Human Resources Today

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Employee Recognition: Required for Company Growth

Ever move so fast as a part of a startup or high-growth company that you forget to look up? Yep, us too. But when you forget to look up, or you're moving full-steam ahead, it's easy to ignore one of the things that matters most: your people. Thank you

Leaders are often the worst culprits. They've got so much invested in success they're laser-focused on the finish line instead of who's in the pit changing the tires at warp speed. It's not a fault per se. At startups, employees don't often expect grand recognition -- they're used to moving so fast, their value often comes from the end result: shipping code, launching product or landing a great, new customer or client.  And at high-growth companies, as numbers rise, so does anonymity. But in reality, it matters. Typically only about half of all employees say they receive recognition for doing good work. Do you? And more importantly, are you a giver?

Here's a leadership test--are you good at recognition? 

1) Is thank you in your vocabulary?

Do an email search of your inbox for the words "thank you" and look for patterns. Are you only thanking clients or partners? When was the last time you sent an email with that subject line, or only for the purpose of thanking an employee? Sure, you may assume your employees know you appreciate them. But they need to hear it from you.

2) Have you ever bought a gift for someone on your team?

Every once in awhile, when someone goes out of their way for you, it's worth tangible recognition. It doesn't have to be a Ferrari, but the fact that you took the time to buy something to thank someone is a big deal. Maybe they covered for you while you were on vacation. Or took on an extra project or solved a client problem in the wee hours of the morning. Whatever it is, thank them with something specific that's catered to them. An Amazon gift card is nice, but if you know I love yoga, why not a gift certificate for a free class or two? If you don't know, it's time to get to know your employees.

3) Do you know who is your company is valued by your peers?

Managers are often dead wrong about employee performance. They're either not paying enough attention, documenting performance or have an accurate understanding of how a project really got done. Peer recognition can be a great way to supplement regular feedback so giving peers a public forum to recognize each other not only adds value to the employee but gives leaders insight into where the real talent value is.

4) Do you have a platform to track recognition?

Do you have a formal platform?  An employee recognition platform on steroids, YouEarnedIt allows employees to reward each other points providing public recognition and personal redemption based on a company's redemption options. Companies can decide what goes in the rewards catalog--anything from Apple gift cards to KitchenAid mixers to charitable donations. Company leaders then have insight into who's doing good. A similar tool called Bonus.ly offers a cash option too.  You also can consider tracking recognition and how happy employees are through a tool like TinyPulse, perfect for startups and high-growth companies.

How'd you do? If you answered no almost all of these, it's time to get moving.

Recognition is a fine line--you don't want to do it all the time, every minute of every day. But you do need to make it a regular habit--especially if you're moving fast. Those workers who are changing tires in 30 seconds? They're probably working harder that you and really deserve a thank you.

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exaqueo is a human resources consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to grow in the right way.

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Employee Recognition: Required for Company Growth

Ever move so fast as a part of a startup or high-growth company that you forget to look up? Yep, us too. But when you forget to look up, or you're moving full-steam ahead, it's easy to ignore one of the things that matters most: your people. Thank you

Leaders are often the worst culprits. They've got so much invested in success they're laser-focused on the finish line instead of who's in the pit changing the tires at warp speed. It's not a fault per se. At startups, employees don't often expect grand recognition -- they're used to moving so fast, their value often comes from the end result: shipping code, launching product or landing a great, new customer or client.  And at high-growth companies, as numbers rise, so does anonymity. But in reality, it matters. Typically only about half of all employees say they receive recognition for doing good work. Do you? And more importantly, are you a giver?

Here's a leadership test--are you good at recognition? 

1) Is thank you in your vocabulary?

Do an email search of your inbox for the words "thank you" and look for patterns. Are you only thanking clients or partners? When was the last time you sent an email with that subject line, or only for the purpose of thanking an employee? Sure, you may assume your employees know you appreciate them. But they need to hear it from you.

2) Have you ever bought a gift for someone on your team?

Every once in awhile, when someone goes out of their way for you, it's worth tangible recognition. It doesn't have to be a Ferrari, but the fact that you took the time to buy something to thank someone is a big deal. Maybe they covered for you while you were on vacation. Or took on an extra project or solved a client problem in the wee hours of the morning. Whatever it is, thank them with something specific that's catered to them. An Amazon gift card is nice, but if you know I love yoga, why not a gift certificate for a free class or two? If you don't know, it's time to get to know your employees.

3) Do you know who is your company is valued by your peers?

Managers are often dead wrong about employee performance. They're either not paying enough attention, documenting performance or have an accurate understanding of how a project really got done. Peer recognition can be a great way to supplement regular feedback so giving peers a public forum to recognize each other not only adds value to the employee but gives leaders insight into where the real talent value is.

4) Do you have a platform to track recognition?

Do you have a formal platform?  An employee recognition platform on steroids, YouEarnedIt allows employees to reward each other points providing public recognition and personal redemption based on a company's redemption options. Companies can decide what goes in the rewards catalog--anything from Apple gift cards to KitchenAid mixers to charitable donations. Company leaders then have insight into who's doing good. A similar tool called Bonus.ly offers a cash option too.  You also can consider tracking recognition and how happy employees are through a tool like TinyPulse, perfect for startups and high-growth companies.

How'd you do? If you answered no almost all of these, it's time to get moving.

Recognition is a fine line--you don't want to do it all the time, every minute of every day. But you do need to make it a regular habit--especially if you're moving fast. Those workers who are changing tires in 30 seconds? They're probably working harder that you and really deserve a thank you.

----

exaqueo is a human resources consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to grow in the right way.

