Professional Satisfaction Part 3

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Welcome back!

This is our third part in this VLOG series, looking at how we can ensure we’re satisfied at work. We’ve been focusing on recognition; having already explored self-recognition and team recognition, so where do we go next?

Organizational Recognition.

If you’re a staff member or a middle manager, you may be wondering: is this my job? Isn’t this HR’s job? Or the CEO’s? Is this something that I can truly impact? Maybe you have your doubts you have influence, but you have plenty of influence.

For those of you who are in senior leadership roles, or owners of the company, I hope you’re paying close attention. Not only is this going to ensure that you’re better able to retain your best talent, but this simple fact is, it’s going to save or make you money.

But of course, it’s not just about money…

It’s about people – although the two are connected. There are three major things that make the difference between engaged employees and deflated ones.

Before we jump in, feel free to listen to this great resource, a breathing exercise. Body Scan Stress Break

Why the am I giving you a breathing exercise when we’re talking about organizational recognition? It’s something you can offer your employees at no cost that is about their well-being…and that’s a clue to my first non-monetary motivator. Enough with the suspense – let’s dive in!

  1. Wellness Programs

You’ve probably got a lot of really talented staff who have trained in yoga – or maybe even laughter yoga; perhaps you have fitness instructors or dance instructors working for your organization. If you’re a bricks-and-mortar organization, maybe you’ve got a room in your organization that really isn’t serving much of a purpose. See where I’m going, here? You can draw on the talents and passions of individuals, recognizing their greatness, and leverage it to say to the rest of the organization, “we know you work hard and deserve a wellness break.”

For a very small investment, you could put some personal training equipment in there and folks can work out during the day. People who get their energy and unwind through physical activity now have a space and outlet for that at work. What an amazing way to show that you care about their wellness.

A fitness room isn’t the only way to do this. Virtual reality is coming; you can find lots of relaxing tools and strategies that people use in virtual spaces to relax and gain their wellness back in the middle of the day. There are infinite possibilities for wellness in the workplace; adding some tactics or tools for this is also a wonderful way to tap into your best talent, by figuring out who already has some strategies that they can bring to the rest of the team!

  1. Professional Development

Many organizations spend on average 2% of their profits on professional development. For some of the higher performing companies, that number is a lot higher. How much are you investing in the personal and professional development of your staff? Well, the verdict is still out on that. However, there’s a lot you can do to be developing your people while they’re working!

Do you explore trends and innovations together? When you have a meeting, do you make sure to include something motivating and energizing that draws on people’s strengths and interests? Do you bring experts to your staff to learn about the latest technology or regulations so they’re up in their field?

What are you giving back to folks who give so much discretionary effort to you? Why is it important? Because they have an option not to, and they may just choose to opt out of doing so, if they don’t feel like they are getting back something in return.

After all, as we’ve discussed in a past VLOG, money isn’t always honey.

For this advice, I’d like to thank Michael Kerr, a humorous and wonderful speaker and very good friend of mine. If you know my background in human resources, you probably aren’t surprised to hear this. In fact, if you want to check out our interview you can go here, and see all about the research behind how money isn’t always honey.

There is very little evidence to say that money is a key motivator and driver – and yet almost always that is a core and pivotal element in our recognition strategies. Perks and benefits matter to a point, but why don’t you ask the folks who work in your organization if that’s what’s most important to them. Ask them how important it is, compared to all kinds of other ways that we could use self, team, and organizational recognition.

So what’s the last non-monetary motivator I have to share with you?

  1. Variety

For the love of Pete, keep mixing it up! Variety and the element of surprise create exponential energy.

Kim Shepherd, an incredible CEO of a virtual recruitment firm Decision Support, and my absolutely wonderful business mentor, is always saying, “Build exponential energy in a great culture by keeping recognition surprising.” If you’re going to give someone a bonus, for instance, why not surprise them? Don’t give them a cheque; put it in their bank account and make them think, “why the heck do I have all this money in here?

If you’re in the not-for-profit sector and people are coming in for leadership development, for training, or even just in for the day, do something that surprises them. It will make them smile and realize that the organization and the people running it really do see them as human beings, that they really do care.

Those are some of the tips I have for you today. I really hope you found it valuable and that you’ve hopped onto the resources that I have and as always, I’d love for you to subscribe to my YouTube channel.  That way you can’t miss one single moment of value about, how do you continue to build a healthy, happy, strong workplace and to be able to bring your greatness to the workplace each and every day!

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

– Mother Teresa

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