Archive for the "Customer Stories & Insights" Category

Answering Important Questions – How Does Social Recognition Work in Manufacturing?

by Traci Pesch

Traci Pesch, Globoforce, and Jennifer Sweda, EatonRecognize This! – All employees can benefit from the power of thanks, regardless of job type, function or role.

I get asked lot of questions. As a mother, I hear interesting questions like: “Why does Moose’s (our pet guinea pig) nose move up and down and not side to side?” and “If the earth is round, do rainbows circle the earth? And if they do, where does the pot of gold go?” From my 7-year-old, these are excellent, inquisitive questions that help him learn about and understand the world around him.

As an employee recognition strategist and consultant, I hear interesting and important questions from dedicated professionals seeking to understand how they can make work more human for their colleagues. One of the more common questions often sounds like, “Social recognition sounds interesting if you work in an office all day. But does it really work for employees in manufacturing facilities?”

While I might not know where the pot of gold goes, I definitely know the answer to “does social recognition work in manufacturing facilities?” And that answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

Join me and Jennifer Sweda, compensation manager for power management company Eaton Corporation, on Thursday, October 27, at 2:00pm Eastern to learn how Eaton uses E-STAR, their social recognition program, to engage a workforce of more than 95,000 employees around the world – with 50% of those employees offline. (You can register for the webinar here.)

We’ll be discussing how recognition powers Eaton’s workforce, including:

  1. Just 6 months after the launch of E-STAR, 68% of employees were participating in the program. Another 82% of employees received a recognition moment in the first year.
  2. A creative E-STAR Wars campaign on “May the 4th” resulted in 551 additional awards given by employees.
  3. Every 65 seconds, a recognition moment is captured in E-STARs.
  4. In an employee survey, Eaton found that 79% of employees agree that E-STAR makes them feel valued and appreciated.
  5. That same survey showed a high correlation between giving and receiving of recognition and higher employee performance.

In the webinar, Jennifer and I will also talk about how Eaton has kept the recognition program fresh year after year and how you can find similar success at your company.

You’ll learn about:

  • How to get executive buy-in and drive employee adoption of recognition
  • Real employee stories from Eaton’s E-STAR program
  • The powerful impact recognition has on retention, performance, and employee sentiment

Don’t forget to register here.


The Power of Thanks * Read All about It in Our Latest Book

by Derek Irvine

Cover of Power of Thanks BookRecognize This! – Appreciation, recognition and praise are powerful means to engage and energize today’s modern workforce. That’s the power of “thanks.”

In 2014, I worked on many inspiring and challenging projects, but one I am particularly proud of released today – our newest book, The Power of Thanks: How Social Recognition Empowers Employees and Creates a Best Place to Work.

A labor of love, The Power of Thanks is the latest iteration of research, philosophy and success stories co-authored by Globoforce CEO Eric Mosley and myself. It serves as a blueprint for business leaders on how to harness the power of thanks and social recognition to improve company culture, decrease turnover, increase productivity, and build a happier, more motivated workforce.

Each chapter opens with the story of a leading company empowering their own employees through social recognition, in which the practice of mutual appreciation and trust directs and rewards higher employee performance. The stories shared by Intuit, JetBlue Airways, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Symantec, ConAgra Foods, The Hershey Company, and more illuminate the details in the book on how building a fully engaged, energized workforce is a key to employee happiness and business success.

Why does this matter? A consistently executed culture of recognition inspires:

  • Greater employee engagement and loyalty
  • Stronger, more unified teams and people connections
  • A creative, innovative company culture
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Increased profitability and organizational health

As Eric has said about the book:

The Power of Thanks is more than just the title of the book. It’s a new and long overdue mindset that has the ability to create a work environment that fosters innovation and collaboration for today’s social, multi-generational workforce. When organizations harness the transformative power of emotional connections among colleagues, recognition becomes far more than a ‘nice to have.’ It becomes something that can inspire all employees with a shared purpose and vision, which humanizes work and ultimately moves the business forward.”

Download the first chapter for free and look for The Power of Thanks (in hardcover and eBook formats at all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple’s iBookstore.

I’m interested in what you think about the approach we describe. Once you’ve had a read, come back and share your thoughts in comments.

Have you experienced the power of thanks?

Happy Check! – An Instant Employee Engagement Benchmark

by Traci Pesch

Several people holding Happy Check 10 signsRecognize This! – In-the-moment knowledge of employee engagement levels can deliver tremendous dividends for project success.

