BRANDE : Employee rewards

July 12, 2017

Do Gig Economy Workers Want to Work for You?

The gig economy has been on the rise for long time, but what exactly is it?

As you may know, many Americans these days aren’t traditionally employed as in years past. Some blame the economy while others cite the increase of Millennials in the workforce, but regardless of cause, the truth is this: more people than ever before are choosing to balance their work, life and interests through taking on temp jobs, side-jobs and/or short-term assignments.

Because of this, employers are finding themselves in a uniquely 21st century predicament…how do they attract and retain top talent in a short-term world?

It may serve you well to first considers whether you’d like to appeal to those seeking a new way of life and livelihood.

Determine Your Talent Philosophy. 

Explore your organization’s appetite for hiring the best person for the job, knowing you may only have them for less than a year. Is that better for business, or should you look to move forward with a candidate less talented who may remain for a longer tenure?

There is no right or wrong answer.

The answer is not as important as having an answer because trying too hard to market the position to 100% of job seekers may lead to hiring someone who isn’t necessarily the right fit.

Regardless of whether you’re seeking to fill a long or short-term position, it’s essential to be completely transparent about your expectations.

Market the Drivers of Attraction.

Many top-tier companies are offering benefits like unlimited sick days, a fully-stocked kitchen, or commuter reimbursements to attract outstanding employees. Yes, this might require a large company budget, but even if you’re financially unable to compete with huge corporations, even seemingly small perks may make a potential candidate consider an opportunity that they may have otherwise skimmed over.

In this gig-economy, professionals are looking to set their own hours and craft a schedule around what works for their lifestyle. Typical roles generally may not offer that amount of freedom, but employers of choice are realizing that perks and flexibility is a big factor in what will attract and retain high-level talent.

Find Your Thought-Leading Champions for a New Way of Life. 

If you are an organization that can truly embrace and adapt to a new way of thinking for the new ways of working, this will be a great differentiator, and should be a pillar of your talent brand.

Is your Chief Technology Officer onboard? Let people know. Is your organization looking to make it a unique career-building experience for  those who join for however long?  Have your CEO become a brand-building spokesperson.

Early adopters will reap the benefits of the Free-Agent Marketplace.

Want more advice? Get in touch.

October 10, 2014

Employee Engagement Games

I’ve been talking about the value of gamification for over a year now. Adding game elements can help in all aspects of HR: Motivating employees, onboarding new hires, increasing referrals, improving wellness, and finding the best job candidates. Still not convinced? Here are some of the latest, most ingenious ways organizations are using gaming to engages their audiences.

Bluewolf rewards employees for sharing the brand

Bluewolf’s brand emphasizes knowledge-sharing, so the consulting firm placed new importance on growing the company’s visibility and showcasing their expertise. For that, Bluewolf needed an engaged community of employees, motivated to use social and collaborative platforms. The company turned to Bunchball’s Nitro for Salesforce to gamify social sharing.

The result was an internal campaign called #GoingSocial. Employees created public profiles that revealed their interests, areas of expertise, and social activity. They were given points simply for completing the profiles, and then for sharing content on Twitter or LinkedIn (from within the Salesforce software), posting a blog post on bluewolf.com, or even just achieving a Klout score of 50 or higher. Prizes included badges visible to other employees, as well as real-world rewards like gift cards.

Bluewolf "Pack Profile"                                                              A Bluewolf “Pack Profile.”

The campaign was a success. Bluewolf increased traffic from social media sites by 20% month-over-month and increased internal collaboration by 57%. The company’s Klout score, in the 40s at the time, is now at 60.

Cricket Wireless motivates employees to learn

The world of mobile technology is always changing, so Cricket Wireless wanted a way to keep its sales representatives up to date without having to leave work for days of education and training. The company used OnPoint Digital’s CellCast platform to gamify training and incentivize employees to learn — on their cell phones, without leaving the sales floor.

Employees received points and badges for completing courses, with a leaderboard tracking not only individual achievements but also those of the entire store — in essence, giving workers two ways to compete. Finishing courses and passing tests gave employees points and badges, which could be redeemed for gift certificates and other tangible prizes.

Cricket gaming menu
Image courtesy of www.gamification.co.

The result? Another success. A post-campaign survey found that 18% of employees said they were motivated to appear on the leaderboard. 39% said they hoped to retain what they learned during their training. 42% said they wanted their store to win the contest. These are fantastic numbers for employee learning, which isn’t always a topic that excites workers.

