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Recognition in The Real World
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How to Write a Recognition Questionnaire and Recognize Employees the Way They Want

Posted By Ava Ewald, Thursday, February 13, 2020
Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2020

RPI developed their 7 RPI Best Practice Standards® based on expert knowledge, academic literature and a wealth of experience in growing and developing successful recognition programs. Standard 1 is Recognition Strategy and Standard 2 is management responsibility. These two standards are especially important to consider when developing your strategy for recognition. Below is how you can craft a recognition questionnaire to ensure that you are recognizing employees the way they prefer.

 

Scott Russell, Director of Engagement Strategies at C.A. Short Company and Executive Vice President of RPI discussed the importance of tailoring your recognition strategy to each employee in the Essential Recognition Leaders for webinar. He suggested that one great way to do this is through a recognition questionnaire.

 

What is an employee recognition questionnaire?

Texas A&M University published their recognition questionnaire and stated that their purpose for the form is to “assist supervisors and managers with their employee recognition efforts.” Essentially, the goal of the form is to gather your employees’ preferences on how they like to be recognized.

 

Why are they helpful?

Having your employees fill out a form with foods/drinks/activities they like and how they like to be recognized means that you gather that information quickly, as figuring out these preferences through conversation would take a significant amount of time. You can then keep this information on file and refer back to it whenever you need. These forms may also be a form of recognition on their own- allowing your employees to feel cared for and heard.

 

What to include:

1)      Important dates/anniversaries. Make sure that there are sections of the questionnaire for their work anniversary, marriage anniversary, birthday or any other important dates they want you to know about. Celebrate these days with them.

2)      What they enjoy being recognized for. Maybe one employee has a hard time participating in team projects and would like to be recognized for working with others. Every employee is proud of different aspects of their work. Make sure you celebrate with them when they accomplish something that challenges them.

3)      How they like to be recognized. Some employees love being recognized in front of the whole team, while other more introverted employees may not enjoy this as much. For rewards, some may value opportunities such as face time with a manager or paid time off. Make sure that you take the time to recognize each employee how they like being recognized to show that you care that much more.

4)      Favorites. This is the fun part. Make sure to collect employees’ favorite snack, candy, restaurant, flower, store, dessert, sports team, etc. Having this information on file for each employee will make recognizing them much more fun and personal.

5)      Allergies/restrictions. Bringing in a team lunch from a local barbecue place is not fun for the employee who does not eat meat. If you have the information available, you can make sure that a group reward is equally fun for everyone.

6)      Additional comments. Of course, leaving an empty space for additional comments allows employees to voice thoughts and ideas.

7)      Recognition log. Put in a log on the back of the document or keep it separately so you can keep track of who has been recognized and when.

 

Using your employees’ answers:

Once you have collected the questionnaires, take the time to look through them on your own or with your recognition team. Consider planning out when you will recognize certain employees and any supplies you will need for that event/employee. Come up with a short-list of restaurants that suit everyone that can be catered.

 

To learn more about RPI’s 7 Best Practices click here.

Check out our new resource hub here!

To gain access to Essential Recognition for Leaders with Scott Russell and Theresa Harkins, click here.

 

 

Tags:  employee recognition  engagement  RPI 7 Best Practices  survey 

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3 Takeaways: What Can Higher Education Teach Your Company about Recognition?

Posted By Kathie Pugaczewski CRP, RPI, Friday, January 24, 2020

3 Takeaways: What Can Higher Education Teach Your Company about Recognition?

From the RPI January 2020 Webinar presented by Brenda Naegel, Yale University; Iryna Leonova, University of Calgary; and Cori Champagne, MIT. 

1. Be Thoughtful in Setting Up Your Recognition Program

  • Proper set-up sets the stage for a great recognition program. First, you should know what you want from your program. Are there specific goals you would like to meet? Would you like to see staff more energized? Be sure to begin your program with a goal in mind.
  • Utilize your “recognition champions.” Pick a member of your staff who you believe is already great at motivating or recognizing others. Allow them to help you in creating your recognition program.
  • Get organized. Create a schedule for when you will roll out your program and when you will hold informational meetings for your participants.

2. Measure Your Program’s Success and Evaluate the Results

  • It is hard to have a successful recognition program without being able to measure your progress. 
  • Keep track of your website’s traffic, how many users you have and more. 
  • Evaluate your progress weekly, or even daily, in order to see potential areas of growth.

3. Communication Is Key

  • Analyze what your participants’ and audiences’ needs are. Are they always on the go? You may need to focus on optimizing your webpage for mobile phones. 
  • Frequently check in on your website. Make sure that there is not a registration form open for an event that already happened. Update the website with winners of an award soon after the event. Details and recency are key to a great website.

