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1 Team, 18 Cities: How This 500 Global Leader Built a Remote Culture Surrounding Connection & Appreciation

Out with the old, in with the new. If you’re still relying solely on a competitive culture and company leaderboards as your key motivator in the workplace, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

It’s no question that employees thrive on workplace competition and engagement initiatives where a reward is up for grabs; it’s a proven fact. But this is merely a short-term solution that’s not bound to last. Instead of focusing on competition, why not redirect that energy to building a collaborative culture instead? Let the 500 Global Team show us how it’s done.

Harnessing the Power of Connection & Collaboration as a Remote Team

Harnessing the Power of Connection Over Competition. Source: PraisePal
Harnessing the Power of Connection Over Competition. Source: PraisePal

Anyone that is everyone in the business knows who they are. Since its humble beginnings back in 2010, 500 Global has made significant headway as one of the leading global venture capital firms today. Not only that, but they also run multiple accelerator programs each year for founders in the US, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and many more, and hence have program directors and managers spread across almost 20 major cities.

To put it simply, their people are everywhere.

So, what’s their secret to keeping remote teams engaged and motivated despite the physical distance? It’s none other than the power of collaboration and appreciation.

How PraisePal Elevated Their Team Culture Through A Habit of Appreciation

500 Global Team SEA
500 Global Team. Source: 500

With a solid team dynamic and collaborative nature, Executive Director of Global Programs Ee Ling Lim and her team already have it covered. But in hopes of elevating their culture even further, they decided to turn to PraisePal to grow cross-border engagements between their completely remote team.

“Apart from collaboration, I think PraisePal creates a sense of connection - knowing and feeling what everyone else is doing and how they are helping each other.” — Ee Ling Lim, Executive Director of Global Programs at 500 Global

What Ee Ling loved about PraisePal is how this solution served as a catalyst for organisational change that actually sticks. She didn’t want to make it a competition between employees, or just about being on top of leaderboards and getting transactional rewards; she wanted to foster a sense of connection through the habit of recognition and appreciation.

PraisePal Sample Recognition Message in Slack
Team members can easily celebrate one another through a Slack message. Source: PraisePal

Combined with her thoughtfulness as a leader and the team’s synergy, the 500 Global Team is setting a great example for teams around the world.

How the 500 Global Team Uses Personalised Company Rewards To Build Connection

With employees scattered all over the world in countries including Israel, Canada, Korea, Cambodia, and Singapore, sending out gifts to team members or care packages can be such a logical pain point. PraisePal makes it easy for leaders to reward their team members, beyond the hassle of cross-border logistics.

Whenever team members give recognition to one another, they also allocate a number of points to each message. These points can be accumulated to redeem meaningful rewards that reflects their strong team culture.

Preview of 500 Global's Company Rewards Feed. Source: PraisePal
Preview of 500 Global's Company Rewards Feed. Source: PraisePal

Custom company rewards are a crowd favourite with the 500 Global Team, and are where companies can have a little fun of their own. Managers and employers have the option to incorporate their own core values with their rewards, which reinforces their ethos in a simple yet effective way.

From exclusive company merchandise, subsidised enrichment courses, to an entire of no meetings - companies can come up with their own reward ideas. The refreshing reward options are a unique way to keep employees motivated, while aligning certain items to highlight the company’s culture.

500 Global Engagement Rates 2022
Check out 500 Global’s amazing engagement rates for the first quarter of 2022. Source: PraisePal

For the 500 Global Team, Ee Ling took the time and thoughtfully came up with all the customised rewards for her team that you see above. This goes to show that she knows her team well enough to know which rewards they’d benefit from and would like the most; a trait that not many leaders have.

Beyond the customised rewards, team members can also pick from 1,000+ gift card rewards from their favourite brands - no matter where they are in the world.

PraisePal Gift Card Rewards
Preview of PraisePal’s gift card reward options. Source: PraisePal

While there’s no doubt that rewards and incentives work in keeping employees hooked, the end goal is still about cultivating that sense of culture and belonging by making it a habit to express appreciation and recognition, which is extremely vital for remote teams.

Choose Connection & Collaboration Over Competition

Just by looking at the 500 Global team, it’s proven that you don’t need to make your employees compete against each other in order for them to stay motivated and engaged.

Since being on PraisePal, their engagement rate has grown more than 2.5 organically - simply by making it a habit for their team members to recognise one another for the big and small wins.

They are a testament that fostering a sense of connection can be achieved remotely and done well.

As remote teams and employees continue to become the future of work, it’s only fitting that we take things in our stride - and take a lead from the 500 leadership’s playbook.

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