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

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

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“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

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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

© 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…

Rewards & Recognition

Peer Relationships Are Critical to Real Workplace Recognition

PHoto by istockphoto.com

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

© violetkaipa - Fotolia

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

YouNeverknow

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…