Spring Group combined staff reward with corporate social responsibility, and found that the real reward came from the chance to help the less fortunate.
Spring Group is one of the UK's largest staffing specialists, working in permanent and contract IT and telecoms recruitment. A workforce of 1,000 supports more than 9,000 contractors or temporary staff placements every year and makes a further 4,000 permanent placements. The company also offers workforce management solutions and recruitment process outsourcing.
In 2008, as part of its incentive programme, Spring rewarded its highest achievers with a trip to Dubai where they were treated to five-star accommodation and a range of exciting experiences and activities. Participants were either successful sales-people or individuals from the company's support services, identified for their outstanding contribution over the last year.
While the Dubai trip was undoubtedly a success, it was felt to be a little too self-indulgent, and left attendees uncomfortable with the clearly divided society in which they found themselves. When the time came to organise the 2009 incentive programme, the company decided to add a corporate social responsibility (CSR) element, in the hope that this would give participants a more balanced experience.
Spring picked South Africa as the 2009 destination. Inspired by the work of its UK CSR charity partner, Action for Children, the company worked with incentive travel and conference provider First Event to create the ideal experience.
Alongside the once-in-a-lifetime experiences, Spring's 2009 reward team was given the chance to work on a CSR project in a hands-on environment. On 13 March, Red Nose Day, the 45-strong team was taken to the Alpine Primary School, Beacon Valley in Western Cape.
On arrival, the group split into three teams led by chief executive Peter Searle and managing directors Neil Jones and Aidan Anglin. Together they built a 'jungle gym' – a series of rugged rope swings, platforms and climbing frames – in the school's playground. Preparatory work had been carried out by a local contractor to ensure the structures were secure in the ground and a health and safety worker was on hand to ensure the team created a safe play environment.
In addition, the team brought books, pens and paper to