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Recognizing high caliber people at Fujitsu Services
Recognizing high caliber people at Fujitsu Services
Kirpal HaylatReward Consultant at Fujitsu Services. He played an integral part in developing the company’s Value In People program, leading its design and delivery. E-mail: Kirpal.Haylat@uk.fujitsu.com
Fujitsu Services is a major European information technology services company. It operates across a range of sectors in 20 countries, has annual revenues of over £2.4 billion and employs 19,000 people. Competition for high caliber employees in the technology sector is fierce, making excellent recruitment, retention and people strategies a necessity. We already had a good retention scheme in place that was getting high response levels, but felt there was still room for improvement and innovation. With this in mind, we decided to invite experts in the recognition arena to recommend ideas on how to develop and strengthen the program.
A strategy for staying ahead
The existing all-employee recognition scheme had been operating successfully for several years under the Value-in-People (VIP) internal brand. It was introduced in 2004 as a result of the perceived success of a similar scheme operated by ICL, which later became Fujitsu Services, and research carried out by the organization that confirmed the benefits of employee recognition – 23 percent of respondents said that improved recognition would positively impact on motivation.
VIP represented a strategy for staying ahead of the competition by retaining our talented employees. Under the scheme, any employee can nominate anybody else in the organization for either achieving a great outcome or, more importantly, working in a way that exemplifies Fujitsu’s values. A lot of work was done to ensure that the values were accessible to employees and to contextualize them as behaviors.
Nominations have recommended levels from a simple thank you through to a gold award (worth £1,500). Potential recipients’ managers review all nominations and either approve or deny based on the program’s guidelines. When an employee receives an award, the points are paid into a virtual bank account, which means they can either be spent immediately or saved up towards an item of higher value from the online catalog.
Building on the existing model
In 2004, being aware of the need to stay at the cutting edge of retention strategies, we approached new suppliers, including performance improvement company Maritz, looking for an enhanced solution. The aim was to build on the success of the existing scheme while introducing new creative ideas around presentation, use of the program and awards for participants. The particular challenge was to replicate but build upon the strong VIP internal brand. Employees already had a good experience of the technology and awards involved in this system, and we were keen both to maintain and increase this momentum. We are always looking to demonstrate measurable achievement in our work and success in this case was to be measured by increasing the level of participation, as well as seeking informal feedback on the revisions to the program.
We chose to award the business to Maritz in August 2005. There followed a period of close, collaborative work with our internal communication and HR teams to develop the new system. Before starting work, we conducted research among our employees to gain a fresh picture of requirements and information on what people especially liked about the existing program and what, if anything, they would like to see changed. The research revealed the following:
Fujitsu placed a high value on a tiered approach to awards.
The target audience was receptive to new ideas and new technology.
It had a mature appreciation of technology, so any solution needed to be robust and engaging.
To capitalize on the success of the existing program and reduce the risk of any negative perceptions caused by making wholesale changes, it was concluded that the program should stay under its existing name. It was felt, however, that there was an opportunity to refresh and invigorate it by employing a more contemporary look. The system took all the important features of the old VIP program, but enhanced and simplified the user experience to encourage even greater take-up. One of the primary new functions was improved reporting – all reports can now be swiftly downloaded to a spreadsheet at the touch of a button. Improved access and visibility means that any employee can run a report of awards in their area/team/division.
The user experience has been greatly improved to reduce time required to complete a nomination, plus there is now a “save” function for semi-completed nominations. Our experience was that this was really important to get as many people as possible using the site. A messaging function on the home page was also added, the awards were improved and updated to include experiences and luxury items, for example, and all of the awards are regularly updated.
The improvements were executed using Maritz’ recognition technology, to enable simple and effective peer-to-peer and discretionary recognition from managers. This gave us the ability to reinforce our organizational values. From the start, the VIP program was designed to recognize and reward exemplary behavior that supports Fujitsu Services’ reputation. The new program allowed us to reinforce new company beliefs as the organization shifted focus and it has proved very important in helping communicate and drive these new beliefs throughout the business. The beliefs that we encourage our employees to embody in their day-to-day working lives are:
putting the customer first;
winning with energy;
making an impact; and
A seamless transition
To make sure that the transition was seamless, we tasked Maritz with developing a help section to ensure everyone understood the changes to the revised site. This included a step-by-step guide on how the site works and a FAQ section addressing queries users might have. The online catalog, at www.greatrewardideas.com, offers more than 500 awards and experiences to maximize choice and flexibility for Fujitsu participants. Given our audience profile it is important that the rewards on offer reflect consumer trends as well as offering a wide choice to appeal to all demographics. Experience has shown that the choice on offer is constantly updated and items are always delivered quickly.
Rewards range from experiences such as rally driving, spa days or weekend breaks to merchandise such as DVDs and plasma TVs. There is also a wide range of gifts at different financial levels to reflect the range of awards employees receive, as well as vouchers from a range of retailers in case the catalog does not have exactly what the person wants.
Reaping the rewards
The updated solution was piloted in 2006 and was warmly received both by Fujitsu Services management and by our employees, who appreciated the simplicity of the revised scheme and the ease-of-use of the technology. After a full launch later that year, the system really took off and is enjoying steadily growing use with an average of 327 award nominations per month over a ten-month period. This represents a 35 percent increase in the number of nominations received.
Nominations range from simple thank yous to prestigious awards being made right across our UK business. The program has helped everyone in the company to better understand and embed our values through their behavior at work, with real benefits across the organization. We are planning to compare retention with recognition figures after 12 months of operation. Already, however, we have seen the language used and behaviors across the company being aligned to the corporate values/behaviors and, through peer-to-peer recognition, we have seen 30 percent of the organization being recognized.
The new system has seen Fujitsu Services move from a company where recognition was bureaucratic, slow and management-driven to one with an embedded culture of recognition throughout all levels.
About Fujitsu Services
Fujitsu Services is a leading European information technology services company. Its business is helping its customers realize the value of information technology through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed service contracts. It serves customers in the private and public sectors across Europe including retail, financial services, healthcare and government. With an annual turnover of UK£2.46 billion (€3.59 billion), it employs over 19,000 people across 20 countries. Headquartered in London, Fujitsu Services is the European IT services arm of the US$43.2 billion (€32.5 billion) Fujitsu Group.