Rewards games prove a winning formula at Capita

Points mean prizes: staff can rack up recognition points for how they demonstrate company values.

Using reward games to incentivise staff and to encourage them to recognise each other’s good work can have a positive impact on employees’ engagement with the business, as Capita discovered. 

When organisations introduce a new IT system, this can also be a good excuse for an internal revamp – whether that relates to employer brand, internal business processes or anything else in between.

That is certainly what professional services firm Capita took the opportunity of doing when it rolled out a new “mobile-first” game-based reward and recognition system at the start of April 2015.

The offering, developed by London-based start-up WorkAngel, is a mixture between an in-house social network, enabling employees to acknowledge each other’s good work, and a points-based voluntary benefits platform.

Managers can allocate recognition points based around corporate values, and can give staff specific rewards as a thankyou for the long hours worked on a given project, for example.

The idea is that the more recognition points employees rack up, the more benefits they can receive and access via their mobile phones.

These perks include discounts and cashback at about 1,200 UK online retailers and 6,000 restaurants, as well as half-price cinema tickets at VUE and Cineworld.

Rethinking the employer brand

But as Alex Tullett, head of benefits strategy at Capita’s Employee Benefits Group, points out, the biggest chunk of the project was not so much automating manual processes, but “changing the way we interface with employees”.

“It was about us sitting down and taking the opportunity to rethink what our internal brand and value proposition is to employees,” he explains. “Taking a mobile-first approach meant changing the way we thought about communications so it’s about fewer words, more pictures and creating a more vibrant brand.”

To help the company change its visual imagery, and make the game less “blue chip” and more fun, it enlisted its in-house design and creation agency.

A working group comprising four people was also set up, which included representatives from HR, finance and the business.

For HR, it meant a slight change of approach. “It was about getting them to perhaps let go a little bit and accept that employees now react with the world in a different way, which means that we have to react accordingly. But they were very supportive so we were pushing at an open door,” says Tullett.

The aim, over time, is to use the systems’ analytics functionality to personalise the benefits that employees receive. Furthermore, Capita also plans to sell its existing Orbit benefits package – complete with the WorkAngel add-on – to external customers, which means game on for everyone.

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