Around 80% of the 294 employees at Keolis Nottingham, formerly Nottingham Trams, work remotely, whether as drivers, engineers, maintenance staff or roving revenue officers.
Trevor Stocker, operations manager, says: “Drivers, for example, sign in, are given the keys and away they go [for] four to five hours out in the tram. Then we see them again when they sign off.
“It has always been a question of ‘how we do get to these people, how do we help them to feel more part of the organisation?’. We used to do manual paper surveys every few years. But the take up from the driving population especially was very poor; they couldn’t see the benefit of completing it.”
In November 2016, the organisation, which runs the Nottingham Express Transit, turned to Reward Gateway and introduced an employee mobile app, branded ‘Emma’, complete with a memorable pink and white robot mascot.
This provides access to a centralised phone- and digital-based portal where employees can organise their rosters and holiday requests, report issues and provide feedback, and access a range of voluntary and salary sacrifice-based benefits, such as cinema discounts and restaurant vouchers. The app has been promoted via payslips, desktop screensavers, posters, banners, drop-in sessions and employee advocates.
“We did not begin measuring the logins until January 2017, but we saw 176 out of 290 employees logon that month, and there has been improvement month on month ever since,” says Stocker. “Last August we had 217 out of 290. We are now seeing around 2,500 logins a month from all employees.”
Engagement surveys carried out through Emma have also shown an increased response rate, although there is still some way to go, says Stocker.
“The response rate from 2016 to 2017 from our drivers has increased by 5%,” he says. “That, I appreciate, does not sound like much, but even a relatively minor shift is, we feel, significant. Within customer services we’ve seen a 13% increase and 2% among revenue officers. We see this very much as being a journey.”