Santander and Samsung drive flex take up with effective communications

Santander and Samsung have a strong focus on communication to help staff make informed decisions and to maximise take up of their flexible beenfits schemes.


Speaking at Employee Benefits Live 2014 in a session titled ‘Flexible benefits to drive employee engagement’, Elliot Rees-Davies, head of reward at Santander, explained that the bank has moved away from old-fashioned corporate styles to a new look ‘Santander is you’ branding.

The branding is made up of initiatives designed to bring employees together, inject fun into flexible benefits and provide good-quality communication and information.

Santander also designed its employee value proposition (EVP) around which benefit types are likely to be most relevant for each employee.

In addition, the banking group built an HR portal, designed to provide an intuitive user experience with easy navigation.

It also ensured that once employees have made their benefit selections, that they can only view information about these through the portal. “Proactive communication means putting the right plan in front of the right person,” said Rees-Davies.

The technology that Santander uses allows it to see what pages each employee has visited and which of those they have returned to, allowing it to provide tailored information about staff benefits.

Other communication methods used by the bank include Z cards, prize draws and roadshows. 

Speaking in the same session, Joanna Bean, head of reward for the UK and Ireland at Samsung, explained that the technology firm uses targeted communication for its 7,000 staff through methods such as emails, posters, home mailers, webinars and desk drops. It also made use of its own technology, for example through a text message campaign, screens in office locations and a monthly newsletter.

Samsung also carried out surveys and actively spoke to its staff. “If they don’t know about it, they’re never going to look,” said Bean.“It’s all about ongoing education about benefits.”

When introducing new benefits branding, Samsung also gave staff gifts such as mugs, boxes of sweets and trolley keys. Bean said: “It’s about finding out what your employees want.”

As a result, 86% of employees registered on its Highlights flexible benefits portal. It also achieved a 95% login rate in 2014 for the portal and 86% of employees who logged on felt that Highlights enhanced their overall benefits package.

Samsung has saved their employees £1 million to date through the scheme, “It’s been very effective,” said Bean. 


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