Putting the University of Lincoln on the recognition and reward map - literally!

University of Lincoln walking through campus

The story so far

Steeped in history, Lincoln itself boasts a proud culture of arts and heritage – of which the Cathedral and University are central.  Described by the Independent as “the best thing to happen to Lincoln since the Romans”, the University of Lincoln is ranked among the top 50 English universities.

University of Lincoln drama department, textiles department and dining area

What's the problem?

The University of Lincoln already had a commitment to their staff’s wellbeing, offering great rewards, recognition opportunities and employee benefits. Head of Reward Ian Hodson knew how powerful incentives and recognition were as part of a culture that celebrated and valued its workforce – and attracted and retained the best talent out there. Their issue wasn’t about getting used to this idea but rather about making it easier for staff to access everything they were entitled to – and creating a scheme that would fit with the image of the University as dynamic and engaging.

The University of Lincoln wanted a reward platform that not only held everything in one place, but also one that helped show the difference between reward and remuneration. In some ways, a reward can just get lost with pay – but they wanted something more tangible. They equally wanted to break down the communication barriers by getting staff to visit a single platform that held all the reward package information, making initiatives super-handy at the right time for employees to benefit from them.

What We Did

Our final design, which is now live and providing support to staff across the University of Lincoln, is one of our favourites – an interactive map of Lincoln and the university campus, with different benefits or reward services housed in different buildings on the map. Pretty snazzy, if we say so ourselves!

So, information on travel discounts can be found by clicking on the train station. Family benefits are in the playground. Resources are in the library, and purchases are in a shop. Clicking on a building takes you to a menu where you can access everything you need. It means services are grouped logically, by themes, with everyone able to access the same things – no one’s promised something big and flashy up front that they can’t actually get.

“We wanted interaction as part of the solution, not just a repository. We wanted to create engagement so people would go and look at new benefits. We have built in tools to keep people visiting regularly including staff suggestions, plus our own version of freecycle and a book club on there. We have competitions too, and University news – all in one place.

“The idea of the Lincoln map on the platform came from working together with Sodexo –  we brainstormed ideas and decided we’d like to feature real buildings on our campus, with each building hosting the different benefits. The platform is great as it’s so personalised to us – it’s ‘Lincoln’ after all. Plus, it can be accessed online at any time, so our staff who aren’t office-based can check it whenever they want outside the workplace.”

University of Lincoln studio director and camera operators

Working with Sodexo

We think Ian puts it best!

“The ability to sit down with people who listened and designed a solution was important, and the fact they had lots of ideas was great. As a customer, it’s good that we never had to drag all the ideas in ourselves, but worked together the whole way.

“In terms of a recruitment tool, a retention tool and a recognition tool, we’ve created something which is wonderful now. Through working with Sodexo, it will continue to grow into a tool that people interact with and get more and more out of. The university sees Sodexo not as a provider going forward, but as a partner, and looks forward to taking our platform to the next level through collaborative working.”

In terms of a recruitment tool, a retention tool and a recognition tool, we’ve created something which is wonderful."

- Ian Hodson, Head of Reward at Lincoln University

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