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Tag Archives: praising employees

Acknowledge employees by holding “fake” retirement parties

In 2018, I did an entire series of  video blogs (33 in fact!) that focused on specific ideas to motivate employees.  But the fortunate reality is that the possibilities are endless.  Which is why I was so excited to learn about yet another tip just last week.  I was working with a group of leaders in a client organization, and one of them told me about this absolutely fantastic idea to acknowledge employees: “Hold “fake” retirement parties,” he said.  I was so intrigued, I had to ask him to explain further.

Hold “fake” retirement parties

Once a month or so, perhaps at your regular department meeting, set aside 15 or more minutes for a “fake” retirement party.  To understand what a fake retirement party is, you have to first ask yourself what usually happens at a retirement party.  Well, there are speeches about the departing person honouring and highlighting his or her strengths, accomplishments, and legacy to the organization.  Well, the fake retirement party is exactly the same thing, but it’s “fake” because the person isn’t actually leaving.  Instead, it’s an opportunity to acknowledge employees – their worth, their value, and their lasting legacy to your department or your company. Continue reading

What does it take, really take, to create engaged employees?

When was the last time you washed a rental car? Probably never. And the reason is simple. Because you don’t own it.  This simple reality offers a compelling insight into what it takes, really takes, to create engaged employees.

Four things you can do with immediate impact

In my latest column for this morning’s The Globe and Mail, I lay out four specific things you can do as a leader to create a level of interest and ownership that would not only get your employees to wash the cars, but also check the oil, and rotate the tires.  Interestingly enough, none of the four are high-level strategic engagement initiatives developed by senior management at the annual planning retreat, or policies developed by a small army of bureaucrats in a backroom somewhere.

What it really takes for an employee to be engaged

engaged employees

I make the point in today’s column that engaged employees occur at an individual level, person by person, and as a direct result of the one-on-one relationship each of your staff has with their immediate and direct supervisor.   Which means that if you’re a manager, supervisor, team leader, or any other title that has direct responsibility for people, then your behaviour and actions will unequivocally determine how engaged each of your employees are.  This is a weighty responsibility, one that I believe no leader should ever take lightly.

Note: if you are a subscriber to The Globe and Mail, you can also read the column directly at their website at this link:

But as always, I’d like to hear what you think.  What have been your experiences?  Do the four specific actions I list in this column resonate with you.  Please share your thoughts by commenting below.


Don’t forget to praise those who work behind the scenes

CookingI admit it, I love watching television shows that have to do with cooking and food.  Not because I’m very good at the former, but because I love the latter!  Viewing these programs has given me an appreciation of the gargantuan behind-the-scenes effort taking place in the kitchen to produce the plate of food that eventually makes it to your table, not just looking fantastic and garnering praise, but also tasting delicious.  Long before your meal arrives, there’s cleaning, chopping, mise en place, cooking, seasoning, testing, tasting, and plating that happens behind the kitchen door.  It’s only after all these tasks have been completed that your server arrives and presents your meal with a flourish!  But what if even one of these steps was missed or done incorrectly?  Do you really want grit in your mushrooms because they weren’t properly washed?  Or potatoes that are unevenly cooked because they weren’t cut uniformly?  Or soup that is bland because someone forgot to add salt?  Or meat that is overcooked because no one tested the temperature?  I think you get where I’m going with this – if you don’t get the preceding tasks done right, then the final culinary creation likely isn’t going to be very good. Continue reading

Build employee morale by consistently celebrating accomplishments

Celebration3As leaders, we don’t celebrate enough!  I’m talking of course about celebrating accomplishments – applauding ourselves and each other for a job well done.  Now, it’s not because we don’t care (we do!); it’s because we’re busy and once we’ve gotten something done, we barely have time to check it off the to-do list, let alone find time to praise and commend for it.  But if we want to create positive and productive workplaces, then celebrating accomplishments is important.  And lord knows, I too am guilty of not doing it as much as we should!  Let’s face it, the truth is that leaders today are busy – we have things to do, people to see, places to go – we don’t have time to pause in the present to celebrate accomplishments.  But we should.  Celebration of achievement is so important to both employee morale as well as future success.  So here is one idea to institutionalize celebration, one way to make sure that we periodically pause to acknowledge our staff and ourselves.

