“On the count of three,” Chelsea Williams joked. Her Reachdesk colleagues, Snezh Terentieva and Andy Willetts, each picked a small item off their desks.
Williams carries playing cards whenever she travels, and more often than not, a rich purple deck is found in her purse. The Reachdesk-branded deck was sent out to employees participating in a virtual casino night, but their utility and sentiment has extended far beyond the event for Williams, the company’s director of people operations.
“Every time I have them out,” she said, “it reminds me of Reachdesk and warms my heart.”
Andy Willetts held up a copy of Rad Women Worldwide. Each employee received the book as part of Reachdesk’s celebration of International Women’s Day last March, but for Willetts, the book was more than a tie-in to a virtual event.
“It speaks to the company’s values,” the product marketing manager said. “We were named one of the UK’s best workplaces for women recently, so this really represents what it’s like to work at our company.”
Snezh Terentieva, a product manager, held up a half-full box of candy hearts to the camera. Sent out to the team as part of a go-to-market strategy, the hearts featured some relevant calls to action rather than “you’re sweet” or “cutie pie.”
“Know your audience,” Terentieva said, reading from one.
The message is at the center of Reachdesk’s corporate gifting proposition. The objects the three colleagues chose represented more than a token of appreciation or celebration in their workplace — each provided a reminder of how gifting can strengthen team culture, recognize accomplishments and build an employer’s brand.
“Reachdesk is all about building connections and making it simple and easy to do,” Terentieva said.
What they do
Reachdesk’s original gifting use case was focused on building connections with clients across marketing, sales and customer success, but the team noticed at least 10 percent of use was coming from people teams to connect with current employees or potential hires.
“There wasn’t really a lot built into the product for HR teams,” Terentieva said. “We could see that the original Reachdesk was functional for them, but we wanted to know how we could make it better, especially for companies like us who have shifted to having really distributed teams.”
Reachdesk for People was born.
While adapting to serve HR and people teams, the product team focused on how they could best serve companies with distributed teams — a challenge Reachdesk knows well. Beyond their hubs in London, Lisbon and New York, team members log on daily from around the world.
“You don’t have the dogs in the office or the table football,” Willetts said. “And although these things don’t make the culture, they will offer tangible elements of it. So, one of the questions that came up was, ‘How do we continue to make our culture something that people are touching on a regular basis and having regular contact with?’”
Williams nodded. “To Andy’s point,” she said, “we’re shifting from the ‘Great Resignation’ to the ‘Great Recognition.’ The name of the game now is showing employees that you genuinely care about them and rewarding them for their hard work in a personalized way.”
For Williams and Reachdesk’s people team, recognizing the value of their workforce begins before a hiring offer is even made. After the first interview, candidates are sent a gift card to purchase a lunch or coffee to recognize the time spent engaging in the process, which continues through to an offer letter and eventual sign-on.
“If, at the end of the day, they don’t end up accepting an offer with us, we still gift at that moment in time because we want to build lasting relationships with people,” Williams said. “Gifting to employees as part of the offboarding process is another great use case. We view our exiting employees as forever Friends of Reachdesk and we want to keep that warm-fuzzy association with our brand even if they don’t stay with us forever. And who knows, they might become boomerang employees at some point down the road.”
Reachdesk for People does more than provide recognition for employees and candidates — it also gives time and space back to HR teams.
“It became a huge headache to get personalized gifts to employees around the globe, as companies became more remote-first, not to mention all the relocating that happened during the pandemic,” Williams recalled. “For HR & People teams, the reduced administrative burden and time savings the platform provides is game changing.”
“You made me remember!” Terentieva replied. “One client was packing all the onboarding t-shirts and gifts in her own house, so her entire living room was taken up with all of her company swag. She was going into her living room, packing boxes up and going to the post office to ship them.”
The list of client stories kept unrolling: One person built a shed for company swag in her yard, another worked from home but had to travel long distances to the office to package and send employee gifts, and yet another client spent a full day at the post office during the holidays.
“Talking to anyone who works in HR, it’s people who never have a spare second. They’re always very busy dealing and caring for people,” Terentieva said. “We’re giving them their days back.”
“They get their home back,” Willetts added. “Even if they become a bit less familiar with their postal worker, we are taking things off their plates and enabling them to do important work. Beyond the creativity we offer in the marketplace, this is one of the most popular benefits for both companies and individuals.”
Williams laughed. “I feel seen in this conversation,” she said, “because I have definitely been there. The unsexy part of this, which is so critical for People and HR teams, is the vendor consolidation. Normally, you’d be working with several vendors throughout the year for different events or products, Reachdesk consolidates all of that on one platform”
Human Resources Integrations
“We don’t want HR professionals to have to think about who needs to receive a gift or how their spreadsheet needs to be formatted or uploaded,” said Terentieva. “By removing the headache, we can focus on what really matters — building that connection and having moments of delight and belonging.”