We give an award to the top sales guy, to the person with 25 years of service, to the truck driver with 1 million miles without a chargeable accident. We believe in the power of recognition. The why we do it may seem obvious, but it is a lot more than that.

We use recognition to:

  • Create a culture within the company that affects every attitude.

  • Say thanks and applaud success.

  • Teach others what we as an organization want to achieve.

  • Increase retention of employees.

  • Support Mission and Values.

  • Engage employees.

  • Encourage loyalty.

  • Increase customer satisfaction.

  • In summation, we believe in using recognition everyday to improve the bottom line. If that's important to you, then we're speaking the same language. Come with us on this journey.

    Take a look at the topics we have and see if we can help you with your recognition programs.

  • Need ideas for wording on an awards? See the Thesaurus.

  • Want to implement a sales award program but need to present the concept to management? Check out Sales Awards: An Overview.

  • Want to know the inside scoop on the Lombardi Trophy or the Oscars? Take a look at our ongoing series on Famous Awards.

  • Talk to us. We are here to help you.

    Thursday, February 5, 2015

    Safety Violations at Ashley Furniture: $1.7 M in OSHA Fines

    On 2/2/2015 OSHA issued a news release regarding the company, Ashley Furniture. The report described amputations, willful and repeated violations of safety and an overall environment putting company performance ahead of plant and worker safety.  OSHA found that the company did not take steps to protect its workers.

    According to OSHA, "A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health. OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years."

    Companies today are looking at Employee Engagement Strategies to effectively implement safety recognition. According to the SHRM Foundation, engaged employees are five times less likely to have safety incidents involving lost time.

    Further, a 2013 Gallup Study found that companies in the top quartile of employee engagement had:

    • 48% fewer safety accidents
    • 21 % higher productivity
    • 22% higher profitability
    • 41% higher quality
    • 37% reduced absenteeism
    Clearly, this suggests that good safety engagement of the workforce results in a more profitable company, certainly the overall goal of Ashley Furniture. 

    How Safety Impacts Employee Engagement

    An engaged workforce is more likely to take an active interest in the well-being of their organization. They will want to strengthen profitability and productivity because they see that their contributions are being appreciated. Employees will not only work more deliberately and efficiently, but will be proactive in preventing on-the-job accidents.

    Maintaining a Safe & Engaged Work Environment

    By engaging your employees to maintain a safe and healthy work environment through the use of recognition, your organization will have a higher likelihood of exceeding organizational goals. Your organization can create a culture of safety and recognition by recognizing employees for such proactive behavior as:
    • Participation in Safety Training and Meetings
    • Making Suggestions
    • Reporting Near-Misses
    • Mentorship Programs

    How RCB Awards Helps Employee Engagement

    RCB Awards uses the People Are™ employee engagement platform. This empowers an organization to create a culture of recognition through all aspects of the business, including safety. By incorporating the three-dimensional descriptors of recognition, formal, informal, and day-to-day, companies are able to keep business objectives top of mind, while achieving the strategic goals it has in place.

    Contact RCB for more information: 1-800-929-9110. Safety Recognition Specialist

    Posted by Curt Denevan:

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    7 New Rules for Developing a High Performance Team Culture

    Posted by Curt Denevan:

    The year 2015 has the potential to bring incredible opportunity to businesses across the globe. Over the past month, there have been many predictions about what the new year will hold, and one common thread is the thought that our complex world can be made simple. Many talk about technology and automation, software integrations and cloud computing, and simplifying complex processes.

    Behavior Change is the Backbone of Employee Engagement

    Simple sounds good, right? But when it comes to engaging employees, simple is not the word that may come to mind. Most of us, if asked, could come up with a list of behaviors we would like to see from our employees, and a list of behaviors we do not want to see. Engaging our teams begins with understanding that what we wish for is really just simple behavior change. After all, to us, it's not rocket science; Am I right?

    We want our employees to show up every day, be productive, be safe at work, take care of their own well-being, be mindful and present at work, and to measurably move the needle for us.

    Research tell us that in order to consistently see these types of behaviors in our workplaces, we need to have a culture of engagement. Look at what is possible when you have an engaged team:

    A 2013 Gallup study found how companies in the top quartile of employee engagement compared with those in the bottom quartile exhibited:

        21% higher productivity
        22% higher profitability
        41% higher quality
        48% fewer safety accidents
        37% reduced absenteeism

    The dramatic increase in profitability and productivity alone has the power to transform companies into high performance mode. And the KPIs measured in the Gallup study indicate that we have the potential to catalyze behavior change … and it's really not that hard.

