What To Do About Inflation: Let’s Take a Good Look at Your Employee “Balance Sheet”

an image of a pile of money blowing upward to represent money being wastedby Sarah McVanel, Chief Recognition Officer, Greatness Magnified

We often think that people “cost” us money. For example, in healthcare, staffing is 70%+/- of the operating budget. Particularly when we add the business worry about rising inflation (as the Conference Board of Canada recently announced, inflation is slowing however it will be a long way back to only 2% inflation.)

No matter the economic climate in Canada, the US and globally, thinking about employees as a “cost” and barrier to profits is a race to the engagement bottom.

You only get the basics if you’re only engaged in a transactional exchange (you work 40 hours, and I pay you $).

You purchase time and expertise; the “bonus” of innovation, quality mindset, customer delight behaviours, safety-first practices, and going the extra mile thrives when people are not treated like expenses on a balance sheet. Sure, you can expect more; however, the depth of engagement that gives you the most efficient, safest and satisfying place for employees and customers alike requires us to be VERY careful about thinking of people as a cost versus an asset.

Employees and leaders work to prove you right when you truly value and recognize them as capable, connected, qualified, and competent.

image of stacks of coins getting increasingly taller with trees on top of each stack in increasing sizes Rather than thinking of people as a cost, a burden, a disappointment, or a conundrum, why not think of people as an investment in the safest, most satisfying, highest service, and most retention-rich organization that people flock to? And why not believe that people are the most potent strategy to face inflation and whatever is thrown next at your organization?

Want to put plans in place now to manage inflation? Want to keep great people in a talent shortage? Want to combat quiet quitting? Value your most significant “expense” as an investment you’ll work hard to grow, partner with, and appreciate.

People want to do great work. The more you value them, the more they will have the energy, focus, and ability to do it.

Where are staffing costs in your mental “balance sheet”?

Here are more ideas for excellence in employee retention:


“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