A large UK healthcare provider, whose portfolio includes numerous care homes, found themselves unable to safely reward their staff with plastic gift cards following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK.
For more than three years previously, the client had been enjoying our Love2shop Gift Cards. While we always discuss our digital reward options with clients, in this case, our client was understandably reluctant to change a winning formula – their reward scheme was producing good levels of engagement and positive feedback with using plastic gift cards.
While the client was happy with their status quo, the COVID-19 outbreak forced a change. Not only was there a sharp increase in the demands placed on the workdays of their employees, meriting more recognition and reward, but there was no safe way to distribute physical gift cards to their employees. A solution had to be found, and fast.
“Crucially, we’ve been able to keep engagement high, and keep rewarding our amazing staff, through a difficult time.”
Our codes are an end-to-end digital product, meaning there’s no physical interaction between our clients and their staff when buying or delivering them. Clients order them through our Self-Serve portal, and they’re delivered digitally. The codes themselves come to employees as emails or text messages, and those employees redeem them online. Perfect for sending rewards when physical contact is dangerous.
As it was unthinkable that our client’s incredible staff would go without rewards for their work during this difficult period, these digital rewards were a natural fit. Jackie helped them through an initial transition, and made sure the client got right back to thanking their employees with exciting rewards as soon as possible.
“The codes are so simple to use that our staff have had no trouble making the switch.”
Most importantly, our client was able to lift morale among their staff in a trying time. For Appreciate, part of Appreciate Group plc, this is one of the aspects of our work we’re most proud of. Employees doing great things deserve to be recognised and celebrated. It’s a privilege to help deliver that for our clients.
However, the rewards have also been a success in other ways. For instance, our client’s staff have enjoyed their digital rewards so much, they are considering continuing to use digital rewards even when contact is safe in their workplace again.
The digital ordering and delivery process for our reward codes also deliver significant advantages in fulfilment and ordering. Especially when centrally managing a nationwide scheme. Our client would previously order their gift cards, and have them delivered to their central office. From there, the client would separate the rewards and send them to individual facilities, creating a time-consuming administrative task on top of postage fees.
Our simple ordering process, and digitally fulfilled rewards, massively simplified that process, removing the need for physical fulfilment. The combined effect is less time, and less money, being spent to deliver better rewards.
Jackie Reynolds, the Love2Shop Engagement Consultant who managed the project, added: “What’s good to see is how easily their staff have adapted to their new rewards. Many clients have concerns about changing their staff rewards, especially if it involves technology, but our experience is usually that employees adapt quickly to the switch. It’s heartening to see that’s also the case for this challenge, given how important these rewards are to the client.”
Our contact inside the company said: “All our worries about switching from plastic to digital evaporated straight away. The codes are so simple to use that our staff have had no trouble making the switch. Crucially, we’ve also been able to keep engagement high, and keep rewarding our amazing staff through a difficult time.
“Appreciate, and our account manager Jackie, have done a great job helping us quickly make the change, and making sure that our incredible staff get the thanks and rewards they deserve so much during this difficult period.”
*At the request of our client, this case study has been anonymised.
https://www.appreciate.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/portrait-of-health-visitor-and-a-senior-woman-during-home-visit-picture-id1218241630.jpg350600Darren Traceyhttps://www.appreciate.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/appreciate-home-of-love2shop-logo-340x100v3.pngDarren Tracey2020-07-13 15:22:212020-07-22 10:39:34Case study - Digital rewards make sure healthcare heroes are recognised
Having no budget to implement your employee recognition ideas shouldn’t hold you back. All you need is a bit of thought, creativity and the will to execute your plans.
Cash-value rewards are exciting, and they do positively affect motivation and performance. But they should be treated as an amplification tool to recognition. Praise should be dished out regularly to employees, regardless of whether rewards are available or not.
Recognition works when it embraces an employees’ need to be valued. Everyone wants to know their work is worthwhile, and they want to feel that they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves.
