Explore our library of in-depth culture guides to help you design and build a thriving workplace culture
The holiday season is upon us, and as company decision-makers and HR leaders, you might be asking yourself the yuletide question: what do our employees really want for the holidays?
While the old classics like company swag, free lunch and holiday cards may be tempting – your employees might not be as excited about traditional company gifts as you are. Let's be honest, nobody wants a partridge in a pear tree this year.
Let’s dive into the holiday gifts your employees really want, and how they can make the most impact to end the year on a high note.
Firstly, let’s talk about the gifts your employees don’t want. When it comes to holiday gifts for employees, it's essential to strike the right balance between thoughtful and practical. While the gesture is always appreciated, there are some gifts that are dated, thoughtless and don’t deliver the right message to your hard-working employees.
To truly make employees feel valued and appreciated, it's essential to consider their individual tastes and preferences, ensuring that the chosen gifts resonate with the spirit of the season and the unique contributions each team member brings to the table.
There's no better gift than the gift of time. Your employees work hard year-round, and what they crave most might just be a little extra time to relax, recharge, and revel in the holiday spirit. Consider offering extra paid time off during the holiday season.
While this time of year brings joy to many people, it can also be overwhelming and stressful for some. Offering time off can bring relief to those struggling with their overall mental health and well-being. Make sure to check in with your employees, offer support and encourage the right resources.
It’s also important to remember there are many different cultural and religious celebrations happening this time of year. Offer your employees the opportunity to take time off when they want to and not just around the most popular holidays in your region.
A recent survey revealed that 86% of employees feel gifts or rewards would make them feel appreciated during the holiday season. Why not give your employees the freedom to spend as they please on something they truly want or need?
Employee reward programs are initiatives that recognize and reward employees for their hard work and dedication. Organizations need to offer curated and customizable reward options to meet the demands of what all your employees truly value.
Kudos Rewards provides a rewards catalogue that can be customizable and personalized and offers a world-class suite of options with merchandise, events, travel, charities, gift cards and more.
If you’re unsure of handing out money or bonuses, you can always top up your employees’ rewards with extra points so they can select a gift of their choosing that’s meaningful to them.
While you’re planning out your holiday gifts, don’t forget about the power of a simple “thank you.” Employee recognition during the year-end and holiday season is of paramount importance as it serves as a powerful means to convey gratitude and celebrate the collective achievements of the past year.
Acknowledging your employees for their hard work and dedication reinforces their value to the organization and sets a harmonious tone for the year ahead. Encourage your leaders and managers to set an example and give well-deserved recognition to their teams.
If you need help crafting the perfect holiday message, here’s holiday message examples, to help spread holiday cheer to your employees.
Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your holiday gifts this year. Make sure you have budget set aside, you have all the necessary approvals, and no one is left out – everyone should be on the nice list!
If you’re still unsure about what to give your employees, don’t hesitate to ask them. There’s nothing wrong with sending around a survey to gather deeper insights into what your employees would prefer as a token of appreciation.
So, as you gear up for the holiday season, remember that the best gifts are the ones that show you truly understand your employees' desires.
The holiday season is a time of warmth, togetherness, and spreading joy. As a manager or leader, it's the perfect opportunity to recognize your hardworking team, celebrate a great year and extend well-wishes for the festive time ahead.
It’s important to remember that there are many cultural and religious celebrations happening this time of year. Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Rohatsu, Diwali, or simply the season itself, sending thoughtful holiday messages to your employees can foster a sense of belonging and inclusion. Here are some dates to keep in mind:
Let’s explore examples of holiday messages that can brighten your team's spirits during this special time of year.
As we reflect on the year gone by, I am struck by the extraordinary spirit that each one of you has demonstrated. Your resilience, commitment, and camaraderie have been the cornerstone of our success, making [Company Name] more than a workplace, but a true community.
This time of year reinforces the importance of connection, kindness, and the joy of giving back. Even as we pause to enjoy the holiday season with loved ones, let's carry these values into the coming year and beyond.
Looking ahead, 2024 promises new adventures, challenges, and triumphs. I am confident that with our shared energy and passion, there's no limit to what we can achieve together.
Wishing you a joyous, restful holiday season, and a vibrant New Year filled with hope and happiness.
As we approach the end of another prosperous year, I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your outstanding contributions and dedication to our organization. Your hard work and commitment have played a crucial role in our success, and I am truly grateful for the effort you've put into making this year a great one for all of us.
As we head into the holiday season, I encourage you to take a well-deserved break and spend quality time with your loved ones. It's a time to recharge, reflect on our achievements, and create cherished memories with those who matter most.
The coming year holds new opportunities and challenges, and I am confident that, with your continued dedication and hard work, we will achieve even greater success!
I wish you all a joyous and restful holiday!
What a year it's been!
The holiday season is upon us, and as we gear up to bid farewell to another remarkable year, it's the perfect time to spread some festive cheer and express our heartfelt gratitude for your fantastic contributions.
We've navigated through ups, downs, and unexpected plot twists, and through it all, your dedication and enthusiasm have shone bright.
While you deck the halls and enjoy your holiday feasts, I hope you find time to relax, unwind, and create unforgettable memories with loved ones. Here's to laughter, joy, and all the good vibes as we welcome a brand-new year!
Thank you for being an integral part of our amazing team. Let's recharge our enthusiasm batteries and tackle new adventures together in the year ahead.
As the year draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for your exceptional contributions to our team and organization throughout the year.
2023 has been a year filled with challenges and triumphs, and your dedication, hard work, and commitment have been the driving force behind our success. It is a time to reflect on our achievements, celebrate the joys of the season, and look forward to the opportunities that the new year will bring.
On behalf of the entire [Company Name] family, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season filled with warmth, happiness, and good health.
Thank you once again for your dedication and hard work. I am incredibly proud to have you all as part of our team, and here’s to a prosperous 2024!
As we approach the end of 2023, it's a perfect time to reflect on the past year's achievements. I want to extend my warmest wishes to each and every one of you. May your hearts be filled with joy, peace, and togetherness during this time of year.
Season's Greetings to you and your families. Thank you for your hard work and dedication!
I want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation for all your exceptional performances this past year – your commitment to our shared goals and values is truly commendable.
Whether it was meeting tight deadlines, going the extra mile to assist colleagues, or consistently delivering top-notch results, your efforts have not gone unnoticed. Our success this past year is because of all of you, and I am truly grateful.
As we reflect on 2023, I hope you all take some well-deserved time to rest, relax, and enjoy the company of your loved ones – you all deserve it! May your holiday season be filled with warmth, love, and just the right amount of festive indulgence.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Dear [Company Name] Family,
As we wrap up another successful year, I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for your dedication and hard work. May this Christmas bring you joy, love, and well-deserved rest. Enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones, and may the new year ahead be filled with exciting opportunities.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Spreading holiday cheer in the workplace is not only a kind gesture but also a great way to foster a sense of unity and appreciation among your team. Encouraging all your team members to send recognition will give that extra boost of motivation before the year ends.
Remember, it's not just about the specific holiday but the sentiment behind your message that matters. Recognition is appreciated any time of the year and is the true gift that keeps on giving.
Recognition plays a pivotal role in many areas of an organization. Retaining talent, boosting productivity and engagement, and driving performance are just a few of the many powerful benefits.
Employee recognition continually comes up as a key solution for many challenges organizations are faced with today. We don’t need to prove this, it’s a fact – employee recognition helps drive organizational performance and improves business outcomes.
Let's explore 10 undeniable facts about employee recognition.
To gain a competitive advantage, organizations must comprehend the impact of building a culture of recognition, and the impact that has on the overall employee experience. In a recognition culture, employees are aware their contributions are genuinely valued by their company.
A culture of recognition builds trust, security, and a heightened motivation to continue delivering exceptional work. Employee recognition enhances workplace culture, engaging and inspiring employees to perform at their best.
While the specifics of employee recognition may vary across industries, understanding how to strategically implement it and build a culture of recognition can have a profound impact on your business.
Since the rise of remote and hybrid work, many organizations have struggled to keep employees engaged and connected. Engaged employees are highly motivated and more productive because they know their organization values them and their needs are being met.
Employee recognition is continually noted as a top driver for employee engagement. According to Quantum Workplace, employees who are recognized are 2.7 times more likely to be highly engaged. A highly engaged workforce leads to higher productivity, better performance and improved business outcomes.
Stress is a major contributor to decreased productivity, motivation and overall well-being – nearly 1 in 5 workers have quit their jobs due to stress.
Recognizing and valuing employees' efforts plays a vital role in nurturing the overall well-being of your workforce. When team members are genuinely appreciated and praised for their hard work, it not only elevates their self-assurance but also alleviates stress. Including recognition in your culture strategies fosters an environment where employees are happier, healthier, and more productive.
Ensuring employees have a safe space to voice how they are feeling is vital. For example. Kudos' Sentiment Survey provides valuable insights about employee well-being in your workplace, allowing leaders to assess the overall employee sentiment in the moment and over time.
There are many reasons why someone chooses to leave their job – burnout, lack of growth opportunity, and lousy culture are just a few of many reasons. Turnover has a tremendous financial impact on an organization. It’s estimated that turnover costs 33% of an employee’s annual salary.
Employee recognition can help lower turnover and help address the pain points that are causing your best talent to leave. Regular recognition fosters a positive and supportive work environment, enhances employee satisfaction, and strengthens bonds among coworkers, leading to reduced turnover and a more engaged workforce.
In companies where an effective recognition system is in place, employees are five times more likely to feel connected to the company's culture and four times more likely to be engaged in their work.
Recognition should always flow freely, but when your message is truly meaningful, it will have the most impact. While a simple "thank you" is always appreciated, establishing a formal employee recognition program where meaningful recognition tied to your corporate values can easily flow throughout your organization will have the most impact.
Learn how to write a meaningful recognition message in our Recognition Your Team Will Love Culture Guide.
Employee rewards create an environment that fosters short-term motivation, loyalty, productivity, and, ultimately, business success. They can be a powerful motivation tool – rewards can be tied to goals and milestones, and encourage employees to reach new heights. However, for employee rewards to be impactful in today’s workforce, they must be personalized and paired with recognition.
