Meet the 2023 Engage Awards Winners
Find out how the 2023 winners impressed our judges this year.
Last night, we held our annual Engage Awards, celebrating the innovative employee engagement strategies of companies from all over the globe. Our glittering Awards Ceremony took place at The Brewery in London, where the British comedian Hugh Dennis delighted the audience and announced the 2023 winners.
Find out which companies received an award this year and what they did to impress our judges below.
THE SUCCESS STORIES OF THE 2023 WINNERS
- BEST BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY – FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines won the Best Business Transformation Strategy for reinventing their position in the cruise industry following COVID. While they had more returning guests than any other line post-pandemic, they found it challenging to attract new customers. For this reason, they set out to gain a clearer understanding of what mattered most to their existing and potential customers and to meet the needs of those who found that other cruise experiences had failed. To do this, they carried out a customer insight project that shaped their business transformation strategy for 2022/2023 and beyond.
The result? The creation of a distinct guest profile that encompasses everything Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines stands for: The Enthusiast. According to their awards entry, The Enthusiast “loves smaller ships, seeks out native wildlife, looks for enriching experiences, is passionate about art and literature, wants attentive and personal service, enjoys a sense of occasion and is intelligent, curious and friendly”. Knowing this, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines worked on improving its offering, tailoring its onboard and onshore experiences to this profile.
- BEST CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMME – PHOENIX GROUP
Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, earned the Best Customer and Employee Engagement Programme award for enabling its people to respond to the needs of consumers displaying vulnerability characteristics. Noting that cost-of-living pressures have increased the number of vulnerable customers, Phoenix Group re-launched an enhanced training package.
This Vulnerable Customer Training package consisted of 4 key components: their award-winning Vulnerable Customer E-Learning, a 6-hour in-person workshop, their Listening Wheel E-Learning (created alongside Samaritans), and their comprehensive online resources.
Furthermore, Phoenix Group adopted the below three-pronged training approach to address the ‘empathy gap’:
- Behavioural: Phoenix Group worked with behavioural science specialists to help colleagues understand behavioural bias.
- Physical: They used simulation glasses that limit sight, gloves that limit movement and simulate arthritis/stroke aftereffects, a colour blindness simulator, a shaking app replicating Parkinson’s and a hearing impairment exercise that enabled them to design with accessibility in mind.
- Virtual Reality: This put employees in a vulnerable customer conversation.
- BEST DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION STRATEGY – CROFTSTONE CONSULTING UK
Croftstone Consulting won the Best Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for their 2022 EDI campaign. To form their new strategy, Croftstone turned to their people to find out what they wanted. In turn, they responded: “If we want our experiences to be ideal, then we must BE IDEAL as an organisation and as leaders for everyone at Croftstone.”
In other words, they must focus on Belonging, Equality, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Learning. To BE IDEAL as individuals, consultants, and a company, Croftstone Consulting appointed a BE IDEAL lead to focus on developing plans, introduced champions advocating for topics they’re passionate about, and developed a F2F education programme designed and delivered by the Champions. Furthermore, they revamped job descriptions to attract a more diverse talent pool, encouraged the use of digital sunflower badges for those with hidden disabilities, and developed an intranet hosting resources and signposting best practices.
- BEST EMPLOYEE WELLBEING STRATEGY – EXINITY
Exinity earned the Best Employee Wellbeing Strategy award for transforming its wellbeing offering to align with its mission statement: Freedom to Succeed. Seeking to attract independent thinkers who appreciate being treated as individuals, being trusted to make decisions for themselves, and can understand their own strengths, Exinity made a number of changes to its existing strategy.
More specifically, they swapped their existing perks for a Freedom to Choose approach, whereby employees received a quarterly payment they could spend on what would benefit them most. Furthermore, they introduced hybrid working, scrapped dress codes, introduced Freedom to Unwind annual leave whereby colleagues received 40 days of annual leave, offered senior leaders sessions with a life coach/counsellor, and scrapped probation periods. Last but not least, Exinity addressed the current economic state and its impact on the cost of living by increasing everyone’s salary up to 10%.
- BEST INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY – KILO HEALTH
Kilo Health received the Best Internal Communications Strategy award after developing three campaigns, each building on the previous one while maintaining a consistent message. Through different channels and formats, Kilo Health successfully conveyed the company’s evolution from a start up to a more corporate organisation.
