Archive for February, 2012

Building a Magnetic Culture – A Review and Recommendation

Recognize This! – Great books on organization culture are few and far between. Building a Magnetic Culture is a must read.

Readers of my blog know that organization culture is passion of mine – especially how to build a culture of recognition and then proactively manage it. I’ve heard many discount the ability to manage a corporate culture, but indeed you can. As my CEO Eric Mosley and I said in our book Winning with a Culture of Recognition:

“To say that corporate culture cannot be managed scientifically, with rigorous and authentic processes, is a myth with damaging consequences. An organization’s culture can be learned, encour­aged, ingrained, and applied to every business process, in many forms and across many different parts of the organization. Applied correctly, culture management through recognition is one of the most powerful, effective and, most critically, positive ways to drive the success of your organization as measured by improvements in operating margins, income, and customer satisfaction.”

Kevin Sheridan’s book Building a Magnetic Culture is a perfect example of why this is true and an excellent guide for how to create a culture in which employees would choose to engage. Fundamental to this are the 10 Key Drivers of Employee Engagement, identified through the decades of research and analysis of millions of employee surveys conducted by the Research Institute within Mr. Sheridan’s company, HR Solutions. These are the 10 key drivers because 84% of employee engagement can be attributed to them. Of these 10 drivers, recognition is the one most responsible for engagement.

Throughout the book, Mr. Sheridan points out several interesting findings relative to recognition and organization culture:

  • “Employee’s feelings about the Recognition she receives accounts for 56 percent of the variance in her level of engagement.”
  • “Only 59 percent of employees say their supervisor lets them know when they have done a good job, revealing that many employees do not feel as though their managers acknowledge their accomplishments.”
  • “When employees feel recognized in the workplace, they are statistically more likely to be Engaged employees, meaning they will work harder and produce a higher quality result… Even the most hard-nosed supervisors should be able to see the value in providing regular and meaningful Recognition since it is indirectly tied to revenue through Engagement.”

Building a Magnetic Culture addresses several other areas critical to employee engagement that strategic recognition strongly contributes to including making work more meaningful, communicating more effectively with employees, proper onboarding (“only 59% of employees believe their orientation was adequate!”).

Why Should You Care?

To combine and paraphrase several points addressed by Mr. Sheridan: 80 percent of employees never make it beyond the two-year mark. There is a steep decline of Engagement levels from 36 percent to 17 percent after one year of service. Appreciation is a key element to help those employed 1-5 years stay engaged. Millennials like to be recognized an average of seven times a day (even if just acknowledgement that an email was received and read).

And, critically to the bottom line: engaged employees are 10 times more likely to feel good work is recognized and 7 times more likely to feel they receive regular performance feedback. In terms of performance and productivity, nearly 80 percent of engaged employees received the best performance rating on their evaluation.

As you can see, Mr. Sheridan packs a great deal of knowledge, insight and analysis (as well as numerous informative case studies and application suggestions) into a highly readable and helpful volume. I encourage those who care about organization culture, employee engagement and recognition to give it a read and – more importantly – apply the principles in your own workplace.

One parting thought – Mr. Sheridan spends a good deal of time speaking to the importance of incorporating fun into the workplace. I couldn’t agree more, especially after reading this stat:

“Five-year-olds laugh an average of 113 times per day. As we get older, this number continues to decrease until it bottoms out in adulthood – from age 44 to retirement with only 11 times per day.”

Laughter is important to our well being in countless ways. It’s also core to a culture of recognition and appreciation in which everyone understands their value within the organization and to their colleagues. My challenge to you – laugh more every day. Give those around you reason to laugh and smile. Recognize and appreciate their efforts … and you may just change your culture in the process.

What Wells Fargo Gets Right: Know Your Employees, Customers and Business

Recognize This! – Knowing your business, defining your culture and – critically – ensuring every employee understands both are fundamental to success.

Banks and bankers have been much in the news the last few years, usually taking the heat for poor or questionable business practices that have inarguably hurt the economy at large as well as the average homeowner. Yet Wells Fargo’s story is different. A recent Forbes magazine cover story highlights what makes Wells Fargo different and worth more than any other American bank (with the largest market capitalization of $161 billion).

“Let those [other] banks trade wantonly and race to beat each other to marginally profitable investment banking business. Wells does what banks are supposed to do: take deposits  and then lend the money back out.”