St. Lawrence College challenges employees to improve their health

St. Lawrence College needed to create a wellness program for its 1,400 workers, some of whom are unionized, who work at three campuses. The school felt that gamification was the best way to reach the different types of employees at different locations. So SLC turned to Keas for a gamified wellness program.

Keas has an interface similar to Facebook. SLC employees created profiles, joined teams, and set wellness goals. Then they shared status updates and photos that were visible to other participants. They were awarded points when they competed in challenges, took quizzes, or met their goals. Workers supported each other’s efforts; some even shared healthy recipes with each other.

Keas screen                                                                                                  A Keas post, with comments.

The results were impressive. 280 participants reported losing weight. 52% of participants increased their weekly exercise. 38% reported reduction in their stress levels. And, to show that employee wellness overlaps with engagement, 88% said the program improved their teamwork and collaboration.

Gamification saves money — and makes it

A recent survey by Zenger Folkman found that up to 41% of employees are not fully engaged with their organization; Technology Advice estimates that lack of engagement costs businesses around $500 billion a year.

In all three of the above cases, gamification helped save or make money for the companies: Bluewolf increased website visits, Cricket streamlined employee training, and St. Lawrence College saw a drop in health care costs. All three helped workers become more creative, collaborative, knowledgeable, and productive. Those kinds of savings and achievements are anything but fun and games.

Ready to add gamification to your organization? Brandemix can help.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.

January 9, 2013

Bonus Reel: How to Ruin Your Employee Referral Program

January 7, 2013

How to Ruin Your Employee Referral Program

According to CareerXroads, 28% of external hires in 2011 were referrals, and that number gets even larger when you factor in internal referrals. An employee referral program is a fantastic way to find talent that fits your culture while strengthening your employer brand with your current workers. It decreases cost per hire, time to hire, and turnover.
But just as there are many ways to create an effective ERP, there are plenty of ways to screw it up. Here are the most popular ones – make sure you avoid them.
Forget about it.
We’ve all seen this happen to company initiatives. Management makes a big announcement, holds a splashy launch event, and then…nothing. No reminders, no follow-ups, no mention of a deadline. No one announces the winners – if there are any. Eventually, the program dies a quiet death. To avoid this pitfall, give the program a catchy name with a slogan that reflects your employer brand (like we did for Kaplan, below). Announce winners and new hires as soon as possible, and give regular reminders to employees. Some workers respond to scorecards and leaderboards, which can be real or virtual.

Facebook ad that Brandemix created for Kaplan’s ERP

Don’t help employees.
It’s not enough to just tell your workers, “Go talk to your friends!” You have to give them support. Create badges they can post on their Facebook pages, provide short links to use on Twitter, and give them YouTube videos they can send in an email. You can even give them actual cards or certificates to hand out; they’ll feel like Santa Claus. Guarantee interviews for all referrals, so employees know their friends will make the first cut. And if your careers site is boring or complicated, create a microsite just for the program

Make it complicated.
You’re asking employees to spend their free time helping you, so why make it complicated? Strict or obscure rules – like “the referral should not have worked for a competitor in the last three years” – discourage employees. Some organizations forbid managers or the entire HR department from participating, which just creates envy and dissent. And don’t make employees wait too long for their reward; how excited would yoube if you had won $100…which you’ll get after the new hire has worked for 90 days and then two pay periods later?

Give pathetic rewards.
You’re saving potentially thousands of dollars on a hire, so you can give more than a $25 gift card to the employee who went and above and beyond to improve the team. Publicize the winners to through every internal channel so that other employees will want to double their efforts. If you can’t award large payouts or flashy prizes, there are plenty of low-cost alternatives, such as a premium parking space, lunch with the CEO, or extra/preferential vacation time. No matter what the prize, make the employee feel special and appreciated, which helps not only the ERP but your organization’s morale as well.
And don’t forget to promote the ERP externally, to all your brand’s fans, customers, and applicants. Also, give feedback to employees whose referrals didn’t get hired, so they’ll know what to look for in the future.
Employee referral programs turn your employees into brand ambassadors externally and generate team spirit internally. They’re cost-effective and increase the odds of creating the culture you want in your workplace. Avoid these mistakes and you’ll be well on your way – but if you need additional help, we at Brandemix are experts. And we’d love to hear from you.