It did this by first releasing video teasers generating excitement and anticipation for an event where over 500 international employees would come together to learn about the company’s new mission and vision. After this, Kilo Health launched the ‘What Mission and Vision Truly Mean’ campaign. Running for 1 month, this campaign featured online and offline activities that demonstrated how employees could contribute to and align with the company’s mission and vision.
Finally, Kilo Health introduced the Chief Mission Officer award, allowing employees to nominate coworkers who exemplified dedication to the mission. The employee who had made the biggest contribution would then receive the Chief Mission Officer of the Year award at a ceremony in December.
- BEST USE OF INNOVATION IN EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT – PHOENIX GROUP
Phoenix Group received the Best Use of Innovation in Employee Engagement award for their forum, the Phoenix Colleague Representatives Forum (PCRF). This autonomous employee forum allows Phoenix Group to put their people at the heart of decision-making, giving them a real say on the topics that affect them.
Since its inception, the PCRF has helped shape a number of initiatives and changes, including Phoenix’s hybrid working policy, their response to the cost-of-living cris, and their sustainability agenda, among others.
To ensure that the model is both effective and sustainable, Phoenix Group have developed strong governance structure, underpinned by a partnership agreement and delivered by people who work exclusively on the forum.
- BEST USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT – NEWCASTLE BUILDING SOCIETY
Newcastle Building Society received the Best Use of Technology in Employee Engagement award for working to keep its people connected while working remotely. To promote a two-way dialogue and create a digital collaboration space, they adopted new remote communications tools and introduced a new tone of voice. Expanding on this, they softened their vocabulary, adopting a friendlier local voice with a more inclusive and welcoming tone.
“Our business case was simple – to create and introduce platforms where colleagues had a voice, could use it freely and had a choice in where they’d use their voice. Having a digital collaboration space was also important to us,” the award winners shared.
- BEST USE OF TRAINING – CAPGEMINI INVENT
Capgemini Invent won the Best Use of Training award for its innovative initiative, the Institute. According to the award winner’s entry, Institutees are assigned a personal development manager, dedicated coach who provides continuous feedback, and a buddy from the previous intake to provide support.
During the 15-week programme, Institutees are introduced to VR onboarding, Capgemini Invent’s Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE), connections to global colleagues, charity work and Capgemini’s live retail testing store, Cornershop.
To further develop the skills of their consultants, Capgemini Invent also created a centre of excellence for design capabilities within the Institute, namely The Design Hub.
- BEST USE OF VOICE OF THE EMPLOYEE – BALFOUR BEATTY
Balfour Beatty earned the Best Use of Voice of the Employee award for its My Contribution programme, which enables employees to share their ideas to help improve the business. Noting that its employees are the ones who understand the business better than anyone else, Balfour Beatty recruited more than 440 ‘Team MyC’ volunteers from across every part of the organisation to run the programme.
This team was then tasked with supporting others, encouraging them to share their ideas about how things could be done better or more efficiently at Balfour Beatty. In addition to inviting people to join, these volunteers also help convert ideas into outcomes, assisting with the development and delivery of the presented solutions.
Employees have the option to raise their own ideas, support others, offering insight and expertise, volunteer to support delivery, share examples, and become members of Team MyC.
- GREAT PLACE TO WORK – HUBGEM MARKETING LTD
HubGem Marketing Ltd earned the Great Place to Work award for implementing a plethora of wellbeing and culture initiatives to support their people. Getting rid of the old 9-5 culture and embracing a more open management style where work-life is a priority, HubGem Marketing adopted remote and flexible working.
In addition to this, it introduced Wellness Wednesdays, Deskmate standing desks, long service awards (5, 10, 20 years), monthly team building and social calls, dedicated HR and Culture manager, and family leave policies. Going further, HubGem Marketing Ltd offers its people a Headspace subscription, training and learning opportunities, physical wellbeing initiatives, and team charity support.
Considering that the Engage Awards received a record-breaking number of entries this year, we would like to extend our congratulations to the award winners once more!
Over the coming weeks, we will be conducting interviews with the 2023 winners and sharing their success stories.
Those interested in entering the 2024 Engage Awards can do so from January 22nd.
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