The key to an effective employee rewards program that can elevate recognition, is providing flexible reward options that satisfy everyone’s preferences. Personalized rewards that align with employees' needs and values will have a greater, transformative impact on your culture.
Most employees either don’t understand their company’s core values, or don’t know them at all. An employee recognition platform that reinforces your core values, like Kudos, ensures your values are being demonstrated throughout all levels of your organization.
Employee recognition serves as a powerful reminder to organizations that everyone plays an integral role in upholding and embodying the company's core values. Through effective recognition, employees grasp the significance of their achievements within the broader context of the organization's mission. Even during times of change, employees feel secure and content, knowing that their contributions are appreciated and impactful.
Learn how Oliver+, a Kudos client since 2021, has transformed their company culture by ensuring its values are being demonstrated at all levels of the organization.
Abraham Maslow theorized in the hierarchy of needs that for human beings to be motivated to make decisions, they must feel appreciated. Appreciation is included in many levels of Maslow’s pyramid – it can be found in the need for love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization.
Employee recognition fulfills people’s need for appreciation. Being recognized for contributions helps employees understand the value they bring and that their work has a purpose. Without recognition, employees can feel undervalued and unmotivated, and can start to resent the organization they work for.
Employee recognition directly impacts motivation – when employees are recognized, they feel more motivated to do great work. It affects drive, productivity, wellbeing and the overall performance of the organization.
When employees witness recognition being given to their colleagues, it also serves as a powerful motivator to engage in more recognition themselves. When we receive recognition, it activates the reward center of our brains and automatically produces motivational thought patterns. By making recognition a workplace habit, employees feel more motivated to contribute value to their organization.
Recognition is a powerful motivator – here are 25 inspirational quotes to help motivate your team.
When employees feel valued and appreciated, their motivation to perform at their best soars. For those employees who directly interact with customers, this translates into providing exceptional experiences that clients cherish and remember. One study confirmed that companies boasting at least 50% employee engagement retain over 80% of their customer base. This exemplifies the profound impact of employee recognition.
Renowned author and speaker Simon Sinek once said, "There's no CEO on the planet who's responsible for the customer. They're just not. They're responsible for the people who are responsible for the customer." To ensure your customers remain satisfied, prioritize the happiness of your employees by recognizing their contributions.
Employees seek workplaces that unlock their full potential, invest in their growth, acknowledge their achievements, and cultivate a positive workplace environment. With continuous HR challenges and shifting employee expectations happening worldwide, employee recognition is a beacon of hope for businesses seeking to thrive.
When meaningful recognition becomes an integral part of your company's culture, you gain a competitive advantage and set the standard for what truly makes a workplace exceptional.
Your employees are your most valuable asset. Kudos is here to be your technology partner in creating an exceptional culture where employee recognition is the foundation of a highly engaged and thriving workplace.
Rebecca Pound stands out as a trailblazer in Human Resources, with an illustrious career marked by her unwavering commitment to fostering positive workplace cultures. Her journey, which began at Mount Royal University, has led her through roles at impressive organizations like ATB Financial, FortisAlberta and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo). Rebecca’s unique approach to HR is highlighted by her emphasis on using data-driven decision-making, delivering action-focused training, and coaching with genuine empathy.
At ATB, Rebecca identified trends within employee sick leave data that was the catalyst in overhauling the organization’s mental health strategy. At FortisAlberta, she was the force behind the company’s first Diversity & Inclusion Committee, championing the origin and success of five employee resource groups. Her recent transition to the role of Manager, Employee Experience at AIMCo signifies her continued dedication to enhancing employee experiences and leveraging her skills in cultivating organizational belonging.
In our recent sit-down with Rebecca, she delved deep into her HR journey, sharing insights from her vast experience, the challenges she’s navigated, and her vision for the future of HR.
Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Like many of my colleagues, I fell into HR. I went into university majoring in business. But it was HR that truly resonated with me. I had one fantastic professor in particular – the impact she had on me is unforgettable. She believed I had a natural mind for HR and shared that she always looked forward to reviewing my work. Her encouragement and feedback were instrumental in building my passion for the field and ultimately changing my major to HR.
The TSN turning point, if you will, of going from university to hands-on reality was realizing that HR is a much more data-driven field than I was anticipating. Unfortunately, the stuff we worked on in school focused on policy creation. We didn’t really focus on how to tie those initiatives back to core business functions.
As a young HR Coordinator out of university, watching my director present extremely data-informed proposals was eye-opening, and I’m so grateful I had that lesson early on in my career. The lightbulb clicked – what makes you a strong HR professional is having data insights and approaching your work strategically with a mix of analytics and intuition.
Call me when you’ve figured it out! It’s something that you always have to manage. But one thing that helps me is Franklin Covey’s concept of big rocks vs. the gravel. Make sure you’re scheduling time to move those boulders forward versus sorting gravel and tinkering with those more minor tasks. If I notice I’m getting too caught up in that “gravel work,” I schedule time for the big rocks.
There’s a difference between an organization that walks the talk and an organization that does mental health programing as a checkbox activity. Meaning, having an Employee Family Assistance provider, and posting an article during Mental Health Week are bare-minimum table stakes. Employees can see through recycled lunch and learns and pamphlets.
Organizations that are taking serious steps in this space, however, are doing the work to dismantle or redesign historical policies and practices that contradict creating positive mental health environments.
The biggest bang for the organization’s buck here is ensuring your employees clearly understand the resources they have access to, and there are no barriers preventing them from accessing. The second step is working with leaders to express the critical role they play in supporting the mental wellness of their team. Their job is, first and foremost, to reduce stigma.
In my opinion, why leaders most commonly shy away from having mental health conversations at work is their perceived fear around needing to “solve” the problem for the individual. Managers are not expected to have the capacity or skills to counsel employees – that’s not their job! What organizations need to do is upskill their people leaders in how to notice signs of declining mental health, how to confidently approach that individual, and guide them to the mental health resources available.
TL;DR answer: Organizations who are doing workplace mental health well have an elevated level of leadership maturity, and HR policies and practices that are reflective of a humanized approach.
Through my research and previous partnership with Kudos, I’ve learned that what people really want at work is to be seen and noticed for positive output and outcomes. Beyond a fair salary, recognition is one of the most critical factors for an employee. A platform like Kudos is vital to any organization because it provides an avenue to share gratitude across geographies – and gratitude is a powerful stepping stone in cultivating organizational belonging.
One thing keeping me up at night is the average person’s capacity to absorb and apply new information today, given their job demands and external distractions. In my role, I’m creating programs and running initiatives to educate, inform and empower the people in my organization when it comes to mental health, wellness, employee experience, and more; I want to ensure my work is always seen as enrichment (because it is) and not just another to-do.
One thing I’m exploring is a new concept around organizations evolving from enforcing policies to following principles. I.e., if your organization is mature and ready for it, have north-star principles around how you do business vs. static rules. This allows some grey area and especially rehumanizes the HR approach. One-size-fits-all human resources policies don’t work when you’re striving to build inclusive workplaces.
Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing your insights and experiences with us!
Know an outstanding HR Leader you think we should feature?
Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
The open enrollment season is a pivotal juncture for both employees and organizations every year, presenting a unique chance to choose benefits tailored to individual needs.
In this article, we’ll explore how blending recognition platforms, like Kudos, into this process can not only amplify engagement but also transform the open enrollment experience into a more meaningful and productive venture. Let’s dive in!
Recognition platforms play a pivotal role in strengthening the bonds between colleagues, fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and acknowledged. Recognition platforms help create a community of engaged employees, where people feel secure, acknowledged, and know their voices matter.
There are many definitions of employee engagement out there, but Gallup’s simple definition resonates well: employee engagement is the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.
Involvement and enthusiasm are critical to an effective and efficient open enrollment period. By fostering an atmosphere of open communication and genuine recognition, employees feel empowered to voice their needs and preferences. After all, when employees are engaged, they bring their authentic selves to work and are forthright about their needs. This cultivates an environment of transparency and honesty, essential for selecting the best benefit policies.
In Kudos, you can tailor values-aligned qualities to inspire your team. With each recognition message, users can tag qualities that best describe the intention behind a job well done. This not only celebrates the qualities behind outstanding performances but also offers insights into which qualities an individual embodies most and what they value in others.
With this personal data, employees are more informed about what they truly need from their benefits plan. Similarly, Kudos Administrators have access to aggregated organizational data on values, qualities and overall employee sentiment, potentially highlighting collective benefits preferences.
Kudos Analytics gives users clear pathways to personal and professional improvement, and makes every step meaningful.
Awards and Achievement Badges in Kudos give employees something to strive for and a moment of pride to look back on. With a healthy level of competition, employees will work hard to champion the needs of their team.
If you want to give your team extra support during the open enrollment period, make the experience more interactive. By gamifying the open enrollment process, employees become more invested, ensuring collective participation and thorough scrutiny of all options. When everyone participates, questions are answered faster, and concerns are addressed more thoughtfully. In other words, no stones are left unturned when the whole community is actively involved, keeping a watchful eye.
Here are some ideas for campaigns to amplify engagement during the open enrolment period using Kudos:
Remember, the key is to align these initiatives with your organizational values and the unique needs of your employees.
In a culture of recognition, employees have each other’s backs and want everyone to succeed. In a recognition platform, announcements are easy to make and hard to miss. During the open enrollment period, nobody should be left behind or unnotified about benefits options that might be a perfect fit.
In Kudos, users can make Announcements company-wide for everyone to interact with. It may sound simple, but the first step to a positive enrollment experience is to start a conversation and keep it open.
You can also create a Space in Kudos to house all of the different benefits options to ensure visibility and understanding. Spaces are intuitive and easy – you can have a webpage up in minutes to the delight of your entire team!
In toxic workplaces, people keep their heads down. Asking simple questions can feel intimidating, and employees are told they’re asking for too much.
With a recognition-rich environment powered by Kudos, employees feel seen, valued, and heard and come to work with their heads held high. They feel comfortable advocating for their needs, knowing it’s OK and often even celebrated.
During the open enrollment period, when employees are expected to lock into a plan, it’s important for them to feel valued and uplifted. In Kudos, employees are reminded every day of their unique value. They’re flooded with positivity from their peers. A positive psychological environment at work is the first rung on the ladder to a positive enrollment experience.
