West London NHS Trust adopted a peer-to-peer recognition approach to staff engagement and reward, to give immediate and easy access for staff to praise each other.
The trust did this using a reward and recognition platform, called Praise. The platform also provides up-to-date data and insights into how staff are recognising each other.
Key benefits and outcomes
West London NHS Trust adopted a range of benefits from taking this approach.
- It has enabled the trust to quickly establish a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of recognising each other that is customised and incorporates their values into recognition.
- It provides an easy way for staff working shifts, at different locations across the trust and those working at home, to send and receive thanks and recognition.
- The HR dashboard function enabled the trust to have an overall barometer of staff reward and recognition, showing where recognition is happening and which of the trust values is most widely used.
- The platform encourages the trust to promote actively and authentically the NHS People Promise, we are recognised and rewarded.
- Praise enables celebrated events to be recognised for all cultures and provides a nomination platform to manage awards. For example, the trust celebrated, Vaisakhi, Ramadan and Easter this year with e-cards for each celebration. The trust also set up nominations for National Administrator's Day.
- The platform aligns with the trust’s green plan, as staff can send e-cards instead of paper cards. This protects the environment while being kind to each other.
- It also makes it easy to recognise all staff, including those working remotely.
- In a fast-changing world, the platform is responsive to the trust’s needs and can adapt quickly to innovation. For example, the trust used Praise to collect £1,300, in three weeks, to support the Ukraine appeal.
What the organisation did
Alongside other steps, such as improved health and wellbeing support and dialogue with senior leaders, the organisation implemented a new method for staff to recognise and value each other. The trust worked with a company called Each Person, to customise an ecard reward and recognition platform hosted on their intranet.
Since the Praise platform launched in February 2022, over 3,300 ecards were sent within the first few months. New starters are added to the platform each month, and data is analysed weekly to see where reward is happening and specifically which of the trust’s values are being used. For example, the e-cards all have a reason for sending, including trust values and other reasons such as Happy Birthday, welcome to the team and get well soon.
Alison Webster, Deputy Director of Organisational Development at West London NHS Trust, said:
"We were extremely proud of how staff responded to the new platform and it's given us an in-depth insight into how appreciative our staff are of each other."
Results and benefits
The trust built on its existing reward and recognition strategy focused on recognition, benefits and improved health and wellbeing. It found an innovative way to provide peer-to-peer recognition and responded to feedback from staff, who asked for this during engagement events the previous year. The collection of real-time data proved to be helpful too. The platform's development also helped to focus the need to have a dedicated area on the trust intranet bringing together all types of reward and recognition, making it easier for staff to find.
- 85 per cent of the trust's workforce registered on the Praise platform within the first three months.
- Over 3,300 e-cards have been sent.
- So far, more than 4,000 trees have been planted via the Each Person platform.
- Every staff member celebrating their first year at the trust receives a happy work anniversary e-card.
- Every staff member gets a Birthday card.
Within the first few months of going live, West London employees made more than 3,000 purchases on products within the shop and reward section. In total, these purchases have enabled employees to save £7,308.62 of cash back. During times of financial stress and with the recent costs of living this financial benefit to employees is much needed.
- Organisations can adopt a peer-to-peer recognition platform to create a culture of recognition and kindness to each other.
- Finding new ways to celebrate all staff's cultural celebrations will help organisations become more inclusive and increase understanding of different cultures.
- Organisations will need to be creative in using the platform to ensure they get the most from it, including using nominations for awards, recognising long service and e-cards.
- Staff recognition and reward initiatives should be part of the overall organisational approach to reward and recognition, including improved health and wellbeing support.
- Remember to measure the success of the platform through the NHS Staff Survey results for questions relating to question 8b: the people I work with are understanding and kind to one another, and question 8d: the people I work with show appreciation to one another.