Derek Irvine

Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their company culture. As the Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek helps clients — including some of world’s most admired companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Intuit, KPMG, and Thomson Reuters — leverage recognition strategies and best practices to better manage company culture, elevate employee engagement, increase retention, and improve the bottom line. He's also a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition. Contact him at irvine@globoforce.com.

Articles by Derek Irvine

Leadership

Another Mark of a True Leader: The Ability to Inspire Others

123RF Stock Photo

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career, it’s that you can’t just declare yourself a leader and expect others to follow.

True leaders inspire others to find the best in themselves to work together to accomplish a goal. And true leaders can be anyone, at any level, not just those that carry a “manager” title.

Today, I’d like to share the perspectives of two such true leaders on this topic. (Emphasis in the quotations is mine.) Read more…

Leadership

He’s Baaack! The Keys to Great Leadership, According to Jack Welch

jack welch

“Neutron” Jack Welch is back in the news.

He’s been on a speaker circuit with his wife, Suzy, promoting their new book The Real-Life MBA: Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team, and Growing Your Career.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve read a few articles centered on him, his leadership style, and his wisdom for leaders today.  Read more…

Rewards & Recognition, Talent Management

Employee Engagement: It’s All about Connections and Good Work

© Ben Legend - Fotolia.com

This week, SHRM released its annual Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report.

It’s interesting in how it segregates true “satisfiers” from the factors and conditions that help employees more deeply engage. Both are relevant measures, depending on what you are trying to determine or better understand about your workforce. Read more…

Talent Management

A Dangerous Workplace Reality: Referring to People as “B” Players

player

I’ve been working in this space at the intersection of people, HR, technology, and appreciation for many years now.

In that time, I’ve seen, heard and read many different attitudes and approaches for how to motivate others, how to manage talent, how to rank employees based on skills and performance, etc. As a reader of this blog, I’m sure you have, too.

One attitude that I’ve come to regard as deeply insidious and dangerous in an organization is thinking about employees as “A” and “B” players.

Read more…

Compensation, Rewards & Recognition

Can You Make a Case For “Unfair” Pay in Your Organization?

123RF Stock Photo

Laszlo Bock, Senior VP of People Operations at Google, has a new book titled Work Rules! hitting the market this month.

As to be expected, there’s been a good deal of news coverage, excerpts and blogs about it, including this one in Fortune with Mr. Bock’s 10 Things to Transform Your Team and Your Workplace.

Today, I’d like to call your attention to two of these. Read more…

Compensation, Rewards & Recognition

A Paycheck Is Not Enough Recognition for a Job Well Done

From istockphoto.com

One statement sure to raise my ire when discussing the Power of Thanks in the workplace is: “They get paid to do their job. That’s recognition enough.”

It’s a patently false statement. Pay and recognition serve very different needs, but they are in a symbiotic relationship when it comes to fulfilling those employee needs.

All the recognition in the world won’t help resolve an underpaid employee’s base needs in terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy. And pay raises, consistently and appropriately given, won’t meet the higher-order employee needs, either. Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing, Rewards & Recognition

Employee Retention: It’s Really a Workplace “Stickiness” Problem

© auremar - Fotolia

“People just don’t stick around like they used to.”

How often have you heard that phrase in terms of employee retention goals, usually coupled with statements about “there’s just no loyalty anymore.”

History shows that’s just not true. For the last 25 years, tenure has been consistently low across nearly all age ranges. And the youngest generation in the workplace tends to stay the shortest amount of time (which is not surprising considering where they are in their careers).

More recent data published in The Wall Street Journal shows average tenure across occupations doesn’t even reach five (5) years. Read more…

Talent Management

Why Should You Treat Employees Better? It’s Actually Pretty Simple

fortune-cover-march-2015

Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For list is out once again. What makes these companies special?

The Negative Nellies will say it’s because of perks – free food, foosball, nap rooms, etc. – offered by the well-funded tech companies that tend to top the list.

But that’s not true. The list is also populated with retail outlets famous for slim margins and manufacturing companies not often known for their splurges on employees. Read more…

Culture, Talent Management

Power of Core Values: Your Culture Determines Your Company’s Fate

© gustavofrazao - Fotolia

In the first chapter of The Power of Thanks, Eric Mosley and I introduce a very important concept that is a foundational principle of the book:

At the heart of great corporate successes and failures is a single observable phenomenon: the behaviors and values that constitute a company’s culture largely determine its fate.”

Of course, we dive much more deeply into why this is true, but to summarize – the values underlying your culture are the defining factors for how all employees should behave to achieve the organizational objectives. They also give employees a sense of greater meaning and context of their work. Read more…

Culture

In the Workplace, Values Are Universal But Behaviors Are Local

© laurent hamels - Fotolia.com

In the consulting and strategy work I do with global organizations, we strongly advise basing a global social recognition program on the organization’s core values such that all employees, wherever in the world they are located, are demonstrating the same values and associated behaviors that company leadership has determined are critical to organizational success.

And yet, it is also true that what works well in one country does not necessarily work in another because the culture and the people are different with different expectations and needs. We do not advise changing the core values on a regional or local basis, however.

Instead, consider the behaviors that underlie those values. Read more…