Thanks For the Extra Mile – Bonus.ly As Digital ‘Thank You’ At Wandelbots

Aug 28, 2020

A lot has already been written about the best ways to thank employees – bonus payments, employee events, salary increases, special leaves and so on – the potpourri of possibilities for reward and recognition is huge. However, there is one thing which all the above-mentioned ‘thank yous’ have in common. They take place top-down. The supervisor, the management or even “the company” recognizes special achievements of individuals or teams. At the same time, the pronounced “thank you”, the appreciative pat on the back, the donated lunch among colleagues is the kind of recognition that is probably most directly attributable to special assistance. It expresses appreciation, motivates others to be just as helpful next time and is an expression of courtesy. The colleague helped me until late in the evening to complete the complex tender so that the timeline could be kept; “come on, let’s go for a beer, my treat!”; Cool. However, there is one tiny disadvantage: this recognition usually takes place one-on-one. The colleagues two desks away usually don’t ever get to find out about it. Special achievements of individuals remain hidden, although it is usually precisely these small, spontaneous aids that ensure that all the gears of a company mesh smoothly.

So what if we combine both methods?

We asked ourselves the exact same question and bonus.ly provides a wonderful solution. The way bonus.ly works is very simple: In a timeline directly in the system or in an already existing communication tool (for us it’s Slack), I mention the colleague who went the extra mile for me and transfer a freely definable amount of digital points to that person (we call them “Wandelcoins”). I then include a short text about it and the amount of Wandelcoins ends up on the bonus.ly account of the colleague. Now here come two Clous, which make bonus.ly so valuable for us:

The extra mile of individual colleagues becomes visible for everyone in the timeline of bonus.ly and in a specially created slack channel (which we call “thanx”). Without bonus.ly neither the colleagues nor the boss had the chance to get to know who was responsible with what effort last night to make our customer happy. Those who haven’t necessarily peddled such services in the past now get the attention they deserve.

A second huge benefit for us is the link to our corporate values. We have set in the system that every digital thank you must be linked to one of our corporate values. The offer for our client has only been completed with your help? Great; “Thank you, dear colleague, for giving up an early evening – #CustomerIsKey”. Gone are the days when company values were printed out and hung in a room or had a dreary, rarely visited existence on the intranet. Each digital thank you gets them displayed as a selection and thus immediately have the match and the quasi permanent presence.

Introduced at Wandelbots just two months ago, a few interesting observations have already been deduced. Obviously, there was a “thank you traffic jam” as bonus.ly was used incredibly intensively especially in the first days. With a total of 54 mentions, “You fight for the company, the company fights for you” was the most frequently used company value. Apart from a few thank-you’s for special individual services, there were also some interesting comments like:

“for being great and holding everything together to bring an awesome product to the market #dreamcrazy #customeriskey #all4oneone4all”

“taking so good care about our Villa and our well-being #all4oneone4all”

“Thanks for your huge support #actingovertalking”

“your energy, vision, and spirit let me work with a big smile! #all4oneone4all”

There are people who are uncomfortable with this kind of transparency for their services. Three of our 85 colleagues decided not to participate.

After about four weeks, the ‘thanks’ for special individual services increased. We now read more often, for example, comments like this:

“Thanks for preparing the new demonstrator #CustomerIsKey”

“Thanks for ordering and processing my cable so quickly #NowNotTomorrow”

“Thanks for creating the awesome self-unboxing robot video! It’s the most viewed, liked, shared and saved video on our Instagram and also the most liked video on our LinkedIn! More of such cool stuff, please 🙂 #DreamCrazy” (you can watch the video here by the way)

To round it all off, Bonus.ly fits us perfectly because we are really special in many ways. For instance, the employee who received the most Wandelcoins in the first weeks of bonus.ly with us is our janitor – Thomas. Not surprising for us though 🙂 . Also, our colleagues have redeemed their first Wandelcoins three times so far and all three have donated, including Thomas. Simply #all4oneone4all.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

William Arthur Ward

About the author

Martin Wanitschke

Chief of Staff

 

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