Founding a business can be really exciting – but as you begin to grow your business it can sometimes seem that it owns you, rather than you owning it. The ‘to do list’ is never ending… you have people around you that seem very busy – but you’re not always sure that they are working on the right thing.

Peter Hooymans, founder of Melbourne Real Estate, began to feel the pain that growing a business has. The real estate industry is notorious for it’s high turnover of employees. Yet Peter was trying to do it differently. His business had grown quickly, but he was losing people just as fast as he was hiring them. Staff turnover had reached more than 60%, in fact, it was closer to 70%.

Peter had heard what some entrepreneurs, such as Naomi Simson did by focusing on the employee experience and building a framework to deliver on the strategy and plan. People are at the centre of any businesses success. This sounds clichéd and trite – because these words get bandied around all the time. Saying it is one thing, living it is something completely different.

Peter believed that he needed a framework and platform to focus the team, so in March 2015, Melbourne Real Estate deployed

Since that time his team has nearly doubled in size (pictured). He has been using recognition as one of the pillars that have created growth and strategic value to his enterprise.

Each of the awards established by the business is purposeful. It is designed to achieve a business result. For example, Peter believes that receiving Google reviews is important to the commercial success of the business… so he set up a “Google Review” award. This award was created to reward those who assisted in boosting the organic traffic to his site Organic traffic or SEO was paramount for the online success of the business, therefore, management asked all it’s employees to encourage their clients to leave a Google review, of course stating the name of the employee they were dealing with.

The results speak for themselves. All you need to do is Google “real estate Melbourne” and you will see the website, ranking in #1 organic position, and here is the evidence of the +450 reviews that the company has had since setting the “Google Review” award.

Each team member is able to celebrate the wins of his or her peers. Success factors for this program is the ability to use peer to peer recognition to make those extraordinary wins an everyday celebration between employees. From a management point of view, success is clearly identifiable as every award is created strategically to keep the growth of the business happening at a fast pace.

But the real winner has been the massive shift in retention. Attrition has gone from 60-70% prior to the year of implementing Redii and the strategic overhaul – the past two years have shifted the attrition bar to under 10%. Imagine what this does to the cost base of the business…the time saved in recruitment. The implementation of Redii and the increased prioritisation of engagement, talent and retention initiatives led to significant and tangible shifts in excellence.

Employee engagement has been measured throughout the period since the implementation of the framework and their results are better than ever (e-NPS at +86% and employee satisfaction 9.4 out of 10).