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A little recognition goes a long way

Posted by Joanne on October 17, 2012 Comments (2)

My daughter secured a full-time job in an office this past summer. It was a new experience for her because her summer jobs in the past consisted of part-time work as a grocery store cashier. She learned a lot from going on her first formal interview to learning about the job itself and workplace technology. But she also learned about working with a team in an office environment, and communicating directly with people by phone, in-person, and by email. In addition to the people she worked with on a daily basis, she enjoyed the company sponsored Friday lunches, and the cupboards stocked with snacks.

I got a present from work!!

One time in the middle of the day, I received a text message from her and our conversation went as follows:


Can you “hear” the excitement, evident by the multiple exclamation marks? A little recognition goes a long way! And that good news story got repeated over and over again. When employees feel their efforts are appreciated and recognized, they are more engaged at work, and they bring more enthusiasm, thought, creativity, time and effort to the job. They feel their work is appreciated and recognized and that “doing good work” on a daily basis is important to the success of the team and the company.

As a mother and HR professional, I was glad her first office job was with a great place to work. She was fortunate to work for an organization that knows how to treat people right. She could have easily found herself in a workplace that wasn’t so great. She doesn’t know that in her lifetime she will more than likely experience a workplace that isn’t so great. But because she has experienced a great place to work she will know the difference and this will allow her to make choices about whether to stay or to look for a better work environment.

Great organizations encourage a culture of respect, trust, cooperation, and teamwork, and they do little things to recognize the efforts of their employees. Not so great workplaces encourage disrespectful and bullying behaviour (more on this next week), gossip and conflict, and disregard or denigrate employee efforts.

And there is a great business case to create a great place to work. Did you know that:

  • companies with high-engagement grow their earnings-per-share 28% faster, (Towers Perrin, Closing the Engagement Gap: Global Workforce Study)
  • shareholder returns are 19% higher than average with high-engagement firms, while those with low-engagement were 44% below average, (Hewitt Associates)
  • greater productivity, customer satisfaction, profit, and decreased absenteeism, turnover, and accidents are correlated to increased levels of engagement, (Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology)
  • and employees who are engaged work more efficiently, share more, find solutions, aren’t scared to speak up, provide suggestions, and meet customer’s needs more often, resulting in repeat business. (Schweyer)

Creating an engaged great place to work will help your employees feel recognized and appreciated which really benefits everyone. So what are you doing to make sure a little recognition goes a long way?


Source for the stats:

Business Value of Employee Engagement & How to Measure Employee Engagement,” March 29, 2012,

T.A.L.K. it out – Is anyone out there listening?

Posted by Joanne on July 13, 2012 Comments Off

Sometimes in the world of blogging it’s hard to know if anyone is ”listening,” so I was thrilled when I received a request to publish my T.A.L.K. it out to improve performance blog post in the May 2012 issue of the HR REPUBLIC magazine.  

The T.A.L.K. method is a great way to conduct a coaching meeting to lead an individual to a solution rather than lecturing and giving advice. It works beautifully. Try it and let me know how you make out. 

Click here to read TALK it out to improve performance_HR Republic_May 2012 (PDF), to learn more about the T.A.L.K. method.

Socializing HR – Why HR needs to embrace social media and mobile technology

Posted by Joanne on April 18, 2012 Comments (2)

Sidneyeve Matrix, a Queen’s University professor, professional speaker, blogger, and social media expert, spoke at the HRPA Halton event on April 10, 2012 about “Socializing HR – Why HR should embrace social media and mobile technology.” Even her name sounds futuristic and socializing HR is the future – in fact it is already here.

I first heard about Sidneyeve through my son who took one of her courses at Queen’s University. He suggested that I follow her on Twitter (@sidneyeve) because I would probably find her tweets interesting. Later, when I attended an orientation session at the same university with my daughter, I heard Sidneyeve speak. I actually got choked up thinking – “Wow. I want to go to Queen’s if all the professors are like Ms. Matrix.” As an executive board member of HRPA Halton, I currently fufill the role of Director – Programing and Mentoring, so I was very happy when Sidneyeve Matrix accepted an invitation to speak at our HRPA Halton Chapter event on April 10, 2012. 

