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#HRPA2015 – 1, 2, 3, GO!

Posted by Joanne on January 19, 2015 Comments Off

I am thrilled to be part of the HR Blog Team for the HRPA 2015 Conference in Toronto. This three day event held on January 21, 22, and 23, 2015 (hence the hashtag #HRPA2015) “explores the business side of HR. Over three days we’ll examine how modern human resources practice combines complete understanding of the organization with deep HR knowledge to create and execute human capital strategies that get results.”

That means the HRPA conference offers three days of speaker sessions, keynotes by industry leaders, and a trade show to help HR professionals keep on top of key trends and solutions for creating happy, healthy, and productive workplaces. Check out my post on getting the most out of your HRPA conference experience. Read more …

With HR colleagues last year at the #HRPA2014 Achievers lounge!




About the Author

Joanne Royce is founder of Royce & Associates, a Human Resources, Training, and Recruiting solutions company. She creates happy, healthy and productive workplaces that result in engaged people and successful organizations.
Connect with Joanne on Twitter

Achievers’ Hopper edition makes recognizing easy

Posted by Joanne on September 21, 2014 Comments Off

I am a raving fan of Achievers so I was delighted when I was invited to attend the Achievers Customer Experience (#AACE14) conference as part of the A-team blog squad earlier this month. The two day event brought together Achievers’ customers, guest speakers, analysts, and employee engagement advocates, to discuss and learn how to change the way the world works. It also gave Achievers an opportunity to unveil the newest enhancements to its platform. For those of you who are not aware, Achievers delivers a cloud-based Employee Success Platform™, an awesome application to engage, align, and recognize employees, to drive business success.

Anything that promotes employee recognition goes a long way to creating happy, healthy and productive workplaces. People spend way too many hours at work not to be appreciated for their contributions. Sadly with only 30% of the workforce feeling engaged at work, people are starving for recognition.

Achievers gives its new releases the names of key achievers such as Einstein, Ghandi, and the most recent release, Hopper. Hopper honours Grace Hopper, an American computer scientist who created the first compiler for a computer programing language. (Side note: She is credited with the term “debugging” for fixing computer glitches. The “debugging” term was inspired from an actual moth (a bug) being removed from a computer!)  I think if Hopper was around today she would be impressed with the new features.

Razor Suleman, ‎Founder, Chairman & Chief Evangelist at Achievers notes that a measure of success for the platform (or any platform) is “utilization.” Is it easy to use? Do employees use it? Utilization shows the value placed upon the platform by clients and employees (and it ensures the continued success of an already great platform). The new features released with the Hopper edition makes recognizing employees mobile and easier than ever before. Here is a quick introduction to three of the new features:

Achievers Mobile

Achievers Mobile offers a company branded iOS app and an enhanced mobile website to provide recognition mobility. Now employees can recognize, Like and Boost, on the go, anywhere, anytime. With phone-in-hand there are no excuses not to recognize A-Players.

Open Recognition for Email

This is so cool because now employees can immediately access the Achievers Employee Success Platform without logging directly into it. With Open Recognition for Email, employees can send recognitions right from their email application simply with a “cc.” The email posts recognitions directly to the platform. Using email that is a business tool used constantly, makes it easy to give recognition immediately when deserved.

Achievers Anything Visa® Prepaid Card

The Achievers Anything Visa Prepaid Card lets employees transfer recognition points to a personalized, reloadable Visa card to spend anywhere Visa is accepted. The card can be branded to your organization, and your employees can use the card to purchase what they value most. Of course, the Achievers catalogue is also available where points can be redeemed for actual products.

These new features make the Achievers platform easier to use. Easy to use interfaces help increase utilization. Increased utilization means success.

Why is recognition important for business?

Increased recognition results in a more engaged work force. People who are recognized feel valued and are more engaged at work. More engaged employees give discretionary effort at work which results in increased productivity, creativity, and innovation. The end result is a better performing business and a place where people WANT to work. The best companies perform nearly two times better than the general market.

Makes sense to me. How about you? Who have you recognized today?

Joanne Royce creates happy, healthy, and productive workplaces through human resources, recruiting, and training initiatives for organizations that invest in people to invest in success.


