Personnel Today Awards 2009: Award for Reward and Recognition

THE AWARD

Entrants demonstrated how they use reward and recognition in a strategic way, aligned to their organisational objectives and market and competitive pressures. The judges looked for a ‘wow’ factor, flexibility and clear communication.

 

 

 

THE JUDGES

Mark Childs
Director
Total Reward Solutions

 

 

 

Duncan Brown
Director of HR development
Institute for Employment Studies

 

 

 

Steve Herbert
Head of benefits strategy
Origen

 


 


Aviva


The team: Aviva reward team with Caburn Hope
Number in team: 12
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 30,000

About the organisation

Aviva is the world’s fifth largest insurance group and the largest insurance services provider in the UK. It was created by the merger of CGU and Norwich Union in May 2000.

The challenge

Following a high-profile merger, Aviva needed to create a culture of individual recognition and reward, engaging employees with the values and behaviours underpinning its new brand. Communicating this in a consistent, meaningful and personal way was a major undertaking.

What the organisation did



  • With employee communications agency Caburn Hope, Aviva launched new reward brand My Aviva Reward, rolled out across an easily accessible web portal and supporting communications
  • Launched Spotlight, focused on recognising individuals publicly. Colleagues nominate individuals and teams who ‘live the brand’. They win points to spend in an online shop, and receive an e-card, which are copied to managers.

Benefits and achievements



  • 33% of employees logged on to My Aviva Reward in first month
  • 4,000 monthly visits to My Aviva Reward website
  • 3,500 monthly visits to Spotlight website
  • Nearly 700 e-cards sent in first month
  • Positive feedback: senior executives report being “blown away” by websites; employees describe them as “a major step forward”.

Judge’s comments

Mark Childs says: “A well-presented example of how reward can be used to effectively reinforce corporate identity and communicate organisational culture and focus.”

 


Bank of Cyprus UK


The team: HR and communications
Number in team: 4
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 200

About the organisation

Bank of Cyprus UK specialises in delivering corporate and business banking services to small and medium-size entities, and has been operating in the UK for more than 50 years.

The challenge

The bank closed its final salary pension scheme for new entrants in 2003 and created an alternative defined contribution scheme. Despite this, the pension remains in deficit, and there is an increasing disparity in pension provision for members of the two schemes. The bank needed to create a sustainable and engaging retirement savings proposition for all staff.

What the organisation did



  • With advisers Mercer, the bank designed an delivered a compelling savings offering that reflected the aspirations of a contemporary workforce
  • The scheme reflected the fact that employees were increasingly mobile; were at different stages of their lives, where pension provision may be a lower priority than saving for a deposit on a home or clearing student debt
  • Closed the final salary scheme to all employees, and communicated the new ‘Pension Savings Scheme’, including regular future supporting/educational presentations.

Benefits and achievements



  • 100% voluntary buy-in to the new arrangements with very positive feedback from employees, trade union and trustees
  • 80% have joined the pension plan, with 20% splitting contributions between the pension and savings plans
  • 85% are making personal contributions, up from 35% under previous arrangements
  • 78% reduction in final salary pension scheme deficit.

Judge’s comments

Duncan Brown says: “A forward-thinking approach to solving the costs and inequalities evident in the pension provision of many UK employers.”

 


Boots


The team: Reward team
Number in team: 9
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 71,000

About the organisation

Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer, with 60,000 employees across 2,500 stores in the UK and Ireland in which it serves eight million customers every week.

The challenge

Boots needed a reward and recognition strategy focused on supporting a step-change in its customer experience in both stores and at head office. With so many customers, it is a challenge to ensure consistently good customer service at every store visit.

What the organisation did



  • Put in place recognition programmes that reward staff for demonstrating the values and behaviours the business strives for. These include quarterly ‘Brilliant Customer Care’ awards for going the extra mile, and an annual gala event celebrating exemplary colleagues
  • New stores have a bonus scheme that rewards great customer care
  • Data collected from stores on the performance received from head office is used as basis for quarterly bonus.

Benefits and achievements



  • Recognition schemes have proved hugely popular with staff. Managers value having tools to recognise their teams, and employees have given positive feedback trough staff forum
  • Since introduction of new stores bonus, customer feedback has improved week by week, and the bonus has been paid to more than 95% of store staff
  • Satisfaction with service from head office was up to 78% from 72% in 2008.

