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Recognition in The Real World
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Recognize me! Why your organization needs a recognition program to stay ahead of the game.

Posted By Kathie Pugaczewski, RPI, Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Recognize me! Why your organization needs a recognition program to stay ahead of the game.

Recruitment and Retention. These two terms are at the top of the minds of most organizations these days. Workers of all skills levels and experience now have their pick of where they work, it is now up to prospective employers to set themselves apart from the competition and, not only recruit new employees but retain their current workforce. According to the research presented in the 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report from AON, each of the three elements composing their engagement index improved across the globe: “Say,” which measures employee advocacy, went from 68 percent of employees a year ago to 70 percent this year. “Stay,” which measures the likelihood that employees will remain at their current employer, rose one point to 61 percent of employees. “Strive,” which assesses willingness to give extra effort, improved by two points to 64 percent.” It is clear that employees want to feel recognized for their contributions to the organization and seek out and stay at those organizations who provide this recognition.

With “Rewards & Recognition” topping the list of preferred engagement opportunities again this year, of which “recognition for contributions (beyond pay and benefits)” being a key factor in this ranking it is clear that recognition programs can make or break an organization’s workforce. The question then becomes, with such a larger number of employees reporting recognition being a high motivator for their work, how can your organization tap into this motivation and build a recognition program that not only lasts but impacts your culture.

As per RPI’s Certified Recognition Professionals program, there are 8 key steps to designing a program that is responsive and true to your organization culture.
  1. Create a centrally-managed and global program
    Make sure the program is a single program, not many small unrelated pieces. Make giving recognition quick and easy for all employees. It needs to be consistently branded across all platforms.

  1. Ensure accessibility of the program
    Empower your employees by creating a program that can be accessed by everyone, everywhere.

  1. Recognize most employees every year
    The best practice is to reach at least 80% of your employees annually (Gallup asks if each employee has been recognized in the past 7 days). It can be as simple as a thank-you email or shout-out in a meeting.

  1. Give consistent and ongoing feedback
    Frequency of recognition helps keep employees satisfied in their jobs. Be cautious though, recognition should not be a quota, instead should be authentic and based on employee performance.

  1. Be specific in your recognition
    On the topic of authenticity, most generations in the workforce now can route out inauthentic statements in half a second. While generalized statement may be easy for leadership to “plug and play”, they can cause more harm than good. Be as specific to the employee’s contribution as possible.

  1. Program should be accessible from all platforms
    95% of Americans own a mobile device of some sort, 77% of them are smartphones and it is estimated that by 2019 the total number of mobile users worldwide will surpass the 5 billion mark. Any recognition program you develop should be mobile friendly and accessible from any platform.

  1. Be proportional in local vs national/international awards
    Whether you are a local organization or international, any monetary awards should have equal value, regardless of location. Awards should be location appropriate and have the same lasting emotional impact regardless if the recipient is in Brazil or France.

  1. Make it social
    All of the awards should be visible to other employees to encourage peer-to-peer recognition and increase the impact of the award.


Well organized and thought out recognition programs not only help drive engagement, but can help your organization be up to 40% more profitable.


“Why Recognition? Organizations that give regular ‘thanks to their employees far outperform those that do not” Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte

Expand your knowledge, excel in your job and maximize your recognition program with RPI’s Certified Recognition Professional® (CRP) program.

Tags:  employee engagement  recognition strategy 

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Building a Culture of Recognition

Posted By Amy Hurley CRP, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In study after study on recognition, retention and staff engagement, we have learned that people commonly leave jobs not because of pay or where they park or the food in the cafeteria. They leave because they don’t feel appreciated.

In this time of low unemployment and more competition than ever to hire and retain the best and brightest, it’s logical that more and more employers are looking for ways to build a culture of appreciation, and they need to know what a useful strategy that recognition can be.

Some of it is pretty straightforward:

  • Staff members appreciate face-to-face contact.
  • They appreciate someone acknowledging them in a group.
  • They like seeing comments on walls, posted in common areas or the break room.
  • They like that acknowledgment and reinforcement that they’re doing a good job.

