My RPI Update For You

I don’t know if the conference was directly planned around it or not, but the common theme that emerged from the plenary presentations at the 2018 Recognition Professionals International’s (RPI) annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee, was clearly – organizational culture.

David Sturt, from O.C. Tanner, and co-author of Appreciate: Celebrating People, Inspiring Greatness, began the conference discussing A Modern Framework for Building an Engaging Culture. A line David repeated a few times during his speech was, “culture is powerful.”He gave several examples from around the globe to prove his point. It was evident that the character and actions of a CEO and other leaders have a significant effect on culture.

He covered six elements of his model, namely, Purpose, Opportunity, Leadership, Wellbeing, Success, and, of course, Appreciation.  Here’s an interesting finding from David’s presentation. Their research found “31% of employees say their direct manager often takes credit for their work or ideas.”

I like how he reminded all of us “employee engagement is something that is chosen not driven.”You can’t make someone else engaged. You can only engage yourself. Everyone else helps to create an engaging environment.

First thing Tuesday morning, Chester Elton, from The Culture Works, woke us all up with his lively style highlighting findings from his recently released, co-written book, The Best Team Wins: The New Science of High Performance. Besides making a winning team, Chester shared how culture drives your brand. If you don’t get culture right recognition doesn’t happen. He told us if you want to make your day a little better, go and appreciate someone.

We can learn from everyone and Kimberly Huffman, Director of Organizational Development, from Dollar General proved that was the case. She focused her presentation on how they’ve worked on creating an employee experience to elevate employee engagement. Kimberly reminded us “the customer experience will never exceed the employee experience.”

If you live in North America, you’ve probably shopped at a TSC store some time in your life. Dennis Borchers, HR Communications Manager, from Tractor Supply Company, taught us powerful stories and examples of store associates who made a difference. Dennis made an interesting point when he said, “Every day is just as important as the extraordinary.”This was in response to the examples of two store associates. One would be deemed to have made a significant and repeated contribution. The other was an employee who exemplified outstanding customer service on one observed occasion. Both merited being recognized.

It is always good to associate with like-minded people at conferences like RPI. This is especially the case when you meet up and share ideas with recognition practitioners who work so hard to make recognition happen in their companies.

Reflective Question: How do you address your organization’s culture to drive recognition giving practices?

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