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Accenture is one of the largest global consulting firms and over 20 years has grown from a largely single-focussed management consultancy to a diversified business that has made numerous appearances in Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. As a company that prides itself in creating an inclusive, high-performance culture that supports both professional and personal growth, providing a diverse suite of easily accessible and relevant benefits is key to its talent strategy.
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As a globally recognised consulting firm with over 4,500 employees based around Australia, Accenture is known for attracting and retaining highly-skilled, high-performing people around the world. “When people start their journey with Accenture, we believe they sign up to continually grow and improve, and create the best versions of themselves personally and professionally,” says Randy Wandmacher, HR Director for Australia and New Zealand. “As an HR organisation, we promised to take a people-first approach so we can design experiences and create environments where our people are empowered to do those things.”
Historically, offering a variety of rewards and benefits was a core part of Accenture’s attraction and retention strategy. However, Randy’s team needed to change their approach to meet changing employee expectations and the ‘always on, always connected’ attitude of the digital era.
Accenture knew providing its people choice and a wide range of personally relevant and easily accessible benefits was key, and considered the typical employee’s consumer habits and expectations in the digital age when designing their range. Randy says, “It’s less about the same sets of offerings but introducing and acknowledging my hobbies, interests and dreams, and trying to understand the full breadth of what’s important for our people, and how we as an organisation can help them.”
To support Accenture’s focus on creating a “Truly Human” employee experience that is both professionally and personally rewarding, Accenture reached out to its people to guide the initiatives. They worked with employees and an external agency to create the acronym “FRESH,” a set of principles that guides Accenture’s benefits strategy. “We want these experiences to be Fun, Relevant, Engaging, Simple and Helpful,” Randy explains. “We use those guiding principles in our benefit programs to make them highly accessible and consumable by our people.”
Accenture partnered with Reward Gateway to launch Perks At Work, a component of its benefits suite that provides every employee with 24/7 online access to discounts at over 380 national retailers on a bespoke hub that reflects Accenture’s employer brand.
“The underlying principle for the decision to launch Perks at Work was to really drive financial benefits for our people and give them options in their daily spending routine, and find ways for them to save money,” says Ondrej Lauko, Accenture’s Head of Total of Rewards for Australia and New Zealand. Ondrej explains, “When we were looking at solutions, we listed items that our people purchased on a daily or monthly basis across the whole calendar year, and looked at the savings they’d make on this program – they were substantial amounts. If you were to give every single employee that amount straight from the company, the cost would be multiple times more than what we pay for the platform where our people access those discounts. So it made financial sense to do this.”
Since launching in 2016, on average over 80% percent of Accenture employees access Perks at Work, through their company portal as well as the mobile SmartSpending™ app, allowing employees to receive well over $650K worth of savings in one year.
Access to savings on everyday items from retailers like Woolworths, Coles, Kmart and David Jones, combined with entertainment, leisure and travel discounts from places like JB Hi-Fi, Ticketek, Event Cinemas and Jetstar meant Perks at Work ticked Accenture’s Fun, Relevant and Engaging principles. Employees’ ease of access via the Perks at Work online portal and the SmartSpending™ mobile app ticked Accenture’s Simple and Helpful principles.
Accenture is continuing to develop its “Truly Human” benefits strategy to include online and mobile access to professional development, and physical and mental wellbeing programs from an online portal, where the Perks at Work program plays an important part in supporting employees’ financial wellbeing.
“Perks at Work is really helping to provide a simple, accessible, 21st-century, navigable solution and moves benefits into the realm of how we operate in our consumer lives,” Randy says. “When our people say ‘my company is looking after me and helping me as well,’ that’s when I know we’re doing something right.”
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