Random Acts of Acknowledgment

“What a good helper you are!” my mother would say to a young child carefully handing boxes of cereal from the grocery shopping cart to be placed on the check-out counter. I’ll never forget the smiles on the child’s and parents’ faces when my mother would compliment them. Similarly, smiling at the cashier and fellow 

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Engaging Workplace Wisdom — Tips on What Works to Engage Others

While I typically speak about employee/volunteer engagement with people currently active in the workforce, the prospect of being with an audience of retirees was too good to pass up. My recent session for Penn State Lehigh Valley’s SAGE Lecture Series was designed with a dual purpose: 1) share the current state of workplace engagement and 2) tap into 

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What Do You Notice About These Three Customer Service Stories?

In honor of National Customer Service Week (observed the first week in October), here are three amazing stories told by customers — all marketing professionals — who experienced and analyzed them. They represent different situations that share a common theme. Customer experience #1: “I walked into an Eckerd Drug Store to buy a sympathy card. Before 

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Engaging Conversations with Volunteers

“Volunteers … work not for money but because they want to give back, make a difference, change the world.”  Sally Helgesen While the need to give of themselves may motivate volunteers to get involved, it doesn’t ensure their continuing commitment. What keeps them involved is the quality of their experience with an organization. The best 

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A Manager’s Guide on How to Cope When Team Efforts are Taken For Granted

I had an interesting discussion with a colleague who manages an internal service department for a medium-sized organization. She’s a supportive manager whose team takes pride in providing quality service to internal clients. However, she finds it a challenge to keep her employees at the top of their game when some internal clients are unappreciative 

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How Will You Honor Your Employees on Recognition Day?

Recognizing and affirming employee value is critical to creating and sustaining employee engagement. And while workplace recognition should be a no-brainer, Gallup research found otherwise. According to Gallup practice manager Annamarie Mann and researcher Nate Dvorak, ” … only one in three U.S. workers strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good 

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Confessions of a Recovering Nonprofit Executive

One of the most challenging jobs I know of is held by people who work in nonprofits — they are as passionate about their work as they are stressed trying to accomplish much with limited resources. I explored this topic recently with a former nonprofit leader, Debrah Cummins, who is now Vice President of Development for Northstar 

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Extending Thanks Giving

Regardless of when you observe Thanksgiving, the holiday encourages us to give thanks for all we have … and for all that we don’t have (e.g., difficult circumstances). I’m all for expressing sincere gratitude during the season; I just wish it was given more frequently. A friend of mine shared her experience with a Salvation Army volunteer 

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Favorite Volunteer Quotes

While anytime is a good time to acknowledge volunteers for their dedication to helping others, National Volunteer Week, April 10-16, 2016, provides a special opportunity to celebrate their efforts. In support of National Volunteer Week, here are my favorite quotes on the tremendous value of volunteers. “Volunteering is so pervasive it’s invisible. We take for granted all the 

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What’s So Funny About Employee Engagement?

Plenty, if you’re cynical about it. And such cynicism is not surprising given how many employees endure lame attempts to improve engagement. For example: Providing a special lunch for employees as a token employee appreciation event. Conducting periodic employee engagement or satisfaction surveys with little or no follow-up. Creating an HR or cross-company employee committee 

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