Posts Tagged "thanksgiving’

This Thanksgiving, Who Can You Validate?

By Lynette Silva

Recognize This! – Part of the human condition is needing validation from others. The good news is we are all capable of providing that validation to others through recognition and appreciation.

Post-it note reading "express your gratitude"I’m coming off a whirlwind of events where I had the opportunity to share my passion for creating more human workplaces by helping millions of employees feel noticed, valued, and appreciated for who they are as well as for what they do. As always at these events, I learned more from the other speakers and from conversations with attendees. So here I share with you my two biggest takeaways from the events.

Lesson 1: We all need validation.

At the IQPC CHRO Exchange, one breakout session led by BraveShift was particularly innovative in that it had top HR executives sit in a circle and discuss together how we can improve trust in the workplace. I was fascinated to watch the conversation develop and build among these professionals who so very clearly care about their employees and the work experience they help to create for them. One participant shared powerful insight from a keynote delivered by Oprah at another event. To give full credit to Oprah, I’ve found a similar reference when she spoke at a Harvard University commencement:

“What we want, the common denominator that I found in every single interview, is we want to be validated. We want to be understood. I have done over 35,000 interviews in my career and as soon as that camera shuts off everyone always turns to me and inevitably in their own way asks this question “Was that okay?” I heard it from President Bush, I heard it from President Obama. I’ve heard it from heroes and from housewives. I’ve heard it from victims and perpetrators of crimes. I even heard it from Beyonce and all of her Beyonceness. She finishes performing, hands me the microphone and says, ‘Was that okay?’ Friends and family, yours, enemies, strangers in every argument in every encounter, every exchange I will tell you, they all want to know one thing: was that okay? Did you hear me? Do you see me?”

As humans, we need to know that we are seen, that we are valued, that we bring value to others. This is a universal human truth. Often in strategy sessions I lead, I’m asked, “At what level to do we exclude participation?” This is usually in reference to senior-most leaders. As the leader of my group, Derek Irvine, has often said, “The only factor determining who needs recognition is if you are human. I’ve yet to reach a point in my career where I didn’t appreciate or need recognition of my contributions.”

Lesson 2: We are all capable of giving validation to others through recognition and appreciation.

The Greater Good Science Center (based at University of California, Berkley) hosted a wonderful one-day conference on Gratitude and Well-Being at Work. (Do yourself a favor and check out their online courses and tools. I can personally vouch for their free, eight-week MOOC on the science of happiness for a deep dive into the research and outcomes of practicing gratitude and happiness.) Through multiple keynote presentations and breakout sessions, attendees dived deeply into the many aspects of bringing gratitude into the workplace and the benefits of doing so.

One thread of thought, most heavily emphasized by author Mike Robbins, was the concept that there is a difference between recognition and appreciation. From Mike’s perspective, recognition is about results while appreciation is about people. It’s a good point, but we shouldn’t lose in the nuance that both are intensely important in the workplace. We need to acknowledge and praise people for both what they do as well as who they are. And we all have the power to do so. Remember, at its essence, saying “thank you” is the same as saying, “I see you. I see what you do. You are valuable.”

During this season of gratitude, who are the people in your life – at work and at home – you can validate through your appreciation and recognition?

Make Thanksgiving Every Day of the Year!

by Lynette Silva

GloboThanks 2016 - Team photosRecognize This! – A powerful employee experience at work is built on everyday practices of gratitude, appreciation and thanksgiving.

What’s the employee experience like in your organization? How would you describe it (briefly) to others?

After experiencing our latest GloboThanksgiving (where we gather as a team in both our HQ offices in the US and Ireland), I’d have to describe our employee experience at Globoforce as “GloboThanksgiving every day of the year!”

Two things every employee experiences at Globoforce, without question:

  • Gratitude and continual expressions of thanks, appreciation and recognition of contributions, help given, and work well done.
  • Food – lots of food. Sure, food is important as fuel to energize the great work we do. But we also realize food is a powerful way to draw people together informally, to pause in the midst of busy days, to share life, to build closer relationships with colleagues who are much more than co-workers.

Is a holiday office celebration the best way to understand the employee experience in your organization? Perhaps not. But how else do you measure the employee experience?

