Lets Connect: improving workforce engagement, productivity and retention
Retention is always going to be a hot topic for HR, but it’s important to remember not to get too caught up with the numbers – the focus when it comes to staff retention has to be the staff themselves. Engaging employees is crucial when looking at retaining valuable talent and increasing employee satisfaction. Keeping staff happy and engaged not only reduces attrition, it can help boost productivity levels too.
The rules of engagement
Employee engagement is quickly becoming one of the most important factors in gauging employee happiness and workplace satisfaction. Engaged employees lead to long-term employee retention, higher levels of productivity and improved quality of work. Employees today want to be involved in their work, believe in the goals of the organisation they work for and have good relationships with their fellow workers.
Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust’s plan
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust decided to implement a Let’s Connect salary sacrifice scheme for technology and smartphones. The idea was to engage and motivate all their staff in a new benefit that would have broad appeal and deliver savings to both employer and employee. This also sat well with their strategies for promoting health, wellbeing and digital inclusion. New technology plays such a key role in both areas and through the scheme, staff were able to get the latest technology products from leading brands such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, HP, Sonos, FitBit, Canon and many more.
An integrated Employee Benefits solution
At the same time they implemented a new employee engagement and benefits platform – Hapi from Personal Group, which allowed full integration for the Let’s Connect scheme. This included access to a multitude of retail and lifestyle discounts, in addition to the NHS discounts scheme, access to affordable loans, which allow for repayments over a longer period directly from salary, and access to financial education to help reduce the effects of financial stress on NHS employees.
Wider public-sector appeal
By implementing the Let’s Connect technology salary sacrifice scheme alongside the new platform, Sandwell neutralised the cost of the entire engagement platform through the employer savings from the technology scheme.
As well as launching this as a cost-neutral initiative, the Trust’s focus on employee wellbeing and other engagement activities have resulted in some dramatic improvements in their other KPIs. Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust manged to reduce sickness related absence by 12.3% (from 4.9% to 4.5%), reduced staff turnover by 8.5% and reduced their time to fill vacancies by five weeks.
We all know attrition and absenteeism costs money, so better retention and effective employee engagement will improve the bottom line. In fact, our research shows that an employee benefits platform could save a company with 1000 employees more than £125,000 per year in addition to helping each average employee making personal savings of over £3,000 per year.