Sarah McVanel

International Recognition, Culture & Retention Expert
St Catharines, Ontario

What Sarah is Passionate About

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, 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 in a Virtual World 

Rebuild connection and deepen engagement across the digital divide.

Contrary to popular belief, hybrid workplaces are NOT disconnecting your people. The problem is not employees logging in from different locations, watercooler conversations being moved to keyboards or the tumbleweeds rolling down your office floor like the wild west. The problem is that before the rise of hybrid 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.

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.

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.

Why You Need Sarah

True acceptance is believing people are worthy before they’ve earned it. Imagine a workplace that extends acknowledgment and appreciation to its employees before they even start.

I’m a recognition expert, professional speaker, coach, author, recovering perfectionist, and movement maker of F.R.O.G. Forever Recognize Others’ GreatnessTM. With 25+ years of experience, I invigorate companies to see their people as exceptional so that, together, they can create a scrumptious, thriving culture where everyone belongs.

As the founder of Greatness Magnified, I’m proud to have built a thriving organization that specializes in providing training programs and certifications for employees at large. By being solution focused and resilient in changing times, we can help to build a healthy and recognition-rich team.

Here’s the fact: recognition is the single, most effective, and cost-efficient way that organizations can decrease burnout, sick time, change fatigue, and hiring costs. The reward? Increased employee retention, safety, innovation, and customer satisfaction… and that’s just the starting point. What organization doesn’t need this in a competitive marketplace with a talent shortage?

And it gets better. When you practice recognition in all areas of life, especially at home, it turns even the most difficult challenges and greatest tensions into opportunities to connect, commit, heal, and belong.

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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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