Sarah McVanel

International Recognition, Culture & Retention Expert
St Catharines, Ontario

What Sarah is Passionate About

The Exponential Power of Recognition 

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, there are well-intentioned leaders who 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: Your Customer Retention Superpower 

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.

Recognition in a Virtual World 

Contrary to popular belief, remote workplaces are NOT disconnecting your people.

The problem is not slow wifi, or videos turned off, or people in sweatpants. The problem is that before the rise of remote workplaces, we did not have authentic recognition practices hardwired into the cultural fabric. What we know today is the need for clarity and conviction to make recognition practices strong, authentic, sustainable, and owned by all.

The good news is that recognition is one of the most practical, accessible, and cost-effective ways to fuel healthy working relationships, trust, and retention. It allows your people to connect across the digital divide to participate, voice their opinions, brainstorm, and collaborate.

And guess what? You can do it from anywhere!

Consider recognition to be your cultural glue – whether you’re in-person or online. Let Canada’s Recognition Expert, Sarah McVanel, walk you through her three key remote recognition ingredients: nutritious, delicious, and luscious. Never has recognition been more important and as digestible.

Flip Side of Failing 

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.

Why You Need Sarah

Sarah McVanel helps leaders leverage the exponential power of recognition to retain top talent. She jokes it’s the only “lane” that pulls together her BA (Psych), MSc (Family Relations), 20 years of practicing Organizational Development & certifications in Human Resources, Organizational Development, Coaching, Speaking & Healthcare Admin! She left her senior leadership role 5 years ago to launch her boutique firm Greatness Magnified, authoring some books, VLOGing, tap dancing, & getting up to no good with her hubby Mark and kids Justin & Simonne.

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Why You Will Love Sarah

I had the great fortune of working with Sarah on our senior leadership team for several years. Sarah was instrumental in optimizing the performance of our team by keeping communication honest and effectual, and always aimed at our strategic goals.

Sarah is a dynamic, fun, and effective facilitator and community engager. In the development of our strategic plans, Sarah was a main driver – right from the initial stakeholder consultations, through brainstorming, and up to final submission. She was outstanding at this.

Sarah is also a phenomenal coach. She coached executives (like me), helping us be better leaders and also continue to love our jobs. She also coached several disruptive professionals (not like me, I hope) and really helped those professionals become valuable team members.

I can honestly state that without all the things I have learned from Sarah, I would not have been successful at reaching the next level in my career.

Dave Cameron
Regional Supervising Coroner, Province of Ontario

I have hired Sarah in every organization I have worked for. She has a unique ability to resonate with all participants, create momentum, and move people into action with passion and purpose. As a speaker, facilitator, and coach, she helps leaders become clear on how to leverage their top talent and create plans that result in healthier teams and bottom lines.

Cindy McArthur
Senior Vice President Human Resources, Outland-Carillion Services

It is my honour to write this recommendation for Sarah. I first connected with Sarah about three years ago when I held the PD role for HRPA – Hamilton Chapter. At that time Sarah was starting a new career venture “Greatness Magnified”. Our members soon after experienced her dedication, professionalism and passion for her work. She brings an enormous amount of experience and knowledge as a CHRL professional and Certified Coach.

Carmela Ciotti-Hooper
Manager, Horizon Utilities


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