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Bringing people together through recognition, rewards and benefits

Alice Merry, Talent & Culture Manager at The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane

How to recognise and reward over 800 employees, communicate effectively across teams and recognise and reward outstanding service.  That was the challenge facing The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane, Winners of the 2019 Caterer.com Rewards, Recognition and Benefits Award.

By implementing their core values of Passion, Personality, Respect, Working Together, and Creativity in our day-to-day at work, The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane created a bespoke digital platform that brings together rewards, recognition, benefits, communication and a well-being center on one place.

Rewarding Value-based behaviours

Alice Merry, Talent & Culture Manager at The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane commented, ‘One of the main purposes of the platform is to enable managers and peers to recognise each other and celebrate successes with everyone in the hotel, as well as bringing both The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane closer together  – The name of the programme came to life – Dor45’. 


‘This lack of communication meant that employee and guest engagement scores were lower than we would have liked, due to miscommunication and poor results. These low engagement scores have consequently had a direct impact on our scorecard, and ultimately on employee bonuses and overall earnings’.

People Talk to People

Alice continued, ‘Most of the office-based staff have an email address however, not all of our operations people have a work email address, making it very difficult to communicate key messages quickly and effectively.   With this in mind, we started to build a news feed on Dor45, where employees and managers can share relevant, important information, together with amazing initiatives happening in their departments.

‘You Share, We Care’ is a blog that lets colleagues communicate with everyone in the hotel by sharing images, messages and videos from their smartphones, tablets or computer. Furthermore, team members are encouraged to interact with the posts, being able to like, dislike, applaud or comment, whilst expressing their opinions. The ‘blogger’ can also tag people in their article, which allows others to immediately start recognising their peers and congratulating them on achievements.

Rewards & Benefits

Employee engagement surveys showed that that team members were not aware of the wide range of benefits the company offered and the few benefits they were aware of, they didn’t know how to access. Building a special hub on Dor45, called ‘Unlock your Perks and Benefits’ addressed this. All the company exclusive benefits are now showcased in pictures and described in a fun and engaging manner. Next to each benefit there are also descriptions on what steps need to be taken to use the benefit and if there are any forms required, these can also be found there, ready for completion and submission.

What rewards and benefits can team members expect?

A great deal of thought and research was put into developing the rewards on Dor45.  The focus was on what would benefit employees most.  The platform offers a Rental Deposit Loan to the new starters, helping those coming from overseas, Friends & Family rates and complimentary employee stays throughout Dorchester Collection’s 9 hotels, preferential exchange rates for employees traveling abroad, event rooms hire & spa discounts, occupational health, a confidential, professional Employee Assistance Programme and Equestrian experiences.

Reaching the goals

Alice outlined the successes so far, ‘the goals to us were clear: attract, retain and engage top talent through offering great rewards, recognition and benefits. After the implementation of Dor45, the results delivered on all the key challenges faced were phenomenal.   Within six months from the launch, 77% of employees are actively using the platform, which enabled them to:

Spend £76,000 with Dor45’s discount partners, generating a saving of £6,600, giving employees almost 10% back on what they were buying.

Employees created special recognition moments for their colleagues 1,200 times through eCards, generating high engagement scores at all levels in the organisation.

The Wellbeing Centre was accessed over 700 times, employees making use of the Move, Munch, Money and Mind sections, being able to improve their financial, physical and mental well-being.

Alice’s Top 3 Tips

  1. Any reward, recognition and benefits programme has to be people-focused, based on what employees want for the programme.  Get as much input and feedback as possible on any proposed rewards recognition and benefits programme before going to the development and launch stage.
  • Be clear on what you want from the programme from the outset.
  • Make it bespoke, don’t try and plug together existing packages.  Make it right, right from the start and you will see the benefits in brand loyalty, recruitment and retention.

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