Scottrade incorporates recognition and rewards to keep its employees’ morale stocks trading high.
How does a company that has received national accolades for its excellence in training, development, customer loyalty, engagement, and information technology recognize and reward its own employees? With the same gusto and enthusiasm.
Scottrade, a premier stock trading company, introduced its “Above & Beyond” reward and recognition program this summer.
“We’ve always been a company with a lot of passion for our customers and our employees,” said Jane Wulf, executive director, human resources. “As we grow, we want to make sure we keep that small-company feeling. We want our people to continue to take the time to say ‘thank you’ and recognize others. And we want to make it fun and easy.”
“Above & Beyond” rewards employees for contributions they make in the areas of outstanding customer service, consistent superior quality of work, exceptional teamwork, exemplifying Scottrade’s core values, excelling in initiative, innovative ideas, and taking responsibility for individual learning. By recognizing those employees for exemplifying Scottrade’s core values and culture, the company is driving the performance it needs to continue to grow the firm. Key elements of the program include:
• Communication Is Key. To jump-start and keep any recognition program top-of-mind requires targeted, frequent, and varied communications. Scottrade embraced this opportunity by initiating a communications strategy that includes fun and interactive elements. A light-hearted video teases participants on what’s coming. The recognition program kicked off with an “I Scream, You Scream” company-wide ice cream social. At the company’s St. Louis headquarters, the executive committee served ice cream sundaes to associates. Branch offices across the nation received a gift box to host their own ice cream social, with managers serving associates.
A follow-up voicemail message from Rodger Riney, president and CEO, reinforced the goals of the program. A feature article in the company’s newsletter, posters, email blasts, and web site home page updates continue to keep the recognition program top of mind.
• The Process. Scottrade partnered with incentive and recognition provider Anderson Performance Improvement to formalize and streamline the recognition process. Through the use of an innovative web site (online recognition platform), employees play a points-for-performance game. Employees earn points that they accumulate in their personal, passcode-protected online account that can be used to redeem for merchandise. With the click of a key, employees can be recognized and recognize others.
• Peer-to-Peer E-Cards. Employees recognize other employees with e-cards, or electronic greeting cards. Once the reason for the award is selected (criteria include quality, teamwork, integrity, innovation, customer service, attitude, communication), the recipient receives a set point value for the e-card recognition.
• Prestigious Recognition through Employee Nomination. Employees can nominate individuals for going above and beyond, perhaps for streamlining work processes to improve efficiencies or helping out a team member on a special project. Nominees passing an approval process are awarded program points.
Teams are also recognized for accomplishments that impact the organization. Scottrade executives review each team nomination and award points accordingly.
• Making Recognition Fun and Exciting. Members of Scottrade’s management have scratch-off cards to recognize their associates for “doing the right things right.” These on-the-spot awards are redeemed through the online Scottrade recognition platform.
“The scratch-offs have been a huge success,” said Wulf. “They add an element of excitement and anticipation to the program.”
• Investing in Learning. Knowledge is power, and Scottrade recognizes those who invest in learning. Periodic quizzes are posted on the online recognition platform. When employees successfully complete the quiz, points are automatically awarded. Scottrade University also reinforces training by rewarding points for classes taken on its learning management system.
Scottrade’s strategy is paying off. Within the first day of the program launch, 60 percent of all employees logged on to the program’s web site. Within one week, 83 percent of employees earned recognition points. By week two, 94 percent of employees had logged on, and more than 2,400 award opportunities were recorded. This level of engagement is a testament to Scottrade’s commitment to supporting, rewarding, and recognizing its employees’ contributions.
“We are so pleased that the recognition program is being embraced by our supervisors as well as our associates. Recognition is a real factor in engaging associates, and engaged associates are necessary to the company’s success,” Wulf concluded.