RPI Announces 2022 Best Practice Standards® Awards Recipients

Achievement Awards Group, TD Bank Group, Cone Health and Vancouver Coastal Health were recognized for successfully implementing recognition programs that follow  RPI Best Practice Standards.  

Salt Lake City, Utah – July 18, 2022 – Recognition Professionals International (RPI) has honored four organizations with its 2022 Best Practice Standards® Awards for their use of best practices in recognizing and engaging employees. Honorees represent the recognition, banking and healthcare industries. 

The RPI Best Practice Standards Awards honor organizations for implementing the seven RPI Best Practice Standards®. They are based on knowledge gained from academic literature, professional conferences, and shared experiences in developing successful recognition programs. The standards are designed to be useful for creating and evaluating recognition programs in the public and private sectors, large and small organizations, and organizations with single or multiple locations or functions.

2022 RPI Best Practice Standards Awards Recipients Best Practice Standards 

  • Standard 1: Recognition Strategy
  • Standard 2: Management Responsibility
  • Standard 3: Recognition Program Measurement
  • Standard 4: Communication Plan
  • Standard 5: Recognition Training
  • Standard 6: Recognition Events and Celebrations
  • Standard 7: Program Change and Flexibility
Achievement Awards Group of Cape Town, South Africa, and TD Bank Group received Pinnacle Awards for having achieved all 7 Best Practice Standards in one year.

Achievement Awards Group, which specializes in designing and implementing end-to-end human engagement solutions, developed a highly successful program for its 320 employees, nearly half of which work in a customer call center. A detailed Alignment Model serves as a guiding force and illustrates how recognition helps build the organization’s culture and drives business goals. Employees are recognized for living the company’s values and delivering on specific business goals.  A Nine Box System, that draws extensively on RPI Best Practice Standards, was developed as a guiding framework to ensure each component of a successful recognition program is properly considered during program development.  Using a Balanced Scorecard methodology for implementation provides clearly defined deliverables and accountabilities.  At a foundational level their goal is to reach up to 85% of employees each week through non-monetary, social recognition, and in the process build a vibrant culture of appreciation. Program results have exceeded industry standards with survey results showing employees feeling valued increased from 53% to 72%.

TD Bank Group (TD) has a robust, multi-dimensional appreciation and recognition strategy for its 90,000 plus colleagues who support its more than 26 million customers. TD focuses on creating authentic, timely, inspiring and impactful colleague experiences that recognize the many contributions made by its diverse workforce.

TD's approach to recognition includes both formal and informal, virtual, in-person and hybrid programs – all of which have played a key role in supporting its unique Culture of Care, its emphasis on colleague growth and the importance it places on making an impact. In June 2022, TD's annual Employee Appreciation Week was followed by the #TDReunited Festival that saw thousands of TD colleagues reunite and connect in a celebration of commencing a return to the office post pandemic lockdown. In the Fall, complementing its many robust business-level recognition programs, the Vision in Action Annual Award of Distinction will recognize the best of the best from across the Bank. TD also augments its formalized programs with its TD Appreciate! online platform that supports real-time recognition through colleague nomination, eCards and social recognition; to date, more than 90 per cent of TD colleagues have been recognized through the TD Appreciate! platform.

Cone Health, Greensboro, North Carolina, received four awards for achieving Standard 1: Recognition Strategy, Standard 4: Communication Plan, Standard 6: Recognition Events and Celebrations, and Standard 7: Program Change and Flexibility.

To address the impacts of COVID-19 and to better reflect the diversity of its workforce, Cone Health has modified and adapted its recognition strategies. When monetary rewards were temporarily suspended due to reduced finances because of COVID-19 closures, leaders committed to continue funding the company-wide recognition program at a reduced rate. When finances improved, a new “Covid-19 Legends” award, with a value of up to $10,000, was established with nominations accepted from across the organization. To provide more inclusive recognition strategies, e-cards were revamped for imagery and sentiments offered, resulting in a 92 percent increase in e-card usage for FY 2021. When analysis showed leaders were inconsistent in providing recognition, Cone created a challenge asking leaders to send five timely, specific recognitions per month. News and stories about recognition are abundant in all of Cone’s communications channels with recognition stories often having the highest email link clicks. 

Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver, Canada earned an award for achieving Standard 2: Management Responsibility.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has 18,000 staff in 112 locations. When recognition surfaced as one of the lowest-scoring areas in VCH’s organizational health survey, their executive team made it a priority and increased the recognition budget by 250 percent. Next, they gathered information by surveying several thousand employees and conducting 27 focus groups with over 200 leaders and staff. VCH then developed and implemented its Meaningful Recognition Strategy, built on the pillars of Commitment, Everyday Recognition and Excellence. These were linked to the organization’s newly created shared values: We Care for Everyone, We are Always Learning and We Strive for Better Results. A follow-up survey two years later showed ratings for recognition increased by 20 percent. 
About Recognition Professionals International

Recognition Professionals International (RPI) is a Strategic Industry Group (SIG) within the Incentive Marketing Association. RPI is the only professional association at the forefront of workforce recognition through its sole focus on recognition innovations and education as a systematic method for improvements in the workplace. RPI members are recognition experts who practice the art of recognition at their companies and recognition solution providers who provide recognition services, tools and platforms to companies as a service (including consultation, program design and technology).


Contact: Ione Terrio • iterrio@incentivemarketing.org • 952-928-4687