Recognising excellence with a new awards programme for Microsoft

Microsoft Industry Solutions (MIS) is a global organisation of over 16,000 world-class consultants, engineers, architects and delivery experts, who work together to bring Microsoft’s cutting edge technology to life for some of the world’s most influential companies.

Alongside our work redesigning the MIS website, we were also asked to design and create a new digital employee recognition programme. The aim was to encourage teamwork and collaboration, following the pandemic and the increase in remote working.

“Bolser came with fresh ideas and perspectives that truly evolved the direction of our branding and program. Their amazing creative expertise and execution made all the difference!”
Brittany Tinker, Employee Experience & Culture Lead - Microsoft Industry Solutions
The Challenge

Design a brand new employee recognition and awards programme

Like many businesses, MIS felt their employees needed a morale boost following the pandemic. Their existing employee recognition scheme was ineffective and they wanted employees to feel more connected to the business and each other while working remotely.

Our brief was to create a completely new scheme with a new name, branding, structure and awards for the different categories and industries.  With over 16,000 employees it was a large scale scheme but well within our skillset, having recently developed the Microsoft Expertzone learning management system for global retail sales staff.

What we did

Created RISE = Recognising Industry Solutions Excellence

  • We started the project with an in depth discovery phase to understand:
    • Constraints and issues with the existing scheme
    • Employee requirements and opinions
    • Technology required to enable successful implementation
    • Pros and cons of comparable employee awards schemes
  • After extensive brainstorming, our creative team came up with the perfect new name for the scheme. RISE, which stands for Recognising Industry Solutions Excellence, has countless positive and uplifting associations and the MIS team loved it!
  • Once RISE was agreed we developed the concept further. This included a brand identity with brand values, tone of voice, logos, colourways, fonts and imagery together with comprehensive brand guidelines explaining the concept of RISE and its link to the culture at MIS.
  • Working closely with the MIS Awards Manager we developed the structure of the programme including an awards matrix specifying the number, frequency, types and categories of awards available.
  • Our dev team conducted a technical review of the options available to run the programme and recommended a solution that would facilitate the design and structure, require minimal admin and give a seamless user experience.

A unique programme delivered in 6 weeks

  • We succeeded in delivering a completely unique, comprehensive employee recognition and awards programme for MIS in only 6 weeks.
  • The feedback from the launch event was excellent and the scheme has had a big impact across the organisation. 


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