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In the topic 'Recognition, Appreciation & Celebration'


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Every Little Thing: Step Small for the Long Haul

This month is the fortieth anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope run through our community — Waterloo Region. Having lost a leg to cancer, Terry Fox embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research. Terry’s shuffle-and-hop running style took him about 42 kilometers or 26 miles per day! I think jogging […]

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Manipulating Isn’t Motivating: Use These Powerful Approaches to Engage and Energize

Jake, a busker, walked into a bar and saw a crowd gathered around a table. On the table was an overturned pot with a duck doing a lively dance on top. Jake immediately saw the huge potential of this act. He negotiated with the bar owner and, agreed to buy the duck and pot for […]

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Giving Thanks Through Recognition, Appreciation, and Celebration

In Canada, the US, and some other countries, fall is a time for thanksgiving. Celebrating and appreciating a bountiful harvest is a powerful tradition from our past. Present research reinforces the power of gratitude in evaluating and extending happiness and satisfaction. Cicero proclaimed, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of […]

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How Recognition Programs Can Reduce Productivity and Decrease Motivation

A study recently published in Organization Science (“Motivational Spillovers from Awards: Crowding Out in a Multitasking Environment”) reviewed the results of data from an attendance award program at one of five laundry plants in the U.S. Midwest. They concluded: “Reward-motivated employees responded positively to the awards by reducing tardiness, but gamed the system to maintain […]

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Give the Gift of Recognition and Celebration

American president, Thomas Jefferson, once said “the glow of one warm thought is worth more to me than money.” Reinforcing feedback produces a powerful afterglow that raises the positivity ratio, energizes and inspires, and provides the pause that refreshes. This is the perfect time of year for you and your team to reflect back looking […]

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Recognition Pitfalls and Traps

A friend with a past drinking problem has been a devoted member of Alcoholics Anonymous and not touched a drop of alcohol for many years. Recently he gave up most of his weekend to deal with a Client emergency. The next week his manager “thanked him” with an expensive bottle of wine. This breaks one […]

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Recognition Programs Often Send Negative Messages That Turn People Off

Whether training your dog, rats in a lab, or a killer whale at Sea World, treats, praise, and pats on the head are very effective. It’s a classic master-pet manipulation. Way too many recognition programs are built on this same paternalistic premise. “Be a really good little employee and we’ll give you lots of ‘atta […]

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The Best Positivity/Negativity Ratio for Peak Performance

Given the overwhelming research on the power of optimism can leaders and teams be too positive? Intuitively we know that’s true. An overly positive view often leads to whitewashing issues as if pretending they don’t exist will make them go away. Over the top optimists often avoid those courageous conversations that address the difficult Moose […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on… Recognition, Appreciation, and Celebration

“The most neglected form of compensation is the six-letter word thanks.” – Robert Townsend, former Amex and Avis executive and author of Up the Organization “What we’ve found is that exceptional leaders lead with gratitude, they pause to feel and express it first, because they have discovered that this is an essential way to improve […]

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Avoid Motivation Madness: Little Rewards and Small Recognition Can Produce Big Payoffs

Big bonuses and skewed incentives paid to a tiny minority of elite money managers created huge pain and suffering for millions around the world in the past few years. Finally we’re seeing one of the main players, Goldman Sachs, being charged by the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission for their part in the fraud, deception, […]

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Celebration, Looking for What’s Right, and Building on Strengths

Today is Heather and my wedding anniversary. We’ve been happily married for about 15 years now. Since we were married in 1977, 15 out of 32 years isn’t bad! Actually, that’s an old joke we both use when we’re asked how long we have been married. We’ve been quite happily married for most of those […]

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Keys to Effective Reward and Recognition

A reader from Australia e-mailed me: “to seek your professional opinion on the current situation I am facing as the Reward & Recognition strategy leader for a large organisation and its customer contact call centres. My question to you is, is it best to slowly eliminate ineffective parts of an R & R program or […]

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