Nudge Toward Greatness: Keeping Recognition Going In Virtual, Hybrid and Shift Work Workplaces

How do you boost resilience, fuel connection, and reignite collaboration across your entire workforce?

Compass Group Canada LogoHow can you do this quickly, without burdening your already tired and overwhelmed leaders who are firefighting through growing sick time, absenteeism, and turnover (not to mention the hundreds of emails in their inbox)?


This Great Place to Work(TM) certified organization, Compass Group Canada, had a solid recognition program, yet at the beginning of COVID, folks weren’t using it as much. We needed to strip down the menu of options and focus on what could be done… immediately.

We dug into the organization’s data and unearthed their best practices, took the juiciest examples, and highlighted recognition superstars. We infused this into two yummy customized keynotes that lit a fire within hundreds of staff and leaders from coast to coast.

Leverage What You Already Have

image of the Nudge App used for virtual recognition of employeesThey have a magical internal appreciation system built into their intranet called “Nudge.” We levelled up the excitement with a “Nudge challenge.” Recognition caught on like wildfire! They became lean, mean complimenting machines! Before we knew it, the organization celebrated the first “nudgers” by giving them rewards that further taught them about the power of recognition.

Within 24 hours, the number of “nudges” quadrupled, and it topped out at an all-time high of over 3500 in 1 month. Through each 90-minute keynote, we helped leaders shift their perspective about recognition from “no time to do” to “need to do” to “want to do.” When they already had a strong foundation of recognition being “how we do things around here,” it wasn’t hard to reignite their passion for positive purposeful people praise.

Compass went one step further; anyone who was passionate about FROGing – Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness – they gave them the book and workbook to fuel that success. Now, this is accelerating leaders’ success and reinforcing their passion for appreciating people.

Nudge Your Way Along…

Creating Clarity and Connection in Chaos

In the midst of so much chaos, a refocusing on the exponential power they had through recognition enabled leaders to feel in control of the curation of their delicious culture. They remembered why they loved managing great people and those great people remembered why they loved working for this company. That’s the inevitable win-win that recognition creates.

Their industry, like so many, has been incredibly impacted by lockdowns, workforce fluctuations, and constant change. All the more reason we can look to companies like Compass Canada to demonstrate that recognition can be our cultural true North (pun intended.)

Recognition fuels the need every single person has, regardless of title or tenure: feeling appreciated, valued and connected.

Recognition heals. Recognition unites. Recognition is the sure bet with so much of the world of work that feels sometimes like a gamble.

And that’s why they’re in for round two.

Keeping The Faith and Fueling Hope

When you know what works, keep doing more of it. That’s a key solution-focused tenant. So, that’s what Compass is doing. Because they are so connected to their people, they know that positivity, hope and healing are needed two years into the mental and emotional exhaustion of COVID. And now we’re helping people tap into their inner superhero in a follow-up session about recognition of greatness within.

image of people in an online meeting getting recognition by a NudgeThe delicious thing I’ve learned by watching Compass in action is that they don’t see a waining in recognition to be a problem, they see it as an opportunity. They know that part of a commitment to a recognition-rich people culture is reintroducing appreciation and acknowledgement in ways that fit the current context. They’re tuned into how recognition is the solution to people’s challenges, and care deeply about elevating it.

Compass is one of those companies that knows their people are THE way they will continue to be successful. I am hard-pressed to find a company that doesn’t need people in service delivery, partner relations, product manufacturing, research and development, and more. Therefore, we need to continually keep people at the top of the priority list, and recognizing their value is an indisputable way to do that.

If your recognition program needs a nudge, look to leaders like Compass, read more blogs, and of course, I’m always happy to talk about how we help.

FROG on!

For even more ideas on how to recognize your team, check out these posts:

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

"Sarah nailed it!  She worked with the planning group to learn about the organization, the audience, the desired key messages and integrated it seamlessly into her keynote. Her energy was contagious! We received rave reviews of this portion of our event and Sarah was able to speak to all members of our organization in a way that motivated them to recognize others everyday. Our executives were extraordinarily pleased and integrated FROGging into their recent board meeting. Purolator is grateful to Sarah for dropping the pebble and we continue to see the ripples from this session across the organization. Working with Tami was phenomenal and the supports were easy to integrate to ensure the session went well. Thanks to you both!!"
Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve