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Behind the Scenes: Why Laminex chose Reward Gateway as its main partner for reward and recognition

Starting life in a small tin shed in suburban Melbourne over 80 years ago, Laminex has since grown to become one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of decorative laminates. The company employs 1,500 employees across the country, 500 of whom are working remotely – plus many more who are frontline workers with no access to a personal computer at work.

We caught up with Laura Staples, Head of People & Performance at Laminex, to look back at the initial stages of their journey and the key factors that made them choose Reward Gateway over other platforms.

Experience by Laminex mockup

RG: Reward Gateway helped launch the ‘Experience by Laminex' platform toward the end of 2021. What challenges were you noticing across your workforce and the industry as a whole at that time?

Laura: There were two main drivers for us to start looking for a new platform. The first was that we’d just launched our ‘work from anywhere’ strategy, so we had a large population of employees planning to work remotely on a permanent basis. That, coupled with our frontline workforce, meant we needed to find a digital platform to keep everyone connected while providing a great end-to-end employee experience. 

The second was that we'd received feedback through our employee engagement surveys that people wanted us to find new ways to recognise staff across the business. We needed an avenue to showcase a wide range of attractive rewards and benefits. Reward Gateway immediately stood out as a great fit on both fronts.

How did you engage your senior leadership team with the idea that a digital platform could help transform your approach to attraction, engagement, and retention?

Laura: It was about bringing them along for the journey. Internal communications is a big part of our culture, and we have lots of conversations around the results from our engagement surveys and the feedback we get from employees. 

Laminex employees

Our senior leaders agreed it was the right time to create a central, digital home for all things related to employee experience.

It was crucial to get their input and make sure they saw it as something they could use to better communicate with people across the company.

They wanted a platform that felt simple and easy to use. Anything cumbersome on the back end wasn’t an option because we needed the ability to continually refresh and update the platform at any time. Since we launched, the leadership team has been delighted with the look, feel and functionality of the platform. It’s a great user experience for them as well.

How is the platform supporting your overall Employee Value Proposition journey and helping you stand out in the market as an employer of choice?

Laura: Our approach to EVP is about creating demand, driving loyalty and user adoption, but also making sure the experience is seamless and consistent for everyone. Technology was a key enabler for that, and the platform has quickly become central to the way we attract and retain our best people.

Laminex discounts mockupWe started out by bringing all of the worthy initiatives we've implemented over the last few years under one roof. We looked at the employee lifecycle as a whole, starting with our onboarding and virtual induction experiences right through to capability and learning and development opportunities.

Our employees had asked for a wide range of discounts and employee benefits, so that’s what we needed to deliver. We introduced a ‘Wall of Fame’ to inspire a stronger, more visible recognition culture that all our teams could buy into. The platform has also ended up being a great way to share announcements and reminders, providing a more efficient way for our HR team to communicate key messages throughout the year.

Why do you think you’ve seen such great uptake on the platform across the business so quickly after launching?

Laura: We built an anticipation campaign before the launch because it grabbed people’s interest and made them curious about what we were going to roll out. Once people were interested enough to get onto the platform, I think the functionality and user experience has kept them using it.

Just over a year after launching, we have 93% activation among our users, and we’ve seen more than 1,500 eCards sent, with nearly 80% of our workforce either sending or receiving recognition. On the rewards side of things, we’ve seen more than 450 awards issued, nearly 75% of those have already been redeemed! As a bonus, our team has saved nearly $20,000 through the new benefits program, and have healthy engagement with our Wellbeing Centre, too. 

Can you tell us a little bit more about the recognition structure you have at Laminex and how it's helped you with your retention strategy?

Laminex eCardsLaura: The key message we wanted to articulate is that recognition comes in many different shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter how small or large the recognition is – it can still have a really meaningful impact. That’s why we created a tiered structure that had a good mixture of performance-based and values-based recognition.

We have ‘Service Gratitude,’ where we share our thanks to those who have been in the organisation for a long time. Next, we’ve got ‘Cheers to Your Peers.’ This is all about peer-to-peer recognition and sharing appreciation for everyday heroes on our wall of fame. People now have an easy route to shout out what they love about each other and the great work they're doing. 

This feeds into ‘SLT Shoutouts’ – our monetary rewards program which allows senior leaders to reward top performance and actions that have an impact in line with our cultural pillars. Best of all, all of this is housed on the platform and so easy to access.

Looking back to the start of your journey, what's the one piece of advice that you would give to other businesses aiming to transform their rewards and recognition strategy?

Laura: Bring humour into it and have fun! As a HR professional, I love the idea of thinking like a marketer to find creative ways to launch a new initiative and get people hooked on it.

If you’ve got mainly frontline workers, remote workers or a mixture of both, you need a platform that’s agile enough to cope with different demands and expectations. Our vision was to create an all-encompassing space where staff could find everything they needed and so far the adoption rate has been fantastic. Now our task is to maintain that momentum and keep things feeling fresh as we go along.


Want to know more about how Reward Gateway can drive engagement across your entire workforce? Get in touch with our team to find out how the right technology can enhance your EVP.

Talk to an Engagement Consultant »

Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones is a frequent contributor to Reward Gateway's thought leadership library. When he's not scribbling down thoughts about modern life and work, you'll probably find him watching old Westerns or trying to persuade people to go to karaoke.

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