Ocado launches online reward portal

EXCLUSIVE: Ocado is to replace its benefits booklet witth an online reward portal to increase staff perception of the benefits package.

Under the overarching umbrella of OcadoRewards, the portal will have three separate streams: OcadoBenefits, which lists the core benefits, such as its pension, share scheme, healthcare, life insurance and critical illness cover; OcadoChoices, which offers access to local discounts; and OcadoPay, which includes information on pay rates, bonuses and who to speak to about payroll queries.

Joanna Gordon-Utting, reward and benefits manager at Ocado, said: “We were looking at ways to increase staff perception of the value, and understanding, of benefits.”

Ocado tracks employee engagement through an annual survey. Its 2012 survey found that 71% of staff understood their benefits, compared to 68% in 2011. Feedback indicated that the benefits booklet was outdated, and that there was not enough benefits information on the company intranet site. Gordon-Utting added: “There was definite room for improvement there and education we could do.”

Information included in the benefits portal is similar to an online total reward statement. It is tailored to different groups of employees, such as the 600 staff based at head office, 2,000 warehouse staff and 2,300 drivers (who are all paid weekly), and between 250 and 300 monthly-paid managers.

“We’ve created a matrix for each group of staff, who may have different benefits, so they can go onto our intranet,” said Gordon-Utting. “It’s much more cohesive.”

The retailer’s previous benefits booklet, which was launched in 2010, was sent out to new starters, posted to all employees, and communicated through the HR team. Each booklet cost £1.64 each to produce so moving to an online system is expected to produce savings for the organisation. To print off the three-page document containing all of the benefits information from the portal will cost 6p per employee.

The portal will go live by 14 December. It will be communicated to Ocado’s 5,500 employees through an article in its employee newsletter, through shift briefings with weekly-paid staff, and will be cascaded down from line managers.