WorkHuman Day 3: @MichelleObama and @Globoforce

by Jennifer Miller on June 1, 2017

in Human Resources, Leadership

Day 3 at the WorkHuman conference.

Today social media will be flooded with the hashtag #WorkHuman and #MichelleObama because the former first lady closed the conference with a one-hour interview with Walgreen’s Chief Diversity Officer Steve Pemberton. I’ll add my two cents’ worth about my reaction to seeing the former first lady in a separate post.

In a nutshell: her message of hope was inspiring.

The third day of this conference was more than just the opportunity to hear from Michelle Obama; this post shines the light on all the other “human” things happening here in Phoenix as the conference wraps up, in particular the wonderful things Globoforce, the creator of the WorkHuman conference has put into place for both their own organization, their clients and the world at large.

The Gratitude Bar Update

Globoforce team members helped conference participants use a version of Globoforce’s social recognition software to express gratitude to fellow attendees.

Throughout the conference, attendees were encouraged to express their gratitude for other participants via the Gratitude Bar. Doing so notified the receiver of the gratitude and populated the “Giving Trees” in WorkHuman Central with leaves. Globoforce selected 3 local Phoenix charities and made a contribution of $5,000 per charity, as a way to “pay forward” our gratitude to the conference’s host city. The amount of “leaves” on each tree is meant to represent the number of gratitude statements logged at the Gratitude Bar. At last count, over 3,000 statements of gratitude were given by conference attendees.

Each of these Phoenix charities received donations:

  • Be One Project which focuses on anti-bullying messages for middle schoolers
  • Girls Rule Foundation, dedicated to helping girls become the next generation of leaders & world changers
  • Diversity Leadership Alliance, whose mission is to, “Guide leaders in the transformation of culture to build an inclusive community.”



WorkHuman 2018



Next year, WorkHuman arrives in Austin, Texas. And, the first keynote speaker has been announced: Dr. Brene´ Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston. She has studied and written extensively about courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong. Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 30 million views.

Globoforce CEO on “How to Build a Positive Employee Experience in the Human Era”

Eric Mosley, Globoforce’s CEO, took the stage to offer his thoughts on ways that companies can build positive employee experiences. Here are my favorite take-aways:

Take-Away #1

83% of employees who receive recognition of their performance report a positive employee experience, versus 38% that do not, according to research from the WorkHuman Institute and the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute

Take-Away #2

Don’t separate work from home and home from work. Said Mosley, “There really shouldn’t be a different you between work and home. If there is, then you are playing at part at one of those locations. You should be able to be who you are at BOTH places.” To that end, Globoforce has added a “Life Event” element to their recognition software.

Check out this video that uses actual Globoforce employees to share the good news of colleague Eric’s “life event.”



There were several of us passing tissues around after that video!

Take-Away #3

Globoforce is rolling out an enhancement to their social recognition platform called, “Conversations.” Designed to help peers, colleagues, and/or leaders have brief, simple “check point” conversations about the progress of an individual’s work (or development), the technology has a surprising capability: it can help the user who provides the feedback determine the type of feedback to employ. Called “sentiment analysis” – the system analyzes the words of the feedback giver to discern if the text is “feedback” or “reward” –  and helps the feedback giver discern the type of feedback. For example, praise is a type of “feedback” that’s celebratory. Feedback such as, “Keep on doing, ‘X’, you’re on track,” is more operational in nature. This distinction is important because it helps all employees (including leadership) understand the scale of their feedback from negative to positive.

So that’s the quick-hit for Day 3 of WorkHuman. Watch for much more content and Big Ideas after I’ve had a chance to digest three day’s worth of content.

Also — a huge thanks to the team members of Globoforce — for all of your hard work and dedication in helping bring this conference alive. And to helping spread the message of creating work that’s more human. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the chance to help get the word out.



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