Hoosier Energy recently announced a change in its service awards program, moving to a digital format rather than in-person via RecogNation.com. Megan Miller, HR Analyst Training and Technology, spoke with GridLines about the change to what is now known as Power Points and what the program offers.


Q: What prompted the change in the service awards program, other than COVID?


A: Our department is continually reviewing our benefit programs and offerings to ensure the highest level of service and value. The service awards program has been on our radar for a few years, and COVID provided an opportunity to see what else was in the marketplace. Besides looking at new tangible rewards, we were also interested in a platform for employee appreciation. We find ourselves – as a department and as an industry – leaning into technology more and more, and the platform echoes that. Additionally, updating the awards was encouraged and supported by senior leadership.


Q: Were there some other options considered and what tilted things in the favor of the RecogNation/Power Points program?


A: We did consider other options, as there are many vendors who provide some combination of service awards and/or employee recognition and appreciation. After narrowing down our choices, each vendor provided a sort of “mockup” of what the Hoosier Energy site would look like, a redesign of the pins and numerals for milestone awards, gift options, and obviously their price point. We selected RecogNation because not only were they able to design exactly what we asked for, but their level of customer service was outstanding. The platform is user friendly, there is a mobile app and options are layered so that in the future we can leverage additional features to take employee appreciation to the next level.


Q: There seems to be more of an interactive component to the site. Describe some of those options?


A: The platform is very interactive; and the mobile app feature was important to us as well, as many employees are increasingly relying on their smartphones. The homepage has a  sidebar with milestones listed for active employees – birthdays and work anniversaries. You are able to then send an eCard or add the event to your calendar and send a card in the future. The eCard categories include things like Thank You, Birthday, Holiday, Welcome to the Team, Sympathy, and Appreciation. There is Outlook integration functionality, as well as the ability to set up text messages and notifications.


Q: What kind of feedback and usage have you seen in this first month?


A: We’ve seen 14% of the employee population log in so far, and 24 eCards sent. The top category for eCards to date is Birthdays. Employees are also starting to redeem their milestone awards, with choices like a YETI lunch box, gift cards, miter saw and even an Apple watch. Employees have expressed gratitude about making it “easier to acknowledge someone’s birthday, retirement and any other special day.”