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Employee Recognition with Debra Corey. 

How effective employee recognition helps you develop your team and your small business with Debra Corey (starting at 8:35).

Debra Corey - HR Specialist for Small Business Owners

Debra is an award-winning HR Leader and author who shares her experiences and advice on how to improve employee recognition which results in improved employee retention.

Debra Corey is a highly experienced and award-winning HR leader, world-class speaker, consultant and five-time author who has been named as one of the top 101 global employee engagement influencers. She’s had a varied career, working for global companies such as Gap Inc., Quintiles, Merlin Entertainments and Reward Gateway, where she developed and delivered people strategies in a rebellious way, pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo to truly drive employee engagement.

She now acts as the Chief Pay It Forward Officer at DebCo HR, where she inspires and works with others to bring out their inner rebel and drive cultural and business change through employee engagement.

We will reference several of Debra’s books for this conversation on employee recognition & retention for small business, including: “Appreciate it! The Playbook for Employee Recognition”, “See it. Say it. Appreciate it! – The Manager’s Guide to Employee Recognition”, and “Built It: The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement”.

Debra lives in the London, England area.

Recognition helps employees see that you value them and their contributions to the success of their teams and the small business overall. Employee recognition, when it’s done well, is the visible acknowledgment and praise of an employee’s behavior, performance, or achievement. Small business owners can use employee recognition to express appreciation, motivate employees, and reinforce desired behavior – not to mention strengthening the culture of your business.

One of the often cited top reasons employees share for why they left an employer is that they did not feel appreciated. When your team feels appreciated, their satisfaction grows as does their performance and your employee retention as well. Effective Employee Recognition is good for the employee, and it’s good for business too!

If you regularly give out authentic, deserved recognition to employees, you’ll be that much closer to unlocking their full potential. Authentic recognition serves three key purposes:

Employee Recognition with Debra Corey:

  • Why did you decide to focus on Human Resources for most of your career and now as a business owner?
  • What led you to start your first small business?
  • When did you know you wanted to be your own boss? Who were early entrepreneurial influences?
  • Why are you a business owner? What does it provide you?
  • Why is it important and how does Employee Recognition lead to Employee Retention?
  • How is it that “The old ways of treating people have failed”? Why are traditional methods [examples?] of recognizing people no longer effective?
  • Please explain what you see as “The state of the employee engagement “rebelution”.
  • Please share some of the science behind employee recognition.
  • What are a couple of the key benefits of recognition from a manager? How is it different than recognition from the owner?

  • Please introduce the 4 Golden Rules of Employee Recognition (starting at 8:35) (M.U.S.T.):
    • Make recognition meaningful
    • Make recognition unified
    • Shine a spotlight on recognition
    • Make recognition timely

  • Debra recommends this approach to employee recognition: See it. Say it. Appreciate it.
  • How do I find my “recognition style” as a small business owner?

Episode Host: Henry Lopez is a serial entrepreneur, small business coach, and the host of this episode of The How of Business podcast show – dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business.


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