Implement a regular “round table brag moment” into your usual team meetings.  Continue reading

Praising employees who are in their 40s and 50s – is it necessary?

KarlMooreI often blog about the value of praising employees (one such post is Frequent and liberal employee recognition and praise creates positive workplaces). So when Dr. Karl Moore, associate professor at the Destautels Faculty of Management at McGill University (and my fellow columnist at The Globe & Mail) recently wrote a piece on this topic, it captured my attention. Why do people in their 40s and 50s receive less praise? published in the Leadership Lab a couple of weeks ago, and in it, Dr. Moore makes four key points. Continue reading

Celebrate your administrative professionals this week!

Celebration2Today kicks off Administrative Professionals Week, a week when leaders in offices around the world thank and celebrate those who keep the engines of organizations running efficiently and effectively. Whether you do it as an individual or corporate activity, or at a social gathering, or at a community event, deliberately and thoughtfully make it a point to applaud your administrative professionals sometime (or several times) in the next five days. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be doing it all year (whenever the opportunity arises to offer positive feedback or praise), but this week is a reminder to do something that often, in the rush of day-to-day responsibilities, slips past many leaders. Ironically, it isn’t until the secretary, administrative assistant or receptionist is absent that most leaders realize exactly how important they are to the successful operation of an enterprise. So don’t wait, do it now.

And how exactly should you celebrate and thank your administrative professionals? Continue reading

Celebrating accomplishments is important!

HSBKioskToday’s blog post is a brag moment!

Like most of you, I too find it hard to brag about myself.  It’s easier to gracefully accept a compliment from others than it is to toot your own horn.  But … just about a year ago, one of my staff members pointed out to me that I am constantly pushing and encouraging the leaders I work with to always celebrate their successes. After all, we get so busy in our work lives that it’s not often that we stop and take the time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished. And celebration of achievements is so important to both employee morale as well as future success.   Her point was well taken!  So last fall, I celebrated with all of you, out loud, when I delivered my 1000th presentation as a professional speaker and trainer!

Well I’m celebrating again.  Continue reading

Are you shining the spotlight on your employees?

Did you know that if goldfish are kept in the dark, their colour fades? This is because goldfish scales are made up of hundreds of photo-reactive cells that respond positively to sunshine and bright light. In fact, aquarium enthusiasts know that the easiest way to get vibrantly-coloured goldfish is to keep them under bright lights for at least a portion of each day. Continue reading

Holding on to your best and brightest employees – live audio event on February 6

If you’ve got great employees then you know that they’re in high demand! But what are you doing – really doing – to keep your best and brightest from walking out the door? Many leaders I ask this question of say “nothing”, but just as many get a perplexed look on their faces because they haven’t even thought about it! But if you’re not taking planned and deliberate actions to keep your top talent from walking out the door, then you’re jeopardizing your continued success.

If you want to learn specific and practical steps that you can take to engage and hold on to your top workers, then my upcoming audio conference is exactly what you need. “Stars That Shine – How to retain your best and brightest employees” is one fast-paced power hour during which I’ll tell you what you need to know, and perhaps more importantly, specifically what you need to do to prevent your stars from jumping ship. Continue reading

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to employee retention?

What are you doing – really doing – to keep your top employees from walking out the door (and over to your competition)? If the answer is “nothing” (or even worse, you haven’t thought about it), then you are putting your organization’s short- and long-term success at risk. But unless you’re thoughtfully and deliberately taking action to prevent it from happening, it’s not always easy to keep your best and brightest employees from jumping ship. Continue reading