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Xceleration: Fostering a Culture of Employee Recognition

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In the corporate world, the pace of business can lead to stress and often the disengagement of employees. Consequently, when employees execute to perfection and exceed the client’s as well as their manager’s expectations, they feel a sense of accomplishment. That feeling of attainment is what uplifts an employee, but it is multiplied exponentially when someone takes notice and appreciates it. The simple deed of recognizing an employee’s work and appreciating it gives a significant boost in their morale and performance, which is why recognition is critical in the workplace and has to be an innate part of any company’s culture.

As the modern-day workforce becomes more remote and agile, the new trend in employee recognition is to develop strategies to keep the workforce invested in the company’s culture and utilize tools and technologies to enhance their work ecosystem. This goes beyond just the physical work environment and into the areas in which employees conduct their work virtually. Incorporating recognition and reinforcement methods into virtual workspaces brings an added value to the concept and encourages new and different tactics for recognizing employees and teams. Marisa Haehnlein, Chief Customer Officer at Xceleration, says, “A structured recognition program is imperative and brings an edge to fostering a Culture of Recognition™ or identifying the people doing the right things, and this goes without saying that what gets recognized gets repeated.”

Perfectly poised to enhance employee experience and foster a modern workforce culture through their robust rewards and recognition programs is Xceleration. Having been in this industry for over two decades, Xceleration has cemented its position as a strategic partner in modern workforce motivation. The company’s ultimate objective is to design and implement full-scope recognition strategies, which enable their clients not just to meet their business objectives but exceed them.

Innovations Reviving Employee Recognition

Before establishing Xceleration, the company’s founder and CEO Ben Levenbaum oversaw the development of one of the first web-based sales incentive and employee recognition platforms in the industry. Working at the time for MCI Telecommunications, Ben’s understanding of how technology could enhance communications and delivery in a large enterprise became a critical component for the vision of Xceleration and the eventual creation of their RewardStation® technology. “Our initial vision for RewardStation® was to personalize the rewards experience to effectively communicate and motivate each unique and individual participant, be it a customer, employee, or channel partner,” states Ben.Based on specific client requirements, Xceleration’s team thoughtfully designs each feature of the software that is targeted at maximizing the user experience.

Xceleration’s RewardStation® technology manages every aspect of a recognition program ranging from day-to-day maintenance, comprehensive reporting and analytics, to rewards fulfillment. “By combining the RewardStation® technology with the expertise of our client solutions team, we ensure each customer’s objectives are met,” explains Ben.

A structured recognition program is imperative and brings an edge to fostering a Culture of Recognition or identifying the people doing the right things, and this goes without saying that what gets recognized gets repeated


As RewardStation® continues to expand while meeting the growing needs of customers, a significant part of Xceleration’s recent innovation is focused on the participant rewards experience. With a robust global rewards catalog covering merchandise, gift cards, travel, and experiences, the company’s focus on creating lasting trophy value drives how it curates, promotes, and fulfills rewards. Over the past few years, Xceleration has invested significantly in the creation of goal-setting tools that allow participants to pre-select the rewards they are motivated to achieve and track their progress throughout the program.

Xceleration has further enhanced the rewards experience through its Gifting by Design brand, which allows individual clients to design a custom kitting, packaging, and fulfillment process through the company’s Charlotte, NC warehouse. The company’s employee rewards include peer and manager-based recognition, quarterly awards with curated travel adventures, service anniversary recognition, birthday gifts through Gifting by Design platform, and year-end awards that are unique to Xceleration. When the reward is delivered in a carefully packaged client-branded box, Xceleration effectively creates a unique unboxing experience that enhances the trophy value of the reward. The company has also linked this rewards experience with unique “shareables” where participants can easily share their target or achieved rewards with friends, family, and co-workers via RewardStation’s social feed or on their social networks.

A Client-Centric Model

Marisa states, “We strongly believe that a recognition philosophy varies from one customer to another. Therefore, we have designed our tools in such a way that it can be tailored to any industry.” The company provides its customers with the ability to cherry-pick specific components and tools from a robust core feature set and customize unique rewards programs every time—the biggest differentiator in the market. Refraining from a one-size-fits-all business model, Xceleration believes in being highly adaptable and flexible, developing solutions to fit the needs of its customers and prospects. This keeps implementation timelines reasonable, costs down, and allows Xceleration to deliver an expandable platform that customers can leverage for years. While engaging with a new customer, the company’s consultative practice is to stay focused on their goals and objectives while exposing them to best practices in recognition, which, ultimately, positions Xceleration as their partner in performance, and not just a vendor.

The company’s goal with each client is to have a “seat at the table” when they are having strategic conversations on the design of their unique program structure, goals, and ROI tracking.
As the discussion is included during the strategic design phase, it enables Xceleration’s client solutions team to best understand their business challenges and internal goals for program success. “Our clients are separated by not just the products and solutions they market, but their unique cultures, previous success and challenges, and future goals. All of this goes into how the science of motivation can be utilized to create rewards solutions that drive results,” adds Marisa.

“By establishing strategic relationships with new clients using RewardStation®, we are poised to drive more businesses to witness and embark upon the Culture of Recognition™"

The company firmly believes that their services and approaches have a high success rate, evidenced by the significant number of client referrals received each year from executives, program managers, and even program participants who migrate to new companies and recommend Xceleration as a leading solution in the market.

The Journey Ahead

Over the past 20 years, Xceleration’s technology and solutions have evolved as they worked with customers to understand their specific challenges and goals. At the core, the company is a customer-first and, often, obsessed agency, continually looking for ways to design and deliver solutions that will enhance the customer experience. To this end, Ben explains that Xceleration is inspired from the concept of True Customer Obsession, as defined by Jeff Bezos in his 2016 letter to Amazon shareholders: “There are many advantages to a customer-centric approach, but here’s the big one: customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, even when they report being happy and business is great. Even when they don’t yet know it, customers want something better, and your desire to delight customers will drive you to invent on their behalf.”

With modern recognition programs evolving beyond employee experience to drive significant business results, Xceleration’s RewardStation® technology supports multiple types of applications on a single platform, all designed to drive performance and achieve milestone events. For instance, some of the company’s most successful programs have been structured to support service anniversaries, employee recognition, wellness compliance, and short-term corporate initiatives—all rolled into one solution. This enables a client’s employees to both connect all the dots and accumulate a higher point balance for greater spending power. Currently, Xceleration is on an evolution curve as the company has planned out its roadmap for 2020. With the 2019 launch of RewardStation® platform 8.0 and subsequent positive market response, Xceleration is well-positioned to continue down the path of growth while creating innovative solutions. The company’s team is confident because of its vast experience, rich history, and focus on customer obsession. “By establishing strategic relationships with new clients using RewardStation® we are poised to drive more businesses to witness and embark upon the Culture of Recognition™. That is our end-goal,” concludes Marisa.
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Xceleration

Company
Xceleration

Headquarters
Charlotte, NC

Management
Ben Levenbaum, Chief Executive Officer and Marisa Haehnlein, Chief Customer Officer

Description
Xceleration is an industry-leading provider of incentive and recognition solutions for companies looking to drive the performance of their employees, dealers, or customers. Having been in this industry for over two decades, Xceleration has cemented its position as a strategic partner in modern workforce motivation. The company’s ultimate objective is to design and implement full-scope recognition strategies, which enable their clients not just to meet their business objectives but exceed them. By establishing strategic relationships with new clients using RewardStation® we are poised to drive more businesses to witness and embark upon the culture of recognition.