Arvato Financial Solutions - Improving employee engagement through recognition


Arvato Financial Solutions is a UK division of German multinational conglomerate, Bertelsmann. Headquartered in Glasgow, it is a credit management company with nearly 500 employees and a field agent team of 190 working throughout the UK. Other Arvato companies in the UK offer supply chain and CRM services and employ over 3,000 people.

What was the challenge?

Apart from ad-hoc awards ceremonies at social events, Arvato did not have a company-wide mechanism for boosting employee recognition and motivation. Acknowledgements were only seen by people attending the events and were soon forgotten. In normal times, connecting with the growing number of field agents was already difficult and when COVID-19 hit, feelings of isolation escalated among the whole workforce because of home working.

What were the requirements?

Arvato needed a more formal, yet easy-to-use way to make its employees feel appreciated. With a large proportion of the workforce and many agents on the road, it also wanted an intuitive mobile solution that would boost the initial uptake and encourage ongoing use.

Arvato aimed to:

  • Build a culture of recognition
  • Counteract feelings of isolation among home and field workers
  • Boost morale and make the workforce feel valued
  • Acknowledge individual successes and efforts
  • Reinforce company values
  • Promote team spirit and increase employee engagement

The solution

Access Applause recognition tool was the chosen solution. It is a platform where staff can make shoutouts for great work and great colleague behaviour, including rewards. A friendlier approach than the more formal emails, it is designed to increase peer to peer social recognition and make it easier for people to say thank you. It comes with a pack to support client when launching the initiative and can be used on both mobile and desktop devices.

Debbie Nolan, Vice President of Collections commented “With Access Applause, everyone gets to know about good things that people have done that we would not be aware of otherwise, and that raises their profile.”

The results

Take-up and ongoing use of Applause have remained strong, and many employee stories and achievements are coming to light that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.

“For International Women’s Day, we introduced a Wonder Woman button for people to post messages about all the wonderful women we have in our business and my phone was bleeping non-stop with all the interactions,” says Arvato’s Vice President of Collections, Debbie Nolan. “I heard great comments from my team about how exciting and motivational it was and that they really felt the buzz despite working from home.”

Additional benefits of using the Applause app included:

  • Employees feeling less isolated and more value
  • A happier, more engaged workforce with motivation to deliver more
  • Productivity increase and staff churn is reduced
  • Ready-made success toolkit streamlines Applause launch and promotion
  • Reporting functions gauge user levels and provide manager dashboards

“During COVID-19, morale has been at its lowest, so we have had to put more effort into letting our teams and individuals know how important they are to us. Even the small things they do can make a big difference and Applause enables us to highlight them.” 
Debbie Nolan, Vice President of Collections, Arvato Financial Solutions

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