    The 7 New Rules of Employee Engagement

    To help you understand what it takes to see these kinds of changes within your organization, the CA Short Company wrote The 7 NEW Rules of Employee Engagement. As you can see below, it all begins with creating a culture of engagement through recognition.

    1.     Culture: Create a culture of recognition that resonates through all aspects of the organization. Incorporate formal, informal, & day-to-day recognition into the strategic recognition platform.
    2.     Resources: Empower employees to develop new skills and advance their careers. Reward those employees who use those opportunities to learn and improve.
    3.     Communication: Consistently communicate and live your organization’s values & vision. Recognize those employees who impact the quality of the organization’s work, products, and services.
    4.     Appreciation: Value your employees and their ideas. Recognize employees for providing input and for taking initiative outside of their daily responsibilities.
    5.     Well-being: Promote work-life integration. Recognize employees who make positive & healthy lifestyle changes that improve the quality of life.
    6.     Enthusiasm: Inspire enthusiastic performances from your employees. Reward employees who show commitment to the future of your organization and are dedicated to making it a success.
    7.     Safety: Encourage employees to work both efficiently and safely. Recognize those employees who maintain a safe and healthy working environment for themselves and others.

    At the C.A. Short Company, the prediction for 2015 is that engaged teams will emerge and carry their companies to be among top performers. Easy? Not necessarily. Worth it? In spades. That's why they've built an innovative recognition platform that they're bringing to the market, based on the 7 New Rules of Employee Engagement. To request a private beta demo, contact

    Let us know your thoughts - we'd love to hear your ideas about additional ways to engage employees in order to create high-performance teams.

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

    Creating a Culture of Recognition

    Posted by Curt Denevan:

    Alpha Source Corporation wanted to create a culture of recognition. In identifying what was needed, they had several key goals:
    • Company had a new management team in place and old habits needed to change
    • A growth plan had been added to the business model, and all employees needed to embrace the coming changes
    • A certain attitude of "We've always done it that way, why should I bother changing..." permeated throughout the company.
     Consultants from Recognition Pro were able to come in and offer an overview of what recognition can do for the management team. This was then taken to a training session, Recognition 101, in which all front line supervisors were taught how to use recognition effectively. A software program that tracked all recognition events and how they were implemented allowed the CEO the ability to see how recognition was impacting the company. Employees were positive about the changes, loved the way the company respected and recognized their contributions, and were excited as the program went forward.

    Co-founded by Dr. Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Recognize Employees, Recognition Pro has become the premier training tool for companies looking for positive, motivated workers.

    For more information, see Recognition Pro.

    Recognize Now

    What will a Recognition Program do for you? Let's run the numbers...

    Posted by Curt Denevan:

    According to a recent survey of 80,000 employees, recognition was a principle factor in employee satisfaction and retention. The purpose of the survey was to identify critical dimensions of quality workplaces in which four outcomes were at a high level: employee retention, customer satisfaction, productivity and profitability - are all at high levels. What does this affect?

    • Supports 50% lower turnover
    • Creates 56% higher customer loyalty
    • Causes 38% increase in productivity
    • Builds relationships
    • Encourages personal achievement
    • Reinforces company goals
    • Builds employee loyalty
    • Rewards employees for performance
    • Increase profitability by as much as 27%
    Not a lot of organizations do recognition well, in fact, only a minority do. Those that do, have a recognition strategy that is multi-tiered, multi-faceted and fully integrated. As a result, a good recognition program will:
    1. Support and value employees, to positively reinforce their initiative and creativity, and to enhance business performance.
    2. Presented at different levels depending on the accomplishment significance.
    3. Be available for a wide variety of achievements and contributions, such as:
      • Innovations and improvements
      • Performance excellence and meritorious actions
      • Length of Service
    A good recognition program doesn't have to be expensive. On the contrary, most recognition programs will create lasting value, long-term return and result in a good investment. All it takes is thought and care and a willingness to acknowledge your most important assets - the people who are your company.

    Monday, February 17, 2014


    by Dr. Bob Nelson
    Recognition Pro: Coaching Managers to Recognize & Reward

    Regardless of what forms of incentive, recognition or rewards you are using in your organization, you will achieve higher value if you are mindful of how such items are delivered.

