Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) is committed to remaining one of the best places to work in the UK* after ramping-up its career celebrations. 30 per cent of YBS’s 4,000 employees are now celebrated annually compared with 1 per cent previously, with career celebrations now taking place from 3 years of service upwards.

YBS has a strong culture of appreciation and in 2017 was ranked the 28th best large UK business by the consultancy, Great Place to Work*. Keen to further strengthen its colleague experience, YBS decided to expand its career celebrations which were taking place at 25 years’ service and with increases to holiday allowances at 5, 10 and 20 years’ service. In partnership with O.C. Tanner, the Society has ramped-up its celebrations so that staff are now recognised at 3, 5, 10, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years’ service with personalised ‘yearbooks’ presented to all celebrants.

With recent research from the O.C. Tanner Institute revealing that two-thirds of UK workers don’t feel appreciated at work and 57 per cent feeling as though their organisation takes them for granted, YBS is bucking the trend by ensuring all staff are made to feel appreciated and valued.

Mike Regnier, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society says, “We wanted to recognise the fantastic contributions of all 4,000 colleagues in a way that’s personal and inclusive and so decided to work with O.C. Tanner to improve the whole career celebration experience.”

The introduction of ‘yearbooks’, which includes personalised congratulations, photos and messages from leaders and peers, is a key addition to YBS’ recognition scheme and has been embraced across the organisation as a means to individualise career celebrations. The Yearbook software from O.C. Tanner has made it very easy for YBS to honour each service anniversary with year-specific messaging, notes and photos, and in the first six months, a phenomenal 3,700 comments and 1,100 photos were added to 600 yearbooks.

The yearbooks are presented by line managers in a team setting and according to how the line manager thinks the recipient would most like to be celebrated.

Michelle Elsworth, Recognition Lead at Yorkshire Building Society, says, “Some line managers present the yearbooks during a team lunch, others do the presentation in the office and make a big fuss with decorations and cake. The key is to ensure it’s a special and unique experience that’s tailored to the individual.”

Regnier adds, “Career celebrations now take place on a more regular basis and are personal, authentic and memorable experiences. These personal ‘thank-yous’ don’t take long to create, and ensuring colleagues are recognised for the important contributions they make is an important contributor to our strong culture.”