Direct Wines uses annual engagement survey to gauge value of financial education

Drinks organisation Direct Wines implemented a digital financial education programme for its 630 UK employees as part of its overall HR strategy. The online offering, provided by Nudge, is designed to support the attraction and retention of employees, align with learning and development opportunities, and reduce financial stress as part of the business’s health and wellbeing strategy.

The programme, which was introduced in June 2016, uses current, personalised data, such as an employee’s age and benefits selection, to tailor the information provided so that it suits an individual’s interests and circumstances.

With a workforce that includes warehouse staff, retail employees, and head-office-based staff, the organisation selected a digital programme to ensure that all employees would be able to access and take advantage of the system, and still gain relevant and pertinent information, says Matt Wayne, HR director at Direct Wines.

Since the initiative launched, 75% of all employees have logged on and used the system, equating to approximately 470 staff members, while 72% of employees have engaged with the notifications that have been sent to staff.

To measure a potential return on investment, a question relating to financial wellness was included in Direct Wines’ annual employee engagement survey. The survey, which was conducted in March 2017, found that employees wanted the financial education programme to remain part of the organisation’s benefits offering.

Anecdotal feedback from staff has also been positive: junior employees have been provided with information on topics such as pensions and savings, which they have found valuable, while senior management have found interest-based updates on tax or mortgages particularly valuable. Digital notifications that reference content around legislative issues, for example, the Spring Budget 2017, have also been well received by employees.

Analytics data supplied by Nudge also shows that, on average, 3.4 articles from the platform are read per person. These articles are updated on a weekly basis by Nudge, either by uploading new articles, or making amendments to previous articles to reflect ongoing industry or legislative changes. Savings, budgeting, children and family, travel and holidays, and everyday finances, are among the top areas of interest for employees. The most popular articles are mortgage application tips; mortgage advice: where to go for the best mortgage deal; protecting savings; and income tax and personal allowance.

Wayne says: “With something like this, it’s more to do with the focus on engagement in terms of productivity and engagement, wellbeing, and the absence levels of staff. We believe that this is another element that allows the employees to understand the investment that the [organisation] puts into them.”