Rakuten Europe wins Gold at the Internal Communications and Engagement Awards 2021

The Internal Communications and Engagement Awards 2021, in short #ICEAWARDS21, are celebrating excellence in internal communications. At this year’s award ceremony, taking place in London on July 7th, Rakuten was honored to win Gold in the category “Best Use of Mobile Apps” for its environmental sustainability app “Shift”. A panel of 18 judges and communications experts from various companies selected Rakuten’s Shift app as the winner in its category. The awards highlight angles of internal comms from different industries and companies who all have proven that they can engage their employees and care for their wellbeing.

Andrew Thomas, founder of the Internal Communications and Engagement Awards and publisher of Communicate magazine, says:

“The challenges this year have been immense but time and time again we saw submissions that placed their employees centre-stageand have managed to pull through the strongest within their sector.”

How Shift empowers employees

Rakuten is a business that was born with a mission: To empower people and society through innovation and entrepreneurship. Sustainability is a core responsibility for the organization, but the challenge was to raise awareness about Rakuten’s sustainability strategy among employees. Shift was created with the goal to empower more than 1600 employees spread across 14 countries in the EMEA region to shift their minds and habits to live more sustainably, both at work and in their private lives.

To achieve this and due to the prioritization of Digital Inclusion, Shift is designed as a Progressive Web App (PWA), enabling the huge variety of different mobile handsets and connectivity types to engage with the same user experience.

The experience itself is rich and varied. By applying the theory of change that Rakuten developed and that takes employees on a journey to learn, act and then influence their peers with their acquired knowledge. The app encompasses gamified actions which result in trees planted, articles, videos, interviews, quizzes, challenges, competitions and much more.

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Shift wins Gold for “Best Use of Mobile App”

The results after the launch of the app are impressive: In just three months, 1,000 people registered and spent hours of their time engaging with the interactive content on the app. One judge said:

“It’s easy to see why the platform has been so popular! It’s fantastic to use technology to unite and empower employees to make a difference and help the company become more sustainable.”

Mark Haviland, EVP of Brand Development and Sustainability for Rakuten EMEA is proud of the Award and expresses his gratitude to the teams involved in creating the app but also acknowledges:

“This is a long and sometimes tough journey that every company will eventually have to take, and we want to be ahead of the curve. Change is rarely easy, but it is essential if we are to adapt to a future we want to protect and remain a company we can be proud to work for.”

Shift has the potential to future-proof the company and create impact on more sustainable business decisions.