As an incentive, recognition, and engagement solutions provider, it’s pretty important that we practice what we preach. After all, we need to be sure that every member of our team has reason to believe in what we do every day, and is willing to commit their best efforts. So when it comes to employee engagement, here’s how we do it at Next Level:

  • CARES Values: Everything we do at Next Level is guided by our CARES values, and we all know them by heart. Our values are Collaboration, Accountability, Respect, Ethical Behavior, and Service. When in doubt, we check to see how decisions and actions align to these essential components of who we are as an organization. They give us something to rally behind and can help us make tough choices.
  • Social Recognition: Our recognition platform – Applaudit – is part of daily life at Next Level. After all, we’re our own guinea pigs! Our team is the first to try out new functionality and to make suggestions for updates. What’s taken root here? The news feed. The design of the site reflects the social media sites we all use every day, so it’s easy and intuitive across our whole company. Teammates share stories, recognize colleagues, like and comment. Managers can add points to use in the Rewards Mall, and anyone can nominate a colleague for a quarterly or annual award, or can call out a group for a team accomplishment. I check the news feed every morning to see what’s going on across the company and to add my congratulations or applause. It’s employee engagement at its best.
  • Shared Responsibility: When it comes to our workplace community, everyone has a contribution to make. Senior leaders daily participation drives the message that employee engagement and recognition are important at Next Level. Teammates take ownership by volunteering on charity projects and running committees. There are many ways to get involved, even when we’re busy.
  • Fun: We have fun together. It helps us to get to know people across departments. Those connections really come in handy when up against a deadline or when you just need a sounding board. Gallup’s research makes a good case for the importance of having friends at work and I believe it. What do we do for fun? Well, this week the Recognition and Engagement committee is running a Do Me A Flavor ice cream flavor competition. The winner’s suggestion will be made by the committee for a mid-afternoon company ice cream social. Yum! At other times, the fun includes company-wide celebrations for achievements, or even just watching the World Cup together over lunch in a conference room.

At Next Level, we spend a lot of time together, sometimes in high-pressure situations. But we care about each other, we feel valued, and we understand our common goals. That’s what employee engagement is all about. That’s what it takes to get through the tough spots, and that’s what allows us to provide a level of service and care to our clients that we can be proud of. It makes me glad to show up here every morning.

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About the author

As Vice President of Engagement at Next Level Performance, Susan serves on the board of the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and chairs the IRF Research Committee. She has also served on the board of the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) and is a past president of the Recognition Council, and a past member of the Performance Improvement Council and the Incentive and Engagement Solution Providers (IESP). She is interested in the strategies and benefits of employee engagement, incentive, and recognition programs. An avid traveler, she is also passionate about the art and science of incentive travel. Favorite travel destinations: Costa Rica, Iceland, Switzerland, and Maine.

Susan Adams
Vice President of Engagement
sadams@nxlperformance.com