Employees Archives ⋆ Page 2 of 2 ⋆ Awards International


Thomas FairbairnAugust 21, 20194min13760

Stakeholder CapitalismAt Awards International, we’ve always believed in the importance of customer and employee experience. That’s why we organise the UK’s biggest Customer Experience Awards and the Employee Experience Awards.

We believe this approach to business benefits everyone, providing customers with better service, employees with better jobs, and ultimately leading to better commercial results.

So we were pleased to see the announcement from America’s top CEOs, the Business Roundtable, that companies should aim for more than just pleasing their shareholders.

Leaders from some of the biggest US companies, including Amazon, Apple, Walmart and IBM, signed a statement committing themselves to this approach. In this year’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, they outlined their vision:


While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders. We commit to:

  • Delivering value to our customers. We will further the tradition of American companies leading the way in meeting or exceeding customer expectations.
  • Investing in our employees. This starts with compensating them fairly and providing important benefits. It also includes supporting them through training and education that help develop new skills for a rapidly changing world. We foster diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect.
  • Dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers. We are dedicated to serving as good partners to the other companies, large and small, that help us meet our missions.
  • Supporting the communities in which we work. We respect the people in our communities and protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.
  • Generating long-term value for shareholders, who provide the capital that allows companies to invest, grow and innovate. We are committed to transparency and effective engagement with shareholders.

Each of our stakeholders is essential. We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.

A better way

Stakeholder Capitalism - UK Customer Experience Awards

This announcement is a recognition of the changes in business culture over the past decade. As JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon put it, ‘major employers are investing in their workers and communities because they know it is the only way to be successful over the long term.’

At Awards International, we welcome these changes, but it’s nothing we haven’t been saying for the last ten years! We’re glad that the world’s biggest companies have finally caught on.




To book your table for the UK Customer Experience Awards, click here

For more stories on customer, digital and employee experience, click here




Thomas FairbairnMay 16, 20196min14280

Yesterday was the biggest and most successful UK Employee Experience Awards to date!

There was a buoyant mood in the air as business professionals came together to present their initiatives and celebrate the advances made in employee experience this year, and the standard of entries was exceptionally high.


Special mention goes to The Holly Private Hospital, who won gold awards in four categories and the Overall Winner prize for the highest-scoring individual entry. Octopus Energy and Brighterkind also performed strongly, winning two golds each. 

To see the full list of winners, click here.

The event itself stressed the importance of employee experience across sectors. With awards going to organisations ranging from dating apps to government agencies, it was a real chance to attain meaningful new EX perspectives. 

Thanks to the generosity of everyone in attendance, we also smashed our EXA charity raffle record by raising £3600 for Barnardo’s.

Hosted by Clare McDonnell, who praised the finalists for increasing employee-centrism in business, we enjoyed a keynote speech from Ben Whitter (a.k.a Mr Employee Experience) and surprise musical entertainment from The Three Waiters.

All in all, it was a fantastic event.

We look forward to seeing you there next year!



Thomas FairbairnApril 30, 201910min25090

There’s been a great deal of focus on customer experience in recent years, and rightly so. Smart CX strategies are helping to transform businesses and unlock their true potential.

As the science of customer experience continues to grow in sophistication, companies of all shapes and sizes have been reevaluating their strategies.

This isn’t just about priorities or values: it’s about the systems that ensure your business delivers an outstanding experience for your customer at every stage of their journey.

However, it’s absolutely vital to remember that customer experience does not exist in isolation, as some offshoot of HR. In fact, it’s about bringing all aspects of the business together to re-orientate their efforts around what is good for the customer.

For that reason, employee experience is absolutely integral to customer experience.

Head out of the Cubicle

Employee and User Experience - get out of your cubicle!

Unfortunately, a lot of employees still approach their work in a compartmentalised fashion: I must do this task and make the number go in the right direction.

They don’t always see the bigger picture, and that’s not their fault. Most of the time, they’ve been trained to focus on a specific metric, and they consider their job to be hitting those targets.

Once a company decides to move towards customer-centricity, however, one thing becomes clear: your employees are your greatest asset, and the key to realising any CX strategy.

This is just common sense: staff that are motivated, empowered and happy with their jobs can become your brand ambassadors.

On the other hand, if you treat your employees like numbers, don’t be surprised when they act like robots.

The Evidence

Empowering your staff and creating great employee experience sounds good in theory, but what is the evidence backing up the link between CX and EX?

A Gallup poll offers a striking statistic: companies with highly engaged employees outperform competitors by 147%

And research from the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that productivity in organisations with connected employees tends to improve by 20-25%.

Summing up the research on this issue, Richard Mosley says the EX/CX link is ‘further reinforced by the numerous studies that have identified a strong correlation between satisfied employees, satisfied customers and positive business results, generally referred to as the service profit chain.’


Who Does it Best?

Employee and Customer Experience - the Godfather

Some businesses have understood this principle for a long time, and they’ve spent years enabling their employees to make decisions for the benefit of the customer.

Richard Branson was an early adherent. He famously said: ‘if you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.’

But who else delivers outstanding customer experience as a result of a contented, proactive workforce?

Let’s take a look.




This Finnish company produces mobile video games, and generates over $2 billion in sales a year despite having just over 200 employees.

The secret to this success, according to CEO Ilkka Paananen, is allowing each team a great deal of autonomy, thereby developing their own decision-making skills. Paananen says his goal is ‘ to be the world’s least powerful CEO. What I mean by this is that the fewer decisions I make, the more the teams are making. In a dream scenario that means the team is making all the decisions.’



A global leader in CRM and other software, Salesforce have created a loyal and passionate workplace culture.

Jody Kohner, Senior Vice President of Employee Marketing and Engagement, has shared some pearls of wisdom about how employee experience is great for business.

Beyond the product or service on offer, Kohner is convinced that customers ‘didn’t really care what else was out there; they wanted the energy of our people brought to their company.’

When it comes to Salesforce’s success, Kohner says: ‘we don’t take it for granted. We write it down, we prioritise it, measure it and hold ourselves accountable for it. We’ve found if everyone is aligned, we have 30,000 champions of this culture and it fuels itself.’



Customer and User Experience - Bidfood

One of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, Bidfood were the Overall Winners at last year’s UK Employee Experience Awards.

The first main reason for this was their ability to spread values through the organisation effectively. Bidfood streamlined their in-house values into the catchy expression – Care, Share, Dare – which they integrated into all training materials. This enabled them to spread these empowering ideas through the company.

As part of this, employees were encouraged to share their ideas with management, with over 10% of the workforce taking part. Every suggestion was taken forward in some way, and Bidfood have said this helped them stay ahead of their five-year financial plan.




Two Sides of the Same Coin

What do these businesses have in common?

They all realise that there’s no inherent tension between treating employees well and getting fantastic business results. In fact, your employees are the ones who will help you reach those goals. 

All these companies have clear sets of values which employees are acutely aware of, and enhance their decision making by having engaged staff members who believe in the business and want to share ideas to improve it. In short, they treat employee and customer experience as two sides of the same coin.

In the current business climate, customer experience is the best differentiation between brands; people are most likely to remember how an interaction with a business made them feel, and decide about repeat business based on that.

To succeed, you need people on the front-line who make your customers feel great. And the employees that can do this are the ones that feel valued, motivated and whose companies respect and act on their ideas.


If you have an inspiring customer or employee experience initiative that deserves recognition, enter the UK Customer Experience Awards now!