Did you ever wish you could instantly and easily assess an employee’s engagement level at any time, any place around the world? What about having a readily available benchmark tool that’s universally understood and could be used by all? I’m here to tell you there is one.

For the past 12 years, I’ve had the privilege to work under the direction of Derek Irvine, founder of the Recognize This! blog it is now my pleasure to join. During those years, I’ve assisted some of the most admired companies in the world define their recognition strategy, identify their “big win” ambitions, and put the right change management strategy in place to achieve the desired results. One of the “big wins” for a number of large, complex organizations is increasing employee engagement. This is no surprise as employee recognition is the most important lever to pull in order to see significant, quick, positive change.

Since the needed frequency for individual engagement at work is daily but the benchmark for measuring engagement is annually (or sometimes even longer), the opportunity to innovate employee engagement benchmarks in an informal way is glaringly obvious. For example, many years ago I worked with a project team at a company with 350,000+ employees globally in 121 countries. This project team was working away heads downs for several days testing new software – a reoccurring, regular set of daily duties. I looked at the faces of my colleagues and immediately thought they needed frequent, specific, timely and meaningful recognition for their work. I asked the team to pause, look around the room and consider the tremendous amount of work accomplished together, and then recognize each other for their collective success. Immediately the entire team perked up and dove back into the work with a reinvigorated spirit.

After several hours, my innovative idea came into play. I quickly shouted out to the team members: “Happy Check! What’s your level of happiness right now?” One of the project team members pointed out that since we’re addicted to benchmarks, we needed to measure performance using a specific indicator. And so the 1-10 scale was added with 10 being the highest. Throughout the week, we used a mix of frequent recognition and the Happy Check instant employee engagement benchmark to calibrate each team member. Anyone hollering out “Happy Check 1” (or anything below a 6) got immediate attention from the rest of the team to help them with their task and restore their personal “Happy Check” level.

The result – this project team exceeded all of their team goals, met every deadline and is responsible for launching the world’s largest employee recognition program. That’s worth an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records!

Implement the Happy Check with your own team. Give them frequent, specific, timely and meaningful recognition and follow that up with a Happy Check benchmark on the spur of the moment. What is your Happy Check today? I’m Happy Check 10. Tell me your Happy Check level (and why) in comments. Let’s share ideas and get everyone to a Happy Check 10 level!

Showcasing Global Employee Recognition Done Right – InterContinental Hotels Group

Recognize This! –  IHG’s Bravo programme encourages employees all over the world to live and practice its Winning Ways.

The number one factor that makes me a more effective strategist and consultant for employee recognition and engagement is our clients. The partnership we develop together drives our own success at Globoforce as much as theirs. That’s why I’m thrilled when I can share their success with you. And now I’m able to share the success of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), better known for their brands including Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and more.

IHG’s global recognition programme, Bravo,  enables IHG to reinforce and encourage employee behaviour that reflects the company’s values and, ultimately, drive engagement.

IHG has more than 350,000 employees across its owned, managed, and franchised hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories; however, its previous formal recognition programme was limited to the USA and Canada. The hotelier wanted to be able to motivate employees by recognising behaviour that exemplified its five Winning Ways – Do the right thing; Aim higher; Show we care; Celebrate difference and Work better together. IHG partnered with Globoforce to deploy a unified global solution that could help employees go further in creating ‘great hotels guests love’ by creating a culture of recognition.

As an organisation that values feedback from both guests and employees, IHG was particularly interested in the crowdsourced recognition data that the Globoforce solution can gather. By collating the opinions of a diverse group of employees, IHG is now able to arrive at a better-rounded picture of employee performance and can use this information to shape wider talent and culture management initiatives.

“We want to make sure we value our employees and they feel recognised, because we know this drives engagement and delivers a greater guest experience in our hotels,” said Lori Gaytan, SVP, human resources at IHG. “Globoforce has provided us with a global solution that enables us to recognise our employees for their efforts immediately and consistently. At a single glance you can see our employees around the world making great contributions and embodying our culture. This is driving our employment brand and business performance.”

Since the global programme’s implementation, IHG employees have nominated each other for more than 33,000 Bravo awards around the world. The large quantity of crowdsourced data gathered from these recognition moments has given the company valuable and actionable insight into its culture. With a Bravo given by an IHG employee somewhere in the world approximately every six minutes, IHG can see its Winning Ways  being lived through the social recognition moments logged every day. This impact is being seen within the organisation, as 86 percent of IHG employees say they are proud to work for a company that recognises them.

