Creating Great Employee Experiences

Success stories in recognition, recruitment and engagement from industry leaders


Insights from seven companies that are winning by treating employees like customers

The old notion that customers come first is being augmented by a new market reality. If you don’t treat employees like customers, they won’t put forth the extra effort required to keep your customers happy.

These days, employee experience is generating a lot of buzz, but market leaders have always understood that creating better employee experiences is vital to success. In the current business environment, several factors have converged to make creating great employee experiences more important than ever. Unemployment and employee turnover are at record levels, and technology has fundamentally changed the nature of work. Increased access to information has enabled greater autonomy, calling for increased levels of discretionary effort on the part of every employee, from the factory floor to the front lines of customer interaction.

This report presents seven examples of how HR practitioners are enabling more meaningful employee experiences, from
pre-hire to retirement.

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Atrium Health recognizes employees for improving patient safety.

Healthcare systems throughout the United State are challenged to continually improve the safety of patients and staff. Creating a culture that values teamwork and accountability and encourages speaking up is critical to reducing the number of potentially harmful events that occur each year. While it may seem that speaking up to prevent harm is easy, a national survey of healthcare practitioners revealed that 65% were afraid to ask questions of those with greater authority when something didn’t seem right.1

Atrium Health has earned its reputation as one of the nation’s leading healthcare organizations by recognizing that teammates are its most valuable asset and by building a culture around four core values that are held in the highest regard: caring, commitment, integrity and teamwork.

In July 2017, Atrium Health launched a way to automate and centralize a system-wide initiative called the Good Catch Program (which had already existed), designed to protect and prevent potentially harmful events. The program, developed by Atrium Health in collaboration with Engage2Excel, created standardized processes for submissions, scoring and recognition through an easy-to-use platform. More than 600 teammates have been recognized through the program, which serves as a model for healthcare institutions nationwide.

The Good Catch Program resulted in a 47% increase in teammate submissions for detecting and preventing a potentially harmful event from 2016 to 2017.

Atrium Health (formerly Carolinas HealthCare System) is one of the nation’s leading healthcare organizations, connecting patients with on-demand care, world-class specialists and the region’s largest primary care network. A recognized leader in healthcare delivery, quality and innovation, its foundation rests on providing clinically excellent and compassionate care.

1. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Hospital survey on patient safety culture, 2016.

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Clean Energy creates more-engaging candidate experiences to attract top talent.

Creating great candidate experiences has never been more critical. Your company’s ability to engage job seekers will significantly influence its success in the war for talent. The overall recruiting experience is particularly important to millennials, who comprise 72% of today’s active job seekers. According to our recent Engage2Excel Trendicators survey, 81% of millennials believe that receiving recognition or praise during the recruiting process is either very important or important.

In the energy sector, where retiring baby boomers outnumber new hires by two-to-one, effective strategies for recruiting and retaining millennials is mission-critical. When Clean Energy, a pioneer in natural gas for transportation, needed to ramp up its recruiting efforts, they partnered with Engage2Excel Recruitment Solutions.

Engage2Excel understands that creating great hiring experiences requires four things:

  • Discerning and communicating what is truly unique about your company culture and employer value proposition
  • Discovering what active and passive candidates really want
  • Displaying truthfulness and candor throughout the recruitment process, from the initial job description to the final offer letter
  • Demonstrating respect and delivering recognition to all candidates, regardless of their level of qualification

By putting these principles into practice, Clean Energy has been able to increase its candidate-to-hire ratio by 18%, while reducing its cost per hire by nearly 40%.

Clean Energy is the leading provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America.

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Par Pacific builds emotional connections before day one.

In a competitive job market in which candidates are still considering other offers even after offer acceptance, companies must face the challenges of engaging talent before day one. According to our recent Engage2Excel survey, nearly six out of 10 job seekers would consider another offer if they didn’t receive communication from their new employer between offer acceptance and day one on the job.

Par Pacific, a leading oil and gas exploration and production company, recognizes the negative business impact when candidates decline offers. They partner with Engage2Excel to make recognition and appreciation essential components of their pre-boarding phase.
Par Pacific’s goal is to build an emotional connection to the organization before the new hire starts. To do that, each new Par Pacific employee receives a branded welcome box designed to spark that connection.

Delivered to each new hire’s home before day one, the boxes contain a lunch bag and reusable tumbler with the Par Pacific logo, along with a welcome card.

Best-in-class companies are now understanding that an effective recognition and rewards strategy needs to start before day one and span the employee’s tenure. Par Pacific is ahead of the curve.

Par Pacific, headquartered in Houston, Texas, owns, manages and maintains interests in energy and infrastructure businesses.

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Sally Beauty Holdings provides associates with a trusted environment for expressing their opinions.

