Employee recognition

Distributed Peer Recognition at EVELO

George Dickson
November 4, 2015
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EVELO Electric Bicycles is a profitable, bootstrapped eCommerce startup that manufactures and sells stylish, powerful, and comfortable electric bikes, shipped straight to your door. They're a fully distributed team, with members distributed across 3 countries and 2 continents—more specifically, the US, Canada, and Argentina.


EVELO's Director of Marketing, Gonzalo Sánchez, shared his thoughts about working there:

It's a fantastic place to work. There are a lot of fun and interesting challenges we need to overcome on a daily basis. My favorite thing is the ability to work remotely—when and where I’m the most happy and productive.

That’s what really sold me on the company, and I think more and more teams are moving towards that direction. Why? Because it works.
-Gonzalo Sánchez

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A happy accident

Bonusly was initially discovered by Boris, EVELO's CEO. He stumbled across the platform in a late-night browsing session, and was immediately hooked. When he shared the concept with his team members, some loved it right away. Others weren't so sure, but after a few days even the skeptics were convinced.

The EVELO team's goal was to offer a simple, quick, and fun way of rewarding the team for a job well done. "Appreciation and collaboration are a huge part of what we want our culture to be, and Bonusly was an interesting way of helping those goals," Sánchez explained.

Everyone in the team loves Bonusly, and we use it religiously every month. Even though ‘thank you’ is great, a $10 bonus is even better! I don’t think we’ll ever go back.
-Gonzalo Sánchez

Bonusly isn't the only culture-focused initiative that helps EVELO keep its distributed team intact, connected, and engaged. They also regularly participate in other activities like weekly 1:1 meetings, where members can share 360-degree feedback, collaborate, and discuss strategy.

Rewards and recognition everywhere

Although they don't hold employee award ceremonies, EVELO has taken the concept of recognition and rewards offline, outside their office, and even outside their staff.

"We don’t do award ceremonies or anything, but Nancy, one of our team members, spends some time curating and finding cool gifts for our team or for EVELO ambassadors (which are customers who act as sellers)," said Sánchez.

The biggest surprise

It was surprising to many on the EVELO team how impactful and powerful a motivator recognition could be, even within an already positive organizational culture.

"At first, I thought the coolest part about Bonusly was the ability to get a gift card for Amazon or iTunes. My biggest surprise is that I haven’t even cashed those in yet!

I feel really good every time someone gives me a bonus. It shows I’m doing things right and helping out the team. Sometimes I forget to actually get a real reward!"

Final thoughts

EVELO is a great success story of how frequent, visible recognition can make an immensely positive impact on a distributed team. When I asked Gonzalo if Bonusly was something he'd recommend to others, he replied:

Most definitely, especially for remote teams. Sometimes, as we don’t know everyone face-to-face, a little extra thing as a token of appreciation is great.

It enhances the culture, the overall mood, and allows everyone to feel great about a job well done. If you are running a remote company and care about your team and culture, Bonusly is the way to go.
-Gonzalo Sánchez



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