But Wells Fargo does more than just focus on its core business. It does so by focusing on the needs of its employees and customers – not its shareholders (of whom Warren Buffett is the largest). A sidebar in the Forbes article notes several elements of Wells Fargo’s Vision & Values, including:

“We believe shareholders come last. If we do what’s right for our team members, customers and communities, then—and only then—will our shareholders see us as a great investment.”

Shareholders will suffer if customers aren’t happy. Your employees are the front line in making your customers happy. You must start with your employees. You must create a culture in which your employees can thrive – which leads to this Vision & Values statement from Wells Fargo:

“We define ‘culture’ as knowing what you need to do when you get up in the morning without having to be told what to do.”

But being able to do that means every employee has to know what business you’re in. Wells Fargo defines its primary business this way:

“At Wells Fargo, sales and service are inseparable. More sales do not always lead to better service, but better service almost always leads to more sales. Money is a commodity. We’re in the service business.”

A service business with a culture of serving fellow “team members” and customers, which turns into shareholder value — it’s not hard for me to understand from that why Wells Fargo is the most successful American banking institution today.

Do your employees and customers take precedence over your shareholders? Does every employee know what business you are truly in? Can they articulate your culture in how they perform their work every day?

Core Values and Belief Systems * Lessons from The Corner Office

Recognize This! – Without a foundational “belief system” in your organization, you cannot align employees with your goals and objectives.

Regular readers of Recognize This! know that the New York Times “Corner Office” column is a perennial favorite of mine. Every Sunday, Adam Bryant interviews a CEO discuss the challenges they see, how they address those challenges – essentially, how they lead.

I was particularly impressed with last Sunday’s column, featuring Steve Stoute, chief executive of Translation LLC and chairman of Carol’s Daughter. Mr. Stoute addresses several fundamental issues of leadership, including the importance of having a foundational “belief system” (which I typically refer to as the core values of the organization):

“You have to set a belief system in your organization. Once you do that, if you have people who have not bought into the philosophy, you need to identify them and move them out quickly. It’s to their benefit and your benefit. If you ask most executives, they know within the first 30 or 60 days if a person is going to work out, but it takes them seven months to a year to get them out of the organization. That’s a waste of time.

“I think that it’s very important, no matter how big you get, to have checks and balances to know when somebody has not bought into the culture, because at some point in your organization, something is going to backfire and something’s not going to get done because somebody’s not paying attention. The beliefs of the organization are not going to be passed along because you have people who have not even bought into the belief system. And here’s the biggest problem: Bad behavior is contagious. And once that starts hitting a company, no matter how big you are, no matter how small you are, that will start the demise of a great organization.”

Mr. Stoute makes the very important connection between defining your belief system and being willing to take hard action to enforce that belief system. You have to be just as willing to dismiss employees who do not buy into your belief system as you are to recognize and reward those who do. Not doing so is the fastest way to undermine your core values (your belief system) and create a culture opposite of what you likely want to see. Mr. Stoute continues on this point:

“Bad behavior is the blatant act of ignoring the belief system of the company — it means not paying attention to the strategic intent of the company and not being aligned around the goals of the organization. So when somebody has not bought into the system, that becomes very contagious, it becomes a cancer in the organization, especially when you’re talking about midlevel talent. Because any organization is not going to move forward unless mid-tier management helps foster young talent to become better. And then you are actually going to lose talent.”

Aligning your people with your goals is another favorite topic of mine. How can you expect to achieve your strategic objectives as an organization if your employees do not understand how to contribute to those objectives in their daily work or – as Mr. Stoute points out – they simply do not buy into it?

Does your organization have a clearly defined belief system or set of core values? Is senior management willing to both hire and fire based on that belief system? Are your employees aligned with those goals and beliefs?

Hermes CEO on Employee Engagement and Brand

Recognize This! – Communication and “Face Time” are critical to building employee engagement and strong brands.

If I asked you what industry you think would be the most difficult to create an environment in which employees would want to engage, which industry would you name? Retail is an industry that quickly comes to mind for many reasons, not the least of which is the mercurial nature of customers in a retail setting.

So when I saw this video of Bob Chaves, the president & CEO of Hermes US talking about the importance of employee engagement and brand, I had to share it with you.

Mr. Chaves speaks to the importance of organizational culture to brand and engagement saying:

“At Hermes, we have a very strong service culture geared towards service and quality. And that is something we extend throughout the entire customer experience.”

