Friday, February 26, 2010

Art from the Hart

I am so proud of Rideau’s history, and how we came to be where we are today.

Rideau was founded in 1912 and started by producing emblematic jewelry, engraved items and badges. Between then and producing full end to end recognition systems, in 1983 we happen to have begun producing the Order of Canada (the equivalent of the US Congressional Medal of Honor) in 1983. The Order of Canada is produced for the Governor General of Canada who resides in Rideau Hall in Ottawa. The company, then named Stephenson International was then renamed Rideau Orders Decorations to reflect the honor bestowed upon the company as Rideau became the first Canadian company in Canadian history to produce the most important recognition award in the country.

Since then, we now deliver full solutions to corporations who wish to recognize their employees to keep an engaged, positive and strong workforce.

Above is a painting of the Rideau Canal, which runs through the Ottawa, the Canadian capital, painted as an ode to Rideau history.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recognition in the air…waves.

Yesterday was the premier of my colleagues' Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown’s radio show – Real Recognition Radio. They’re up to a phenomenal start.
In case you missed it, you can still listen to the show here.

Their next show, on Tuesday at 1 PM ET, will be featuring Tommy Lee Hayes Brown, the first corporate recognition chairperson for MetLife. He will be talking about MetLife’s recognition program, and the lessons he’s learned since. Tune in here!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What does employer branding have to do with employee engagement?

Don't forget to tune into Real Recognition Radio, hosted by RMI's Roy Saunderson & Max Brown, today at 1PM to find out how employer branding relates to employee engagement!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rideau Sets a World Record!

Our CRP graduates

Okay… it’s not in the Guinness Book of Records… yet… but our company has set a new world record for the number of employees who have become Certified Recognition Professionals!

Today, 38 Rideau and Recognition Management Institute employees are CRP grads and they come from all over the company… not just those who face our customers.

Why did Rideau make such a significant investment in Recognition Professionals International’s CRP courses?

There are a number of reasons… the first being, it is critical that we all practice what we preach and understand the importance of our daily work.

CRP has made us a better company. All our employees came away energized about recognition and what we do for our clients. It didn’t matter whether my colleagues worked in sales, marketing, IT, manufacturing, distribution or administration… everyone has a better understanding of “why” recognition is important and “how” to deliver it. I think it made everyone look at the recipient awards leaving our distribution centers a little bit differently.

Most importantly, it made us realize that our work in the field of recognition and rewards is noble… it helps builds successful relationships that are fundamental to all our lives.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thank You Thoughts

I thought we'd go beyond My Friend Mark today, and look at some other sources for some inspiration on recognition.

Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. - Abraham Lincoln

Stay tuned for the next "Thank you Thought!"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

RMI hits the airwaves

Beginning on February 23rd, my colleagues Roy Saunderson, President and Founder of RMI and S. Max Brown, VP of Organizational Learning, will be co-hosting Voice of America’s newest weekly radio show: Real Recognition Radio.

Real Recognition Radio
is going to go back to what recognition is really all about. They’re going to help make better people and create more positive relationships. They’ll be looking at what’s new and exciting in the field of employee rewards, recognition and incentives. They’ll also talk to people who have lived successes and failures to help the audience learn what works and what doesn’t.

The show’s first installment will be featuring Brenna Garratt as their first guest. Brenna Garratt is a member of Rideau Recognition Solutions’ board of directors and CEO of The Delve Group, Inc. Brenna has been instrumental in working with Senior Executives to reshape and reposition existing brands, as well as invent, position and promote new ones so they are correctly understood internally and externally in their respective marketplaces.

Having been active in both the recognition field and marketing, Brenna will be discussing the importance of marketing and communication within your recognition program so your program touches your employees and achieves the goals you intended it to.

The show premiers February 23rd, and will air every Tuesday at 1 PM ET. Tune in on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Horse Should Come Before The Cart

A lot of companies have it all wrong when it comes to recognition and rewards.

They put the reward before the recognition.


I think it has a lot to do with the history of our industry.

The recognition industry was created by old line manufacturing companies. Many of these companies date back to the early 1900’s. While some no longer exist, others, including Rideau (1912) continue to thrive. These companies all had one thing in common. They were looking for an outlet for their manufactured products… pins, logos and emblematic jewelry etc…

Some of the very first recognition award programs were used in the automotive industry. These programs celebrated years of service and safety and emblematic jewelry became the award/reward of choice. As years went by, different products were added to the product selection.

The key takeaway was that the product drove recognition… not the other way around.

Today, more and more companies are realizing that recognition needs to be in the proverbial driver’s seat.

If real recognition is not there, it doesn’t matter what award or reward product is given to the recipient.

So here’s a simple question… how much of your time is spent worrying about your awards as opposed to why and how you deliver real recognition? If the answer is the former you may have the cart before the horse!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Recognition from the Hart: The Heart of Your Workplace

Employers Web have just published my new article on how to take advantage of Valentine's Day to recognize your employees. Click here to learn more on instant recognition!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Miss Manners Where Are You?

Normally, my wife Francine and I spend the holidays here in Montreal with my five kids and their families (three grandkids and another on the way).

This year we tried something a bit different… we decided to take a Caribbean cruise followed by a few days in Orlando doing the theme park rounds. My eldest son Jonathan, his wife Sylvie and son William joined Francine and my youngest daughter Veronica on the trip. We had a really good time and created a lot of great memories.

When we got off the ship in Fort Lauderdale we had to take a bus to rent a car. It was a 10 – 15 minute ride. The bus was very crowded… standing room only. That included my wife Francine who we tried to support while she held William, my 16 month grandson. Not one of the healthy young adults sitting right in front of Francine offered to get up and give her their place during the ride. They just sat and watched her.

I thought to myself, “Miss Manners Where Are You?”

But seriously, what has happened to our basic rules surrounding politeness and basic human decency? We have lost something over the years. Everybody is in such a hurry that we seem to have forgotten we don’t live in a bubble and that there are others who deserve our respect and kindness.

I truly believe that as a society, we need to take a step back, take a deep breath and reflect on the fact that what we give… or don’t give, goes round in a circle.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Creating a healthier more positive workplace

My colleague Roy Saunderson president of the Recognition Management Institute, will be speaking at the American Psychological Association-Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program in Washington DC in March.
Click here to learn how to you can get the chance to hear him explain how employee recognition can increase both productivity and well-being in the workplace.