Brenda Pohlman - Author Archive

This Is How to Get Business Returns from Service Anniversaries

By Brenda Pohlman

Man climbing up stepsRecognize This! — Does your service anniversary program suffer from low expectations? Set loftier goals as the first step in adopting a modern approach that delivers results.

Service anniversary recognition doesn’t typically make the news. So the recent story involving an absentee employee in Spain who was exposed by a long service award got my attention. As reported by El Mundo, the employee had been absent from his municipal job for six years while still on the payroll. He’d only been caught when his 20-year service anniversary came up and his manager attempted to deliver his long service award. As a proponent of service anniversary recognition, I’ve never touted this sort of discovery as one of its merits!

The topic of anniversary program benefits is a curious one. For years it was widely assumed there weren’t many, frankly. While we can’t expect them to carry the full load of our organization’s recognition needs, we should expect today’s programs to deliver results – because with a more modern approach they can. The days of these programs languishing as historical “must haves” while delivering no tangible return are over.

If you’re one of those who’s scratching your head wondering about the value of your own anniversary program you’re not alone. Last year’s SHRM / Globoforce Employee Recognition Report found that only 22% of the HR leaders surveyed describe their anniversary programs as excellent. Almost a third rated their program as fair or even poor. HR’s underwhelming assessment of its own initiatives might stem from this historic lack of ambition. According to the same survey, the primary reason most employers offer anniversary programs is to show appreciation to employees, which is certainly straightforward but perhaps not ambitious enough. Less frequently cited as program goals were increasing levels of employee happiness, emotional commitment and engagement. And surprisingly, the most naturally aligned ambition, retention improvement, is among the least anticipated benefits, with only 45% saying that better retention is an expected outcome of their anniversary program.

Much of the HR community has succumbed to decades of low expectations with these initiatives, and research shows that the results achieved reflect the low bar that’s been set. When we asked employees directly about these same topics in a survey the year prior, the majority reported an underwhelming experience with their company’s anniversary program. Employees’ expectations for a rewarding and meaningful experience have outpaced HR’s expectations for business impact, resulting in a situation where we’ve left a ton of opportunity on the table. The good news is we can catch up.

Consider what you’re offering today and focus on improvements in these areas:

  • Reward choice
  • Consistency
  • Coworker involvement
  • Emotional impact and personal feel

A word of caution about letting the pendulum swing too far in the other direction. No matter how well your program ticks the boxes above, it will be most effective as a component of a comprehensive, global recognition strategy. As the service anniversary experience evolves to deliver more than it used to, it can’t substitute for a corporate-wide commitment to day-to-day social recognition linked to your business strategy.

While improvements in retention and engagement seem mundane compared to the outcome of the recent news-making service award, there’s proof positive that this is exactly what we should expect. Think big about what can be achieved with a modern approach to service anniversary recognition and watch it deliver.

“Good Job” – 2 Most Harmful Words in the English Language?

by Brenda Pohlman

Recognize This! – Consider carefully the words we use to recognize others and whether go-to phrases like ”good job” have a place in our recognition vocabulary.

Poster Advert for Whiplash MovieIf you were among the millions of movie fans around the world who tuned in to the Oscars yesterday, you may know that the title of this post refers to a line from one of the films nominated for Best Picture. Whiplash involves a relentlessly cruel bandleader who takes extreme measures to encourage (or crush perhaps – it was hard to tell – therein lies the brilliance of the film) the hopes of a young student musician aspiring to become one of the jazz greats. The movie poses lots of questions about how far people will go to achieve their dreams, and the motivations of others who support those dreams.

In one of his misguided motivational attempts the bandleader declares to the student, “The two most harmful words in the English language are ‘good job.’” I envisioned talent management professionals in cinemas the world over gasping in reaction to the blasphemy. The leader’s point is that these words imply “good enough,” and only thwart any extra dedication to doing what it takes to achieve a goal. In other words, if talented people are told “good job,” they are likely to settle and miss an opportunity to become truly great at something. Conversely, the words “not good enough” are more effective in encouraging them to work harder, practice more, do better. The leader claimed that if history’s jazz legends had frequently heard “good job” versus “not good enough,” they likely wouldn’t have become legends at all.

