HR Excellence Awards 2009: Most Compelling Motivation Scheme - Ladbrokes

With an operating profit of 187.9 million in 2008, Ladbrokes UK Retail business is critical to the success of the company and the bookmaker understands how important customer service is to that success.

Its Football Frenzy reward scheme earns the company the Most Compelling Motivation Scheme award, and it sits within its retail strategy-linked Serious About Service incentive programme. Its objective was to incentivise staff during the football season in 2008. With no home nations in the Euros, the aim was to increase public and staff interest in the competition and maximise sales opportunities.

The challenges devised for staff fitted into the customer element of the retail strategy and its service promises: fitness tests - providing answers to questions around betting and gaming; Odds On! promotions - providing daily value-enhancing offers; fixed-odds betting terminals promotions - providing the best gaming experience; mystery shopper - providing all of the above, plus warm and friendly service.

The scheme offered more than 700 awards. These included 120 free days off and £41,850 worth of vouchers redeemable at establishments such as Champneys Health Resort, Marriott Hotels, Comet, Next and John Lewis.

The workforce responded well to being stretched and the success of the initiative is demonstrated by the fact shop teams beat their turnover targets by 20%-25% and 400,000 OddsOn! cards were issued to new and existing customers, generating repeat visitors and quickly providing a return on the initial £70,000 investment in the scheme.

Judges' comments

"This was a well thought-out campaign with a clear theme and strong branding," said the judges. They were particularly impressed by the prizes that suited the differing lifestyles of the 13,200 staff as well as the effort expended in promoting the campaign.


Asda's instant reward card scheme was launched in January 2008 and is relevant to all employees. It provides recognition of staff performance against three behaviours: striving for excellence; respect for the individual; and customer service. Each location receives a quota of instant reward cards every quarter for managers to use to give on-the-spot recognition. A panel on the card reveals rewards that range from paid time off to treats such as a box of chocolates. Special Christmas reward cards were introduced to recognise efforts on each of the days leading up to Christmas Eve and gold reward cards to support the Service Hero of the Month initiative with higher value prizes, such as experience vouchers and additional holiday. Judges were impressed by the scheme's simplicity and the effectiveness of on-the-spot recognition.