E.ON and Edenred won the Reward, Recognition & Benefits Award for their work on a new employee benefits scheme focused on the energy firm’s green and inclusive agenda. “A great initiative: Well planned, well executed and well worth it,” our judges said.
E.ON in partnership with Edenred
To support its sustainable energy agenda, E.ON refreshed and relaunched its benefits scheme with Edenred, focusing on sustainable, personalised and flexible benefits that support physical and financial wellbeing.
Previously, there was a perception that health and transport benefits were only available to more senior employees. It also wanted to ensure its purpose as a sustainable energy company was reflected in its benefits offering, and that benefits could be accessed by people who work in the field.
The MyBenefits proposition was launched in February 2021 and included health benefits at a wider range of affordable price points, a salary sacrifice scheme for car servicing, and a more flexible holiday purchasing scheme. It also offers employee discounts on electric vehicle chargers and has increased the purchase threshold on its cycle-to-work scheme from £1,000 to £2,000, allowing more staff to purchase e-bikes.
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To reach all employees, messages about the new benefits package appeared on its intranet, TV screens in the office and in weekly briefings to field teams.
Some 83% of employees have engaged with the benefits portal, including both field and office-based staff. Take-up of cash plans has increased by 50% since launch.
The electric vehicle lease has attracted significant interest with 15% registering on the portal. Of these colleagues, just under 10% have opted for an EV. Over 30% of colleagues have purchased the higher cycle-to-work finance option.
Ocado Group in partnership with Benefex
Many Ocado Group employees felt undervalued and said their managers only spoke to them when something went wrong. There were 10 different recognition schemes across logistics, which was confusing and recognised only 1% of the workforce each year.
Ocado Group set out to meet three objectives: to create more positive interactions between managers and teams; to address the negativity around recognition as a whole; and to reward more employees more regularly.
After partnering with benefits tech provider Benefex, ‘All Stars’ was born. It can be accessed from employees’ own personal device, allowing those on the road to use it. It rewards employees for recognising their colleagues, entering them into prize draws and offering spot prizes to drive engagement.
The launch was coupled with manager training sessions to help managers become advocates for the scheme and encourage employees to download the app.
Eight in 10 logistics employees have downloaded the app and 77% have received a reward through All Stars, compared with 1% previously. Almost a third of employees are regularly using the platform to recognise their colleagues.
Although the app is only currently available for logistics employees, it is creating a buzz around the company. Managers from other divisions have been in contact with the logistics team to see if they can roll it out too.
E-commerce software tools provider Optiseller has grown from a team of 14 based in Scotland in March 2020 to an international company with 88 employees across Europe and Australia. However, it recognises it is competing for talent against larger organisations with greater investment capability.
Reward is a priority for the organisation and it sees it as essential for recruitment, retention and the continued success of the business. It has focused on total reward, as well as both non-monetary and monetary reward.
Over the past 18 months it has reviewed and extended its benefits to take on board suggestions from employees. These include providing Udemy for Business licences for all staff, increasing the annual leave allowance from 30 to 33 days, a volunteer day, and salary sacrifice schemes including cycle-to-work and an electric car scheme. It is also continuing to promote its employee assistance programmes, private healthcare, life insurance, referral scheme and annual bonus.
A new HR system gives employees the opportunity to thank their colleagues, teams an departments, and these are given recognition in monthly company meetings. Employee milestones are celebrated in its monthly newsletter and the company regularly encourages staff to get together for ‘Pizza Thursdays’, cinema trips and virtual events.
An employee survey founnd 95% would recommend Optiseller as a great place to work and 86% feel their work is appreciated. Absence rates have reduced and sales have risen.
Pets at Home Group
Pets at Home Group found engagement with employee benefits was low and people didn’t understand their packages.
Rather than adding more benefits into the mix, it decided to highlight and explain the perks it already offered in a more engaging way. It launched Your Reward Hub, a one-to-shop for benefits, and removed the need for different sites and multiple logins.
It also spent time enhancing its recognition e-card range, enabling colleagues to send e-cards for reasons including training acheivements to welcoming a new colleague. In the past 12 months more than 79,000 e-cards have been sent, with more than 90% of senior leaders engaging in the initiative.
To thank colleagues for their hard work during the pandemic, employees were given an additional two days off over Christmas. More than £114,000 in treats and vouchers, delivered via Your Reward Hub, have also been handed out.
Engagement with the hub is high: 67% of eligible colleagues are active users, rising to 92% of support office staff and 81% of store and grooming colleagues.
Last year it boosted its maternity, shared parental and adoption lave pay by 72%, with 16 weeks at full pay and six at half-pay. Colleagues are entitled to six days’ paid leave whilst receiving fertility treatment, with a maximum of two separate courses of treatment in any financial year.
Motorway service area operator Welcome Break finds that operational colleagues who work for a partner brand, such as Starbucks or KFC, often feel more aligned to that brand than Welcome Break, their employer.
In 2021, it focused on three key areas to enhance motivation and recognition: a summer incentive linked to performance, a refer-a-friend scheme, and a Christmas gift and award.
More than 5,000 Christmas food and drink hampers were distributed to all team members, which included gifts such as a festive mug, popcorn and chocolate. A £50 voucher was also credited to each account on its team members discount site.
A summer incentive, which applied to operational colleagues, saw team members measured against its ‘Famous Five Customer Service’ philosophy: warm welcome, speedy service, perfect product, suggestive sell, and fond farewell. Leaders were given cheque books to give employees on-the-spot awards when they saw the Famous Five demonstrated well, credited to their discount site account.
The fact that the Christmas hamper is still spoken about by team members proved that it met its aim of ensuring colleagues felt appreciated and recognised at work. Staff are enthusiastic about recommending Welcome Break as an employer, as evidenced by refer-a-friend scheme data.
The awards and vouchers handed out by the company have totalled thousands of pounds, showing how valuable its workforce is to Welcome Break.