    Take, for example, a five-year service award.  I contend the activity of personally recognizing that employee milestone is many times more meaningful than the specific token gift that may be received.  Instead of receiving a five-year pin, logo'd jewelry or a choice of gift delivered to your desk with a form letter several months after your anniversary, most employees would be far more touched to get a personal call or visit from their manager on the day of their anniversary.  Their manager could say something like: "I noticed it was your five-year anniversary today.  Can you believe how fast the time has gone?  I can still remember your first day of work!  I was excited about having you on the team then and I'm excited about having you with us today.  Thanks for confirming my good judgment in hiring you!"

    Of course, the manager would have to take some initiative to mark his calendar in advance and take a few minutes to connect with the employee on that day, but it's exactly those personal actions that give the interaction so much meaning for the typical employee.  The thoughtful, personal touch tells the employee that although you are busy, you are not too busy when it comes to taking time for an employee.

    In another example, I know someone who had been a part of a project team that lasted for quite some time.  The team members worked hard and they achieved significant results.  Many weeks after their last meeting, coffee mugs with an imprinted name of the project mysteriously appeared on each member's desk.  My friend's reaction was "I guess this is for all the overtime I worked on that project.  Some thanks!"

    Needless to say, the lack of context given to this recognition item undermined what otherwise might have been a very thoughtful gesture of thanks and teamwork.  Whoever went through the effort and expense to provide the coffee mugs could have pulled the group together--perhaps for a celebrations lunch--and distributed the mugs at that time as a memento of the team project with individual words of thanks for each team member.  In that instance the coffee mugs would have been more likely to serve as a symbolic reminder of that shared team effort for years to come.

    Besides making recognition more meaningful, providing a context adds a practical element to the activity as well.  It gives you a chance to:
    1. Specifically identify the desired performance thus eliminating any guessing on the part of the employee and creating a strong link Between the desired performance and the reward.
    2. Generalize the specific performance to a larger category of desired behavior such as teamwork, a company value or organizational initiative.
    3. Set a public example for other employees as to what things get noticed and rewarded in your work environment.
    Thus a manager can obtain a benefit on several levels by verbally recognizing an employee as follows:  "John, thanks for working late last night to help us wrap up that proposal.  I appreciate that you did it without being asked.  It's that type of initiative that tells me you're really committed to our group and it's exactly what we need to reach the goals we've all been aiming for this year."
    Taking the time to personalize the delivery of any achievement award adds to its values for all of us.  It creates an emotional impact that seems rarely felt today in the workplace.

    By providing a context for an award or recognition item, you have a chance to tie the item and event to a larger context for the employee, thus potentially connecting one's job responsibilities to a larger framework, a deeper sense of commitment and group purpose, and ultimately to the overall mission of the organization.

    Posted by Curt Denevan:

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    Crystal with Braille Inscription

    RCB Awards has seen lots of unique crystal awards, but this project for ASQ (American Society for Quality), was a first for us. The customer wanted a crystal pen holder, two sided, with a greeting in braille. This was to be at the check in desk for a large meeting they were having. Since the etching process typically cuts into the crystal, this would leave recessed braille dots that would be too difficult for a finger touch to decipher.

    After much discussion over this with the customer, it was decided to break each of the designs in half, and the braille portion would be placed at the bottom and would be done as a reverse. This would etch away the background and leave the dots raised, and the text in the top portion would be done traditionally with the letters recessed.

    There is no braille translation of the ASQ logo, so that was not part of the braille portion. The actual piece turned out exactly as planned, with raised dots of braille for trained people to "read".

    Because the glass has a two sided etch, this photo does not do it justice, but you can see how the reverse portion on the bottom turned out, with the raised dots left un-etched while the background glass is removed.

    Matt Scholtes of Audio & Braille Literacy Enhancement, Inc of Milwaukee was instrumental in providing the information necessary for us to etch this project according to the braille standards.

    For more information on custom etching of crystal and unique crystal awards, contact RCB Awards.

    Posted by Curt Denevan:

    Monday, July 22, 2013

    Fantasy Football Trophies

    Fantasy Football Trophies are in demand from most league commissioners. These trophies are designed to hold a number of plates on each side of the base, allowing the winner each year to display his name.
    They can be inexpensive, as low as $85, or they can be similar to the big league trophy and cost several thousand. Typically, the commissioner unscrews a plate each year and sends it in to be engraved. To see a selection, go to Fantasy Football Trophies.

    Many of the trophies made by RCB Awards are hand made, so you may need to allow extra time to have them made for you.

    Posted by Curt Denevan: