Highways England ensures employees have ease of access to benefits platforms

In 2019, Highways England introduced an online benefits platform and recognition scheme to offer employees a straightforward, integrated portal which presents all their benefits in one place.

The platform and the recognition scheme, both provided by Xexec, are integrated through one landing page, which was a key point for Highways England in order to make it easy for its 5,900 employees to access and navigate. The platforms are mobile enabled, making it easier for employees to access their benefits.

The benefits platform offers a range of retail and leisure discounts, and services such as a travel agent and concierge service through which employees can book concert tickets or find a local plumber, for example.

The recognition scheme is a peer-to-peer programme through which anyone in the organisation can give recognition to a colleague or group of people. The scheme has the same look of a social recognition platform, so the acknowledgment appears immediately on a recognition wall.

Highways England made sure the launch of the new scheme was widely promoted to employees using a comprehensive communications plan. This involved teaser information on its intranet before the launch and roadshows across all of its main locations. It also sent welcome packs to some of its more remote teams.

A benefits hub also sits on the integrated platform, where employees can find information about their core benefits such as a cycle-to-work scheme, pension, season ticket loan and employee assistance programme (EAP).

The organisation has continued to send out themed communications to tie in its benefits provision with activities across the business. Lucy Mason, HR performance specialist at Highways England, says: “We’ve recently done some pieces highlighting our cycle-to-work scheme and encouraging people to think about using it, if that’s practical. And given the current situation, encouraging people to sign up for marketing emails, discounts and offers as retailers start to open.”

The usage figures of the benefits platform present a success story for the organisation: in the first month, 2,300 employees registered, and now around 74% of the workforce have registered and use the platform.

“From a benefits perspective, the spend through the platform has increased by about 30% in the last year compared to where we were previously,” says Mason. “We take into account comments that come through on our intranet and questions that we get asked.  Overall it’s really positive.”