From the beginning, we instill that culture of appreciation and recognition in our people. My staff gets in front of people on their very first day of orientation. We are among the first people that talk to new employees. When people take on leadership roles, we are on that agenda too, making sure that those messages about our culture of employee recognition are heard right at the beginning when people enter our system.

This notion of constant reinforcement makes me think of a recent visit that I made to the Homeland Security website, when I was looking into how you can block phone solicitations. On their site they had a big, amazing banner that I wanted to emulate. It said, “If You See Something, Say Something.” I recall thinking that slogan should be the theme for recognition, not just Homeland Security, because that is how effective recognition works. If you see something good, acknowledge it, and because the timing is important, so do it right then.

In my workplace at the Ohio State University, it starts with the medical center placing a value on recognition tools and having a strong statement about our values, wanting to live them and being dedicated to reinforcing them for consistency’s sake. The medical center supports us as a department and we are very active in using our tools, which is of high importance. If you put tools out there and managers don’t use them, it sends a message that people are not valued and it’s not a big part of the culture.

Since not every tool is going to work for every workplace, people have to pick tools that are going to make sense in their organization. You can’t just pick up a complete toolkit and expect it to work in every setting. For example, our medical center has over 20,000 people in different sites, so we do have a business partner provider who provides a place that people can go for consistency. This allows people to do e-cards across the system to communicate.

One thing we consistently communicate and coach is the need for people to take the time and reach out, either by rounding or writing personal notes. To that end we had hundreds of notecards printed and they’re available any time anyone needs more. It is one way we try to remove obstacles to the personal encounters.

We try to represent the Ohio State brand with all of our tools. So for example, some of our nomination-based awards are tied to our values. We have a lot of pride in OSU, so there are many things we can build from that way, and we’ve found that things branded with OSU are hugely popular among our people, so that works here. We talk about the Buckeye Spirit and living the values of our organization. There are many things we tie together this way.

I don’t use the term consistency lightly.  When a manager vows to get better at recognition, they also need to take a vow of consistency. If they work on recognition for one or two days or try it out for a week and then quit, the next time something amazing happens with no recognition, a person will be hurt that they weren’t recognized. Consistency is vital.

As a leader of an organization, I believe that you have to emulate the behavior that you want to see from others. To create and maintain a strong culture of recognition, you have to work directly with front-line managers and the people who are going to be the positive enforcers of this. They are the people who will get the tools, and the effort will live or die right there, depending on whether or not the tools are used effectively. You can’t just give them tools and say, “Go!” You have to constantly coach and reinforce how to use them as well. Through efforts like leadership academy and ‘lunch-n-learn’ events, we share useful strategies and talk to them about their needs.

One of my favorite examples of an effective recognition tool is our Bravo Emergency Box. We are a big operation with several inpatient hospital units and someone may call us on a Friday afternoon, after a rough day, and ask us to do something for staff morale. The manager needs something on the spot in their hands immediately. With this in mind, we created the Bravo Emergency Box, which is filled with tchotchkes like sunglasses, stress balls, lip balm and lots of candy. We wrapped them up in what looks like crime scene tape. Each manager has one of these boxes in their office and if something good or bad happens, they can pull this box out in an emergency. All they need to do is tell us why they used it and they will get another box. Instead of a manager having to buy pizza out of their own pocket or something, they have this in their hands and it is brand-supported. It is a simple and easy thing we do.

We have done significant organizational coaching of our leaders, making sure they visit the second and third shifts to do rounding and make people know they are important. We have leaders who do rounds on holidays to let employees know they’re appreciated. It takes all of us to make this work. We also work to ensure that every member of the team, from top to bottom, is recognized for good work. There is no segregation of celebrations here. An award could go to one of our neurosurgeons, or to the person who removes scuff marks from the floors. They could get the same honor based on what they do, not comparing each other’s skills. We feel that shows the spirit that we are all one, and that is important because it takes all of is to make this work.

