Recognition Program Modernization Makes It Profitable

Challenges and Objectives

Gables originally featured a traditional, top-down business culture. Many were not convinced that a change was necessary. The legacy recognition programs rewarded associates based on popularity rather than performance. Overall, only 14% of associates were recognized each year during regional, banquet-style events. Feedback revealed that although people appreciated being recognized, they oftentimes had no idea what they or others did to earn the recognition. In addition, since recognition programs were managed manually, their administration was often inconsistent and cumbersome.

Real Estate



Primary Target:
Program Impact

Solutions Provided by WorkProud

WorkProud platform and mobile app. Peer-to-peer social recognition. Manager awards. Spot awards for immediate recognition and reinforcement of Gables’ core values. Multiple programs integrated under one platform, including wellness, sales, recognition, milestones, and performance management. Program gamification. 

iOS and Android App

Manager Awards


Peer Recognition

"We find that our people really like it."

… Because we’re doing so many things that involve incentive points, people value them and are constantly looking at ways to earn them. The primary part of that program is recognition, and we find that our people really like it. It’s probably a differentiator for us that some of our competitors don’t offer… I appreciate WorkProud powering such a dynamic and useful system. Thanks so much!

– Philip Altschuler, Senior VP of Human Resources at Gables Residential

The Results

The new program was funded by reallocating the budget from the old program (once-a-year award dinner celebration), with no additional expenses. The current Ovations program results speak for themselves: 10:1 ROI on the recognition piece and approximately 35:1 on the total enterprise-wide program.

Other documented results include: 

  • Providing over 11,000 recognitions per year instead of 140 associates being recognized 1 time per year.
  • 95% of Gables associates participate in the program.
  • Consistent increases in associate engagement scores and positive comments (per OfficeVibe metrics).
  • Overall increased productivity (per WorkDay metrics).

What Gables Learned

  • Modernizing the organization’s associate recognition program made it much more effective and impactful for the company and its associates. 
  • Using points as the chosen currency helped avoid an overt monetary value associated with any given activity in the eyes of staff. Thus, it helps to prevent an unhealthy dynamic within a program. 
  • Utilizing the peer-to-peer recognition functionality has been very well-received. It had a noticeable positive impact on company culture and working atmosphere without adding to program costs. 
  • The WorkProud Employee recognition program delivered measurable results and a solid return on investment.

Featured in WorldatWork’s WorkSpan Magazine

Gables Residential has also been featured in a late issue of WorldatWork’s WorkSpan Magazine. The article features an in-depth interview with Philip Altschuler.

The vision that drove the change began with a search for a program that could provide consistent and ongoing recognition throughout the year, instead of only one time per year. Because associates focus on and value what is measured, tying all recognition to Gables’ core values would serve to reinforce those values and reward associates for positive behaviors on an ongoing basis.

Through the WorkProud platform and mobile app, Gables was able to achieve everything on its wish list. The program has been running successfully to overwhelmingly positive reviews and results for more than three years.

Read the full WorkSpan article here.

Connect with a WorkProud Expert​

Press Release

Get The Inspired Workplace Newsletter

Every month, we share news, knowledge, and insight into what we believe is a pretty simple proposition: If you are “proud of your work and proud of your company,” you are more engaged, more productive, and more likely to stay with your company for the long haul.

*By selecting “SIGN UP,” you agree to WorkProud’s Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from our newsletter at any time. Please note when unsubscribing: it may take up to 10 business days for your request to take effect.