“The results IHG has seen in such a short space of time show the effect a strategically implemented recognition programme can have,” said Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce. “For a multinational company, the real differences among countries and national cultures can be celebrated with a global language of recognition. These programmes can also serve as key communication drivers of a company’s values and culture.”

Global employee recognition works – when done right.

The Data Revolution – It’s Finally Happening in HR!

Recognize This! –HR should make as many decisions based upon evidence and data as finance or engineering do.

I was at HCI Human Capital Summit this week in Atlanta co-presenting with Globoforce client Quintiles.   Two great themes really flowed through the entire summit.  VUCA was the first, a military term that seems to sum up the environmental reality that so many of us HR professionals face today. VUCA it describes an environment characterized by constant Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

V = Volatility     U = Uncertainty     C = Complexity     A= Ambiguity

Is this your HR world?  It certainly seemed to be for a majority of attendees.  Markets are changing faster than ever, we’ve acute talent shortages in certain skills and abundance in others, innovation cycles are quicker than ever, and all around us the economic climate behaves like the weather in Ireland!  All four seasons in one day!

So what does the military do to cope with VUCA?  Data is a major component of coping within this world.  The time for soft, “gut feel” decision making is over; the time for doing certain HR projects because it’s the “right thing to do” is also over.  Know your terrain and build your evidence to prove your strategy is the right one.

Speaker after speaker I heard spoke about HR data analytics, what they proved recently, and how they plan to do much more.  This was true also of Beth Susman, my co-presenter from Quintiles.  She told the audience how important recognition had become for Quintiles, how it is now a part of their culture, and importantly how it was positively influencing a critical corporate goal around employee retention.  And she had the data to prove it!

  • Before and after data to show the difference
  • Employee data pointing specifically to the impact of recognition
  • Data showing the linkage of recognition to retention
  • Benchmark data showing trends 11% above norm

I often say, “Never underestimate the power of a metric to signal to the organization that something is important.”  It is how management is hard coded – manage the figures. So for recognition to become truly a part of the culture in your organization, you need the data to prove recognition matters – recognition works to achieve your goals.

How are the data analytics of your recognition program?


Premier Farnell Tells Their Story of Successful, Strategic Recognition

Recognize This! – Incorporating the 10 Tenets of strategic recognition is critical for success.

Just before the holidays, our client Premier Farnell joined us for a webinar: “Making the Most of Recognition: Premier Farnell’s Recognition Journey.” Located in 35 countries with headquarters in London, critical to Premier Farnell’s recognition journey was multi-lingual, global expertise in recognition and rewards that are appropriate and meaningful for a global audience of employees.

Amy Montefinese, VP of global total rewards and HR operations for Premier Farnell, shared an excellent story of what the firm was able to accomplish through their iCAN recognition program. By happenstance, Amy directly spoke to several of the 10 tenets for a successful strategic employee recognition program (as explained in detail in Winning with a Culture of Recognition). Below are just a few with quotations from Amy and my comments on importance.. The entire webinar is also available here or via the video below:

The Tempo Starts at the Top

“Our CEO is a big champion of the program, which has really helped our recognition program be successful. He really gets it. He knows how important recognition can be, and in fact has been one of the top 5 nominators in the program since it launched… He set the tone and really made recognition a priority for the organization.”

By his or her actions, your CEO signals to all employees very clearly what matters most. Securing CEO sponsorship – visibly and consistently – is the top tenet for successful strategic recognition.

Base Recognition on Your Values and Objectives

“Currently, we are in a brand transition, which includes ‘Our Elements’ showing who we are and what we value as an organization. This is a very critical ingredient we use in our recognition program as we link these values to every recognition moment to help us embed them in the organization as we go through change.  So, for example, our award reasons of Passion, Simple Structures & Systems, Flawless Execution, Totally Reliable and Resourceful, come straight from Our Elements.”

Whether your organization is in transition or not, linking employee recognition to what matters most to your organization (your values and objectives) is the most powerful way to bring these ideas to life for all employees.

Involve Program Participants and Invite Their Input

“We had a cross functional global team on this. I brought together stakeholders from across the globe, from line managers as well. We had definite buy-in at launch. This was a very important contributor to our success. This helped with line sponsorship and the program not being viewed as an ‘HR thing’ because we had input from across the organization.”