So, it’s not good enough to simply shrug your shoulders and complain you have no budget. You can start with almost nothing and still show your employees that you value their daily contributions with regular recognition.
No-cost employee recognition ideas
1. Verbal recognition
Say it and mean it. Let staff know the great work they do is valuable, and it’s helping your business reach its goals. Verbal recognition is personal and emotional. It can have great upticks in employee morale.
The only downsides are that it’s fleeting. And it’s difficult to connect verbal recognition with your company’s values without coming across as stilted.
2. Written recognition
Written recognition, such as a small note or a letter, is very effective. You can present it alongside a verbal recognition, and it becomes a little trophy. It’s also much easier to include a mention of your company’s values in a written statement.
It might seem like a small gesture, but taking time and care is always valuable to staff. You putting effort in validates the effort of staff and helps them see how valuable you think they are.
3. Team-level recognition
Not every team has a stand-out star. Not every project has a lead individual to single out for recognition.
Teams might achieve goals through exceptional teamwork, or problem solving. They might work across departments, or incorporate new ideas quickly. Equally, they might have acted on their own initiative to lay the groundwork for an upcoming project.
In these situations, it would be hard to single out one employee, so recognise the whole team. Call them in for a meeting, praise their exceptional efforts, and perhaps offer a reward of some kind.
A lot of companies that don’t have a budget to work with use flexibility as a reward. Time off for a whole team, an early-dart in an afternoon, or for individuals to use some extra flex-time.
4. Ask for feedback
Having a voice in the company matters as much as hearing one.
When someone demonstrates exceptional effort or achievement, listen to them. Offer the employee a chance to give their feedback on what’s happening in the company.
You might gain valuable insight from your top performers. And the employee will see that you don’t just treasure the value of your work. You see value in their thoughts and ideas too.
5. Boast achievements internally
Lean on your internal communications to showcase the achievements.
Even if you don’t have anything formal in place for internal communication, you can write an email. Depending on your position in the company, you might limit that to your department or division.
The wider your message goes, the bigger the impact of the recognition. But we understand not everyone has that luxury. If you have the seniority though, go company-wide.
If you’re casting the net wide, ask other managers for suggestions. They’ll nominate the stand-out performances from their teams. With care and consistency it could become something your employees look forward to seeing.
6. Share achievements externally
Share your teams’ wins with the world.
Take to social media, your website or your monthly newsletter. Use these mediums to highlight your employees’ recent successes.
Setting up a LinkedIn page, or a Facebook page, and connecting with your customers costs you little. And it would give your employees immense pride to have their work highlighted there.
Some companies squirm at the idea of putting things out in the public. We understand that. But as long as what they’re doing lines up with your values, you should fine.
7. Noticeboards or whiteboards as a makeshift wall of fame
You’re limited only by what’s available around you. Written notes, photographs, letters from clients, certificates or more.
Your little wall of fame could quickly become a popular centrepiece of the office.
It won’t be measurable like a formal platform, but it will be fun for your staff. And it doesn’t have to go away if you do introduce a formal platform.
8. Measure achievements and progress
Measure progress towards personal and departmental goals. Acknowledge employees when they get past milestones on their way to those goals.
9. Celebrate milestones
It costs you nothing to write down and always make sure to acknowledge your employees’ milestones.
Birthdays, work anniversaries, or product launches. Anything that you know your employees will find valuable, make a note of it.
This one is so simple you can’t lose. And as we’ve outlined before, we think it’s important to recognise all employee longevity. Even after just one year.
Be creative with your employee recognition ideas
If you can peel off even a bit of extra cash, recognition possibilities start to open up.
Start with the culture of your company. Not just the formal values you lay out for staff to adhere to – the way your employees actually interact with each other.
Take that, and get creative with your employee recognition ideas. There are some really energising, funky recognition systems out there that don’t break the bank.
We’ve seen some creative, successful ideas put together with very little real budget.
10. Stickers or badges
Stickers are cheap, but fun and disposable. Pop one on an employees’ equipment, their workstation or their document folders.
