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.

Derek Irvine

About Derek Irvine

The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition, he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.

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