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Recognition in The Real World
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Don’t Forget Training When Assessing Your Recognition Program

Posted By David Layman, Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Why CRP Certification Works

RPI’s Best Practice Standards help organizations with an overview of how best to set up, implement and maintain an effective recognition program. These standards were developed through extensive academic research in recognition, as well as knowledge gained from professional conferences and shared experiences in developing successful recognition programs.

To ensure success, companies should develop a plan that addresses each of the seven best practices, and routinely assess and measure whether each standard is being met.

Unfortunately, recognition training, which is one of the seven best practices, is often overlooked. Having people in your company who are trained in recognition principles can be instrumental to your program’s continued success.

Here are some reasons you should consider signing up for RPI’s Recognition Fundamentals or Certified Recognition Professionals (CRP) courses today:

  1. RPI’s recognition training, including CRP and Recognition Fundamentals, is extremely useful and applicable to a wide variety of participants who deal with employee recognition, engagement or other employee issues on a day-to-day basis, including practitioners involved in recognition programs, recognition resource providers and HR.

  2. Credibility and dedication to recognition best practices – RPI’s Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) training is the best training in the industry. Program goals set out by RPI include: raising professional standards of those engaged in employee recognition; encouraging continued education for professional development; encouraging self-development by offering guidelines for achievement in the employee recognition profession; and awarding and identifying special recognition to those persons who have demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of those principles and practices of employee recognition and also laws governing and affecting employee recognition.

  3. Network of recognition industry peers – participating in the in-person training allow you to work with professionals from a wide range of industries who are working in recognition.

  4. Recertification – RPI offers recertification of the CRP designation which helps individuals to keep up to date on new issues and trends related to recognition. It also is a personal investment that adds to your credibility in keeping current with recognition learning.

  5. Convenience – CRP classes are offered at RPI’s annual conference so it is easy to participate in RPI and to have the opportunity for continued education in recognition. However, the courses are now being offered online, which makes it even easier to learn and get certified.  

Start your Certified Recognition Professional® (CRP) curriculum with Structuring Recognition Programs for Success (CRP I), which is now also offered online. The curriculum has been refreshed based on input from past participants and the 7 Best Practice Standards, and offers valuable content with Building a Recognition Blueprint (formerly CRP II), Designing and Implementing Recognition Programs (Formerly CRP III) and Creating a Recognition Culture (formerly CRP IV). These three additional CRP courses are available at the RPI Annual Conference.  

CRP certification helps guide participants through this Best Practice process and produce measurable benefits for their organizations. For more, go to

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Creating Recognition Champions: The Benefits of Recognition Training

Posted By David Layman, Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No matter where your organization currently stands in terms of a recognition program – whether it is an existing program or in the planning stages – for it to be effective you need recognition champions who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable and can help support the program and help make it work.

Training and education in employee recognition and engagement is vital if you are truly interested in building a recognition culture. And why wouldn’t you be? Recognition is tied to greater engagement and productivity, as well as better employee retention. In fact, companies in the top 20 percent for “recognition-rich culture” have over a 30 percent lower voluntary turnover rate, according to a Bersin by Deloitte study.

Employees who receive training in recognition become company ambassadors and evangelists, and help cultivate recognition in the organization. They serve not only as examples of how it is done but also resources to help educate others around them about recognition.

RPI offers several ways to increase your knowledge about recognition, including the online Recognition Fundamentals program which offers a basic overview of recognition, and the more in-depth four-module Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) training.

There are many ways you can benefit from participating in recognition training:

  • You will become an in-house resource for your company or help breathe new life into an existing program by learning and passing on knowledge about recognition programs and how/why they work.
  • You can help make sure your recognition program aligns with your company culture, and evaluate changes that can be made to that will work best within your organization.
  • You’ll be a go-to a resource for managers and other employees about Best Practices for recognition and how it drives employee engagement.
  • You will be up-to-date about trends in recognition, including social recognition, technology, gamification, service awards, celebrations and incentive programs and other ways to drive employee engagement.

Above all, you will see how recognition can transform your business by making employees more engaged and more productive – where you’ll attract the best employees and keep them. Find out more about RPI’s Certified Recognition Professional courses by going to

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Knowledge is Power: Recognition Training Sets the Foundation for Recognition Programs That Work

Posted By David Layman, Friday, November 18, 2016
Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016

Perhaps you’ve seen the statistics about the value of employee recognition. The statistics speak for themselves, but they only tell part of the story. For a more thorough understanding, you have to dig a little deeper.

