Merseyrail engages employees with new benefits portal


Train operator Merseyrail offers a wide range of benefits for its employees, but a combination of low awareness levels, disparate technology systems and a highly mobile workforce meant only around 100 of more than 700 staff actually used the scheme.

Andrew Parry, head of engagement and reward, says: “Our offering was scattered across several providers and had to be accessed using different systems.”

The business partnered with Personal Group, which developed an online portal with a single sign-in process, which incorporated Merseyrail’s existing benefits and reward and recognition schemes into one system. “Previously, there was some confusion among staff about what counted as benefits and what was recognition, so people logged on to the wrong system,” says Parry. “Now things are much simpler and easier to use.”

Following the launch of the online portal at the end of 2015, Merseyrail also launched a mobile app in 2016, provided by Personal Group, allowing staff to access the system while on the move. “About 40% of our staff are hopping on and off trains during the working day so being connected to the platform while on the move is essential, both in terms of access to benefits but also for our broader internal communications,” says Parry. “We have seen the total number of employees registering on the benefits site double since the introduction of the mobile app.”

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In addition to the portal and the app, the organisation also launched total reward statements in 2016 to demonstrate the value of the package staff receive from the organisation.

Overall, 682 employees signed up when the new system was relaunched and, since then, retention rates and engagement scores have increased: employee turnover has reduced from 4.2% to 2.8%, and the organisation’s engagement survey scores improved from 665 to 705“Benefits take-up has risen over 200% since we implemented the new system and that is having a knock-on effect on engagement,” says Parry.