Try breaking down traditions that keep people in the shadows.
Introducing a recognition platform feels like moving the chairs around in a classroom and sitting everyone in a circle. It allows people to speak for themselves, rather than sit patiently in the back listening to someone speak for them.
Not to mention, recognition platforms breed more inclusive environments, where suggested additions to benefits plans are taken seriously.
The open enrollment period, while essential, can often feel daunting for many. By integrating a recognition platform like Kudos, organizations can transform this process into an engaging, insightful, and empowering experience. As HR leaders, leveraging these tools not only simplifies the enrollment process but also strengthens the organizational fabric, ensuring employees feel valued, heard, and confident in their choices.
Remember, when employees are engaged and empowered, they’re better equipped to make decisions that resonate with their needs, ensuring a happier and more productive workforce. Choose recognition, choose empowerment, choose Kudos.
Today’s studies show that more than half of today’s employees are disengaged.
It’s no surprise then, that many organizations are continuously striving to engage their workforce effectively. Because fostering engagement is a continuous effort for employers and leaders, one proven strategy that has gained prominence in recent years is the implementation of an employee recognition loop. This strategy not only fosters a culture of appreciation but also fuels a recognition flywheel that can significantly enhance employee engagement and performance.
The flywheel effect occurs when small wins accumulate over time, creating momentum that keeps your recognition strategy flowing organically.
In this article, we’ll explore how organizations can implement a recognition loop strategy and the three key ways in which it creates a powerful recognition flywheel.
The recognition loop is a cyclical process that encourages employees to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of their peers and managers. This process involves three critical steps that work in tandem to create a positive feedback loop within your organization:
1. Encouraging Peer and Manager Recognition:
The first step in implementing a recognition loop is to encourage and incentivize both managers and employees to recognize each other's efforts. This can be achieved through various means, such as introducing a formal recognition program, creating an easily accessible platform for recognition, or providing rewards for exceptional recognition efforts. When employees and managers are motivated to appreciate their colleagues' contributions, it sets the foundation for a culture of recognition.
2. Showcasing Top Examples of Recognition:
Leaders play a pivotal role in keeping the recognition loop vibrant. To ensure that recognition efforts are visible and valued, leaders should take action by showcasing the top examples of recognition given within the organization each week. This can be done through company-wide communications, meetings, or a dedicated recognition platform. By highlighting specific instances of exceptional recognition, leaders not only acknowledge and appreciate employees but also set a standard for what constitutes meaningful recognition. Tip: if you have standing companywide meetings or townhalls, that’s a great opportunity to “recognize the recognizers.”
3. Motivating More Recognition:
When managers and employees witness the recognition given to their colleagues, it serves as a powerful motivator to engage in more recognition themselves. Seeing their peers and leaders appreciating one another's contributions creates a sense of inspiration and healthy competition. Employees are more likely to emulate these behaviors, leading to a culture of continuous appreciation and recognition. A formal employee recognition platform like Kudos, has a feed that makes the recognition visible and accessible to everyone.
Now that we understand how to foster a recognition loop, let's delve into how it creates a recognition flywheel, propelling the organization towards increased employee engagement, reduced turnover, and improved performance:
1. Reinforcing a Culture of Appreciation:
As more managers and employees engage in recognition, a culture of appreciation takes root within the organization. Employees begin to feel valued and appreciated for their efforts, which fosters a sense of belonging and motivation. When individuals know that their hard work is acknowledged and celebrated, they are more likely to be committed and engaged with their roles.
2. Boosting Employee Morale and Well-being:
Regular recognition has a direct impact on employee morale and well-being. When employees receive praise and acknowledgment for their contributions, it boosts their confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, it reduces stress and enhances job satisfaction. As a result, employees are more likely to be happier, healthier, and more productive, leading to improved overall organizational performance.
3. Driving Continuous Improvement:
The recognition loop's cyclical nature ensures that the organization continually strives for excellence. By showcasing top examples of recognition, leaders set a benchmark for what constitutes exceptional performance. This not only motivates employees to reach for greater heights but also encourages continuous improvement and innovation. Over time, this drive for excellence becomes ingrained in the organizational culture.
Implementing a recognition loop strategy within an organization is a powerful way to engage the workforce and create a recognition flywheel that drives continuous improvement and employee satisfaction. By encouraging peer and manager recognition, showcasing top examples of recognition, and motivating more recognition efforts, organizations can foster a culture of appreciation that leads to enhanced employee engagement and better overall performance.
In today's competitive business landscape, a recognition loop can be a game-changer in retaining top talent and achieving long-term success.
With a suite of innovative features and a dedicated support team, Kudos offers the ideal solution for implementing a successful recognition program and harnessing the power of the recognition flywheel.
Implementing a recognition program can be a complex endeavor, but the Kudos team is there to guide organizations every step of the way. The Kudos team assists organizations in designing and customizing recognition programs that align with their culture and goals. Kudos offers comprehensive training and onboarding for employees and managers. This ensures that everyone is well-equipped to use the app effectively and maximize its benefits. The support doesn't end after implementation. Kudos' customer support team is readily available to address any questions or concerns, making sure that the recognition program remains a success.
To thrive in today's fast-evolving business world, ignite the power of the recognition flywheel, and watch as it transforms employee engagement, drives continuous improvement, and positions your organization at the forefront of success. Harness that momentum – with Kudos, the journey is just the beginning.
When it comes to today's recognition and rewards (R&R) vendor landscape, there are a few dark corners that demand our attention. We did some detective work to uncover the secrets behind the scenes for you. Join us as we reveal 8 sneaky signs that your rewards and recognition partner could be quietly taking more from your budget than you realize, and discover how to navigate this complex world with clarity.
Many of the most prominent R&R vendors started as companies that sold awards such as plaques, rings, and the proverbial gold watch. Today, while most of these vendors have migrated to offering a software solution, their business models are still based on selling rewards.
Because of this, many vendors design their software to maximize the redemption of rewards versus encouraging meaningful recognition and building employee engagement. As a result, system usage may look good because employees want to redeem their points, but the actual impact on your workplace culture remains questionable.
We've designed the Kudos platform to maximize meaningful recognition and everything from how recognition looks on your Kudos wall, to the way that users are nudged to take action reflects these choices.
One common reason why businesses switch to Kudos is that our platform has built-in, automatic controls to prevent users from gaming the system. When users game the system, they may attempt to cheat by sending all of their rewards points to one person in exchange for the same. This is a costly problem for many businesses, and one that many R&R vendors avoid fixing because they earn big bucks on all the rewards redeemed.
For clients that use rewards, Kudos includes a safeguard which we affectionately call the "too much love rule." This safeguard prevents users from abusing the system - if a user has sent more than a certain number of recognition with points to another user, any further recognition sent will be sent without points.
Usage-based pricing sounds excellent in theory, however in the R&R industry, this typically looks like the vendor taking a higher fee on rewards and reward redemptions. In most cases, if you do the math on usage-based pricing, it will only save you money if your organization has extremely low usage. If your organization has average or above average usage, you could end up spending thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars more than you would for a flat, price-per-user pricing model. Not to mention, you don’t want any deterrents to participation.
At Kudos, we offer flexibility around how we price our product based on our clients’ needs – but our most popular pricing model is flat monthly, per-user pricing.
Some vendors limit your oversight into things like rewards redemptions, opting instead to only provide generalized company-wide summaries. Naturally, this limits your ability to identify areas where rewards redemptions might indicate a problem, or to gain insight into things that require addressing.
Here at Kudos, since our business model is not designed to maximize your spend on rewards, we have nothing to hide when it comes to your analytics and reporting.
Some vendors allow employees to choose how many points to send with a recognition message. This can cause recognition messages in an organization to be sent with inflated numbers of points, costing your organization a lot of money over the long term.
A well-known multi-national business recently shared a story with us about how they struggled with employees sending minor recognition to dozens of their team members with $50 worth of points to each person which caused them massive budget headaches.
In Kudos, recognition messages are calibrated with pre-defined points amounts at four different levels of recognition (Thank You, Good Job, Impressive, and Exceptional). This model ensures that employees send the right amount of points for the type of recognition sent.
While you may be looking for an R&R partner that offers rewards, it’s always a good idea to find out if your partner will require you to use rewards, or if rewards are optional. If rewards are a mandatory part of their program, then the items listed above should be on your radar.
Kudos is one of the few R&R vendors that does not require clients to make use of rewards. Rewards are popular and they can support and effective recognition program, but they aren't for every business.
Unfortunately, the R&R industry has many players that will offer attractive, extremely low monthly costs in an attempt to secure you as a customer. Don’t be fooled; these vendors are going to make their money somehow, and offering you a low per-user price is often a signal that a vendor will make more money off of your organization through things like rewards redemptions, required add-ons, charging fees for support or software upgrades, etc. Beyond that, be wary of steep renewals. Implementing R&R software takes time and requires change management – you don’t want to face switching vendors due to higher fees at renewal and have to restart the process.
Kudos clients enjoy straightforward and transparent pricing. For a low monthly per user flat rate, our clients always have access to the latest platform updates along with user and admin support.
Some vendors may require you to purchase excessively large quantities of points up-front – in some cases, millions of dollars worth of points. These points are then used as rewards are redeemed in the years ahead. This approach is often a signal that your vendor makes their money by selling you rewards and committing you to a minimum reward spend.
This approach locks your organization in for the long term, making it very hard for you to switch to another vendor. If you do decide to switch to a new R&R vendor, your old vendor will simply keep the remaining points balance.
Kudos provides its clients with a high degree of flexibility around funding rewards programs. Whether you want to purchase a smaller amount of points upfront, or buy years worth of points up front, that decision is yours to make.
Watch out for vendors that charge for things like support calls, software version upgrades, or even maintaining your R&R software on a monthly basis. Most vendors enable clients to use the most up-to-date version of their apps without any additional charges and offer support as part of the subscription, but not all do – so be sure to ask the questions to know what you’re getting into.
Partnering with Kudos means no hidden costs.
As we wrap up this journey through the world of recognition and rewards, one thing is clear: being informed is essential. The subtle details we've uncovered show just how important it is to make careful choices when picking a rewards and recognition partner. The balance between rewards and true appreciation can shape your workplace in meaningful ways. With this newfound knowledge, you're ready to create genuine, impactful employee recognition that truly makes a difference. Remember, behind every recognition message lies a chance to inspire, motivate, and uplift, and it's up to you to make the most of that opportunity.
