Rewards & Recognition's next Big Challenges

How Champions Group has taken it to the next level

And the award goes to the parents of...

"The Bangalore-based Champions Group’s innovative and robust rewards and recognition mechanism has contributed to negligible attrition, very high performance and rapid growth of the 2,500-employee group. In a chat with Management Next, chairman Subhakar Rao talks about what inspired him, how he manages to run the R&R process effectively with a dash of zest and how the diverse group has benefited immensely."

You mentioned how your mom's words were the inspiration for your unique R&R effort...

My mom used to say, “The real pride of a parent is not when their son or daughter is born, but when THEY get recognized in public for their kids' accomplishments.” I was inspired by these words during my tenth class and went on to top the school, college and then got into business. It dawned on me when she died a couple of years ago that I couldn’t get her to be recognized in public but the least I can do is to carry her wishes forward by recognizing our employees’ parents.

Thus came to life our monthly Champion Parents Awards. The awards have not only brought pride among the parents but also intense commitment to the enterprise. I had a situation where one of our employees, whom we call ‘Champions’ showed up at work the very next day after his father died and when I showed concern he said, “My father would expect me to be at work. My dad was ailing badly when we did the Champion Parents Award recognition and he died a very peaceful death a couple of months after that with happy memories.”

How can we say your R&R is innovative?

We commissioned a customized bus from Dilip Chhabria called Champion Cruiser (www.championcruiser.com) which is a luxury bus with a bed, six 180 degree flat relaxing luxury chairs, a couple of large screen LCD TV sets. We use this to take R&R to our employees’ homes. This ultra-luxury vehicle picks the employees’ families over a weekend and takes them to places of their choice.

" I believe, our HR teams with a couple of dedicated web and video editors, help us get at least another 20 percent more from our 2,500 employees without breaking the bank "

We personalize printed birthday cards, anniversary banners, mugs, caps, T-shirts, diaries, among others. We also have programs involving our employee kids. Stuff like this helps us connect with parents and the younger generations in the families and makes it an extended family. We are asking our managers to take top performer families for lunches or dinners at unique restaurants.

We have R&R functions every month at each of the three buildings of our companies. These events not only help us recognize a couple of parents a month, but also help us recognize our top performing employees often (monthly, not once a quarter or year). You can see more information about Champion Parents awards at www.championsgroup.in/championparents

“There is no greater joy to me than seeing my children successful. Tears of joy trickled down from my eyes, and words just wouldn’t flow out of me as I was dumb stuck to see me being honored because of my daughter’s success. I have not seen or heard of corporate companies honoring parents for nurturing their children. Thank you so much.“ - Angeline D’Souza

What is the secret behind the success of any vibrant R&R system?

R&R success is about consistent motivation. Just as you take bath everyday, rewards and recognition has to be often to succeed. Today, you can personalize most of the stuff and the value goes through the roof when you do that. The secret behind any R&R success is recognition in public – the outcome is a positively energized workforce that produces far better results. It makes business sense too.

Manifesto

  • Deliver ROI to customers, vendors and partners every day, every way.
  • Dig for gold in each of your team members every day.
  • Winning is a good habit. Celebrating in style often is even better.
  • Be in a continuous education program to give birth to a new “You” every year.
  • Write your goals and plan well at the start of each year and achieve those by doing something every day of the year.
  • Make the workplace fun always with a little weirdness.
  • Be passionate, practice giving accolades, apologize wisely to patch things up, and be gracious.
  • Create at least one positive experience every quarter and share it with the team.
  • Honor and respect your parents. Make them proud and happy.
  • Be Innovative and fast at trying new solutions/processes. Pass the Innovation Test every year.
A customized bus from Dilip Chhabria called Champion Cruiser which is a luxury bus with a bed, six 180 degree flat relaxing luxury chairs, a couple of large screen LCD TV sets. We use this to take R&R to our employees’ homes. This ultra-luxury vehicle picks the employees’ families over a weekend and takes them to places of their choice