Adoption of Ellie Connect, the intranet used by the 1,600 employees of Ellie Mae—a mortgage software-as-a-service company—and the ability to recognize individual achievement was a top priority for the team as the company experienced rapid expansion over the course of three years. This concern led to a number of recognition initiatives, earning Ellie Mae first place in the “Employee Recognition” category of Ragan’s 2018 Intranet Awards.
Ellie Connect introduced an employee of the month, with nominations from co-workers leading to recognition with a story that shares the employee’s contributions to the company and joins an archive of best practices. Articles and posts routinely celebrate employee achievements outside of work.
The linchpin of the effort is “Cheers for Peers,” a widget on the homepage that lets any employee recognize any co-worker for his or her contribution to a project or team. By seeing employees’ gratitude for the efforts of their peers in a highly visible format—and making it easy for any employee to contribute a “Cheers”—the widget would “solidify a positive culture where employees value each other.”
In its first two months, “Cheers for Peers” attracted 400 submissions; by September 2018, more 2,300 had been submitted (obviously meaning some employees received multiple “Cheers”). The page where the “Cheers” are archived has been viewed 2,700 times, and the feature ranked as the top method of peer-to-peer recognition based on the results of a survey. Sixty percent of employees use the feature.
Congratulations to Ellie Mae’s Sara Holtz.