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Recognition in The Real World
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Habits of a Successful Remote Team

Posted By Ava Ewald, Friday, May 29, 2020

RPI aims to help you improve your recognition and engagement practices, developing its 7 Best Practice Standards to guide you through the process of bettering your program. It may be overwhelming to process how to improve your program when you are not with your employees in person, but with simple steps, you can find ways to engage your employees from a distance.

For many, remote work is the new normal. Many of us have been able to see the benefits and challenges that come with it and are looking for ways to make remote work more productive and gratifying. In this post, we will review some habits that successful remote teams engage in to promote productivity, engagement and team building.

  1. Team members have home workspaces

Finding a consistent space to work in helps you mentally separate work from home when they are in the same place. A Business News Daily article explains that this can be as simple as a set of notepads and pens that you set out on your kitchen table every day—it does not necessarily have to be an entire separate room or office. This habit is important for creating a work routine from home.

  1. Teams maintain an online team workspace

In addition to having your own designated work space at home, Business News Daily recommends having a clear and consistent virtual workspace that you share with your employees. This may be a chat platform like Google Meet, Slack or a GroupMe text group message. While email works great, having an informal platform for more casual chat promotes team building.

  1. Teams meet frequently

Communication needs to be constant. Quoted in Forbes, Project Management Institute CEO Sunil Prashara recommends daily check-ins with employees to not just touch base on ongoing projects, but to also make sure that everyone is feeling okay and motivated. This is important for any remote team at any time, but particularly now with a global pandemic that is putting extra weight on many around the world.

  1. Members are empathetic

Harvard Business Review regards empathy as one of the main factors that make a remote team successful. Many employees are working in the same spaces where their children are trying to learn and their pets play. Be patient with employees when they are interrupted, as many are trying their best to work and run households.

  1. They take time to chat

Another way to build trust on your remote team is to foster chitchat. Medium explains that you have to be much more intentional about this when you are remote versus when you are in the office. Knowing about your employees’ and coworkers’ hobbies and interests outside of work makes it more fun to work with them. Successful remote teams spend time getting to know each other.

Working remote is not easy. You have to be thoughtful about how you craft your schedule, your space, and your modes of communication.

Register for our virtual conference in September.

Read more about RPI’s 7 Best Practice Standards.

Become a Certified Recognition Professional.

Tags:  habits  recognition  remote work 

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Companies with Effective Virtual Teams

Posted By Ava Ewald, Friday, May 15, 2020
In the midst of a global pandemic, RPI wants to help you and your organization move forward. Our wealth of resources and knowledge will help you become even better at recognizing your employees—wherever they may be. In today’s post, we will take a brief look at companies that are doing remote work well and see how we can improve our own remote teams.



Google is seen as a major innovator in workplace culture, so it only makes sense that they would make the list of best virtual teams. Veronica Gilrane, People Analytics Manager at Google, published her findings on Google’s virtual teams on their blog. Gilrane found that there was no difference in efficiency between in-person teams and remote teams, but many “Googlers” (as they call their employees) felt that they missed out on the culture and the ease of communication that comes with an in-person team. As a result, they found that there are three things teams can do to help. First, make sure the team members get to know each other beyond their work by making time for casual conversation and icebreakers during remote calls. Second, set and respect team members’ boundaries by learning when they like to meet and what time zone they are calling from. Third, be very clear about opportunities to meet in person and virtually so that team members know about every chance they have to engage with their colleagues.



According to a LinkedIn article, IBM manages over 200,000 employees worldwide both in person and virtually. One of their main challenges is connecting everyone in different time zones. They manage this problem by maintaining a flexible hour policy worldwide. They have found that employees are more productive when they have the ability to pick when they would like to work. It also gives them freedom that helps with family responsibilities. IBM also uses collaboration software to connect their employees globally. This commitment to flexibility and communication has helped employees trust their employer and build successful virtual teams.


General Electric

LinkedIn also gave insight into how GE’s virtual teams work. The company has over 90,000 employees worldwide, which made training a challenge. Now, they have a robust virtual training platform with professional development as well as new employee training, diversity training, and games. This has helped GE manage their global employees and keep them connected to the worldwide company culture. For organizations that are continuing to hire while working remote, this is a great example of a company that has successfully onboarded employees virtually.



Doist is a fully remote company that builds productivity tools. It makes sense that they emphasized the need for a communication platform. According to their blog, they started off using Slack and found that the platform was not great across multiple time zones. As a result, they created their own platform, Twist. They also encourage organizations to embrace a “remote-first” mindset. Many organizations that have both in-person and remote employees unintentionally keep remote employees out of the loop. With nearly every professional able to work from home doing so, this is easier now more than ever, and will be good training for when employees are back in the office. What we can learn from this case is the importance of a solid communication strategy between remote team members. Think about how far your team is spread, what different time zones they may be in and how they would like to communicate with their team members.


While we are in times unlike any other, it is important to remember that organizations have faced a variety of circumstances that prompted them to find solutions to problems many of us are facing now.


Learn more about RPI’s 7 Best Practice Standards.

Register for our virtual conference in September.

Become a Certified Recognition Professional.



Tags:  recognition  remote work  virtual 

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How to Hold a Virtual Recognition Event

Posted By Ava Ewald, Friday, May 8, 2020
Let’s face it — it is harder to recognize and be recognized these days. Many are rightfully worried about their health, families, and communities, but it is important to remember that recognition promotes engagement and positivity in the workplace. RPI is committed to providing knowledge about recognition and engagement practices for every circumstance. Today, we will focus on how you can hold virtual recognition events.

