As specialists in the recognition and rewards industry, we're convinced of the power of employee engagement and meaningful recognition to transform organizations and spur growth. 

When our company and employee base began to grow back in 2000, we knew it was time to “walk the talk”. We wanted to introduce a recognition program for our employees that was designed with their input. So we formed an employee-driven, internal recognition team and branded our program “Bravo!” – a universal name that could be understood worldwide. Today, more than a third of our overall employee base work internationally with offices in London, Sydney, Jordan, Singapore, Mexico City and San Francisco.

Two of our Bravo! committee members (Philip Daly, Director of Infrastructure & Information Security and Edessa Dakji, Client Service Manager) share how our program is structured and how we’ve been successful in creating an engaging program that says “Bravo!” to all our staff for a job well done.

Our Bravo! program objectives

  • Provide consistent recognition for our employees
  • Offer multiple ways to earn rewards
  • Reward individual and team performance
  • Reward specific behaviours and values that matter to our company
  • Make the rewards meaningful, achievable, and desirable
  • Keep the program fun and interesting

Our recognition structure 

We run Bravo! on our own Power2Motivate recognition platform. There are multiple ways within the application to recognize employees and keep them engaged. Our awards are broadly broken into three award families:

  1. Peer to Peer recognition

    Staff can provide instant recognition to their colleagues, whether it be a "Thank You" for a job well done or an “Awesomeness!” award for going above and beyond. Each award comes with a virtual token that can be used for game play to earn points.
  2. Manager Awards

    Our management team can award their staff or others in the company with points-based awards for exceptional effort, ingenuity, or team work. 
  3. Monthly Awards

    Staff are encouraged to nominate employees or teams for our monthly awards. Four major awards are given out at our monthly Bravo! luncheons:
    1. Carlton Group All Star – Awarded to the "employee of the month" who has consistently showed exceptional effort and attitude on the job.
    2. Trailblazer – Awarded to a staff member who has forged ahead in improving a process, created new technology, or opened up a new line of business.
    3. Better Your World – Awarded to an individual who is helping to make their world a better place. i.e. charity work, life style improvements, community involvement, etc.
    4. Team Carlton – Awarded to a team who demonstrated exceptional team spirit in meeting and exceeding their project goals.

Provide numerous ways to be recognized

Having different ways to win awards and earn points encourages ongoing participation in our program, so we also offer other points-earning opportunities:

  • Anniversary awards - points for continued years of service.
  • Birthday awards – birthday bonus points!
  • Special events/holidays – points for participating in themed challenges like the best Halloween costume, the most creative holiday decorations, or making the best chili at our annual Chili Cook-Off.
  • Employee Referral – A successful employee referral and hire can earn staff a bundle of points. We’ve had some amazing hires come in through staff referrals.

We noticed early in the game that “Top Performers” tended to get more recognition because they work on high profile tasks so we trained our managers to turn recognition into a daily event with the launch of instant "Gotcha" e-rewards cards. Managers can give out instant spot recognition awards to individual employees and teams for a job well done. "Gothca" recipients are displayed on our Bravo! scrolling news banner and in the company lunch room monitors.  Instant "recognition" is quickly becoming a very engaging and appropriate tool for our mostly younger workforce because it combines personal and peer recognition.

Another tasty perk is the company $5 lunch plan. Staff can opt into a delicious array of healthy, hot meals prepared and served by an onsite chef, which includes breakfast and lunch daily.

Spreading recognition around the globe

Carlton Group has been growing at 100% annually for the last four years and we’re creating many new international positions which has created a new dynamic for the Bravo! Rewards Team – how to effectively recognize our global team members. To keep them involved, we ensure they’re enrolled in the Bravo! Program and receiving regular updates. We do a live web-feed of the monthly awards ceremony luncheon so they can tune in and see what’s happening. We also remind their managers and colleagues to keep them in mind when it comes time for nominations. Instant "Gotcha" e-codes have also really helped to connect their global achievements with the rest of the Carlton team back home.

Amp up the fun factor with social events

When staff meet their quarterly KPI targets, we stage offsite social events and take everyone out to celebrate. It’s a great way to stay in touch with each other and what’s going on in the company. Outings like concerts, boat cruises and Blue Jays games have all proven popular, as well as team building events like laser tag, curling, and bowling.

Offer desirable and achievable rewards

There are so many ways to earn points throughout the year that small amounts can quickly add up. Some people save up their points for flights and trips. Others will redeem more regularly for smaller rewards. Topping the list are prepaid Cards ($50, $100, $200) and Retirement and Child Education contributions ($250, $1000). Retail gift cards for clothing, food, entertainment and fuel are also popular.

Our merchandise redemptions run the gamut: Apple iPad's, Samsung Galaxy tablets, Bose headphones, Hamilton Beach Broom Vacuums, KitchenAid appliances, Nikon Coolpix cameras, Taylormade golf gift packs, Runtastic Heart Rate Combo Monitors, gifts for kids, and so much more. Our staff has literally millions of reward options to choose from.

Monitor your program’s effectiveness

We track our program’s effectiveness and success in several ways. We review the Power2Motivate user participation and redemption reports. We also regularly survey our team to gauge their satisfaction with the program. 

For example, in a recent company survey we were delighted to discover that 82% of our employees are inspired to meet their goals at work, 68% are confident they'll be recognized for excellent work, and more than two-thirds feel the company is dedicated to their professional development and career growth.

As a company we recognize there's always room for improvement. So we use our survey feedback to enhance our internal program ... in the same way we leverage survey results to improve our offerings for our clients.

The results are our reward

When we review the results, what do we find? The program works … big time! Our award winners are genuinely motivated and inspired. They feel recognized by their managers and peers which provides a powerful boost in morale. This all makes for a happier, engaged, and more productive team. What's probably most telling is that company attrition rates have fallen to near zero levels in the last five years while engagement scores have risen each year.

It’s a win all around – Bravo!


Want to "walk the talk" at your company? Contact us and discover how Power2Motivate can change the game for your employees.

Rob Purdy is the Founder and CEO of Power2Motivate (P2M), the world’s leading solution for employee recognition, sales incentives, loyalty, training and rewards. P2M’s cloud-based platform makes it easy for companies to quickly launch cost-effective programs that achieve meaningful results. 

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