  • According to Lynn Learning Labs, 88 percent of employees surveyed cited lack of acknowledgement as their No. 1 issue at work. Why do they think that?

  • Organizations with the most sophisticated recognition practices are 12 times more likely to have strong business outcomes, according to Bersin by Deloitte.Why is that the case?

  • A 2012 study from SHRM and Globoforce showed that peer-to-peer recognition is over 35 percent more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition. How does that happen?

  • Gallup estimates that disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy up to $550 billion per year. A full 70 percent of American workers are “disengaged” or “actively disengaged,” How can employee recognition fix that?

These are just a few hard statistics backed up by thorough studies that show the importance of employee recognition and engagement to an organization’s overall success. To make a recognition program more effective it is important to understand the “why” and “how” beyond the statistics. That’s where recognition training comes in.

Recognition Training: One of RPI’s 7 Best Practices

It’s no accident that RPI included Recognition Training as one of its 7 Recognition Best Practices, because without a proper knowledge and understanding of the principles and philosophies behind recognition and employee engagement, programs lack the foundation that helps make them really work.

Leaders and employees – especially those who head up or are involved in an organization’s recognition program – need to understand the value and importance of recognition and why it works. They also need to know how to give recognition in order to do it better and become champions for the program.

RPI Training Opportunities

RPI members have access to the best employee recognition and engagement training courses available, from the basics in Recognition Fundamentals to expert certification through the Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) certification.
It couldn’t be easier to participate in RPI’s all-new Recognition Fundamentals, which is now available online. Find out more by going to:

For more in depth recognition training, start your Certified Recognition Professional® (CRP) curriculum with Structuring Recognition Programs for Success (CRP I), which is now also offered online. The curriculum has been refreshed based on input from past participants and the 7 Best Practice Standards, and offers valuable content with Building a Recognition Blueprint (formerly CRP II), Designing and Implementing Recognition Programs (Formerly CRP III) and Creating a Recognition Culture (formerly CRP IV). These three additional CRP courses are available at the RPI Annual Conference.  

CRP certification helps guide participants through this Best Practice process and produce measurable benefits for their organizations. Find out more at


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Five Reasons Non Monetary Recognition is Better than Cash

Posted By TemboSocial, Monday, November 14, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Give a chicken a kernel of corn and it will play the piano. That was the premise of an old carnival game - where a trained chicken pecks on toy piano keys after a coin is dropped in the slot. The trick works pretty well but you can’t say that the chicken is engaged in the performance. The bird will not continue practicing its scales once the anticipated reward has been delivered.
People can also be trained to respond to a system of rewards. Bonuses, cash prizes, extra vacation days can all be used to get employees to grind out a few extra hours each week. But like the chicken, as soon as the prize has been delivered people will stop performing.

Non monetary recognition, on the other hand, does not affect employee behavior the same way that monetary rewards do. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Recognition Brings Status
    Recognition, when it’s done well, is public. You can praise an employee on the front page of the corporate intranet. This can help elevate an employee’s status among her peers. Cash rewards, on the other hand, need to be kept private. There’s a strong taboo about discussing pay scales in the workplace, meaning that you can’t post an employee’s bonus payments in public. Yes an employee with a fat bonus can put a payment down on a new Lexus, but that brings us to point #2.

  2. Recognition is Guilt-Free
    Monetary rewards feel good for a moment. But once the money is in the bank many employees become conflicted. Is the money still a reward for good work? Or does it really need to go to roof repairs, paying down a credit card or get tucked away for the kids’ college funds?

    Recognition, on the other hand, can be enjoyed by employees with no strings attached. It goes straight into their emotional expense accounts and doesn’t have to be used to repay past debts.

  3. Recognition Goes Above and Beyond
    Cash is expected. It is part of the contract you make when you hire an employee. If you offer bonuses for performance, those also become expected. It’s just part of the salary package. Something that you owe your employees.

    Recognition, on the other hand, can be perceived as a gift, something that you give an employee for significant reasons beyond just showing up and clocking in.

  4. Recognition Creates Meaning
    Doing meaningful work is deeply important to most people. Cash payouts don’t create meaning. In fact if an employee gets a bonus when he knows he only contributed 50% of his best effort it can make the workplace feel capricious. “They don’t know what they’re doing here - and look how much they pay me to do it!”