You might have attended a virtual baby shower or virtual birthday party. One yoga company is even holding virtual goat yoga[LP1] . While virtual events may never be the same as gathering in a room with all of your friends, family, or coworkers, they can be fun and creative.

Bonusly gave some excellent ideas for employee celebrations on their blog including happy hour, pets-welcome day, a game party and more. While these would work great in the office, they do not always translate into an online format. Be creative and feel out what your employees would like and how you can adapt some of these ideas into a virtual format. For example, you could have a pet happy hour where everyone with a pet introduces them to the team. There are also zoom-friendly games such as kahoot a website that can run trivia for hundreds of people at once (and you can create your own quizzes). There are plenty of options out there to host a fun virtual event.

While maintaining the fun of a celebration, it is also important to keep a similar structure to in-person events. What are some of the main pieces of an employee recognition event? Crew App listed the essential pieces of formal or semi-formal employee recognition that are important in person or virtually:

-          A genuine thank-you to the employee or team you are recognizing. Use this time to dig deep and help the person or team understand that they made an impact on you or the organization. This can be done by recognizing specific characteristics, such as communication or delivering above-and-beyond customer service.

-          The employee or team is recognized in a way they appreciate. Make sure that you have paid attention to the preferences of the employee or team, such as whether or not they like to be recognized publicly. Even virtually, being called out in front of their peers can be mortifying. If they appreciate public recognition, go for it. Otherwise, consider writing a thoughtful letter or sending a gift to their home.

-          The appreciation ties back to the company’s message. If you are recognizing someone for outstanding customer service, emphasize how this was one of the fundamental values the company was built on, for example. By connecting the behavior of the recognized employee/team, you are reinforcing the behaviors you like to see.

-          Eye contact. This one is tricky in a virtual context. If you want to look as if you are directly looking into someone’s eyes on camera, do not look at your screen; look into your computer’s camera. It is tempting to look at the screen so you can see the people you are talking to, but if you are giving a meaningful speech, try looking into the camera.

If you combine these essential elements of employee recognition events with some fun and creativity, you will be able to host a wonderful virtual recognition event.


To register for our virtual conference in September, click here.

Learn more about RPI’s 7 Best Practice Standards.




Tags:  recognition  remote work  virtual 

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How to Engage with Employees Remotely

Posted By Ava Ewald, Thursday, March 19, 2020
Updated: Thursday, March 19, 2020

In an increasingly flexible and technologically advanced professional world, working remotely is becoming typical of the modern workplace. However, COVID-19 has made working remotely more common for organizations that haven’t done this previously across their entire workforce. RPI strives to educate and empower employers to recognize employees wherever they may be, leading to better employee engagement.


Lisa Massiello, CRP, is the Design & Governance Manager on Wells Fargo's Enterprise Recognition team and past RPI President. Her company has had virtual staff in place for years, and Lisa shared some relevant insight based on her experience making sure that employees feel recognized remotely, too.


1.      Hold check-in meetings

Even if it is a quick 30-minute Zoom meeting about how everyone’s weekend was, that connection is more important than ever when employees are remote. It can be hard to maintain company culture remotely, but meetings like these can reinforce the feeling of community.

2.      Send a quick note

Send a quick email to check in, say thank you, or ask how someone is doing. Try to mimic little check-ins you may do in the office. This can give space for employees to give feedback or ideas.

3.      Emphasize listening

Listening to others becomes much more difficult when meetings are done remotely. Try to give every employee in an online meeting the opportunity to speak so everyone feels heard. It Is more important than ever for employees to be engaged in meetings.


Do you have ideas for how to make remote work more effective? Email and we’ll share with the community.


If you are a premium member or business partner of RPI, you have full access to our Learning Center with over 60 on-demand webinars, you receive member rates on our virtual conference offerings from last year and you get discounts on CRP courses online. We will continue to develop online resources for our community; the infrastructure is already in place to serve our community online, year-round.


Check Out RPI’s Online Resources including our NEW Resource Center -  

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Get FREE Access to Chester Elton’s Online Course in March

For the month of March, we are offering you FREE access ($35 value) to our online course from Chester Elton on All In: How Great Leaders Develop a Culture of Belief and Deliver Big Results.

Teaming up with research giant Towers Watson, #1 bestselling author Chester Elton presents the findings of an unprecedented 300,000-person study conducted in the worst of the recession for his book All In. Based on this breakthrough research and his extensive consulting experience with a who’s-who of successful organizations, he presents a simple roadmap that all managers can follow to create a high-achieving culture in their own teams where employees are engaged, enabled and energized.

Go here and use ThankYouMarch as the promo code for access for the month of March only!


Become an RPI member! Learn how here.

To learn more about RPI’s 7 Best Practice Standards, click here.


Upcoming Webinars

RPI's March 26, 2020 Webinar - Register Here
Webinar: Increase Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Presented by Anne Loehr, Center for Human Capital Innovation

RPI's April 23, 2020 Webinar - Register Here
Webinar: Why Most Employee Recognition Programs Don’t Work (and What to Do About It)
Presented by Dr. Paul White

RPI's June 25, 2020 Webinar - Register Here
Webinar: Five Trends Shaping the Employee Experience
Presented by Theresa Harkins CRP, Inspirus, LLC

RPI's September 24, 2020 Webinar - Register Here
Webinar: Generation "THEM": Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce
Presented by Kristin Scroggin, genWHY Communications

RPI's November 19, 2020 Webinar - Register Here
Webinar: Resolving Conflict
Presented by Phillip Duncan, Experience Global



Tags:  engagement  recognition  remote work 

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