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Sarah McVanel 

International Recognition, Retention & Culture Expert 

 

Sarah is a recognition expert, professional speaker, coach, author, recovering perfectionist, and movement maker. She created F.R.O.G. Forever Recognize Others’ GreatnessTM to invigorate companies so they can see their people as exceptional and, together, create a scrumptious, thriving culture where everyone belongs.

Sarah has 25+ years of experience training, coaching, and leading teams. From her senior leadership role, she founded her boutique firm Greatness Magnified. Proclaimed as the “Frog Lady,” she can be found freaking out perfect strangers (in a good way) by handing out squishy frogs and asking them, “Have you been frogged lately?” and then acknowledging their greatness.

She’s a Certified Senior Organizational Development Professional (CSODP), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL). She is one of 700 Certified Speaking Professionals (CSP) worldwide. She has a BA in Psychology, MSc in Family Relations, and Diplomas in Human Resources and Healthcare Administration.

You can catch her kayaking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter with her husband or cooking a feast (while listening to an audiobook on double speed). She’s a die-hard carb-ivour, amateur hip-hopper, and TikTok embarrasser to her two kids. 

topics

The Exponential Power of Recognition 

Superglue your culture through meaningful connection and abundant appreciation

If you had the easiest, fastest, simplest, and no-cost strategy to engage, unite, and retain everyone in your organization, would you want to know about it?

Many passionate, brilliant, hard-working people want to do their best yet feel unappreciated and overworked. Similarly, some well-intentioned leaders wish to show appreciation to their people, but they’re busy and unsure if their efforts will make a difference.

Add to that a stale and misaligned corporate recognition program, and what you have is the perfect recipe for disengagement and turnover!

How do we bridge the gap between what employees need and what organizations are prepared to do?

Recognition is the answer. And it’s easy! All you need to know are the 3 universal strategies that work instantaneously. As a result, you’re going to raise trust, boost satisfaction, deepen a sense of belonging, and you will go down in history as the best boss and colleague – ever!

This work is magical. And it creates a ripple effect. It gets leaders, employees, and everyone in between excited again. It gives people hope that they can LOVE work again.

This session will introduce you to a proven process for self, team, and organizational recognition called F.R.O.G. Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness™. You will walk away ready to take action to shift your culture right away.

Tap into this universal need that everyone has and isn’t getting enough. Join Canada’s Recognition Expert, Sarah McVanel, in creating a recognition movement that will be so contagious it will cascade through your event and beyond.

Recognition: The Great Resignation Solution 

You’re not losing your best people to the competition. A bump in pay won’t stop the turnover floodgates. Gone are the days you have too many resumes. The Great Resignation is here.

Microtrends have collided to create a cacophony of confusion about how to retain today’s workforce. The good news is, employees’ needs haven’t changed… they’ve just started voicing it louder as they stomp out the door. Are you listening?

Welcome to the Age of the Employee Experience.

Are you looking to cultivate some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) with anyone, not in your team? Are you ready to reimagine the most delicious workplace that makes everyone feel more personally and professionally satisfied?

The solution has been there all along: recognition. Let’s turn today’s turnover tsunami into a comeback story; let’s make it so brag-worthy that it will impress the heck out of your board, the HR industry, and even your mama.

Get ready to banish exit interviews, redeploy your recruiters, and free up your leaders. After all, no one ever left a job because they were too appreciated.

Solution-Focused Greatness: How to amplify collaboration, resilience, and positivity in others

Sick of people fixating on problems, focusing on issues beyond their control, pointing fingers, and casting blame? Do you feel like you’re constantly firefighting a revolving door that churns negativity?

Isn’t it more productive to identify solutions and, in turn, fuel connection, awaken creativity, and elevate appreciation? And what if you weren’t the only one doing it?

Here’s the secret … everyone has greatness. They just don’t all believe it.

People want to do well and have a desire to contribute. What if we see their greatness even when they’re not operating at their very best? How might you lead differently? How might you show up with greater curiosity? How might you do less telling and do more asking to co-create possibilities?

When you embrace the belief that people are already greatnessTM, it acts as a wedge in that negativity revolving door. You don’t lose hope, your best people, and your most innovative ideas.

This session will empower you to leverage the 5 most resourceful questions (that you’re not currently asking) to access the solution to any problem.

In this session, you will learn how to create meaningful lasting connections, cultivate human-lead leadership within yourself and others, understand the connection between inclusivity, authenticity, and mental wellness and how they all play a part in helping us live healthy, happy and truly fulfilled lives. 

Flip Side of Failing: How unconditional recognition ignites resilience, relationships and retention

Failure is a tough nut. Either we treat it like the other “f-word,” or we’re espousing its virtues for learning. Let’s face it. We don’t have much resilience when failure comes crashing into our lives and careers.

Most often, we play it safe. We avoid it or feel shame or blame when failure inevitably happens. We’ve had plenty of experiences that tell us to avoid failing at all costs.

Before you think this is your “unmotivational” speech, trust me when I say that this is empowerment personified. We will be challenging the very definitions of success and failure that we’ve blindly accepted, and it’s sabotaging our well-being, performance, and satisfaction.

