Case Study #2:

Strengthening Customer Service: The Role of Recognition

The Challenge

A leading national health insurance provider was looking to increase Employee Performance among its call-center employees. The company had offices all across the United States and already was rich in recognition processes, but the offices were running their own incentive programs locally, with little direction or oversight. The goal was to institute a comprehensive Employee Performance Program in one office, and if successful, roll it out nationally.

The Program

Managers were provided with a set number of points per month to distribute amongst their teams.  The budget was developed based upon a dollar amount per person, but it was within the manager’s discretion to award the points to one, some, or all. 

In addition, the company established Monthly Scorecard Reports that allowed the employees to earn points based on their work performance.  Set point amounts were published for criteria such as Productivity, Compliance, Customer Focus, Extra Effort, Innovation, and Positive Attitude.

The program was launched with an impressive array of marketing materials, including custom-designed folders that outlined how each employee could earn points, PowerPoint presentations to managers to instruct them on how to distribute points, and face-to-face meetings to be sure that everyone understood the goals of the Program and how to implement them with their teams.

The Results

Text Box: “The goal was to institue a comprehensive Employee Performace Program in one office , and if successful, roll it out nationally”Internal survey results were analyzed in the infancy of the program.  90% of the employees indicated that recognition was important to them, and when asked if they had been “recently reco gnized,” 80% said yes.  The Pilot Program employees also indicated that they felt more recognized than their counterparts in other offices who were receiving cash-based bonuses, not points-based incentives.

Within a year and a half, the company launched the Rewards Program nationally, based upon the overwhelming success of the Pilot Program.  The number of program participants jumped ten-fold, from 1,400 to 14,000.

Upper management as well as the finance department praised the centralized reporting system.  They could use the online administration system to view how points were being distributed, track outstanding points, and view redemptions by cost center.  The program was consistent, centralized, and allowed for trackability and accountability.

The company’s Rewards Program boosted employee morale and enthusiasm on the job, and helped the customer service professionals understand and implement the company’s service goals based on the audits of their performance and constant repetition as to what was expected of them.