How to connect, recognise and support employees during times of uncertainty: Navigating the coronavirus for HR leaders
Discover how to map out your own custom employee recognition programme that suits your business' and employees' needs with clear examples of potential recognition plans.
Thales research, develop, manufacture and supply technology within the Aerospace & Defence sectors. They employ 6,700 employees across 46 sites across the U.K. and have a mostly online workforce.
Aerospace & Defence
Number of employees:
Male to female ratio:
Number of locations:
Employee recognition, employee discounts
In 2014, Thales’ annual people survey highlighted that employees didn’t think saying “thank you” was part of the Thales culture, with managers, in particular, feeling that they didn’t have the discretion to reward their employees for going the extra mile. To combat this, Thales put together a project team to implement a robust recognition offering which would link with organisational behaviours and business performance.
One of the biggest challenges facing the team was designing a scheme which would engage employees across the entirety of their workforce which includes multiple and remote sites, shift workers, and offline employees. At the time, according to the CIPD, 30% of the average workforce in the U.K. was over 50, whereas, at Thales, 41% were over the age of 50. Any recognition offering had to appeal to people of all ages.
The team carried out research and benchmarked against other companies to understand their approach. This was used to build the strategy and approach which would best fit their culture. From the outset, the team knew they would need to build a platform which was accessible and appealing to all, with the team’s vision for it to provide tools and understanding to drive Thales values and desired behaviours. Thales’ team turned to Reward Gateway, who already provided their employee discounts, to take their shared workforce understanding and turn the project into a tangible recognition offering.
Working with Reward Gateway, the team implemented a branded recognition hub which provides a “Recognition Toolkit” – a central area to educate employees on the importance of recognising colleagues and how they could do so. Key to the design of the hub was the focus on Thales’ values and behaviours, and how they help the business achieve its goals. To further encourage employees to interact, the recognition branding broke from the traditional Thales brand and used a bold, colourful design to encourage excitement.
Within the recognition scheme, the team deployed a range of eCards which employees can send to each other at any time and from any device. With the eCards tailored to match Thales new recognition design, they covered simple sentiments such as Thank You and Congratulations, and also linked to desired behaviours. InstantAwards™ were introduced to allow Thales managers to reward their employees who go the extra mile with a monetary award. The team chose three levels – Bronze (£10), Silver (£25) and Gold (£50) – with the awards linked to Thales’ desired behaviours. Employees can then redeem their reward at their retailer of choice through the recognition hub.
Thales’ team also introduced the “Above and Beyond Awards” with Reward Gateway's AwardNominator™ product, allowing employees and teams to nominate colleagues across five categories which are aligned to Thales’ values. Those who win receive a £250 voucher which can be redeemed at their chosen retailer on the hub and teams who win can celebrate with a group activity of their choice up to the value of £100 per person.
The next annual people survey revealed the true success of the programme. At the time of launching their recognition hub, the team saw their UK engagement score increased to 62%, and a year later it rose even further to 72%. On top of that, 60% of employees are now actively using the recognition hub compared to 43% in the previous year.
Since the team launched the hub, over 2,500 eCards have been sent with the most popular being their “Thank You” eCard. They’ve also seen great success with their manager led InstantAwards™ and over 3,200 of them have been sent since launch. Over a third of employees have had the joy of receiving an InstantAward™ and in the last year, the team have seen the amount of InstantAwards™ sent by managers increase by 57%.
There’s been a strong uptake with the “Above and Beyond Awards,” too. Employees have nominated 455 colleagues, with 370 employees being winners for their contributions either as an individual or team. To take this to the next level, the team are monitoring trends across the business to find ways in which they can improve the offering and further celebrate the success of those working at Thales.
branded eCards sent among employees since launch
achieved in U.K. engagement score, increase of 10%