How to connect, recognise and support employees during times of uncertainty: Navigating the coronavirus for HR leaders
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Welcome Break is a highly diverse business, with 5,500 employees from more than 75 countries. Policy changes in the EU led to a strain on retention and increased turnover, so the company looked at its benefits offerings to see how it could offer a more rounded approach to reward for its employees to aid on attracting and retaining people.
Number of employees:
Number of locations:
Employee benefits, employee discounts, employee wellbeing
Welcome Break is a high-growth motorway service operator with 34 different locations, representing hundreds of brands and a largely offline workforce. The business recently became a fully franchised business, where the team members work for the parent organisation Welcome Break, but represent and wear the uniforms of a variety of brands such as KFC, Subway, Starbucks, Ramada, etc, creating candidate competition between Welcome Break and High Street larger brands.
Following the EU referendum and Brexit, many new starters were leaving Welcome Break to return to their home country, which greatly reduced the applicant pool and the possibility of new starters staying with the company for long-term careers. Welcome Break had to find a way to retain employees, while creating a range of benefits to attract the 18+ demographic, while reducing spend on recruitment agencies and a goal of reducing labour turnover by 10%.
Complicating this was also an issue of inaccessible public transport to the various locations, which were located in remote areas, and a need to stretch their employees’ disposable income without the expense of a big pay rise.
To create trust and to communicate what staff could expect from Welcome Break as an employer, the team made a handbook containing important information and promises to employees.
Alongside this, the organisation made an effort to reinvent its Attraction and Retention plan. Welcome Break conducted focus groups called “Fishbowl” meetings and surveyed 300 employees to see what attracted them to the organisation, and what would make them stay, focussing on benefits and the employee experience. In response, Welcome Break created pillars of engagement to achieve its objectives:
There was also a lack of understanding and awareness of current offerings that needed to be addressed.
Working with Reward Gateway, Welcome Break rebranded its engagement hub, My Welcome Break, to simplify the logo and content to show that the site was about capturing hearts and minds of their people through helping them make their pay go further and providing extra benefits to make life easier.
Welcome Break also developed a First Level Leadership development programme, to prepare for a leadership career with the organisation, bringing in more opportunity for entry-level workers to move up to a specialist or management position.
Since introducing the Attraction and Retention plan, spending on the discounts platform has increased by 36%, resulting in employees saving money and making their pay go further. The Cycle to Work scheme has helped reduce the complexity of limited public transport, with 81 employees taking part to buy a bike for £30, and hundreds of employees taking financial advice and applying for loans through the financial wellbeing benefit. The wellness hub is present in team meetings, with many managers using the meditation and exercise videos with their teams.
And as for the turnover results? Because of the programmes Welcome Break put in place, it has benefitted from an 8% reduction in turnover, and a £135k decrease in spending on recruitment agencies since 2017.
reduction in employee turnover
decrease in agency spend