Seeing Through The Smokescreen



As I navigate my 10th year in the Human Capital Management space, I honestly don't believe there has ever been a more exciting time in our industry! Technology is vibrant and scale-able, workforce engagement has become of paramount strategic importance and new leadership minds are empowering HR Professionals to lead the charge in improving business process.

All the upgrades and enhancements are exciting, but it is important to remain grounded in practicality. With change comes opportunity and everyone wants a piece of the pie. Still, ambition has to be accompanied by experience-driven common sense.

I've been in trenches with buyers and sellers alike in the HCM space for a decade. There are a few inefficiencies that should be addressed:

  • Consultants are not always experts.
  • There is no such thing as "selling" in the HCM space.
  • The thought leaders of old may be out of ideas.

Before we get too caught up in the glitz and glamour of the future, we have to remember what got us here.......


People love graphic enticement. We have a natural behavioral reaction to dive into well-designed platforms. This is why the development of Gaming has carried over into the Human Engagement space.


We may have failed to recognize that just because it looks pretty doesn't mean it provides proper function!

Design in the Employee Engagement space relates not to graphics but...

  • Program initiatives...
  • ...The behaviors they encourage...
  • ...Their measurable relevance to business production!

If your platform is not customize-able and scale-able, you've handed your employees a paint brush in front of a finished canvas.


People don't leave companies, they leave managers. Unsuccessful managers silo their employees for fear of exposure to their leadership inefficiency. One-to-one time over a cup of coffee can be as important as any annual performance review.

But... the boomerang of reciprocity swings both ways....

Good for Good & Bad for Bad!

Every organization in world has manager budgets that account from everything from gift cards to handtruck fuel. These budgets exist in hidden cost centers that fail to track who did what for which organizational purpose and why this might be deemed relevant.

It's time to automate, consolidate and track results!

... 1984 has come and gone and big brother won't be slapping hands for strengthening retention through mutual goal attainment. There is now a way to track and correlate every manager/employee relationship to organizational success.

There is a system that will allow managers autonomy to rule their part of the neighborhood while empowering transparency.

So everyone who is recognized will be affiliated with when, why and how.

... and those who are recognized will be afforded exposure into the internal talent pool.


Managers are busy enough. You've trusted them as employee advocates because they understand how to make individuals feel like they are part of something bigger! If you make Employee Recognition an arduous chore, managers will remain in their silos, happy to protect their autonomy.

The process of virtual recognition should take less than a minute. If systems are in place that require more than said amount of time expenditure:

  • Adoption will suffer mightily!
  • The process of recognition will become an obligation (instead of a privilege).


I pose one simple question:

What is the ROI of a core-value driven program?

Can your Employee Recognition system measure the statistical value of "teamwork"?

Your organization's Mission, Vision & Values are the common characteristics that stem the tide of appropriate, professional progress. Does this mean there is strategic relevance to "Honesty". By correlating extended behavior traits to these vague terms of endearment, we start to make pats on the back boosts up the ladder.

So how do we measure our return on our Employee Recognition Investment?

  • Correlate "Values" with tactical behaviors traits.
  • Run campaigns for individual organizational units that are unique to their business goals (yes, your recognition system should be user smart).
  • Capture program adoption/engagement with easy to read dashboards & balance this information against revenue production and customer service scores.

Let's Summarize:

1. CUSTOMIZE program initiatives that are unique to your organizational identity.

2. TRACK who was recognized for what by whom and when.

3. Make the system EASY to use and administer.

4. MEASURE the impact of Recognition to business results.

Don't Believe the Hype.... Just Do What's Right!

~ Dave


Originally published on LinkedIn.



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