Maplin Electronics employed 2,500 colleagues across 220 sites including two support centres. With labour costs rising and an evermore competitive high street, Maplin wanted to improve its employee offering with a value for money solution.
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Employee discounts, Cycle to Work
Maplin Electronics had 2,500 colleagues across 220 sites and wanted a solution which would make their lives easier, could be accessed on the go and would fit alongside the company’s culture and values. Maplin had, in fact, launched a benefits offering the year before but this was heavily criticised by colleagues as it wasn’t user-friendly, didn’t include colleagues in Ireland. Plus, it relied heavily on salary sacrifice offers which didn’t resonate with a workforce who were mainly on the National Minimum Wage.
Unsurprisingly, Maplin’s colleagues had completely switched off from the offering in place, reflected in colleagues’ response to “I am satisfied with my total benefits package” in Maplin’s annual engagement survey dropping from 52% to 44%.
There were also limitations in the service from Maplin’s provider at the time, especially in the communications delivered to colleagues. The main channel for communications was through a single, store-specific email address which only store managers had access to, and communications were also biased towards a millennial mindset which didn’t land well with Maplin’s multi-generational workforce.
The People Team knew they needed a solution which would solve all of their current problems and took the time to research providers in the market. They found Reward Gateway to be the best fit – offering a solution which is user-friendly, inclusive of all employees and utilises bespoke, segmented communications. With a provider selected, Maplin’s team were keen to engage their colleagues from the start and invited people to step forward as Engagement Champions. The Champions helped to conjure up the name “Boost” for Maplin’s new platform and also helped the People Team to create excitement with a teaser campaign designed to inspire mystery and to get the rest of the workforce talking about the offering.
The teaser campaign was tailored to be location and audience-appropriate with deep consideration given to what would work in stores versus support centres. In stores, the pre-launch push included magnetic jigsaw puzzles which would show retailers available through employee discounts and the Boost logo when completed. On launch day, goodie boxes were delivered to stores containing Boost-branded chocolate bars, pens and joining leaflets.
In support centres, the pre-launch push included desk drops of Boost-branded chocolate bars and an intriguing double-sided postcard. On launch day, goodie boxes were delivered to each centre containing travel cups, tea bags, pens, cupcakes, headphones and a joining leaflet. To make it even more location-specific, tea bags were chosen specifically – Yorkshire Tea for Rotherham and London Tea for London.
Maplin also used a company-wide communication campaign to bolster its local initiatives. This included a teaser video, the introduction of the Boost Bot, a competition on the platform and a roadshow to demonstrate the platform with Reward Gateway present to educate and engage Maplin employees. All of this helped to create a buzz around the new offering, overcoming colleagues’ previously held negative perceptions.
Within only one month of launch, 50% of Maplin’s workforce had registered to use the Boost platform, with 60% being engaged with the new offering within three months. Spend through the new employee discounts platform reached £100,000 in the first three months, with savings reaching £10,500 – the equivalent of £80 per person. At a time when Maplin was unable to provide salary increases, these savings were the equivalent of a 1.5% pay increase, further demonstration of how the offering added value to colleagues’ overall reward package.
Maplin also saw wider benefits to their business. The organisation achieved a return on investment within three months and saw colleague turnover and absence decrease by 13% and 18% respectively compared to previous years. The development of Maplin’s Employee Value Proposition, bolstered by the new discounts offering, further supported the attraction and retention of talent – marked by the improvement of their Glassdoor rating from 1.6 to 2.8 out of 5.
spend in first three months
reduction in employee turnover