Feature Article - November/December 2017

Still Going Strong

Education, Certification Among Top Distinctions of IMA

By Deborah L. Vence

Solterbeck with Optus — Employee Incentive Program Award

Businesses today are looking for every advantage, whether it's creating a highly engaged workforce, improving customer loyalty or increasing sales.

Optus has taken the idea of a "rewarding experience" for employees to a whole new place. With the help of Solterbeck, Optus reinvented its Pacesetters Employee Incentive and Rewards Program to create an emotional connection with employees through working together on community service projects. With more than 9,000 employees throughout Australia, Optus used destination meetings around the world to provide travel experiences for its top performers.

"However, it was the community service projects that employees found most rewarding. The projects involve work such as building homes in a small community and hearing personally from the families that they were helping. For 2016, Optus worked to create an emotional connection with employees through promotion of the service project they would be undertaking in Vietnam. The emotional connection was highly successful with more than twice as many employees qualifying for the 2016 program than for the previous program, and 90 percent of the Pacesetters rating the program as excellent or very good."

Solterbeck with Westpac — Employee Recognition Award

With 40,000 employees and contractors and five employee recognition programs, refreshing and making it possible to recognize across programs was a big task. With Solterbeck's help, Westpac set out to achieve five new goals with its program revamp: to be able to recognize anyone, anywhere; to allow non-recognition-program members to participate; to create a concierge reward service; to use Westpac gift cards; and to provide new communication mediums.

Careful planning and a detailed SWOT analysis of each of the five recognition programs identified opportunities to create a company-wide framework for recognition and engagement while retaining the unique brand of each program. Technology played a major role in providing the ability to recognize across programs. A new "Recognize Now" option allows the user to acknowledge anyone, regardless of which of the five programs they are in. As a result, all five goals were met for 2016.

Lyoness Management Americas — Social Responsibility Award

Lyoness Management Americas embeds social and environmental responsibility into all aspects of its work. Employees and customers alike are invited to get involved in its Child & Family Foundation (C&FF). Fees from merchants using the loyalty program along with a percentage of every purchase made at participating merchants automatically goes to support C&FF education and aid projects around the world. In 2016, C&FF helped children in Alberta, Canada. The community had been ravaged by a wildfire and the school closed.

"C&FF provided care packages, school kits and started an afterschool program. Lyoness' environmental responsibility starts with its office, which is a LEED-certified building and with company leaders, including the CEO, who set the tone by biking or walking to work daily. Green practices are encouraged through company training and employees are invited to get involved in activities such as the annual world clean up day or shutting down computers and printers after work hours and on weekends to reduce energy use."