With a workforce spread across three continents and time zones, Monica Vinader were keen to find a rewards and benefits platform that worked across borders. This was especially important as there was no single source for their people initiatives or communications, with staff having different levels of IT access and store employees not having a company email address.
Louise Sparkes, Senior People & Culture Manager, says this led to siloed employee populations, where "people knew what was going on in their own locations but not necessarily with other teams or parts of the business."
The Perkbox platform is location agnostic, which makes it perfect for a dispersed workforce. And with access available 24/7 via desktop or mobile app, it also simplified the experience for both employees and employer.
"It was really a case of us looking for a solution that meant globally everyone had access to the same thing… where people could access it on the go, wherever they are, without needing particular levels of access.
"It's also so much easier for administering things that previously we might have had to go to a local supplier for. It's quite nice to be able to centralise them on Perkbox."
Cultivating a culture of appreciation
One of the key behaviours Louise and her team try to drive is “celebrating successes”. Combining their internal engagement efforts with Perkbox’s Celebration hub has been a winning formula. Not only has it enabled line managers to give people recognitions, but the key element of peer-to-peer recognition has also taken off.
“We wanted to find a way of celebrating everyone’s successes and bringing that to public attention within the company. Immediately we saw that people were really engaged with Celebration hub — giving recognition to each other, commenting on posts.
“Peer to peer recognition was really important to us, so that people had a voice and felt seen by their colleagues. Straight away we saw lots of posts coming through — people using it to celebrate the little things like birthdays, not just work related. It’s really helped with building that culture across the whole business and it’s people’s go-to now. They want to say thank you on the Perkbox platform, not just on an email where it doesn't get seen by anybody.”
In less than 18 months, over 1,200 recognitions had been sent across locations, and the company also benefited from the fact that the various parts of the platform can be used together. For example, everyone who gives and receives a recognition is entered into a monthly prize draw. Two people are then chosen at random to win a voucher — chosen from Perks hub — while their win is recorded on a call and uploaded to Culture hub for everyone else to see.
Both employee morale and company culture have had a positive uplift.
“We have a group chat and sometimes someone will say they were having a down day and reading the recognitions has boosted them back up again. So it’s a really nice way of showing we do make a difference and we are celebrating each other. We also recommend it to our new starters to figure out who works with who.”
Making rewarding regular
One of the reasons staff at Monica Vinader are so engaged is the consistency Louise and her team approach reward and recognition with. Not only does this keep people engaged, but it keeps emphasising the behaviours that align with the company values.
“Anyone that receives recognition goes on to a ‘Wheel of Names’. And every month, in our last business update call, we spin the wheel, call out the winner and read out what their recognition was for.
“The winners get Reward points, and they also get an extra recognition. It's nice to see how it's grown over time as well. November's always a big month for us as it’s Black Friday. It's when there's a lot going on, and lots of people want to give each other recognitions, and last November we had 120 people on the wheel who’d been recognised — so it's a lot of people which is really nice.”
Reward points are also used for length of service awards. These are occasions where it’s super important to provide something meaningful, so the fact that employees can spend these points on a reward of their choice makes it a natural solution.
“We put our length of service awards into Perkbox last year, when the points went global and we were able to convert. We used to give vouchers, and now we give points on 1, 3, 5, and 10 year service on a sort of sliding scale.”
Caring for individuals
In addition to strengthening culture and communication, Monica Vinader use Perkbox to add value to their employee wellbeing offering — physical, mental and financial.
Caring is one of their company values, and Wellness hub is a core part of this. It’s something they use in combination with their internal initiatives, as Louise explains.
“We launched a wellbeing committee called the Feel Good Group and they're all about bringing wellbeing into everything that we do. Recently they were running some drop in sessions for guided meditations. Someone played a track from Wellness hub and it was a nice way of bringing some calm into people’s days.
“The webinars have also been really popular. We try and flag things that we know people have spoken about to us before, for example webinars around sleep or nutrition.”
Meanwhile, Perks hub has helped employees save through a range of discounts. Monica Vinader employees also receive 25 Flexi points each month, which can be spent on a variety of Flexi Perks which are meaningful for them. The high level of choice means there’s something for everyone across countries and diverse, dispersed workforces. This is demonstrated by over 1,500 Flexi Perks being redeemed in the first seven months since being made available.
“Perks hub was a nice added extra to help make people’s money go further. Flexi points have been really popular. We have people of all ages across the whole workforce. Some people are buying a house and want furniture or bigger purchases. For younger staff it may be the smaller perks, so we do see a real range.”
An all-round tool
Louise sees the Perkbox platform as a “really crucial” part of the Monica Vinader Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and something that will grow with the business and her people initiatives.
“It's one of our only benefits that is completely global and for us that’s really important. When we launch something new, we try to think — can we do it through Perkbox? We’ve already got this fantastic platform available to us; what can we do more with it?
“It definitely comes up a lot more when we ask people what they enjoy about working at Monica Vinader. For example, we run a pulse survey about wellbeing and quite often you get feedback from people saying they really appreciate the benefits package they’ve got. When people leave us reviews on Glassdoor it tends to come up as something they’re really happy they get.”
And while it's well appreciated by existing employees, it’s also something that’s used as a talent attraction tool — a key aim for all growing organisations.
“It goes out on any comms to candidates, it’s on our career site. We speak to candidates about the experience of being part of Team MV and what that means. It’s an integral part of our benefits package. I think we're only going to find new ways to utilise it.”