In contrast to the need for consistency in recognition, I see great value in variety when telling recognition stories. It is important to look at all the different ways we can communicate, and learn which communication tool is the right one to use for a particular message. You can’t effectively communicate everything across all platforms, because people tend to start seeing it as white noise and delete it. So we try to be strategic about what form of communication makes the most sense, and then we monitor the open rates of those different communication tools to see what is working. It’s not just one things that works every time, it’s a constant balancing act and we’re always trying to see what we need to do to get better and what we need to try next.

Taken all together, we like to think of what we do as the Buckeye Way of creating that culture of recognition.

# # #

Amy Hurley is the Faculty and Staff Recognition Program Director at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. She is the RPI’s president-elect.

Tags:  culture  day to day recognition  health care employee engagement  peer to peer recognition  Recognition Strategy 

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Peer to Peer Recognition Leads to Changing Behaviors and Builds Engagement

Posted By Sue Yoemans, Tuesday, September 18, 2018

By Susan Hall, CRP, Corporate Engagement and Community Development, Gateway Mortgage Group LLC

Susan Hall

Showing appreciation in the work place isn’t just for management to their employees. It’s important to recognize fellow co-workers who you feel go out of their way to help you or even observe helping others in some way.  Recognizing your co-workers sets the scene for building a culture of appreciation in the work place. It allows others to see how work life can be at your company.  A thank you note can go a long way as we know and why not share great things! It can become infectious. It builds confidence and engagement. Peer to Peer Recognition is one way your company can tell its story when it comes to creating a positive environment and strengthening culture.

4 Ideas to Start Peer to Peer Recognition Today:

  1. Shout out boards
    Shout Out Board Shout Out Board Comment
    This is an informal program that we have created and we have one on every floor in our building. Once the boards are full, we do a random drawing and give away movie tickets. Although we do not promote the prize, it is fun to do a random drawing and the employees do not expect it. We created note cards with thank you phrases on card stock and change them out when we run out. We even created a fun video to announce the program, the winners and read the cards out loud. We want our employees to hear what we are saying about each other.

    Here is our latest shout out board (youtube)

  2. Spot Light Award
    This is a formal peer to peer nomination form. This could be an employee who changed the way we do business by improving innovation and efficiency.
  3. Kudo (Candy) Grams
    Remember these from middle or high school? We sell candy grams twice a year. We deliver these with a granola bar or healthier treat with notes from peers. The money we collect goes towards our adopt-a-school or a nonprofit the company has a relationship with.
  4. Get to know me scavenger hunt
    We like to celebrate Customer Service week with a “Get to Know Me Scavenger Hunt.” We ask questions that support our employees’ interests. They share their findings at our huddles. You think it’s not recognition, but when you read out loud that a fellow employee wrote a bestselling novel or speaks three languages, you’re recognizing not only their accomplishments but sharing their story. Why always make it work related? Have fun with this, it can open doors to skill sets, add value to your team and helps others appreciate what they can bring to a team. Employees want to share their interests.

When peer to peer recognition is acknowledged, it just gives me the chills thinking about how simple it can be. Peer to Peer recognition leads to changing behaviors and builds engagement in our company! Ultimately changing how we work and improving our culture.

Learn more about RPI’s 7 Best Practice

Tags:  Recognition Events and Celebrations  Recognition Program Communication Plan  Recognition Strategy 

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How to Create Your Recognition Strategy