Judge’s comments

Steve Herbert says: “A very strong entry that focused on the result of an initiative to improve the company’s service to consumers by engaging and encouraging employees.”

 


HM Prison Morton Hall


The team: Performance recognition team
Number in team: 9
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 226

About the organisation

Previously a women’s prison, Morton Hall is developing as a specialist foreign national centre, including its own resettlement regime for prisoners who will be released into this country.

The challenge

Morton Hall needed to improve performance and reduce absenteeism by improving the dated reward and recognition strategy and ensure that staff understood it and saw it as fair. The staff survey revealed a perception among staff that some working areas were more likely to receive reward and recognition than others.

What the organisation did



  • The successfully restructured Performance Recognition Committee moved away from the practice of private acknowledgements to encouraging the presentation of awards at monthly full staff briefings
  • Celebration of Achievement Event runs along similar lines to a graduation ceremony, with a souvenir programme given to attendees. Staff receive awards in recognition if individual outstanding contributions, from work with child visits to diversity issues
  • Personal letters of thanks sent by the governor to staff in recognition of good work.

Benefits and achievements



  • The prison moved from being the 80th best performing prison in the country to 6th
  • Absenteeism reduced by 50% to 5.2 days per employee, regularly the lowest of any prison in the UK
  • Many staff have commented they feel more appreciated. Staff turnover is low
  • Staff perceive the system as fair and feel the ‘veil of secrecy’ has been removed.

Judge’s comments

Mark Childs says: “A powerful example of what can be achieved through innovative thinking in an organisation with limited financial resources.”

 


Munich Re


The team: HR
Number in team: 8
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 300

About the organisation

Munich Re is the world’s largest reinsurance company with more than 5,000 customers in 160 countries.

The challenge

Munich Re in the UK was essentially three separate businesses and this needed to change. However, profound inequalities in benefits packages and a differing demographic across the three operations threatened the aim to create a ‘one company’ feel.

What the organisation did



  • Following a survey completed by 70% of staff, a new range of flexible benefits was launched in October 2007, and flexibility introduced into existing benefits
  • A Total Reward Statement was introduced to clearly demonstrate the monetary value of benefits to staff
  • The launch was extensively communicated, including through an online portal created by Thompsons.

Benefits and achievements



  • By the end of January 2008, 82% of employees had logged into the system and 81% had made a flexible benefits selection
  • 85% understand the benefits better than before launch, and 64% value their benefits package more
  • Reduced staff turnover, admin and pressure on HR, with higher staff engagement.

Judge’s comments

Steve Herbert says: “A well-planned flexible benefits and reward communication project, which made a valuable contribution to the business.”

 


Pets At Home


The team: HR and training team
Number in team: 15
Number of staff the team is responsible for: 4,200

About the organisation

Pets at Home is a specialist petcare retailer, with 200 stores across the UK.

The challenge

Having expanded its scope, the company needed to develop a programme of training and development to motivate staff to aim for the higher level of specialist knowledge needed to sell licensed medicines (previously only available from vets), set up in-store marine centres, and care for and sell tortoises and reptiles.

What the organisation did



  • Developed customised learning programmes supported by a system of reward and recognition called Earn as You Learn (EaYL), which rewards staff through their salary for learning new skills that directly benefit customer service
  • Teamed up with academic institutions to offer custom-made courses to achieve recognisable qualifications This included working with Harper Adams University to develop a five-day residential course to qualify staff to sell flea and worm treatments for cats and dogs
  • Qualified staff earn an extra £1,000 a year through their salaries. More than 600 have achieved this. Smaller payments for other courses are also made.

Benefits and achievements



  • Sales in the financial year to April 2009 reached £400m with like-for-like sales up by 7%
  • Profits increased by 16% to £70m
  • More than 700 members of staff have benefited from the EaYL scheme, which has contributed to an improvement in the company’s employee engagement index from 73 to 89 in the past year
  • Awarded Best Companies One Star accreditation, one of just seven retailers to receive this.

Judge’s comments

Steve Herbert says: “An excellent entry that focused on encouraging staff to achieve professional qualifications. In this, the company has done impressively well, and shown a degree of innovation by introducing annual salary increases rather than one-off payments for exam passes.”

Comments are closed.