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UE’s Unique Approach to Employee Rewards

As a dynamic technology company, Underground Elephant is always striving for new ways to disrupt the technology industry and the culture status quo. This includes delivering innovative internal solutions to recognize, reward, and retain employees. One such program introduced in January 2016 and branded as the UE Anniversary Rewards Program, serves both as a progressive retention strategy and a mechanism to reward employees for their service.

UE has partnered with enjoywishlist.com to offer employees a selection of experiential rewards each time they celebrate a work anniversary. For each year of service, employees receive a $150 credit to be redeemed for an activity of their choice in the San Diego area. Activities are grouped into categories, including Urban Living, Adventure, Relaxation, and Adrenaline. This gives individuals from all walks of life (the Thrill Seeker, the City Dweller, the Spa Goer, etc.) the opportunity to select an activity they’ll enjoy, as a gift from the company.

The philosophy behind this program is (1) to recognize the value of loyalty and dedication at UE, and (2) to make employee rewards more interactive, meaningful, and memorable, for a lasting effect on employee satisfaction and retention. Static employee rewards, such as gift cards and cash (though appropriate in certain situations), don’t rightfully capture the spirit of Underground Elephant. We are a culture that is collaborative and passionate, and believe this should be reflected in all that we do. The Anniversary Rewards Program enables employees to transform a milestone into a celebratory experience of their choice.

The progressive nature of this rewards program adds value to each year of service, and promises greater and more exciting rewards for each consecutive year spent at UE. While an employee may enjoy a brewery tour or a spa visit for their first year of service, they can look forward to a hot air balloon flight at three years, and a wine country weekend getaway at six.

Madelyn Yacobucci, a UE employee who recently celebrated her two year employment anniversary, was delighted with her anniversary experience. “I selected the facial/massage package and it was absolutely amazing! I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing experience at a spa and am so thankful to UE for giving it to me.”

Recognition programs such as this one are extremely important to retaining a satisfied and motivated staff, and the financial impact to the company is negligible when compared to the cost of turnover. Additionally, when communicated effectively to job applicants, service rewards programs and other employee retention initiatives can also help a company to recruit new talent. Furthermore, by creating a culture of positive employees who feel valued by the organization, retention programs are likely to have a positive impact on production.

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