Finding Bigfoot in a Forest Full of Brown Squirrels

We hope you had a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We’re excited to kick off the New Year with a blog post that’s a little left of centre. We’ve been busy expanding our team and are always so happy to see enthusiastic candidates that go that one step further to show you how much they like the company and want to be a part of the team.

One of our new applicants, completely unprompted, decided to write us a blog post based on his understanding of the benefits of employee recognition and engagement in the workplace. We thought that it was too good not to share. Though, to be honest, the title of the post even had us a little skeptical and puzzled at first. So a big Woo to Jeff from Chicago for the following post!

Finding Bigfoot in a Forest Full of Brown Squirrels

Susan, your four year seasoned Director of Business Development just came back from lunch and handed in her notice of resignation. Uhh-Ohhh! In less than 13 days Susan will exit your company carrying more than a cardboard box with her effects and that cute Halloween family photo in the exaggerated ghost frame. She also takes a muscular work ethic, spot-on business acumen, 97 words typed per minute, middle name efficient attention to detail, ability to masterfully juggle moving pieces while playing hopscotch on shifting carpet, powerpoint ninja know-how, positive attitude, and those weekly home-made snickerdoodle cookies at Monday Morning meetings.

Gulp! Now what?

Well, you revert to doing what you have always done. Submit a new job requisition, cross your fingers and hope, hope, hope…Hope that you are able to find that almost mythical purple squirrel that Michael Junge (a former Google recruiter) speaks about in his book published a couple years back. That purple squirrel being identified as the perfect candidate match to the expected duties role of the newly vacated position, someone who needs little training, knows about the opening, is a proper culture fit and with a hopeful stroke of luck, the knows how to make home-made snickerdoodle cookies! Well maybe not the cookies part, but you get the idea.

Taking Michael Junge’s play on the term purple squirrel, you should ‘ideally’ already have a team chock full of these squirrels reporting to their work post daily energized and ready to tackle whatever challenges come their way. Thus, what is really needed to fill Susan’s soon empty Business Development role is the ability to find Bigfoot in a huge forest filled with ordinary brown squirrels. I’m not for sure about you, but the last time I saw Bigfoot was a couple of months back when he came to the door with his good friend the Easter Bunny and exclaimed “Trick or Treat!”

The true fix to this whole scenario is to ideally stamp out this kind of scenario from cropping up in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure type thought process so to speak.

The “Aha” moment!

What if there existed a solution that evened the playing field for all employees across multiple locations to interact in one platform to drive everyday engagement and recognition amongst all employees? Doesn’t the business world ultimately revolve around edging out the competition day in and day out? The same holds true across the multiple layers of your organization internally. There lies an innate sense of belonging, to develop cohesive relationships laced with a competitive edge/spirit.  A sense of worth, belonging, community, real-time feedback, rewards for a job well done and goals once set noticed, recognized and achieved.

“Woo!” I think we are on to something here!

In this instance we might not be in time to save Susan from her leaving the business, but if we think about preventative strategies and being in front of the curve instead of behind, we can effectively exit the exit interviews, wave goodbye to trying to find Bigfoot and instead focus on the development of culture, engagement and emotional tie-ins that create the bonds that once strengthened through recognition are very hard to break.


Kickstart a conversation of recognition with WooBoard. An employee recognition platform for happy and productive workplaces.

Go to


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s