Hmm. After the shock in hearing the line, which goes against the very premise of the work I do everyday, I considered the idea. There may be validity in it, but I suspect it’s only in rare situations involving exceptionally driven and exceptionally talented people in certain highly competitive pursuits – musical phenoms, world-class athletes, scientific masterminds, and the like. With uniquely specialized talent, where a high-achieving individual has the potential to become truly the best in their field, perhaps it could be detrimental to recognize using words that might lessen one’s expectations of themselves.

For the rest of us, however, “good job” works wonders.

The real power of workplace recognition is not in motivating the most elite levels of talent in the organization. It’s in mobilizing the mass majority – recognizing the vast middle tier that helps move the organization forward everyday. While recognition for a job well done may be demotivating to a rare few of the most talented among us, it’s exactly the thing that pushes the rest of us forward.

This line did leave me wondering, though, about the words we use to recognize others. Despite being a fixture in our lexicon, “good job” alone hardly qualifies as bona fide recognition. So, while not the most harmful two words in the English language, maybe in the most literal and generic sense “good job” isn’t really quite good enough at all.

Recognition should be impactful and memorable and leave the recipient with a positive connection between the words spoken or written and their own actions. Overused and vague phrases alone like “good job” or “thanks for everything” or “congrats on your success” with no substance don’t quite fit the bill. Here are five tips, which apply for both verbal and written recognition, that take the experience beyond shallow platitudes to meaningful, effective recognition moments:

  1. In order to reinforce the action that you’re acknowledging, ensure recognition is timely by acknowledging the contribution soon after it’s made.
  2. More than just a couple of words are required to show appreciation effectively. Be specific – go into some detail about how your colleague’s contribution made a difference.
  3. Make recognition feel sincere by using the words “thank you” (maybe the two most beneficial words in the English language!).
  4. Describe the personal characteristics that made this person’s action or achievement special.
  5. The words you use, and anything that accompanies those words in the form of an award, should be aligned with the level of result achieved by the person you’re recognizing.

Check out this 2014 Globoforce blog post on 101 Effective Recognition Words for more tips on conveying recognition in impactful ways.

What are your favorite words, phrases or tips you use to effectively recognize others? (Or perhaps our star-struck readers might prefer to weigh in on a more classically Oscar-oriented topic….who won Best Dressed?)

Help Employees Have Their “Best Days” in 2015

by Brenda Pohlman

Gift of a Great DayRecognize This! – Help employees have their best days at work in 2015 by fostering a culture of appreciation and gratitude.

On New Year’s Eve my husband and I have a tradition that we’ve been practicing for years. It started with a simple question he asked me over dinner one New Year’s Eve, “What was the best day of the year for you?”

The next year we decided to make lists. We each made a separate list of our “top 10” days and then compared notes. In the early years the lists were dominated by fun – good times we’d had, like a great day off, a nice evening out, weekends away or vacations. But over the years the lists have evolved. They’re now comprised mainly of moments and experiences that we’re thankful for: birth of a new baby in the family, a healthy medical report, precious time spent with loved ones.

Interestingly, our “best days” and the moments when we feel the most gratitude have largely become one and the same. I suspect it’s simply a result of getting older, of having more responsibility for ourselves and others, and gaining a wiser perspective on what really matters. I’m sure the original question posed that New Year’s Eve long ago was intended as nothing more than casual chitchat. We had no idea how significant these lists and subsequent conversations would become over the years.

I love this idea that our best moments are intrinsically linked with a sense of gratitude and appreciation. And considering what I do for a living, I believe this connection is true at work as well – that employees’ best moments at work are tied to feelings of being appreciated and valued for their efforts and accomplishments.

In reflecting on my own best days at work in 2014, it’s true that so many involve the expression of gratitude in one form or another. One best moment happened when I was publicly recognized, along with several team members, in a personal email from a client to our CEO after completing a challenging project on the client’s behalf. While I got satisfaction from having done some good work, it was this meaningful expression of gratitude that turned the experience from a simple sense of accomplishment into a “best day.”

How powerful to think that you can make more of those “best days” happen by fostering a culture of recognition in your organization by simply offering praise and expressing appreciation to those around you.

What steps will you take to help employees have their best days at work in 2015?

 

It Just Shouldn’t Be This Difficult! – Eliminating Barriers to Recognition

by Brenda Pohlman

Broken wall with "Thank You!"Recognize This! — Sharing appreciation and gratitude for others should be simple to encourage frequent, timely praise and recognition.

