Using Recognition to Lower Attrition in Retail

WOW! mobile boutique™ has incentivized greater productivity, increased employee motivation, and built a culture where employees feel valued—which has led to greater performance overall.

At A Glance

Over 120% YOY increase in performance
Over 30% decrease in YOY attrition
10% YOY increase in employee engagement scores

About WOW! mobile boutique

WOW! mobile boutique™ specializes in providing cell phones and wireless plans in a customized way across their 80 locations. With no sales pressure, jargon, or confusion, WOW! focuses on providing best-in-class experiences through delivering personalized, unbiased advice in the communities they live, work and play.

The Challenge

How do you make retail work more engaging and rewarding?

After surveying their employees, WOW! mobile boutique™ learned two very important lessons about where they could improve:

  1. Employees wanted recognition to be more rewarding and more personal
  2. Employees wanted greater compensation

Because of these two gaps, and their challenging retail industry, the attrition rate at WOW! was at an all-time high. So they got to work building solutions.

“We didn’t want or need a bunch of bells and whistles. We needed an efficient platform that would empower the recognition and reward programs we wanted to run. Awardco has worked so well—and continues to work so well.”

Michael Cioffi
Director, Marketing, Communication, and Experience

The Solution

Enhancing Recognition and Rewards With Personalization

WOW! used to give out prepaid Visa cards that would periodically get reloaded with cash. But after the survey, they learned that this method felt too impersonal to employees.

So WOW! built a more robust rewards and recognition program that gave employees more choice through Awardco’s partnership with Amazon. Employees are now able to save for things they want, such as game consoles and vacations, and buy things they need, such as toiletries and clothing. 

And it isn’t just rewards that are more personalized—WOW! created a peer recognition program, a recognition social feed, and a program tied to their company core values, ensuring everyone has multiple ways of being seen, feeling valued, and earning rewards!

With a strengthened culture of frequent recognition, along with personalized rewards, WOW! has seen employee engagement and satisfaction improve across the board.

The Solution

Increasing Compensation (Without Spending More)

In a retail, sales-driven environment, compensation is vital to employee engagement and retention. To best align with their pay for performance model, WOW! wanted to empower employee productivity and success with rewarding incentives.

To that end, they restructured their compensation model and incorporated performance-based incentives through Awardco. That way, instead of jumping through budgetary hoops to offer a blanket raise, they used their recognition budget to give employees more opportunities to excel and earn more.

The combination of enhanced earning opportunities and near-unlimited reward options has had a huge impact on employee performance:

  • Attrition has decreased over 30% to an all-time low
  • Productivity increased over 50% year-over-year
  • Employee motivation is skyrocketing

Because WOW! mobile boutique™ knew where they could improve, created strategies to target those pain points, and used Awardco to empower their culture, they’ve seen some astounding returns.

“Awardco actually cost us less than what we were doing in the past, and it’s had a bigger impact on our ROI and employee engagement.”

Jay Adhvaryu
Director of Finance and Compliance

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