What does luck have to do with it?

Posted by Joanne on September 8, 2014 Comments Off

Luck“You are so lucky you can — take time off when you want / work from home.”

I never know what to say when someone says that to me and I have heard this often since I started my HR practice over a decade ago. Being self-employed, I get to work from home and take time off when I want, but does luck have anything to do with it?

I started my HR practice because I wanted to help create happy, healthy and productive workplaces. That is the business reason. The personal reason was to … Read more over at the EOList where I am the final guest blogger for the “Day In the Life” summer series.

Tips for Creating a Successful Mentoring Relationship

Posted by Joanne on April 2, 2014 Comments Off


CommunicationWhat does it take to create a successful mentoring relationship? A mentor and a mentee enter into a mentoring relationship hoping for success, but that does not always happen. Why do some mentoring relationships thrive and others wither?

If you are curious to know the answers, check out my March 28, 2014 Guest Blog Post over at The Employment Opportunities List.

Happy mentoring, Joanne

P.S. If you are interested in developing a mentoring program for your organization please contact us. We would love to customize and bring the power of mentoring to your organization.


Joanne Royce, Royce and Associates, helps create happy, healthy and productive workplaces that result in engaged people and successful businesses. She provides HR and training support to organizations who believe in the power of people. She is completing her four-year term as a volunteer board member with the HRPA Halton Chapter, and recently accepted a board position with STRIDE, a Halton-based organization whose primary purpose is to serve the employment needs of individuals facing mental health and addiction issues.

Related posts:

What is so great about mentoring?

Do we need a special day to remind us to be happy?

Posted by Joanne on March 20, 2014 Comments Off

Today is International Day of Happiness, established by the United Nations in 2012 to recognize the relevance of happiness and well-being as a fundamental human goal. It is a great reminder, but do we need a special day to remind us to be happy? It made me think about happiness, what it means to me, and what it takes to create a path of happiness in life and at work.

Do for yourself – Think happy

As a teenager, I remember having an AHA moment when I realized that I had two grandmothers with very different ways of living life. I call it The Tale of Two Grandmas. Both my grandmothers overcame hardship, and yet one was happy and a joy to be around, and the other seemed to drain the joy out of life. I decided I would choose to be happy because I wanted to be like my happy grandmother. I carried this thought into parenting where I often told my children, “You have a choice. You can get up in the morning and be happy, or you can be miserable.” I carried it into my relationship where I recently celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary. And I carried it into my business where my mission is helping create happy, healthy, and productive workplaces.

In Habits Of The Most Resilient People, Denise Brosseau talks about a client who referred to the negative self-talk in her head as the “itty bitty shitty committee.” Another described it as two wolves inside her head – one wolf is positive and the other is negative – and the one that she feeds is the one that wins.

I know that life and happiness in not that simple, but I do think that when our minds wander down the path of negative self-talk, we can correct it and train our brains to think happy and be happy.

Do for another – Understand happiness

But sometimes happiness is not as easy as choosing to correct our thoughts. My own mother (and most likely my grandmother) suffered from depression and she once described it as “being in a deep, dark hole, with no glimmer of light, and no way of knowing which way to claw yourself up.” I had a hard time understanding why my mom couldn’t just change the way she was thinking especially when she was surrounded by a family that loved her. I was reminded of her description when I watched Why we choose suicide a talk by Mark Henick at TEDxToronto.” Mark referred to depression as one where the mind focuses on a narrow and limited perception or thought, much like a CD stuck in a rut, playing the same thing over and over again. Only this time it plays thoughts of worthlessness, hopelessness, and sadness. This is when help is needed to pull the individual out of the deep dark hole of limited perception. In this case, telling someone to choose happiness does not work. Understanding that attaining happiness is not as easy as a choice and some people will need help.

In the workplace, educate yourself on watching for the signs of depression or addiction in your team. HR and management should never act as a counsellor. They should facilitate and encourage an individual to seek the help they need through company employee assistance plans, group health plans, and community services.

Do for others – Spread happiness

Happiness is contagious. You can help spread happiness and fill up the happiness tanks of those around you. Use the Losada Line to guide you. Marcial Losada’s research found that it takes 2.9013 positive interactions to counteract one negative interaction, and it takes six positive interactions to every negative interaction for teams to produce their best work. Keep that in mind when trying to motivate your team or an individual.

