The Spice & Tea Exchange

The Spice & Tea Exchange (TSTE) is a franchisor with two corporate locations based on the East and West coasts of Florida.

Food Services

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"Coming from the high-pressure corporate world, where employees seem to have more interpersonal issues, I don’t see that here because employees actually say thank you!"

- Diana Alvis, Director of Human Resources


Culture is king for The Spice & Tea Exchange. Since its founding in 2008, the organization continues to keep a strong focus on work-life balance, employee happiness and attention to detail.

To maintain its established corporate culture, TSTE searched for a solution to keep its employees happy during a time of continuous growth. Plus, leadership needed a method to roll out its mission statement, which revolves around the company's three core values - passion, responsibility, and distinction.

Management brought Motivosity into the office, and TSTE instantly celebrated increased appreciation and communication between their tight-knit employees. Now the platform is the company's hub for social recognition and imperative announcements.

  • Every employee uses the platform.
  • TSTE's "go-to" hub for important information.
  • Part of the Employee Benefits Program.


Before Motivosity, TSTE did not use a formal recognition system. Managers shared verbal appreciations with employees, but the team wanted a formal process as it continued to grow. In addition to recognition, management also needed a way to roll out the company's mission value statement and keep it top of mind during changing times. TSTE team started searching for a program.

"We're a little different from most companies because we are smaller. We don't have the corporate overlay, so we decided that it would be great for employees to remember to thank each other as we go through a lot of changes," said Diana Alvis, Director of Human Resources for TSTE.

Employees and managers needed to make sure everyone stayed gracious, she added.

Plus, with the roll out of its mission statement, TSTE needed a way to support "what our company was about," said Alvis.


After narrowing down their options to two social recognition programs, TSTE chose Motivosity.

"It was the structure, how employees can cash in money for the gift cards, and that we can attach people's faces to who they are," said Alvis.

With two locations, each on the opposite coast of Florida, it's important to put a face to a name when employees haven't been officially introduced.

"It helps us realize who is being valued from one side to the next," she added. "They can thank people that they've talked to on the phone, but never gotten to meet and see their faces on Motivosity to get an idea of who they are. I think that helps that type of energy from one location to the next."

The organization rolled out the program on National Employee Appreciation Day in 2015 with the support of management to get every employee active on the platform. Each month, TSTE budgets $20 for each employee to give thanks to each other.

"It seems to be working out very well for us," she said. "As a small company, we add motivating factors to our employment package, like discretionary benefits, and Motivosity is one of those for us."

Motivosity also makes appreciating one another a priority for not only managers but also employees. And, as mentioned above, it ties the two corporate locations together to prevent silos. "What Motivosity does, is it allows employees to thank each other. It allows employees to thank their managers. It just goes every which way," said Alvis.


Motivosity supports TSTE’s values and keeps these top of mind for the entire team. It also reinforces positive behaviors and keeps everyone accountable.

"When comes down to it, we really have very little turnover and we have a general appreciation for each other," Alvis said. "We don’t have a lot of performance improvement required because the expectations of one another are stronger. Motivosity creates positive peer pressure and keeps very motivated employees that hold each other accountable."

She continued, "It keeps the culture. In human resources, you tend to have a lot of employee relations issues. I don't have those here. There's respect for one another, they thank each other for hard work, they thank each other for living up to our values."

In addition to social recognition, Motivosity also acts as the company's hub to obtain valuable information like announcements and important dates.

"It's where employees go to know what's going on," said Alvis. "I use it as a communications hub. I'm using it as Facebook for work because I know the team will go there. I know they have the app on their phone, and they're more likely to go there than to open something on our server."