by Vincent Alonzo | June 25, 2010


Company Name:                     WMS

Program Name:                       Employee of the Moment

Award or Motivator:               Catalog/gift cards



Employee of the Moment was created in response to a company wide employee survey conducted by WMS is which recognition was noted as an obvious area of improvement. The survey showed only 59% of employees that responded believed they were getting the recognition they deserved while 49% believed that the most deserving people were recognized for good performance. Improving employee satisfaction was deemed a strategy deployment initiative by the executive committee of WMS. Recognition was determined as a key factor to help improve employee satisfaction as indicated by the low scores on the survey. It was decided to create The Employee of the Moment recognition program with the goal of having at least 70% of employees recognized through Employee of the Moment during fiscal year 2009 (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009). The strategy deployment goal was to increase the recognition score on the next employee survey by 5%.


A Recognition Committee was created to determine how to best improve the recognition efforts within the company. The committee members first created a mini-survey which was sent to 25% of the population to do a deeper dive into the reasons for the dissatisfaction. The survey results, as well as best practices research, showed that although WMS had more high level programs in place, it was missing the day-to-day recognition that employees wanted.

Employee of the Moment was created in order to “Recognize more deserving employees more often.” The Recognition Committee developed two programs that would fit the needs of the employees, Employee of the Moment being one of them.

Employee of the Moment was designed to be:

Criteria-based. Employees that demonstrate WMS’s core values, teamwork, or adaptability could be recognized.

Simple. It included an on-line tool for those with computer access and a small card w/drop off box for those without computer access.

A program that provides greater opportunity to receive recognition and to give recognition with no limit on how often or on who can recognize whom.

Employees had 10 chances per week to receive $25 WMS Company Store Bucks, and the recognizer had one chance per month to receive $50 WMS Company Store Bucks. The company hired a Recognition Programs Advocate in March of 2008 to work with the Recognition Committee to assist with the finalization of the online form, create a paper process for those without access to the intranet, train managers, create communications regarding the new program and to get employees excited about this new program, not to mention the day-to-day maintenance of the program and gathering metrics as to the effectiveness of the program. As the program was rolled out, a quality team worked with to establish Key Process Improvement goals.

All managers were asked to attend training (around 287) on the importance of recognition and new programs that were being implemented, including Employee of the Moment. This included face-to-face training in our Waukegan, Illinois; Chicago; Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada offices. Managers in other various regional and international offices were given access to online training. Communication sessions for all employees were conducted in order to provide them with details and answer any questions they might have about Employee of the Moment and other recognition programs and to talk about the incentives tied to the programs.


Working with our Quality Group, a Key Process Improvement goal was made to have at least 70% of our employees recognized through this program by the end of fiscal year 2009. As of March 2009, we had exceeded our goal with 71% of our employees recognized through Employee of the Moment. Our most recent company wide Employee Survey (conducted in December of 2008) showed that respondents said recognition had greatly improved with 69% of employees believed they were getting the recognition they deserved (compared to 59% in 2006); while 62% believed that the most deserving people were recognized for good performance (compared to 49% in 2006). In addition, the 2008 Employee Survey also showed that 79% of employees believed that WMS has a good formal recognition program in place and 72% of employees believed that our recognition process does a good job of recognizing associates who produce outstanding results.


Company Name:                                 Symantec Corp.

Program Name:                                   Applause

Award or Motivator:                           Online Catalog Merchandise


Symantec embraced an innovative HR strategy to improve employee engagement through global strategic employee recognition, and brought that vision to life in the short time span of just six months. Symantec had quickly grown from approximately 6,300 employees in 2004 to more than 17,700 employees in 220 locations worldwide in 2008. Such rapid growth brought an acute need to improve global corporate culture, encourage more consistent adoption of corporate values, and strengthen employee engagement.

In May 2008, Symantec methodically conducted an employee survey to gauge employee loyalty. Symantec discovered an alarming answer to the question: “Overall, how likely are you to recommend a friend or colleague to work for Symantec?” There was an equal number of “promoters,” or employees who would recommend the company, as “detractors,” or those who would not. In the middle, was the remaining “passive” group. From this initiative, an aggressive “HR Turnaround” mission was born: to move passive and detractor employees to promoters, and start re-building a culture of appreciation and trust.


Symantec rolled out a new company-wide, global, strategic and measurable employee recognition program called “Applause.” Applause was implemented by partnering with a team from Globoforce, a strategic employee recognition program strategist and technology provider, who helped Symantec establish a Web-based platform designed to enable employees to recognize their colleagues for jobs well done. Awards are now tied to the company’s core values of action, innovation, customer-driven and trust, all to enhance Symantec’s culture.

Symantec’s HR team worked closely with Globoforce to weed out previous outdated recognition practices that had led to poor utilization and administrative headaches. With Applause, managers can now take recognition to a completely new level, and the platform provides a current, easy to understand and scalable way for employees to nominate and reward their peers, with just a few clicks (akin to holiday shopping online). Furthermore, awards are available at different levels, from an email thank-you to awards valued from $25 to $1,000. Applause also offered relevant and localized reward options, enabling recipients to choose rewards relevant to their culture and taste.


By taking a progressive and innovative approach to implementing 21st century strategic employee recognition practices and staying aggressively focused on its goals, Symantec saw an immediate change in employee satisfaction and a level of enthusiasm toward recognition that it had never seen before. The company has not only created a culture of appreciation in record time, but also a culture of employee inclusion and empowerment.

In six months, Symantec employees placed more than 14,000 award nominations, averaging 800 awards per week. Since the program is open to all employees, anyone can recognize and reward their co-workers – or teams – anytime in any of Symantec’s 220 locations worldwide. Award redemption occurs within 48 hours, and customer service is available around the clock. After six months since the program launched, Symantec found that overall employee satisfaction had increased, and early indicators showed some movement with those employees who were initially detractors and passive toward the promoter end of the spectrum.

With a quarterly dashboard of awards usage always at hand via the Globoforce platform, Symantec can track the value recognized, as well as distribution and reach. The HR team also sees awards showcased in employee workstations, frequently hears about how employees are using their awards, and receives requests from different departments around usage. The beauty of this innovation lies in the fact that Symantec was able to strategically wrap its arms around an escalating challenge: how to create an engaged workforce, connect employees to company values that shape a positive work culture, and tactically orchestrate a global strategic employee recognition program to instigate positive change.