    Recognition, on the other hand, is all about meaning. It says “I saw how much work you put into the Jones account, and that means a lot to me.”

  5. Recognition is Human
    People don’t want to spend their whole lives cranking widgets, even if that’s their job. They want to be part of a bigger social enterprise. When you recognize their contributions, when you thank Sally for her 99.9% widget success rate, you are building a personal connection with an employee. She is now a vital part of your team and your tribe.

    Cash, on the other hand, can be dehumanizing. Just like the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry gave Elaine a stack of bills for her birthday, cash can leave employees feeling used. It can leave a lingering sense of “sure, they pay me. But they don’t really know me.”

When it’s working as it should, recognition transforms your company’s culture. People bond to each other, and watch each other’s backs. They get engaged and look for new ways to contribute.

To learn more visit

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3 Common Employee Recognition Mistakes to Avoid

Posted By TemboSocial, Wednesday, November 9, 2016

There have been a few studies making the rounds over the years that suggest too much praise can be harmful to children. Most of this research centers on early childhood development but it got me wondering if there are any lessons here to be learned in the working world?

There is plenty of evidence that praise from peers and managers can turbocharge engagement in the workplace.  I’ve also cautioned that carpet-bombing employees with praise can backfire. In order to be effective, your recognition efforts must be sincere and meaningful.

One of the things that stands out to me from the early childhood research is that praise seems to be most effective when it focuses on the process rather than the person. “Wow, you really put a lot of effort into that presentation,” recognizes a person’s intentions and accomplishments. This kind of praise communicates to people that their hard work was noticed.

Focusing praise instead on the person - for instance saying “you’re a good presenter,” doesn’t really recognize a person’s effort or motivation. This type of praise tends to suggest to people that their efforts don’t necessarily matter as much as natural ability. This sends the signal that they are naturally good no matter how much or how little effort went into the project.
Three common employee recognition mistakes to avoid:

  1. Trying to use praise to “fix” poor performance can breed resentment and de-motivation. Be candid when an employee isn’t meeting expectations so that your praise is meaningful when he does hit the mark.
  1. Recognizing only success.Employees who are praised for good decision-making turn out to be more likely to make bad decisions. Be mindful to also recognize employees for how they recover from missteps.
  1. Using praise only to get results. Praise, when it appears to the “praisee” as a means to an end, can feel like a form of control. Here I like to make the distinction that recognition and acknowledgement can be more effective than a gold star or verbal reward.

Make no mistake, praise can be a powerful tool. Just be sure to apply it thoughtfully and meaningfully.

To learn more visit

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Resources for Improving Workplace Culture and Employee Recognition

Posted By David Layman, Thursday, November 3, 2016
2015 Annual Learning Networking Sponsor/Exhibitor

More than ever creating the right culture in your organization is vital and affects all aspects of your company from engagement and productivity to retention and recruitment of high performing employees.

As Deloitte University points out (link to article below), “Culture and engagement is the most important issue companies face around the world. 87 percent of organizations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges, and 50 percent call the problem “very important.”

Below are some resources – 10 articles and 10 books – for learning more about trends and philosophy behind creating a great culture for your organization.


  1. How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation – Harvard Business Review

  2. Culture: Why it’s the Hottest Topic in Business Today – Forbes

  3. Majority of U.S. Employees Not Engaged Despite Gains in 2014 – Gallup

  4. Building a True Recognition Culture in the Workplace – WorldatWork

  5. Building a Culture of Employee Appreciation – Inc. Magazine

  6. Create a Culture of Engagement With These 7 Measures – Entrepreneur

  7. Culture and Engagement: The Naked Organization – Deloitte University

  8. Creating a Culture of Engagement - BlessingWhite

  9. 5 Workplace Culture Trends You Can’t Ignore - Forbes

  10. Manage Your Emotional Culture – Harvard Business Review


  • The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People - by Gary Chapman and Paul White
    The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People, by Gary Chapman and Paul White, applies the love language concept to the workplace. This book helps supervisors and managers effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction, healthier relationships between managers and employees, and decreased cases of burnout.”

