• Success Stories

    Octopus Electric Vehicles and Huggg

    February 16, 2023
    4 min read

    Octopus Electric Vehicles have generated high levels of employee satisfaction thanks to a peer-to-peer sustainable gifting solution. Six months after incorporating Huggg into their appreciation strategy, Octopus EV found that*...


    Huggg truly enables & empowers all people in the organisation to reward. It's been an essential tool in helping us instil a culture of recognition at Octopus EV. It's the first tool of its kind that we've seen team members not only adopt but get excited about. We love it!  - Alys Peart, Chief of Staff, Octopus Electric Vehicles


    *Survey undertaken by Octopus EV - Representative sample of 31% -  69 employees across the business


    The challenge 🤔

    Octopus Electric Vehicles is a division of Octopus Energy dedicated to leasing electric vehicles to businesses and individuals. As a smaller company within a big organisation, they needed a way to reward and recognise their people that wasn’t going to deplete their time. 

    “We started off by sending birthday and special occasion gifts, but once we started to grow rapidly it became untenable to keep track of them all,” explains Michael Schmid, Growth Insights Analyst at Octopus Electric Vehicles. “Plus it was difficult to send treats like birthday cupcakes based on dietary requirements and personal preferences, so we wanted a gifting platform that had some flexibility.”

    Octopus EVs also wanted a solution that could support peer-to-peer gifting. Says Michael:  “We realised that we wanted to empower our employees to recognise one another (while being able to set a value limit), especially across the different teams as we grew.”

    With sustainability at the core of their business, another important consideration for Octopus EV was that the reward and recognition solution was sustainable. This made Huggg the perfect match, since we are carbon-neutral and source the most responsible gifts, using plastic-free packaging wherever possible. 

    The Solution💡

    A key reason Octopus EV selected Huggg was that we enable employees to recognise their co-workers, meaning that a culture of recognition could be promoted across the company. 

    It was really important that employees embraced the new tool and started using it, so with the help of the Huggg developer team, Octopus EV built a custom Slack integration. The integration enables staff to send gifts directly to each other through Slack by filling out a form. 

    “It’s simple; we set a quarterly limit for each team member and our team can recognise their colleagues with a few clicks in Slack,” says Michael.  “This makes it easy and keeps the admin very low for us to manage sending these gifts.” 

    Through the Slack integration, gift-givers are able to associate one of the company’s core values to each gift. This helps Octopus EV keep tabs on what behaviours are being rewarded.

    Says Michael: “We track who sends what in a spreadsheet, where we also keep track of our teams’ quarterly budgets. We also ask our team to pick one of our four company values when sending a gift to a colleague to make sure we’re gifting meaningfully.” 

    He adds: “Managers and the leadership team can see what appreciation their team members have gotten from one another and also for whom their teams are thankful, which ensures that appreciation isn’t just a one-time gift but something which managers can take note of.” 

    The Impact 💥

    ‍Octopus EV have enjoyed impressive adoption of Huggg across the team, with a big increase in use over an 18-month period. Seeing the impact that the initiative has had on reinforcing their core values, the company’s investment in reward and recognition with Huggg has gone up 20-fold.

    Says Michael: “Huggg is by far our most utilised employee benefit across the business. After implementing the Slack integration, and making it super easy for our team, we’ve seen the majority of our staff use their budgets. .”

    Feedback from the employees themselves has also been exceptionally positive. A survey conducted among Octopus EV’s 70 team members, exploring how they felt since Huggg had been introduced, found high levels of employee satisfaction. 

    A huge 98.5% of people agreed they now felt more empowered to recognise their colleagues, while 95.5% said they felt more appreciated by their peers, showing just how effective the solution had been for team bonding. 

    It also had a big impact on morale in general, with 95.5% of employees feeling more appreciated by the company, and 71.6% feeling more appreciated by their manager. As a result, 70.1% of respondents said they felt more motivated at work.


    The Future 🌅

    As Octopus EV’s business scales, they continue to increase their investment in reward and recognition and grow their use of Huggg. 

     “As we’ve opened new offices across the UK and had team members working remotely, having the ability to send a gift virtually that can then be redeemed as a physical gift has been really great,” explains Michael.

    In addition to employee gifting, Octopus EV now also use the platform to provide gifts for people outside of the organisation.

    “We send gifts to folks outside of the business for things like referrals and customer testing. Using Huggg makes this super easy for us, as it means that we don’t have to ask for addresses or dietary restrictions. We can just send a link with a whole host of choice of options, even a charitable donation option.”