When was the last time you used a fax machine? I recently had the pleasure (ahem) of being re-acquainted with this office equipment fixture of old while trying to execute a recognition moment of sorts. I wanted to do a nice thing for a co-worker on behalf of our team. It was intended as a small gesture – nothing elaborate, nothing designed to convey serious feedback or emotion, just a simple acknowledgement. It should’ve been soooo easy.

We were attending our annual company holiday celebration with our guests, and my colleague, who was bringing her husband (known to most of us as ‘Mr. Wonderful’ by the way), planned to stay the evening at the hotel party venue as a little overnight getaway. It would be a well-deserved break in the midst of a very busy time at work as well as personal circumstances our teammate had faced this Fall. We decided to surprise the two of them with a basket of treats delivered to their room as a show of support. But it proved to be much easier in thought than execution.

I coordinated the details with the hotel, credit card at the ready to pay over the phone. The hotel wouldn’t take it. Payment authorization was required in advance, involving a cumbersome form filled out and returned to them immediately….via fax. I protested, “But it’s just cookies and brownies. I’ll be there in a few hours and can show my credit card in person. I’m connected to the company that’s hosting its big party there tonight.” Nope. No form means no cookie delivery.

Our receptionist looked up our fax number so the hotel could send the form (who has such things memorized anymore and why was email not an option)?. I eventually received it after three trips across the office to check. Hours passed as I went from meeting to meeting, and eventually I got a call from the hotel looking for my completed form and reminding me “no form, no cookie delivery.” I scrambled as the old familiar fax machine challenges came back to me. Dial 9 first or not? Document face up or face down? And alas, an error message. In my head I heard, “No form, no cookies.” Aaargh! A colleague came by, saw me struggling, and asked what I was doing after some teasing about the passé nature of the experience. I blurted out, “I’m just trying to do something nice for someone! It shouldn’t be this hard!”

Eliminate Barriers to Recognition

We encounter companies all the time who have inadvertently constructed barriers to recognition – things that make recognition more difficult than it needs to be, steps and rules that make well-intentioned employees feel hassled by the experience of simply trying to do something meaningful for a co-worker. These barriers rarely serve any legitimate business purpose at all. They’re hold-outs from old school recognition programs that don’t align with the goals and ambitions of today’s initiatives and modern programs. In my ‘nice gesture gone bad’ example here, all the jumping through hoops was supposed to be for my own protection, as the hotel put it.

Things That Make Recognition Harder Than It Should Be:

  • Cumbersome nomination processes, where employees are required to complete lengthy forms to recommend a colleague for recognition (Formal recognition should take as little as 60 seconds).
  • Slow selection or approval processes. We’ve seen systems where committees of HR and business leaders meet quarterly to choose winners for $100 awards! (48-hour award approvals at most – by one or two managers -is ideal).
  • Eligibility rules that prohibit employees from recognizing others directly themselves, forcing them to ask a manager to place a nomination on their behalf instead (Peer-to-peer nomination eligibility is the #1 most powerful way to breakdown barriers to recognition).
  • Recognition systems that aren’t accessible to offline populations or are entirely manual (Mobile apps and computer kiosks are the best hassle-free work-arounds for offline employees).
  • Partial eligibility where some locations or business units are eligible to participate in the recognition program and some are not. These rules can leave employees guessing or force them to investigate a co-worker’s eligibility status (Company-wide participation in a centralized program conveys a simple and inclusive message about recognition).
  • A lack of structure. In the absence of guidelines and tools, many employees will simply do nothing (Elimination of bureaucracy is good, but recognition is not likely to be prevalent in your environment without some rules and systems).

These barriers can be the root cause of a recognition program manager’s worst nightmare – the employee who is inspired to recognize a colleague, makes a decision to take action, seeks out the system or process to do so, and then gives up when faced with daunting administrative red tape. Recognition must be fluid and easy. Otherwise, it can feel inauthentic and meaningless at best, or nonexistent at worst.

As we come into a new year, make a commitment to create an easier, more natural recognition experience at your organization. Find ways to overcome those obstacles that leave your would-be recognizers feeling frustrated and uninspired. In other words, let those barriers go the way of the fax machine.

Start by choosing one recognition barrier to eliminate. Which would you eliminate first?

 

 

 

Thank You for Your Service – A Lesson in the Power of Thanks From Our Military Service Members

by Brenda Pohlman

Poster showing all branches of military with "Honor Courage Loyalty" BannerRecognize This! – When recognition and appreciation fully permeate your culture, astounding things can be accomplished, often in the worst of situations.

