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

Culture, Talent Management

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

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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

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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…

Rewards & Recognition

Peer Relationships Are Critical to Real Workplace Recognition

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Work-life balance is a myth.

I could say that in today’s hyper-connected world, work comes home with us far more easily than it did 20 or even 10 years ago. And that would be true.

But it’s no less true that our “life” also comes to work with us. Worries about our sick children, concern over a fight with a spouse the night before, fear over making ends meet on a tight budget – all can color how we approach our work and how we treat our colleagues. Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

How Do You Get People to Work Harder? Just Turn Them Loose

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Here’s a fundamental question: How do you get people to work?

Answering fundamentally, you form a contract with them consisting of a set amount of compensation and benefits in return for an equally set amount of work.

Less fundamental and more important (or at least more interesting) is this question – How do you get people to work harder on what matters most to you? Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

If You Can’t Be Sincere, You Shouldn’t Recognize Someone at All

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When we consult on social recognition, a common (and important) question is, “Yes, I understand and agree with the value and importance of recognition, but how do I recognize well? How do I coach others to do the same?

There are many principles of good, effective employee recognition that we’ve written about elsewhere – timelyfrequentaligned with core values and objectives, calibrated to level of effort and contribution, involves everyone – but the most important is that the recognition is sincere. Read more…

Best of TLNT

Why Employees Really Quit – and the 2 Things That Will Keep Them

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Editor’s NoteIt’s a TLNT holiday tradition to count down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 20. Our regular content will return next Monday. Happy New Year! 

Last week I wrote about a Salary.com survey showing that even though employees report being happier in their jobs, more of them are reportedly looking for a new job.

I also wrote about Jessica Stillman’s perspective that, even though employees say “low pay” is the number one reason to leave, raises aren’t necessarily the answer. Read more…

Best of TLNT

3 Things That Will Help You Become an Exceptional Manager

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Editor’s Note: It’s a TLNT annual tradition to count down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 47. Our regular content will return on Jan. 5, 2015. Happy Holidays! 

In my most recent post on Compensation Café, I referenced a quote from Don Knauss, CEO of Clorox, about the “head” part of leadership.

In Don’s terms, the “head” is focused on, well, focus – how you communicate to and reinforce for employees the tightly focused priorities need for organizational success.

Today, I’m digging deeper into the same interview with Don Knauss to look at the “heart” part of leadership. Read more…

Global HR, Rewards & Recognition

Work Friendships: They Improve Productivity and Job Satisfaction

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Following on my post yesterday (What Do Workers Everywhere Want Most? To Be Valued and Appreciated) about global employee research showing that “appreciation for my work” is the most important job aspect for employees, I wanted to share the findings of the Globoforce 2014 UK and Ireland Workforce Mood Tracker survey.

The findings are consistent with what we see in the U.S., with employees highly valuing relationships at work but feeling unsupported by the organization in building those relationships more deeply.

This year’s survey shows that organizations would benefit greatly from celebrating their employees’ dedication to the company, as well as the strong bonds people form while at work. Read more…

Global HR, Rewards & Recognition

What Do Workers Everywhere Want Most? To Be Valued and Appreciated

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They are different in [insert country other than your own.] They want different things than we do.”

How true do you believe that statement to be? Do you wonder if anyone’s recently tried to quantify those perceived differences or, better yet, find the commonalities?

This Fall, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network did just that in their Decoding Global Talent report, which aggregated 200,000 survey responses on global mobility and employment preferences from employees in 189 countries. The survey primarily looked at what would make employees willing to work abroad, regardless of home country.

But one particular finding struck me as most enlightening – regardless of desire to relocate, all respondents “are putting more emphasis on intrinsic rewards and less on compensation.” Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

The Platinum Rule of Recognition: It’s All About Them – Not You!

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The Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – is a good philosophical approach to life.

But it doesn’t fully apply to employee recognition.

Too often, when we think about appreciating and recognizing others for contributions, work well done, or results, we think about how wewould want to be recognized. But that ignores the needs and desires of the person we are trying to honor.

And isn’t that really the point of recognition? To make the recipient feel valued, noticed and appreciated, and not to toot our own horn? Read more…