Here at TINYpulse, we know the challenges of having multiple offices in distant time zones. That's why Geoconcept Asia's TINYaward for Most Employee Recognition is especially laudable-- Geoconcept Asia is held by Geoconcept Group, a French IT company specialized in the integration of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) in a wide range of industries. Geoconcept Asia is the parent company of 2 offices located in Shanghai, China and Chennai, India.
The teams located in the Shanghai and Chennai offices are the users of the TINYpulse platform, and this year, they had more recognition on those teams than any other tech company using TINYpulse-- an incredible feat in a category with hundreds of competitors.
The TINYaward for Most Recognition goes to companies that send the most peer-to-peer recognition, using an in-app functionality called "Cheers for Peers". I had the chance to ask a few questions of their team and leadership, including Pierre-Antoine Tricen, Geoconcept's Director of Asia and North America Operations. Here's what he (and a few team members) had to say about their winning culture:
Congratulations on winning the TINYaward for Employee Recognition! What does this award mean to you?
It is always a challenge to launch new platforms or tools within a 25+-year-old company that has a significant amount of legacy products and work methods that cannot change easily. Hence, launching the platform was risky and implied changing the way people interact and work together. The testing grounds in Shanghai and in Chennai proved that this approach worked. Being recognized as part of the best users proves to us that the implementation was successful beyond our expectations.
Why is it important to recognize employees for their contributions and accomplishments?
No one ever goes to work with the purpose of doing a bad job; everyone fails, and everyone succeeds on some tasks or at some point in his or her career. The role of any good manager or organization is to be able to seize what makes someone special and reward them for it. The ultimate goal is to make our employees feel that their work and contribution means something for the team and the company. In practice, it simply means higher motivation, productivity, and employee retention.
Less than 1% of TINYpulse customers receive this award. What do you think led to your win? What is it about Geoconcept Asia that encourages employee recognition?
As part of our monthly town hall meeting, the last section is dedicated to rewarding employees financially on three aspects linked to TINYpulse:
- "Raising the Bar" award: This is the employee with the most valuable input of the month-- the highest voted suggestion, which is then implemented.
- "Company Wins" award: This is the employee with the highest number of cheers received for the month.
- "Employee Recognition" award: This is the highest performing employee of the month (based on Perform scoring)
Note that sometimes one employee can win all three which are based on a % of the current sales results.
What do you do to maintain that culture of recognition throughout the year?
We set goals for key employees to make sure that the platform is used every week.
How does recognition (and the “Cheers for Peers” feature) relate to your work values and culture at Geoconcept Asia?
Cheers for Peers promotes a healthy work environment, where it is okay not to know everything and to help one another.
How did Geoconcept Asia employees become so prolific at sending Cheers? Did it happen immediately?
No, but it happened gradually and somewhat naturally, and at the time of the award (Ed. note - the award is based on activity during 2017), nothing was set up to encourage it or to maintain momentum. The monthly rewards came after. I believe that one of the reasons it became prolific at the beginning is because right away, some key employees were in charge of making it work, which helped a lot.
Do you have any upcoming plans or initiatives that you hope will improve recognition in the future?
We're planning on selecting the top cheer of the month! We're also going to implement a physical reward every quarter or year for the top employees in each of the 3 categories, signed by the CEO.
Who are some of the Cheers Leaders within Geoconcept Asia? What can other employees learn from how they use the platform?
The top receivers seem to have the following traits:
- Very knowledgeable in their area of expertise
- Very helpful and patient with others
- Very modest but also honest
- They send as many cheers as they receive
In one sentence, can you give us your best advice for other companies looking to improve their employee happiness?
This platform is an excellent tool to help get the approach started. However, it should always come with best practices and a follow-up and follow-through from top management to make it work and act on what is learned.