If you ever doubted the power of recognition, consider the military. I’d venture to say that perhaps no institution on the planet is better at recognition than our armed forces.

Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. (and Remembrance Day in many other countries). It’s a holiday near and dear to my heart. Three of my family members are veterans, two of whom are in their 20th year of active duty. Military service is, as they say, a family affair. I’m not a military spouse or parent mind you, just a sister and daughter, but even in my periphery role I’ve had the chance to be involved. I’m enormously proud of my family’s service to our country and am grateful for the countless opportunities I’ve been given to glimpse a peek into the military lives of my loved ones.

But it wasn’t until I worked in the recognition business that the theme of these experiences became so darn obvious to me. It’s all recognition! As a civilian observer (and recognition strategist) I can clearly see that it is utterly embedded into every corner of military culture. Each of the numerous ceremonies and celebrations I’ve attended throughout the years have been oriented around a recognition moment of some kind – situations focused on acknowledging an individual or team for their commitment and good work…and family was invited to be part of it. Imagine that.

Even the most casual interactions with service members are so often laden with recognition. The simple act of being introduced by my family members to their coworkers includes the inevitable sharing of “why this person is great” stories on both sides. It’s as if there’s a genuine eagerness to publicly and sincerely praise colleagues in front of their loved ones.

The evidence of recognition is everywhere, even at home. My brother’s house, for example, is chock full of representations of career recognition moments – framed handwritten notes of thanks and congratulations, photos signed by legions of teammates, official commemorations of important milestones. The décor is what a designer might describe as “Navy chic,” akin to other trendy decorating styles only with way more recognition on display!

Clearly, this is all by design. The military is simply leveraging the power of thanks to motivate and engage its employees. And it’s doing so in a big, bold, social, emotionally impactful way.

If recognition, praise and appreciation is embraced by the military to inspire people to do amazing things with enormous risk and often immeasurable personal sacrifice, imagine what it can do for your workforce.

On this Veterans Day, take a lesson from our men and women in uniform and thank a coworker. Then pay it back by thanking a veteran too.

Who will you thank today?

65 Pairs of Shoes and Counting: A New Twist on the Business Case for Recognition

by Brenda Pohlman

Pile of shoesRecognize This! — Use “employees as consumers” as a metric in the business case for recognition.

I’m really fortunate to work with smart customers. In fact, that’s among the best aspects of my job. As a consultant, it’s my responsibility to encourage customers to think big about what’s possible with recognition, to stretch the boundaries of their ideas and get creative about how to achieve lofty goals. But as is often the case, it was my own thinking that got stretched by a customer during a recent conversation about the business case for recognition.

This clever customer suggested that there is likely a connection between recognition and engagement and employee sales. By “employee sales” he meant actual purchases of your company’s products or services by employees as consumers themselves. The question was posed this way: “What if…” (Let me pause and point out the use of this classic problem-solving tactic. Any question beginning with “What if” is one worth asking!). “What if we could show that our recognition-oriented culture increased employee engagement and this in turn made employees feel great about our company’s brand as a consumer and they actually bought more of our products as a result? What if a percentage of our employees were inspired to spend $100 more a year on our products because they felt appreciated at work?”

I’d never heard that specific question asked before and didn’t have an answer, only a reaction. Yes, of course! This instinctively makes perfect sense – this connection must exist – but I didn’t have any proof.

There’s a robust body of research today on the connection between recognition and constructs like employee retention and engagement. Our regular blog readers will know that we’re often citing these powerful proof points. These are the go-to arguments that create the foundation for a strong business case for recognition.

The first part of the customer’s idea – the correlation between recognition-centered cultures and improved employee engagement – is well established. Likewise, the connection between employee engagement and increased company sales is well documented. There’s also lots of supporting research showing that if your employees are good consumers of your brand themselves, they are likely to be good brand advocates with others, which yields increases in customer satisfaction and sales.

But it seems these arguments may have overlooked a piece of low-hanging fruit in the midst of the correlations: the top-line revenue directly represented by employee purchases of your goods and services. Admittedly, this idea is only relevant if you work for a company with consumer-facing product lines, like the customer who posed the original question. His company has hundreds of thousands of employees and hundreds of consumer brands to sell to those employees. Undoubtedly, most of his employees are already customers. So ubiquitous are this company’s brands that you and I are likely already customers too. But if you are, say, a manufacturer of jet engines, this concept isn’t going to be part of your recognition business case strategy.

