Nectar's operator to sweeten employee benefits
Loyalty Management Group (LMG), the UK parent company behind the Nectar programme's operator (LMUK), has implemented flexible benefits for its employees in conjunction with Thomsons Online Benefits.
The scheme, called Sweeter Rewards (in line with the company's consumer-facing 'Rewards are sweeter with Nectar' slogan), was launched to give the company's employees a clearer understanding of their existing benefits, and the opportunity to tailor their package to suit their own individual needs and desires.
Clearer benefits Gabrielle de Wardener, LMG's Human Resources Director, said: "As a business we pioneer consumer loyalty and reward programmes, so it is important that our employees have an equally cutting-edge employee benefit package. Although we already provided good benefits, most employees did not know their full value. We were not offering the flexibility and tax efficiencies that would turn a good package into a great one."
LMG reviewed a number of benefit providers before selecting Thomsons Online Benefits. According to de Wardener, LMG wanted to find a provider that excelled in both consultancy and technology to ensure that its "flex" implementation was a painless process. The provider also needed to understand and fit with LMG's own business.
Nectar's strength To develop the benefit brand and communication materials, LMG wanted to draw on the strength of the Nectar brand. The Nectar logo was adapted to incorporate Sweeter Rewards, and the launch communication materials issued to employees was designed to replicate the Nectar point update statements sent to members.
Employees are offered the ability to spend up to 20% of their salary on flexible benefits, salary sacrifice options for their pension, and childcare vouchers, along with a range of employee-only offers including discounted car rentals, eye care, video and DVD rental, and wines.
Good take-up The company reports that employee engagement with Sweeter Rewards has been high, and that a post-implementation survey of staff showed that more than 80% understood their benefits package better as a result.
But, according to de Wardener, this as also an evolving project rather than a one-off or once-a-year campaign: "We'll be adding new features, benefits and offers throughout the year, such as tax free bicycles and home computer options which will come on-stream in April 2006."