“Kennametal co-innovated with Xoxoday to build a unified rewards and recognition platform aligning with its core company beliefs that could be applied globally across multiple countries. Offering relevant and localized rewards were key to the success of the program, which saw a total of 13,000 reward transactions from May 2021 to January 2022.”
At the forefront of advanced materials innovation for more than 75 years, Kennametal Inc. is a global industrial technology leader delivering productivity to customers through materials science, tooling and wear-resistant solutions. Customers across aerospace, earthworks, energy, general engineering and transportation turn to Kennametal to help them manufacture with precision and efficiency.
A rewards program can be a way for a company to show appreciation to its productive employees beyond the pay-check, but rewards programs are not useful if the rewards themselves are not appealing and hard to redeem. Kennametal sought to improve its rewards and recognition program to acknowledge and encourage work that benefits its customers and the financial performance of the organization. One of the goals of transforming rewards and recognition was to improve employee engagement. Additionally, Marc Lippa, VP of HR operations at Kennametal, says ultimately as part of driving peak performance, they want to show appreciation for their workers.
“We try to take the time to tell our employees we appreciate what they do,” explains Lippa. He adds that Kennametal is also providing a vehicle for employees to give peer-to-peer kudos to each other, along with the manager to employee recognition, and even employee to manager.
Offering meaningful rewards can be a challenge for a global organization. Kennametal has approximately 8,600 employees spread across many countries spanning five continents. Different rewards, particularly localized rewards, have different relevance to someone in the United States or India, for example. To drive success and engagement in the program, Kennametal wanted to offer rewards that mattered to their workers no matter their location while also providing a standardized experience for all employees around the globe.
Along with localization, built-in integration was a major factor for Kennametal in updating its rewards and recognition program to avoid extra effort in fixing errors. Single sign-on functionality was important, as was connecting with SAP SuccessFactors.
“You can build a fancy program on awarding employees and saying thank you, but in the end, the redemption process must be really useful, easy, and user-friendly to your employees. Otherwise, it creates more frustration than it helps with engagement. Xoxoday served the purpose just right. ” says Andreas Bauerlein, HRIS manager at Kennametal.
Kennametal implemented Xoxoday’s Rewards and Incentives platform to accomplish its goals of localization and seamless integration with SAP SuccessFactors without extra interfaces or file feeds. Xoxoday provided Kennametal with a unified platform that they could apply globally but also allowed employees to use their rewards at a regional level.
Kennametal also worked closely with Xoxoday to ensure the platform met their specific needs, even down to company culture-aligning rewards and recognition of Kennametal’s core beliefs.
“There were things we challenged Xoxoday to do for us that maybe they hadn’t done with other clients, but now they can bring those solutions to other clients,” says Lippa. “We have a relationship to be a little innovative in how we are going to use the program and how we are going to leverage recognition for our employees.”
He adds that as the project with Xoxoday went forward, the two companies were able to work together to enhance Kennametal’s rewards and recognition program globally. For example, there were specific translations for certain countries, adjustments for local currencies, and rewards that fit each location.
Implementing Xoxoday integrated with SAP SuccessFactors in mid- 2021 has already yielded results for Kennametal. From May 2021 to January of 2022, there were a total of 13,000 rewards transactions, according to Alexandra Keegan, Global HR Total Rewards Analyst at Kennametal. She adds they are now doing about 3000 transactions per month. Choice has been a key factor in the success of the program.
“The option to redeem vouchers for everyday life things instead of going in and picking products that we choose for you was a big positive note for the employees because we are giving them their choice back,” says Keegan.
Kennametal is looking to continue innovating its rewards and recognition program now that it has the platform in place.
Check how Kennametal transformed its rewards and redemptions program with Xoxoday and SAP SuccessFactors integration.