Checkatrade is the UK’s leading online trade directory, which constantly checks its members, removes any rogue trades and checks all reviews are real.
With offices in both Portsmouth and London, Checkatrade employs a workforce of over 440 staff across seven core departments, including sales, consumer marketing, customer service and a large-scale operational function. The organisation was looking for a discounts platform, and has since expanded its relationship with Reward Gateway for an all-in-one engagement platform with recognition, wellbeing, communications, benefits and more as a critical piece of Checkatrade’s culture.
Consumer goods & services
Number of employees:
Number of locations:
Employee discounts, reward and recognition, employee communications, employee wellbeing, salary sacrifice (SmartTech™, Childcare Vouchers, Holiday Trading, Cycle to Work)
Checkatrade first got in touch with Reward Gateway in 2015 to design and deliver a bespoke discounts platform that would boost engagement and provide creative ways to motivate staff beyond pay.
From that first conversation it quickly became clear that its HR and Reward teams were also lacking a central hub to store documents and policies, streamline internal communications and run company-wide people management initiatives. In fact, the sheer size and span of the workforce was making it difficult to establish a genuine sense of community that each of the 250+ employees could buy into.
More recently, Checkatrade has also faced unprecedented challenges in the wake of COVID-19, none more critical than safeguarding the health, wellbeing and performance of a largely remote workforce. This has accelerated the development of the platform even further as the HR team looks for new avenues to improve the employee experience, even in the face of extraordinary circumstances.
Checkatrade’s HR team made it clear from the start that they wanted to prioritise employee discounts as a way to incentivise people to sign up to the new platform. Following widespread engagement with this first initiative, they then decided to roll out SmartTech™ – a net payroll deduction that gives employees the chance to purchase whitegoods or technology with free financing.
The platform, branded internally as ‘FAB’ , which stands for ‘Features, Advantages and Benefits,’ was soon established as the main place to store employee handbooks, user guides and policies, all part of an intuitive HR self-service function. The introduction of eCards also sparked a greater focus on peer-to-peer recognition and social interaction across different departments.
“The eCard system has been a real success,” explains John Frith, Checkatrade’s Chief People Officer. “We tend to average around 700-800 recognitions sent between staff across all areas of the business every month. One of the most valuable outcomes is being able to see a senior leader recognise the efforts of a junior employee directly through FAB. It's created far more connectivity within our culture, to the point where people are now far more comfortable having a quick chat with the CEO or senior management. That breeds stronger engagement and purpose throughout the organisation.”
Led by Reward and Recognition Lead, Maddie Roberts, the team has worked closely with Reward Gateway to develop a comprehensive ‘Wellbeing Hub.’ This section includes useful blogs, informational guides and topics of discussion in which all employees are encouraged to share their stories and experiences with each other. The focus on wellbeing continues through financial wellbeing salary sacrifice add-ons through Reward Gateway such as SmartTech, Childcare Voucher scheme and Holiday Trading.
In addition to the Wellbeing Hub, Checkatrade has also recently launched its monthly online employee newsletter. Hosted in a prominent position at the top of the FAB homepage, and managed by People Communications Manager, Tash Peddell, The Check Point is where staff can go for news and views when they want to use and peruse them. Featuring both personal, professional and strategic updates from our people, our products and our services, it’s a one-stop internal communications platform used as a single point of truth.
“Beyond the blogs and vlogs in our Wellbeing Hub, our new monthly online newsletter ‘The Check Point’ has enabled us to experiment with sharing crucial business updates on the platform, rather than just sending them via email,” Tash says. “The engagement we’ve seen with these posts has been amazing, so much so that we’ve decided it’s our best route for key comms going forwards. You just don’t get that kind of proof of engagement with an email campaign.”
Employee uptake and engagement with Checkatrade’s FAB platform has been consistently high since it first launched in 2015. At last count, 96% of staff were registered as active users, half of which log onto the platform five times or more each week.
As part of their ongoing efforts following the COVID-19 pandemic, the team have seen a 9000% surge in staff engagement with content and comms through the platform – with over 20k views, 2k post reactions and 500 staff comments in the last year alone.
The company’s eCard system is also continuing to drive stronger recognition and social connections throughout the organisation, with well over 8,000 cards sent this year. Their most-sent recognition – ‘Stronger Together’ – is actually one of Checkatrade’s core values, which shows just how well it resonates across their entire workforce.
“I love throwing myself into the recognition data and content analytics every month,” says Maddie. “You can actually see positive work relationships develop through the platform. It also gives us a way to track collaboration and encourage a stronger social environment, even when people aren’t in the office. We’re now seeing more of that than we ever have before.”
As life in the new normal unfolds, the Checkatrade team are continuing to think strategically about how the FAB platform can help drive stronger wellbeing, comms and engagement throughout all organisational levels.
“We couldn't have got through this year without the platform,” John adds. “It has become such a core part of everything we do and one of the main tools we use to prevent the organisation from splitting into silos. Our content production and comms have practically quadrupled – and all of that has been delivered through Reward Gateway. Simply put, it’s enabled us to support our people through what’s probably the hardest time in their careers.”
use the platform
five times or more per week
ecards sent since the 2018 launch of the social recognition wall