But how do you do that? You can’t without very intentional and robust employee communications methods.

Importance of Communication

When asked, “How do you strengthen that culture and build the bond between the employees and the brand?” Chaves replied:

“It’s about communication. This sounds so simple and easy, but it’s so very important. We have a very open and communicative company. This starts with the senior management team and how they communicate on down the line. It’s also about how I communicate with the whole company in general. One of the ways we do that is the ‘State of Company’ address doing a review of what we did in the past year and what we’re focused on in the next year. That way everyone knows what the goals of the company are. We’ve been doing this for years and years now, and it’s very effective. So that’s how we strengthen our bond and relationships among all of our employees.”

That active element of sharing successes as well as plans for the future is critical. Obviously, Hermes is committed to communication. My only quibble with this approach is that it is once a year. If Hermes implemented a system to communicate these successes and plans regularly in a way that is meaningful to employees in their daily work, then think how much more the employees would feel connected to the organization and the “service and quality” brand on a daily basis.

Importance of Bringing People Together

One last point I enjoyed in the video was Mr. Chaves explanation of shutting down all 24 Hermes stores in the US to bring all employees together at one location for a “family reunion.” Mr. Chaves explains, “The bonding and motivation that resulted from that has been astounding.”

Building the “team” is critical, but it’s simply not possible for many distributed organizations to shut down to bring everyone together. But the reward of being able to put that “face to a name” is exponential. This can be accomplished through Social Recognition in which employees can recognize and congratulate their colleagues on their achievements, interacting with them much as they would in familiar social networking tools.

How do you strengthen your team? What methods do you use to communicate past successes and plans for the future regularly and frequently to all employees?

War for Talent in the Midst of High Unemployment

Recognize This! – Your employees are more skilled in more areas today than before the recession, making them far more valuable in the employment market.

How often do you hear this refrain: “Employees should be grateful to just have a job.” Or “There’s a lot of people looking for work right now. I’ve got my pick of the cream of the crop.”

Recruiters I know cringe when they hear this. Appropriately skilled employees are harder to come by now than ever before. Why? BizCommunity recently featured results of Deloitte’s 2011 best company to work for survey that gives some insight into this challenge, including these comments from Ricky Robinson, CEO of performance agency LRMG:

“He suggests that what is happening is employees are being required to multi-skill and do more. In doing so, these employees are becoming more competent and hence more valuable to their organisations, and are suddenly finding themselves more mobile. At the same time, employers are far more reticent to employ inexperienced people, albeit that they may be well educated. Hence, a further talent vacuum is developing. The talent pool has suddenly become richer but at the same time a lot shallower.”

In essence, because employers have cut staff, employees are taking on multiple roles, learning more and constantly growing their skills. As a result, companies can’t afford to lose the talent they have. The reality is, retention is a key issue today, even in the midst of high unemployment.

Mercer found the same thing in research released late last week:

“Mercer’s HR & Mobility Challenges of Emerging Markets Survey found that more than half (59%) of participating organizations cite scarcity of local employees with the required technical skills as the most critical human resources challenge in emerging markets.”

So, how should organizations focus their efforts to retain staff in this environment? Robinson continues:

“According to Robinson, a successful talent strategy should ultimately ensure that talent is aligned to the organisation, is loyal to the organisation and wants to be part of the future success of the organisation. This can be achieved by taking certain organisational environment factors into consideration. ‘A culture of high performance, where good performance is consistently and equitably recognised and rewarded and consequences for poor performance are clearly understood, is a good starting point,’ he suggests.”

Consistent recognition is the key. Consistently, specifically, and authentically praising employee behaviors and achievements in line with your core objectives helps your employees understand that your company needs for success so they can align their efforts and contribute to that success. In fact, Robinson put it this way:

“Employees should know where the company is going, why they are going there and what their specific roles are in this plan. There also need to be regular and robust feedback loops ensuring ongoing alignment.”

What are you doing to ensure your key performers aren’t on the front line in today’s war for talent?

Valentine's Day, Mistakes, Bonuses, & Seats at the Table at Compensation Cafe

A few of my colleagues teased me that I didn’t write a post about “loving your employees” on Valentine’s Day earlier this week. Indeed, I did! But the teasing reminded me I haven’t shared with the Recognize This! community my recent posts on Compensation Café.