Our holiday gift to you – for the first time, an index to measure employee experience derived from a global survey of more than 23,000 employees in 45 countries and territories across all job functions for a 5-dimension, 10-item index measuring how employees experience work:

  • Belonging – feeling part of a team, group or organization
  • Purpose – understanding why one’s work matters
  • Achievement – a sense of accomplishment in the work that is done
  • Happiness – the pleasant feeling arising in and around work
  • Vigor – the presence of energy, enthusiasm and excitement at work

If those are the factors defining an employee experience, how can you influence it? First and most importantly, employees are humans with all the complexity that brings. Through the survey, we identified key human workplace practices that drive a more positive employee experience.

Graphic of Employee Experience Index, Drivers and Outcomes

This holiday season, give your employees the gift of a powerful, positive, appreciative employee experience. Read the report here.


Giving Thanks with Friends, Family and the Great Outdoors

by Traci Pesch

Black Friday Shoppers

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Recognize This! – Experiencing a spirit of gratefulness with family and friends is one of the greatest gifts of Thanksgiving.

I love Black Friday. Every year, my cousins, close friends and I plan our attack with a precision that could rival Santa’s global delivery schedule. We identify the stores we will hit and the responsibilities we each have for specific items in each store. It’s tremendous fun for all of us, and a bonding experience we cherish far beyond the shopping or the deals.

But as much as I love Black Friday, I love Thanksgiving more. A day spent with my family, sharing together and celebrating all that we have to be grateful for, most especially each other – there is no gift I can buy on Black Friday more precious than that.

That’s why after last year’s seeming trend for stores to extend Black Friday by opening on Thanksgiving, I was thrilled that so many major retailers are making a point of staying closed on a day intended for relationships, gratitude and togetherness. Some have even incorporated the message into their advertisements, like this one from the TJX Companies – TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods. (Email subscribers, click through for the video.)

And then there’s REI, an outdoor retailer that describes itself on its website as:

“REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship.”

Living up to that statement of purpose, REI has been in the news recently for the decision to only remain closed on Thanksgiving, but to also close on Black Friday while still paying its employees to “be outside.” With such a clear demonstration of living out its values as a company, it’s no wonder REI often appears on the Fortune Top 100 Companies to Work For list.

What a wonderful demonstration of acknowledging employees as humans. If you work for REI, it’s likely a fair assumption that you enjoy the great outdoors. So to pay people to extend their Thanksgiving holiday with the opportunity to engage in a personal passion, with pay – that’s the essence of what we mean by WorkHuman.

What do you enjoy most about the Thanksgiving holiday? Whether or not Thanksgiving is part of your cultural tradition, what are you grateful for this year?

Don’t Forget This Important Utensil at Thanksgiving

by Lynette Silva

Dinner place setting with penRecognize This! – Writing down what we are most grateful for can increase our feeling of gratitude and appreciation.

Thanksgiving – my favorite holiday! It’s a day all about food, family and gratitude. There’s no commercialization of the holiday, the weather generally cooperates for a nice day (though not this year in New England), and all that good food tends to put people in a good mood, too.

But the thing I, well, appreciate about Thanksgiving most is the sharing of gratitude. We make it a point to say what we’re grateful for during or meal. The discussion can be far ranging as everyone gets an equal say, even the 5-year-old twin cousins. Some of what we’re grateful for are material things, but mostly we all express our gratitude for each other or others in our life who had a significant impact in the last year. Often, the sad is wrapped up with the joyous, but we are all lifted up by the sharing of gratitude.

I will admit to needing to jot down my “gratitude markers” as I wait my turn to share. Things shared by others often remind me of more things I’m grateful for myself, and so my list grows. I’ve taken to writing my thoughts down on the paper tablecloth next to my plate. That’s why a pen has become my most important Thanksgiving utensil.

I thought I was innovative (or at least remarkably efficient) until I saw this very recommendation in Huffington Post. In fact, my writing down my thoughts serves not just as a jog to my memory, but a way to increase my feeling gratitude overall. From the article:

“Just this small stunt — the physical action of jotting down a couple of things you’re happy to have in your life — has been shown to reinforce happy thoughts. Our brains have a tendency to focus on the negative, so this action helps to stop our thoughts from going down a dark path and bring them back on a happy trail.”

