Zurich uses benchmarking as basis for new reward proposition


Insurance organisation Zurich employs around 5,000 people in the UK. Towards the end of 2016, it decided the time had come to refresh its reward package.

Jo Burton, UK employee benefits manager at Zurich, explains: “We’d offered flexible benefits for many years, but had never really changed what we offered, so they were pretty standard. From what we knew of the market, coupled with conversations with people who had left or joined the [business], it suggested we were out of step with our rewards package.”

To help develop a more modern employee reward proposition, Zurich appointed specialist consultancy Thomsons Online Benefits.

As well as advising on the elements that would make up a market-leading proposition, Thomsons Online Benefits also completed a benchmarking exercise on Zurich’s behalf in November 2017. “This benchmarked us against other financial services organisations, but also compared us to other sectors, such as technology. More and more, we’re recruiting from other sectors, so it’s important that we’re competitive there too,” Burton explains.

In addition, Zurich surveyed its employees for their views on the reward package, also in November 2017, with around a third responding. Burton states that this provided valuable insight into what rewards would best engage employees; many of the benefits that were ultimately included in the new package were ones that scored highly in the survey.

Following this analysis, a new reward proposition was launched in November 2018. This included an employee wellbeing solution, a virtual GP, a financial education programme and a flu vaccination provision. All of these are available through Zurich’s new online benefits platform, Indigo, which employees can access at all hours and on any mobile device.

“The reaction has been very positive,” Burton concludes. “As well as appreciating the new benefits, it’s really helped people engage with their reward more, and we’ve had a few requests for new benefits already. It’s definitely something we’ll look at; the proposition will evolve in line with employee expectations and changes in the market.”

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