Case Study

How Edenred creates a culture of employee appreciation

uploaded on 29 August 2023

Edenred UK’s Employee Appreciation Programme drives a culture in which staff feel valued and their hard work is recognised all year-round. Here’s how we do it and the impact it has on staff motivation and morale.


Our programme consists of five elements: peer to peer recognition, quarterly awards, the annual Employee Excellence awards, celebrating life events and long service and end of year rewards.

When Edenred designed its employee appreciation programme, a key consideration was that it should motivate staff and encourage high performance year-round and not just reward end of year performance. That means, although end of year rewards enables us to come together to celebrate Christmas and year end performance, we have four other ways to recognise and reward great work throughout the year.

Rewards aren’t just for Christmas

For instance, peer to peer recognition can be given by any member of staff at any time when they see a colleague demonstrating one of Edenred’s company values. Every manager has a reward budget for the year and can review recognition given and decide whether it is worthy of a financial reward.

All staff that receive recognition are put forward for consideration to receive a quarterly reward. Board Directors vote for a winner from each value category. Winners are announced at an all-hands, Town Hall meeting and receive a Compliments Select Code to redeem against a reward of their choice.

Quarterly winners are also entered for Edenred’s annual Employee Excellence awards. Once again, the board votes on category winners, except for the People’s Choice award, which staff vote for at the awards evening using QR codes. First, second and third places are awarded for each category and winners receive a Compliments Select Code which enables them to choose a reward that best suits their own interests. The awards evening provides another point in the year when staff from all our offices come together to celebrate over dinner and entertainment.

Managers and colleagues can also send team members a personalised eCard to celebrate life events such as birthdays, becoming a parent or long service.

Company values drive business success

The rationale behind the design of our recognition and reward programme was to nurture a culture in which staff feel valued, and to encourage high levels of motivation and performance whether that’s at the individual or team level.  For this reason, we aligned reward and recognition to five company values that drive success at Edenred - passion for customers, respect, imagination, simplicity, and entrepreneurial spirit.

For us, a values-driven reward and recognition programme has three clear benefits. First, staff can see how their actions contribute to the overall success of the business. Second, staff find it motivating when their contribution is recognised and spurred on to achieve higher levels of performance. Finally, seeing the achievements of other staff rewarded encourages peers to demonstrate desired behaviours themselves, as well as greater collaboration within teams and across functions.

All staff are introduced to these values and encouraged to demonstrate them from day one through our new employee onboarding programme.

Heart given, technology driven recognition and reward

During onboarding new joiners are introduced to eRecogntion, Edenred’s digital platform used to give and receive reward and recognition. It’s super easy to use and appears as a tab on our ePeople portal which opens every time a member of staff logs on to their laptop.  Any member of staff wishing to give kudos types in the recipient’s name, selects the demonstrated company value and types a short thank you note. Managers are notified each time a member of their team receives a recognition and can approve a financial reward when appropriate.

We designed eRecogntion to look and feel like social media - recognition and reward is shared instantly and visible to all staff, wherever they are working from and enables them to like and comment on each other’s success.

Reward is also delivered to recipients through the platform. On manager approval, reward recipients collect financial rewards in their personal account and which can be redeemed against a huge selection of instant eGift cards of their choice. The ability to let staff choose their own reward was a critical factor for Edenred as research shows that reward has a greater impact when staff can choose the reward. The eGift card catalogue contains hundreds of leading UK retailers providing staff with a huge range of choice to spend their money on something that matters most to them. 

From an HR perspective, it’s easy to monitor staff and manager engagement with recognition and provide gentle nudges if a manager hasn’t given any in a while. HR can also control budget allocation and generate management information reports.

Impact on Edenred staff

We conduct regular staff surveys to ask staff for their views on Edenred’s reward and recognition scheme. Employees and managers find the eRecognition platform easy to use and value Edenred’s reward and recognition programme. In particular, staff love being able to choose their own reward. This coupled with regular communication from HR ensures staff engagement with the programme remains high. Last year the number of recognitions sent were up 6% on the previous year as was the number of financial rewards given.

Here’s what three winners at this year’s Employee Excellence awards said about what winning an award means to them.

Imagination award - Francesca Lepe, Content and Social Media Manager

 “I wrote and produced a series of employee brand videos using an external agency to interview staff. I was honoured to receive the reward, at the time I had been at the company for less than a year, it was my first time attending the EEEs. It was great to know that my work had visibility in the company and that my creative ideas were valued. It felt a bit strange to win as there are so many brilliant people deserving of awards at Edenred, but it shows that great work is valued more than seniority or personal relationships at work. It was great to know that I had been awarded on the merit of my work and nothing else.

I chose two Eurostar tickets to Paris for my reward because I like to select gifts that I would not likely have prioritised if I were using my own money. It was an early birthday gift for my husband which was really special.

As an award winner, I think there’s a high expectation for me to continue producing great video work at Edenred. It has become easier to recruit participants and volunteers because they know that there is high visibility on the work I do, and they are able to potentially be part of some award-winning content”

Simplicity award - Kiran Shah, Infrastructure & IT Ops Lead

“I won the award for implementing a SharePoint solution for recording sales demos to be used for quality and training. It was a pleasant surprise to receive the award. I really felt as though the work I do has positively impacted my colleagues and been recognised. This acknowledgement made me feel appreciated and valued as a part of Edenred.

The award has given me an extra boost to continue making a positive impact to Edenred. Through my career I have worked at several companies, and I think that Edenred positively re-enforces alignment to company values. This is something that is engrained in Edenred’s culture which is one of the many reasons why it’s a great place to work.

I am yet to decide on my reward; however, I think I will use it to purchase something nice for my wife and son as they are an important part of my life and seeing them happy makes me happy.”

People’s Choice Award winner – Charlotte Johnson, Implementation Analyst 

“Colleagues nominated me for the award for going above and beyond to help setup a demo site in record time and for having outstanding knowledge and expertise.

I felt appreciated and special and that my work was being recognised. I did almost cry happy tears when the presenter was reading out my e-recognition to say that I had won the people’s choice award. Winning the award has boosted my confidence and I no longer have self-doubt that I am doing a good job at work.  

I am getting married in November so I might spend my reward on something wedding related or alternatively put it towards a holiday. The reward code doesn’t run out until March next year, so I still have time to choose.”

Edenred’s employee appreciation programme is constantly evolving in line with the needs of the business. Next year we plan to add a social value award category to reflect the critical importance of CSR to the business.

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