ORBIS Corporation operates globally with multiple manufacturing plants and a corporate headquarters. Its 2,900 employees were used to working in different locations, with multiple locations throughout North America. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, its manufacturing workers were considered essential, while its corporate employees were required to work remotely full-time. The question then became, how would the organization connect its dispersed employees and meet their different needs?
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Employee recognition, employee surveys
Before COVID-19, ORBIS Corporation did a company-wide survey and one of the lowest scoring categories across the business was recognition. Employees were feeling they weren’t recognized enough for their efforts and the company values weren’t as prominent across the organization. This only became more apparent as employees were working in different locations and it was harder to see all the day-to-day work happening.
In addition to boosting employee morale, ORBIS also needed a way to keep a pulse on employee feedback and sentiment, especially during unprecedented times. ORBIS was a fairly traditional organization, but it knew it needed to digitize and upgrade its approach to reaching and recognizing its people in order to amplify and continue to grow their company culture.
After listening to employee feedback about the need to shine a spotlight on employee recognition in 2018, the team worked towards enhancing its company culture. For 10 years the ORBIS LEAF culture has been working to change behaviors and increase engagement. But the survey indicated that there was still a need to enhance recognition across the organization and creating a modernized platform to do this was the right answer.
ORBIS Corporation launched its employee engagement platform, “The Loop,” in August of 2019. The Loop became a formal way to digitize recognition and better connect dispersed employees, and it was all driven by the LEAF target behaviors, which can be seen in the dedicated peer-to-peer recognition eCards, such as “Target Behavior 2: Look for good behavior and comment on it.”
Sheri Treu, Director of Organizational Development at ORBIS Corporation says, “We had a paper process before, so our reward and recognition programs were very manual and hard to track. Our people were demonstrating the LEAF behaviors, but there wasn’t a way to publicize it before so we needed to modernize our approach to employee recognition. Through our platform, The Loop, we've been able to offer a place for people to go to.”
ORBIS’s reward and recognition journey started with values-based, peer-to-peer recognition and moved into monetary recognition with a phased approach. It’s been an ongoing effort and the organization now offers a robust selection of eCards and awards for employees to choose from, based on what they want to strategically recognize others for. These include:
The organization also became more strategic about highlighting and celebrating service anniversaries on The Loop. This gives employees more reward redemption options to choose from, including gift card options and a range of company-branded swag.
Alongside employee recognition and reward tools, The Loop also houses employee survey tools. The team continuously collects, measures and acts on employee feedback to make better decisions for their people and keep a pulse on recognitions to ensure they work towards building a culture of continuous appreciation.
Since launching The Loop, there’s been a shift in how people feel about being recognized, which can be seen in the number of activations on the platform. When the team first launched the platform, one of their goals was to achieve 50% activation among employees. They exceeded this goal, with now 54% of employees actively using the platform every day, demonstrating a positive reaction to the modernized approach.
ORBIS realized that each person in the organization had a different experience or perspective during the peak of the pandemic. The team paid close attention to the numbers on the platform and listened to the story that the data was telling them to make more informed decisions for the business.
For example, the team can look at recognition cross-departmentally and see which eCards are being sent to which teams. And the number of recognitions continues to increase, with 5,447 eCards sent since August 2019. Reward is also a key piece of the puzzle and in the past year, employees have sent one another over 1,000 awards and counting.
Sheri adds, “We now have a really strong peer-to-peer recognition culture. Our people feel empowered to recognize and reward others across departments and everybody – from frontline employees to our leadership team – is bought into it. People not only know that recognition makes others feel good, it’s also helping to improve our business results because our people are more connected, more valued and know that their work is making a difference. There is power in listening to and recognizing your people.”
eCards sent since program
of employees actively using the platform and increasing