performing workplace and a positive work environment. Discover how recognition, incentives and wellness programs can be leveraged to transform your organization into an engaged, productive and healthy one. Join Max and Roy for a great conversation!

Tune in here next Tuesday, April 27th, at 1 PM ET.

Past show episodes available on itunes!