Sky uses data to tailor flexible benefits

Sky uses the data underlying its flexible benefits scheme to ensure that its benefits package is fit for purpose for its workforce.


The home entertainment and communications provider works with its benefits consultant, Capita Employee Benefits, to analyse data on, for example, its workforce demographic broken down by employee location and age profile.

John Whitaker, benefits consultant at Sky, says: “We can then start to make some informed decisions in terms of the benefits that we should be introducing, the benefits that we should be archiving off because they are just not adding value and the benefits with really low take-up and some of the reasons behind that.”

One particular exercise involved the organisation investigating whether or not there was any correlation between the number of benefits employees select and the likelihood of them being employed by Sky a year later, which proved to be the case.

But Whitaker says: “You can come up with up with all of these correlations that may be interesting, such as employee engagement versus benefits spend, and it looks pretty on a graph, but it is really important [for employers] to identify what it is they want to achieve.”

Employers should embark on a data analysis exercise by understanding what they are trying to achieve and ensuring that they have accurate data.

Sky attempted to analyse its scheme data in-house, but found the process too difficult because of its lack of resources, the proliferation of systems on which data was held and the way in which data moves around.

Whitaker says: “Trying to analyse data is really, really difficult.”

He adds that Sky’s benefits, which include childcare vouchers, health screening, retail vouchers and bikes for work, offered through its ‘Anytime benefits’ package, constitute the employer’s own form of flex.

“We have salary sacrifice, but I don’t see it as a flexible benefits scheme with a massive enrolment window every year and then lock it down for 11 months.

“We offer rolling, monthly benefits, so if an employee wants to take [one of the aforementioned benefits], they are free to do that throughout the year.”