Heinz boosts flexible benefits take up


EXCLUSIVE: Heinz has nearly trebled its flexible benefits submission rates in 2015 through the use of an online benefits portal and effective communication practices.

The food manufacturer took a ‘learn, see, change’ approach to guide more than 2,500 employees through the annual enrolment window in November 2014 to help them digest benefits and scheme information.

As a result, submissions increased from 23% in 2014 to 57% in 2015.

Lisa West, reward manager at Heinz UK and Ireland, said: “We were proud to report an extremely positive take up of both current and new benefits.

“More than 57% of our employees accessed the My Heinz Benefitz portal to select and submit their 2015 benefits choices.

“Of this total figure, a remarkable 58% were non computer-based employees that logged in on the go.

“The log-on rate was a significant achievement, demonstrating the value of taking a holistic approach that combined online and offline medias to target all employees. Next year, we plan to increase the target again.”


To illustrate the amount of employees who are now better informed, the number of employees who purchased holiday rose from 205 to 683.

As part of its communications, Heinz used QR codes to allow employees to obtain instant access to the portal, and used different methods to target the various segments of its workforce.

For its computer-based population, Heinz maintained employees’ preferred method of communication via email and intranet site spotlights.  

For Heinz’s non-computer based employees, it invested in canteen and meeting room trifolds, posters alongside digital screens and team briefing presentations.

It also held midnight roadshows for overnight staff and placed giant ketchup bottles at benefit sign up locations to incorporate the organisation’s branding.

West added: “With such a diverse population Heinz looks to generate engaging internal communications through a wealth of different medias. We use consistent themes and branding across all these different medias to make sure we deliver a consistent and engaging channel of communication that looks to grab our employees’ attention.”

Benefits structure

Its ‘learn, see and change’ approach helps make up the structure of its My Heinz Benfitz online portal, provided by Buck Consultants at Xerox, which houses all staff’s pay and benefits information in one place.

West said: “To help our employees navigate the portal and access our flexible benefits provisions we structure the site under these three main headings.

“Under the ’Learn’ section employees can find out more about all pay and benefit related elements. Uniquely, the ‘See’ section allows employees to not only access their most recent total reward statement but also see payroll documents.

“The ’Change’ section of the portal is where our employees go to amend their benefit choices and update spouse/partner dependent details. We try to make the majority of our benefits available all year round so that employees do not have to wait until the annual flexible benefit enrolment window.”

As a result of its efforts, Heinz was named as the winner in the ‘Best benefits communication – small employer’ category at the Employee Benefits Awards 2015 on 12 June.