3 Reasons Valentine’s Day (and Poorly Designed Employee Rewards) Often Goes Badly (14th February 2012)

Valentine’s Day is certainly not a beloved holiday by many. Yet it persists, year after year. The same is true for poorly designed employee recognition and reward programs for similar reasons: it’s a Hallmark holiday, appropriate gifts are prescribed, and it can create the opposite of the desired effect.

You Made a Mistake? Great Work! (2nd February 2012)

Sometimes, mistakes move us forward. Smart businesses (and business leaders) know that. But what are the ingredients of a good mistake? I add my own ingredients to the “two prime ingredients of a brilliant mistake” offered in an Inc. magazine article, suggesting a truly brilliant mistake also requires:

  1. A culture in which people are expected to be curious and to pay attention to mistakes – to the “what just happened” moments – and make out of them what they can.
  2. A commitment to recognize and reward mistakes, not just successes.

Yet Another Reason to Rethink a Bonus Culture (24th January 2012)

In this post, I discussed recent research highlighted by Dan Pink that found raising the issue of money makes people more single minded and harder working, but also makes them less likely to help others. I question if the trade-off is worth it – especially when I keep in mind the research showing that hearing a simple “thank you” made the recipient 100% more likely to help again in the future.

Who Needs a “Seat at the Table” When You Can Do This? (11th January 2012)

The articles, posts and discussions around “HR getting a seat at the table” are too numerous to count. In this post, I recount the approach of Randy MacDonald, senior vice president of HR at IBM, in taking HR beyond administrative functions to truly strategic, transforming the culture of IBM in the process.

Appreciation Shouldn’t Ever Be Put on Layaway (28th December 2012)

I was powerfully moved by reports in the U.S. before Christmas of people going into stores and paying off the layaway balance of perfect strangers, in some cases making Christmas possible for many families. In those stories, I saw three clear lessons we can all learn from and apply in the business world:

  1. Do something nice.
  2. Inspire others to do the same.
  3. Inspire others to do even more.

I greatly enjoy participation in the Compensation Café community and learn from my colleagues in every post. I recommend it highly to those interested in HR, management and leadership.

Employee Engagement Round-Up

Recognize This! –CEO leadership is crucial to creating work environments in which employees will choose to engage.

In the last couple days, I featured very interesting research on the difference between Employee Engagement and Sustainable Employee Engagement from Towers Watson as well as research from Kenexa on declining employee engagement levels globally. It would be impossible for me to give that kind of in-depth consideration to the multitude of excellent posts and writings on employee engagement. So in today’s post, I’m featuring just a few that I found particularly interesting in the last several weeks.

From People Management magazine: “CEO buy-in crucial to boosting engagement levels”

Reporting on last month’s CIPD Employee Engagement and a discussion of the change programmes led by senior leaders, this article includes several stories of executives changing the culture in their organizations to one in which employees would want to engage. Click through for the stories – including powerful results.

From NBRI: “Employee Engagement: Leading by Example”

I believe every person at every level in an organization has a role to play in employee engagement. But without leadership from the top demonstrating expectations for behaviors that lead to engagement, it’s difficult to expect the average employee to understand what they should do. This article makes a good argument for the role of the executive in employee engagement.

From Bersin: The Employee Engagement Primer

Though it’s a term that has become much more common during the last several years, they myriad of definitions of engagement; the difference between actively engaged, engaged, disengaged, etc.; and multiple survey and measurement instruments lead some to give up on working to improve engagement before they start. This introduction from Bersin makes it more clear.

What are you doing in your organization to increase employee engagement? Do your executives lead by example?

2 Factors Critical to Sustainable Employee Engagement: Enablement & Energy

Recognize This! – Measuring energy and enablement make it possible to ensure your employee engagement levels are sustained.

Abhishek Mittal, a Towers Watson management consultant based in Singapore, is one of my go-to sources for on-point research and thinking on employee engagement and, critically, how to apply that research and thinking in practice in the organization. A recent post in his Mumblr blog linked to an article he published in Indian Management magazine.

I was most taken with the Towers Watson research he reported showing the difference between Engagement and Sustainable Engagement, which relies on two additional factors of enablement and energy.

“We are now learning that employee engagement takes a company only so far. Other critical factors in the work environment also play a critical role.

