Employee Benefits Awards 2009: Most effective use of a voluntary benefits plan

Lloyds TSB Lloyds TSB Staff Offers (entered by Asperity Employee Benefits)

Lloyds TSB’s voluntary benefits scheme was praised for the way it fitted into the bank’s wider total reward strategy. The scheme was launched to engage specific staff groups, such as those under the age of 30, and those who work in its telephone and retail banking divisions, who are thought to be less engaged with its flexible benefits plan.

When launching its voluntary benefits, Lloyds TSB had three objectives – to more than double employee engagement to 50% in the first year; to encourage staff to use the plan regularly; and to increase advocacy of the bank’s products. And it had to achieve these aims in a tough economic climate and with the bank’s environmental commitments in mind. It had no budget for print costs, and could not use any paper-based communications, so messages were integrated into existing communication channels.

The new scheme had more than 1,500 discounted offers – up from just 110 before – on many products and services. The bank also included offers on over 30 of its own products, including preferential rates on currency, discounted premium current accounts and identity theft prevention. It has also used the scheme to create staff interest in wider corporate activities, such as its sponsorship of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, by adding a range of discounts on products and services from other London 2012 sponsors and partners.

Lloyds TSB hit its target of 50% employee engagement after just five months and take-up of the scheme has increased by two and a half times compared with its previous offering.

Pictured: Kathryn Sambrook, benefits manager at Lloyds TSB. Sambrook said: “Our scheme is new but already offers a huge range of discounts for staff. We will continue to use staff feedback to keep evolving the scheme.”


  • Ladbrokes ClubLadbrokes (entered by Asperity Employee Benefits)
    Ladbrokes launched its new voluntary benefits scheme in stages in order to maximise employee understanding of each element. The bookmaker used innovative methods to communicate the scheme, such as placing key messages on stores’ electronic point of sale terminals and a text message facility for staff to request more information about specific perks, such as childcare vouchers. Take-up of the scheme trebled in the first quarter after its launch


  • BOC Benefits of Choice (entered by Benefex)
    The launch of this scheme coincided with BOC’s creation of a new benefits strategy and reward brand, which was aimed at bringing together all aspects of a previously disparate reward and benefits package. A key focus was to provide perks that would help employees’ money go further in the current economic climate.
  • J Sainsbury ’You Choose’ Voluntary Benefits Programme (entered by Marsh)
    The judges praised the supermarket giant for the clear strategy behind its scheme. The retailer redeveloped its voluntary benefits plan to bring it into line with Sainsbury’s wider total reward offering. This process has involved the launch of several new benefits and revamping the organisation’s communications strategy.
  • John Lewis Partnership PartnerChoice
    The retailer relaunched its scheme in 2008 following an internal reorganisation. This enabled it to bring its subsidised leisure perks into its voluntary benefits scheme and, in turn, increase the frequency of communications to staff. It also added a number of new discounts to the scheme, with more planned for this year.
  • Telefonica O2 UK Deals (entered by Next Jump UK)
    This scheme was launched to replace a previous voluntary benefits plan. Through Telefonica O2’s voluntary benefits portal, staff can tailor their individual profiles, recommend brands they would like to see added to the scheme, and personalise their preferences for email updates.