In order to strengthen its employer branding and consolidate its benefits and reward offering, the University of Lincoln launched an employee benefits platform, enhancing the digital employee experience for 2,000 core employees and 1,200 student employees.
One Stop, launched in October 2017, was designed to bring together numerous employee benefits, reward initiatives and communications on a single hosting-style platform, which signposts employees to different providers’ sites, as and when they wish to access specific benefits or information.
Designed to look like a map of Lincoln, the visual platform has enabled the university to develop its own voice, as well as create an integrated digital site that mirrors the experience employees have come to expect as consumers.
Ian Hodson, head of reward and deputy director of HR at the University of Lincoln, says: “Our driver was really about consolidation. In the modern workplace, there is no one-size-fits-all. What we [needed] to do [was] consolidate [benefits and reward] all into one place so [it was] easier for people to access. We want a platform where people can access it on their phone, from home and they can do what they want to do and it doesn’t really need HR sat there doing things behind the scenes. People can be self-sustainable and manage their own [benefits].”
As well as forging a joined-up employee experience in terms of accessing and utilising benefits and reward, the University of Lincoln further sought to consolidate its communication and messaging, instead of relying on varied third-party communications. The university now sends out a monthly newsletter to inform staff about benefits and upcoming events.
“[The providers] had their own communication style and we didn’t like that,” Hodson explains. “Often the university, as the employer, was getting cut out or the voice wasn’t really that which we wanted to have with employees. The idea behind the site was that we could have the voice that pulls everything together.”
The One Stop platform includes a reward catalogue, where employees can spend earned points on perks such as high street vouchers or restaurant deals. It also provides access to the university’s benefits offering, which features financial wellbeing sessions, osteoporosis checks and a cycle to work scheme, to name a few. In addition, staff can engage with an employee suggestion scheme and on-site clubs, such as a book club, film club and football league.
For Hodson, enhancing the digital employee experience to be more seamless aligns with the organisation’s core aims. “For us, as a university, it’s really important that how [we] offer benefits reflects what [we’re] trying to be as a business,” he says. “How we deliver our education and how we deliver benefits for staff go hand in hand. It’s very important for us that we embrace digital.”