So, you know a recognition & rewards (R&R) platform is right for your organization, but you need executive buy-in and backing to access budget and move the project forward? We're here to help.
Building a robust business case for R&R requires a strategic approach, intertwining innovation with financial foresight. These seven hacks serve as the foundation, enabling you to navigate challenges, quantify impact, and create a compelling narrative that resonates with the stakeholders who matter most.
When you’re putting together your internal pitch for an R&R solution, think about how the world has changed and how this impacts your organization. Is it harder for you to find talent these days due to competition? Are you seeing higher turnover and more Gen Z employees in your workforce?
There are always massive changes happening in the world, and your job is to help your company succeed by taking advantage of these changes. Position your proposal as a way to do this.
When you propose your R&R program, you will likely have at least one person ask about the return on investment (ROI) of implementing such a program. In many cases, this person might even be a leader from the Finance team, such as your CFO or a Controller. In our experience, questions from Finance about ROI can cause delays in moving a project forward.
You can get ahead of this by involving Finance early as you build your business case. By involving Finance, you achieve two things:
Pro Tip: You need to quantify your ROI. Check out our resources on calculating the ROI of R&R for easy ways to do this.
This tactic will increase your success rate significantly. Once you have established a robust draft of your proposal, select one or more people who will be at the table when you are presenting your proposal and ask them to review and provide feedback on your proposal. Ideally, the person(s) that you loop in will be either a decision maker or a very high-level influencer within your organization.
Doing this will provide you with valuable information that will help you avoid any pitfalls in your proposal, and it will have the added effect of giving you additional supportive voices in the room when you make your formal proposal.
We tend to think about budgets for contracts in annual terms, but if you’re looking to bring on an R&R solution in the middle of your fiscal year, keep in mind the actual budget you’re asking for in the current year is half of the annual fee. Presenting it this way can make the expense more palatable to the Finance team – by breaking down the cost based on how many months are left in your fiscal year. This reduces the perceived risk of the expense in the first year of your agreement by spreading the cost across two fiscal years instead of one.
If your organization has unspent budget in the second half of the fiscal year, make sure to mention it in your pitch. Knowing this can help alleviate concerns that your Finance team might have about spending on a new R&R program that was outside the original budget for the year. Tie this in with a strong ROI model and budgeting according to your fiscal year (see above) and you have a very strong case for Finance to approve this initiative! Hint: If you hit a roadblock here, make sure to include the required budget in your next fiscal year to ensure a “Yes!”
This hack is heavily tied to telling a compelling story. By now, you know that you need to tell a compelling story about how the world has changed, and you know how to tell the story about how your R&R program will help your business navigate these changes – but what will happen if your organization doesn’t act now? Will it become less competitive over time? Will costs increase? Will your competitors overtake you in some way? Call out these risks early in your pitch to prime the audience for the rest of your proposal.
If your organization is using any tools that can be replaced by your proposed R&R solution, or if you have any manual processes that will be streamlined/automated using Kudos, be sure to quantify these cost savings at the end of your proposal. This is the cherry on top and a great way to wrap up your proposal as an additional value add.
Examples of software that you might be able to replace are pulse surveys, company internal image hosting, and employee gifting tools. Processes that you can automate or eliminate are manual awards for birthdays and/or work anniversaries, rewards management, etc.
Our world has changed. Now is the time to craft a persuasive business case for Recognition and Rewards. It's the best strategic move for your people, your company, and your career.
You can present an irrefutable proposal by harnessing the power of a captivating story, collaborating closely with Finance, enlisting influential champions, and weaving together fiscal prudence and long-term vision. As organizations strive to remain agile, relevant, and competitive, your skillful mastery of these seven hacks promises not just approval, but admiration for your ability to transform intention into impactful action.
Step aside Millennials and Gen Z – there's a new generation entering the workforce.
Meet Gen Alpha, the generation after Gen Z that is expected to shake up the working world in a big way.
Defined by the digital world, this tech-savvy generation is very familiar with smartphones, AI technology and social media. They will soon begin to trickle into the workforce, and it's time for employers and colleagues to take notice of this fascinating generation and prepare for the unique dynamics they bring to the workplace.
The children of millennials, Gen Alpha is anyone born between 2010 and 2025. Millennials make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, and experts are paying attention to their children, how they’re being raised, and what this generation will value when they start their career journeys.
Millennials are generally very caring and supportive parents, which means their children will most likely seek that out later in life. This means mental health, work-life balance and financial security will be crucial to Gen Alpha. In a recent study, 75% of 8–10-year-olds are already thinking about their mental health.
“Gen Z had a profound impact on how brands approached their consumer experiences, but companies need to brace themselves even more for the changes Gen Alpha will infuse,” says Dani Mariano, President at Razorfish.
This generation is rewriting the rules of engagement. While Millennials and Gen Z experienced the tech revolution, for Gen Alpha, technology has been seamlessly integrated into their worlds from the beginning – it's an extension of themselves. Many distinctions will undoubtedly influence their approach to work and collaboration.
Gen Alpha's relationship with technology is a whole new level of intimacy. While learning to tie their shoelaces, they’re also learning to master complex apps, code, and any digital device. McCrindle Research is calling this generation the “Great Screen Age”, due to their extreme savviness with navigating the fast-paced evolutions in tech. More colloquially, these are iPad kids.
Gen Alpha has the ability to juggle multiple screens, tasks, and conversations simultaneously. They’re able to learn faster, and their capacity for maintaining information is much greater than the generations before them.
Technology has allowed access to more information to Gen Alpha than any other generation before them. If they’re looking for a solution, they have Google at their fingertips to figure it out. This is also contributing to a new concept called kid-powered entrepreneurship - with technology readily available, they are learning how to problem solve, and be innovative and creative much earlier.
As HR leaders, understanding the core values of upcoming generations is essential for building a cohesive and thriving workforce. Being attuned to these values will be instrumental in creating an environment where Gen Alpha can thrive.
Download our free Recognizing Generational Diversity Culture Guide to learn more about the meaningful differences between generations, and what they each need to help you build a more vibrant company culture.
Gen Alpha's values reflect their upbringing in a digitally connected and diverse world:
Gen Alpha will not know social media without professional content creators – they are growing up in a world saturated with influencers and vloggers. Some may even have parents who are heavily present on social media. This may lead Gen Alpha to a more privatized social media life, and an increase in more personalized, one-on-one communication preferences like email or phone. This won’t take away from their talents in understanding the complexities with social media, but it will play a role in what they value when deciding on a career path.
Gen Alpha's worldview is naturally diverse and inclusive. Growing up in an era of increasing social awareness, they are more accepting of differences and strive for equality. Employers who celebrate and embrace diversity will be more attractive to this generation. Moreover, Gen Alpha's openness to new ideas makes them receptive to experimentation and change.
Say goodbye to the rigid boundaries between work and personal life. Gen Alpha's approach to work is all about integration. They are not confined to the traditional 9-to-5 schedule and are more likely to embrace flexible work arrangements that cater to their lifestyle preferences.
With fresh perspectives, boundless enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn – Gen Alpha will bring many unique skills to the workplace.
Gen Alpha will come with several expectations. though. With meaningful work in mind, they won’t be interested in an organization that is working towards a better culture – they will want an organization that has already established firm roots in their employee experience.
Experts are predicting that Gen Alpha will see remote-first work as very normal, and value more work-life balance and social issues. This means they will most likely seek organizations who have already established robust company culture and are placing extreme emphasis on their employee experience.
“When they talk about what their goals are and the kind of workplaces they want to be in, they want flexibility and are looking for more meaningful work.” - Abdaal Mazhar Shafi, Co-Founder of UpstartED.
Gen Alpha isn't just chasing paychecks; they want purpose. They're driven by a desire to make a difference in the world. It’s important that organizations align their company's values with meaningful causes to attract and retain their socially conscious spirits.
They will thrive in flexible work environments that adapt to their preferences. HR leaders will need to consider remote work options, flexible hours, and gig-based projects to keep them excited and productive.
Regular performance reviews won't suffice; they crave ongoing feedback. Implementing real-time feedback mechanisms to keep them motivated and on track will be crucial.
Gen Alpha is expected to value employee recognition, but the way they perceive and respond to recognition might differ from previous generations. Growing up in a digital and highly connected world, Gen Alpha is likely to have certain expectations when it comes to recognition in the workplace:
Employee recognition is here to stay and is growing more and more important. HR leaders and managers should be mindful of their recognition strategies and take note of Gen Alpha's preferences, emphasizing personalized and integrated approaches that align with their digital upbringing and individualistic mindset.
As Gen Alpha starts to make their mark in the professional world, embracing their technological prowess, collaborative spirit, and entrepreneurial mindset will be key to unlocking their full potential.
They may be small now, but their impact on the world will be mighty. By preparing for these next generations to enter the workforce, organizations can be ahead of the game with a future-ready workplace that is years ahead of its competition.
It’s easy to feel stuck in the office, whether remote or shared, looking out the window and envying everyone spending their summer outside. But, being in the office doesn’t have to mean you’re missing out on making other memories. It should be the opposite. So, we put together a handful of summer office activities and injected some personality into them.
It’s one thing to plan a group outing, but to make sure employees feel their summertime is well spent, add some small, personalized touches, and make it a true team-building experience. With that said, here are our ideas for a memory-filled summer at the office.
Zines, pronounced zeens, are beginner-friendly, handmade magazines or comics. But really, your zine can be whatever you make it. You could brainstorm a theme, or have each team member fill a page with a collage of their summer. Put everyone’s artwork together on one printable document and publish your zine to the whole company. To get started, search Google or Pinterest for downloadable templates, or create your own. Zines don’t have to be complicated; you can even make a mini zine with just one piece of printer paper.
Zines are a great way to share memories and create traditions. Every summer, your team can look forward to making the next edition or volume.
Picnics already make for a wholesome summer day, but throw in a blanket canvas and some fabric paint to really bring everyone together. Team members can paint one square each, quilt-style, or paint all over the blanket, abstract-style. Hold onto it for future team picnics, or hang it up in the office as a conversation piece.