Posted By RPI, Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Untitled Document
  1. Strategy first. A sustainable effective recognition program starts with strategy that includes management buy-in and a strong communication strategy.
  2. Think “objectives.” Your written recognition strategy should articulate the philosophy and objectives for all recognition practices, including day-to-day, informal, and formal recognition programs.
  3. Provide clarity. Your recognition strategy provides purpose and direction for how employee recognition encourages and rewards specific employee behaviors that advance the organization’s goals and objectives.
  4. Connect to culture. All recognition activities should be aligned with the mission and culture of the organization.
  5. Mix it up. A successful program includes intangible recognition (verbal and/or written praise), awards (cash or tangible items), and celebrations (planned or spontaneous events). Intangible recognition can be a certificate or other token of appreciation. Celebrations can be an informal team lunch or an organization-wide event.
  6. Reinforce. Reinforce. Reinforce. Successful recognition programs use a variety of motivational tools and communication methods to maximize opportunities to positively reinforce behavior that is consistent with the organization’s goals and values.
  7. Draw on the 7 Best Practice Standards. Base all of your recognition programs on the RPI 7 Best Practices® () and learn more about “real world” recognition strategies here.

RPI – We Make Thanks Matter!

Tags:  recognition strategy 

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Empathy Is Key To Successful Employee Recognition

Posted By Jess Myers, RPI, Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A quote from Aristotle reminds us to “Know thy audience.”

But what would a philosopher who has been dead for more than 2,300 years know of the modern business and recognition world? More than you might think, Klein relates, in a 45-minute webinar he delivered for RPI in the summer of 2016. His presentation is all about empathy, and its importance in designing employee recognition programs that are effective.

“We are all designers in everything we do,” said Klein, who was formerly director of client solutions for Maritz. “We design experiences, solutions, products, and customer touchpoints. We are even designing ways to get our teenagers to do their homework.”

Any good design begins with empathy, and success comes when we know the person for whom we are designing. Experts stress the importance of knowing the whole person, not just their economic motivation.

To illustrate this need for things both monetary and non-monetary, Klein cited the work of the late Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria of the Harvard University School of Business. In their book “Driven” the authors note four drivers of human behavior:

  • Acquire – the need to collect things, status and possessions
  • Defend – the need to hold on to what we have acquired
  • Bond – the need to be socially connected and be a part of a community
  • Create – the need to make a difference, and to be able to contribute

To help feed those needs in a recognition program, you should feed all four self-interest drivers to some extent. However, the key is to understand what people desire. That, again, is where empathy comes into play. If you are able to step into the shoes of another person and understand their perspective, you are better able to meet their wants and needs.

You don’t step into another’s shoes by imagining what they like, what they want, what they need. In the webinar, he detailed the methods used to learn about others – things like research, observation, playing the role of the customer, and other effective tactics that make you better at taking in the perspective of the subject.

There is much more about the effective use of empathy available by viewing the webinar. It is one of many available on the RPI website.

 

 

Tags:  Design Thinking  Empathy  Human Behavior  Human Resource Strategy  Motivation  Recognition Strategy 

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Planning Underway (Already) for 2018 RPI Conference

Posted By Jess Myers, RPI, Friday, August 4, 2017

From first-time attendees to long-time veterans of the trade, RPI consistently receives great feedback on its annual conference. The gathering held in late April and early May on this year in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was a continuation of that trend, with folks heading home from the Sunshine State with great things to say about the gathering.

“This was my first RPI conference, but it will not be my last,” said Beth Baroody, the reward and recognition coordinator for George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. “To have to opportunity to learn from and network with others in the growing field of recognition was invaluable. I made contacts with speakers and attendees who have been a resource even after the conference.”

The 2018 RPI Conference is still more than 250 days away, but planning and preparation for the gathering has begun already. The venue is shifting from the ocean (Florida) to the Opry (Tennessee), with the conference beginning on April 29, 2018 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville. And while the program will again feature an amazing lineup of speakers and sessions, it also presents an opportunity for participants like you to be part of the show.

RPI invites you and your team to submit a topic for consideration as a conference breakout session speaker. The presentations generally focus on strategies and tactics to motivate employees through recognition, program measurement and performance improvement. We look for first-hand stories of company/organizational benefits of a recognition program, and related topics, and place great value in people with on-the-job experience in what works and what needs work to tell their stories. Attendees are looking for real-world stories and want to know what you’re doing in your company. You will have the opportunity to share your expertise and experience plus the ability to enhance your professional credibility while serving the profession. In the coming weeks we will be telling first-hand stories from past conference presenters and attendees, how the information offered and gained was a benefit.

