Monday, December 22, 2008

Does Recognition Help Employee Engagement

As I’ve mentioned, a couple of weeks ago I was in Paris for the launch of Christophe Laval’s new book “Plaidoyer pour la reconnaissance au travail,” which literally translates to, “A Plea For Recognition in the Workplace.”

During the launch, Christophe and I fielded questions from the audience of senior level HR professionals.

One of the questions was, “Does recognition help employee engagement?”

Both Christophe and I gave a resounding YES!

I've said this before, engagement is a two way street. Don’t expect to have employee engagement if you don’t have employer engagement!

I’d go even further by saying that engagement must first come from the company… after all it's the company that literally and figuratively “engages” new employees. We all know that though employees join a company, they quit their manager. In my opinion, all too often managers do not live up to the company’s promise of engagement.

Every time a manager gives recognition, they are actually engaging their employees. Recognition is probably the single most powerful employer engagement tool in existence, yet all too often it lies unused in a manager’s toolkit.

Make sure your managers use recognition to engage their employees because remember, they’re your employees too!

Monday, December 15, 2008

GIVING ~ The Real Recognition Way

Looking for a great recognition read over the holidays?

My friend and colleague Roy Saunderson has the book for you! It’s called GIVING ~ The Real Recognition Way.

Recognition is a feeling and Roy explains how to develop practical skills and insights on giving employees the recognition they really want. His book is full of proven techniques, tips and ideas that will help you learn how to give recognition the right way… so it’s felt and received the way it was intended!

GIVING the Real Recognition Way is available in English and French for purchase.

Knowing Roy, he’ll probably write a personal inscription!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Plea for Recognition in the Workplace

A couple of weeks ago my wife Francine and I visited our favorite city in the world… Paris, the city of lights! We had a great trip walking several hours every day exploring museums and other off the beat haunts.

I also got the opportunity of meeting my good Parisian friend, Christophe Laval. He is a fellow Recognition Professionals International CRP grad. (The only difference being he took the courses in English, his second language, for which RPI should give him bonus points!)

For the last several years Christophe has been the president and CEO of Entreprise & Personnel (the French equivalent of SHRM) and prior to that he was the VP HR for the Compass Group in Europe with about 100,000 employees.

Employee recognition has become a passion of Christophe’s and he believes it is not being used to its full potential in France and other European countries. For that reason, Christophe intends on leaving Entreprise & Personnel at year end and becoming a full time employee recognition consultant. The name of his new company is VPHR (Vision Performance Human Capital Recognition) and you can visit him at his Recognition at Work website.

Christophe just wrote a book in French on employee recognition called “Plaidoyer pour la reconnaissance au travail,” literally translated… “A Plea For Recognition in the Workplace.” You can purchase the book at It is a very good read and I strongly recommend it.

Christophe launched his book in Paris at the Georges V Hotel on November 7th and the launch was attended by about 75 senior level HR professionals. Afterwards, I participated on a panel with Christophe and we answered questions about Recognition Professionals International, the use of recognition and its international differences.

I believe that Christophe Laval will be a great asset to the international recognition community.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Smell the Roses!

December is always a stressful time for employees and managers alike and this year, it’s even more so because of uncertainty over the economy.

So last night as I was driving home, I listened with great interest to a radio interview with Dr. Michael Spevack. He is an assistant professor at McGill who works in the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Clinic which provides treatment for anxiety disorders, depression and stress related disorders. Dr. Spevack’s research has found there’re four simple ways you can reduce stress in your life.

According to the good doctor you can immediately reduce stress by consciously doing the following:

1. Walking slower
2. Eating slower
3. Driving slower
4. Talking slower

Makes sense to me! This is something managers can practice daily which will surely filter down to employees. Just like when managers begin practicing recognition, the mood in the office often shifts. Thank you’s can become happily contagious! And if managers begin to show a calmer side, I bet this’ll lead to happier and more engaged employees!

Unfortunately, I increased my wife Francine’s stress levels because I arrived home later than usual as I’d immediately slowed down my driving. And then she was none too pleased as I lingered over my dinner. I was trying to eat slower… but she thought I didn’t like her cooking.

All was put right when I explained Dr. Spevack’s recommendations.

Francine agreed that they made a lot of sense to her as well except for the fourth one. She said I talk too much and if I slowed down I’d be going on all the time and life would be unbearable for her and many others!

Seriously, Dr. Spevack got it right… we should all slow down and smell the roses!

Monday, December 1, 2008

More Help From Your Friends!

For many years I subscribed to an eZine called “The Real Recognition EZine.” It was written by a fellow called Roy Saunderson who was the founder and president of a company called the Recognition Management Institute.

From time to time, I would drop Roy a line commenting on an article or a thought he provoked on recognition.

Three years ago this month, Rideau decided to reach out to Roy and to this end, I asked my colleague Gord Green to call him. The next morning, I got a call from Roy asking if we could meet. I thought Roy was responding to Gord’s call, but to make a long story short he’d decided to reach out to us! Talk about Serendipity!

Roy did come to Montreal in the middle of a huge snow storm (the downside of living in here) and we hit it off immediately. So much so that we bought Roy’s company.

Today Roy helps companies around the world create better employee recognition strategies. He educates business leaders on why recognition is such an important management tool and trains managers how to use recognition effectively each and every day. Visit the Recognition Management Institute to learn more about Roy and his work.