  • Sync or Swim: A Fable About Workplace Communication and Coming Together in a Crisis – by Gary Chapman, Paul E. White and Harold Myra 
    Sync or Swim is a small tale with enormous insight on ways you can empower, engage, and energize employees or volunteers facing discouragement or cynicism.”

  • An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization – by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey From “In most organizations nearly everyone is doing a second job no one is paying them for—namely, covering their weaknesses, trying to look their best, and managing other people’s impressions of them. There may be no greater waste of a company’s resources. The ultimate cost: neither the organization nor its people are able to realize their full potential.” 

  • The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace – by Ron Friedman, PhD
    From “Combining powerful stories with cutting edge findings, Friedman shows leaders at every level how they can use scientifically-proven techniques to promote smarter thinking, greater innovation, and stronger performance. Brimming with counterintuitive insights and actionable recommendations, The Best Place to Work offers employees and executives alike game-changing advice for working smarter and turning any organization—regardless of its size, budgets, or ambitions—into an extraordinary workplace.”

  • Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose Kindle Edition – By Tony Hsieh From The visionary CEO of Zappos explains how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success. Pay new employees $2000 to quit. Make customer service the entire company, not just a department. Focus on company culture as the #1 priority. Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business. Help employees grow both personally and professionally. Seek to change the world. Oh, and make money too. Sound crazy? It's all standard operating procedure at, the online retailer that's doing over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales every year.”

  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't Hardcover – by Jim Collins
    From Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not so great, the book offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence that any organization would do well to consider.”

  • Change Your Space, Change Your Culture: How Engaging Workspaces Lead to Transformation and Growth Hardcover – By Rex Miller, Mabel Casey and Mark Konchar
    From “Change Your Space, Change Your Culture is a guide to transforming business by rethinking the workplace. Written by a team of trail-blazing leaders, this book reveals the secrets of companies that discovered the power of culture and space. This insightful guide reveals what companies lose by viewing office space as something to manage or minimize. With practical tips and implementation details, the book helps the reader see that the workspace is, in fact, a crucial driver of productivity and morale.”

  • The Power of Thanks: How Social Recognition Empowers Employees and Creates a Best Place to Work Hardcover – by Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine
    From Building a fully engaged, energized workforce is the key to business success. The Power of Thanksreveals how leading companies like Intuit, JetBlue Airways, IHG, Symantec, ConAgra Foods, and The Hershey Company empower employees through social recognition, in which the practice of mutual appreciation and trust directs and rewards higher performance. Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine, executives at the world-renowned employee recognition firm Globoforce, explain why social recognition is so powerful and how you can apply it in your company. Mosley and Irvine provide practical advice and proven examples for devising a powerful, growth-generating strategy that modernizes employee recognition for today's social, global, multi-generational and 24x7 wired workforce.”

  • The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and transforming Your Workplace Kindle Edition – By S. Chris Edmonds
    From “The Culture Engine shows leaders how to create a high performing, values aligned culture through the creation of an organizational constitution. With practical step-by-step guidance, readers learn how to define their organization's culture, delineate the behaviors that contribute to greater performance and greater engagement, and draft a document that codifies those behaviors into a constitution that guides behavior towards an ideal: a safe, inspiring workplace. The discussion focuses on people, including who should be involved at the outset and how to engage employees from start to finish, while examples of effective constitutions provide guidance toward drafting a document that can actualize an organization's potential.”

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    Do You Have Culture? Include Recognition as you Plan for Your Company Culture

    Posted By David Layman, Wednesday, November 2, 2016
    Updated: Friday, October 28, 2016

    How would you describe your company culture? Does it truly represent what your organization is about, and above all is it a culture that encourages productivity, engagement and success? Is it a culture your employees are proud to be a part of?

    Here’s a great definition of culture: “Culture is the character and personality of your organization. It's what makes your organization unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes.” (ERC HR Insights blog).

    Your organization’s culture is its lifeblood pumping through all the parts of your organization. A great culture strengthens your company, and invigorates and inspires your employees. The benefits of a great company culture are obvious. Employees enjoy coming to work and do their best work. People are waiting in line to join your organization and no one wants to leave. Your people buy in to the company’s mission and will do everything they can to ensure its success.

    On the other hand, a negative culture can have the opposite effect – adversely affecting or poisoning the way your company operates.  Turnover is high and productivity is low. Morale is even lower and communication is non-existent.

