As we head into a new year at work (welcome back, by the way!) it’s a time of renewed optimism for what workplaces can be—what makes them not just function, but thrive.
After the pandemic-fueled rollercoaster of the last three years, employee connection remains an essential ingredient to make that happen. In light of this, acknowledging how to continue to show up for the heart of any organization—its people—takes center stage.
In a Gartner survey of over 800 CHROs and HR leaders on their priorities and challenges for 2023, 47% responded they’ll prioritize employee experience—and employee recognition plays a crucial role. Employees are even more clear about the importance of their workplace experience and being recognized as a whole person, not only a worker; the same Gartner research revealed a whopping 82% want a “person-first experience” in their workplace.
So how are companies rising to meet their employees where they are, with a workplace experience that delivers on their needs while taking into account who they are outside of work?
Founded in 2016, San Diego, California-based MANSCAPED®—now a leading global men’s lifestyle and grooming consumer brand used by over 7 million, and known for their cheeky ads with celebrity spokespeople like Pete Davidson—decided to take their employee recognition to the next level by rooting it in company core values awards. They needed a rewards platform that fit their culture: an active, socially connected team that was nonetheless struggling to stay connected when offices closed and teams became distributed practically overnight.
With the help of Blueboard, MANSCAPED navigated the challenges of moving to a hybrid remote workplace—with employee rewards that champion their people for who they are at work with personalized experiences that celebrate who they are outside of it.
Hybrid workplace connection 101: Embrace company-wide employee recognition with core values awards.
“When MANSCAPED started out, the company had 20-50 employees in the San Diego office, explains Sam Sperlich, Senior HR Coordinator at MANSCAPED. “Our rapid growth and culture was built off of the chemistry of in-person connection. Planning parties for birthdays, enjoying catered food, and “watercooler” moments were all part of our amazing culture. But we wondered: how do we keep that going now that we’re remote?”
The company holds biweekly all-hands meetings where alternating departments present on current projects and goals, with Kahoot quizzes sprinkled throughout to keep things interesting and introduce a bit of spontaneity into the workday. But despite these efforts, the company knew it needed to raise (and keep) employee morale, satisfaction, retention, recruitment, and engagement high.
Based on feedback from a series of employee surveys, MANSCAPED leadership developed internal and leadership core values to give employees something to truly rally around. Then, they began to think about opportunities to emphasize and build on company core values.
A key finding from MANSCAPED’s core values surveys ? Employee recognition was crucial to the employee experience.
The HR team, and leadership, knew there was an opportunity to celebrate the hard work of employees, but felt it was important to have a recognition program that catered to each individual winner’s preferences. “We were actively trying to figure out who we were as a company, our core values—and we wanted to solidify the ‘why’ behind our culture,” says Sam of the process leading up to partnering with Blueboard.
Designing an equitable employee recognition program that rewards team members with choice–and a chance to pursue their passions.
For MANSCAPED founder and CEO, Paul Tran, Blueboard spot rewards immediately felt in alignment with the company, and their core values were similar. Plus, the experiences offered were more pandemic-proof than other recognition platforms. In the end, empowering MANSCAPED employees with the autonomy to pick what experience rewards resonate best with them won the day.
Awareness is key for any new internal program. Knowing this, MANSCAPED’s HR team worked with the Blueboard Implementation team to design and develop a rollout plan for this new values-driven spot program.
To start, Blueboard created a custom program landing page with their program details: what to expect and a sneak peek at the rewards to win. This landing page is a pivotal part of socializing the program internally at MANSCAPED and to build excitement for the team to submit nominations (and to win!).
MANSCAPED decided to launch two recurring recognition programs, powered by Blueboard rewards:
- Legendary Leader Spotlight Award: Recognizes leaders who embody the company leadership pillars: Unite, Never Divide, Lead With Empathy, Take Ownership, Be Humble and Be Nimble.
- Exemplary Employee Spotlight Award: Recognizes those who exemplify company-wide core values: Accountable, Authentic, Collaborative, Fun, Humble, Inclusive, and Innovative (three employees in each round, every other month)
Employees can submit nominees for both awards through an automated survey that goes out every other month (per their program cadence). MANSCAPED runs this survey through their HRIS.
Because equity is a priority at MANSCAPED, the HR team works to eliminate as much bias in the nomination and selection process as possible. Any identifying information is removed (an idea from their leadership team!). The selection committee—made up of the President, CEO, and VP of HR—then chooses the winners based on the answers to survey questions and other nomination criteria.