Pacific Atlantic Handling (PAH) offers a unique customer handling service and provides luggage tracking at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. As PAH continues to grow and expand its employee base, the organization realized it was time to improve both the employee and customer experience in order to stand out as a top employer and engage its people.
Tourism & Travel
Number of employees:
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Employee communications, employee recognition, employee discounts, employee surveys
Working in a heavy-traffic airport can be challenging – especially since employees are constantly on their feet and don’t have access to a desk. PAH realized that important company updates or messages weren’t reaching its people, who may be scattered throughout the airport on any given day. This also highlighted the need for PAH to foster an environment where employees feel like a bigger part of the company, rather than working their typical shift.
Becoming an employer of choice starts with your people and PAH needed to ensure that employees not only felt connected, but felt valued and recognized for the hard work they do each day. The organization decided it was time to open up more opportunities for employee recognition to shine a spotlight on top performers and those who go above and beyond in order to improve employee retention.
Bringing powerful communications and recognition together in one place was top of mind for PAH. The organization partnered with Reward Gateway to launch its employer-branded employee engagement platform, “Elevation.” It’s on the platform that employees can send one another performance-based eCards to highlight good behavior, such as “Customer Experience” and “Leading by Example,” alongside greetings-based eCards such as “Happy Anniversary” or “Congratulations.”
Employees can send one another three levels of monetary rewards called “Altitude Awards,” as well as nominate top performers for Employee of the Month. These non-monetary and monetary reward and recognition tools help PAH foster a community-driven culture and improve employee morale. What’s more, social recognition helps keep teams connected from any device, at any time – even on the busiest of days in an unpredictable working environment. When R&R is made public, others in the business can see it, comment on it and add reactions such as “like,” “wow” or “love.”
To build upon the newly-formed culture of appreciation, the team also used the platform to educate others in the business on the “how” and “when” of recognition and reward. The platform houses a dedicated FAQ page to recognition so that employees can learn more and understand the differences between sending an eCard, nomination or award for a more consistent experience.
Keeping communications at the core is key to many businesses, but especially at PAH, as the organization is in a period of rapid growth and change. On the Elevation Blog, employees can stay updated on important company news and announcements so that they never miss a beat. Before the site launched, PAH’s CEO Neil Lott realized he needed to be a key driver for the new culture initiative and make himself more visible as a leader.
On the very first day of launch, employees were welcomed with a blog post from Neil, which set the tone for employee communications. Neil’s blog post outlined key goals to ensure everyone was marching to the same beat, and he identified himself as a top contributor going forward – because leadership involvement is crucial to moving the needle on employee engagement. To keep the two-way feedback open, PAH utilizes polls to keep a pulse on employees’ interests and feedback on the site to make sure it’s hitting the mark.
Working towards improving the employee experience both at work and at home, PAH implemented employee discounts that help employees save money on everyday items to improve their financial wellbeing, with access to hundreds of retailers through Elevation. Since launching Elevation in November of 2019, employees have sent 211 eCards, 21 awards and Neil has published 3 blogs and counting.
Commenting on the value of employee recognition at PAH, Neil adds, “When I started this journey of creating my company, I knew I wanted it to be different for all the employees that worked for us. With the challenges and issues working at an airport can create for someone, I wanted everyone to feel supported, recognized, engaged and most of all, a feeling of belonging at work. As we move into the next phase, I am confident that we will be able to expand the path of recognition for our employees at PAH and continue improving the employee experience.”
eCards sent in
first 2 months of launch
awards issued in
first 2 months of launch