“Firstly, organizations should look at providing support to employees in achieving their work objectives. Secondly, organizations should focus on creating a work environment that fosters employees’ physical, social and emotional well-being. We call these factors Enablement and Energy respectively. Taken together, these can help organizations sustainably engage their employees and boost business performance further. This new framework called “Sustainable Engagement” is a combination of Engagement, Enablement and Energy. A recent validation research done by Towers Watson looked at companies with high levels of Engagement and those with high levels of Sustainable Engagement. We examined their financial performance in terms of operating margins and found that Sustainably Engaged companies on operating margins by a factor of two to one.” (emphasis mine)

Considering earlier Towers Watson research found that organizations that increase engagement by 15% improve operating margins by 2%, such an additional increase from Sustainable Engagement is something to take quite seriously, indeed.

I’ve written about enablement elsewhere several times, but this topic of energy is just as important.

Energy in the Workplace

Energy and energizing the workforce is a passion of mine and my CEO, Eric Mosley. But precisely how do you energize a workforce?

In his article, Abhishek suggests:

“Companies need to focus on building a work environment that can sustain high energy levels. For example –respectful treatment of colleagues, effective teamwork and a fair balance between performance expectations and job pressures.”

“Respectful treatment of colleagues” – we all think we know that looks like. I’m sure we all know how we would each want to be treated respectfully ourselves. But how do you measure that? How do you know that respectful treatment is actually happening? Because if you can’t measure it, you can’t intervene to fix it in underperforming areas.

Measuring Energy

We’ve addressed this internally at Globoforce by making “Respect” one of our four core values as an organization. Indeed, respect is a unique value for us in that it is the only one directly focused on behaviors. (The three others – imagination, determination, and innovation – we consider to be aspirational.)

Within our own employee recognition program, Globostars, employees must select a reason for recognition from these four values. We believe so powerfully in the importance of respect that we’ve broken it into several factors such as “respect for teamwork” and “respect for urgency.”

It’s quite powerful to look at our Social Recognition newsfeed and see the flow of respect throughout Globoforce, across teams and departments. Even better, we can measure it. We can look deeply into our metrics to see where, perhaps, teams or individuals have never been recognized for respect and determine if that’s an anomaly or an area needing intervention and training.

This is just one aspect of how we measure energy in our workplace. Do you measure energy? Do you think it’s important? What core values does your organization have that could serve as a measure of energy if employees were encouraged to recognize each other for demonstrating that value regularly?

"Magic Metric" for Real-time Performance

Recognize This! – An easily understood metric for successful performance clarifies roles and responsibilities for all.

In Fistful of Talent last week, Steve Gifford tackled the ever-present topic of (my take) “what metric should we use to measure employee productivity/performance in terms everyone in the business cares about?”

It’s that last part of the question that’s most intriguing to me – in terms everyone in the business cares about. There are seemingly countless posts, articles, discussions, and even twitter chats, around the science of HR metrics and reporting. The art lies in finding a metric that is meaningful and clear to everyone from a line employee, to a manager in any department, to the C-suite.

Steve calls this the “magic metric,” which should be (quoting):

  • Created and tracked by someone outside of HR.  When you call up someone in ops and ask them why it’s high or low, it can’t be something that only you can see in the HRIS.  You’ll notice that I had to explain an awful lot about my business for each of these metrics – that’s a good thing.
  • Objective.  Managers have favorites, and have excuses for those favorites.
  • Timely.  Management by P&L is necessary, but if you only rely on a P&L, your managers will only know that they had an issue a month and a half later when the books close.  Find something that you or managers can react to soon after it happens
  • Something which the employee can personally impact.  No one likes to be held accountable for things they didn’t do.  If the customer added to the specification at the last minute, the project manager can’t get dinged for missing the old deadline.
  • Tied to profitability.  I’m thrilled that when customers call the 800 number, they always give your store 5 out of 5.  However, if those 5’s don’t translate into increased revenues, we’re going to have a hard time keeping the doors open so we can keep those customers happy.

All good points on a metric that matters. I suggest a metric that meets all of these requirements in a positive way is employee recognition based on your core company values.

Think about it. If you create a strategic recognition system in which any employee can recognize any other – specifically and in real-time – for demonstrating your core values in their work, you can quickly see who is delivering on what you leaders have defined as most critical to your organization culture and success.

