On Wednesday, May 13, RPI hosted Community Connect, a call with members. Over 40 members joined to share what they have been doing, what concerns they have, and where they would like RPI to offer help during this time and into the future.
Many members shared concern over the lack of day-to-day recognition which can be challenging with remote work. Many members are canceling in-person recognition events for the rest of the year and working on creative ways to recognize their employees virtually.
While COVID-19 has presented extreme challenges, recognition practices are still at the forefront — especially during this time.
RPI Executive Committee Member Susan Hall, CRP, Gateway First Bank, shared that her company sent care packages to all 1,300 employees with a letter from the CEO. “It included masks, a t-shirt that 'says stronger than ever,' hand sanitizer and snacks. We also created an internal Facebook page to just to stay connected and had Nashville Songwriter Reed Waddle do an hour of songs for us.”
Amy Hurley, LSW, CRP, Past-President of RPI’s Board of Directors and Program Director for Faculty and Staff Recognition at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, gave members a look into how her organization has been recognizing medical professionals at the Wexner Medical Center: They have been delivering over 200 community restaurant-donated meals a day with thank-you notes from school children, OSU athletes, and community members every day to their hard-working medical professionals. They filled “CARE” bags specifically for the professionals treating patients with COVID-19.
Hurley explained, “We made CARE bags for our units treating [COVID-19] patients with gold bond powder and face wipes for their raw faces and lotion for their raw hands, as well as hair ties, Chapstick and mints. In order for our staff to have their N-95 masks sanitized and re-used they cannot wear any lotion, makeup, or Chapstick so they really appreciate having items when they get to take them off.”
Recognition is needed now more than ever, and RPI members shared other ideas including:
Remote recognition ideas:
- Importance of regular peer-to-peer recognition
- Recognition in a Box: sending awards and recognition to employees' homes and scheduling a video ceremony to recognize them virtually
- 6 word messages
- Virtual happy hours and bingo/games to keep connected
- Make it easy to share on social media
- Include family in recognition — meals delivered to the employee's house
- Virtual gift certificates
- Ask questions on calls to generate connections — what are you reading during quarantine? What gives you joy?
- Make sure senior leaders are communicating regularly so employees do not feel isolated or out of the loop
The Member Connection call facilitated by President R. Scott Russell, CRP, CA Short, was filled with energy and excellent ideas. RPI will plan these Connect calls regularly, as well as launching vertical industry discussion groups. Thanks to all who participated and shared ideas. Get more ideas at the RPI Blog.