    An excellent workplace culture must be carefully planned, implemented and cultivated, because if you are not intentional and don’t actively work towards this, you create a cultural void. In this void, a culture will be created for you – and it probably won’t be the one you want.

    Recognition is vital to culture

    In the recognition world, we speak of creating a “recognition culture.”  In this type of environment, people throughout the organization feel appreciated for the work they do, and even more so when they go the extra mile. In this type of workplace, engagement and productivity grow exponentially because they are more likely to have the desire to go above and beyond because they know they are valued and because they are helping the pump the cultural lifeblood of the organization.

    Statistics show that recognition can have a tremendous effect on your company’s overall culture:

    • The number-one reason most Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. (Gallup)
    • Organizations with recognition programs which are highly effective at enabling employee engagement had 31% lower voluntary turnover than organizations with ineffective recognition programs. (Bersin by Deloitte)
    • 60% of Best-in-Class organizations stated that employee recognition is extremely valuable in driving individual performance. (Aberdeen Group)
    • Companies with strategic recognition reported a mean employee turnover rate that is 23.4% lower than retention at companies without any recognition program. (SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012)
    • Praise and commendation from managers was rated the top motivator for performance, beating out other noncash and financial incentives, by a majority of workers (67%) (McKinsey Motivating People)
    • When companies spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition, 85% see a positive impact on engagement.  (SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012)

    How would you describe your company culture? How would your employees describe it? Is it aligned with your company mission and goals? Is it working? Is there a void waiting to be filled? What changes can be made to create the type of culture you want? If it’s not working, it’s time to step back and assess and make some corrections. Take action and make a plan – and for the best results, make sure to include recognition as a major part of creating a culture that works. 

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    The Pygmalion Effect: Transforming Your Company Culture

    Posted By David Layman, Friday, October 28, 2016

    You probably know the story of Pygmalion; or if not, then perhaps the musical My Fair Lady. In the story, the haughty professor Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can transform the Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a lady who can pass for a duchess.

    The play and musical are more or less based on story from Greek mythology. Pygmalion, a sculptor, creates a marble statue of a woman so beautiful that he falls in love with it and it comes to life.

    That the story has been a popular one for thousands of years illustrates how we as humans are intrigued with the idea of using our influence in one way or another to create the ideal.

    How does this relate to workplace and culture? In much the same way, many business leaders understand that an environment where employees are happy and satisfied, and relate to the goals and vision of the company they work for, can thrive and help transform a business into a vibrant, productive and profitable organization.

    These enlightened leaders therefore strive to sculpt the perfect company culture to bring their organization to life. And much of this comes down to how employers treat their employees.

    As Eliza Doolittle explains: “You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking, and so on), the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves but how she’s treated.” 

    The Pygmalion Effect

    Studies in education in the 1960s conducted by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson showed that if teachers expected superior performance from students, then their performance improved. It also concluded that expectations could either positively or negatively affect performance, based on others’ expectations, and that reality could actually be impacted, creating self-fulfilling prophecies.

    The results of this study have been called the Pygmalion effect, or the Rosenthal effect, in which higher expectations lead to an increase in performance

    This happens much the same way in the workplace –higher expectations from an employer often results in higher success and optimal results. By extension, creating a workplace culture in which employees are encouraged and expected to be successful produces an environment where employees are successful.

    By the way, the opposite is also true. Low expectations bring about low performance. (This is called The Golem Effect).

    Tony Hsieh: Modern Pygmalion

    In the past several years, you can’t read about workplace culture without hearing about Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Hsieh has created an amazing, if unconventional, company culture using techniques that many, if not most, find quite radical.

    A few years back, Hsieh instituted the use of “Holacracy” at Zappos, in which titles and managers are eliminated and power is distributed to everyone in the company. Zappos employees were informed of the change, and were given the option to leave with three months severance pay if they didn’t want to adapt to the new company structure.

    You could say that he was chiseling away the marble in order to create the sculpture, or the type of company, that was his ideal.

    While radical, few can argue with the results and success he has achieved.

    USMotivation President Tina Weede recently visited the Zappos headquarters in Las Vegas.

    “What Tony Hsieh has been able to create along with his 1,500 associates is amazing and it’s wonderful to see because it’s a very solid culture – very individualized but very unique common culture,” she said. “What they defined as their core values, why they work there, the culture that they’ve created is very vibrant. Some people would look at it and say, ‘wow, that’s just a really crazy culture – that would be so much fun.’ It looks like it’s just a fun place.