A culture of recognition is owned by all employees, not just HR or the recognition program champion. To get to a true culture of recognition, it’s critical to involve people from across the organization in program design and implementation.

Call All Managers to Training/Promote It or Perish

“As a partner, Globoforce brought in their expertise and their knowledge of implementing programs. Communication and training was big and I didn’t have a huge team to help me. So we leveraged the Globoforce team to help us develop a presentation that we used for a series of global webexes. We also recorded an on-demand training session available through the intranet. This really was key to a successful roll-out and implementation.”

To reach program adoption goals quickly, you must not only communicate the program through various vehicles, but train employees on why this new approach to recognition is critical to company and individual success. Use the resources available to you, and don’t shirk this critical tenet.

Touch as Many People as Possible, as Often as Possible

“In the environment today where organizations are hamstrung by sluggish sales and the need for efficiency gains, employees really are motivated by recognition. Feedback from a manager for doing a great job really does go a long way… Every quarter our team produces an HR dashboard and recognition metrics are highlighted. Employee reach is a big one – what percentage of employees in which groups were recognized. Our target this year is 80%. At the end of Q3 several divisions have already reached their goal and the rest are on track.”

Not only do you need a goal of 80-90% program participation, you need an easy yet detailed mechanism for measurement and metrics accumulation and reporting.

I encourage you to watch the full webinar, then come back and tell me what lessons you can apply in your own organization.

Intuit Case Study: Top-Down & Bottom-Up Recognition Works Best

Recognize This! –Don’t limit options for recognition, but combine multiple into one program for easy governance and best results.

Last week, I had the honor and privilege of participating in a webinar (Spotlighting Recognition: How Intuit Has Reinforced a Culture of Innovation and Elevated Employee Engagement, now available for download) with Jennifer Lepird, Senior compensation business partner for Intuit.

We’ve worked with Intuit for many years now and have benefited from their culture of innovation as well. That culture is deeply ingrained across the company and supported from the top-down by Founder Scott Cook as well as from the bottom-up in a grass-roots movement of innovation that is an experience in itself.

Top-Down Culture Management through Recognition

For example, Jennifer shared how Scott Cook regularly brings in special guests so the entire company can watch and learn innovative programs and techniques to challenge current beliefs about what can and can’t be done. A culture of innovation is the core of how Inuit operates and how employees are evaluated.

There are also several formal innovation recognition and awards programs spearheaded by Scott Cook and senior leadership, including:

  • Scott Cook Innovation Awards: Only a few people each year receive this honor of placement on an innovation wall of fame, a coveted trophy, an all expenses paid trip for two, increased access to senior leaders and innovators, and more time to work on projects. Notice how this award caters to all aspects of our fundamental need for esteem – professionally, personally and directly.
  • Patent Awards: These are given throughout the year and are awarded for ideas submitted, patent submission, and patent completion. Note especially how these reward progress (the number one employee motivator) as much as final result.
  • Founders Innovation Award: I’ve written about this one before and I encourage you to read that post for the video showing Hugh Molotsi receiving this first new award from Scott Cook of a $1 million dollar prize. This is a powerful illustration of my point that cash awards only serve a useful purpose if their big enough to be easily differentiated from compensation. I think $1M meets that criteria.

Bottom-Up Culture Management through Recognition

As powerful as recognition from Founder Scott Cook is, equally as powerful is regular, timely and specific feedback and recognition from colleagues and peers across Intuit. That’s the beauty and power of Intuit’s Spotlight Recognition Program, the focus of the webinar. The goals of the program are to elevate employee engagement, build a globally unified culture of innovation and recognition, inspire employees, and help Intuit be an employer of choice everywhere.

Everything about Spotlight was a bottom-up effort, including the creation of the program name. Spotlight also made recognition easy by consolidating multiple programs onto one platform for easy access for leaders and employees alike who get a single, consistent recognition experience. Administrators also have a much easier time for program management, reporting and governance.

Included in this bottom-up recognition platform are programs for:

  • Performance, Milestones, & “Thanks” (on-the-spot recognition)
  • Sales contests
  • Wellness Incentives
  • Service Awards
  • CEO Sales Achiever Awards
  • Patent Awards
  • Employee Referrals

I’ve gone on long enough in this post and can only encourage you to watch the webinar for the full story. But I leave you with this image – the long-term double-digit improvement in engagement attributable to Spotlight recognition. (2010 reflects two things: the economy, and a shift in business strategy that took time for employees to adjust to.)

