Proud of Your Work – Proud of Your Company

Learning Objectives

Michael Levy, CEO of WorkProud®, chats with Dr. Bob Nelson, best-selling author, and expert on effective and meaningful employee engagement and recognition.


Attendees who’d like to set up a one-on-one discussion with Michael can receive a free copy of Bob’s latest book, "Work Made Fun Gets Done!"


Key Takeaways:



  • The need for employee engagement and recognition in the workplace is clear

  • Recognition is the number one driver of engagement

  • Providing work and pay is not enough

  • People are looking for a sense of community, purpose, and fun

  • Recognition makes people feel valued and connected to their manager, team, and company goals

  • It’s guaranteed: what you recognize gets repeated

  • If recognition is at the bottom of your priority list, it is the best opportunity for improvement


Thank you for watching! We hope you find it informative and insightful.


Contact Us:


Michael Levy, CEO, WorkProud®


michael.levy@workproud.com


888-826-0783, ext. 306


"If you want to keep people, you've got to make them feel good about working for you."

Transcript

Michael Levy

Dr. Bob Nelson, what a pleasure to have you with us today. Thank you very much for taking some time. I know you’ve got a busy schedule and calendar, always writing and producing. I know you’ve got a new book, what’s the latest book?


Bob Nelson

Work made fun gets done.


Michael Levy

Work made fun gets done. How many books is that now in your collection, Bob?


Bob Nelson

My 31st book came out last week. It’s in its second printing already.


Michael Levy

Prolific. Congratulations, wishing you much success. Maybe another best seller, as I know you’ve produced so many in the past. So many folks have gotten great benefit out of your words of wisdom. I appreciate you taking some time, wanted to share a little bit of your knowledge, expertise, etc, around this interesting topic of employee engagement, recognition. We’ve got a particular angle about the sense of making people proud of the work that they do. To begin with, can you give the audience a little background on who you are, and your area of knowledge and expertise?


Bob Nelson

Sure. What people tell me—they think of me as the world’s expert on the topic of employee recognition and engagement. I did my doctoral dissertation on that topic, I don’t know anyone else that has. Since then, I’ve sold 5 million books and worked with 80% of Fortune 500, presented on six continents. I basically spent my whole career in this niche, which I love. It’s the soft things that are hard in business, and people are one of those. To maximize human performance, and get the best from people, to attract the talent you need to your company, and to hold on to them are not easy things to do. They don’t come from just having being a great company and being a known company. It comes from doing the right things, and that’s what I tend to focus on.


Michael Levy

In lieu of those comments, and the recent situation, circumstance that we find ourselves all in and that is, in this post COVID world, the transformation of HR practices—do you see this question of recognition, appreciation, feedback as becoming as important, more important, less important, hasn’t changed? What are some of your observations and predictions?


Bob Nelson

Well, without a doubt, more important. If you want to keep people, you’ve got to make them feel good about working for you. A lot of times, companies don’t feel that it’s their job to do. They provide interesting work, and they pay well, and we’re done. That’s not good enough today, especially the largest generation in the workplace now, the millennials, and right behind them Gen Z, they are looking for other things. They are looking for a sense of community. They’re looking for purpose. They are looking for fun. If you ignore those topics, you will not attract them, and you will not hold on to that. The average tenure of a millennial right now is 1.8 months. If you’re in a company, [inaudible] companies where there’s 10 years, 25 years or 28 years, get ready for a ride, because you get the full time hiring. You hire people, and they look around and say, “This isn’t what I signed up for, I need to leave.” It’s going to be a big time commitment. Why not just fix the situation? I think recognition is a big part of that fix. Recognition makes people feel valued. It makes people feel connected to their manager, to their team, to the mission of the organization. You can get there faster than anything else by having a sound recognition program. If you’re doing stuff from the 1940s, which so many corporations I worked with are, in years of service and the holiday parties and and something had been the year, you’re not even in the game. You’ve got to get to real time recognition in the moment. Work is done now. What you recognize, it gets repeated, guaranteed base management principle known to mankind. You’ve got to look at are you repeating it? Are you catching people doing things right?[Inaudible] you doing on a daily basis? Are you doing it for their manager? Are you doing it for their peers? Are you doing it from upper manager to employees? I allow them to connect with people in different departments, maybe in different countries that are working for the same company. This is a game today. One of the things I love about working with you Michael is you’ve got a wonderful platform to make that happen. It’s not just based on moving merchandise and giving people money to buy stuff. It’s based on connecting people. They can always upgrade that and do more for someone for something, it’s really special. I love the flexibility of what you have to offer, and that’s why I’ve enjoyed working with you so much.