Badges, also, give you a little creative outlet that’s easy to implement. Your staff might wear them on their uniforms, attach them to lanyards, or affix them to the back of their chair.
11. Picking the team lunch
If you can afford to foot the bill for a team lunch, let a star performer pick the weekly or monthly meal, however best suits your team.
Team meals are a great way to coax your staff out of their shells a bit. Having one team member pick the meal might also give you a glimpse of your staff’s personalities and let them create deeper bonds together.
12. Time for projects
In today’s world, almost everyone is time poor. Professional lives blend and blur with the personal, and both can suffer for it. A lot of good ideas tend to go to rust when employees don’t get the time they need to develop them.
As an act of recognition, you might give an employee the space to develop an idea. If it’s a really good idea, the company could stand to gain from it being developed. And your employee will enjoy a sense of personal ownership over the project.
13. Charitable acts
Put aside cash for a monthly donation to a smaller charity of choice. Big charities will barely notice a £50 donation, but many staff have charities close to their hearts. So target smaller charities with causes close to your staff’s lives.
Or perhaps your employee would appreciate a bit of time for volunteering for a cause of their choice. As we pointed out above, everyone is perpetually stretched for time. And extra activities like volunteering are often what takes the hit when staff allocate their time.
14. Group trophies
Rather than shelling out month after month to make an office full of trophies, just buy the trophy once. The monthly winner of the trophy gets to keep it at their workstation for a month.
For an extra twist on this employee recognition idea, make it a vote. Offer your staff the chance to vote on who should be recognised every month. You can read our blog here on why we favour a bit of democracy in the workplace when it comes to recognition. Our recognition platform, Shout!, is based on the idea that employees should have a say in what’s important and who gets recognised.
15. Car washing
Invite a car wash team on site to clean and detail someone’s car. Or maybe offer money off a bike service for a bicycle commuter. Train commuters are bit harder, but you can always be creative – Kindle books, books on tape, Acast podcast subscriptions. Just use your imagination and your knowledge of your employees.
Making your employee recognition ideas work
Good employee recognition ideas keep individual personalities in mind. Look around your office, and look at what makes them tick. Look at what generates humour, enthusiasm and participation in your teams. Take that as your starting point and use it as a launching point.
Just remember not to discard the basics. Whatever funky initiatives you decide on, keep them linked to your company culture and values.
Put values in the spotlight
More than once in this piece we’ve mentioned values. We talk about them so often because they’re so important. They’re vital to shaping the attitude and the culture of your company.
Focus on your company’s values to get more out of your recognition. Filtering recognition through your values puts employee behaviour through a lens. It lets them see how their work contributes to a greater whole.
This is a building block towards an engaged workforce.
Make recognising staff a habit. Build it into your daily, weekly and monthly work. A lot of staff will notice if you suddenly start then stop something or lose interest over time.
If you buy into the idea, make sure you show your staff that you buy into the idea.
It’s not complicated or expensive to recognise employees. Platforms and cash-value rewards have an impact, but they’re not the focus.
They’re a welcome addition but the crux of your effort needs to be about making employees’ value feel seen, welcome and treasured.
https://www.appreciate.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/broken-piggy-bank-picture-id543813814-1.jpg350600Adam Whatlinghttps://www.appreciate.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/appreciate-home-of-love2shop-logo-340x100v3.pngAdam Whatling2018-10-12 09:16:002019-10-14 13:05:0915 Cheap employee recognition ideas that work
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Flexecash is the pre-paid card platform which issues the Love2shop Cards. The Your Choice Card is issued pursuant to a licence from Mastercard Europe SA. These facilities are provided by Park Card Services who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to issue electronic money. (FRN: 900016). “Appreciate Business Services” and “Appreciate: The home of Love2shop” are both trading names of Park Retail Limited, registered in England with company number 402152 and registered office at Valley Road, Birkenhead, Merseyside, CH41 7ED