Since 2014, Ace Tones Entertainments have been organising corporate fun days and Christmas parties for Whirlpool’s Peterborough branch, locally known as Hotpoint UK.
2018 saw Whirlpool and Ace Tones working closer together, as Whirlpool commissioned a whole series of weekly staff incentive days for their call centre department, as well as a corporate fun day in the summer for the entire Peterborough branch.
Between 2015 and 2017, the Whirlpool contact centre had experienced a lot of pressure, which took their toll on employee morale. At the end of 2017, when Lee Cumberland joined Whirlpool Peterborough as Senior Operations Manager, he saw the need for concerted action to tackle this problem.
This article is the result of an interview that Lee has kindly agreed to give Ace Tones, and we have taken this opportunity to explore the thinking behind the incentive programme and how Whirlpool has experienced it.
Q: How did the Funday Fridays idea come about?
A: We started by asking our agents what was important to them and then built a programme around that feedback.
Some of the key messages we got back were that the workplace had lost its sense of fun and there were silos and divides between the teams and departments. So we asked Ace Tones to propose some fun activities that our employees would enjoy together, as a team.
Q: How effective do you think the employee engagement programme has been?
A: The programme has delivered tangible benefits, most noticeably a 10% reduction in contact staff absence year on year and an improvement in employee engagement survey score of over 20%.
Q: How much of the success of the programme would you attribute to the fun days?
A: It is hard to quantify it exactly because the fun days were one part of a wider employee engagement programme, but they definitely formed an integral part of the programme’s success. We had enthusiastic feedback from our call centre agents. And the atmosphere has definitely improved throughout 2018, with a key driver being the improved relationships brought about through the involvement of all the departments in the corporate fun day activities.
Q: Could you please share some of the feedback you received from your colleagues?
A: Yes, we have been collecting their feedback and here are a few of the agents’ comments:
“It was really great! And something the company should keep doing.”
“Within the selection there was something for everyone. It was well organized, with a lot of thought.”
“Thank you. I thought the whole Funday Friday idea was brilliant. It was so nice to take part in something different, and my friends and I really looked forward to Fridays. They will be missed!”
Q: What are your plans for the future with regards to rewarding Whirlpool employees by bringing fun into the workplace?
A: We will go through a similar process to this year’s, in identifying what matters to the agents, but we have already received feedback that they would like to see a return of the fun days so these are definitely in the plan.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to share about your work with Ace Tones?
A: Lewis and the team are easy to work with, all the events are well organised and the amount of involvement required from us was minimal. All in all a great experience and good value. We will certainly be working with Ace Tones in the future and would recommend their service.
Would you like to find out more about this Ace Tones’ service. Go to the Non-Financial Rewards and Employee Incentive Days page on our website.