Employee engagement surveys provide more than an opportunity to measure engagement. They enable associates to express their opinions and facilitate improvements in two-way communications across the organization.

Last year, Sally Beauty Holdings, a leading hair and beauty specialist retailer and distributor, partnered with Engage2Excel in administering the RESPECT engagement survey to associates across the company’s U.S. operations. The survey explored the seven dimensions of engagement, summarized by the acronym RESPECT: Recognition, Exciting Work, Security, Pay, Education & Career Growth, Conditions and Truth.

The survey revealed that the majority of Sally Beauty Holdings associates like their work, feel that they are a part of a team of highly supportive coworkers and are proud of the organization. The survey also identified key opportunities for improvement. Managers now report on their progress in addressing these opportunities on a quarterly basis.

“The survey has helped create a new level of transparency and meaningful dialogue that is helping us transform into a talent-driven enterprise.”
Liz Barracliffe, VP Talent,
Sally Beauty Holdings

Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc. is a global distributor and specialty retailer offering professional hair and beauty products to both retail consumers and salon professionals.

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Platform Specialty Products incentivizes employees to invest in wellness.

Platform Specialty Products formulates a broad range of solutions-oriented specialty chemicals, which are sold to multiple industries, including automotive, agriculture, animal health, electronics, graphics and offshore oil and gas production and drilling. The company has a very diverse workforce with a culture that is driven by responsibility, innovation and accountability.

In 2017, Platform contracted with Engage2Excel to expand, enhance and help administer its wellness program under the direction of Benefits Manager Nancy Zanavich. Today, Platform’s wellness program offers a one-stop-shop wellness solution that includes:

  • An online, mobile-responsive platform with a vast library of 700+ health-related videos and dynamic educational content
  • A social feed and scheduling tools to help motivate participants to make time for wellness activities
  • Activity-triggered communications to keep employees engaged and points-based incentives that reward participation
  • Rewards for healthy behaviors, such as preventative screenings and wellness classes

Since launching its new wellness program, employee participation has increased over 50%.

“The feedback has been extremely positive. I believe that the key to our success has been engaging and incentivizing employees to invest in healthier behaviors.”
Nancy Zanavich, Benefits Manager
Platform Specialty Products

Platform Specialty Products Corp. is a global and diversified producer of high-technology specialty chemicals and provider of technical services.

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ConnectiCare recognizes employees to create a culture of appreciation.

How does a regional health plan provider compete effectively with insurance giants? ConnectiCare has built its culture around a core set of values and behaviors that is brought to life daily through recognition programs that enable managers and peers to celebrate individual and team achievements. ConnectiCare’s mission to “create healthier futures for our customers and communities” has created strong loyalty with members and the employees who serve them.

ConnectiCare’s recognition strategy is designed to encourage a culture of appreciation. The program enables employees to celebrate wins while demonstrating these “At Their Best” behaviors: Lead, Collaborate and Solve.

ConnectiCare has a variety of recognition tools in the toolbox that are easy to access through an online portal provided by Engage2Excel. Some of the online tools include:

eCards: Employees recognize their peers for demonstrating core values and expressing congratulations for personal milestones such
as anniversaries and birthdays.

At Their Best: Peer-to-peer recognition to celebrate employees who demonstrate leadership, collaboration and problem solving.

MAD (Make a Difference) Award: An “above and beyond” program that encourages employees to go the extra mile and make a real difference every day.

High Five Program: Building on ConnectiCare’s championship team culture, employees are able to high five each other frequently to celebrate small wins throughout the day.

“ConnectiCare has demonstrated a direct correlation between recognition instances and an increase in the company’s operating income and other key corporate metrics.”
Cheryl Hutchinson, SVP, Human Resources

ConnectiCare is a leading health plan. Founded in 1981 by a group of local doctors, today it is among the top commercial health plans in the nation, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

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UPS creates meaningful experiences for retirees.

As a significant portion of the workforce approaches retirement, organizations are scrambling to avoid a mass exodus of knowledge and skill. Furthermore, many organizations don’t have the formal programs in place to engage their retirees.

UPS understands that retirees are a valuable asset to the organization’s continued success, and for that reason, they are treated as alumni. Similar to colleges and universities, UPS maintains an extensive database of their alumni and can easily reach out to them for part-time employment opportunities, talent referrals, mentorship programs and much more.

Knowing that recognition and appreciation represent essential components of an alumni strategy, UPS launched a formal alumni initiative with Engage2Excel. The program enables alumni and active employees to exchange eCards for expressing appreciation, recognizing success and celebrating milestones.

“The number of alumni engaged has quadrupled since we launched the alumni initiative.”
Robert Witcher, Global Director, Alumni Retiree Engagement, UPS

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business.

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