Derek Irvine

The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce (www.globoforce.com), 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 organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition, he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Contact him at irvine@globoforce.com.

Articles by Derek Irvine

Culture

Want a Culture of Appreciation at Work? It All Starts with You

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Tell me about your workplace environment. What’s the general attitude or “feel” of the office?

Hopeful and energetic? Downtrodden and despondent? Somewhere in between?

What’s your personal reaction to this environment? How do you work within it or contribute to improving it? Do you see this as your responsibility? Read more…

Talent Management

It Takes a Workforce “Posse” to Help Make the Stars Shine

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I’ve found yet another good executive interview featured in the New York Times Corner Office column.

This one is with Deborah Bial, president of the Posse Foundation, which “recruits and trains students from public high schools to form teams to help them succeed in college.”

This is quite an interesting organization with a purpose I’m happy to support and publicize. But there’s value for us in the workplace, too. In this brief interview about her approach to helping at-risk teens succeed in college, Bial offers three lessons any of us can apply in our organizations, today. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

The Power of Peers, or Why You Need to Better Leverage Friends on the Job

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Do you have friends at work? What about a best friend?

Do you think this is too “soft” a question to be asking about the workplace environment?

Having friends at work matters – for many reasons:

  1. It increases employee engagement. Gallup asks just 12 questions to gauge employee engagement and one is “I have a best friend at work.” Read more…
Culture, Leadership

3 Things Real Leaders Do to Shape Company Culture

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Among my list of favorite authors, thinkers and change agents is Steve Kerr. His book Reward Systems: Does Yours Measure Up? is one I often recommend for its common sense approach to recognition and reward.

As the former Chief Learning Officer and head of leadership development for both GE and Goldman Sachs, Steve Kerr is also well-known for his seminal article On the Folly of Rewarding A While Expecting B.

He’s continued to educate along that theme, using the recent quality and safety challenges at GM as an example. In a Harvard Business Review blog post, Steve concludes with asking why it is so out-of-the-norm and courageous to behave in ways that demonstrate the behaviors the company has said it desires (namely: product quality, safety, transparency and integrity). Read more…

HR News & Trends, Talent Management

The Market Basket Shutdown: It Taught Us What Matters to Workers Most

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about the unfolding saga of the Market Basket grocery store walkout.

For those not in the know, non-unionized employees walked off the job or protested outside of stores in support of their beloved CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas (called ATD). Market Basket is a family-owned business of several dozen grocery stores across New England. But the family that owns it was fairly evenly divided between those in ATD’s camp and those on cousin’s Arthur S. Demoulas side.

Arthur S. owned 51 percent of the chain and, I think it’s fair to say, had an acrimonious relationship with his cousin, ATD, who owned the remainder. ATD served as CEO until mid-June, when he was fired by the board, led by cousin, Arthur S. That prompted the employee walk-out, demanding the return of ATD. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

3 Reasons to Empower All Employees to Give Discretionary Rewards

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Ann Bares (editor of Compensation Café and contributor to TLNT), published a very good post here yesterday on discretionary rewards.

The article focused primarily on the unintended consequences of leaving these discretionary reward budgets solely in the hands of the manager – to which I say, “Hear, hear!”

Ann used a couple of illustrations to highlight the challenges of such programs, which boil down to: Read more…

Talent Management

Getting Better Results: Go Beyond High Potentials, Look at ALL Employees

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Personnel Today recently reported on a survey conducted by KPMG’s Global HR Centre of Excellence.

The survey asked “people and change practitioners” from across KPMG’s global member network about the new “war for talent” and how it manifests in today’s workplace.

Even as the slow economic recovery continues to drag on, we are experiencing a war for talent — even as the skills needed and talent sought is itself evolving. And the needs of who and how we target employees for training, growth and advancement needs to also change. Read more…

HR Management, Talent Management

Why Your Employees Need to be Both Engaged AND Aligned

© Yuri Arcurs - Fotolia.com

I appreciate a good analogy, especially when it comes to terms that can be defined in multiple ways.

Employee engagement and alignment are a good example. Here’s a brilliant analogy from a local business journal:

Employee engagement is essential to an organization’s success, and alignment is arguably even more important. As an example, consider a 400-meter relay race. The winning team carries the baton past the finish line first. The direction of the finish line represents alignment between employees and the organization’s vision and goals. The speed of each runner is akin to engagement. To win, every runner in the team must run fast (i.e. be engaged with the organization) but also run in the direction of the next runner or the finish line (i.e. be aligned).” Read more…

HR Management, Talent Management

Timely Feedback Always Matters – Especially When It’s For the Good

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Seth Godin is one of my favorite “short form” bloggers.

Generally, his posts offer pithy insight and advice in short, easily digested posts. Here’s a nugget from a recent such post:

The best way to change long-term behavior is with short-term feedback. The opposite is not true. We rarely change short-term behavior with long-term feedback… If you want to reward (or punish) short-term behavior, don’t do it down the road.” Read more…

Culture

How You REALLY Achieve a Powerful Company Culture

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Company culture is important. I think we can all agree on that.

But what is culture? And who determines it? I’d argue it isn’t what management or the executive suite suggest it is. No, company culture is what employees experience and feel every day.

In that spirit, today I point you to China Gorman’s Data Point Tuesday blog post It’s All about Trust: Honesty and Transparency.  Read more…