Michael Levy

Well, thank you, appreciate that. I do think it becomes an interesting question that, in a global workplace, which is many of the companies and many of the employees working in conjunction with remote work populations. How some of the old traditional approaches to recognition, they can’t fit anymore. It’s not only a question of them being old and tired, but just the mechanics. Have you seen some experiences or had some comments about seeing programs like that sort of transition and transform their recognition programs and the benefits that people may get from a transformation of the way from the old legacy style to a more modern approach?


Bob Nelson

Absolutely. To the legacy, as I mentioned, I just fixed periodic stuff, anniversaries. It’s not gonna mean much to a millennial, to get a five year award, if they’re gunning in 18 months. You’re not even overlapping with their interest, for example, but as you mentioned, many Legacy programs are paper-based. Here’s a piece of paper with the code on it, or here’s a gift card at Starbucks. How do you give that to someone 2000 miles away or in a different country? You’ve got to adapt to the times and technology is a big part of the times. Technology increases efficiency and effectiveness. If you have a program, and they’re just event based—a party at a holiday or that type of thing. You can now be connecting people through the software and everyone has a cell phone, you gotta have it there in all this functioning. With that, that’s today, most people use their cell phone for everything, even reading emails and whatnot. To have people recognize there, and then to allow management and senior management to scan those comments and comment on them, it amplifies recognition to just to like it, we have found is a significant event. My VP liked what someone said about me, they knew who I am. Life is good. If they opt to add over the top, some points, or some other recognition, or to pass it on to someone else—all that is amplifying recognition. This very simple, common sense notion as a huge power when you get the amplification that is possible through technology.


Michael Levy

Right. That’s a great point. That amplification and that visibility by leadership of recognition that may have started at a you know, employee or peer to peer level. One of the final questions, and appreciate you sharing the time and the great observations, the holy man mantra of why are we doing this to engage employees in our vernacular, to make people feel proud of the work that they do as an individual contributor and proud of the business. What in your view is the relationship between that recognition experience to the employee, and their level of engagement or their level of sense of connectivity to being productive, and the role that they have within a company?


Bob Nelson

Well, recognition and engagement are very, very intertwined. In my research, recognition is the number one driver of engagement. It’s in the Gallup Q12. Have you been recognized by your manager in the last seven days for something you did well? That’s their longitudinal research over. It now spans millions and millions of people, and they tell me it typically rings on the bottom. Whether to profit, nonprofit or government agency, recognition usually lies at the bottom, and therefore is the best opportunity for improving engagement and overall, having the culture where people want to come to work and do their best job. In my last previous book, I did—just happens to be right here 1000 ways to engage employees. From the research, I ranked the Top 10 variables that most impact engagement, and found recognition was number one. From research from the HR solutions of valuing 3 million employees, they found recognition accounted for 56% of the feeling of engagement by employees. If you do anything, you got to do recognition if you expect to have engaged employees. I find other other variables, I have a recognition dimension to them. My whole lens has seen recognition in so many things, but like my second chapter on career development, and why can’t career development and opportunities and skip level meetings with one’s boss’s boss and talk about your career before the recognition? Why can’t we embed that in the programs and systems that we do for people, because we know they want it. We know it’s meaningful to them. Things like visibility are a big part of recognition as well.


Michael Levy

Well, they’re great observations, Bob. I want to thank you very much on behalf of the listeners and the team. We’re proud for you taking the time today. Wish you great success with the next book. I’m sure it’ll be another blockbuster. Your pearls of wisdom are always really appreciated, so thanks, Bob. All the best and thanks for the time.


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