My instinctively positive support of this idea is born in part from personal experience. Personal experience in amassing a footwear collection that peaked at 65 pairs of shoes. I had a job in my mid-twenties that I adored. I was a Store Manager with a specialty footwear retailer and damn, was I engaged. The effort I made to succeed in that role is almost shocking to me when I look back on it. How is it that these were some of the toughest days of my working career but also some of my fondest worklife memories? What was it that inspired my willingness to commit to a relentless schedule of double shifts, back-to-back-to-back workweeks without a day off in sight, and foregoing family time at the holidays, among the other challenges a retail life brings?

Recognition of course. I had a District Manager who was great at it. He offered near daily feedback on what I was doing well. He congratulated me and my team on district-wide calls for significant store accomplishments, and took moments to follow-up with a quick ‘thank you’ for lesser contributions. It was constant, timely, genuine and motivational.

One particular recognition moment is still fresh today – the day the inventory audit numbers were released. I’d prepped my little heart out for that audit and kept my staff in the store til 3:00 am on inventory night to be sure we got it right. My District Manager called me at home one evening with the results. He said he couldn’t wait to share the news. My store had achieved an amazingly low loss ratio, meaning I’d managed to not lose too much stuff through bad stock room practices and theft. He said he’d never seen anything like it. It was the lowest loss rate in the company. I could hear in his voice how thrilled he was, not just as a leader who needed his stores to perform well, but as someone who was genuinely excited for me about my accomplishment.

All that recognition fueled my engine. And so I exuded the classic behaviors of a highly engaged employee, chief among them perhaps – immense brand loyalty. Sure, I worked hard during my tenure and put forth lots of discretionary effort, but I also bought 65 pairs of this company’s shoes while I was there. 65 pairs of shoes purchased by a poorly paid employee because she had a love for the brand inspired by feelings of being valued and appreciated! Whoa.

My personal revenue-contributing experience is a mere drop in the bucket compared to what’s possible. For my clever customer who inspired the idea, we speculated that this “employee as consumer” concept could mean millions to his company’s revenue numbers.

Along with your lofty goals around improved retention and engagement, don’t overlook the low-hanging fruit when creating a cost-benefit analysis for recognition. Do you know how much revenue is represented by employee purchases at your company? What if your recognition practices had a hand in boosting this because your employees feel valued and feel good about your culture and your brand? How much would this mean to your top line sales numbers – another $100,000 a year, a million, more? Now imagine if your recognition investment paid for itself as a result. There’s your business case.

(For the record, I’ve since embraced the notion of downsizing in my wiser years and my current shoe inventory is a mere fraction of its former self.)

Executives are People Too

image of desk with thank you note

Image credit: Glamour

by Brenda Pohlman

Recognize This! – When creating a culture of recognition, all employees must be active participants.

In partnering with new customers, our early conversations often evolve from focusing on recognition strategy and philosophy in support of the customer’s business goals to discussions about granular elements of recognition design like eligibility – deciding who will be eligible to participate in the new recognition program. Inevitably, the client raises the question of whether executives should be eligible as recognition recipients. And it’s often not positioned as a question at all, but rather a firm stance, “Of course, everyone will be eligible except our executive team.” Sometimes that edict cuts pretty deeply into the org chart – “no recognition for anyone who’s a Director or above.” Ouch.

This position is natural. After all, aren’t our executives motivated by different factors and already getting so much out of their work experience? They don’t need to be recognized to feel engaged and appreciated for their work. Appreciation of company leaders is demonstrated by Wall Street in the form of higher share prices. Surely, receiving praise and feedback from colleagues, bosses and direct reports can’t mean much in comparison.

But here’s the thing: executives are people too.

Case in point. I recently read an article in Glamour magazine (online article behind a paywall) about chic office spaces. (Cut me some slack, I was on the treadmill at the gym where I can hardly breathe, never mind take in serious business content!) The writer interviewed Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president at Estée Lauder, who operates out of a large and lovely workspace in NYC. Hudis talked about the personal objects she surrounds herself with – a wedding photo and pictures of the kids. But she also keeps a handwritten note on her desk from boss Leonard Lauder congratulating her on the successful launch of a new fragrance. She was quoted as saying about these things, “They inspire me!”