The deadline for presentation proposals is October 30, 2017, and much more information can be found on the RPI website.

And if you have not already done so, mark your calendar and make plans to attend the conference, which runs from April 29 to May 1, 2018. There are many new and exciting format changes coming and we fully intend for this to be our best conference ever. Also, look for new super saver registration rates for early registration which will open in September.

Tags:  7 Best Practices  recognition strategy  RPI conference  workplace engagement 

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Saunderson: Stop Trying to Create a Culture of Recognition

Posted By Jess Myers, RPI, Monday, July 31, 2017

We hear the word “culture” tossed around plenty, especially in the context of companies, and the drive to create a culture of recognition. It sounds nice, but it’s a fruitless use of time, when one considers the nature of cultures, says one prominent recognition expert.

Roy Saunderson, the Chief Learning Officer for Rideau Recognition Solutions, admits that he’s always been a big believer in culture, but he disagrees with efforts to create a culture of recognition.

“I believe a culture is what your organization values, the explicit ways in which we do things in an organization, and that culture drives recognition giving practices and use of the programs,” Saunderson said in a recent interview. “I think you can only have one culture.”

Having been in this industry for more than 20 years, Saunderson acknowledges this idea is a departure from earlier in his career. He once taught the idea that you could create a separate culture of recognition in an organization. Today his beliefs have evolved.

“When I first started I used to have a whole workshop on how to create a real recognition culture, and actually several years later I had to refute that, and say that I don’t believe what I once said and I need to tell you why,” said Saunderson, who has been a member of RPI’s Best Practices Committee for a decade. “The post I wrote said ‘How many cultures can you have?’ I believe culture drives recognition. The organizational culture drives recognition, either for the good or bad, and recognition reinforces that culture.”

Saunderson believes the clearest example of culture driving recognition is in the healthcare industry, and knows the territory, having been a Speech-Language Pathologist earlier in his career.

“Healthcare is notorious for not doing a good job in recognition. When you look at the culture at a healthcare institution, they are so focused on patient care, which is wonderful. The irony is that the caregivers and nurses are so focused on serving that same patient, where does that recognition come from?” he asked, rhetorically, noting that the most common recognition healthcare professionals receive is from their patients. “And so no amount of culture is going to make that change, unless we’re saying ‘We have some of the best employees to serve our patients, now start putting the employee first.’ Patient satisfaction is an outcome of how we treat our employees, rather than the focus.”

Saunderson’s idea is a simple one: stop trying to create a culture. Instead focus on employee recognition, and from that engagement will flow. Employees will see your culture in the way they are treated, and that will reflect in the way your organization works, for better or worse.

“So how you organize your culture, your values, and the whole purpose for why you are in business, will just emanate throughout the whole organization,” he said. “Your people will know whether you care about them or not. Learn from the challenges of the healthcare industry, where employees often think that the organization focuses so much on the patient, they forget about us.”


A video sample of Roy Saunderson’s presentation on “Real Recognition, Real Results” can be found here.
“Real Recognition, Real Results” can be found here.

Tags:  best practices  communications  Culture  recognition strategy 

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RPI Success Stories: CalSTRS

Posted By Jess Myers, RPI, Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Established more than a century ago, when much of the Golden State was still the nation’s unexplored frontier, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has grown to serve more than 900,000 educators in the nation’s most populous state. As of 2017, CalSTRS is the largest teachers’ retirement fund in the nation, providing retirement, disability and survivor benefits for educators who cover every level of schooling from pre-Kindergarten to community college.

With a portfolio worth nearly $200 billion, CalSTRS is the 11th-largest public pension fund in the world. It’s also a great place to work as evidenced by CalSTRS receiving the 2012 Best Overall Program award by RPI. CalSTRS, headquartered in West Sacramento, Calif., receives honors like that one due in part to successful employee recognition programs based on the Seven Best Practice Standards.