If one blanket is too small for everyone’s illustrations, cover your lunch tables in some brown kraft paper and leave out a pack of rainbow crayons or markers. Who said coloring is just for kids?
Paint nights are great for bonding with your co-workers and decorating the office for the season. Not to mention, a great opportunity for creative team members to share their ideas. Hopefully, everyone leaves with a sense of pride for what they created, but even better, a sense of belonging. Teams can paint frames to fill with their own photos, or canvases to bring home.
Maybe bring a big blender to the office and sip on a batch of (virgin) frozen margaritas while you’re at it?
Terrariums bring a little more life to the office and showcase everyone’s imagination. Plus, they’re pretty low maintenance, so team members who aren’t plant lovers will have no issue keeping them alive. Terrariums are super customizable, but here are some supplies you might need:
You can bring terrarium kits to the office for people to make on their own time, or bring all the supplies in bulk and lead them through the experience.
People want to step away from the screen and be outside while the sun’s shining. These ideas don’t need too much pre or post-amble, rewarding your team with some healthy summer sun is a great way to make the most of the season.
Of course, pick a sport or activity you know your whole team would be excited for and that’s inclusive to everyone’s mobility. Lean toward options that give employees more time outdoors with their families. These are just a few ideas, low and high intensity, for a sporty summer:
Refresh with some lemonade or ice cream to round out the day. Don’t forget to take lots of photos along the way so you can reminisce once the cooler months hit.
We didn’t forget about your remote team members of course. There are endless options for online team building throughout the summer.
You could hold oracle card readings throughout the year, but in the summer, people might have more time to reflect on their readings during vacation. And if you love a theme, there are many oracle decks with nature and floral illustrations you can use to tie in the season.
In one team fortune-telling session, for example, the manager could pull a card for each team member and help them find the meaning behind it. Team members can ask their fortune teller questions like, “Am I on the right track with this idea?” or “Where should I get ideas for my next project?” Readings don’t set anything in stone, but they are a fun way to keep your team sharing ideas.
From finding the best summer recipe to snapping the coolest landscape, give your team the opportunity for some friendly competition. Though these ideas make online participation easy, they’re also meant to give remote workers time away from the screen first. Here are just a few ideas for virtual contests that keep everyone engaged no matter where they’re working from:
And remember, Kudos can help you bring all these ideas to reality, with features such as Albums to hold all of your virtual contests and safe-keep your favourite summer memories. It’s now time to let the sun set on this article, but hopefully we gave you some ideas worth considering.
Denise Beaupré, a best-selling author and accomplished entrepreneur, has navigated the ever-changing landscape of business and leadership by staying true to her values, and building relationships.
From her early days in real estate, where she achieved recognition as one of the Top 100 Realtors in North America, to owning and operating a thriving car hauling business, Denise's journey has been marked by both triumphs and challenges.
Her accomplishments have garnered attention from esteemed publications like MacLean's Magazine and The Globe and Mail, highlighting her car hauling business as one of Canada's fastest-growing companies, reaching a 5-year revenue growth of 283% between 2015-2020.
With a passion for personal development and a commitment to fostering creativity and innovation within her teams, Denise has discovered the power of effective leadership and the importance of investing in people. Her most recent endeavor? A coaching and leadership consulting practice to share her wisdom and philosophy with leaders in business.
In this insightful interview, we delve into Denise's unique perspective on HR, leadership, and the evolving nature of work in today's rapidly changing world.
Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. My career began in real estate, where I was constantly exposed to motivational speakers, conventions, and training programs. Those learning opportunities helped me face my fears, step out of my comfort zone, and achieve remarkable success. I became one of the top 100 Realtors in North America, selling over $100 million worth of residential properties in a real estate market where the average house was $175,000. Interestingly, when I retired from real estate and entered the trucking industry, I realized I really missed the training and mentorship I had in real estate. This realization led me to seek out renowned speaker and mentor Bob Proctor – who I’m proud to have called a friend.
Joining Bob Proctor's mentorship program elevated my leadership skills and introduced me to a different perspective. Instead of focusing on competition, I learned the importance of collaboration and creativity—the abundance mindset. I immediately implemented these principles in my trucking organization, exposing my staff to personal development and encouraging them to think creatively. The results were astounding, with our team securing multimillion-dollar contracts and experiencing tremendous growth. It became evident that understanding and valuing each team member's story, beliefs, and aspirations creates a strong foundation for effective leadership. To me, the key is leading by example – leaders should never stop learning, taking chances, and being creative.
The issue I faced in my trucking business was that I had two types of workers, field workers and office workers. The workers didn’t understand each other’s responsibilities, there was a lack of respect, and I realized this was partly due to a lack of a shared communication channel. Kudos helped connect everyone.
I had employees who were going above and beyond, and they deserved to be recognized.
To me, one of the most prevalent causes of unhappiness at work is when employees put in that extra effort and aren’t recognized for it. That can turn into resentment – the fact that nobody sees what they’re doing.
Kudos was also a channel for recognition. It’s not always about the money. Sometimes it’s just a matter of recognizing, acknowledging, and thanking employees publicly in front of their peers.
What we saw was incredible respect, something I had never witnessed before. Drivers were thanking office workers, being incredibly polite on the phone. Office workers were supporting drivers. I was even seeing drivers show more kindness toward each other. I got messages from customers (big manufacturers) who had noticed too. Things like, “I was at the plant this week and saw two of your drivers helping each other; I never see that.” It was terrific for the team to not only feel great receiving recognition, but also sending it. Recognizing everybody’s acts of kindness and achievements made them want to do more.
Fear is not a conducive mindset for success, and it is essential for leaders to help their teams overcome fear and operate from a place of strength.
The pandemic brought financial difficulties, both personally and professionally. It disrupted the business landscape, especially trucking, and caused drastic changes and uncertainty. Unfortunately, due to the associated costs, I had to cut back on mentoring then. Regrettably, this decision hindered my progress and reminded me of the detrimental effects of fear. When I reflect on the choices I made during that time, I realize that continuing with mentorship might have yielded different outcomes. Fear is not a conducive mindset for success, and it is essential for leaders to help their teams overcome fear and operate from a place of strength.
The current difficulties in finding suitable talent indicate a larger shift in the job market. Many traditional roles are becoming obsolete, replaced by emerging positions driven by automation and artificial intelligence. As organizations struggle to identify the right candidates, employees are unsure of where they fit in this evolving landscape. Rather than eliminating existing staff due to mismatched job titles, I believe in investing in their development, identifying their strengths, and providing training opportunities. By understanding and nurturing their talents, individuals can thrive and contribute to the organization in meaningful ways.
The flip side is that while I believe we can all be leaders, a lot of people are put in leadership positions with no training, no guidance, and have no clue what it stands for, and therefore, teams are affected by it.
And then you have another issue where you have some leaders that are taking advantage of their titles and abusing their power, and we're seeing a lot of that as well. What we need are authentic leaders, who understand people and want to come to work with intent and make a difference in the world.
First – get a mentor. Second – set goals. Not necessarily individual goals, but team, or departmental goals. I find many companies, corporations, smaller businesses, etc., may have a mission or a vision of where they want to go, but they're not necessarily getting participation from their staff. Shared goals are a great way to make that happen.
Next would be to get to know your staff. It's much easier to lead others when you understand that everybody has a story. Their stories are all important. Our stories dictate our belief systems, our values, what makes us happy, what makes us tick. If you can understand where everyone on your team is coming from, you can help them grow and achieve their goals.
Thank you, Denise Beaupré, for sitting down with us and sharing your experience and knowledge!
Know an amazing HR Leader you think we should feature? Send us a note at email@example.com
A few years ago, Harvard Business Review met with a Fortune 500 company, and the word “culture” came up 27 times in 90 minutes. Culture is critical. A healthy culture is the cornerstone of any successful organization, which underlines the importance of building culture with intention.
Gratitude is a powerful tool that can foster a stronger, more positive culture in your organization. In today's ever-evolving corporate landscape, organizations across the globe are recognizing the immense value of fostering a culture rooted in gratitude, thanks, and recognition.
And it's no surprise why. As workplaces embrace the power of appreciation, they witness a multitude of benefits. Extensive research in positive psychology consistently reaffirms that gratitude lays the foundation for a more productive, positive, and engaged workforce. The shift towards a culture of gratitude is not just a trend but a strategic move that can revolutionize how organizations thrive in today’s world - and this starts with you!
A strong culture sets the workplace tone and influences every element of an organization’s success. It can help build the identity of a brand or business, and can directly influence a sense of purpose, mission, and belonging across employees. We know that strong culture motivates employees to do better work, but it also:
High-performance cultures focus on unearthing the potential and purpose of each individual and celebrates them as a contributor to a team. Gratitude is the perfect tool to ensure your organization can do exactly that.
Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for fostering a positive and thriving workplace. Gratitude creates a sense of appreciation, recognition, and value among employees. Gratitude and recognition helps them feel motivated to give their best in their roles . Gratitude also can help employees:
As HR leaders, it's critical to implement strategies that cultivate a culture of gratitude in your organization. So, how can you do this in your organization? Here are 10 ways you can use gratitude to build your culture.
Your employees are your greatest asset! Showing gratitude in the workplace is truly a win-win for both employees and the overall success of the organization. Use it to increase productivity and performance and ultimately create a culture that cannot be broken or replicated
Kudos is a recognition platform that allows you to share your gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work your employees do. Celebrate your team with:
The role of Human Resources (HR) has never been more vital – in fact, HR-related job postings have grown by 87% since 2020. HR professionals are the backbone of any organization, driving the growth and success of their company through their expertise in talent management, employee development, and strategic workforce planning.
"It's not just about being a people person - that’s only one part of the equation. For me, it's also about helping the business. I'm interested in solving business problems, and my worldview is that in order to solve them, you need to lean into the people side of things, because ultimately, business is done by people,” says Rebecca Lee, Director of People at Kudos.
Choosing a career in HR brings many possibilities – HR professionals empower individuals to reach their full potential, driving overall organizational success.
The concept of Human Resources Management (HRM) can be traced back to the early 20th century when organizations began recognizing the importance of employee welfare and productivity. In the early 1900s, personnel management emerged as a discipline focused on administrative tasks such as hiring, training, and payroll.
