Punch Pubs Case Study

Fostering a recognition-rich culture in a distributed team

“The platform landed so organically and our people have been using it to share and celebrate success almost everyday!”

Claire Hanson, HR Business Partner, Punch Pubs


We spoke with Claire Hanson, HR Business Partner at Punch Pubs, to find out how her colleagues have been using Mo.

After years of using a manual card-based recognition scheme, the Punch People team knew that there was a better way to appreciate employees. After putting together an internal focus group, Claire received feedback that the recognition scheme needed to be more flexible, personalised and consistent. At the time, it was becoming more difficult to keep track of how recognition was being used across the business, including any associated expenditure.

The idea of implementing a platform like Mo was to keep the personal touch of the original recognition scheme, whilst making it easier for the team to share their Moments of thanks and celebrate success in a way that didn’t always feel transactional.


Increase in employee recognition score on engagement survey


Before using Mo, Punch Pubs had a manual recognition scheme in place involving printed cards with hand-written messages of recognition. In the final year of the previous scheme, colleagues started to post pictures/selfies with printed recognition cards onto an internal Microsoft Teams wall to share with the wider business. If the recognition card included a financial reward, the recipient would pay for a gift of their choice and claim it back through the company expensing process.

“Due to using our expensing process as part of the scheme, it could take a couple of weeks for someone to get that cash back and looking back, that wouldn’t be practical even more so now with the current cost of living crisis”.

Claire decided to set up an internal focus group to understand what people at Punch would like from an employee recognition scheme. She found that they wanted to keep the personal touch of the current recognition scheme but needed an easier way to get rewards that didn’t involve the expensing process.

Claire also found that some business areas were recognising their colleagues more frequently than others and that people felt that it needed to be more consistent across the business. Despite more visible recognition through the Microsoft Teams wall, employee recognition engagement levels were actually dropping in some business areas.

With this inconsistency and inability to easily track annual reward spend, something had to change.

When Claire started looking into new options for a recognition scheme at Punch, she immediately knew Mo was the right fit.

“We have a fun, family like culture here at Punch and I knew straight away that Mo was the best fit and the platform I was pitching for”

Claire Hanson, HR Business Partner, Punch Pubs


“Mo ticked all the boxes for us. We can load reward monies into the platform at our own convenience, easily view how much the business is spending and pull reports to see which of our line managers are recognising more than others so that we can address any potential training needs”.

“Mo was able to adopt everything we love about the old Punch scheme whilst also offering what our people wanted for a future scheme.”

Claire wanted to find a platform that was easy to use and that didn’t have a too much of a corporate feel that many other recognition programs have. “We have a fun, family like culture here at Punch and I knew straight away that Mo was the best fit and the platform I was pitching for”.

One of the key benefits of Mo for Punch is that they can now encourage more recognition without always tying it to cash. The internal focus group wanted more people just to say ‘thank you’ instead of teams seeing recognition as something that always has to come with a reward. By using Mo, Punch Pubs has been able to foster a recognition-rich culture where both manager-to-peer and peer-to-peer recognition exists.

When Punch launched Mo, Claire and the wider People team were unsure if they would need to help drive engagement and to encourage people to post Moments – but that wasn’t the case. “The platform landed so organically and our people have been using it to share and celebrate success almost everyday!”.

“On our engagement survey, we have the question ‘what is the best thing that happened to you this month’ and we regularly see people put things like ‘I had a shout out on Mo’ or ‘I was sent a box of chocolates through Mo’. It can sound like a small thing but it’s so lovely to see it has made someone’s month!”

Claire also mentioned that on special occasions, Punch sends multi-choice gifts through Mo to their people, for example as a birthday treat. Managers also love using Mo’s delivered gifts (as well as Mo gift cards) as they can be more personal. They can choose from a wide range of options that match a recipient’s interests – from alcoholic/non-alcoholic treats, a new house plant, gym/spa day passes, to boxes of chocolates/snacks and lots more.

Punch’s most recent employee engagement survey (through Peakon) launched in March 2022 with a 6.2 score for recognition – they’re now at 7.3 as of November 2022.

Book a demo

We value your time and will do everything we can to make the most of it.

Join our Community

Sign up to our monthly newsletter for industry insights, employee recognition tips, and news from the world of workplace digital transformation ⚡️