Making the Performance Review More Human

By Derek Irvine


Recognize This! – Performance reviews need to reflect the relationships of performance, and stop treating it like a contract.

Read most any article on the transformation of performance reviews and you will immediately come across a line about how universally disliked they are. It seems that no one would object to getting rid of them immediately, but somehow data suggest that very few companies are actually going that far.

Talking over this issue with a few colleagues recently, an analogy to school grades was brought up.  Students dislike the process associated with being graded on their work, but they still rely on grades as an indicator of their progress and achievement. It’s somewhat paradoxical, but mirrors many employee reactions to performance appraisals.

A question remains: is it possible to provide valuable information on progress and performance without doing so through such a disliked process?

One key may be to better understand the changing nature of performance. I was listening to a recent interview with Peter Cappelli of Wharton, where a major question driving his research was whether employee performance represents more of a contract or a relationship.

If we think of employment like a contract, […]

The Secret to a Happier Workplace

By Derek Irvine

Recognize This! – Science has transformed workplace happiness from a nice-to-have to a compelling imperative, but it needs to start with alignment, positivity, and progress.

What comes to mind when you imagine what a happy workplace might look like?

A company full of optimists who are always smiling no matter what’s going on around them. A bunch […]


WorkHuman Takeaway: Teach Our Children Well

by Traci Pesch


Recognize This! – Much of our own human behavior was learned as children. Let’s think carefully about how we are teaching our children to be human.

WorkHuman 2016 in Orlando was a powerful, exciting experience for many reasons, not least of which was the opportunity to be with, learn from and share the experience with […]


Compensation Cafe: Recognition in Support of Talent Mobility

By Derek Irvine

Recognize This! – Internal talent mobility can reinvent the traditional career, but will require a shift towards more flexible solutions like social recognition to be successful.

Long gone are the traditional employee expectations of having an entire career play out within a single organization or even within the same functional area. Instead, modern careers are much more […]


The Future of Work is Organizing

By Derek Irvine

Recognize This! – WorkHuman highlighted a new paradigm of organizing in which potential can be unleashed through human connection and empowering work environments.

It takes an event as powerful and unique as WorkHuman to be able to hear from Shawn Achor about the power of happiness in the workplace in one keynote, and then to hear from […]


The Energy of WorkHuman

By Derek Irvine

Recognize This! – As we prepare for the WorkHuman event next week, I am looking forward to the shared inspiration that the movement has created.

As many of you know, next week is the main event of the WorkHuman movement, where we will bring together a full slate of amazing speakers, thought leaders, academic researchers, and industry […]


Compensation Cafe: Have You Thought About Former Employees Recently?

By Derek Irvine

Recognize This! – Social recognition can help ensure that “alumni” employees turn prior positive experiences into benefits for their former companies.

Today’s employees will rarely spend their entire careers at a single organization. Instead, they will have multiple employers and potentially even multiple careers. One of the chief benefits of this trend is the expansion of professional […]


3 Steps to Impactful Recognition

By Derek Irvine

Recognize This! – Investments in employees need to account for value, visibility, and level of contribution to maximize their effectiveness. Social recognition is the ideal solution across all three.

One of the challenges that some clients bring to us involves getting the right mix of recognition and other investments in their total rewards portfolio. This is an […]


Having Fun at Work? Really.

by Derek Irvine

Recognize This! – Companies that encourage fun at work, as well as in work, are well positioned to succeed.

Outside of our working lives, we are faced with balancing our chores and our hobbies: the routine things that need to get done, and the exciting things we look forward to and that help us grow or build […]


Compensation Cafe: Keeping Investments in People Top of Mind

By Derek Irvine

Recognize This! – The investments that companies make in employees can be difficult to keep top of mind. Recognition is one solution that communicates the value employees have on a frequent and timely basis.

The business world seems to moving faster than ever, challenging employees and leadership teams alike to keep up. These changes are affecting a […]