In March 2016, multinational business software organisation Sage introduced an interactive app in order to help senior executives understand the value of their benefits package, Sage Rewards.
The app, which was developed by Caburn Hope, is optimised for tablets and can also be viewed on desktop. It is available to around 100 members of the organisation’s senior management team globally.
In addition to showing users information about the contents and value of their total reward package, the app uses bespoke modelling tools to demonstrate the current and potential value of employees’ bonus awards and long-term incentive schemes, such as the organisation’s performance share plan. Staff can use sliders to see how certain performance conditions could affect the value of their awards, with the projections brought to life through visual aids, such as bar charts. The values are shown in the executive’s local currency.
The app enables users to see how they are modelling in relation to current forecasts, and sends out a call to action that aims to encourage employees to achieve their full potential and help them reach their targets. These messages are tailored according to where the employee models in relation to the forecast and maximum potential of the reward scheme.
A hybrid application was chosen for the project, which allows it to make use of native app functionality; for example, it can be downloaded from the app store straight onto employees’ tablets, and can also send out push notifications to users. Following the release of Sage’s half-year results, a push notification was used to share a message from the organisation’s chief financial officer, which highlighted how the business was performing and how employees could work together to continue to deliver a strong performance going forward. Such messages, alongside the inclusion of business metrics within the app, help to align senior executive performance and reward with the organisation’s wider strategic goals.
Lloyd Taylor, director of group reward at Sage, says: “We put a lot of thought into the app and we think it is something new; we don’t think any other product that’s out there that we are aware of internally or externally has this level of functionality and aligns executive line of sight between performance and reward in quite the same way. It’s something we’re really excited about and we think is working really well.”
The app has been designed to provide the agility required to support Sage’s senior executive reward programme over the long term, such as the flexibility to include various long-term incentive plans or easily adapt modelling metrics, for example. “We really wanted to future proof it,” says Taylor.
The organisation also hopes to optimise the app for smartphone use in the future.
The app’s branding uses the organisation’s core colour pallet and the Sage logo, but has been tweaked to provide the reward programme with its own look and feel. “We adapted the [organisation’s] brand guidelines to position [the app],” explains Taylor. “We wanted a specific identity for reward but not a separate brand.”
Together with Caburn Hope, Sage developed a communications campaign for the app that revolved around the message that staff could use Sage Rewards as a tool to see how they could achieve their potential. The image of a rocket ship launching into space was employed to depict this concept, alongside lyrics from David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’: “Commencing countdown, engines on.”
Both the app and communications campaign have been well received among the senior executives the scheme is targeted at, eliciting positive feedback.