EXCLUSIVE: Inspired Villages to launch recognition programme for 220 staff


EXCLUSIVE: Luxury retirement village organisation Inspired Villages is set to launch a recognition programme on 22 April 2019 for its 220 UK staff, to help embed and bring to life the business’ five new values.

The new recognition programme, provided by Reward Gateway, will offer both top-down and peer-to-peer instant rewards and recognition. Employees and managers will be able to access the programme via the organisation’s existing benefits platform, which is available as an app to accommodate Inspired Village’s dispersed workforce, around half of whom do not have a business email address.

The programme will enable managers to provide Shine Awards to employees who have excelled; these can have a monetary value of between £10 and £100, which will be added to employees’ personal accounts on the Reward Gateway benefits platform, to spend on any of the available discounted retail offers. This could include, for example, booking holidays or flights, buying clothes or footwear, or ordering goods. Alternatively, employees can transfer this award to their personal bank accounts if they wish to spend it elsewhere.

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Employees will also be able to recognise their peers using Shout Outs. This allows any member of staff at any seniority to send a card to a colleague.

Inspired Villages plans to use this recognition programme to help embed its organisational values; these are currently being finalised, and will be tested with 70 employees across four workshops on the 17 and 18 April 2019.

The key themes for the new values centre around courage and dreaming big, being straightforward and talking to people with respect and dignity, and listening to others. The organisation plans to recruit, promote and reward against its new values.

The organisation is looking at its organisational values now to align with its growth strategy. With 220 staff currently, the business plans to add 300 by the end of the year. The workforce will further increase to 700 by 2021 and to 1,200 by 2023.

Lawrence Cramer, HR director at Inspired Villages, said: “Because of that huge growth, we want to embed the culture and the values and the reward and recognition now, so when people join us, that’s what they’re joining, they’re joining that culture.”

The recognition programme will be communicated to staff using videos displayed on Inspired Villages’ benefits platform. The organisation is running a week of video updates from 29 April 2019; both the chief executive officer and the HR director will discuss the new initiative during their video communications, and senior leaders will also role model the programme.

The business is thinking ahead to how the recognition programme might develop, for example with the introduction of team awards, or a quarterly prize draw from the Shout Out nominations, with employees winning £100 to go into their reward account. Inspired Villages is also considering hosting an annual awards event at the end of the year.

Inspired Villages introduced its benefits platform, in conjunction with Reward Gateway, in August 2018. As at February 2019, between £16,000 and £17,000 had been spent by employees using the mobile platform.

The recognition programme will run alongside the current benefits offering, which includes a workplace pension and health benefits. Inspired Villages also awards employees celebrating a milestone birthday with a card, a day off within the month of their birthday and a voucher or gift to the value of their age.

Cramer added: “We want managers to recognise talent and their stars and people who are doing extra things and to reward them accordingly, but we want people who are working alongside [others] to recognise that someone’s doing a great job. It doesn’t have to have a monetary value, it’s just that recognition.

“It’s really powerful when colleagues recognise [each other] for what they do and they get a card or a note from them. We wanted to make sure that people were living the values and being recognised by people at all levels.”