Creating an engaged workforce

With workforces becoming more dispersed, strengthening culture has become more difficult for HR and people teams.

How do you get all these different individuals aligned with what the company is about? How do you make employees who are scattered across locations feel connected to each other? And how can you ensure that people feel appreciated by their peers and managers?

It’s one of the reasons we’re trusted by so many businesses. Our rewards and benefits platform is proven to help businesses create a culture of appreciation — one that motivates people to do their best work. But don’t just take our word for it — why not hear what some of the customers themselves have to say?

Marugame Udon: Serving up rewards and recognitions at speed

Marugame Udon is a Japanese restaurant with over 1,200 stores across the globe. They launched in the UK in 2021, with a rapid expansion plan that saw them open ten units in a year.

Culture has always been important to the business, with things like sending balloons and cakes to employees on their birthday, or giving people Marugame branded hoodies after passing probation.

As Head of People Nicki Sahota explains, her team was also big on recognition, but needed something less manual.

recognition on perkbox

"The recognition part of the platform has been fantastic. We have ‘Chimu Champions’ (‘Chimu ‘being the Japanese word for ‘team’) and we did recognition before Perkbox, but we were doing it very manually. It took a lot of time to gather votes, count them up, and then organise a prize — whereas Perkbox has massively taken that away for us. I'd like to think we're quite good at embedding our values into the business, but Perkbox has just helped that little bit more."

The peer-to-peer recognition has taken off but as Attraction and Talent Manager Davide Grasso points out, the platform can also be used to push incentives, thanks to the instant Reward points which recipients can spend on a reward of their choice — picking from over 5,000 physical items and 3,500 vouchers across the world.

"Perkbox helps us involve the managers in creating incentives. For example if someone gets 10 good Google reviews in a week, the managers will give them, say, £50 worth of Reward points, rather than us going around buying vouchers and bringing them to the restaurants. So that was also freedom from a lot of admin!"

The impact on the business is clear to see, with Nicki stating

"All of our people metrics have improved drastically over the last 6-12 months. For example, we managed to hire 500 people in the last 12 months, in the middle of a recruitment crisis. We recently did a pay and benefits survey and overall our teams were very happy, and our staff turnover has more than halved."

Read the full story

marugame quote

Traveltek: Using reward and recognition for the heart and soul

Traveltek is a global software company that specialises in the travel industry, with over 90 employees across the UK, India, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Australia and America.

In 2021, Cressida Sergeant, Chief Commercial Officer, took on responsibility for Traveltek’s people agenda and was on the lookout for a solution which would enable rewarding and peer-to-peer recognition on a global level. She’s a big believer in the power of appreciation, saying:

"Compensation is a big part of things, but if you were to just throw money at people for doing a good job — that’s transactional and doesn’t create that culture of appreciation. And when you have challenging times, if you simply have a transactional relationship, you won’t get that ‘heart and soul’ element of people caring about the company and each other."

rewards on perkbox

Perkbox’s reward and recognition solution was specifically designed for dispersed workforces, and our mission is all about helping companies align their people with their purpose. This made us a great fit for Traveltek and the plans Cressida had.

When it comes to rewarding, Traveltek can send their employees our currency-agnostic points, which they can save or immediately spend on our vast catalogue of rewards. Giving them this choice and freedom means they’ll always get something they value.

One of Cressida’s first acts was sending Reward points to staff in India for Diwali, showcasing the global nature of the tool.

In the first six months of using Reward points, Traveltek saw almost 75% of recipients spend their rewards, on things ranging from food delivery services to cinema tickets and charity donations.

A successful reward and recognition strategy isn’t just good for company culture — it has a tangible impact on all the important numbers. We’ll let Cressida take it from here!

"Every single metric at Traveltek has gone up since we got Perkbox. Flow metrics from a tech perspective, eNPS score, company revenue — it’s all gone up.

"We run regular surveys across the business and Perkbox consistently comes up as something the teams find as a valuable tool. We want to give our employees as much support as we can and Perkbox has been a wonderful tool to help us on our journey to improve our culture as much as possible."

Read the full story

traveltek quote

Monica Vinader: Consistently celebrating successes

Monica Vinader is a global jewellery brand with over 250 employees across the UK, USA, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong.

One of the key behaviours Louise Sparkes, Senior People & Culture Manager, tries to drive is “celebrating successes”. She’s pleased with the fact that Perkbox hasn’t just 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."

get rewarded with points with perkbox

"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. 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."

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."

Read the full story

monica vinader quote

The Opportunity Group: Making ‘One Team’ a reality

The Opportunity Group is an apprenticeship company that works with organisations of all sizes and sectors, to maximise their apprenticeships and ensure that emerging talent is ready for the future of work.

The business has a fully remote working model that allows them to attract a wider pool of talent and grow quickly. At the same time, this has brought challenges around things like appreciation and reward, as Digital Programme Manager Gemma Wells explains.

"When you're in an office it’s very easy to share feedback and rewards. When you go remote in the way we have, we’re all quite spread out."

happy employees

With this in mind, The Opportunity Group turned to Perkbox’s global platform, which allows businesses with diverse and dispersed workforces to provide something for everyone.

"The challenge was to find something that would reward people consistently and would suit everybody’s likes and needs, based on where they were. It was really difficult to do that before Perkbox."

One of The Opportunity Group’s core values is ‘One Team’, and they’re passionate about using appreciation and recognition to emphasise that value. To this end, Perkbox has been a key tool in their employee engagement armoury. Gemma and her team encourage everybody to send recognitions, and then showcase this at the end of each week. Over 300 recognitions were sent within the first year and it’s had a visible impact on morale.

Just as important as recognition is the ability to complement it with rewards that matter. Perkbox’s Reward tool made this possible, while making the process of managing budgets more simple. Administrators simply allocate Reward points to managers, who can give these to their team members as and when they see fit. Gemma appreciates the impact this has on the frequency of rewarding, saying:

"We can set those budgets for team managers and the rewards will start to be shared more frequently. It allows them to have that freedom to reward their teams as well.

"Since implementing Perkbox, it’s definitely created more of a structure around how we can communicate things. We can create a bit more engagement around the comms we send out and it encourages collaboration and celebration a lot more. It’s definitely helped strengthen our culture."

Read the full story

opportunity group quote