HRM gained prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, emphasizing a strategic approach to managing employees, aligning HR practices with organizational goals, and focusing on employee engagement. In recent decades, HRM has evolved into Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) and talent management, focusing on attracting, developing, and retaining top talent to achieve competitive advantage.
More recently, we’ve seen the integration of technology into HR processes, with the emergence of HR technology solutions, such as applicant tracking systems, performance management software, data analytics tools, and employee recognition and culture solutions like Kudos.
Among many other responsibilities, HR professionals are the champions of organizational culture. With their expertise, they create and nurture a positive work environment that embraces diversity, fosters inclusivity, and nurtures company culture.
HR professionals take on many responsibilities and are put at the forefront of building thriving workplaces that drive employee satisfaction, business growth, and much more.
HR professionals play a crucial role in shaping and nurturing a positive company culture. By fostering an inclusive, diverse, and engaging work environment, they cultivate a sense of belonging, which enhances employee morale and productivity.
“Culture is about aligning people's behaviour to what you want the organization to drive in terms of results and strategy,” says Charlotte Collett, VP of Human Resources at NorthRiver Midstream.
Recruiting and retaining top talent is a top priority for every organization. HR professionals are responsible for attracting skilled individuals who align with the company's goals and values. By implementing effective recruitment strategies and designing comprehensive employee benefits and retention programs, HR ensures the organization has a competitive edge.
HR professionals facilitate continuous learning and growth within the workforce. Through training and development programs, performance evaluations, and coaching initiatives, they help employees maximize their potential, boosting individual and organizational performance.
Staying on top of labor laws, regulations, and compliance requirements is crucial for businesses. HR professionals ensure that companies operate within legal boundaries, mitigating risks and safeguarding the rights of employees.
In the world of HR, not everyone aspires to become a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Many professionals develop a passion for specific HR disciplines and choose to specialize in areas such as:
If you're considering a more focused career path within HR, there are many exciting areas to explore:
HR Coordinators support various essential functions within the department. They assist with recruitment and onboarding processes, coordinating employee benefits and payroll administration, maintaining employee records and databases, and ensuring compliance with HR policies and regulations.
HR Generalists have a broad range of responsibilities across all aspects of HR. They handle recruitment, employee relations, training, performance management, and policy implementation. This versatile role provides a solid foundation for those starting their HR careers.
Recruitment or Talent Acquisition Specialists focus on attracting and hiring top talent. They utilize various sourcing strategies, conduct interviews, and evaluate candidates to identify the best fit for the organization. This role requires strong interpersonal skills and an ability to assess candidates effectively.
“First and foremost, you need to be extremely people-oriented. You need to be comfortable having conversations about anything with candidates and clients left, right and center. I think authenticity is also really important, “ says Niki Murphy, Canadian Talent Acquisition and Talent Advancement Lead at ABB.
These professionals design and implement training programs to enhance employee skills and knowledge. They assess training needs, develop curriculum, and deliver engaging learning experiences. A Training and Development Manager needs a strong grasp of learning principles and a knack for instructional design.
Compensation and Benefits Analysts are responsible for designing and managing employee compensation packages and benefits programs. They conduct market research, develop salary structures, and ensure the organization remains competitive in attracting and retaining talent.
As an HR Director or VP, you serve as the driving force behind the development and implementation of human resources strategies that align with the company's overall goals. They are usually responsible for the creation and execution of HR policies and procedures, ensuring compliance with labor laws and regulations while fostering a fair and inclusive work environment.
“My favorite thing is working with people and the interconnectivity between people and business. How, if you put people in the right positions, and give them the right tools, you can build an organization from nothing to something successful. It’s an amazing thing to see,” says John Odike, Vice President of Human Resources at Wesley Enhanced Living.
HR Business Partners align HR strategies with overall business objectives. They work closely with department heads, providing guidance on workforce planning, organizational development, and employee engagement. This role requires strong analytical skills and the ability to drive change effectively.
HRIS Specialists manage and optimize HR technology systems, such as human resources management software. They ensure data accuracy, streamline processes, and leverage technology to enhance HR operations, reporting, and analytics.
There’s no secret formula when mapping out a career – everyone's career paths are different and even with the same starting point, two people can end up in very different careers. The good news is the possibilities in an HR career are endless.
Career mapping can be a daunting task, but we’ve broken it down into five simple steps to help you map out your ideal career:
For more in-depth career mapping, use our downloadable career planning worksheet to help establish your career goals, reflect on where you’re currently at in your career, and helpful questions and conversation tips to discuss with your manager.
The importance of Human Resources in today's dynamic workplace cannot be overstated, and it is certainly not an area of business that is going away any time soon. HR professionals contribute significantly to creating a harmonious, engaged, and high-performing workforce. There are endless HR career paths – think about choosing a specialization that aligns with your interests and strengths, and what will make you feel successful in your journey.
Remember, whether you are an aspiring HR professional or an HR veteran seeking growth opportunities, investing in your HR skills, staying up to date with industry trends, and continuously expanding your knowledge will propel your career forward and make you an invaluable asset to any organization.
Samantha Bateman started Integria Consulting from the ground up. She wanted to re-imagine recruitment, her way. Now, she leads her business with a close to 20-year legacy of integrity, diversity, and transparency.
Bateman fell into recruitment, and it quickly became a passion. So much so that she returned to McGill University to study HR and eventually taught a recruitment class there. In 2021, Bateman’s company established the McGill University Integria Consulting Bursary to support young changemakers.
In our recent interview, we got to hear her perspective on HR, where it’s going and where it’s been, from the outside looking in.
Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity
I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody in recruitment who said, “I went to school because I really wanted to be a recruiter.” We all just kind of fall into it.
I think it’s an easy way to get into HR, from the talent acquisition side. It is a good way, yet I’ve kind of done the opposite.
I had taken on the role of office coordinator fresh out of university for an economic forecasting firm. We kept on hiring receptionists that didn’t want to stay; they would come in as receptionists but want to move into customer support. We always worked with recruitment agencies, and they were constantly replacing them, so I asked, “Why don’t we just hire somebody who’s been a career receptionist?” Monster had just come onto the scene, and it was revolutionary at the time. I pushed our firm to let me recruit through their platform in order to save on agency fees. Needless to say, it was a success.
And that’s how I moved into HR.
After 5 years, I transitioned to working in a recruitment agency. Unfortunately, my values didn’t align with that organization’s. My husband asked me at one point, “What’ll it take to get started on your own?”
That was 18 years ago. I’d like to say the rest is history, but it’s been a wild ride.
I think I’m just very curious about people and have enjoyed fitting them together.
Talent has always been our client. If we don’t provide a great candidate experience, then we haven’t adequately represented our corporate clients, and our candidates don’t feel valued.
That was one thing I’ve held onto [focusing on people.] A stark contrast with my experience at an agency that was very transactional. I couldn’t work in that environment, it never felt right to me. Especially after having worked at my previous firm which truly valued talent from entry to exit.
I would say there are a few that stand out, but definitely going out on my own when I did is one of them.
My husband was constantly working late hours, and I was working and rushing to tend to my three-year-old daughter night after night. I had no other option but to go through the grind that so many working parents do. It was day after day of sprinting to pick her up on time from daycare. At least twice she was the last one sitting on a bench by her locker waiting for me. I felt like I was failing motherhood, and I didn’t want that life for myself or my family anymore.
Making the decision to go out on my own was terrifying. But then, 6 months into starting Integria Consulting, I reached out to somebody at Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG). The HR Director there had gotten promoted and wanted to backfill his role. I had to make this one happen.
We met for breakfast and had an incredible first meeting. I felt like we really got to know each other, but when I left, I realized neither of us had said anything about recruitment. A couple of days later he reached out saying, “That was such a great conversation. It’s right in line with our values and our way of thinking. We’d love to work with you.” It took another 6 months for PBG to call me with a role to work on and they changed my life. Working with that company for about 5 years, and their leaders – Sian, Carm and Mary-Beth, they elevated my entire practice.
Then we fell into a recession. Everybody was making cuts. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it, but I saw a solution in LinkedIn.
It was 2008 and most people didn’t know what LinkedIn was. Nobody was hiring a recruiter, but I was going into companies and charging them $3000 for a 3-hour session on how to recruit with LinkedIn. That paid my bills.
When you see a wall, you have to get to the other side of it. So, I’m going to dig a hole under, go around, go through it — you just have to figure it out.
If someone doesn’t make it past the first month, it’s a recruitment issue. If they leave within the first three months, it's an onboarding issue. And if they leave within the first 6 months, it’s a manager issue.
A job description is like a resume, it’s just your marketing piece.
When we launch a search, we dig deep with our clients. We ask about short and long-term objectives in the role, growth opportunities, the good, the bad and the ugly of the position.
This helps guide our candidates no matter the role. The candidate experience is critically important from the first reach out. You need to have honest and down-to-earth conversations with candidates to really do right by them.
It’s not just about, ‘we’re nice to them and we care about them,’ it’s really about having their best interest at heart. If the role will side-track their career, we need to be able to say “I’d love to work with you, but this role may not be it. Let’s work through it together. It also means, sharing market data and salary guides – especially with traditionally marginalized community members who may not be aware that they are grossly underpaid. For new arrivals especially, we get them in touch with people doing the same work, advocate for what they deserve, and support them in what they’re asking for.
‘If you don’t have all the qualifications listed, please apply anyway.’ A statement like this in your job description really does have an impact.
I think the statistics tell us that men will apply if they’re only 30% qualified for a position, but women will only apply when they have 90%.
And I’m always very critical about this “lack of Canadian work experience,” idea that keeps job postings open for months on end. We have great talent that comes from other countries. They don’t always need to have knowledge of local laws or designations.
We’re getting a lot of candidates asking for representation too. They’re asking about the diversity at the top. We have those conversations, and we’ve stopped working with companies for discriminatory hiring practices.
We need to talk about managerial courage. When a new hire is disrupting the culture, you need to have the courage to change or reverse that.
Culture is so important, but it can be difficult to put your finger on it.
I see organizations where hiring managers are looking for different things, so each team has a different culture because of it. I see a lot of miscommunications about culture, but it’s hugely important when it comes to retention and engagement.
