How Do they Do It

A look inside successful incentive and engagement programs

By Lesley Young

The Company: Nurse Next Door Home Care Services, based in Vancouver. They’re the largest provider of at-home care in Canada and have 500 franchise operations over four continents.

The Strategy: The daily Huddle, where everyone gathers in a circle, from 10:56 to 11:05 a.m. A facilitator runs through priorities for the day and also welcomes any Heart Star Nominations—offered up about anyone by anyone at any level of seniority. “It can be something small, say if you saw someone take a few extra minutes to sit down with some caregivers and explain a process, or if you got a report done on time or saved $500 in the budget,” says Brenda Rigney, vice-president of operations. Heart Star Nominations translate into Nurse Next Door Flower Bucks, which are redeemable for rewards such as trips, and gift cards for local restaurants and gyms, auctioned off every three months at the company’s All-Star Party.

“Huddle isn’t just a great way to get everyone aligned on what we’re doing, it supports one of our key company values—how what you did yesterday can have an impact on our business tomorrow,” explains Rigney. She adds that it also promotes a culture of camaraderie, a well-established tool for employee engagement.

Added Bonus: Every employee who starts at Nurse Next Door provides their personal, as well as professional, goals. Once a month, one or two goals are honoured by the company in its Dreams Program. “Last year, we helped our director of marketing take his dad to a Green Bay Packers game. It was a great moment for him and his dad, and for us. The Dreams Program ties into our business strategy,” explains Rigney, “because its goal is the same as our business goal, to help our clients live their lives to the fullest as we age. The benefits are entirely reciprocal.”

The Outcome: “We look at it from a retention standpoint. We’re a high-turnover industry and we have people who have been working here for over five years,” says Rigney. Another big tell: they’ve found that existing employees take new hires under their wing, explaining the ‘huddle’ enthusiastically. “That they do that tells us it is embedded into the culture. They want others to experience the happiness they’re experiencing.”

other articles in this section

Well Intentioned

A Rewarding Experience

Cruising the Rhone River

Celebrating Employee Milestones

How Do they Do It

Eyes on the Prize

Healthy employees = Healthy company

Measuring ROI

Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key, Florida

Good Sensations

How to Design an Effective Gift Card Incentive Program

Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island, Newfoundland

The Case for including Spouses on Incentive Trips

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

On-site Gifting

Rim to River Hiking in the Grand Canyon

Sparkling Hill Resort, Vernon, BC

Creating incentive trips that appeal to everyone

The Brave New World of Gift Cards

Award Show Winners

Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina

Take me to the river

Click + Praise

The Science of Incentives

Incentive trips go family-style

Knock-their-socks-off gifts for hard-to-buy-for executives

Building a Better Program

Perfect Pampering

Indulge Me!

Customized Recognition Programs

Virtual gift cards, the new reality

Gift Cards that Give

Go with a Pro, in the Spa and on the Greens

Chartering private jets

Offsite Employee Engagement

Behaviour-based Recognition

Canadian tax implications for employee gifts

A Christmas Bonus with all the Fixin's!

Peer-to-peer recognition

Everyday Green Heroes

Recognizing Environmental Actions in the Workplace

Reward and Recognize Every Day!

New Year, New You!

Co-Branded Cards

Last-minute gifts and rewards

Double Pampering Hits the Spot!

Hidden Gems: Cobble Beach Resort

Gamification

Corporate Gifts for Golfers

Free and Fab Employee Rewards

Incentive Programs Used by the Pros

Think Local for Corporate Gifts

21st Century Gift Cards

Time for an Incentive Travel Update

Reward Best-Practices for the Holiday Season

Small Product, Big Impact

Spa Rewards, Done Right

Staying Motivated

Gift Giving Guidelines

The Pros and Cons of Gift Cards

Eco-Friendly Corporate Gift Ideas

Green Guides

Travel Rewards Strategy

Speaker Gifts that Shine with Gratitude

Tax Treatment of Incentive Travel