Creating peer-to-peer recognition programs makes them objective. Encouraging recognition in-the-moment makes it timely. There is little the employee can impact more than their own behaviors based on the core values. Properly defined, the values are close integrated with the strategic objectives for success. And while HR may be the group tagged with providing the employee recognition program at first, creating a culture of recognition and appreciation is the responsibility of every employee.

What’s your magic metric? Do you agree recognition done right suits?

Ask Derek: Employee Rewards for Call Center Employees?

Recognize This! -In recognition and reward programs for Call Center employees, be sure you are reinforcing desired behaviors and outcomes, not just results.

Occasionally, I receive questions through the “Email Derek” button in the upper-right corner of this blog that have a broader interest to the readers of the blog. One such question came in from Sudan  over the weekend asking:

I work as an HR manager for a call center and HR consulting business. What are your thoughts on: 1. Employee rewards for call center employees? 2. How to minimize unnecessary organization meeting?

Call centers can be tricky as the typical method of motivating employees is through incentives. In answer to Sudan’s first question, I’ll refer to a couple of past posts on the topic.

In 2009, I shared a Dilbert cartoon and commented on poor program structure, “Call centers will often set up reward structures based on call time or number of calls handled within a set amount of time. Yet such practices merely encourage representatives to get callers off the phone as quickly as possible, and not necessarily give the customer the level of service or help they truly require. So the representative is rewarded on essentially poor customer service and potentially a destroyed customer relationship.”

Also in 2009, I explained the difference between incentives and recognition:

I liked very much a client’s definition of incentive as “push the button, get the pellet.” You are told in advance “if you do this, you get that.” You are pre-directing effort in a way that eliminates the need for creativity and can actually discourage innovation and the desire to give additional discretionary effort – often with unintended consequences. Incentives are all about the stuff – the reward.

Recognition, however, is a more intensive effort that delivers the positive results companies are looking for when they think about these programs. Recognition is based on fostering an environment in which employees WANT to perform, then letting managers and even colleagues acknowledge exceptional effort and praise deserving employees for it. It is more intensive because it requires people to actually notice and then demonstrably appreciate the efforts of those around them. But that effort is well worth the result — a true culture of appreciation.

The confusion arises because recognition can include a reward, but it is not about the “stuff.” Recognition is about encouraging, acknowledging and appreciating desired BEHAVIORS. This is a critical difference to understand by any company desiring to influence employee behavior without stifling innovation, action and creativity.

Don’t misunderstand me. Globoforce offers incentives plans as part of our strategic offering. Incentives can have their place in a strategic recognition and reward strategy – for example in a sales incentive campaign or a call center initiative. But such usually short-term, end-goal campaigns cannot be confused with the overarching, long-term and ultimately cultural goals of recognition.

So what’s another option for call centers?

Once your employees clearly understand your core values and what they look like in their daily work as I’ve described above, empowering them to represent your core values in every customer interaction can do wonders. I look to this example from Zappos (discussed in an Inc. magazine article):

I spend a few minutes sitting in the Zappos call center with Grace Hale, a bubbly young woman with dyed black hair and a lip piercing. Unlike most call center operators, Zappos does not keep track of call times or require operators to read from scripts. Hale has a penchant for offering unsolicited commentary on customers’ shoe selections — “They are beautiful,” she coos during one call, as she pulls up a picture of a pair of Dr. Scholl’s Asana heels that a customer found uncomfortable. Not only are reps encouraged to make decisions on their own — for instance, offering a refund on a defective item — they are supposed to send a dozen or so personal notes to customers every day. “It’s all about P-E-C,” Hale explains to me. “Personal Emotional Connection with the customer.” …

[Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO] told a story about a woman whose husband died in a car accident after she had ordered boots for him from Zappos. The day after she called to ask for help with the return, she received a flower delivery. The call center rep had ordered the flowers without checking with a supervisor and billed them to the company. “At the funeral, the widow told her friends and family about the experience,” Hsieh said, his voice cracking and his eyes tearing up ever so slightly. “Not only was she a customer for life, but so were those 30 or 40 people at the funeral.”

As to Sudan’s second question about how to minimize unnecessary meetings, I find one reason too many meetings becomes commonplace is that the meeting becomes a substitute for other, more efficient (and effective) means of communications. So if you can open up more lines of communications, which a truly strategic recognition program that includes social recognition does, you can potentially eliminate some of those meetings.

Help out Sudan. What kind  of employee recognition, incentive or reward programs do you recommend for call centers? What approach have you seen to be most successful?