Writing down our gratitude for and about others helps us as much as it helps them. Take a minute today to express your gratitude for those you work with every day. Then, this Thanksgiving, do the same for your family and friends.

This Thanksgiving, I’m particularly grateful for having my mother with us, for good health among those I love after a difficult medical year, and for the joy of family and friends.

What’s on your gratitude list?

A Thanksgiving Tradition

Guest Post by Don MacPherson

Give gratitude to others this ThanksgivingRecognize This! – The root of gratitude is noticing and appreciating how others help us achieve that for which we are grateful.

(Editor’s Note: In the spirit of recognition and gratitude, especially at this time of year, I wanted to “give the floor” to someone who shows us all – by example – what being truly thankful is all about. Bravo to you, Don MacPherson, President of Modern Survey. You set the bar high!)

If you’re reading this, you are successful. Very few unsuccessful people spend their time reading blogs about recognition, employee engagement, and performance. If you are like me, you might be a little surprised by your success. When I was younger, I knew I would have a good life, but I had no idea it would be as good, as interesting, as fulfilling as it is.

When I first began my career, I thought I would never be judged a success unless I was self-made. After a few years struggling, I realized that to become successful I would need the help of others. Since then, there have been many, many supporters.

You might be in a similar situation. There are a lot of people who have helped you along and guided you toward your success. It is how the world works unless you are incredibly talented and gifted.

This month Americans will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. It is my favorite day of the year. For most Americans, there will be football games on TV, conversations with family, and plenty of food.

I celebrate a bit differently. Thanksgiving is also my favorite day of the year to work. During the last 10 years, I’ve been spending Thanksgiving the same way. I wake before the sun and head directly for the gym. After the workout, I shower and leave for the office.

By 8:00 am, I start making phone calls. I call every single person I can think of who has helped me get to where I am today. I call all Modern Survey’s employees. I call the clients I have worked with during the last year. Modern Survey’s supporters and advocates get calls. My closest friends hear from me.

Then, I call my family. If history repeats itself, when I get Mom on the phone to thank her for being a wonderful, caring parent and for the sacrifices my parents made to make my childhood a safe and healthy time, she will cry just as much as I do.

It’s a humbling day. It’s an emotional day. It’s a day I look forward to. My success is predicated on the help and support of other people. I want to honor those people through the “Thanksgiving routine” I’ve established.

If you’re one of the very important people to get a call from me this Thanksgiving, thank you in advance. I hope you enjoy the message I leave you or the brief conversation we have. I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for me.

How do you express gratitude to others during the Thanksgiving season?

Don MacPherson is an employee performance expert with more than 17 years of industry experience. As President of the human capital measurement company, Modern Survey, Don oversees the organization’s consulting and employee measurement practices. Don’s areas of expertise include understanding employee and customer motivations, developing effective leadership, and creating processes for gathering employee feedback. Follow him on Twitter at @MacPherson_D or read his blog.

Globoforce Named Boston Globe Top Place to Work – Again!

Recognize This! – Regardless of nationality, a day of thanks is a gift. Thank you!

At this time of year, I know my American readers celebrate an important and wonderfully themed event – Thanksgiving.   The name of this event says it all, and it encourages us here on this side of the Atlantic (I’m Irish, based in Dublin, for new readers) to pause and think of everything we have to be thankful for.   Much has happened in the past 12 months, many good things, some challenging. But above all else we are here at this time, able to reflect upon it, and know that we are thankful to be here, with our wonderful colleagues and family, and just to say to each other “thank you.”

One thing I’m grateful for this year are the many official accolades our team has received for being a great place to work, including our most recent naming for the second year in a row to the Boston Globe’s Top Places to Work list. Top Places to Work identifies the most progressive companies in Massachusetts based on employees’ opinions about company leadership, compensation and training, diversity/inclusion, career development, family-friendly flexibility, as well as values and ethics. I extend many congratulations to my Boston-area colleagues and team members on this achievement.

Today I’d also like to say “thank you” for your thoughts and contributions that encourage me to make Recognize This! an informative and useful blog with every post.

What are you most grateful for? At work? At home?