We need to talk about managerial courage. When a new hire is disrupting the culture, you need to have the courage to change or reverse that. First, you need to be clear on what you tolerate and what you don’t, and then you need the courage to hold everyone to that same standard.
Candidates are also talking about the culture they’re staying away from.
We see a pattern where candidates worked in one place for ten years, 5 years at the next, and then 3 years following that. Oftentimes, they’re looking for that first culture fit again and just haven’t been able to find it. They know deep down what kind of culture they’re chasing after, but they sometimes can’t put it into words. Often, it’s that continuous learning and development piece that had them staying for as long as they did.
There’s an expression that if someone doesn’t make it past the first month, it’s a recruitment issue. If they leave within the first three months, it's an onboarding issue. And if they leave within the first 6 months, it’s a manager issue. Retention of talent is very important to us, and we make sure to check in at these benchmarks.
We also look at how diverse our slate of talent is. With every role we’re thinking, “Is this group too homogenous? Are we looking in the right places? Are we connected to the right people?” Somebody said to me once, and I agree, that any employer who doesn’t have diversity on their teams has consciously decided not to. I agree.
In the end, we can measure success with a slew of KPIs but I would tell you, that when talent takes our call a year after placement when we check in, and they’re getting promoted or just still enjoying their role, and organization, then we know we’re doing the right things.
It’s a very challenging time right now, there are a lot of managers who were promoted well ahead of their curve without any support. Many haven’t been given any tools or training, so they’re failing.
The best companies have strong development plans for their team members, and we find it very challenging to pull anybody out of those organizations. Even if bigger opportunities fall on their lap, people will rather stay if you have a plan for them — talk about retention and engagement.
What’s also of concern is all the conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, because I don’t see the needle moving on that, to be honest. The easy, lazy approach is to ask your recruitment firm to present a diverse slate of talent, right? Even then, it’s rare that we are asked to bring forward diverse talent. I’d like to think it’s because they know we’ll do that regardless, but it’s really because they haven’t woven that into their HR strategy. That’s extremely concerning to me.
And leaving my concerns out of the equation, if you don’t make a conscious effort toward diversity, your culture will suffer for it. Not to mention, great talent will avoid your organization because they see you don’t take it seriously.
Ultimately looking ahead, it will be all about finding ways to engage employees from multiple generations and cultural backgrounds in a way that makes them feel valued and appreciated to drive retention and employee satisfaction.
Thank you, Samantha Bateman, for sitting down with us and sharing your experience and knowledge!
Know an amazing HR Leader you think we should feature?
Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
We live in a world where employees’ standards are continually shifting. Where we choose to work is heavily influenced by our personal beliefs and convictions. Applying for a job may seem harmless, however, learning how that company treats its employees, people in our society, and the planet may have you second guessing your application.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has emerged as a crucial factor in determining an organization's success and reputation. People are demanding more transparency and want to support companies that give back and connect to a greater purpose.
The good news? This is a tremendous opportunity for organizations open to change. By embracing CSR, companies can demonstrate their commitment to making a positive impact on their employees, society and the world we live in.
CSR refers to a company's ethical, social, and environmental responsibilities beyond profit-making. It encompasses the voluntary initiatives organizations take to address societal challenges and contribute to sustainable development. CSR initiatives encompass areas such as:
This refers to an organization’s commitment to environmentally friendly operations and sustainability. CSR differs from Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), which has more detailed and quantitative criteria for sustainability measurement. Examples of environmental sustainability are:
This is when an organization commits to operating business ethically that supports human rights, fair treatment, fair trade and equal pay for all stakeholders and workers. Examples of ethical business practices are:
This kind of responsibility refers to an organization's goals and contributions to actively bettering society or their community. Examples of philanthropy and community engagement are:
This is when an organization makes their employee’s mental and physical health a priority inside and outside the organization. Examples of supporting employee wellbeing are:
The short answer is no – CSR is not legally enforced in the U.S. however, there are corporate laws that organizations must follow that fall under certain categories in CSR. Many organizations are taking CSR very seriously to mitigate risk, while also understanding that CSR plays a significant role in the interests of consumers and employees.
A recent study found that almost 90% of employees that have engaged in their company's sustainability work said it increased their overall satisfaction with their workplace.
If you still don’t think CSR is important, you might want to think again. There are plenty of benefits that investing in CSR can do, including:
Employees today seek purpose and meaning in their work. By prioritizing CSR, organizations provide employees with opportunities to contribute to a greater cause, leading to increased engagement and higher retention rates.
Embracing CSR initiatives helps organizations build a positive brand image, fostering trust and loyalty among stakeholders. It establishes a reputation as a responsible and ethical company, attracting customers, investors, and top talent.
Engaging in CSR initiatives helps organizations anticipate and manage risks effectively. By proactively addressing social and environmental concerns, companies can prevent potential crises, protect their reputation, and foster long-term sustainability.
Companies that are investing in CSR differentiate themselves from their competitors. Consumers and investors are increasingly prioritizing socially responsible businesses, making CSR an asset in gaining a competitive edge.
Building a successful corporate social responsibility strategy requires careful planning and execution – here are steps you can follow to help guide you:
Building a successful CSR strategy is an ongoing process. It requires commitment, collaboration, continuous improvement and a genuine desire to create meaningful and sustainable change. Remember to stay informed, encourage innovation and feedback, and explore new ways to make a positive impact.
A challenge that is often seen when building a successful CSR program is how to get more employees to participate or be involved. Motivation fuels engagement and reinforces behavior that will set the foundation for a brighter future for your organization.
Using employee recognition to help motivate your employees can be a powerful component to your CSR strategy. Here’s how employee recognition can contribute:
Recognizing employees for their contributions to CSR initiatives reinforces the notion that their work goes beyond individual tasks and directly impacts society. This recognition instills a sense of purpose, motivating employees to continue their commitment to CSR.
By acknowledging employees' efforts in CSR initiatives, organizations empower them to become brand ambassadors and active participants in promoting the company's social and environmental goals.
Recognizing employees for collaborative CSR efforts reinforces the belief that achieving CSR goals is a collective effort.
Using employee recognition software, like Kudos, you can share success stories and recognize outstanding achievements, inspiring others to actively participate and contribute to CSR efforts.
With Kudos, employees earn points with recognition they can redeem for rewards. Those rewards can be charitable organizations and causes that align with your CSR strategy.
CSR is no longer an optional endeavour but a necessity for organizations aiming to thrive in a socially conscious world. By integrating CSR into core values and leveraging employee recognition, companies can unlock the potential to create positive change. Employee recognition not only contributes to CSR initiatives but also cultivates a culture of engagement, purpose, and collaboration. It is through these combined efforts that organizations can transform the way they operate and make a lasting impact on the world.
In today’s fast-paced corporate world, the role of Human Resources has evolved far beyond its traditional boundaries. As business strategies become more intricate and employee-centric, the function of HR has taken on an even more pivotal role in the journey to success.
To delve into this dynamic landscape, we sat down with John Odike, the Vice President of Human Potential at Wesley Enhanced Living. Originally from Nigeria, John moved to the United States in the late nineties to complete his MBA. As part of his program, he did a rotation in HR at Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana, where he fell in love with the profession.
“What I loved most was the exposure it gave me in understanding how organizations work and how people play a critical role in business success. From technology to processes and operations, if you don’t have the right people, it’s not going to work,” John shared.
Today, he is shaping the future of HR with his unique blend of business acumen, social prowess, and a deep understanding of human potential.
Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity
My background has always been in business, accounting, and analytics. Walking into my first HR role, I realized I could marry that with understanding how to use the workforce to impact the organization’s goals and objectives – the bottom line. Making those connections came naturally to me.
As a person that truly enjoys social interactions, building networks within the organization at all levels was easy, allowing me to understand the business.
My favorite thing is working with people and the interconnectivity between people and business. How, if you put people in the right positions, and give them the right tools, you can build an organization from nothing to something successful. It’s an amazing thing to see.
One of the things I always look back on is getting recruited by the owner of an oil and gas start-up to help put together their infrastructure. There were just four of us. We went from 4 people to a global organization of 1500, with offices in the UK, Nigeria, and the US. It was a fulfilling accomplishment, and the organization is still doing well today.
Communication is key when managing human resources amidst such rapid growth. From the start, we had a clear focus in terms of what we wanted to accomplish. Everyone was clear on the strategy and their role in implementing it. We used a stage gate process where at the end of each stage, we would stop, do some tweaking, and ensure our approach was sound. Making sure the key people involved were focused on the right tasks.
I’ve been lucky to work with organizations and boards made up of people who see the value of investing in people. Typically, the critical information that executives are looking for is whether or not we have the right people in critical roles, or whether our benefits and wages are competitive in our industry. They also want to know why turnover is happening–and what we can do to retain employees.
In the last 15 years, HR has evolved from a primarily administrative function to something much more dynamic. HR today is about understanding your workforce, and how that workforce is integral to making your business successful.
My team needs to be seen as a team of partners for leaders–a team that looks at every aspect of the business–things like our work environment, wages, benefits, succession planning, employee engagement, and how we recognize and reward our team.
Unfortunately, HR departments sometimes focus on the wrong things, or things that don’t necessarily matter to employees. The key here is analytics. Analytics gives you the data you need to understand your employees' engagement and what you need to focus on and improve.
Building a successful work culture is not easy. Culture is the shared values, beliefs, behaviors, and norms that exist in your organization. At Wesley, we’re values-driven, our key values are Grace, Honesty & Integrity, and one of the things our senior leaders try to figure out daily is how to get people simply to do the right thing in their roles and functions.
In everything we do, including our partnership with Kudos, the focus is on ensuring our values are front and center for all employees. Recognizing and rewarding people for living those values using Kudos cements a lot of the things we’re trying to accomplish. We’re using that lever to get our culture to stick.
First, education matters for someone trying to get into HR; it’s essential to know the principles of Human Resources.
Also, getting affiliated with the right HR organizations, because networking is key. SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, has been a great association to participate in. I’ve learned so much by networking within SHRM in terms of policies, compliance, ordinances, working with the department of labor, and different policies and laws.
