Reward & recognition: Employee engagement survey case studies

Employee engagement_reward and recognition  Employee engagement case study #1

Industry: Government Administration and Defence | Size: Large

Insync Surveys' Employee Opinion Survey reflected poor levels of engagement particularly around recognition and reward. The organisational response was to develop a structured recognition scheme which had both monetary and non-monetary recognition awards. 


Yet to be measured but, anecdotally staff like the new incentives.

Employee engagement_reward and recognition  Employee engagement case study #2

Industry: Government Administration and Defence | Size: Medium

An engagement survey showed low engagement for staff who had particular complaints about work-life balance. The organisation responded by providing yoga classes at lunch time, gym memberships and free passes to the local swimming pool and started a walking group.


This helped staff to feel supported and less stressed and in turn enhanced employee engagement levels. 

Employee engagement_reward and recognition  Employee engagement case study #3

Industry: Health and Community Services | Size: Large

This organisation wanted to look at ways to improve employee engagement in certain teams. The CEO communicated the values which focus on people, performance and collaboration. She also provided funds to allow programs to be put in place. She wanted to make sure that these values trickled down to grass roots level.

A leader of came up with an idea that was implemented at the team level. This leader was given a budget to reward exceptional performance of individuals on a monthly basis. A person could either nominate themselves or nominate a colleague, which happened more often than not. The leader would shortlist the nominations then choose three people from that list to do a short presentation to the rest of the team regarding an improvement to the business they had made. At the end of the three presentations the team would vote for the example that added most value to the business. The changes were from how to run a project to interpreting information. One person was selected in each meeting. There were no limits to the number of times a person was nominated.


The nominations were a good way to make a difference to employee engagement. The best ideas were shared across the organisation, so the rest of the teams could incorporate them into their day-to-day work. This collaboration also increased employee engagement in other teams.

At the end of the year the best ideas were celebrated at a national conference. The outcome was increased employee engagement by creating a culture of celebrating performance, sharing best practice and valuing each other and achievements of other people within their team.

Employee engagement_reward and recognition  Employee engagement case study #4

Industry: Transport and Storage | Size: Large

The organisation had an old school approach to looking after their staff. They had never done a staff survey before or asked what their employees thought; it has a hard, manual industry. A new CEO came in and wanted to know what the employees thought. The use of Insync Surveys' Employee Opinion Survey was the first time staff had ever been surveyed. It was difficult to catch all of the staff as some worked on ships and some in the office with varying rosters. There wasn't a reward or recognition scheme in place. There was a culture of mistrust due to bad line management and lack of information from the CEO.

Insync Surveys ran an Employee Opinion Survey. Feedback, including staff comments, was provided to the CEO. The CEO read over the comments in detail then went on a road show to explain to all staff what issues came through in the survey. Insync Surveys ran some Focus Groups for more detailed feedback.

The organisation started running health and wellbeing days (including cancer screens, health checks, etc.). It also started recognising long service with awards by holding a dinner and giving a gift depending on length of service. All staff received a Christmas hamper and Christmas bonus, they formed a social club and the CEO started preparing a monthly newsletter with information for staff.


When staff engagement levels were re-measured and compared to a benchmark database they had jumped from the bottom quartile to the third quartile and improved their recommendation ranking. Staff had more pride in what they do, all factors contributing to employee engagement had improved.

Employee engagement_reward and recognition   Employee engagement case study #5

Industry: Government Administration and Defence | Size: Large

In this local government organisation staff engagement had never been measured. A learning and development team had been created and they wanted to conduct a staff survey so they knew what issues they should focus on. In their first survey, they were in the bottom quartile when compared to other Employee Engagement Survey results for similar organisations.

Over a number of years they went from the bottom of the staff survey database to the top. They implemented different programs based on employee survey results each year.

They introduced:

  • a mentoring program so newer starters could link in with more senior staff and meet once a month
  • yoga classes
  • swimming classes
  • social clubs
  • cooking classes
  • walking clubs
  • study options and support
  • a working in councils overseas program for 12 months (funded by the council)
  • job-swaps with another Victoria council and professional development

The organisation wanted their workplace to have as much appeal as a corporate organisation. They wanted it to be a great place to work.

Their program was called POP: People Opportunities Possibilities


This council experienced huge improvements in staff engagement, alignment and satisfaction. There was better employee retention and the organisation attracted more candidates for vacant roles. The program has been running for 4-5 years.

Employee engagement_reward and recognition  Employee engagement case study #6

Industry: Cultural and Recreational Services | Size: Medium

This company hadn't measured staff alignment with organisation goals and didn't know "where they were at". They administered an all staff Organisational Alignment Survey, generally the engagement scores were reasonable: doing well in many areas, but there were a few pockets that were low, e.g. people in regional areas. Regional employees were working long hours.

Insync Surveys ran Focus Groups with regional staff (10-15 people). The facilitator examined the top 5-10 staff engagement issues. A month later Insync Surveys ran another session on what could be done to change it. Staff reported feeling underpaid, unsupported and never saw the CEO. They were never paid for overtime, time in lieu was badly managed and they were often unable to claim it due to policy. City managers did not understand what was happening in the country. The CEO needed to take more interest.


A better bonus/reward system has now been implemented. The organisation has changed its time in lieu policy and regional staff are now more satisfied.

This is still a work in progress. They plan to survey employees again later this year.

Employee engagement_reward and recognition  Employee engagement case study #7

Industry: Finance and Insurance | Size: Medium

Unofficial research indicated low employee engagement in a business that was very busy and there was a sense of "all work and no play." The management team sought suggestions via a comments box and staff indicated that they wanted to feel rewarded. The management invested heavily in its prized workforce by subsidising gym memberships and introducing corresponding reward and recognition programs.


Employee interviews six months later reported raised levels of engagement as people felt that they had been given something back. This positive feedback was combined with anecdotal reports of more energy in the office after having got out and done something active during lunch times.

Employee engagement_reward and recognition  Employee engagement case study #8

Industry: Cultural and Recreational Services | Size: Large

This organisation extend their comprehensive understanding of staff engagement by holding an annual competition. Teams and individuals to submit ideas to panels on ways to increase employee engagement. The people who submit the 10 best ideas are taken away on a retreat which feeds into a staff action planning processes. The winner has a big celebratory party.


The sheer number of entries indicates staff were engaged with the process.

Employee engagement_reward and recognition  Employee engagement case study #9

Industry: Property and Business Services | Size: Large

A key engagement issue stemmed from a lack of work-life balance. People were working over 80 hours a week. Corporate policy was changed to allow spouses to attend training courses. Furthermore staff could exchange working business class travel tickets for two economy tickets and take their partner.


Anecdotal evidence ahead of the next staff survey indicated that employees thought that this was a fantastic initiative and reported increased discretionary effort when attending to overseas business.

Tell us your employee engagement story

Your story will be reviewed and loaded onto this website


* required field.