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Following the Dollar to Employee Loyalty: Two Case Studies

7-7-2014 10-41-12 AMThe Harvard Business Review once put the value of lifetime customers into dollars: A loyal pizza eater’s lifetime revenue can be $8,000, while a Cadillac owner’s is closer to $332,000.

But what about lifetime employee value? To me the answer is simple: priceless.

Keeping good employees for a lifetime is not a realistic goal for many organizations these days, though it should be. The trick is maintaining their loyalty through a number of practices, and not just a good paycheck, free coffee and an occasional pat on the back. Empowerment is the key to employee dedication – give them the wheel and the freedom to be an acknowledged part of the company’s success.

Getting to that point may take some practice. My company, LoyaltyOne, has been testing several initiatives to engage our 1,600 employees, with varying degrees of success. But two of these efforts make pretty good case studies that I’d like to share.

The first, which we call Pass It On, is an interactive program designed to encourage employees to reward their peers.  We worked with the company Achievers to create a platform so that each associate is given a bank of points that they can bestow to deserving co-workers. Associates can also recognize their peers without awarding points, by simply thanking them or posting an “applause” on the Pass It On employee website.

To keep track of activity, the company has set up leaderboards, kind of like scoreboards that share how often a “player” is acting as a recognizer or being recognized. This activity itself is tracked so recognizers are themselves rewarded for being good team players.

The results? As of June, 97% of our associates were active in the program, and 40% of the recognitions come with no points, indicating that LoyaltyOne has helped foster a culture of recognizing as well as rewarding.

The second initiative took place in December 2013, when LoyaltyOne launched the Move & Earn program to stimulate physical activity. With this initiative, the company gave all employees FitBit devices and encouraged them to set their own activity goals and monitor steps taken each day. To date, 59% of our employees are participating in the program, compared with an average of less than 50% for worksite wellness programs, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Even better, employees who participate in the program have increased the number of steps they take on a daily basis by 27%.

Programs like these are a step in the right direction when it comes to employee loyalty. And let’s face it, a company will not have engaged, happy customers without engaged, happy employees. I’ll back it up with our own engagement score: 88% of LoyaltyOne associates said they are proud to work for the company.

As any marketer should know, you can’t put a dollar sign on figures like that.

 

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