News TickerRecognition & Rewards

Modernizing Recognition

WCG Clinical’s first-ever total rewards leader Maggie Stavrianidis took an outdated approach to recognition and created a tech-driven program that provides a tailored experience.

By Maggie Mancini

As WCG Clinical’s first-ever total rewards leader, Maggie Stavrianidis has contributed significantly to the company’s growth over the last four years, leading a small team of subject matter experts to assist the company’s global employee population in 82 countries. 

Stavrianidis is responsible for modernizing the company’s employee recognition program after she and her team realized it had not changed in several years. Understanding that employees have different preferences when it comes to recognition, Stavrianidis and team set out to find approaches that would provide a unique and tailored experience for employees while also alleviating the administrative burden on an HR team with limited resources. After much consideration, Stavrianidis and her team opted for a program with a wide range of recognition choices while automating much of the process for administrators.  

“Employees have responded quite favorably to the new program,” says Lisa Calicchio, chief human capital management officer at WCG Clinical. “They love the personalization aspect with the digital recognition books and the wide range of merchandise, gift cards, and charitable donations they can choose for their recognition. Each employee can pick what is most meaningful and unique to them, which they very much appreciate.”  

Calicchio adds that the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with one employee saying that she will treasure the digital recognition book for the rest of her career. 

In addition to the recognition program, WCG Clinical ensures employees have exposure to the executive and senior leadership teams, including through mentorship opportunities. The goal is to make sure leadership always has an eye on high-performing and high-potential talent. Employees are frequently featured in quarterly town halls, weekly round-ups, and special event panels throughout the year. The company also gives out a peer-nominated, peer-adjudicated excellence award to employees who demonstrate WCG’s values.  

In pushing forward the company’s recognition program, Stavrianidis made a solid business case by: 

  • clearly articulating the need for employee recognition; 
  • bringing in robust benchmarking; 
  • connecting employee recognition to the company’s overall goals; 
  • outlining expected benefits for both employees and business leaders; and 
  • establishing metrics for how the program can be measured.  

Stavrianidis’ work has also positively impacted the company’s diversity and inclusion agenda by assuring pay equity across diverse groups of employees, successfully managing several complex organizational changes, and ensuring a values-based recognition for high-earning employees.  

Because of her efforts, Stavrianidis was recognized with the HRO Today Association’s North America Award for HR Leadership, Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals.   

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