Home Group recognises how the summer months can be utilised for employee motivation and encourage discretionary effort.
The organisation, a provider of social housing and care and support services, runs a number of schemes to ensure that its 3,000 employees dispersed in locations around the country have high levels of engagement and motivation within the organisation, and that they are recognised for their work.
Home Group has recently been looking at how to improve its flexible-working approach, especially during summer, says Laura Bailey, reward business partner. “If [an employee’s] child is having a sports day across the summer, parents are given that time to go and watch the event and maybe start work a little bit later. Likewise, if it’s a nice sunny day they might be able to have an early finish; those small differences actually have a huge impact on [employees’] motivation. What we do see is that discretionary effort increasing,” she says.
Some schemes also help to improve employees’ wellbeing, adds Bailey. “We have lots of [employees] in head office, but also in the other services, that have set up walking groups at lunchtime. Just taking that time out of the office, from a wellbeing perspective, has a really positive impact,” she says.
Last summer, Home Group worked with a provider to promote fitness trackers to employees to encourage them to be more active in the warmer months. “It was about raising awareness of the products available on the market and how [employees] could benefit from them. So it was that educational piece, signposting and pushing information out, but all linking back to that motivation and engagement piece,” says Bailey.
In previous years, an ice-cream van has visited the head office and other locations; a popular offering which is likely to be repeated this year. Becky Robson, head of reward and resourcing, says: “We encourage local managers to do those little things as well. All directors have recognition budgets so they can think creatively, we don’t pin those budgets down to say ‘you’ve got to spend in this way’, they can be really open minded in what and how they recognise and motivate their colleagues.”
Motivation, and reward and recognition, are a key focus for Home Group throughout the year. Employees can recognise colleagues through a monthly e-card system to be a Home Hero, and teams are also recognised quarterly.
Additionally, Home Group used Pancake Day to thank employees with a gift of popping candy for pancakes with the message ‘you’re all flipping fantastic colleagues’, but also to communicate details of new strategic priorities for the organisation.