Employee Benefits Live 2017: Pharmaceutical organisation Sanofi used a benefits roadshow to help launch a new flexible benefits offering to its dispersed and diverse UK workforce.
The organisation has a total of 1,750 employees in the UK, with nearly 900 of these staff and contractors working in manufacturing roles. Sanofi additionally has employees working in distribution centres, as well as office-based roles at its head office, therefore communications that can reach the entirety of the workforce is a priority.
To align with this thinking, Sanofi adopted numerous communications methods to promote its flexible benefits platform, with the main communications tool being a roadshow that was scheduled to visit all of the organisation’s national sites. Amarjit Khaira, compensation and benefits at Sanofi, said: “The communication piece was so important to us. How are we going to get this message out there? How are we going to get buy-in? […] So we set up a roadshow before our launch, we attended all the sales conferences that we had, we attended night shifts [at the] manufacturing sites where people were working 24 hours, and we ensured that we delivered the message to everyone.”
Alongside the roadshow, Sanofi set up an employee forum to generate buy-in, while one-to-one meetings were also provided if staff preferred to be communicated to in this way. An interactive PDF total reward statement was delivered to all employees so they could see what benefits they had access to. This featured charts that showed benefits that would roll over, or benefits that were available in the annual selection window.
As its workforce is not necessarily office-based, Sanofi also ensured to write to all employees at their home addresses, while staff that were based at the organisation’s office locations were able to read on-site posters and synopsis documents that were visible. Digital marketing was also used as a tool to promote the flexible benefits platform. This included a video, which is updated when benefits are added to the platform.
The flexible benefits platform was originally introduced as a result of a directive from senior leaders, and although the directive had clear aims, for example to move the organisation’s pension scheme from a defined benefit (DB) basis to a defined contribution (DC) basis and to remove age-related benefits, feedback from employees was used to inform the design of the new benefit. This was done using an internal employee survey which focused on asking employees to rank what benefits they wanted. Surveys were given to all employees to complete which had a response rate of between 80% and 90%. Sanofi additionally conducted an external benchmarking exercise to ensure its offering was competitive within the industry.
The flexible benefits platform’s website can be accessed by employees without relying on a work-based intranet portal. Through the platform, employees are able to increase or decrease their life insurance, opt out of employee and employer pension contributions, access bikes-for-work, critical illness, dental benefits, medical benefits, health assessments and childcare vouchers.
Sanofi took between 18 and 24 months to launch its flexible benefits platform, in order to achieve high levels of engagement. In its first year, take-up was 93%. Take-up rates have since been sustained at over 80% year-on-year.