Crystal Run Village (CRVI) is a New York-based Human Services organization that provides services for empowerment of people with disabilities, with the vision of “Together, Creating New Directions… New Lives.” The organization needed to create consistency among its 45 Residential Group Homes and Administrative Support Building by further defining its values and behaviors and connecting its spread out employees.
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Employee recognition, employee communications, employee discounts, employee surveys
In a fast-paced working environment, decreasing employee turnover and improving the employee experience were key objectives for CRVI. Effective and inclusive employee communications and manager-led recognition initiatives were in high demand to foster a more engaged, collaborative workforce.
Along with improving collaboration, CRVI needed to reach a mixed demographic, encompassing younger generations and a largely offline workforce. This meant updating its current approach and changing employees’ mindsets about using new technology by choosing an easy-to-use, centralized tool.
Previously, CRVI relied heavily on email to reach its dispersed employees, but communications weren’t well received on the other end, since many employees had little to no direct access to a computer throughout the day. To bring multi-generational employees closer to the company’s purpose, mission and values and improve connections, CRVI launched a new employee engagement platform, “New Directions,” available on any device, at any time.
The platform’s name is a direct reflection of the organization’s vision and symbolizes its journey towards creating a more engaged, connected and collaborative workforce. It’s on the platform that employees can find important internal communications and company updates from key stakeholders – including blogs from CRVI’s CEO Bill Sammis.
Bill has been using the blogs to respond to items or questions from the company’s “Solution Box,” which is a place for employees to leave anonymous feedback, learn more about company policies or stay connected to various teams across the business. Employees can then leave comments or reactions on the internal blog post to boost connections and open and honest communication within the organization.
New Directions also houses values-based peer-to-peer eCards, including “Positive Environments” and “Honest Relationships,” as well as rewards called “U Rock,” which Directors and above can send employees. There are also “Employee of the Month” nominations. With the social recognition wall, both on-site and offline employees can stay connected to other teams, read recognitions, and react or comment on the moments of recognition. This helps improve collaboration and visibility, while defining what “good behavior” looks like to the organization.
To ensure a smooth transition and increase uptake, the organization worked with Reward Gateway to bring managers and leaders up to speed with the new tool, making sure senior employees were involved from the start. Senior leaders can access more information on New Directions through the platform to understand the different levels of U Rock awards and the descriptions for each (to know when to send a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum).
Managers at CRVI met with Reward Gateway to host a manager training session, where they learned about the value of recognition, the new defined behaviors and how to create long-lasting success. To increase usage and excitement, managers were the first employees to use the platform, share their feedback and highlight what they wanted to see on the platform.
Continued success means regularly tracking the effectiveness of the new platform. Along with communication and recognition initiatives, New Directions houses employee surveys which allow leadership, including the CEO and the HR team to keep a pulse on CRVI employees to consistently measure engagement and improve the employee experience.
To further show employees that they’re appreciated at work, CRVI launched employee discounts with Reward Gateway to help stretch employees’ pay. Through New Directions, employees can access discounts in-store or online and save at hundreds of popular retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Delta and Papa John’s Pizza.
In the first week of launch, employees sent one another 121 eCards, demonstrating a shift towards building a culture of continuous recognition. What's more, Bill has published 19 new blog posts in the first two months of launch, and that number continues to grow.
within first week of launch
published by CEO in the first 2 months