Propellernet rewards staff with dream scheme

EXCLUSIVE: Propellernet has introduced a staff motivation scheme to help employees achieve their dreams.

The scheme, Dream Balls, is about ensuring the social media organisation’s 42 employees share in its collective success.

Nikki Gatenby (pictured), managing director at Propellernet, said: “Our whole ethos, our whole reason for being, is enjoying the workplace. We fundamentally believe that if you help people achieve their dreams, you will definitely win their hearts and minds. On top of receiving a bonus when we reached a target, we wanted to actually make people’s dreams come true.”

In February, Gatenby held consultations with employees to find out what types of initiatives and ideas they had in mind.

The Dream Ball initiative was launched in April. She added: “The consultations we had were around what staff could do to make the company successful, but the flipside of that is, if the success came through, what could the organisation do to help one of their dreams come true? It wasn’t just about revenue targets, it was about other targets in the business.”

The Dream Ball machine, an old-fashioned sweet dispenser, is filled with 300 handwritten dreams from employees.

“We have to make sure it’s achievable,” says Gatenby. “If someone wants to go to the moon, we can’t make that work. It’s done in the spirit of collaboration that we’re all going to help each other achieve our collective dreams. If it’s too expensive or too outrageous, that’s not really in the spirit of it.”

Propellernet was named the best small employer in the UK’s Great Places to Work in June, so it chose a dream for that target, as well as for reaching its revenue targets for the quarter.

The first two employees who had their Dream Balls chosen wanted to go to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Gatenby adds: “We can help fund getting them there, help fund the accommodation, but have no idea on tickets because we would have had to put in [for these] two years ago. We can also give them extra time off to enjoy that dream. The idea is that they will come back so inspired and so delighted that it has a positive effect on everyone else.”

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Propellernet plans to pick one Dream Ball every quarter. “Our whole ethos is about making life better,” says Gatenby. “It is about making life better for our clients’ customers as well as ourselves.”

The motivation scheme is tied in with the organisation’s focus on health and wellbeing. It puts 5% of its profits every month into a wellbeing fund, which employees spend as they see fit. Gatenby adds: “We had a nutritionist come in, we’ve had health checks, we do yoga, pilates and reflexology in the office. It permeates the whole business.”