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3 themes that fueled our 2022 Thank You Festival

With Recognition being a core part of our strategic model to employee engagement, it’s no surprise that the People Team at Reward Gateway have made Employee Appreciation Day part of our annual Engagement Calendar. It gives our employees something to look forward to as the majority of them wait for the brighter spring months to arrive and it provides us with a timely reminder to refresh and refocus our recognition efforts as we look to the end of our Financial Year. 

RG TY Festival 2021At Reward Gateway, a culture of recognition is something we aspire to deliver. While we strongly believe that recognition should happen all year round, the RG Thank You Festival provides us an opportunity to shine a light on how we appreciate our employees and enables us to wholly focus on this strategic engagement initiative.

Each year, our understanding of recognition and appreciation grows. This year that was particularly clear in how we chose to focus our message of appreciation. The previous year, we’d maximised ‘Thank Yous’ sending a record-breaking 1676 eCards in one day received by 87% of our employees.

This year, after a second year of a global pandemic, we wanted to show our appreciation of what people were going through with a focus on how our benefits look after our employees.

With the Thank You Festival  theme decided we created our strategy with three ways to engage a diverse audience:

strategy calendar

Simplifying our strategy to Inspiration, Appreciation and Celebration really helped to shape our event and get everyone excited about the day. We also found mixing the programme to include virtual and in-person events spread across a week a much more accessible and inclusive experience for all involved.


thank you festival ecardThe first part of our strategy, Inspiration was all about  showing appreciation from our Leadership team and inspiring our teams on new ways to improve employee wellbeing. To kick off, we had a video from our Leadership Team with messages of appreciation for our employees, and encouraged employees to inspire one another with messages of appreciation via new eCards themed especially for the festival on our social recognition wall. We hosted three virtual Self Appreciation Workshops with our inspiring guest Andreena Leeane to boost morale and wellbeing by helping our people recognise how unique and wonderful they are.


Next up was Appreciation, and as this was the theme of the entire day, it was important for us to find a solution that could reach a diverse workforce. As a global business, it can be hard to find scalable solutions that give an equal employee experience to all employees. This is why for our Benefits Roadshow, we decided to use video and our employee blogs tool. We look at our Benefit Roadshows as an opportunity for the People Team to interact with employees and educate them directly on how to maximise their employee experience.

To make this scalable, every day, a new video was shared focussing on a different category of benefits (Professional Wellbeing, Family Wellbeing, Time Away, etc.) and it allowed employees to engage with the content at a time to suit them. 

Each day, the Benefits Roadshow video was posted alongside a Benefit Booster. Enhancements we’d chosen to make to ensure our benefits remain competitive and valued by our employees. This was a huge success, with nearly 400 reactions on our blogs, close to 40 comments and over 1,500 views on our five blog posts! 

Our Benefit Boosters included:

  • A new Pet Rescue benefit
  • Increased Life Assurance
  • Enhancements to our Book Benefit with Podcasts and Magazine subscriptions
  • A new Fertility benefit
  • One day of leave as a Thank You holiday 

We wanted to make it a fun experience too, and so we reimagined a popular game we’ve played before to create Benefits Bingo! With festival themed bingo cards and all of our benefits randomised on the page. The game went down a treat and even better, we uploaded the prizes for our Bingo winners onto our Reward Marketplace so our employees could find a prize truly meaningful to them.

boom benefits bingo mockup

Showing our employees how we appreciate them gave us the opportunity to educate employees on their benefits package and ways the company supports them. An added bonus was that it provided the People Team with lots of great videos to use in our onboarding process too!


rg thank you festivalNext up is my favourite theme: Celebration! Recognising the different challenges COVID-19 presented in each location we choose a variety of ways to host a celebration. The plans ranged from in-person events in well-ventilated or outdoor venues with live music, while other offices had branded decor, catering and entertainment. For those who weren’t comfortable or unable to attend in-person, we hosted a virtual escape room to encourage cross-departmental entertainment. Operating a hybrid, flexible culture we believe it’s very important to make these moments of connection and celebration really special, unique and enjoyable memory makers.

Of course, Employee Appreciation Day will always have recognition at its core. Whether digital moments sent via Connect+, recognition in our CEO blog or a physical high five there’s endless ways to drive your recognition culture. We saw 1086 moments of Recognition sent by our employees and an electric energy which you simply can’t calculate across our social celebrations.

At Reward Gateway, a culture of recognition is something we aspire to deliver. While we strongly believe that recognition should happen all year round, the RG Thank You Festival provides us an opportunity to shine a light on how we appreciate our employees and enables us to wholly focus on this strategic engagement initiative.

I’d encourage every HR professional to pop this date in their diary as the perfect annual reminder to get creative and show your company off as one that truly cares.

Catrin Lewis

As Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications, Catrin's main focus is to make Reward Gateway a better place to work. Using the Engagement Bridge™ model, she drives our mission, purpose and values while adding sparkle and creativity to our internal communications.

Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications

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