Energy technology business Ovo uses its total reward strategy to ensure its workforce feels inspired and a deep sense of belonging when they join.
With around 5,000 employees based across the UK in London, Bristol and Glasgow hubs, the firm launched a new people offer to give more choice and flexibility, which it keeps at the heart of everything it does to support them. This includes a flexible approach to benefits, working and annual leave. It provides unlimited compassionate leave, recharge leave for staff to take after exceptionally busy periods, and moments that matter leave for key moments in life, such as a wedding day or a child’s first school play.
The employer also offers discounts on Ovo products and services so employees can experience these and become advocates, as well as green benefits. This includes introducing the ability to personally offset personal carbon emissions if employees cannot fully reduce these via its MyReward platform. The money from this is given to its carbon offsetting team to fund projects around the world.
The people offer and policies helps anyone working at Ovo, whether they are a new starter or a longstanding member of the team, to feel supported through key life events and take time away from their work when it is needed, explains Julia Diggs, director of people experience at Ovo.
“As part of the offer at Ovo we have considered Plan Zero, which is our response to the climate crisis, in everything we do or plan to do,” she says. “We have looked at every benefit we offer and assessed where we can support a greener world. This includes selecting a new pension provider, which is the best fit and value for our people, while ensuring all our collective investments are channeled towards environmental, social and governance investments where possible, without compromising our people’s future pension funds.”
Ovo’s strategy was rolled out to its workforce through roadshows and drop-ins to allow staff to ask any questions. It has a section dedicated to it on its intranet, The Kitchen Table, and regularly keeps it updated while it continues to look for ways to improve.
The organisation has focused on a holistic approach to benefits through its wellbeing hub.
“We recognise that often wellbeing needs are not independent of each other. For example, a financial concern could lead to mental and physical concerns, which we’re able to support through our wellbeing programme. Instead of providing our people with a long list of providers, we have flipped our approach to start with the person: finding out their concern and working out where they need help,” Diggs concludes.