When it comes to motivating and engaging staff, small, relevant, day-to-day offerings make the biggest difference, says Kim Horsfall, senior insights analyst in products and marketing at Australia’s largest customer-owned financial institution, Credit Union Australia.
Horsfall was among 11 CUA employees to take up a life-changing challenge to lose weight on a 13-week, company-subsidised Weight Watchers program.
She says it was the most exciting company benefit available in a new Rewards and Recognition program with an emphasis on wellbeing.
Participants pay the $250 fee for the Weight Watchers program and attend an hour-long session each week, where they learn about recipes, gain the support of colleagues and garner strategies for success.
At the end of the 13 weeks they receive $100 cash-back from CUA. Horsfall has already lost half of her targeted 15 kilograms, which she did with the help of a discounted gym membership.
“I feel like I haven’t had to put a lot of effort into it because the support is there every day from other team members and the program came to me,” explains Horsfall.
Rewards on offer
CUA offers a range of benefits and rewards including four annual awards for staff who demonstrate the company’s values.
The most prestigious offers the winner $2000 for personal use. Others include a discounts program for shopping, the opportunity to purchase two extra weeks of leave over the standard four weeks, 13 weeks of paid parental leave, study assistance, a volunteer day and flexible working conditions.
She says it is the broad and ‘holistic’ nature of the program that builds trust and connectivity. “I can see it leads to higher engagement.
It’s letting us know that CUA is looking after us and cares about us. It isn’t always about the money,” says Horsfall, whose employer’s staff engagement rate has risen five per cent in recent months.
Adventure-based benefits also have their place, working particularly well for revving up teams and building drive and rapport among colleagues.
Amelia Jones, director of gift experience company Adrenalin, says extreme experiences such as V8 car racing and skydiving are their best sellers, while activities like ‘Be a spy for a day’ can incorporate company branding and build staff cohesion and loyalty.
Jones reveals computer giant Intel recently forked out more than $20,000 to fly its top performers from Russia to the edge of space in a MiG fighter jet. RedBalloon offers similar ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities, including taking a minor part in a television series, and driving a team of sled dogs.
“You can’t just give everyone a gold watch or a new book for Christmas. There is no ‘one size fits all’. Managers need to see people as individuals and reward them accordingly,” says Megan Bromley of RedBalloon.