Do your part in life and in the workplace by stopping disrespectful, bullying or gossiping behaviour. Don’t participate in it and be a leader in modelling behaviour that promotes happiness.

Have some fun. In honour of International Day of Happiness do something fun. Take a break in the workplace and do Ben Aaron’s Time to Dance Walk Baby!

What are you doing to bring happiness into your life and into the workplace? Please share your comments,

Spread your sparkle, Joanne

Joanne Royce creates happy, healthy, and productive workplaces through HR, recruiting, and training initiatives for organizations that invest in people to invest in success.

Other blogs on happiness you might be interested in:

Do you suffer from the dreaded tetris effect

A formula for balance and success

It’s okay to be happy at work

What is the happiness quotient at your workplace

Happy holsteins give more milk: Lessons for the workplace

What do you do about Charlie (Sheen) Part 1 of 3

Do you bring your sunshine to work?

Six tips for success in your first career job (or in any new job)!

Posted by Joanne on March 13, 2013 Comments Off

I created this vlog in May 2012 and never posted it. I guess I was still too “scared” to post it then, but I’m posting now. It’s almost 7 minutes long, so just over 1 minute per tip. Here it is …

Today, I’m doing something that scares me. I’m posting my first vlog on six tips for success in your first career job (or in any new job)! I hope you enjoy it. Doing something new can cause the “fear-factor” to increase and sometimes if we wait for perfection we will never do it.

What are your tips for success in your job, especially a new position? Share in the comments section below. If the comments are closed, you can contact me; just mention the blog title along with your comments.

Joanne Royce creates happy, healthy, and productive workplaces through HR, recruiting, and training initiatives for organizations that invest in people to invest in success.

Recognition, cash, bananas, and the pickle bowl

Posted by Joanne on March 5, 2013 Comments (4)

This post is inspired by a Tweet from @Achievers. “Cash awards end up as groceries. No one works late for an extra banana.”

It made me laugh, but it is so true. It made me think about my pickle bowl. If you are curious about what a pickle bowl has to do with recognition, read on.

Earlier in my career I was responsible for HR and Administration for a medium sized company. The administration part included managing the facilities of the company. We were moving to a new location and anyone who has been involved in the logistics of a move including managing the construction, contractors, suppliers, and the move itself, knows that it is a huge project. Schedules, deadlines, and project management are key. If one date is negatively impacted then it’s a domino effect and dates and schedules come crashing down. I was the project manager working with a small team to make it happen.

I’m happy to say that the relocation and project was an awesome success and on Monday when our people came to work, everything was in place (including a rose and chocolate at each desk), with the phones and computers working. Did it take extra time at work? Yes, there were many late hours and I did them willingly. It was such a challenge and I wanted everything to work out well. In fact, during the move itself, I brought my children on the Saturday, and set them up in my boss’s office with their homework, some movies, and snacks during a small segment of the move until my husband was off work and could pick them up. (They talked happily about that adventure for a long time).

After the move the two owners of the company recognized our contributions by thanking us during a company “Welcome to Our New Office” meeting on the Monday after the move. I also received a nice bonus, and some additional days off. Of course I appreciated the extra cash and time off, but guess what I remember the most. Did you guess?

I remember my pickle bowl.

I LOVE my pickle bowl.

But why do I love my pickle bowl? I love it because my boss took the time to go and pick it out. Now maybe he thought I was old-fashioned. But maybe he knew that I loved antiques, and pretty things that are practical and can be used every day. In any case, I was delighted by the gift. He told me he found it in a small antique store near his home and he thought I would like it. The fact that he took the time to think about what I might like meant a lot to me. Of course the bonus and the time off were appreciated, but I don’t remember how I spent the cash. I probably bought groceries and bananas. The time off might have been used for a day here and there, as time is often needed especially while raising young children.

But the pickle bowl is what I use to this day. In fact, it is a recognition gift that keeps on giving. When I use it, I smile, and I think of that project, and that success, and my boss going into the antique shop looking for the perfect pickle bowl to show me how much my work was appreciated.

