Wednesday, February 25, 2009

HCI track

So I’m writing today to announce that Rideau will be sponsoring a new Human Capital Institute education and community track on rewards and incentives.

This track houses all sorts of resources for HR professionals for encouraging employee creativity, innovation, development and loyalty.

In one spot, you can find webcasts, whitepapers, and slideshows on the mix of tools employers use to motivate and engage employees.

Take a look and learn what works and what doesn’t!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ask the Experts

Incentive Magazine invited me and several other employee motivation experts to be part of a panel that answers readers’ questions about rewards and recognition. The panel includes RPI members Cheryl Miller of Wells Fargo, Michelle Smith of O.C. Tanner, Kevin Cronin of as well as yours truly.

Click here to find out my answer to the question, “how to justify recognition and reward spend to senior management during these difficult times,” as well as the solution to other recognition conundrums!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gallup’s Q12 Questions

So I’ve recommended reading “12: The Elements of Great Managing” by Rodd Wagner and James Harter who based their book on Gallup’s Q12 questions, and as I’ve explained, according to the authors, these 12 questions explain what every company needs to know about creating and sustaining employee engagement.

I thought readers might be interested in the actual Q12 questions from the horse's mouth.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friends Work At ~ Work!

As I’ve mentioned, the Gallup organization asked 10 million employees in 114 different countries twelve different questions. Each question helps explain the difference between engaged and actively disengaged employees.

The tenth question is: “Do you have a best friend at work”? The reason for asking is Gallup has found employees who have a best friend at work are 7 times more likely to be engaged than those who don’t!

This is an amazing statistic but if you think about it, it’s not really surprising…

We spend a majority of our time at work and who wouldn’t prefer working with a friend?

At Rideau, we go out of our way to promote a culture of friendship. We have a Rideau hockey team (we are very good, if I don’t say so myself) and an even better soccer team thanks to Beyas Bonde, our ringer who played on the Cameroon junior national team. (I hope the hockey players don’t read this or I’m toast!) My sons even want to start a Rideau poker team… but I’m not so sure about that!

We do a lot of other relationship building events. And these activities work…

Hamud Zaman has worked over 15 years at Rideau in our Admin department. Mylene Boetsch has worked in the same department for 6 years. Both of them play on our hockey team. Last year they married! And they’ve just had their first child… I told them I expect the middle name should be Rideau!

Having family and friends at Rideau has created an incredible caring culture.

We chip in when someone has a lot of work. We share each other’s burdens. We share each other’s joy.

And probably most important, we have lots of fun at work!

So no, I’m not surprised that having a best friend at work is a leading indicator of engagement. It has worked that way at Rideau for many years.

And oh, by the way, did I mention that Hamud’s sister Samra has worked at Rideau for the last 3 years?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Roy Saunderson in the National Post

Hi folks!

My friend and colleague Roy Saunderson from the Recognition Management Institute had an Op Ed piece in today's National Post. Click here to read Roy Saunderson’s response to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf’s open letter on recognition cutbacks.

Or turn to today’s National Post’s financial section, page FP11, to read it in print.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thanks but no thanks

To lighten the mood on a rainy afternoon... what not to do recognition-wise:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Great Read… 12: The Elements of Great Managing

Recently I read “12: The Elements of Great Managing” on my Kindle. It was written by Rodd Wagner and James Harter who work at the Gallup Organization.

The book is based on Gallup’s Q 12 questions and is based on 10 million employee and manager interviews spanning 114 countries. Each chapter takes you through a particular element and how it impacts engagement.

Two of the elements were of particular interest to me…

Their fourth element which deals with recognition and praise and their tenth element which examines the benefits of having a best friend at work on employee engagement. The former is of obvious interest because of my day to day work. The latter because at Rideau, our workforce consists mainly of friends and family.

I’m pleased to say that after reading the book friends and family can keep on working at Rideau!

You can purchase the book on Amazon… it’s a great read.

Monday, February 9, 2009

And now for something completely different

Take a peak at our Rideau You Tube channel – you can catch a few of our videos including a Jean Béliveau cameo and yours truly covertly imagining the audience in their underwear in order to gracefully deliver an acceptance speech!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Watching Barack Obama’s inauguration was quite something. We had our tech guys set up live internet feeds and TVs in our different facilities so that employees could watch this historic event. I watched President Obama’s speech in one of our cafeterias with about fifty colleagues. It was a very moving and historic event.

At the time, as I listened to the new CEO’s Inaugural speech, I was a bit disappointed… it was good, but it wasn’t GREAT.

This weekend, I took the time to read the speech and I changed my mind… it was GREAT! Perfect in tone and content for our times.

Read some of President Obama’s words…

~ On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

~ Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

~ What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

It also made me realize that President Obama is not only the Chief Executive Officer he is also the Chief Emotional Officer and Chief Engagement Officer. I believe the President has read and sensed the mood of America. He is engaging all Americans with his call to action. His words, speak for themselves…

~ This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
So how does this apply to those in the recognition profession? I have often said that employee engagement is impossible without “employer engagement.” Part of employer engagement is understanding what employees are feeling and reaching out to them with words and actions that lead all to a better place.

And while it’s great to have a CEO who gets it… managers can do this too! Anyone in a leadership position needs to understand their employees’ emotions and engage them.

So here’s to the concept of CE³O… it’s just as essential to a modern corporation as H2O is to humankind!