On Appreciation, Recognition & WorkHuman: Q&A with Tim Sackett

March 8, 2016 Sarah Payne

Curious what’s trending and top of mind in HR today? We’re kicking off a Q&A series with some of HR’s biggest influencers—people who have been in the trenches and know what it’s really like to work in HR.

First up is Tim Sackett, HR blogger and president at HRU Technical Resources. With 20 years of experience in HR and recruiting, Tim lives in Michigan and previously worked at Sparrow Health System, Applebee’s International, ShopKo Stores, and Pamida. Take a look at his blog and the webinar he co-hosted last year.

We asked Tim for his take on Employee Appreciation Day, recognition, and why he’s attending WorkHuman in May.

Read the full Q&A below.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing HR today?

The biggest challenge facing HR today has to be talent related. How do we find talent? How do we keep talent? How do we improve our talent? This isn’t a talent acquisition issue, this is a human resource issue – this is an organizational issue! Talent is the new black.

Which programs and initiatives should HR leaders focus on in 2016? Why?

I love all the new emphasis around wellness, both health and financial. Our employees are under a ton of stress and we need to find ways to help them. There is a direct positive impact to productivity and engagement, so every dollar spent on this by organizations is coming back to them, plus more.  This also goes back to talent. If I can keep a great employee by helping them with a personal issue they’re having, it’s one less person I need to recruit into our organization.

What do you think about Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day is like Sweetest Day. It’s a made up holiday by people who want to sell more greeting cards. It’s a throw back to the day when it was okay to only appreciate your employees once per year. Just like it’s alright to only appreciate your ‘boss’ once a year.

The fact is, we are mostly awful at recognition still today and these types of days are just a sad reminder of how bad we truly are at appreciating our employees.

What’s one fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

I’m the World’s Foremost Expert on Workplace Hugging! (It’s just the right amount of funny and creepy!) Stop by and see me at WorkHuman for a hug!

How does recognition impact workplace culture?

Recognition is the cornerstone of every workplace culture.  If we really breakdown any organizational culture we ever have been apart of, it all comes back to how well employees and accomplishments were recognized.  We get so caught up in building a ‘great’ culture, when all you really have to do is be good at recognition!

Why are you going to WorkHuman?

I’m a Social Republican who needs to find ways for my organization to be more effective, and I think you do that by having happy, productive employees. There’s no better place to learn about this than WorkHuman.

What does a human workplace mean to you?

I run a SMB business right now. All of my employees are family. I spend as much time with them as my real family for the most part. I’ve gotten to see my employees in every life stage. At their happiest moments and at their saddest moments. A human workplace is one that embraces all of those things. Our employees aren’t robots, they’re human. They’re going to have real-life stuff happen to them that has nothing to do with their work. At the same time, we’re running a business. A human workplace balances both of these dynamics.


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Want to learn more about employee appreciation? Register for our webinar this Tuesday, March 15th with China Gorman and Julie Zadow from Globoforce.