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Program Best Practices

Culture champions: How MANSCAPED recognizes employees with company values awards

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's employee recognition and rewards program landing page, where employees can learn more about the program and Blueboard experiences.
MANSCAPED's employee recognition and rewards program landing page, where employees can learn more about the program and Blueboard experiences.

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.

Learn more about how MANSCAPED recognizes employees with rewards they love.

EXPLORE OUR PLATFORMRead the case study.

Creating GRAMMY-worthy hype (and keeping engagement high) with company values-driven employee rewards.

A key factor in the continued success of MANSCAPED’s employee recognition program: taking dedicated time to celebrate their spot recognition winners. “We don’t just tack on the announcement to an existing all-hands. Our spot recognition program gets its own space and time,” shares Sam. 

In awards-show fashion, the finalists are asked to prepare a speech, adding a touch of glamor to the whole process. And, for folks that aren’t comfortable with public speaking, the HR team gladly takes on singing their praises.

As an added bonus, and to maximize the impact of the award, MANSCAPED encourages winners to take a day off to enjoy their experience (a recommended best practice to make sure the experience, and the memories, are the focus for employees). 

After the internal announcement of the Spotlight Awards, Legendary Leadership and Exemplary Employee reward winners enjoy a public acknowledgement for their efforts on MANSCAPED’s LinkedIn page.

MANSCAPED extends the company values award winners' celebration with personalized LinkedIn shout-outs—that also support recruitment.
MANSCAPED extends the company values award winners' celebration with personalized LinkedIn shout-outs—that also support recruitment.

The reactions and feedback from MANSCAPED employees are a testament to the thoughtfulness and detail that went into the program design from day one. These core values awards are integral to the company culture MANSCAPED cultivates.

“Flying over the San Diego coastline by helicopter during an aerial tour was incredible! A+ service—thank you for a great memory.”—Ryan F., SVP of Global Omnichannel Marketing at MANSCAPED, Legendary Leader Award Winner

From the beginning, the HR team’s due diligence is a model for how to create an employee recognition program that truly resonates with employees’ different interests and at any level within the team. 

Supportive comments from MANSCAPED coworkers cheering on the Exemplary Employee recognition award winners who share how their work positively impacts them personally as well as the company.

Get the full story of how MANSCAPED keeps their teams engaged and living their core values with an employee recognition program built to reconnect people to their purpose and passions, discover new ones, and try new experiences.

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Looking for the best way to reward, recognize and incentivize your top people?

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