Employee EngagementRecognition & Rewards

Automating Global Recognition

Chemical giant utilizes Globoforce for worldwide employee incentive and recognition.

by Barrie Locke, Ripple Effect Communications

Dow Chemical, a $40 billion leader in the chemical, plastic, and agricultural products industries, has long valued employee recognition as a critical component of HR. It runs hundreds of different recognition programs across the world, but company leaders had a vision for one consistent global program, a non-cash recognition program based on a gift certificate model that would have frequency of awards and encourage a recognition culture among employees worldwide.

With 43,000 workers in more than 50 countries, Dow needed a solution that could be truly global but worked locally, too.

In January 2005, the Recognition@Dow program was launched as a corporate-wide reward and recognition initiative, designed to motivate Dow’s workforce while maintaining program consistency on a global scale. The company based its recognition strategy on building a culture of appreciation and recognition by acknowledging the efforts of all deserving employees on a personal level and recognizing the values most important to Dow.

After identifying Dow’s specific requirements, Globoforce built a recognition platform that made Dow’s vision a reality. The program now offers globally consistent Dow awards, consistent tiers, and consistently eligibility. And employees receive their awards in locally relevant currency and value. They can redeem these awards for a selection of gift items, travel, or restaurant meals from a comprehensive range of brand-name local merchants . The program was built in a vast selection of required languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Thai, Korean, and Japanese.

All employees, including those at subsidiaries and joint ventures in which Dow is a majority owner, are eligible to participate in the Recognition@Dow program and receive awards.

The Recognition@Dow program leverages Globoforce’s web-based incentive solution to recognize employee performance and drive long-term organizational success. To assist the nomination process, the Globoforce solution includes an award wizard, which helps Dow assess behaviors and results deserving of recognition, and then recommends the appropriate award level. Dow administrators can also leverage the Globoforce platform to track the award submission process and more accurately align the awards program with corporate budget requirements.

All employees can nominate peers for monetary awards. Program guidelines have been created to help nominators decide on the recognition level most appropriate for the contributions and results they observed. Employees can be nominated by peers and leaders for individual contributions or teamwork towards achieving a milestone or achieving goals. Varying recognition levels and award types help nominators decide on the most appropriate recognition.

The program guidelines outline the criteria for recognition grounded in the company’s strategic goals: drive financial discipline and low cost; invest for strategic growth; set the standard for sustainability; and build a people-centric performance culture.

Employees have 24/7 access to a web site to choose colleagues to receive awards, regardless of geographic boundaries. This site is geared towards peer-to-peer nomination as well as manager-to-employee programs that require approval loops to be created, so pre-assigned approving managers can view a nomination and decide on its status.

To meet Dow’s requirements for a comprehensive suite of reports, Globoforce built super-user and leader-administration consoles, which provide real-time detail on all program activity and allow on-line approvals to be made. Globoforce also built IT interfaces for Dow’s internal HR software to allow all recognition data to become part of the company’s total rewards system.

Integrated into the Recognition@Dow program is another web site that serves as the administration console to allow program managers and other designated users to track and manage all activity; generate real-time reports on all pending, approved, and rejected nominations; view details on nominations based on logon privileges; approve or reject nominations; download award data, approval data, and eCard data to Excel; open, change, and designate users of budgets; and change and reset user passwords.

At Dow, the level of participation is a key measurement of program effectiveness. To track program usage, Dow closely monitors leaders’ program spending. They are given reports each month that show their usage. Through the first 11 months of the program, Dow has had more than 93,000 recognition events pass through the Globoforce program in the form of eCards and monetary awards.

In addition, Dow conducted a satisfaction survey in the third quarter of last year that found more than 80 percent of leaders to be “extremely pleased” or “very pleased” with the Recognition@Dow program. The company also runs employee satisfaction surveys every other year. Recognition will feature as an indicator during the upcoming survey in 2006.

Tags: Engaged Workforce, HRO Today Global, Performance Management Rewards

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