Gordon Food Service has always put employee experience first. They knew career anniversaries weren’t just about celebrating years of tenure, but about creating peak moments that honor each person’s fit, belonging, and contributions to the team.
However, Dave Vickery, Senior Manager HR Canada for Gordon Food Service saw big discrepancies between the career anniversary experience the Canadian employees were having compared to the experience employees in the United States were having. He describes the experience as ineffective.
“We were simply using the U.S. methodology and applying it towards Canada. That also meant that we were using U.S. vendors and we were seeing a lot of cross-border issues and delays. And of course, when it comes to recognizing someone’s anniversary, timeliness is very important and these gifts were taking 8-12 weeks to get to Canada. It just wasn’t effective. It didn’t make them feel good.”
Vickery was also seeing exponential cross-border costs. He recalled the cost of the cross-border shipping and taxes were often more expensive than the price of the actual gift. The system was broken and needed to be fixed.
While researching solutions, Vickery discovered a new way to better the culture at Gordon Food Service and create a unified experience across all locations.
“We needed a more efficient way of getting product to the Canadian employees, so we put a search team together. Along the way, the search team discovered the concept of better recognition and better appreciation. The project changed from just being a replacement for our service awards, to being, ‘how do we recognize people in general?’”
That is when Gordon Food Service partnered with O.C. Tanner. Through this partnership, O.C. Tanner solved many problems with one solution.
“We’re 120 years old and I think a lot of that was built because we appreciate our people. So, we needed to partner with a company that was responsive to our individual needs and culture. I feel that O.C. Tanner is a company that does just that.”
After the program was implemented, Gordon Food Service saw some amazing results in their engagement scores.
91% of employees felt connected to the company’s values
91% understood how they contributed to the success of the organization
82% felt management cared about the wellbeing of all employees
Now, Gordon Food Service has one solution for all 17,000 employees.
Investing in a product like Bravo is just really natural for us. It’s really important that people know they’re valued, so rewarding and recognizing them is very important.
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