Discover how PYBAR Mining Services transformed their manual recognition and reward program and combined it with communications and discounts to connect and unite their employees.
7 min read
This is the third post in our 3-part mini series on Employee Engagement, with insights from one of our HR Heroes, Cara Jordan, HR Advisor at PYBAR Mining Services. With over 800 employees mostly working in remote, underground mines around Australia, keeping people engaged and informed is no easy feat. In this post, Cara answers questions about maintaining momentum after launching a program and generating interest for an online platform among employees who are predominantly working offline.
You can also check out the first two parts of our series:
Here are some of the questions that came from the audience. You can also watch the full webinar and interview to get more insight from Cara's team.
Q: We have challenges with maintaining the momentum of recognition programs. How do we keep a program on the agenda?
Cara: Just like the content in communication channels, recognition and reward programs need to stay fresh too. Change it up every now and then; if you have rewards for certain programs, change them every 12-24 months so the rewards are different and create excitement. Here are some tips:
|TIP: Ask your employees for feedback regularly, whether it’s informally during a chat or formally through an annual survey, and shape your program based on what they want and what resonates.|
Q: How do you encourage innovation and continuous engagement after introducing the new platform?
Cara: We had to change our mindset and approach to important company communication and look at how we could direct employees to log into and use the hub for information. We’ve tried the following techniques:
Once employees see the value of the information they’re accessing, you might even get employees offering content. Soon people sent in videos without us having to be that annoying HR person pleading for participation!
|TIP: HR is still the team driving content. We are always thinking about new content and not just for the sake of new content but content that really serves a purpose; whether it’s showcasing your values, showcasing a project or a person or a business achievement – never let it go stale!|
Q: We have around 2,500 employees who are in trucks all day and not in front of a computer or accessing emails. What is the take-up of your employees using their own smartphones to log in and nominate someone for an award? What is their flag to trigger them to remember to get online to nominate?
Cara: Most of our workforce is the same; while they are at work in the mines their internet connection is limited. We know this is something that will always be a barrier for us so we work with it. The platform is a great electronic tool that they can access from their phones, but we also do the following:
It’s also important to have a strong employee engagement program launch and to use that time face-to-face make sure they aren’t dismissing the platform just because they think it’s too hard to log in and use it. Sit down with people who are resistant, walk them through it and team up with a few employees that are leaders or influencers and make them your advocates. Once you have a strong program and employees are being recognized and they start receiving awards, you’d be surprised about how much movement it can create.
|TIP: Release information in smaller snippets via text message or email, and remind employees to visit the platform to read information in full. This way, your communication and recognition is being channeled through one medium and logging in is not so much of a barrier to them anymore. Just be strategic about how you generate the traffic and where you want them to end up.|
Q: How do you ensure that the employee of the month is really deserving? How do you avoid people who don't win employee of the month from being discouraged?
Cara: I’m trying to think of a time when we’ve ever had an issue with a discouraged nominee and I honestly can’t think of one! But to give you an idea of how we try to encourage fairness and transparency, our recognition framework looks a bit like this:
|TIP: Keep encouraging peer nominations – make people accountable for what gets recognized. If we only rely on leaders, they don’t always see everything good that’s happening so peer-to-peer recognition and reward keeps it consistent and fair. A mix of immediate and free recognition (like eCards) and special rewards keeps things exciting and helps create a rhythm for your people.|
Do you have your own tips for maintaining excitement and participation in your recognition or engagement programs, or do you have another question you’d like our HR Heroes to answer? Start a discussion in our comments, or join us on LinkedIn to share your ideas!
Joy is our book-hoarding, food-loving Content Journalist. She combines her experience in communications and change management with storytelling and digital media to help business and HR leaders connect with their people and strengthen their company culture. When she isn’t writing about business, HR or leadership, she’s writing quotes and song lyrics with a paintbrush or calligraphy pen.
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