Practitioner members and Business Partners get complimentary access to this webinar on-demand in the Learning Center along with 50+ other webinars and assets to drive your recognition strategy.
 
Read more about RPI's 7 Best Practice Standards®
Register for upcoming webinars here: https://www.recognition.org/events/event_list.asp 
 


Tags:  education  employee recognition  recognition programs  recognition trends  RPI 7 best practices 

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5 Components for Recognition Training Plans

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Recognition Plan Training

Standard 5 of RPI's Best Practices®, Recognition Training, is essential in creating a culture of appreciation. All employees, especially managers and leaders, need to understand the importance of meaningful recognition and how to give it. The organization's Recognition Training Plan should document how training is designed and administered for managers and employees at all levels, including the training objectives, methods, audience, frequency and measures. The following training plan components are crucial to the success of the recognition training plan.

  1. Identify Recognition Program related topics (how to use program and/or skill building)?

  2. Select target audience for each recognition topic?

  3. Choose training topic delivery methods appropriate for each audience?

  4. Determine frequency of training (one-time, on-going, periodic)?

  5. Measure how effective the training was applied on the job?

Tips

  1. A framework is used to analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate what training is needed. Recognition topics are included in general training such as safety, leadership, and job specific.
  2. Training includes targeted and specific audiences. All levels of employees receive recognition training and apply what they learn
  3. The plan includes a variety of delivery methods based on the geographic, cultural, and specific needs of the targeted audience.
  4. The plan spells out when training is offered.
  5. Reaction and application evaluation are checked to determine changes needed to make the training more effective. Results-

Read more about RPI's 7 Best Practice Standards® here: https:// www.recognition.org/page/ best_practice

Tags:  employee recognition  employee recognition program  recognition training  RPI 7 Best Practices 

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Learn from the best, tips from MIT on building employee engagement

Posted By Kathie Pugaczewski CRP, RPI, Monday, October 29, 2018

Each year, companies are spending almost $750 million per year on engagement. Companies know that creating an engaged culture is important, but the problem is that the spend is not being returned with only 50% of the potential market has been tapped, with only half of the organizations stating an interest in engagement programs actually investing.

So the question needs to be asked, how can you increase employee engagement and create a recognition culture within your organization?

In 2016, RPI awarded Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT as it is better known as, the top award amongst recognition professionals, the RPI Best Practice Standards® Award. The institute began their award winning recognition program in 2001. Prior to this, the Institute was seen by staff as a “praise free zone”. So how in the span of 15 years did the Institute create a major internal cultural shift and build a recognition program that continues to grow? The answer lies within the seven RPI Best Practice Standards®.

Make it robust (Standard 1: Recognition Strategy)

By creating a robust recognition strategy, MIT was built a recognition program that has legs. A multi-tiered model approach, like the one used at the Institute, allows leaders and employees to provide rewards and recognition for all levels of behavior. As we know, recognition does not always have to mean a large ceremony every time an employee or coworker does something worthy of recognition. Instead, building daily “on the spot” awards into a program allows for flexibility and authenticity to the awards. Making the accomplishments measurable ends credibility to the program and removes questions of favoritism, a plague that we know can sink a recognition program in an instant.

Top Down Buy In (Standard 2: Management Responsibility)

To kick start their program, MIT tapped into their senior leaders and staff to be their program champions. From the start, they were included in the development and roll out of the program. Senior leaders and managers serve as key role models by encouraging attendance and presenting at the recognition events, and utilizing the program themselves. Often times, these leaders make up half or close to half all of the “on-the-spot” awards submitted and are frequent nominators for the larger awards.  

Train, Teach, and Train again (Standard 5: Recognition Training)

The MIT model does not only work because of it’s multi-tiered approach to recognition, but because at the start of their employment with MIT, staff are trained on the program. Throughout their careers, MIT provide staff with additional trainings on the program and ample opportunities to be involved in planning of the large year end event. There are articles and tools readily available to all staff and employees on the program and an intranet site dedicated solely to the program creating a single location for all program information.

The MIT Recognition program is a phenomenal example of a program that is built to last. These are only 3 of the key ways the MIT program has grown into an adaptable and award winning part of their culture.

Read more about MIT’s award

Learn more about the 7 best practices for building your recognition program and how you can become a certified recognition professional.

Tags:  employee engagement  employee recognition  employee retention  MIT  RPI 7 Best Practices 

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Recognition Drives Employee Engagement at the University of Calgary

Posted By Sue Yoemans, Monday, August 20, 2018
By Elena Rhodes and Iryna Leonova on behalf of the University of Calgary

How to build a culture of recognition if you have more than 5,000 employees and your workforce is incredibly diverse? The University of Calgary approached this challenge by creating its Employee Recognition Strategy. The initiative is focused on recognizing individual and team behaviors and achievements which support university’s strategic goals and core values, while promoting a positive and respectful workplace.