Assessment

Their journey to better employee recognition began in 2008 when CalSTRS made a commitment to creating a culture of recognition. Part of their employee survey is devoted to recognition questions. They also did focus groups and spot surveys to determine recognition preferences and which existing programs to keep.

As a result, they transformed highly-valued programs that dealt with internal and external customer service, yet kept the personalized elements that staff and managers found meaningful (example: balloon deliveries to an employee’s work location).

The Recognition Design Teams saw the need to reinforce Core Values, so they designed a specific informal program to recognize the desired behaviors and actions.

Recognition Strategy

Through extensive benchmarking with private and public-sector industry leaders, internal surveys and the efforts to two employee design teams, CalSTRS established a thriving culture of appreciation with active use of seven recognition programs within the strategic recognition platform.

Virtuosity – CalSTRS Powered by You

The CalSTRS Employee Recognition Program theme, Virtuosity, was developed to support and enhance the CalSTRS brand, and specifically to communicate appreciation to the staff for their valuable work.

From their own materials:

Vision – Our culture of appreciation powers a thriving workplace where each person is valued.
Mission – We design and deliver fully integrated recognition programs, processes and tools that support our Strategic Business Objective 4.2: being a destination employer, as well as our Balanced Score Card strategic initiatives.


The CalSTRS case study is included in the course materials in the Certified Recognition Professional program. For more information on CRP certification, please visit http://www.recognition.org/?page=crp_certification. To view a webinar on CRP, click here.

Tags:  culture  recognition  recognition strategy 

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We Need to Get Inside People's Heads to Fully Appreciate Recognition, Says Author

Posted By Jess Myers, RPI, Friday, April 28, 2017
There’s a little rush of a chemical called dopamine inside the brain when you take a bite of chocolate, or when you hit on a winner at the card table, or when a big fish bites your line. It's the neurobiological mechanism behind why we find something pleasurable. It’s hard science.

Similarly, when you are recognized for good work by your employer or receive an incentive for a job well done, you get that same jolt of pleasure in your brain. That’s part of the message keynote speaker Rodd Wagner will deliver at the RPI Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale. His presentation, entitled “Inside the Mind of an Employee: The Good, the Bad and the Neurobiology,” explores the science behind employee reciprocity and how good companies use that science to their benefit.

Wagner is the New York Times bestselling author of Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They're Real People. He’s also a regular columnist in Forbes, and Vice President of Employee Engagement Strategy at BI Worldwide, based in Minnesota.

“You could make the case that we don’t need to know what's going on inside people’s brains,” said Wagner. “I can prove survey research and performance data that there’s every reason to ensure a company recognizes solid performance. I don’t need the brain science.”

Yet for years, Wagner says employee engagement has been considered a “soft science” because it could not be observed in the same way as operations, accounting, or one of the more traditionally concrete aspects of running a business. He believes sharing the evidence of what predictably happens inside employees’ brains has the potential to help skeptical executives understand how the science of motivation is just as reliable as any of the other disciplines.

“Getting recognized at work tickles something in a part of the human brain, and people who are happiest reciprocate that emotion with dedication. Humans are very reciprocal creatures,” he said. “We find that when companies take a genuine interest in keeping people happy, those people will take a genuine interest in making the company succeed.”

Wagner enjoys doing a little myth-busting in his columns and speeches. One he has taken on lately is the widely circulated idea that a minority of people are “engaged” at work. Engagement could be better, he said, but “there is no crisis.”

“Most people at least like their jobs, and some love them,” Wagner said.

He also argues with current assertions in the engagement industry that employee happiness is not the right goal for a business.

“Happiness remains very important to employees,” he said. “It’s still the overriding reason people take a job and stay in a job. Any properly fielded and analyzed research shows the pattern.”

