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How Transport for London transforms the employee discounts experience to save employees £360k

Discover why the company decided to come full circle and return to Reward Gateway

Transport for London (TfL) is the integrated transport authority responsible for meeting the mayor’s strategy and commitments on transport in London. TfL runs the day-to-day operation of the Capital’s public transport network and manages its main roads. Moving London forward safely, inclusively, and sustainably.

The organisation employs a large workforce of 26,000 staff spread across multiple sites, many of which are offline workers. TfL’s employee discounts programme, branded ‘mydiscounts,’ was an important voluntary benefit for TfL employees. TfL were looking to relaunch it with a new system to engage people at every level across the business.

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Industry

Transport

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Number of employees:

26,000

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Number of locations:

N/A

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Platform features:

Employee discounts, employee wellbeing, recognition and reward, employee communications

The challenge:

TfL began its journey to a new employee discounts supplier by asking their employees directly what they wanted from their discounts provider. They gained feedback through an employee survey, focus groups and Yammer which enabled employees’ requirements to be pinpointed. The overwhelming feedback was that a good discount user experience was paramount.

The 1,200+ responses from the survey revealed that a high priority was instant vouchers that really were instant! Employees wanted to be able to order them through a reliable and straightforward process on a platform or an app, and crucially, immediately spend the voucher.

Transport for London platform mockup

The app was also particularly important as the majority of employees are not office based, and with their smartphones they had discounts at their fingertips. Many of those who gave feedback were already familiar with Reward Gateway’s product, as RG had been TfL’s employee discounts provider for 8 years in the 2010s.

Sarah Whitchurch, Reward & Recognition Specialist at Transport for London says:

“Gaining feedback from employees was crucial to the success of this project. Our employees are experienced consumers and knew what they wanted. It was so good to see the amount of feedback we gained. It certainly gave a great depth of insight into what we were looking for in the market.”

Choosing the right provider

TfL took the wealth of data on what employees were looking for and then researched the employee discounts market. Bringing the employee requirements together with what was available in the market enabled it to undertake a rigorous procurement process with a key focus on what was the most commercially viable option.

We are under a lot of scrutiny in terms of the way we spend money and how we bring external suppliers on board. That’s why we spent a lot of time evaluating options before our recommendations were scrutinised by internal committees to make sure every angle was covered. We wanted to meet the expectations of our employees as far as possible, within our budget. By the end of the selection process, Reward Gateway was chosen as the successful supplier."

The approach:

Transport for London Wellbeing Center

Working closely with the TfL team, Reward Gateway set about tailoring a new discounts platform that would get a higher level of engagement with mydiscounts, to enable it to reach its potential. TfL has a wide-ranging workforce demographic, which meant it was essential to curate a variety of retailers and services. Staff had made it clear, as part of a follow-up survey, that they wanted access to supermarkets, electronics, fashion and DIY, as well as local shops and brands with a focus on sustainability.

"We particularly needed an intuitive mobile app that gave staff instant access to our full range of offers. Many of our people work shifts and aren’t desk based, so being able to download the app and log in from anywhere was a major advantage for us. Employee feedback from our internal survey highlighted a big demand for cashback functionality, instant e-vouchers and a physical multi-retailer card."

Sarah and her colleagues have gone to great lengths to inspire greater engagement with the benefits platform both pre-and post-launch by gathering further feedback, offering tech demos, keeping staff informed through blogs and acting quickly on suggestions. The team has also continued to upload video content and FAQs to help orient staff and answer any questions they may have about using the system. They also post regular updates on Yammer, which staff comment on, as well as posters and digital signage in depots which employees can quickly see when they book on or off.

"Working with Reward Gateway, we were able to implement things like direct data transfer. This saves a lot of time for our team in terms of loading up separate files because everything is updated and synchronised in real-time. That alone has definitely prevented a lot of headaches for us!”

This detailed approach has paid off and led to more active users and high engagement with mydiscounts. Once mydiscounts launched, work to promote the scheme continued through an ongoing communications campaign. The latest being based on RG MI as well as talking to staff across London. This has shown that although 16k are using the platform, not so many know about the app. With so many app benefits, TfL and RG are now launching an app campaign to raise further awareness.

The results:

Transport for London discountsTfL currently has over 16,000 active users on the mydiscounts platform – which equates to over 60% of its workforce, with more using it each day. This is especially impressive when you consider that the majority of TfL’s employees work in offline roles without regular access to a computer.

In little more than five months after launch, employees had spent over £5.25 million, through the Reward Gateway platform, which works out to a total savings of over £360k. It’s great to see these results because they show that employees have confidence in TfL’s discounts provision and staff are actively making use of the great range of benefits on offer.

“At TfL we are always looking to continuously improve our benefits offerings to better engage our people. Through properly understanding employees’ requirements, as well as what the market had available we have achieved a great product and service. Our people have a direct stake in the new discounts system because they know we listened to them.”

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