Laura Probert: How do you ensure staff feel appreciated all year round?

The easiest things that cost the least, are the things that often slip in a work culture, especially when businesses are under pressure. Like a simple ‘thank you’ for a great job.

When it comes to appreciation and recognition, that’s where every leader at Egress starts. There are many fancy, expensive and complex systems organisations design – we have those too by the way – but if you neglect the simple but highly effective thank you, you are missing the main attraction. Sometimes a thank you can be paired with a random massage day in the office, or dinner for the family when an employee has gone beyond.

Here, the outcome of any approach to recognition and appreciation is to reinforce desired behaviours so people repeat them in future. The behaviours most important to us at Egress are our values, which were born from our founders and long-term friends, Tony Pepper and Neil Larkins. Ours really resonate as they are so personal. To ensure that they are front of mind, we devised a platform called OnPoint, where behaviours aligned to the values are recognised and reinforced by sending points which can be used to buy anything online. The key is that recognition happens live and in the moment. It takes seconds to award points with a short message. Reinforcement is immediate which makes it highly effective.

More obvious forms of recognition include pay and promotions. Egress is a people-performance-led culture. The higher an employee’s performance, the higher their recognition and the quicker their progression.

Other forms of recognition at Egress include long service awards. Scale-ups need continuity and rely over the years on loyalty and commitment through the hard times and the good. Hand in hand with this comes shares in the business; the ultimate reward for the right behaviours that grow the business’s value in the market and keep our people focused on the longer term. But we always start with a heartfelt thank you.

Laura Probert is chief people officer at Egress