    Weede said what is remarkable about the company is that all the employees there “march in the same direction,” but it all comes down to having a very detailed plan in place.

    “I think that is what we learned with RPI – you cannot have a culture based on core values, based on mutual respect, on recognition if you don’t follow a plan and you have to follow it each and every time,” she said. “And when I look at what Tony Hsieh has created, it’s an environment that looks like a lot of fun – their customers love it. They have such a great relationship with their customers. And really, that’s their purpose and that’s their goal – they come to work every day for that reason.”  

    Creating a Cultural Work of Art

    In order to create an ideal work culture depends first on the vision, planning and hard work of leadership. Leaders have to create an atmosphere where employees are expected to do their best work. And employees have to believe in the vision. Recognition of each employee’s inherent skills and abilities will result in more engagement.

    The difference in creating a great workplace culture is really in how employees are treated. Make a plan for an ideal culture and it will come to life.

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    Successful Recognition with RPI’s Best Practice Standards

    Posted By David Layman, Monday, October 10, 2016

    Using RPI’s 7 Best Practices is a roadmap for great recognition programs.
    RPI’s Best Practice Standards® really are what set the organization apart and enable it to help members achieve success in implementing great recognition programs and develop a recognition culture within their companies.

    The Best Practices are based on years of academic research and professional experiences in developing successful recognition programs. They are designed to help create new recognition programs, as well as evaluate existing programs in public and private sectors, large and small organizations and organizations with single or multiple locations or functions.

    RPI’s 7 Best Practice Standards at a glance.
    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

    One Company’s success with RPI and the 7 Best Practice Standards.
    For Tina Weede, president of USMotivation, RPI’s Best Practice Standards, was the reason the company chose to join and participate with RPI – closely followed by RPI’s education and certification programs. USMotivation is a recognition, incentive and meetings/events company based in Atlanta. Tina has also served as president of RPI and as a member of the RPI board of directors.

    “When we first became engaged with RPI, I was very intrigued with their mission, and when I really started looking at their certification program – there were other certification programs out there, but I really liked the structure of this program,” Weede said.

    “You can use the seven tenets (Best Practices) not only for recognition but also for incentives. They really go hand in hand, even though there’s a different need for incentives and a different need for recognition,” she said.

    The company received RPI’s Overall Best Practices Award in 2013 based on its ability to successfully incorporate all seven best practices.

    “We were very proud of the accomplishment because we knew it was a big one within our industry – one of the biggest ones, and we’re very proud of that,” she said. “We also learned a lot after the submission. Our business has changed a lot over the last three years – our culture has continued to grow. I think we’re in a better place and I think our rewards programs are growing.”

    Recognition certification helps companies to better implement Best Practices.
    In addition to RPI’s Best Practices, Weede was also impressed by the organization’s education and certification programs, as well as the opportunities RPI provides to network and interact with other recognition professionals.

    Being able to use the Best Practice Standards interchangeably led to USMotivation having 30 percent of its employees complete RPI’s Certified Recognition Professionals (CRP) training.

    “From an education standpoint I have not found another association in this sector that provides as rich of a certification program and education component as RPI,” she said. “That’s why I chose it originally to do the certification for our associates.
    “Making that commitment also allowed us to better follow the tenets not only how to create great recognition and incentive programs for our clients, but also how to do that internally,” Weede said.  “I think it’s what makes our recognition and incentive programs at USM even stronger.”

    She also believes that with the CRP course soon to be available online, that will be a game changer with how many people within RPI member organizations can become certified and learn more about recognition and “what is a true recognition strategy can look like, how you implement it and what the best practices are.

    “Having the online courses is going to change the environment with how people are certified and provide greater opportunities to have more people certified,” she said.

    Creating the Foundation for Recognition Culture.
    While implementing any of the Best Practices is an excellent start, putting all seven together is vitally important in a recognition program reaching its full potential.

    “You have to have the foundation. If you follow the best practices you’re going to build that solid foundation where you really can create an amazing culture based on recognition, based on your core values,” Weede said. “You may be able to have one or two and have some success but if you don’t have the overarching strategy and don’t have management buy-in, I don’t think you get all you can from your program.