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Employee Recognition: Required for Company Growth

Ever move so fast as a part of a startup or high-growth company that you forget to look up? Yep, us too. But when you forget to look up, or you're moving full-steam ahead, it's easy to ignore one of the things that matters most: your people. Thank you

Leaders are often the worst culprits. They've got so much invested in success they're laser-focused on the finish line instead of who's in the pit changing the tires at warp speed. It's not a fault per se. At startups, employees don't often expect grand recognition -- they're used to moving so fast, their value often comes from the end result: shipping code, launching product or landing a great, new customer or client.  And at high-growth companies, as numbers rise, so does anonymity. But in reality, it matters. Typically only about half of all employees say they receive recognition for doing good work. Do you? And more importantly, are you a giver?

Here's a leadership test--are you good at recognition? 

1) Is thank you in your vocabulary?

Do an email search of your inbox for the words "thank you" and look for patterns. Are you only thanking clients or partners? When was the last time you sent an email with that subject line, or only for the purpose of thanking an employee? Sure, you may assume your employees know you appreciate them. But they need to hear it from you.

2) Have you ever bought a gift for someone on your team?

Every once in awhile, when someone goes out of their way for you, it's worth tangible recognition. It doesn't have to be a Ferrari, but the fact that you took the time to buy something to thank someone is a big deal. Maybe they covered for you while you were on vacation. Or took on an extra project or solved a client problem in the wee hours of the morning. Whatever it is, thank them with something specific that's catered to them. An Amazon gift card is nice, but if you know I love yoga, why not a gift certificate for a free class or two? If you don't know, it's time to get to know your employees.

3) Do you know who is your company is valued by your peers?

Managers are often dead wrong about employee performance. They're either not paying enough attention, documenting performance or have an accurate understanding of how a project really got done. Peer recognition can be a great way to supplement regular feedback so giving peers a public forum to recognize each other not only adds value to the employee but gives leaders insight into where the real talent value is.

4) Do you have a platform to track recognition?

Do you have a formal platform?  An employee recognition platform on steroids, YouEarnedIt allows employees to reward each other points providing public recognition and personal redemption based on a company's redemption options. Companies can decide what goes in the rewards catalog--anything from Apple gift cards to KitchenAid mixers to charitable donations. Company leaders then have insight into who's doing good. A similar tool called Bonus.ly offers a cash option too.  You also can consider tracking recognition and how happy employees are through a tool like TinyPulse, perfect for startups and high-growth companies.

How'd you do? If you answered no almost all of these, it's time to get moving.

Recognition is a fine line--you don't want to do it all the time, every minute of every day. But you do need to make it a regular habit--especially if you're moving fast. Those workers who are changing tires in 30 seconds? They're probably working harder that you and really deserve a thank you.

----

exaqueo is a human resources consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to grow in the right way.

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Stop Being Selfish: Doing Good Business Deeds

It's been a big year for me. Got engaged. Revamped my business plan. Pivoted the business. Got married. Took three weeks off for the first time in 10 years. It's this kind of year where you realize who people really are. Really.  I tried to ask for  help.  Sometimes it worked. More often, it didn't. Someone said to me recently: "you're really good at paying it forward and you're not so good at promoting yourself." I'll admit, I took that as a big compliment. I get more value from helping people than almost anything. I champion self-promotion to others in every way possible. I tell coaching clients to make big asks. I tell organizational clients to use multiple channels to promote their brands. But I don't do it so well myself.

In a year like I have had--both professionally and personally--I've been constantly surprised by people. And not always in a good way.  I don't help people because I want something in return. And I don't ask for help often. But this year I did. Multiple times. And the results, especially in business, were surprising.

Here's what I learned--it's so much easier to ignore than help. It's easy to ignore a voicemail, an email, a Facebook friend, a retweet request. If you turn a blind eye, you don't feel as badly. And that happens in business more often than we realize. There's a "me" mentality in business these days. People are selfish. They're prioritizing things in business based on a WIFM (what's in it for me) mentality.

There are tons of messages this season about helping others socially and economically. But what about in business?  How can we use the season to remember others...in business?  Here are a few ideas:

1) Pay attention to your colleagues

I left my last job on December 31st last year. There were plenty of people in the office that day and yet I ate lunch alone. It would have been really awesome for  someone to notice I was feeling a bit down, nervous about the change to come.  Just someone noticing would have done wonders.

2) Promote a new business

Small business is the backbone of our economy. Go promote one!  It's incredibly hard to be an entrepreneur and those who are living the #startuplife will be so grateful for the small token of support.  Two start-ups I'm really proud of this holiday season? My friends Jamey Jeff and Scott Rothrock over at RemarkableHire (offering holiday discounts!), and the fabulous Lauren Thorp over at UmbaBox (can we say holiday shopping done?). Please check them both out.

3) Help a job-seeking friend

It's a tough time of year to be out of work. The good news? January and February are the biggest hiring months of the year. If you have job-seeking friends, send them a simple note: "I know you're still looking for work so I thought I'd ask...how can I help?"

4) Talk about and really thank the people who've helped you

Last year I blogged about the people who helped me in 2011. The post itself didn't get a ton of views, but it was really cathartic for me to think about the year, and who was so influential for me personally, and then thank them in a public way.  It's also incredibly interesting to see how those relationships change and evolve. You can learn a great deal about people that way.

5) Make an introduction

Introduce two people out of the blue who could really benefit from knowing each other.  There's a real value from getting a surprise introduction and that sort of altruism can lead to really valuable business relationships.

So stop being business selfish. Do something for someone in the spirit of the holiday season.

As for me, I'm far from perfect, in business and in life. I can learn too, help more and be a better business neighbor. So in that vein, what can I do for you? Let me know.  I also bet I can predict who will retweet and share this blog post.

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