Inspiration Trust is a multi-academy trust based in Norfolk and north Suffolk that supports 16 schools and employs 1100 people. Up until 2021, the trust hadn’t provided a benefits scheme, but recently it has worked with Edenred to create a new offering that has boosted employee engagement and is helping people through the cost-of-living crisis.
Like all multi-academy trusts, Inspiration Trust operates in a competitive market where there is a shortage of teachers and high demand for other key roles such as education leaders and support workers
“We're competing with so many other trusts looking for the same skills and roles – so you have to look at all possible ways to boost staff engagement and retention rates,” says Liz Howard. HR Director for Inspiration Trust. “We wanted a benefits package that is more attractive than other trusts. Alongside the culture and supportive environment we provide, this is one of the key ways we can be the employer of choice in our area.”
In the last year, the cost-of-living crisis driven by rising food prices as well as energy, housing and commuting costs has brought the need for a robust benefits package into even sharper focus
“We know where the pressure points are and want to do everything we can to reduce people’s outgoings,“ says Liz. “These are tough times for everyone and it’s important to help where we can.”
Solution and impact
Working closely with the Edenred team, Inspiration Trust developed a package of benefits built on the Flexible Benefits platform that includes:
- Childcare Vouchers
- Employee Savings discounts at 100s of retail outlets
- Cycle to Work through Halfords and Cycle Solutions
- EV Car Leasing through Tusker
- Payroll Giving
- Salary Sacrifice Home Technology
- Dental Insurance
- Gym Discounts
“We’ve now got a balance of benefits that can help employees save money on everyday costs as well as some more innovative elements that give us an edge over competitors. There aren’t many other trusts that provide an EV car lease scheme. for example.”
Liz and her team promote the benefits in their weekly HR email update to employees – often with flyers and prize draws provided by the Edenred team.
“I’ve had many people tell me they have started reading our update in full because they want to know about any new benefits available. That’s a great sign that people are engaged with what we’re doing and value the benefits we offer.”
Data provided by the Edenred platform shows that page views within the Flexible Benefits platform increased by over 500% from January to December 2022. Order value also increased three-fold – and overall more than half of all employees have now engaged with the platform.
“It’s been a great experience working with Edenred to get us this far. Until 2021 we hadn’t provided any kind of benefits package. We’ve come a long way since. Edenred has felt like part of our team. They wanted the same benefits for our staff as we wanted to achieve: simple, effective benefits for everybody. Further down the line we’re confident this will result in improved retention rates that are so important to us.”