When Punch Taverns launched a flexible benefits plan in January, it did not want a scheme with one-size-fits-all approach.
Sarah Bell, reward manager at Spirit Pub Company, which has since de-merged from Punch Taverns, says: “We have quite a varied workforce, with staff at head office, as well as field-based and pub-based. A one-size-fits-all focus was not going to work for everyone. We needed something that was much more engaging and managed their day-to-day life rather than just a work product.”
The organisation began by holding focus groups to profile its staff, who were asked to share their attitudes to benefits, money and lifestyle choices.
From these focus groups, the organisation was able to identify key traits among its staff, which it used to create characters such as a wise owl, happy hedgehog, crafty fox and floating butterfly. Each character related to particular types of lifestyle and money habits. Using these characters, and with provider Vebnet, the company was
able to choose an appropriate mix of benefits for its staff.
“We assumed things like life assurance and critical illness were dull but useful benefits,” says Bell. “After the focus groups, we realised it was something staff really wanted because they were already spending a lot of money on it outside work, and they could save money through the flex scheme.”
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