Values * The Glue Keeping Us Together during Change (Insights from HR Directors Business Summit)

I enjoyed dinner last night with several leaders of HR in various businesses. A common concern to all them seems to be the whirlwind of change currently blowing through these organizations. The forces of change I described in my post/report yesterday are real and seem only to be getting faster. The resulting question on everyone’s mind was: How do we keep everyone with us during all this change?

I started today hearing more of the same – from both the President and the Chief People Officer for McDonalds UK & Northern Europe. They painted a candid and thorough picture of the challenges McDonalds has faced over the years and how they have evolved their people management model to react.

Particularly striking to me was how Chief People Officer David Fairhurst shared the many changes occurring in the workplace and society in general, making the case that “we need a glue that will hold everything together with all these changes happening.” That glue he identified as company values. “Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ’em all over everything you do” – a quotation from that other HR luminary – Elvis Presley!

I couldn’t agree more – values can be the glue holding employee needs and company success requirements together. As employees face so much change – at a pace that is historically the most rapid we’ve ever taken a workforce through – we need our employees to be resilient and have a clear line of sight for how we want to succeed together. Values can give this line of sight, and of course a values driven, strategic recognition program, is a proven robust approach to make these values come alive and be lived everyday in the corporation.

Values too was on CEO & President Jill McDonald’s agenda when she highlighted as one of her top three priorities the need to break down silos and embed corporate values to create what she called a “connected organization”. Her other two priorities included employee engagement for trust, and developing future talent.

Let me ask you, how do you plan on keeping everyone during all this change? What’s your “glue” to hold everyone together? What are your top three priorities for 2011?

Learnings from HR Directors Business Summit

I’m greatly enjoying my participation this week at the HR Directors Business Summit in Birmingham, UK. I’ve already learned a tremendous amount and am looking forward to some interesting sessions on Gen Y tomorrow.

Today, Professor Lynda Gratton from London Business School led us in a great start, sharing shared research on the “Future of Work.” She described the five forces at work, which are creating the future: Globalization, Technology, Demography, Low Carbon and Society Changes. Key insights she offered for coping in this new world are:

1) Encourage collaboration, especially online between teams and the generations
2) Encourage open innovation
3) Build strong cultures & values
4) Invest in your own ability to have specialist skills
5) Realize the days of the generalist are ending fast

Professor Paddy Miller from IESE Business School really captured my attention with his definition of employee engagement. Contrary to the many finely crafted definitions we’ve all seen, his was that engagement is a Puzzle! Each puzzle has similar parts, but each company needs to figure their own puzzle solution. I couldn’t agree more. There is no cookie-cutter solution to employee engagement. Each company must (to borrow from Professor Gratton) build on their own values to create strong cultures in which engagement can thrive.

I presented myself today on strategic recognition and how it varies from other more traditional employee recognition. I was delighted to share the platform with our client Ingrid Waterfield, UK Head of Rewards at KPMG. She took the audience through the case study of their journey at KPMG as she shared the dramatic increases in levels of participation in their recognition program, even as budget costs were reduced! If you’d like to hear more about this, watch the webinar KPMG recently presented.

More tomorrow from the HR Directors Business Summit. In the meantime, do you see any additional forces at work that are creating the future of how (and why) we work? What’s your definition of engagement? Do you think it’s a puzzle, unique to each company, or more universal to most?

Free Webinar: Recognition the KPMG Way: Driving Employee Engagement and Success

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Do you need to unify your culture? If you want to hear tips and strategies for doing just that from a peer, join me and Sara Turner, the head of employee benefits and wellbeing for KPMG UK, Tuesday next week, November 30, 8:00am PT/11:00am ET/4:00pm GMT.

During this live, interactive webinar, Sara will be sharing how she led the implementation of a strategic recognition program that helped KPMG reduce costs while providing employees with a proven tool to recognize the positive work around the company.

Key topics we’ll be sure to cover include:
• How KPMG increased recognition without increasing their recognition budget
• Why KPMG selected strategic recognition to help foster stronger employee engagement and performance
• How KPMG generated internal excitement and increased employee participation

Register for the webinar today! Feel free to send me your questions early, if you like.