Case Studies

How Sparks Uses Nectar To Recognize Employees Throughout The Organization

By
Amanda Cross

Sparks has built a brand by creating stellar experiences for consumers across the globe. From constructing stellar exhibits to producing high-quality content, Sparkies (the official term for Sparks employees) are creating something unique.

When Mariellen Hitchins, Sparks’ Senior Human Resources Manager, was looking for a way to recognize team members and evangelize company values, Nectar kept popping up as a top solution to help them recognize and reward their employees.

In three months, Sparks saw:

  • 2,516 shoutouts sent
  • 1,461 shoutout comments
  • 789 reactions on shoutouts

Read on to see how Sparks created a recognition system that helps them live out their company’s Code 10 mantra that they use as a guiding light in their business and culture.

Challenge: Creating A Recognition Program That Encourages Every Employee

Before using Nectar, Sparks’ recognition program consisted of awarding an employee of the quarter. When a Sparks employee received this distinction, they got $500 and a prime parking spot. These prizes were nice, but there was a flaw to this process:

“It was always the teams that were client-facing…your employees in the day-to-day trenches, were overlooked.”
Mariellen Hitchins, Senior Human Resources Manager at Sparks
Mariellen Hitchins, Senior Human Resources Manager at Sparks

As Sparks’ Code 10 committee continued to meet, it became clear that they needed to find a solution to boost morale, help make work more fun, and ensure more of the workforce felt valued and appreciated.

“Code 10 is how we collaborate, and how business decisions are made, and the foundation of our culture,” shares Hitchins.

Solution: Picking And Implementing Nectar’s Employee Recognition And Rewards Platform

After understanding the need for a recognition solution based on the Code 10 committee's recommendation, Mariellen and Sparks’ VP of HR searched for software to help them run the program.

After looking at and narrowing down several options, the Sparks team ultimately decided to go with Nectar because of our:

  • Connection with their HRIS platform
  • Company swag options
  • Pricing

After the decision was made to go with Nectar, our customer success team handled the implementation and got Sparks onboarded and up and running. Our customer success team met with Hitchins regularly to create a Nectar experience for the Sparks team. On top of a dedicated rep, Nectar users also have access to our built-in chat feature that is run by experienced customer success representatives:

“The chat is amazing,” shares Hitchins, “They literally just talk to me, and pretty much get everything resolved right away.”

A quote from Mariellen Hitchins, Senior Human Resources Manager at Sparks

Success: Creating A Recognition Program Where More Team Members Can Get Recognized For Their Contributions

One of the first big successes of launching Nectar is seeing the variety of people getting recognized daily. Before Nectar, recognition was typically given to client-facing employees, but once Nectar was launched, employees could spread recognition to more employees.

“Once we launched the program, it's been great. Even our receptionist, people are recognizing her on a regular basis, and she reports to me, so that's nice, I get to see those shoutouts being given.”

Nectar isn’t just a fun place to recognize colleagues. It can also be a fantastic way to encourage users to do something they wouldn’t have done otherwise. For example, Hitchins often uses Nectar to get people to take advantage of the different tools and resources available inside the company’s HRIS platform or learn about another team’s project:

“We're using it like as like a little carrot to get people to do stuff, and that's great.”

When we asked Mariellen what Nectar has brought to the employee experience over her time with Sparks, she talked about how the software has made a significant impact on the company:

“You try so many things for employee engagement,” shares Hitchins, “Everything would just die out. And the other thing that we realized is having only one person in the company try and manage, that there's no bandwidth, because you have your other job to do.”

Using Nectar has become second nature and a great way to give back to employees:

“It's a no brainer, it's just a couple minutes to say thank you to somebody, and it's encouraging people to pay it forward.”

About Sparks

Sparks designs brand experiences that leave lasting impressions. The team brings to life trade show exhibits, expo floors, proprietary events, media and thought leader events, brand activations, digital engagements, and more. Sparks builds undeniable moments that move people, get them thinking, or simply bring smiles to their faces.

Size: 950 employees

Industry: Event Services

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Do you want to create a stellar employee recognition program like Sparks? Request a demo of Nectar to see how we can help you create an employee recognition process.

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