Learn how Wescot delivers a world-class and secure platform adhering to financial services compliance and industry regulations
Wescot is one of the UK’s leading debt recovery agencies. Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the organisation works closely with a varied client base of high street banks, credit card providers, energy providers and other major suppliers. Wescot employs a wide-ranging workforce of 2,000 employees across three separate business units, the majority of which are based within its call centre function. Its HR team needed a central hub from which they could manage employee benefits, discounts and internal communications, and connect every colleague across the company.
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Employee benefits, employee discounts, employee reward and recognition
Wescot reached out to Reward Gateway in November 2019 to bring its separate benefits and discounts programmes under one roof, while also driving stronger engagement across its entire workforce. With historic challenges in connecting to its broad employee base, Wescot were looking to deliver a seamless user experience that all colleagues could buy into.
Working within financial services also presented a host of challenges in terms of industry regulations and information security. Any system that Wescot put in place needed to adhere to strict infosec requirements, which in the past had made electronic two-way communication between its senior leadership team and contact centre colleagues difficult.
Sarah Warneck, Communications Officer at Wescot says,
“Being part of the financial industry means that our data management and internal communications are heavily regulated. Reward Gateway is fantastic because it allows us to track exactly which messages are being sent to which teams and ensures we’re always meeting compliance regulations. The platform itself has enabled us to engage colleagues with benefits, facilitate peer-to-peer recognition and encourage direct feedback from employees, all from one central hub!”
These challenges had a direct impact on Wescot’s ability to reach and engage employees across all organisational levels, relying on manual forms of communication. This was proving an inefficient way of delivering communications and initiatives, something which Wescot was keen to resolve with its new platform.
When laying out an initial plan for the platform, Wescot underlined two important characteristics: simplicity and engagement. Employee rewards and discounts were deemed a priority, so Reward Gateway handpicked a range of retailers to match Wescot’s broad demographic, showcasing great offers from the likes of Currys PC World, Argos, IKEA and Asda. This in itself was already a huge improvement on the company’s previous systems.
“The platform and SmartSpending™ app have both been crucial in streamlining our rewards, discounts and people management initiatives. This immediately cut down admin time by replacing our old system of signing off and posting out paper vouchers one by one. It’s so easy now for managers to recognise great work without having to go through any unnecessary faff, especially when rewarding people from other departments and locations,” Sarah adds.
When it came to branding the platform, Sarah and her team settled on the name ‘E.R.I.C.’ – short for Engage, Reward, Include and Communicate – to help show the range of benefits the platform would bring and create an inclusive feel for all employees. As a central hub, it has now naturally become an ideal place to run campaigns, host surveys, share engaging content and gather feedback from colleagues, even those without an email!
Having launched E.R.I.C. just a matter of months before the start of the pandemic in December 2019, Wescot soon found itself looking further beyond benefits and discounts to see how the platform could benefit its internal comms in response to COVID-19.
Wescot has also benefited from newfound data insights and analytics gathered through the platform, particularly from its Wellbeing Centre. By analysing reading trends and popular articles, Sarah’s team planned out a detailed content campaign around Mental Health Awareness Week that developed themes such as connectivity, isolation, stress and other topics that employees had been engaging with. This approach clearly worked wonders for Wescot’s readership and helped inspire an internal community around mental health, where employees are not afraid to voice concerns and lend a helping hand to one another.
Since the E.R.I.C. platform launched in December 2019, Wescot has seen a remarkable upturn in engagement among its workforce, 98% of which are now active users on the platform. This is a fantastic achievement considering the difficulties the company has traditionally faced within a heavily regulated financial services industry.
In just over a year employees have spent more than £400k through the SmartSpending™ app so far, saving a grand total of £30k in the process. As for employee recognition, just under 4,500 eCards have been sent between colleagues across the organisation, whereas the content on Wescot’s Wellbeing Centre has received roughly 5,500 unique hits.
Sarah adds, “The progress we’ve made as an organisation simply by having the Reward Gateway platform in place has been incredible. It’s been an essential part of our new strategy around internal communications and brand values. We’ve had such great feedback on our surveys and all-hands meetings that we’re planning to deliver even more campaigns and integrations through the platform later this year!”
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