Here is a well-compensated senior executive of a high profile global company who works in a place filled with style and sophistication, yet when thinking about the elements of that environment that inspire her, she describes a recognition moment!

Apart from the meaningful emotional impact it can have on them, there are practical reasons for involving your executives as receivers in your recognition activities. Assuming that you consider your recognition practices to be so much more than mere practices – that they are part of your culture – then by definition your executives must be full-fledged participants. Culture doesn’t happen independently of your leaders. It’s their behavior and priorities that become the most obvious demonstrations of your culture to the rest of the workforce. If you want recognition to be part of who you are as an organization, then execs have to lead the charge.

And there’s no better way to encourage them to lead the charge than through their own direct participation. For anyone, your leaders included, to champion your recognition efforts in an authentic way, they must experience the power of recognition firsthand. Nothing inspires others to show a little appreciation than to have moments of feeling appreciated themselves.

If recognition makes a difference to a senior exec at Estée Lauder, imagine what a little recognition could do for your leadership team.

Are your executives recognized today at your company? Why or why not?

Observations from a SHRM First-Timer

Chariots of Fire Movie Imageby Brenda Pohlman

Recognize This! – The sign of an engaged professional is continuing to experience and learn from “firsts.”

Life is full of firsts. First steps, first words, first love, first job and so on. Good stuff.

I happen to be having a few firsts of my own recently. As someone who’s been working in the HR space for nearly 20 years, I finally attended the SHRM Annual Conference for the first time a few weeks ago. Loads of HR professionals make the yearly trek, about 15,000 or so in fact, and it’s something I recommend we all do at least once in our career. I came away with a number of observations, most content-related, gleaned from the many educational and networking opportunities to be had. But it was the event’s nuances that really made the experience for me.

HR is so global! Duh. I’m reminded in my everyday work with clients about the global-ness of business today. What hadn’t been so obvious to me before the SHRM experience was how global HR has become as a professional community. I chatted with HR leaders from Singapore, South Africa, Mexico, Dubai, the UK, India, and China and was genuinely surprised to be encountering people from places so far afield of Orlando, but even more surprised at the commonalities in those conversations. I’m not sure this would’ve been the case a few short years ago.

Speaking of community, that was another observation – examples of ‘community’ abounded. In a macro sense, we represented one professional community. In a micro sense, much of the learning and sharing focused on creating a sense of community within our own individual workplaces – communities of connected, engaged and productive employees. And then there were the ribbons. Lots of conference passes were adorned with colorful ribbons that identified the attendee as part of a subset: First Time Attendee, Global Attendee, SPHR, etc. I spotted one attendee who must’ve had 15 different ribbons dangling from his pass. In this way, attendees were declaring their membership in a particular kind of HR community.

People are energized about HR. I’ll admit, this has not always been my observation. I’ve known a lot of professionals who stumbled into HR, or were dragged, rather, kicking and screaming. Plus, let’s face it, HR is hard! How refreshing to find such an eager, positive, and forward-thinking audience at SHRM. This was clearly a conference full of people passionate about making a difference for their employees and organizations.

These themes all came together in a wonderful moment during the end-of-conference prize giveaway. There was a huge crowd assembled and you could feel the excitement peak just before the $5,000 grand prize was announced. The emcee reminded everyone that you must be present to win. The winner’s name was called. Nothing. It was repeated. Nothing. The ‘must be present’ reminder was stated once again. Nothing. Another try, this time with the threat of a new name being drawn. Suddenly there was commotion further down the exhibit hall. The winner had been found! But had the emcee heard? Would they wait? The winner was literally running down the aisle. The sea of conference go-ers parted. We all instinctively broke into raucous applause, “Go, go, go, you won, you won, run, run!” He made it to the stage in time to claim his prize. In retelling the story back at the office one of my colleagues said, “Wow, like Chariots of Fire.” Exactly like Chariots of Fire.

It was a wildly energized, community-oriented moment – all my favorite aspects of the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference rolled into one! In the coming months, I look forward to sharing with you my observations of the power of thanks through social recognition to create and sustain communities in our workplaces. And more importantly, what we can learn about working better together simply by paying attention to what others are doing and appreciating their efforts.

Oh yeah, and as far as other recent firsts for me, I’m pleased to say this is my very first blog post.

What’s a recent professional “first” for you? Or what’s your most memorable professional “first?”