Next is embracing continuous learning. You can never learn enough, especially in this industry. Every day there’s something new–new initiatives, technology, and concepts. People are constantly coming up with ways to make our jobs easier, and having the right mentors and subject matter experts lined up is key.
Finally, it’s imperative to understand the business that you work in. For every company I’ve worked with, the first thing I need to understand is how the business makes money – their bottom line. If you understand that, you can gear your HR practices to ensure you’re accomplishing the company’s goals and objectives.
There are so many technological advancements, so I worry about whether we are positioned to compete in the next 5-10 years as an organization. I wonder if we’ve put the right tools in place to attract the workforce of the future. So, I’m focused on making sure that, from a technology perspective, we have the right tools in place. And taking that further, are technologies talking to each other?
Coincidently, also technology. Specifically, analytics. The amount of data and information that exists for you to make a case for HR tools and programs is incredible. Having data that tells us exactly what our employees need is so helpful. For example, our survey results continuously showed that our employees weren’t feeling recognized and appreciated, leading to our partnership with Kudos. It’s much easier to go to your Executive Team when you can show them trends. HR leaders no longer rely on personal intuition or opinion. There are a lot of “a-ha moments” when you have those conversations.
Thank you, John, for sitting down with us and sharing your experience and knowledge!
Know an amazing HR Leader you think we should feature? Send us a note at email@example.com
Recognition matters. In fact, recognition is considered a top driver for engagement, with employees being 2.7 times more engaged when routinely receiving recognition.
Unfortunately, Gallup found that almost half of today's employees are only receiving recognition a few times a year at most. That startling statistic highlights a major gap in today's employee experience.
The good news is, leaders and organizations around the globe are starting to understand the importance of recognizing and rewarding their employees. By implementing an effective employee recognition program, you can create a tidal wave of positive change.
Recognizing and empowering your employees increases their motivation – it significantly affects drive, productivity, wellbeing and the overall performance of your organization.
There’s even science to prove this – when we receive recognition, it activates the reward center of our brains and automatically produces motivational thought patterns. By making recognition a workplace habit, employees feel more motivated to contribute value to their organization.
Motivational speakers, with their ability to inspire and uplift, often provide valuable insights into the power of recognition in driving motivation, productivity, and overall success. We gathered a collection of famous quotes to motivate your employees, shedding light on the transformative power of recognition in the workplace.
Finding effective strategies to inspire your team is more important than ever. That's where the power of inspirational quotes can have an impact – they have the unique ability to inspire, help build a sense of purpose and contribute to a more positive, uplifting work environment.
Powerful words serve as constant reminders of the shared vision and values that drive your organization forward. Incorporating your favorite quotes into your communication channels, team meetings, and company-wide initiatives can help align your team's actions with the broader purpose of your organization.
Here are some ways you can integrate inspirational quotes into your HR initiatives:
Receiving words of wisdom reminds us of our own potential, urging us to push beyond our comfort zones and embrace growth. It can inspire us to dream bigger, work harder, and strive for excellence. Whether it's overcoming setbacks, finding inner strength, or fostering resilience, these quotes are a reminder that we are all capable of achieving remarkable things.
Recognizing your employees has the power to unlock the boundless potential within your organization. The simple act of acknowledging work and celebrating achievements fuels motivation and is the catalyst that ignites success.
An effective recognition program requires more than a moment of applause though – it demands commitment to continual growth and progress. It's about nurturing a culture where recognition becomes second nature, where words of praise, improvement, and success echo through every corner of your organization.
With these quotes, we invite you to take a moment to absorb the importance of recognition. The stage is set, the spotlight awaits—now it's time to make recognition the star of the show. Kudos can help pave the way to a future where your employee’s best work is not just acknowledged, but celebrated, cherished, and forever shared in your organization's success story.
“Are you willing to be wrong to further what is right?”
This thought-provoking question captures the essence of Dr. Troy Hall’s lifelong pursuit of teachability.
As a renowned culture strategist, radio show host, speaker, author, and talent retention expert, Dr. Troy has dedicated his career to embracing the power of learning.
Inspired by his mother’s wisdom (the question posed above was hers), he emphasizes that teachability goes beyond the idea of right or wrong. He believes that by approaching conversations with a willingness to challenge our beliefs, we can collectively move towards what truly matters and create positive change in individuals, projects, and organizations.
Currently residing in Charleston, South Carolina, Dr. Troy cherishes his family, a fact that he shares openly and often. He understands the importance of balancing his personal and professional identities; this is something he believes contributes to positive workplace culture.
In our recent interview, we delved into his inspiring journey and discovered his insightful perspectives on the ever-evolving world of work.
Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity
I’ve spent four decades in leadership, specifically working in people development. I have a Ph.D. in global leadership and entrepreneurship. My dissertation was on group dynamics with an emphasis on cohesion, which led to my trademarked CohesionCulture™ program.
My Cohesion Culture™ framework has three strategic elements: belonging, value and shared mutual commitment.
Belonging is about inclusion and feeling part of something special. Value is about feeling like your work is meaningful and knowing it matters. A shared mutual commitment means that teams will operate collaboratively. To me, collaboration is defined by two requirements. The first is that everybody involved in the project or team agrees they need each other. And the second is trust. People must trust that others will do the right thing and their job.
They must lead by example. You can’t just tell people, hey, this is what I want you to do and then turn around and do the opposite.
One opportunity I see for leaders is to be more skilled in the art of self-discovery. Too often, leaders find it much easier to tell you what you did wrong than to uncover information about what happened and why. I created a cohesive communication process to help support this.
Instead of pointing out that somebody did something wrong, ask them about the circumstances and the situation. Questions like, Walk me through your thought process. What were your assumptions and expectations? Those are great alternatives to “Why did you do that?” and help everyone learn.
I like to recommend a processI refer to as C.A.P.E.S.
The first aspect is cultural discovery, understanding what’s happening within the organization’s culture through observation and conversations. Next, assessments to understand levels of cohesion, including individual leadership assessments. After that, you build a plan that aligns with your strategy. With a plan in place, it’s time for the education component to ensure the organization understands the desired culture. Finally, sustainability. What will you do to sustain the culture once you’ve implemented it?
In my work, I often don’t want to change an organization’s culture; I just want them to notch it up by adding a layer of cohesion. My research proved that performance occurs whenever cohesion is present within a team. And how you get to that performance, is employee engagement.
We tend to think that we can get engaged employees by making them happy or satisfied, and that’s when we get trapped into giving them treats. Instead, we should be focusing on how we treat them. Leaders must understand and embody the concept that culture is built in how we treat people, not the treats we give them
Affirmations play a crucial role in emphasizing the value of employees’ roles and identities. Programs like Kudos allow organizations to recognize and uplift individuals openly.
However, a robust program requires leadership involvement. Leaders must lead by example, actively engaging with individuals and expressing genuine affirmations that go beyond surface-level praise. By highlighting an individual’s role, attributes, and alignment with core values, leaders not only affirm but also teach desired behaviors.
This depth of affirmation fosters engagement and helps create a strong organizational culture. It’s important to align core values with behaviors to craft meaningful recognition. This holistic approach to affirmation is key for fostering engagement and building a thriving organization.
I’ve broken it down very simply through my work – it’s called F.A.I.R. play for cohesion. It’s important to understand that, at minimum, employees have to believe they’re getting fair compensation for their work –but that is not the only factor.
Employees want flexibility—flexible work hours and locations. When I think about the Great Resignation, for example, I don’t think it was a resignation. People didn’t resign. It was the “Age of Recalibration.” People were recalibrating where they wanted to work, how they wanted to work, and who they wanted to work with.
The next thing is autonomy. Employees want to know what authority they have and what level of initiative is required to do the job. And within that, they want the resources to help them succeed.
After that is inclusion. Employees want to make sure they have a voice in the organization, that leaders will ask them what they think, and their supervisor shows interest in their success. The number one reason that people quit a company is still the lack of a healthy supervisor-employee relationship.They don’t quit the company; they quit the manager.
The last is readiness, that is, growth and development opportunities. We know today that 71% of employees want growth, development, and advancement. If an organization does not offer these opportunities, employees will look elsewhere to find them.
People stay for fair pay and F.A.I.R. play.
The biggest challenge is that supervisors are not trained to deal with employees who work remotely. For the most part, if the employee is not visible to the supervisor, the remote employee may not interact with others for days at a time. I am not suggesting that every employee gets a remote work option; however, leaders must be willing to consider building remote work policies. In fact, many organizations have mislabelled remote work as “work from home.” I think ‘Work from home’ demeans the work and the person doing it. My suggestion is to call it what it is:“Remote Work.”
Leaders can make that small language change very quickly to change the perspective and perception of remote work within their organization’s culture vocabulary.
They can also make sure that supervisors are trained to manage hybrid teams. For example, if you have some remote workers and some on-site and there is a need to meet, then my recommendation is that everyone is on camera – not just the remote workers and not a group huddled together on one camera in the conference room.
There’s no turning back. Work-life is not going back to the way it was pre-pandemic. To be successful, organizations must accept that reality, train leaders for it, and develop work structures to accommodate flexibility, autonomy, inclusion, and readiness.z
It’s always the opportunity for human connection. The three strategic elements of cohesion: belonging, value, and commitment speak to creating great workspaces where people feel included, empowered to do a job, and work alongside others who may not look, think, or act like another. It’s the responsibility of every employee to build cultures of cohesion, not just the leaders’.
That’s why the attributes of an effective leader (teachable, compassion, grace, truthfulness, humility, purity of heart, and peace-making must be practiced by all. In the future of work, we will never abandon, nor should we abandon, the human element of people before the task. Leaders are charged with the responsibility to think of others first before themselves. They motivate, influence, and enable others to be successful.
We often think of our work environment – the way we’ve experienced it over and over again – as sacred.That’s the concept around the “status quo.” So, do you challenge the status quo, which says that an organization can only have innovation, collaboration, and a great culture when people are under the same roof? Can we break the paradigm? Can we create a paradigm shift?
We need to figure out how we can make that human element a little more interactive if we don’t happen to all be sitting under the same roof, because no matter what, culture is for everyone, regardless of whether you’re in the same place or not.
Thank you, Dr. Troy, for sitting down with us and sharing your experience and knowledge!
Know an amazing HR Leader you think we should feature? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org