RBC’s recognition department oversees rewarding culture

To be effective, rewards and recognition programs can't be taken for granted, says Steve Richardson, manager of recognition programs with RBC Financial Group. "We all expect to get paid every week or expect that our benefits are there, but recognition shouldn't be an expected event."
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/15/2005

There probably aren’t many people in Canada doing what Steve Richardson does. His full-time job at the RBC Financial Group is to manage recognition; make sure the various and sundry elements that comprise the RBC recognition strategy are running smoothly and effectively, rewarding RBC’s more than 60,000 employees when they go above and beyond for the good of the bank.

There is a very different rewards and recognition philosophy at RBC, says Richardson. Since the late ’80s, the bank has endeavoured to make recognition and rewards an integral part of everything the organization does — to embed it in the culture of the company. As a former president made it very clear many years ago, recognition would not be something that comes and goes with the economic tides.

“He said that the programs are so important, that we will do them even in tough times because it is more important to thank employees when times are tough and they are in there slugging it out.” Since then, the company has stayed true to that commitment, keeping the recognition budget almost unchanged for more than 15 years.