    “You really can’t just follow one of them.  For example, if you want to just have great parties and great celebrations – well that’s good, but they’re probably without meaning or purpose.”
    Weede said among the most difficult standards to put in place are measurement and training, followed closely by communication.

    “If we were to see people consistently who fall down in recognition or incentive strategy – it’s always tied back to that,” she said. “Training and measurement are usually the two that are most difficult. Like with anything it takes attention and it takes care to make sure that the program grows and it matures, it’s meaningful and it provides purpose.
    Taking an overall approach and focusing on all seven Best Practices is the best way to a successful recognition program.

    “The best practices provide you with the roadmap to have the best rewards and recognition – and the best culture within your company,” Weede said.

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    What Are RPI’s 7 Recognition Best Practices? A step by step guide to how to do Recognition right

    Posted By David Layman, Monday, September 26, 2016

    High performing, engaged employees are vital to an organization’s success. Years of research has proven that employee performance is greatly impacted by employee recognition. Recognition drives engagement and results in more productivity, higher retention and creates a culture where your people support the organization’s goals, mission and vision. It also affects your organization’s ability to attract and recruit the best prospects. Through research, RPI has developed Best Practice Standards that help set up and implement a recognition program that gets results. These best practices work together. Here is an overview of the 7 Best Practice Standards and how they work.

    Standard 1: Recognition Strategy

    This is the foundation of your recognition program. This standard is about explaining your goals, vision and philosophy behind what your program should accomplish. It also serves to create buy-in for the program, and how it fits with your company’s goals, culture and mission statement. It also sets out how day-to-day, informal and formal recognition will encourage and reward the behaviors that will drive success.

    Standard 2: Management Responsibility

    This standard establishes who will lead the program, and ensures buy-in from senior leadership and that managers understand the ideas behind recognition, what the outcomes should be and encourage participation. A recognition program is doomed without senior and manager level support. It works best for these leaders to set the example so that all employees recognize the importance of participating in the program. For this reason, senior leaders should also participate in setting up how the program works in terms of policies, procedures and measurement of the program.

    Standard 3: Recognition Program Measurement

    Constant and consistent measurement of recognition programs is essential to find out if what you are doing is effective. You should measure how well the program is being implemented, what is the level of participation, has the program impacted the level of employee satisfaction and how has the program affected employee productivity and effectiveness.

    Standard 4: Recognition Program Communication Plan

    You can have the best recognition program in the world, but it will never be successful without a well-planned communications strategy. The communications plan should cover all parts of your recognition strategy, including goals, promotions, events, celebrations and key contacts for the recognition program. The plan should also spell out what tools you will use to communicate program information to participants (employees). These will certainly include emails, videos and other web content, for example on a company intranet site. They also could include more traditional communications such as bulletin boards, posters, letters, flyers, brochures, manager tool kits and employee handbooks.

    Standard 5: Recognition Training

    To make a recognition program effective, employees need to understand the value and importance of recognition. They also need to know how to give recognition. This is especially important for managers and leadership. Helpful recognition training opportunities could include individual learning, web-based learning modules, e-learning, manager tool kits, printed materials, video presentations and new-employee orientation training. RPI members can participate in Recognition Fundamentals training or take the Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) training. RPI’s Recognition Fundamentals is an overview course of Recognition Best Practices developed from years of implementation and research. This course will help you create awareness and better understand the important role of recognition in the workforce. This online course is an hour long and includes a new Learning Guide for you to implement tools and strategies today. Register here.

    Standard 6: Recognition Events and Celebrations

    Events and celebrations are not only great opportunities to formally recognize employees, they also help create excitement about your recognition program. These should be fun, unique and meaningful experiences that draw the interest of employees and create a buzz. A great celebration year after year can generate excitement and anticipation before the event and also create an afterglow after the event has passed.

    Standard 7: Program Change and Flexibility

    Change is the only thing that is constant. Times change, employees change, trends come and go. Every recognition program must have the flexibility to institute changes to maintain effectiveness. Programs can become stale and lose their excitement if they stay the same year in and year out. As you continue to measure and evaluate your program over time, you will find some things that work and others that don’t. Maybe portions of your program need tweaking or some may need to be eliminated entirely.

    Organizations also change over time. Make sure your program continues to reflect your company’s culture, values, objectives, needs and goals. Senior leaders should regularly review recognition programs and activities to make sure they still align with the company’s culture and objectives.

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