Where To Find The Government's Happiest Employees

by Sabrina Son on Feb 2, 2015 8:00:00 AM

unnamedCongrats to Riverside County Center for Government Excellence (RCCGE) for winning the 2015 TINYpulse Employee Recognition Award and taking first place in their industry with the Happiest Company Award!

The Happiest Company Award recognizes organizations that go above and beyond to create dynamic environments, while the Employee Recognition Award highlights places where appreciation reigns supreme. So we knew RCCGE would be a great role model for employee recognition. Denise Walker, Deputy Director of Learning and Organization Development, shared with us how RCCGE keeps employees happy.

1) Tell us about some of the great things you do in your workplace that keep employees engaged and energized.

We set clear goals and engage team members by developing them on how to achieve important goals. So everyone has ownership and understands what they need to do to help achieve the goal.  

When it comes to policies and practices, we make sure that all team members also understand the history and rationale behind them. That way, they can make better decisions autonomously and challenge policies and practices when they become outdated or don’t improve how we work.

We respect and care about each other enough to have the difficult conversations. As part of our work, we teach a class called “Crucial Conversations, Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High.” We strive to practice what we teach and use Crucial Conversations to help us resolve disagreements and conflict while preserving our relationships.

We have food together at least one day per week on Crock-Pot Monday or Taco Tuesday. Sometimes we have surprise Breakfast Jacks for everyone just because.

During the holidays, we do things like Secret Santa, Toys for Tots, and this year we adopted a needy family for the holidays, because giving feels good.

2) Tell us a little bit about what your company does and why employee recognition is so important to you.

We recently changed our name from The Center for Government Excellence to County of Riverside COR Learning Center. COR Learning Center is Riverside County’s corporate learning function, serving 20,000 employees. We are instructors, coaches, facilitators, consultants, strategists, and path clearers. We build capacity and enable greatness among Riverside County employees and organizations to enhance public service outcomes. We strive to practice what we teach.

3) What kind of improvements/changes have you seen in your culture after using TINYpulse?

We are perpetually short-staffed because demand for our services surpasses our staffing, and we have a fast-paced and sometimes stressful work environment. TINYpulse has elevated our awareness of the work environment that we want to maintain. It reminds each member to be grateful for the positive environment and for their teammates.

TINYpulse helps us:

  • Keep a pulse on how the people in our organization are doing through the weekly question. This is important because we have crazy-heavy workloads. We want to support and help each other.

  • Engage team members in sharing ideas to help us innovate and improve absolutely anything and everything to better overall performance.

  • Gain perspective. If the report shows that your teammates are happy, it may help you to reflect and explore why your perspective may be different. TINYpulse helps us gain perspective in a way that helps us examine our paradigms and perceptions and resolve issues.

  • Gives us a weekly reminder to be grateful and an easy way to express specific gratitude through “Cheers” to our teammates frequently, even if they are not on our team.

  • Best yet, all of this gratitude and giving of cheers to peers raises individual happiness.

4) How has peer-to-peer recognition improved camaraderie at the workplace?

We have always appreciated each other, but now we have an easy way to say it and a reminder to say it regularly. We can even send appreciation to people outside our group, which is great!

Thank you to Denise and her team at the Riverside County Center for Government Excellence for sharing her story! Keep an eye out for more interviews with TINYpulse award winners.


The Effects of Employee Recognition & Appreciation Report by TINYpulse


author avatar

This post was written by Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the managing editor for the TINYpulse blog. A Seattle native, she loves her morning (or anytime) coffee, spending her weekends on the mountains, and of course, the famous rain.

Connect with Sabrina