Ascential is a global business-to-business information organisation. It employs approximately 1,600 staff, 1,000 of which are based in the UK, and introduced a global health and wellbeing strategy, Essential Wellbeing, in March 2018.
Essential Wellbeing centres around four key pillars: wealth, health, kind and mind. Each quarter, the organisation takes one of these pillars as its focus. Meera Mistry, reward director at Ascential, explains: “It’s important for the [organisation] to look after its employees’ wellbeing, and we run a variety of initiatives, including volunteering, financial education and step challenges, to support them.”
As part of this strategy, Ascential introduced the Earthmiles@Work app. This rewards employees with points for activities such as walking, cycling and running, or for taking part in individual or group challenges related to areas such as sleep, stress and financial wellbeing.
These points can then be exchanged for health-related items such as gym discounts, cheaper trainers and healthy food. “Employees should be rewarded for looking after their health,” says Mistry. “Knowing they’ll benefit financially encourages them to do more, but it also makes it a more engaging way to educate them about ways to improve their wellbeing.”
Being able to customise and create the content and rewards offered to employees on the app means that Ascential is able to successfully underpin its own unique wellbeing strategy. “We can promote particular content or add our own to support the wellbeing initiatives we’re running,” explains Mistry. “We can also send employees push notifications. We have a young workforce, and it’s a very effective way to engage with them.”
Mistry is now planning to expand the use of the app even further, using it to explain pension planning to employees and reward them for taking the time to understand what they need to do to take control of their retirement savings.