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How LaFleur Uses Bonusly to Turbocharge Praise

By George Dickson

We’re always excited to hear Bonusly success stories and learn more about the unique and creative ways organizations around the world use Bonusly to foster a culture of recognition.

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LaFleur is a rapidly growing Michigan-based digital marketing agency focused on serving legal, healthcare, and corporate clients across the US. The LaFleur team has had great success with Bonusly for almost three years, so we touched base with them to learn how they’re getting the most from the program and how you can, too.

We asked LaFleur’s content strategist Kyle McCarthy to share a bit about their experience, and in keeping with the team spirit at LaFleur, Kyle reached out to his colleagues to get their views on Bonusly and how it impacts their organization.

“Our team uses Bonusly in several different ways, but primarily, we use it to recognize and celebrate work that exceeds expectations and transcends standard responsibilities. It’s also a great tool to reward colleagues who volunteer to help out with a project or fill-in on a task if the primary project lead is unable to complete their work on time.

Occasionally, we also dedicate a portion of our Bonusly currency (or 'LaFleurency,' as we affectionately call it) to health and wellness contest winners or other fun office contests our employees choose to participate in. In short, #WeLoveIt!”

Although founder Chip LaFleur prioritized developing a culture where businesses worked in partnerships and employees were treated like friends from day one, McCarthy shared that Bonusly was able to give the entire team a way to “supercharge that praise in addition to the celebratory culture that rewards hard work and success that we’ve always had here at LaFleur.”

This camaraderie manifests itself in many areas of the organization, including its Bonusly feed, which provides the team with the ability to joke and laugh with one another by posting memes and gifs and getting creative with hashtags.

“It’s a welcome distraction from our busy days and allows us to appreciate one another openly without feeling corny or sentimental,” McCarthy shared.

“Giving our employees the autonomy to recognize one another for their effort helps us live out our values of transparency and family. Since Bonusly exchanges are visible to all team members, the platform provides transparency into the great work being done throughout our company. Also, LaFleurency helps build camaraderie, promote respect, and spread the LaFleur family love.“

Chip LaFleur is notably fond of mentioning that “recognition isn’t a limited resource,” and the LaFleur team takes that sentiment to heart.

The team’s generosity in praise and celebration of great work extends outside the headquarters. As a remote employee himself, McCarthy explained how that spotlight on great work shines both ways:

“Bonusly helps us be more mindful of recognizing the contributions of remote employees, especially those who aren’t intimately involved in the day-to-day operations of LaFleur. And for our employees who work out of state, Bonusly keeps them informed of the challenges we are tackling together, which further promotes the team environment we are trying to foster. It’s a constant reminder that we all play a major role in the growth of our company and allows us to express our gratitude to the people helping us achieve success.

“We have integrated Bonusly with our chat program, Slack, which means all recognition is visible to each employee. This often serves as a reminder to other team members to be generous and effusive in their praise.”

An important key to building that praiseworthy atmosphere is making it rewarding and natural to engage and participate in recognition. We asked McCarthy what features within Bonusly helped inspire that engagement:

“The ability to add more to a previous Bonusly is a great way to really heap on the praise. We also like the simplicity of the interface, the analytics, and the ability to integrate with other tools like Slack and Yammer.

“Additionally, the dozens of vendors to choose from allows us to redeem our LaFleurency with businesses and organizations that we value and support. For instance, team members have purchased Apple watches, throw pillows, toddler beds, authentic football jerseys, 'a sweet thermal brush,' and much more!

“Several LaFleur employees have even donated to worthy causes through Bonusly.”

Because team members have the autonomy to give LaFleurency to colleagues for any contribution they appreciate, their recognition often results in spontaneous, highly creative, and sometimes hilarious bonuses.

LaFleur’s Digital Marketing Strategist, Kaleigh Simmons, shared one of the most memorable bonuses she’d received recently, and explained to us why it stuck out:

Falon: +25 @Kaleigh for lending your soothing voice to a worthy cause – thank you! #creativity

“I laughed when I received this bonus. I was nominated by the team to record a voiceover for a client commercial and hesitantly recorded with one of my coworkers, Steven. He hosts our podcast, so naturally I was intimidated by his buttery voice and microphone skills. The entire time we recorded I was unintentionally trolling him (but it probably seemed intentional) by talking when I shouldn’t have been, making weird noises, etc., and he added to my bonus from Falon with this:

Steven: +50 awesome working with you on this – even if you did troll me a little bit.

“I love that our team can have fun together. Not only that, but actually reward each other for it. It really makes for a great environment and helps make work feel less like 'work.' Bonusly is one of my favorite ways to splurge on things I normally wouldn’t (all of my Sephora dreams have come true), give praise when I would otherwise forget to, and notice what others are doing in the office that I might not have visibility to without Bonusly.”

Bonusly has been a great way to keep things positive and lighthearted in everyday interactions; it has also helped maintain a sense of team camaraderie in some truly challenging situations, as McCarthy explained:

“Recently, one of our team members took the lead in an especially difficult call with a belligerent client. Only a few team members were present on the call to witness our colleague’s grace and professionalism, but when a fellow employee made a public contribution with an earnest note explaining the reasoning behind the recognition, everyone rallied around the team member, and he was well-rewarded for his excellent work in a challenging situation. It helped us grow even closer as a team and further galvanized the LaFleur sense of solidarity.”

At Bonusly, we’re always looking for new tools to help us collaborate, stay cohesive, and get more great work done, so we couldn’t help but wonder what other tools the LaFleur team uses to keep the team running so well:

“Asana is our project management tool, and given the amount of work we do for such a diverse client roster that is located across the United States, we couldn’t function without it. We also use Slack for instant messaging, Office 365 for creating, sharing, and archiving files, and Toggl for time tracking and management.”

When asked what made Bonusly a valuable element of the work environment at LaFleur, McCarthy summed it up beautifully:

“When working with a small and close-knit team, the ability to give up to $40 in peer rewards each month shows how much Chip values his staff. We also have some additional team members located in different parts of the country, so it’s a great way to recognize them when we can’t give a high five in person or treat them to a friendly lunch.

“Bonusly brings extra excitement to our work days and brings us together as friends and professionals. Getting a bonus is seriously exciting, and it also helps us remain mindful of our colleagues. Many of us held positions in the past in which praise wasn’t commonly doled out – there were no recognition systems or bonus structures. Bonusly helps us be more conscious of making sure credit and recognition is given when and where it is due, which motivates us even more to do our best work and help out wherever possible.”

If you’re inspired by LaFleur’s story and want to take the next step toward building an authentic, engaging, recognition-rich organizational culture, check out our latest guide:

The Elements of an Effective Reward System

Written by George Dickson

George Dickson

George is dedicated to strengthening organizational cultures with thoughtful leadership and frequent recognition. George formerly managed content and community at Bonusly.

Originally published on January 03, 2018 → Last updated January 3, 2018