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Recognition in The Real World
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Takeaways: Why Most Recognition Programs Don’t Work (And What to Do about it)

Posted By Ava Ewald, Wednesday, April 29, 2020

In RPI’s April 2020 webinar, Dr. Paul White spoke about a few of the reasons why a recognition program may fail. While recognition programs may have great intentions, the way they are received may be a different story. In this webinar, Dr. White showed the importance of paying close attention to your recognition program.


1.       Employees’ attitudes toward unsuccessful recognition programs

Dr. White explained that he has spoken with many employees who have negative opinions of their employer’s recognition programs. One of those opinions, he explained, is that the employer only created the recognition program to check a box, not necessarily to appreciate their employees. Creating a recognition program is not enough — you need to tune in to employees’ emotions and ideas in order to properly recognize them.


2.       Recognition versus appreciation

While both are necessary in a recognition program, Dr. White made it clear that recognition and appreciation are not the same thing. Recognition is for specific actions or job performance, while you appreciate an employee for their overall value or qualities. Dr. White stressed that both need to be part of a recognition program for it to be successful. The #1 factor in determining an employee’s enjoyment of their job comes from how appreciated they feel.


3.       The 4 conditions of feeling valued

Dr. White also shared the core conditions of a successful, impactful recognition program. First, the recognition must be regular. If you recognize an employee once, that employee will not continue to feel appreciated. Second, they must be appreciated in the way they want. For example, some people do not enjoy being recognized in front of a group. Taking the extra step to make sure they enjoy an event or item will make the recognition much more impactful. Third, you must individualize recognition. Make sure you understand your employee’s hobbies, favorite sports teams, musicians, etc., to add a personal touch to the recognition. Finally, while you may be authentic in your recognition, you need to make sure that it is received that way. If your employee thinks you are just checking that recognition box, you will not make an impact.


Tips for Appreciating Remote Workers:

Research shows that remote employees often have different preferences for appreciation than their in-person counterparts. Now that many employees are remote, these preferences are important to keep in mind. Dr. White explained that remote employees often prefer quality time over gifts, words of encouragement, etc. Finding time to have one-on-ones with employees will allow them to feel supported and heard.

-          Take advantage of video conferencing when possible. While nothing can fully substitute in-person communication, seeing facial expressions and hearing voices promotes human connection.

-          Do not skip the small talk. Make time to connect with employees about non-work things.

-          Move forward by discussing potential positive outcomes for your organization.


Overall, now more than ever is it important to maintain genuine, human connection. If you would like to checkout Dr. White’s full webinar, click here.


Learn about RPI’s 7 Best Practice Standards here

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Tags:  employee appreciation  recognition  webinar 

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3 Takeaways: Culture By Design

Posted By Ava Ewald, Friday, March 6, 2020
Updated: Thursday, March 12, 2020

This post covers some brief takeaways from the RPI February 2020 webinar presented by Alexander Lovell, Director of the O.C. Tanner Institute.


1.      Focus on talent magnets

Modern employees can research your organization online via platforms such as Glassdoor. Because of this, Lovell stressed the importance of organizations having “talent magnets.” These include possessing great leadership, a defined purpose, clear opportunities for growth, success, employee appreciation and a focus on wellbeing. He stated that these are all things that attract top talent to your organization when achieved well.

-          Companies with these factors are 4 times more likely to have engaged employees.

-          They are also 7 times more likely to have employees who innovate.


2.      Consider any burnout in your organization

According to Lovell, burnout is an issue that cannot be ignored. In fact, in May 2019, the World Health Organization classified burnout as a serious syndrome tied to workplace stress. Lovell said to watch out for a few indicators of burnout in your employees: exhaustion, futility or cynicism, and avoidance of workplace activities and culture.

-          Organizations that make it a goal to provide regular positive experiences to their employees are 13 times more likely to have engaged employees.


3.      Old leadership methods are dead

Lovell stated that old ways of leadership are not effective anymore. No longer can leaders expect success by gatekeeping, directing and evaluating. Leaders today need to act as mentors to their employees, help them develop professionally and make professional connections. Regular one-on-one meetings with employees are a crucial aspect of modern leadership as they give you the opportunity to check in with employees and see how you can best support them.

-          33% of employees dread meeting with their leaders

-          One-on-one meetings should happen monthly at the very least

-          These meetings have shown an 84% reduction in burnout


RPI 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® here.

Register for upcoming webinars here.



Tags:  recognition  RPI 7 Best Practices  webinar 

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