What does failure mean to you? Does it define you? Can you give yourself permission to fail?

In this session, you will truly experience and absorb the F.L.I.P. framework: Fail, Learn, Ignite, Praise. Each dimension of FLIP allows you to harness the power that comes from failure and let go of ego or judgment.

Learning from your failures creates your path to greatness. These lessons will forever change you and help you become more decisive, confident, and action-oriented.

The question is … where’s your FLIP? How can you become more failure resilient?

If you’re ready to explore how unconditional recognition of yourself and others can ignite passion and performance, this session is for you.

In this energizing and entertaining session (with a few fun twists), you will awaken possibilities, deepen connections, source solutions, and improve individual and organizational performance by recognizing greatness in a whole new light. Rather than kryptonite, let failure be your superpower.

Unleash Your Inner Superhero: Tap into the 5 secrets that will ignite your greatness

What if you were a superhero and you never knew it? You may think you’re just doing your job and it’s “normal.” Whereas, to others, the work that you’re doing is extraordinary.

Let’s uncover and explore your unique gifts, strengths, and talents. Here’s the opportunity to refill your greatness gas tank, recharge your resiliency batteries, and activate your superpowers.

Now, imagine doing this together! Imagine the influence, a shared sense of purpose, and cohesive collaboration that comes from activating your collective superpowers. BOOM!

This session is not a “rah rah,” Instagram filtered, #MotivationalMonday, artificial platitudes, lollipops, and unicorns type session. This session is designed to reveal the truth, facts, hard evidence, and reality about your undeniable greatness.

You know you want to Unleash Your Inner Superhero if:

  • You are a team that is committed to remaining resilient despite struggles

  • You’re a leader who wants staff to be energized and work to their fullest capabilities every day

  • You’re an organization that knows that happy and engaged staff are those who stay

  • You need a delicious and engaging experience at your next recognition event

Stop minimizing your greatness. Start getting inspired and into action so you can make the biggest impact.

Recognition: Your Customer Retention Superpower: How to fuel customer retention with a forever philosophy

How can you retain, delight, and exceed client expectations when the bar is continually raised? How do you bring your whole team along with you to fuel this exceptional customer experience? How will this enable you to maintain a healthy lifestyle while growing your heart-based business?

It’s actually simpler than it seems. Every person needs to feel heard, valued, and appreciated. There is one overlooked, yet simple and powerful customer-facing strategy that every team member can execute on, regardless of tenure, role, or seniority – Recognition.

We give a lot of lip service to “customer satisfaction” and spend money measuring it. However, do we truly seek to form the deepest, most meaningful connection with our customers through micro-moments and long-term rituals? Do we truly value our customers and continually earn their trust and loyalty – even when we don’t have to?

What does it take to cultivate a raving fan base? Customers who are as passionate about you as you are about them. Imagine what it will look like when your customers have an insatiable need to tell everyone how great it is to work with you.

This session is designed for business owners and sales associates who have a deep desire to delight customers for life. But wait – everyone has a customer! This session is also for those who are working inside organizations and are committed to a collaborative, harmonious, and mutually satisfying relationship. In other words, anyone involved in the customer journey (internal or external) who wants to retain, elevate, and enhance the relational customer experience will walk away with boundless ideas and actionable possibilities.

Ditch Burnout: Reduce Stress, Boost Compassion Satisfaction & Encourage Self Care

What happens when the helper also needs help? Exhaustion has become the norm for caregivers and frontline professionals. Perhaps scarier still, they often feel it’s their fault.

This is the catch 22 of helpers: caring for others can burn you out, and when you’re burnt out, it’s harder to care for others.

Stress may be “part of the job,” however it’s not the job.

Don’t let burnout morph into an array of harmful physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Don’t let an entire team of generous, kind, and compassionate helpers find themselves in a downward spiral of distress together. Don’t let stress leaves, sick time, turnover, and even incivility result from the sustained team strain.

Resuscitate hope with some CPR (Care, Prepare, Repair).

In this engaging, high-impact, uber practical, and hope-infusing session, you will apply the CPR strategies to proactively cultivate healing and rebound from burnout. You will leave with a better understanding of the differences and intersections between stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue so you can have control over it versus it having control over you.

Get back to your greatness. It’s the least selfish thing you can do for others.

Leading Through the Tough Stuff: Managing Conflict, Performance & Difficult Conversations

Think about your best boss ever. Were they firm yet fair? Clear yet compassionate? Reflective yet action-oriented? It’s almost like they had leader ninja tricks to get that balance just right. Or did they?

From the ‘every day’ to those awful days, great leaders demonstrate that it’s not accountability or compassion. It’s a both/and.

Expectations with empathy equate to excellence.

Lack of clarity, consistency, and challenge for the sake of harmony does more harm than good. Ironically, difficult conversations can create both short-term gains as well as avoid long-term strains.

Leading effectively through the tough stuff is about having tough conversations in a way that builds relationships. It’s about leaning into conflict in a way that demonstrates respect. It’s about expanding your toolkit to tackle stressful topics in a way that eases tension.

Here’s the good news: where there is tension, there’s engagement. Where there is engagement, there’s greatness. Let’s get great at navigating the inevitable tough stuff, together.

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