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Case Study

Overcoming the Digital Divide: How VSE used Recognition to Connect Their Team

VSE team

Even the best company cultures sometimes need a little bit of a helping hand. Proud of their reputation as a dynamic, fun and rewarding employer; VSE already had systems in place to recognize and reward people. But they wanted more. They wanted a platform that would make it easier for employees to interact with one another and boost engagement through peer-to-peer recognition.

That’s when VSE turned to Bucketlist for help. 

About VSE

VSE is a high-growth technology company that utilizes its data-driven software solutions to positively impact businesses. Fuelled by entrepreneurial, growth-minded people – VSE’s advisor-based platforms support organizations working in psychic guidance, health and wellness.

The Challenge

We really wanted to increase engagement and participation.

– Maryanne

As an organization, VSE already has a robust program for recognizing employees. Called “Value Star,” it’s tied directly to the company’s core values as well as recognizing milestones and anniversaries for employees. It had proved very effective, but it also had some key problems. 

The first was that it was a time-consuming process, one that relied heavily on manual input from the HR team. This not only took up valuable resources but also made the program hard to scale alongside VSE’s growth. 

Another problem with “Value Star” was that it hadn’t kept pace with the changing needs of the workforce. VSE had noticed that in a remote setting, employees needed something more intuitive in order to make it easier for people to give and receive feedback. 


Finally, unlike traditional organizations, VSE isn’t set up as a hierarchy with senior leadership figures. Instead, it’s a holacracy, a self-managed system where authority is distributed evenly among the team. Because of this, VSE wanted a program that could mirror its unique structure, one that allowed employees to engage with one another through peer-to-peer recognition. 

The Solution

Bucketlist gave the organization more visibility to our recognition and rewards.

– Maryanne

Integrating engagement 

Now entering its sixth year, the “Value Star” program was already well-established. Everyone within the organization was familiar with it and how it worked. So when it came to implementing Bucketlist, VSE wanted the platform to integrate seamlessly with their existing processes, not replace them. 

Bucketlist’s implementation team worked closely with VSE to ensure that the platform integrated the existing aspects of the “Value Star” program. They even went as far as helping the HR team to prepare for presentations so that employees would get the best possible information about the platform. 

Now that it is powered by Bucketlist’s employee recognition and rewards platform, the “Value Star” awards are easier to manage, easily scalable and more visible for employees. The platform’s points-based redemption system has also been a hit within the company as it gives employees the opportunity to choose their own rewards. 

Bucketlist has really helped us with the scalability and automation so it’s been great

– Maryanne

Boosting interactions 

One of the key reasons behind VSE’s adoption of Bucketlist was to improve participation in its recognition and rewards program. A 90 day test was launched with a goal to increase recognitions by 100% and encourage everyone in the company to engage in peer-to-peer activity. 

The improvements were immediate, with recognition numbers soaring just weeks after Bucketlist was rolled out. Now, more and more people are engaging in rewards and recognition – with peer-to-peer activity increasingly becoming the norm. Participation in VSE’s “Value Star” program has also grown. 

The organization attributes this success to how easy Bucketlist makes it for people to get involved. Things like the nomination process are now so much simpler than before. This has had the dual impact of removing any barrier to entry that might have previously existed while also reducing the strain on the HR team. 

Bucketlist just makes it easier for everyone…this helps to spike up interest so we are starting to see extra participation in the program

– Maryanne

Getting everyone involved

Like many organizations that have switched to operating in a remote environment, VSE has faced challenges when it comes to engagement. Making sure people feel connected, even if they’re working apart from one another, can be tough. As can creating opportunities for employees to interact outside of a traditional office setting. 

Implementing Bucketlist however, has made it easier for VSE’s people to feel in touch with one another. By fostering engagement and creating moments for people to interact and celebrate each other’s achievements – VSE has been able to bridge the digital divide that can creep into the remote setting. 

I feel like we’ve already really moved the needle since launching Bucketlist, and there’s lots of things that we haven’t yet uncovered that Bucketlist offers

– Maryanne

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