Employee Benefits Awards 2009: Most effective use of digital media to communicate benefits to staff

Rok Group RokPay (entered by Thomsons Online Benefits)

Most employers now use websites to promote benefits and a growing number are putting together DVDs as part of their internal communications. What made Rok’s entry stand out is that it deployed both forms of digital media well.

A staff survey and meetings with staff indicated that most had internet access at home, but a significant minority did not. There were also mixed views about which media to use to convey the benefits message. Focus groups then clarified that a variety of media was needed.

Rok’s DVD was the best of all those submitted in these awards. It used on-site, brief “peer-to-peer” interviews with staff to get the benefits messages across. It avoided long stretches of “talking heads”, instead opting for a mix of voiceovers (while the video showed the firm’s construction sites and similar examples of work in progress) and speakers addressing the camera – a combination that kept the viewer engaged.

The online total reward statement was simple, but fit for purpose. That is, for this audience it was perfect – a more financially sophisticated workforce would have found it too basic. But this reflected Rok’s internal communications guidelines, which state: “We’re down to earth – we are builders – don’t use too many words.”

Pictured left: Richard Sadler, reward leader at Rok Group. Sadler said: “This was a big challenge for us, especially to target our technicians who don’t normally respond to communications. We kept it simple and unpretentious to get our message across.”






  • Aviva My Aviva Reward (entered by Caburn Hope)
    The insurance firm is using a web- and intranet-accessible portal for core communication of the reward strategy that is supporting the firm’s brand name change in June 2009. Part of a programme that runs through to 2010, these digital media bring together, for the first time, employee information that had been dispersed across multiple intranets in the company’s many divisions.
  • Chevron Online Total Reward Statements (entered by Strait Logics)
    This employer’s online total reward statements are designed to work in association with its corporate encryption system, which means employees have simple, one-click access from any global location. This is particularly important because expatriate workers at this energy company are in out-of-the-way locations.
  • Malmaison and Hotel du Vin Mal HdV Rewards (entered by Asperity Employee Benefits)
    This hotel chain has a high proportion of Polish staff. By using screencasting (a video of a website showing mouse movements and keyboard strokes with a recorded audio track), it produced a low-cost (cheaper than full DVD production) way to communicate benefits to staff in both English and Polish. A French version will appear this year.
  • McDonald’s Restaurants O2 Mobile Phone Offer
    MacDonald’s used its established “Our lounge” online space to promote its voluntary benefits deal of an O2 mobile phone. Most of its young workforce access “Our lounge” from home. Staff were able to download a promotional code via a text message which could be redeemed at an O2 store – which could also be located via “Our Lounge”. At the time of entering the awards, 10% of McDonald’s workforce had taken up the offer.