Sidneyeve’s presentation was a fast paced tour of trends from companies and organizations successfully socializing recruitment programs, expanding workplace training online, and incentivizing and recognizing staff performance on social channels. It was packed full of examples and was W-O-W.  What made the presentation impactful to me, was that her L-O-V-E of her GenY students and all they have to offer, came shining through.

It was great to look at HR from a social media perspective and to learn more about trends and the needs and expectations of GenY.  She noted that the impact of social media will be felt most by companies in the future with:

  1. employer branding
  2. collaboration & communication
  3. talent recruiting
  4. assessing candidates before hiring
  5. professional development of employees
  6. employee engagement.

She highlighted that if organizations want to attract and retain GenY workers, they need to adapt and build initiatives that respond to GenY preferences, needs, and expectations which she summarized as:

  1. instantaneity -60% of GenY want realtime response 
  2. mobility - mobile technology is a life line, the way GenY connect with the world; 70% of students believe being in an office regularly is unnecessary.
  3. frictionless sharing - (Love this term – frictionless sharing) GenY like to share easily and often (photosharing, RSS Feeds, Twitter, Facebook)
  4. personalization - GenY are creative and embrace technology that allows personalization (Pinterest, infographic resumes, web resumes, blogs)
  5. social recognition – GenY respond to meaningful, frequent, and social recognition. Catch them doing some good and tell them.  (Twitter, visability and a chance to stand out)

Are you interested in learning more about these concepts and Sidneyeve’s presentation?  I used Storify to capture my tweets and those of my colleagues, during the presentation, and added my thoughts preceding each tweet (italicized).  Please please share your thoughts on Socializing HR in the comments section of this blog.

Other related blog posts:

Facebook Follies – The great big experience of living out loud

Building a recognition culture that engages the hearts and minds of employees

Generational Communication Preferences – GenY and Boomers

Generational Networking Preferences

Make performance reviews more than an Annual Piece of Paper!

Posted by Joanne on September 9, 2011 Comments (2)


10 Tips for Positive Impactful Performance Reviews!

Performance reviews, the formal part of a Performance Management Process, are often looked upon with dread by managers and employees alike. Sometimes cynicism creeps in with the thought that the review is as useful as an annual piece of paper (APOP)!

1. Make the content of the performance review relevant to the position, performance standards, and aligned to company culture and goals. If one of the key performance indicators is customer focus, for example, explain what that means and what it takes to achieve each level of performance.

2. Measure each key performance indicator individually. Don’t let a stellar achievement or development issue in one area sway your measurement in other areas. For example, if someone is spectacular with the technical aspects of the job, but needs development with building customer relationships, don’t let that influence the ratings in the other area by making it higher or lower than you should.

3. Keep the paper work and approval process to a reasonable level or the administration of the performance reviews can become a nightmare. Automate if you can!

4. Keep a journal to document achievements and areas for improvement throughout the year. Remember to provide immediate feedback so there are no surprizes during the review period.

5. Follow up on performance issues and goals. Don’t file the review away until the next year. It should be reviewed often or it just becomes an APOP (Annual Piece of Paper) worth nothing.

6. Keep on schedule. If reviews are to be completed by a certain date, then work backwards from that date, being careful to allow time for vacations or other commitment that might delay the review.

7. Know why you are conducting the review. Understand and communicate the importance of the review with respect to employee development, continuous improvement, succession planning, changes in company strategy, and connection with pay increase and bonus.

8. Train your managers and employees on the performance management process including giving and receiving constructive feedback, setting goals, and accurately measuring performance against standards.

9. Make the process 360. Allow employees to communicate and document what the manager can do to help them perform better and what the company can do to improve processes. Compile input from multiple sources.

10. Tie your review process to pay increases and bonuses if you would like to foster a pay for performance work environment. The performance review process should help elevate performance standards throughout the company not discourage your high performers.

You can automate the process so the workflow, documentation, communication, and deadlines are easier to manage. Automation allows for ongoing easy access to reviews, development plans, and goals and objectives.  There are many options to automate the process. Check out SuccessFactors and Canadian-based companies like TribeHR and Rypple.

How is the performance review process at your company? Does it fill you with dread? Is it relevant to what you do or is it just an APOP? Give us a call if you need help making your performance review more than an APOP! 

Best regards, Joanne

 Joanne Royce

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