So what was so right about my pickle bowl for recognition? Well, recognition should be timely, social, and personalized to have the greatest impact and it does NOT have to be cash.

Timely – given as close to the event as possible.

Social – recognition communicated to everyone not just to the person receiving it.

Personalized – to the person receiving the recognition. One size does not fit all.

Does NOT have to be cash – or cost a lot. Thank you’s are free.

So next time you are thinking of recognizing someone with a bonus, and time off, add in a token of appreciation that shows you have personally thought of that person and his or her contribution. It will be something the person will never forget.

Remember the pickle bowl.


Joanne Royce, Royce & Associates helps create happy, healthy, and productive workplaces by developing HR initiatives that are cost effective and practical, training your people so they excel at their jobs, and providing outsourced HR to organizations that need it. Contact us to help us support your people so you can focus on growing your business.

Photo credit: Joanne Royce

Tips for Finding Your Passion

Posted by Joanne on December 21, 2012 Comments Off

Last week’s blog was about following your passion, but following your passion is a journey and it isn’t always easy. First you have to find it. And it can be a long and winding journey with ups and downs.

Tips for finding your passion

  1. Reflect on what you enjoyed doing when you were a child. As a child did you enjoy building towers and bridges, and taking apart radios to “see what’s inside?” If you did you might find your passion as an engineer, or mechanic. If you liked drawing and art, plus building structures, then you might find your passion as an architect.
  2. Listen to the commonality in the words used to describe you or the nicknames given to you. “S/he would be a great lawyer.” And most especially why? “S/he is a great debater who has a well thought out approach about an issue and knows how to argue her case.” If you were called “The Harmony Builder” or “Ann Landers” as a teenager because you were a good listener and looked at both sides of an issue and your peers sought you out to help solve relationship issues, you might well find your passion in social work, counselling, or another one of the helping professions, including Human Resources.
  3. Contemplate on the courses you enjoyed the most at school. If you loved writing poetry, and English classes, including grammar, you might find your passion in writing travel articles while travelling the world. If you enjoyed Math because it involved a system, formula, and process to obtain the correct answer, you might enjoy work that is more absolute and process-driven like an financial analyst or programming.
  4. Think about the jobs you enjoyed the most. If you had a job at a grocery store, did you enjoy interacting with customers while on cash, or would you rather have been behind the scenes wrapping chickens? This will indicate whether you are more task-oriented or people-oriented and will help you find your passion at work. If you were in sales and loved it, but then accepted a position as a Sales Manager and hated it, you know where to find your passion.
  5. Use assessment tools like Myers-Briggs, to increase your own self-awareness. Are you an extravert who gets energy from active involvement in a variety of activities and gets excited around people or are you an introvert who gets energy from ideas, pictures, and reactions inside your own head, who prefers doing things alone or with one or two people? If you are an introvert and a supervisor in a manufacturing plant dealing with people issues all day, you will likely come home drained and you might find your passion in a more task-oriented role like an analyst or an electrician.
  6. Think about your current job. What are the tasks you enjoy the most and the least? If you enjoy a specific task, talk to your manager to find out how you can increase the scope of that responsibility in your career plan. What type of work environments do you thrive in? One that is more structured or one that is ambiguous and free flowing. This will help you find your passion.
  7. Volunteer if you can’t find your passion at work. If you can’t find your passion at work, and changing jobs is not an option, seek out a place when you can volunteer in an area that you enjoy. Maybe it’s volunteering with a crisis support centre or building homes with Habitat for Humanity.
  8. Look at the hobbies that bring you passion. Do you love photography or cooking? Continue to do that until you can leverage your skill and passion into full-time work.


Will mistakes be made? Yes.    Will finding your passion take time? Yes.

Finding your passion involves time, energy, and self-awareness. Very rarely does it just happen.

Find and follow your passion. But remember that the journey is it.

How did you find your passion? What obstacles are you encountering in your journey to find your passion?


Royce and Associates offers career coaching, workshops and assessments to help individuals find their passion. Contact us for more info.

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 Joanne Royce

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Use our insider tips on human resources, training, and interpersonal relationships to create your own happy, healthy, and productive workplace. We'll also comment on life in general and share info and highlights from books.

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