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Simon Naylor

Travis Perkins

GUEST BLOG: The secret to 10 years of colleague engagement in retail

By Simon Naylor, Head of Group Benefits, Strategic Reward at Travis Perkins plc

Travis Perkins is the UK’s leading supplier of building materials through its merchant and retail businesses.

Keeping our colleagues engaged in the retail sector is no mean feat but it is absolutely vital – by keeping our staff happy, we are keeping our customers happy.

In our business, our broad demographic mix and rapid growth across multiple sites and locations, mean we require solutions that recognise and reward colleagues, while being tangibly beneficial to them and cost effective to the company.

At Travis Perkins, we have 20+ different businesses and a total of 28,000 colleagues; a massive 18,500 of our colleagues actively engage with MyPerks Plus, the benefits programme we offer.

However, in a business like ours, an engagement platform can’t be a one-size-fits all approach. These 18,500 colleagues have spent £28.1m using the colleague discounts available on the platform over the last decade, saving them over £1.9m.

We use Reward Gateway’s employee engagement platform, SmartHub®, to offer our colleagues a choice of favoured high street retailers and supermarkets.

This means that colleagues have a choice on how to save money by using their discounts to spend on what’s important to them, at their preferred shopping locations. It also meets a range of incomes for our colleagues, something that is available to everyone, even those with lower disposable income.

They also have a choice on what and when they can access their discounts and what device they want to use to do so which is important as the majority of our colleagues work a range of hours and aren’t desk bound.

Since working with Reward Gateway, we’ve improved recognition for our long serving colleagues and we are unique in retail as many of those people have been with us for between thirty and fifty years.

It’s not unusual for us, as a business, to celebrate colleagues who have been with us for over 10 years too. Our Long Service Awards are joined up with MyPerks Plus and now include a personalised gift, a message from our CEO and money for colleagues to spend on the Reward Gateway discounted products.

Feedback shows colleagues feel more special and celebrated with personal, meaningful recognition. We have a strong community of colleagues who post on our online forums about the offers they find on the site, championing the programmes like SmartHub organically.

It’s worked brilliantly for our business because our on-the-ground colleagues are our best voice to share benefits that they love. The engagement is high because the benefits are material and real to their life outside of work. We’re proud of how far we’ve come over the last ten years with Reward Gateway at our side and we’re always looking for innovative ways to make Travis Perkins a better place to work, from the Long Service Awards, to peer to peer communications, to our ‘Getting it Right’ awards which enable managers to reward good behavior when they see it.

There’s more to do however and we want 2017 to be a year where we evolve Reward Gateway’s tool to a full engagement service that encompasses communications, benefits, reward and recognition.