With offices scattered across the UK, diverse management styles and working conditions left Exertis – a specialist technology distribution business – facing a significant challenge. The company had expanded by around 400 per cent over the course of a decade and was struggling to remain organised while wielding its new business clout. A 2016 employee survey worryingly revealed that 21 per cent didn’t know what the company values were, and 44 per cent did not feel valued for the part they played in the organisation.
The solution? In their words, an “imaginary, futuristic vehicle capable of transporting tens of people to fabulous destinations” called the Exertis Express. You might say it was the team’s main driver of change.
Though the Express wasn’t a physical entity, the new reward and recognition initiative was. Under it, any employee could nominate a colleague, no matter what their role in the business, for outstanding performance. This meant they had displayed Exertis’s values – such as a drive to succeed, commitment and integrity. Nominees might have gone out of their way for a client, surpassed targets or helped out a colleague.
Integral to the initiative was the voluntary aspect. Rather than management commending the work, it came instead from a colleague who had valued the individual and taken the time to nominate them. Judges lauded the “human touch” brought to the scheme.
The winners, publicised on the company’s intranet and newsletter, received an all-expenses-paid trip to take in activities such as camel-riding in Dubai, zip-wiring in Croatia and Segway riding in Barcelona. What’s more, by including all the winners from a particular quarter, all from different parts of the company, the trips cleverly strengthened Exertis from the inside.
The relationships that were built continued back home and have translated into an improved workplace culture. By breaking down barriers and encouraging cooperation, Exertis expertly solved its organisational issues. Not only were the company values clearer across previously siloed teams, they have successfully been interwoven into a company culture which doesn’t let their day to day manifestations, in good work and “team playing”, slip by unnoticed.