Santander Group and Employee Recognition [StarMeUp Case Study]

Grupo Santander uses StarmeUp to spread the corporate culture and acknowledge the people who represent it best. How does it work? Let’s find out in this case study on rewards and recognition.

What is Grupo Santander?

Grupo Santander is a Spanish banking group organized around Banco Santander. It includes a network of financial institutions with presence around the world, mainly in Europe and Latin America. Grupo Santander has 12,235 branches, 188,492 employees, 125 million customers and 3.9 million shareholders worldwide.

In December 2016, during the annual convention that gathers the directors of Grupo Santander around the world, its President Ana Botin was emphatic: It was essential to foster collaboration, promote the exchange of ideas and spread the corporate culture among its more than 180,000 employees worldwide. Just a few days before, she had held a meeting in Buenos Aires with Martín Migoya, Globant’s CEO, and had learned about StarmeUp, the solution that adjusted with complete precision to her intentions.

The Solution: StarMeUp

As any reader of this blog already knows, StarMeUp is a social peer-to-peer recognition platform developed by Globant and part of a suite of products that enhance humanity inside the organization, that allows the employees of an organization to recognize their colleagues through the granting of stars that represent the company’s values. It’s a way of motivating and inspiring work teams, and at the same time, it is an effective tool to detect which are the best talents for each task.

“This tool will allow us to understand what we do best and what areas need to be strengthened,” said Ana Botin during her presentation. In order to give a strong signal of support, the President of Grupo Santander used that conference to grant the first stars live.

The Challenge: A Fast Implementation

The implementation had been carried out in just one week: that was the time it took Globant experts and the team appointed by the bank, to have StarmeUp running and available to Grupo Santander’s collaborators around the world.
“We had to make some adjustments later, but we managed to put it in line in real record time,” Miguel Angel Dorado Barra, Human Resources Department of Grupo Santander, explains. In just seven days, a huge number of complex situations were aligned: from legal aspects that vary from country to country, to regulatory compliance regarding the way in which information should be stored in each country.

An Immediate Success

From the moment it was launched , the response was immediate: in a short time, there were already 95,000 active employees, about 54% of the total staff. “A good part of the success was related to the importance that the president of the institution gives to corporate culture, which was a definitive boost for the platform,” Cristina Palanca Gomez-Pablos, Communication Corporate Marketing and Studies Department of Grupo Santander, highlights. “Therefore, the commitment that the leaders of each country show to continue the diffusion of the platform is key,” she added.  

Among the peculiarities of the implementation of StarmeUp in Grupo Santander, the fact that it has limited the number of stars that each person can grant per month stands out.

“This brings a high emotional component to the star awarding process: They are not granted just because, but when someone really deserves them,” explains Palanca.

The positive numbers do not imply a break: the challenge for the bank is that the percentage continues to increase steadily until reaching all collaborators. The ideal situation is for everyone to use their monthly stars and interact at different levels of the platform; recognizing their peers, giving likes to third-party stars or simply commenting. “There is a phenomenon whereby, those who receive more stars are also very proactive  at granting them, which shows the platform’s feedback level,” says Dorado Barra.


Continuous Improvement

“For us, it is a privilege to be able to help Santander in this ambitious project. In Globant, we deeply believe in StarmeUp because we have had an extremely positive internal experience with the platform,” Guibert Englebienne, Globant’s Co-Founder and CTO, emphasizes.

Grupo Santander and Globant will continue to work collaboratively to incorporate improvements to the application, for the financial institution to take advantage. For example, the platform currently shows filters by country, so that someone working in Brazil can focus on their immediate partners. A people tracking solution was also developed, to get an alarm when a particular employee receives a star so as to congratulate them, for example, and a tool to know how many collaborators are simultaneously online at any given time.

Recognition is part of our corporate culture and those who receive more stars, especially the StarPros, who are recognized in each of the categories, gain visibility, have contact with top management and, most importantly, position themselves as exemplary people within the organization,” Palanca concludes.

Now in Grupo Santander, any of its collaborators can suddenly become a star. Or, at least, get one!

StarMeUp OS empowers employees to become the best versions of themselves, and become even more significant contributors to the organization, by helping them overcome natural human limitations through technology and AI. Start the digital transformation journey: Request a Live Demo Today!

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