Home Group Case Study

Home Group is one of the UK’s largest providers of quality housing and supported housing services. With headquarters in Newcastle and properties across the country the 3,000-strong workforce is geographically dispersed and spread across a variety of functions.

The challenge

The business wanted to do more to bring its values and employer brand to life, to showcase how the company supports employees with employee benefits and rewards.

They also wanted more employees to take advantage of its existing benefit proposition, as well as making them aware of three new benefits. These were being brought on stream in response to feedback from employees about what they would like to be able to use.

Bringing the ‘Employee Value Proposition’ to life

Home Group worked with Edenred to develop a bespoke single sign-on portal to put all reward and recognition, as well as benefits into one place. These had previously been dispersed across different platforms.

The portal was named Reward Scene to reflect the nature of Home Group as a provider of housing and supported housing services in the community. They wanted to create a community of rewards and benefits, presenting the proposition in the form of a street map.

The Reward Scene street map consists of three zones:

  • Benefits Boulevard – the location for all of the employee benefits on offer
  • Wellbeing Walk – the place for wellbeing related initiatives and benefits
  • Hero Heights – this took employees to the new peer-to-peer recognition programme, Home Heroes and 4 superhero characters were created to represent each of the 4 Home Group values

Edenred and Home Group developed a unique user experience and developed a language which made it easy to find benefits through the use of themed street signs relating to each benefit such as Cycle Lane (Cycle to Work), Fitness Flyover (GymFlex) and Recognition Road (reward and recognition).

This fun approach encouraged employees to explore what else was on offer and see what they might be missing out on.

The new portal also enabled employees to sign up and change their benefits package at any time through flexible benefits – increasing flexibility for them and reducing the administrative overhead for the HR team.

To engage employees even further, a one minute video was created for each benefit with a Home Group employee talking about them. The CEO even did a video talking about Reward Scene and finally an animation was created to take employees on a journey around the street map.

The three new benefits were - Fitness Flyover (GymFlex), Gadget Gate (home technology purchase scheme) and Restaurant Row (a Gourmet Society card).

Launching the scheme

The team at Home Group recognised an effective launch of Reward Scene would be critical in engaging the 3,000 geographically dispersed employees.

To achieve this, the HR team invited staff across all levels and locations to act as reward and recognition ambassadors to help promote and communicate the scheme and they were given training and materials to support them.

On launch day they acted as tour guides, helping staff to navigate through the Reward Scene street map with desk flags that had the message “Ask me about Reward Scene”.

The ambassadors also wore branded Home Heroes capes to keep the communication style fun and accessible. This approach created interest and questions about the new scheme from employees.

Instead of receiving a top-down corporate message, employee-led curiosity generated a bottom-up desire to know more.

On launch, employees also received a printed fold out map of Reward Scene with information about each benefit and a branded sweets box.

Business impact

Six months on from launching Reward Scene, Home Group saw a positive increase in take-up of benefits across the board. This includes benefits with previously low visibility, such as the Cycle to Work scheme. The three new benefits saw a take-up rate of 17% which was a great result.

Reward Scene has changed the way employees talk about benefits and rewards with each other, referring to benefits by their street name – notably Gadget Gate.

In the year since the scheme launched, Home Group has also improved its score in the Great Place to Work survey.

What Home Group said:

Reward Scene provides a highly creative way of helping Home Group employees navigate their full reward, recognition and employee benefits offering in a way which is not only linked to the corporate values but is easy to understand and fun to use”  

The Head of People Services at Home Group 

Home Group case study