Derek Irvine

Derek Irvine is Vice President, Client Strategy & Consulting Service at Globoforce, a global provider of strategic employee recognition and reward programs. In his role as a thought leader for employee recognition at Globoforce, Derek helps clients set a higher ambition for global, strategic employee recognition, leading consultative workshops and strategy setting meetings with such organizations as Avnet, Celestica, Dow Chemical, Intuit, KPMG, Logica, P&G, Symantec, and Thompson Reuters. Contact him at

Articles by Derek Irvine

Classic TLNT

Here’s Why Company Values Are So Incredibly Important

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Editor’s Note: Sometimes readers ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday. 

Following on my recent post about why company culture is important (from the viewpoint of two experts), today I’m sharing why company values are important, from the viewpoint of two CEOs.

Lesson 1: Developing Values is a shared exercise

From Ken Rees, president and chief executive of  Think Finance (in the New York Times Corner Office column): Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

3 Ways That JetBlue Gets the Most Out of Social Recognition


During my career as an employee recognition strategist and consultant, I’ve had the honor and privilege of working with many truly innovative and forward thinking company leaders who want to do right by their employees.

These people, and the companies they work for, are deeply invested in the helping their employee engage more fully in their work, thereby delivering a more satisfying experience for their customers and communities.

JetBlue is an excellent example of this attitude and approach. Mike Elliott, JetBlue’s vice president of crew relations, was recently interviewed by Erin Osterhaus for  Software Advice. In the interview, Mike shared three tips to get the most out of social recognition. (Quoting below) Read more…

Rewards & Recognition, Talent Management

The Big Benefits You Can Get From Remaking Performance Reviews

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It must be nearing annual performance review season, because my reader is filling up with news articles and blog posts on the topic – all of them reiterating just how broken the traditional process is.

Why is the traditional annual performance appraisal broken?

There’s several reasons, including too much emphasis on feedback from just one person (the manager) and far too infrequent giving of needed feedback (both praise and constructive refocusing). Read more…

Culture, Talent Management

Saving Wild Ducks: Why You Need to Avoid Workplace Creativity Killers

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My recent post, Giving Meaning to the Work: It’s How You REALLY Engage Millennials, led to an invitation to join the “IBM Wild Ducks” group on LinkedIn.

The name alone is intriguing, so I had to do some research.

Apparently, the name comes from former IBM Chairman Thomas J. Watson, Jr., who said (emphasis mine): Read more…

HR Management, Rewards & Recognition

If You’re Not Into Mobile and Social Recognition, You May Missing Out

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Last week I had the honor and pleasure of presenting at the HR Directors Business Summit in Birmingham, England.

I’ve been involved with this summit in past years and was pleased to see the 2014 event was very well attended – a sign of recession clouds lifting in Europe, I believe.

My role at the Summit was to introduce new HR Social technologies that energize talent and create a high performance workforce. Of most interest were the enabling technologies of mobile and social recognition. Read more…

Classic TLNT

Still a Good Question: Do We Really Need Annual Performance Reviews?


Editor’s Note: Sometimes readers ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday. 

Do we really need annual performance reviews?

I’ve written before that there is a balance between ongoing feedback from multiple sources and annual feedback from one source. I’ve also written about what it would look like if you scrap the performance review.

The latter seems to be the more prevalent – and more pertinent – question in recent conversations. Today, I’m pleased to share with you two recent case studies of organizations that have done just that, both of them relying on more frequent feedback and recognition given in the moment – the hallmark of truly strategic recognition programs. Read more…

Talent Management

Giving Meaning to the Work: It’s How You REALLY Engage Millennials

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This is a fact: In 10 years, Millennials (also known as Gen Y) will make up 75 percent of the global workforce.

With that reality staring us in the face, it’s time to stop marginalizing Millennials and their needs in the workplace. We can no longer say, “They were coddled too much as kids and now expect recognition for every little achievement” as we dismiss the need for feedback on their work.

Besides, this is all a fallacy anyway. Millennials aren’t asking for praise and appreciation at every turn. They are saying, “I’m new in this job and in the workplace in general. I don’t know if what I’m doing are the right things to do. I need you to give me more feedback on the value and importance of what I do.” Read more…

Talent Management

Real-Life Engagement That Helped to Save a Real Life

Zenko Hrynkiw

I think there are more definitions of employee engagement than organizations pursuing it.

I like this definition taken from recent Temkin Group research because it focuses on the outcomes of true engagement:

Engaged employees are extremely valuable; they are more than twice as likely to do something good for the company that is unexpected of them, almost three times as likely to make a recommendation for an improvement, and six times as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job with their employer.” Read more…

Rewards & Recognition

Do Your Top Performers Know How Good They Really Are?

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Those in HR likely know the research that poor performers don’t actually know they are poor performers.

They think they are better than they are. (I’ve written before about the effect these employees have on your high performers.)

But what about your high performers? They know they’re the stars, right?

Not necessarily. The “worse-than-average effect” kicks in for the truly competent. Read more…

HR Management, Leadership

Why Manager Engagement, Leadership Style Is Critical for Team Success

Managing up

Here’s a bit of a round-up of recent research and commentary on the role of the leader in employee engagement. Combined, they tell a quite interesting story.

1. Naming the wrong person manager cannot be balanced through other benefits.

From a Forbes article on latest Gallup State of the American Workplace survey: Read more…