by Tonda Ferguson, CRP | November 25, 2013
Tonda Ferguson_Ask_the_Experts
Tonda Ferguson, CRP

Every week, we feature a piece of expert advice from a certified recognition professional (CRP) from Recognition Professionals International, an industry association dedicated solely to understanding, improving, and advancing employee recognition & rewards in the workplace. Send your questions to [email protected] or via Twitter @RPITweets

Q: Do you think it’s important to have multiple channels for peer-to-peer recognition?

A: Yes, it’s extremely important to take a collective look at your entire workforce and ensure you’ve given everyone an easy way to recognize their peers. For instance, at Southwest Airlines, employees can submit an electronic recognition, and that’s very easy for those employees who work behind a computer every day. However, the majority of our workforce does not sit behind a computer so we found an easy way for them to recognize each other by creating a recognition card that’s the size of a business card. All employees have access to these cards. While all recognition is valuable, we’ve found that the face-to-face exchange during a recognition moment is so important.

About Our Expert: Tonda Ferguson, CRP, serves on the Board of Directors for Recognition Professionals International and is the senior director of employee engagement and travel at Southwest Airlines, a company known for putting its employees first. Ferguson began her Southwest career 30 years ago and launched the airline’s Employee Communications Department. She is an original member of Southwest’s Culture Committee, which Southwest Airlines President Emeritus Colleen Barrett began in 1991 to ensure that the airline’s corporate culture was enhanced, enriched, and nurtured. Southwest’s corporate culture has been studied by companies all over the world: In 1991, a business book titled NUTS! was written about it. Ferguson also serves on Southwest’s “Best Place to Work” committee and was part of the team that was named the Top Communications Department in the nation by PRWeek. She’s also an IABC Gold Quill recipient. In 2007, she received the Founder’s Award, the highest honor at Southwest Airlines.

Have a question on employee recognition & rewards? Send to [email protected] or reach out via Twitter @RPITweets