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Blueboard selected as “Best Culture Building Solution” by HR Tech awards

A strong company culture is critical these days. Organizations and employees are navigating a lot of change in a tight economy: reductions in force, return-to-office mandates, slowing sales, doomsday headlines—the list goes on. And in times of change, motivation, productivity, and employee engagement often take a big hit. Ultimately, it’s company culture that supports resilience and high performance through difficult moments.

At Blueboard, we believe in the power of truly effective employee recognition to not only support but create company cultures that sustain employees. When people feel appreciated, when they feel recognized according to their needs and expectations, they’re:

What’s more, according to Gartner, employees who feel prioritized as humans by their employer are almost 4X more likely to exhibit high performance. That’s why our employee recognition platform empowers leaders to reward employees with experiences, amplifying the impact of every recognition moment and supporting employee connection and overall fulfillment.

Today, we’re excited to share that Blueboard has been selected as Best Culture Building Solution by HR Tech awards in the Total Rewards and Employee Wellbeing category, further validating our commitment to helping our clients build strong, people-centric company cultures.

“Rewards for good work aren't a new phenomenon. But rewarding individuals with flexible, experiential options is a unique differentiator for employers trying to stand out in a challenging talent retention market. Blueboard has taken a unique approach that is resonating with employers across a broad spectrum of industries.” – Ben Eubanks, Chief Research Officer, Lighthouse Research & Advisory

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How Blueboard’s employee recognition platform supports stronger company cultures. 

At Blueboard, our offering—from our easy-to-use platform powered by the world’s largest marketplace of experiential employee rewards, to our proven methodology, to our stand-out Concierge service—is designed to help our clients build people-first cultures that attract and retain top talent. Here’s how.

Consistency: Blueboard powers cultures of employee recognition.

In a recent newsletter, our Director of Content, Natasha, wrote about three C’s leaders should consider to build and maintain thriving company cultures: consistency, communication, and connection. 

As Natasha writes, “whether you’re running a suite of employee support and culture-building programs, or just getting started with one or two initiatives, make sure you’re able to show up consistently.” When it comes to employee recognition, companies with an “always-on” recognition program driven by a core strategy see way more impact, both on individual employee performance and on organizational culture. 

With Blueboard, clients get access to our proven framework, The Blueboard Method™, to help them build more consistent and effective recognition programs. Based on our work with hundreds of organizations across industries, the method combines elements of known recognition best practices with our unique experiences-based approach into an actionable, step-by-step approach companies can use to build a culture of recognition and set their company and employee experience apart

The Blueboard Method combines recognition best practices with Blueboard's unique experiences-first approach in The 5 As. Learn more here.

This strategic framework is paired with our easy-to-use employee recognition platform, designed to integrate into the systems HR teams already use, and with helpful automations, reminders, and an intuitive user experience. All of this enables our clients to deliver more impactful recognition and rewards at scale with little administrative burden, further driving consistent recognition.

“Blueboard has helped us shape how we say thank you to people,” says Alexander McKneely, Associate Experience and HR Communications at Avēsis who’s been coined ‘the great appreciator’. “Before, we were not having consistent conversations about appreciation. Developing our recognition program with Blueboard built a culture of ‘thank you’ here.”

Related reading: See how leading health insurance administrator, Avesis, builds a culture of “thank you” with Blueboard.

Communication: Blueboard rewards build employee recognition buzz.

We’ve seen many promising employee recognition initiatives lose momentum due to a lack of clear communication and program awareness, both internally and externally. But Blueboard clients have communication support in a few different ways.

First, our experienced Implementation and Account Management teams provide templates, best practices, and assets to help HR admins build out a communication strategy around their employee recognition program. This support might look like:

  • A set of questions to ask to audit your current communications strategy
  • A custom landing page dedicated to your recognition program with all relevant info that you can pin for employees
  • Templates (newsletter, all-hands, etc.) for recognition program announcements and updates

Second, our employee recognition platform captures employee feedback and artifacts (photos, videos, written memories) that program admins can then use to socialize the employee recognition internally—driving awareness, excitement, and participation—and externally—to build employer brand and attract top talent.

Blueboard program admins can easily search for media submitted by reward recipients within our employee recognition platform to use to build internal and external program Awareness.

Finally, because Blueboard rewards are experiential, employees often want to talk and post about their rewards, which builds organic buzz around the program. Megan Barbier, VP of People and Culture at Jumio explains:

“[One of our] directors [was] so amped that he and his wife got to book a staycation with a Blueboard reward that he talked to me about it for two months before he even booked it. He was talking that up, it got brought up on our executive call. [...] [One] reason why Blueboard rewards are coveted at Jumio is that positive feedback about the program is not necessarily coming from HR or the CEO, but our employees’ peer group.”

A screenshot of a LinkedIn post by an employee who celebrated a work anniversary with a Blueboard reward from her workplace, visiting the London Zoo.
Jen L. from Blueboard client, Unit4, posted about their 5-year work anniversary Blueboard award on their personal LinkedIn, generating 50+ reactions and 8 comments, not to mention alluding to "five more years" at Unit4, demonstrating future commitment. This is a great example of how experiential rewards can generate organic buzz!

Connection: Blueboard experiences > things when it comes to driving employee connection.

People want to feel like they belong, like they’re part of a greater whole. And they’re willing to change jobs to find that sense of workplace connection. For organizations, it’s a race to prioritize the things their people truly care about. And that means identifying and closing connection gaps.

According to Blueboard original research, companies that have a formal recognition program are 2X more likely to report they’re able to address connection challenges than the average. Experiential rewards are particularly powerful when it comes to driving employee connection. Experiences are people-focused, have great “story value”, and help shape a person’s identity—all of which leads to greater employee fulfillment and feelings of connectedness.

Related reading: Your brain on experiences: How to drive employee well-being by focusing on fulfillment.

Not only do experiences improve employee well-being (we are the sum of our experiences, after all), they create memories that become more valuable over time in an employee's mind. These positive associations are linked to your company, strengthening the employee's bond with your organization, driving long-term engagement, retention, and loyalty. 

As mentioned above, employees also love capturing their #blueboarding experiences in photos and videos on Blueboard’s employee recognition platform—creating shareable artifacts for program admins to socialize the impact on their people and company culture. Not only do the photos and videos boost enthusiasm for and participation in recognition programs, this sharing creates a ripple effect that generates buzz about your employer brand, values, and culture.

Blueboard: The HR Tech awards-winner helping companies build stand-out cultures.

Blueboard is the only company that offers a plug-and-play, scalable platform to help HR teams and company leaders reward employees with meaningful experiences to increase employee engagement, attract and retain top talent and, ultimately, build company cultures employees won’t want to leave.

We’re proud of the fact that we’ve made sending someone a personalized experiential reward (an invitation to indulge in a passion outside of work, paid for by work!) just as quick and easy as sending someone a gift card. When companies invest in their employees spending quality time outside of work, it shows that those employees are valued as whole human beings.

And showing up for your people, prioritizing consistency, communication, and connection—that’s what makes a truly great company culture.

Looking for an employee recognition partner to help you elevate your company’s culture? Schedule time to connect with our team today.

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As of March 12, 2024, Blueboard has ceased its operations. To everyone that supported us over the years, thank you. 🙏