Thinking big

Bill Alexander, CEO at Red Letter Days for Business


Bill Alexander, CEO at Red Letter Days for Business, tells us why incentive campaigns should never be overlooked and what we can expect to see from the company in 2015

Tell us about your new research…
I am extremely passionate about employers looking after employees – not only because it’s proven to help companies improve the bottom line, but I have seen and experienced firsthand how engaged, happy and motivated staff are the only sustainable advantage in a business.

Recent stats from companies, such as Deloitte, have shown engagement in the workplace is low. We’ve carried out some research of our own and will be launching our report – ‘Employee Engagement: how British business measures up’ – in the next few weeks.

We found that just over a third (36%) of employees are highly engaged. The results also reveal what an engaged member of staff thinks and feels. For example, an engaged employee:
• has opportunities at work to learn and grow
• has had someone talk to them about their progress in the past six months
• has a manager that lets them get on with their job
• receives some form of reward and recognition for a job well done
• works for a company that supports them to the develop their own personal skills outside of work.

These points are not rocket science. Yet interestingly, the report discloses how many companies are not offering these elements to their employees.

What are your top tips for launching an incentive and motivation programme?
My team and I work to a magic three-step approach – Purpose, Empowerment and Meaningful Reward.

You must first identify why you want to launch a reward programme. Have a clear goal that you want to reach. Get the full backing of the Board and the CEO and make sure all of your employees understand and believe in this goal. This is the purpose and it has to be visible.

Secondly, ensure your employees are as involved in the programme as possible. Empower employees by including them in the initial design of the scheme, how it is to operate, who makes decisions and how rewards are communicated. It’s essential that employees can nominate their colleagues to be recognised. Adding a layer where staff can control who receives the prize adds a motivational boost and brings teams closer together.

The third point, meaningful reward, means just that. You want a prize that is memorable, such as an all expenses paid meal out or a weekend away. This kind of prize will create memories that will stick with your employee. These memories last a lot longer than a pot of money. People will talk openly about this kind of prize too, which in turns encourages other team members to do well.

Finally, there is one last element that mustn’t be forgotten – communication. Having done the easy part of the three steps this is what cements a campaign together, gets people excited and keeps them interested in it throughout its life. So ensure you celebrate success, and make rewards visible and personal.

What can we expect from Red Letter Days for Business in 2015?
Last year was an exciting year for us – we gained a whopping 704 new clients. This year is already proving to be bigger and better.

We’re re-launching two of our reward platforms – Lifestyle and R.A.C.E.

Lifestyle is our high-street voucher; it’s proving to be a very rewarding prize for employees with over 60% of our clients using the voucher. The new platform will make the customer journey more enjoyable.

R.A.C.E, which stands for recognise, achieve, communicate and engage, is our new points platform. Our previous platform has been very popular with clients so we were keen to update it to give employers the very best – basically, better than our competitors!

R.A.C.E makes campaigns more interactive and social as it mirrors how consumers use social media platforms. It’s important that employees can use the platform on the go too, so our mobile-friendly version is much more aesthetically pleasing and a joy to use.

There are going to be many more developments as the year goes on and we hope to have something new and exciting for small and medium-sized enterprises.

It’s an exciting time at Red Letter Days for Business – I’m predicting our sales will overtake the Red Letter Days retail sales by 2017. Now that’s big!

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