Before Asperity was appointed, Specsavers head office had a major problem with its workforce being disengaged and dissatisfied with their voluntary benefits programme. At the time, the discount programme that Specsavers offered to its employees was an internally managed staff discount card which had a very limited number of offerand was heavily weighted towards the mainland-based employees in terms of available retailers. With half the employee population situated overseas, the staff at the Guernsey office were less than convinced of their employee benefits package’s value.
Specsavers’ main objective was to be able to offer a programme that appealed to all locations equally. Discussions were held with employees in Guernsey to find out what discounts they wanted, and with 1800 different retailers, Asperity’s product was identified as the most popular.
The new discounts programme, ‘Specsavers Perks’ (named after the company’s two co-founders: Doug and Mary Perkins) launched in May 2011 and was an immediate hit. Focused around an especially creative teaser campaign, Specsavers invented a Reward Gateway bingo game, in which every employee was given a card with a random mix of retailer logos that featured on the Specsavers Perks website. A week before the launch, a banner appeared on the intranet encouraging employees to click through to to find out what the logo would be. If they could match the logo with the one on their card they could tick it off, which was great because not only was it fun and interactive, but it also ensured that employees would learn about and remember the different brands available through the programme. The clever communications strategy went down a storm with employees, with the intranet receiving 20,000 unique page views over the campaign’s duration – the highest they have ever witnessed.
Following on from the launch success, Specsavers ran a second campaign 6 months later in November 2011, called the ‘12 Perks of Christmas’. Similar to the teaser competition, employees were all given a business card with 12 pictures on it and encouraged to click through the various offers on the Perks site to find where the images were hiding. The first person to find all of their images won a £50 voucher to use on the site.
Both of these campaigns worked brilliantly: current engagement is at 75% and spend is well over half a million pounds after the first year. Both campaigns cost next to nothing to run – just the cost of printing the business cards and the £50 prizes for each. Considering the impact these initiatives have had across the business and with re-engaging their employees, that money has gone a really long way. Specsavers’ have succeeded in their objective to be able to offer a programme that appealed to all locations equally, and couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
Most recently, Specsavers scooped the 2012 prize at The Employee Benefits Awards, for ‘Most effective use of a voluntary benefits plan’, beating off stiff competition from Marks & Spencer, Surrey County Council, CSC and also McDonald’s. The plan for the future is to roll out the programme to all UK stores over the coming year.
Workforce profile: Varied age range with majority having internet access at work. Spread over two offices in England and one in Guernsey.
Highlights: Outstanding employee engagement as a result of innovative comms
The previous discount programme was internally managed and only offered local discounts that excluded half the employee population that were situated in Guernsey. As a result, employees were disengaged and dissatisfied with their employee discounts programme.
We’re thrilled to have won an award for ‘The most effective use of a voluntary benefits plan’; it really helps put our employer brand on the map. We’ve been working very closely with Asperity in the last year to achieve a highly successful employee benefits programme and they have really supported us in realising our goals.
Mary Jane Seddon, Senior Manager of Reward & Policy for Specsavers