T-Mobile’s Corporate Gamification Scores Employee Engagement With Novel Rewards
Corporate travel is a necessary, but expensive, part of doing business. It’s made all the more expensive when employees don’t follow corporate policies intended keep travel costs at a minimum. T-Mobile used gamification platform, Points2Points to boost employee engagement in corporate travel policies. The effort not only improved compliance and saved the company money, it also ended up supporting the planting of trees in a part of the world damaged by deforestation. T-Mobile learned that an environmental reward can be a great employee incentive.
T-Mobile worked with corporate travel management company Travel and Transport to implement the Points2Points gamification platform. The platform offered employees the opportunity to score points, win badges and earn rewards that incentivize compliance with corporate policies. Employees are encouraged to book their travel and hotel reservations online, in advance, at the lowest price, and with preferred providers, according to Travel and Transport. Those features are typical of such corporate gamification platforms.
But Robert Jacobsen, T-Mobile’s senior manager of travel, tells Business Traveler News that the sticking point was the reward. Discussion about the gamification platform was happening while T-Mobile’s largest shareholder, Deutsche Telekom, was exploring how its American investment could improve its environmental sustainability. Jacobsen said that it occurred to him that the two goals could be combined. Jacobsen linked the rewards of the corporate travel program to The Eden Project, a charitable group working to address the mass deforestation happening in Haiti. The project hires Haitians, sometimes an entire village, to plant trees. That work gives Haitians the opportunity to earn money that they can use to send their children to school. The point system ranges from 100 points for booking a preferred hotel to 300 points for selecting the lowest airfare. Redeeming 1,000 points results in the planting of 100 trees. The incentive was a hit with T-Mobile employees, particularly younger workers. An estimated two-thirds of millenials are charitable donors and want to work for companies that have ethical practices, according to Travel and Transport.
So far, the program has saved T-Mobile $150,000. While that’s not a huge sum of money for a large corporation, some of the savings are measured in cost avoidance as well as contributions to The Eden Project – 10 cents per tree. The forest in Haiti now boasts more than 90,000 trees. But the project has given T-Mobile, and its employees, a goal that’s measured beyond dollars and cents.
“My goal for this year is 200,000 trees,” Jacobsen told Travel and Transport. “I think we’re on track.”
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