Wagner frequently speaks on similar topics to business and industry groups around the country. While some of his keynote will be taken from his most recent book, he will also be showing first at RPI new analyses from the most recent of BI Worldwide's annual studies on employee’s relationships with their employers.

Among the lines on inquiry in his most recent study is what psychologists call “theory of mind.”

“It’s a uniquely human characteristic to be able to estimate what the other person is thinking or intends, and it’s turning out to be an intriguing area for engagement research,” Wagner said. In his most recent study, Wagner asked people three questions about their companies' intentions, among them the statement, “My employer is seeking to make me happy.”

“Now, of course, people don’t know for certain what their leaders’ intentions are, but it is fascinating to me how predictive these types of core motivation questions are of a person's commitment to the company,” said the author. “Employees are most driven to perform when they believe the company is not investing them just because of the potential return, but because they feel a moral obligation to their people.”

Wagner wrote about the results in a recent Forbes column, where he advised employees to calibrate their commitment to their companies with those core intentions of the firm. “Organizations often deliver similar perks and benefits for different reasons.” he wrote. “A mismatch between your company’s intentions and yours can hurt your career.”

For more information on Wagner’s keynote and a full schedule, please visit the conference web site.

Tags:  recognition  Recognition Research  recognition strategy  Research Studies  Trends 

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Award Winner Profile: MIT

Posted By Jess Myers, RPI, Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was the 2016 recipient of RPI’s Best Practice Award for a simple reason: MIT understands the value of recognition as a positive way to reinforce attitudes and behaviors that support a successful, dynamic organization.

As detailed in a white paper recently released by the well-respected school, MIT has identified seven best practice standards for their recognition program. Here is an overview of how it works, with significant additional detail available in the full report:

Standard 1: Recognition Strategy

MIT’s Rewards and Recognition (RR) program was designed to recognize exceptional work specifically from MIT staff. The program includes all levels of employment and all Departments, Labs, and Centers (DLCs).

Standard 2: Management Responsibility

To ensure that the recognition program would be adopted throughout all areas of MIT, the originating Committee worked collaboratively to build a program and consensus. With buy-in from senior leaders, the R+R Committee established a network of 24 RR Key Contacts across MIT.

Standard 3: Recognition Program Measurement

MIT measures the success of the RR program in multiple ways. One is by assessing outreach during key nomination periods to be sure that the programs are accessible to all staff. MIT’s dedicated web pages on the recognition program contain critical information on nominating for the Excellence Awards + Collier Medal, and also for the other tiers of the recognition program.

Standard 4: Communication Plan

Communication and outreach for the MIT Excellence Awards + Collier Medal are handled by the RR Program Administrator. Calls for nominations, information about the process and award criteria are branded with the award-specific logo and linked to the RR website for ease of use.

Standard 5: Recognition Training

From the start of their time at MIT, staff are acquainted with the recognition program. Staff at every level attend New Employee Orientation where the recognition program is explained. New staff are invited to attend department recognition events and/or participate in planning and implementation of those events.

Standard 6: Recognition Events and Celebrations

MIT believes that a critical component of recognition is a celebratory event where recipients are acknowledged formally with family, friends, and colleagues attending. The recognition program is structured to include the annual all-MIT Excellence awards ceremony, and the 24 department-centric Infinite Mile events.

Standard 7: Program Change and Flexibility

The RR Program Administrator is the point person for initiating changes, with input from senior leaders and RR Key Contacts. Award categories, the nomination, and selection process are under continuous review for the MIT Excellence Awards and the 24 Infinite Mile and Spot awards. As the administrators, RR Key Contacts act as change agents for their units, and an advisory board for the R&R program overall.

MIT is proud of the global diversity of its staff, and the recognition program is proud to honor that diversity. In 2012, with support from the Manager of Staff Diversity, a significant change was made to the Fostering Diversity Award to change to the Advancing Inclusion + Global Perspectives Excellence Award, better reflecting MIT’s distinct culture.

Tags:  best practice  recognition  recognition strategy 

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