However, creating a strategy is not enough. The university formed a dedicated recognition team in Human Resources to lead management of the strategy. It was also essential to find advocates across the organization to support its further development, implementation, and evaluation.

Three groups of recognition advocates help build a culture of recognition. The first one is the Employee Recognition Steering Committee. This committee of representatives from diverse employee groups worked on the Recognition Strategy. Following that, the Steering Committee has been guiding the strategy implementation. The Recognition Steering Committee is also responsible for using available resources, such as the information from a recognition preferences survey, to provide guidance on what recognition programs and practices are relevant to the employees. The recognition team collaborates with the Steering Committee in developing best practice recognition programs, education, and communication.

Local engagement or recognition committees in various faculties, schools, and departments represent the second group. Given that the University of Calgary is very diverse, the same practice will not fit all. The local committees help tailor university-wide recognition programs and practices to the units’ and faculties’ culture, goals, and unique landscape. The recognition team supports local committees through an ongoing consultation process.

Finally, the third group is the Employee Recognition Champions Network. The Network is a relatively new group created through an open call. Recognition champions are faculty and staff who are committed to acknowledging the great work that is happening across campus through formal recognition programs and informal recognition practices. Local recognition committees often provide a representative for the Recognition Champions Network. 

The champions learn about a variety of recognition tools and programs that are available at the university and exchange ideas among each other. They aim to promote effective recognition practices in their faculty or unit – individually or as part of a committee – with focus on peer-to-peer recognition. They also help the recognition team with feedback on recognition tools, practices, and programs and information on challenges and successes in their areas. The recognition champions meet bi-monthly to learn about recognition and exchange ideas. Between meetings, they communicate through a dedicated SharePoint site.

Together, these three groups of advocates provide robust guidance to the recognition team. They also help develop recognition into a grass-root culture campus-wide. The recognition advocates help build connections between different groups of employees, and create flexible and sustainable recognition programs and practices.

To learn more about this RPI award-winning initiative, please visit the University of Calgary website at https://www.ucalgary.ca/

The University of Calgary won the RPI Best Practice Standards® Award in 2018 form Recognition Professionals International (RPI). The RPI Best Practice Standards® Award honors organizations who implement the RPI Best Practice Standards®, which are based on knowledge gained from academic literature, professional conferences, and shared experiences in developing successful recognition programs. Standards are designed to be useful for the creation and evaluation of recognition programs in the public and private sectors, large and small organizations, and organizations with single or multiple locations or functions.

Tags:  employee engagement  employee recognition  RPI 7 Best Practices(SM) 

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Bestselling leadership expert and author Chester Elton keynotes at RPI Conference in Nashville

Posted By Jess Myers, RPI, Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Real solutions on managing culture change, driving innovation, and leading a multi-generational workforce.

#1 New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers All In and The Carrot Principle.

For decades, when your parents wanted you to eat your vegetables, we’ve heard the idea that carrots are good for your vision. Chester Elton is a man renowned for his business visions, which may be one of the reasons he and a business partner have dubbed themselves the Carrot Guys.

Elton, who will be one of the keynote speakers at the 2018 RPI Annual Conference, began his journey as an author and orator two decades ago. Along with writing partner Adrian Gostick, Elton was doing consulting work on employee engagement and recognition. He first hit on the idea of taking what they were learning through their work and making a book out of it. Both men sensed a need for a “bible of recognition and engagement.”

Their biggest challenge was a lack of knowledge about how to get a book published. On their website, Elton and Gostick recall cold-calling a local publishing whose specialty was cookbooks and do-it-yourself manuals.

With a publishing contract that the men signed on a picnic table outside an old barn that had been converted into an office, they wrote and wrote and re-wrote until “Managing With Carrots” was complete. The book came out in 1999 and was a success, selling 40,000 copies in its first year. Since then the duo has written four more books, with increasing levels of success, and have become sought-after experts on workplace dynamics and employee engagement. They’ve moved from a niche publisher to giant Simon & Schuster, and note with some pride that their written works have been translated into 20 languages and are popular on every continent except Antarctica.

In 2010 Elton and Gostick also founded their own consulting and training company, The Culture Works, which focuses on employee engagement, culture and leadership strategies with some of the world’s most renowned corporate names.

Elton, along with renowned author David Sturt, will be the featured speakers at the 2018 RPI Conference, which kicks off April 29 in Nashville, Tenn. Registration for the three-day conference, which includes CRP courses and Recognition Fundamentals is now available here.

Tags:  2018 RPI Conference  employee recognition  Nashville conference 

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