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Technology winning the battle for recognition

By September 6, 2014 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

This great story features a Brownie Points client that is delivering major benefits to the whole organisation through positive behaviour reinforcement and staff recognition.

With staff retention and talent attraction a key issue for many organisations, one forward thinking company in WA is embracing cloud based technology to give them a competitive edge in the employment stakes.

“Without doubt one of the major challenges facing any organisation is the ability to firstly attract the right staff, but just as importantly it is a matter of retaining them. All too often we expend enormous time and energy in developing and nurturing our staff only to find them move on.

SwanCare Group are fighting this battle with the help of an innovative cloud based positive behaviour program, and we have developed a winning formula that is helping us to overcome the employee attraction and retention issue”. Graham Francis, CEO Swan Care.

As a result of this initiative, Swan Care was a category winner at the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency’s Better Practice conference in Sydney last week. The Award winners were announced by Quality Agency CEO Nick Ryan, at the opening of the two-day conference on Thursday, 27 August.

“We introduced the Better Practice Awards four years ago as a way of recognising those Aged Care Homes that excel at what they do. They don’t just meet minimum standards but they are strong examples of innovation and excellent care of older Australians,” CEO Nick Ryan said.

SwanCare Group in WA. Category winner for Staff development and retention with The Feathers staff recognition program – put a feather in your cap!

The Feathers Program (put a feather in your cap) is a robust, flexible and fun staff loyalty and engagement program that focuses on staff recognition and reward.

Staff formed a ‘high performance team’ (HPT) to develop and deliver a practical, functional and sustainable solution to workplace attraction and retention challenges.

After six months of active learning, research and consultation the team delivered a fully on-line, interactive recognition and rewards scheme simply referred to as the ‘Feathers’ program. The scheme operates in a similar way to a frequent flyers or fly-buys scheme, where employees accumulate Feathers (loyalty points) based on recognised criteria (behaviours around their corporate values), which can be redeemed via the on-line reward catalogue for a variety of rewards and gifts.

Since its inception, the winning formula of ‘catch someone doing good and put a feather in their cap’ has been used by staff, residents and families across the organisation and is an overwhelming success.

SwanCare management recognised that a stable, satisfied and positive workforce is vital to the provision of quality care and services to residents and to the long term sustainability of the organisation.

“Feathers is unique in that it has been created and developed by our own staff and on our own terms to ‘fit in’ with the current strategic direction and complement the on-going sustainable objectives that the organisation has worked hard to embed”, says Fiona Miller, Human Resources Manager.

A Feathers catalogue was set up for staff to redeem their points and choose from a range of prizes as tangible acknowledgement of their work well done.

Staff were instructed on how to use the program to assign “Feathers” to others. Paper ‘Feathers’ feedback slips were placed throughout reception areas for residents, visitors and others to use to assign points.

Feathers is linked to the organisation’s strategic goals and plans. The criteria for nominating staff for recognition are based on the organisational values of RESPECT which are in turn based on our vision and mission. Points assigned are automatically emailed to managers and supervisors responsible for approving the points against the set criteria for:

•Innovation and creativity
•Customer service
•Safety awareness
•Learning and development
•Effective recognition

The Feathers recognition program is supported and driven by cloud based software from Brownie Points, a Melbourne based Software Company.

A series of structured workshop sessions were delivered while they were using these newly acquired skills to develop and build the foundations of a practical and specific solution to our workplace attraction and retention issues.

All employees can earn Feathers points. Employee appraisals have a scoring system which is run through a calculation to produce an end score that is converted to Feathers points, ensuring that everyone participates in the program at least once each and every year.

An evaluation of Feathers conducted in April 2014 shows the following outcomes have been achieved.

•An enhanced awareness and compliance with the organisational values by all employees, as these are one of the criteria for assessing Feather entitlement.
•Increased activity and timeliness with performance reviews.
•Encouragement and motivation within all levels of employees.
•Increased focus on exceptional customer service.

Members of the high performance team have gained valuable management and leadership training, and as a result have gained increased confidence, motivation and commitment to monitoring and promoting the program into the future.

Judging Panel member’s comments:

“This program adds a level of integration and employee and customer engagement which is very innovative and holistic in its approach.
A sound project involving external assistance, use of data, with strong staff, resident and family involvement takes this approach to a new level in staff reward program”.

For more information on the program, contact Fiona Millar, Human Resources Manager, (08) 6250 0131 or email
For more information on Brownie Points, go to

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